Sooner or later, we all buy products, hoping they’ll do miracles for our fine lines and wrinkles, or reverse damage caused by the sun. But do they work? Or is it all just a delusional idea?
Everybody knows that over-the-counter (OTC) products that address wrinkles are not listed as drugs; thus, they don’t require a controlled analysis to prove their effectiveness. So who can tell what will work or not? Most probably, the answer is science, other women, and your experience.
All these products take time to prove results, and their benefits are usually slight. However, just the fact that you’re moisturizing your face twice daily can plump the skin, fine lines, and make wrinkles appear less visible. Serums, creams, lotions, and gels are moisturizers, and they contain hydrating ingredients, such as water, oils, waxes, or glycerin, keeping skin moisturized. So besides keeping the skin hydrated, it’s necessary to ensure that your skincare routine includes proven ingredients that can preserve the collagen breakdown, protect the skin against free radicals, and keep it energized with antioxidants and vitamins.
In the end, don’t expect a face-lift from an OTC cream, but use it regularly and ensure it contains one or more of the elements below.
Proven Anti-Aging Ingredients in OTCs
A lot of ingredients are intended to improve skin texture, tone, fine lines, and wrinkles. From all of them, we’ve selected the ones that were scientifically proven to be effective in helping keep aging signs under control. These are the most popular ingredients that may improve your skin’s appearance if applied topically in the long term.
Also known as vitamin A, retinol and retinoic acid have a massive regenerative power for the skin, activating skin cells’ recuperative abilities.
When applied topically, retinoid products can reduce fine lines and wrinkles by protecting collagen against degradation. Also, they stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin color. While it regulates and normalizes cell functions in the skin, retinol increases epidermal thickness and smooths the skin’s outer layer. Among other benefits are fading age spots and softening dry skin patches.
Moreover, retinoids help stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, improving skin color.
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Regimen
Try this Retinol regimen for quicker, visible, sustained results. A cool kit that contains a renewal serum for the complexion, one for the eye area, and a night cream, a Supercharged 3-part Retinol regimen for quicker, visible, sustained results.
Kleem Anti Aging Retinol Moisturizer Cream
Not only that is formulated with 2,5% retinol, but this cream is made entirely with natural ingredients, and it contains hyaluronic acid too. Women love it! We do too!
Did you know that UV radiation is the primary cause of photoaging, and by the age of 30, almost 50% of women suffer from it? Maybe it’s not an ingredient, but it’s SO IMPORTANT (yes, just yelled) that it couldn’t miss from the list. Light is around us at all times, making sun damage a year-round concern for healthy skin. That the clouds don’t block the UVA rays, you probably already know. Even worse, reflective surfaces like snow and ice intensify UVB rays and their effects on the skin. Thus, not only that prevent skin cancer by 50%, but wearing sunscreen every time you go out can help you avoid photoaging signs.
There are two types of sunscreen: physical and chemical.
Physical sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin and block and scatter UV rays. They do this via mineral filters, the most common of which are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They’re usually thicker, and because of this, they may be a bit heavier on the skin than a chemical sunscreen with the same SPF. For this reason, they might not be the best choice for oily or acne-prone skin types. On the other hand, they’re less irritating for sensitive skin than some chemical filters. Also, mineral actives alone often offer less protection from damaging UVA radiation than chemical filters.
Chemical sunscreens contain active sun filters that penetrate the skin and absorb UV rays to prevent them from causing damage. They’re able to provide highly effective protection without needing to be in high concentrations. Most of them are formulated with a lightweight, non-sticky formula, ideal for daily wear. Chemical filters can also contain ingredients that may irritate sensitive skin, but most modern products contain antioxidants to safeguard it at the same time.
Chemical, physical sunscreen is a matter of preference; both will do as long as they have at least SPF 30. If you’re not sure where to start when buying sunscreen for your face, check out our editor’s favorites:
La Roche-Posay Mineral Ultra-Light SPF 50
Our favorite is this mineral sunscreen, by La Roche Posay, with 6% titanium dioxide and 5% zinc oxide in a super light and fluid formula.
COOLA Organic Face Sunscreen
For your face, this sheer, silky lotion nourishes and protects with 50 SPF.
Oxidative stress is recognized as an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage. The process occurs naturally and plays a considerable role in the aging process.
Vitamin C does neutralize the free radicals that cause oxidative stress to the skin, being a powerful antioxidant. Besides, vitamin C’s antioxidant activity is an excellent candidate as a protective factor against UV irradiation, via topical application. Essential for collagen biosynthesis, vitamin C supports collagen production in skin cells, and this is its second main role in the body. Many wonders if oral administration of vitamin C has the same effects as applying it topically. Yes, it’s OK to intake vitamin C for your skin, but the use of topical ascorbic acid is favored in the practice of dermatology.
Available in the market as a variety of creams, serums, and transdermal patches, only the serums contain active vitamin C. Clinically speaking, the vitamin C serum’s efficacy is proportional to the concentration, but only up to 20%. A persistent reservoir of vitamin C is vital for adequate photoprotection and can be obtained by regular 8-hourly application.
To remember: before and between uses, wrinkle creams containing vitamin C must be stored in a way that protects them from air and sunlight.
BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner Serum
Made with 20% vitamin C, this serum is truly helpful in making the skin tone become more even, diminish fine lines and dark spots, and of course, skin feels energized.
TruSkin Vitamin C Moisturizer Face
For a vitamin C boost, use this moisturizer, so much appreciated. Vitamin C, B5, and green tea work together to improve your skin texture and keep it healthy.
AHAs are a group of acids, often used in cosmetics as a superficial peeling agent, that ameliorate the skin’s appearance.
Citric acid, glycolic acid, caproic hydroxy acid, hydroxy caprylic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid are the most common AHAs used in skincare products. If you want an all-inclusive anti-aging treatment, then introduce an AHA in your routine. If you don’t know what to pick, for your skin type, talk to your dermatologist.
The primary purpose of AHAs is to exfoliate the skin. Depending on the concentration, a related product may remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface or remove the whole outermost layer. Water-soluble AHAs help peels away the skin’s surface so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells may generate and replace them. After each use, you’ll likely notice that your skin is smoother. AHAs are mostly used for hyperpigmentation, large pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.
Because they help remove dead cells, using an AHA product regularly, help prepare your skin to absorb other products better. Even if they are marketed as safe for all skin types, you want to think twice if you have extremely dry or sensitive skin. You may need to gradually work up to daily use to avoid irritating your skin.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting
We suggest you try this product for a powerful exfoliating facial peel. It contains 25% AHA to smooth wrinkles and refine texture and is blended with 2% BHA to unclogging pores. Can you ask for more?
The Ordinary Peeling Solution
A strong chemical exfoliant with 30% AHA and 2% BHA in a bottle that works great for most of us. If your skin is sensitive, I wouldn’t recommend it.
As an antioxidant in our organism that is produced naturally, Q10 is crucial for cellular energy production and cell maintenance, being present in all human cells. But as the Q10 level in the body decreases with age, and UV-irradiation exists, it leads to oxidative damage, significantly reducing the skin’s Q10 levels.
In 2015, a study investigated the skin benefits from topical Q10 treatment regarding two critical points: increased cellular energy metabolism and antioxidant effects. For 2 weeks, 73 women volunteers applied Q10 in different concentrations twice daily. The research showed that with a topical Q10 treatment, environmental stress and cell damage might be counteracted at the skin surface, and it demonstrated that the antioxidant Q10 can be delivered directly to the uppermost layer of the skin. Shortly, the data presented in this research shows that topically applied Q10 can penetrate the skin and is metabolically transformed, exerting antioxidant effects and maintaining cellular energy levels.
Must mention that these effects are not only beneficial for aging skin suffering a Q10 deficit. People all ages can benefit from regular treatment with Q10 for coping more effectively with UV irradiation and stress.
Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner Mist
And for toning your skin, you can try this formula with antioxidants, coenzyme Q10, hyaluronic acid, and organic extracts for refreshing effects. You won’t regret it!
DHC CoQ10 Lotion
DHC CoQ10 Lotion minimizes damage from harmful environmental factors and helps the skin absorb and retain moisture. It contains coenzyme Q10, which smoothes, refreshes, tones, and helps reverse the visible fine lines.
Ceramides are made up of long-chain fatty acids, and they’re the main component in the outermost layer of the epidermis.
The role of ceramides in the skin is to create a water-impermeable, protective layer to prevent excessive water loss while serving as a barrier against bacteria’s entry. In this way, ceramides lock moisture into our skin, helping prevent dryness and fine lines’ appearance.
Our skin may is made up of ceramides, and the skin becomes dry and more prone to look aged when their productivity decreases. Making up over 50% of skin’s composition, ceramides play a vital role in determining how your skin looks and how it reacts to environmental aggressors.
Supposing that the ceramides are lipids that form the skin’s barrier and help it retain moisture, you need a proper ratio of ceramides, so avoid compromising your skin by using a product with ceramides. Usually, ceramide creams contain ingredients designed to mimic the skin’s natural system to maintain skin barrier integrity and prevent dry skin.
Ceramides are naturally produced in our body, but sun exposure, hot water, soaps, some chemicals, and environmental factors can deplete them. Replenishing the skin with skincare products formulated with ceramides helps restore the skin’s barrier, which may increase the skin’s moisture levels. They are one of the anti-aging “powerhouses” responsible for supporting the skin’s dynamic nature.
Maybe the cream will have an immediately moisturizing effect, but the anti-aging appearance may take a few weeks to become visible. However, these two products are to try.
Sunday Riley ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream
Intensely hydrate your skin with this ICE ceramide cream that strengthens the skin’s natural moisture barrier, keeping it protected against free radicals.
Rozge Ceramide-C Anti Wrinkle Serum
Use one capsule a day with this vitamin-rich ceramide concentrated serum to eliminate the effects of dry skin and lift wrinkles.
Without peptides, the skin becomes less firm, wrinkles appear, and texture changes. This because peptides are short chains of amino acids that act as protein blocks, responsible for the skin texture, strength, and elasticity.
When peptides are applied topically to the skin, they trigger the skin cells to build collagen and elastin, making the skin look younger.
Peptides are an essential element, and if a smooth skin is what you want, then peptides shouldn’t miss from your skincare arsenal. They play an indispensable role in collagen synthesis and degradation, and they’re used in the body to control the cellular functions.
Scientific research has proven that peptides can support your skin on multiple levels, such as firming, soothing, and hydrating the skin. For 3 months, a group of volunteer women aged between 30 – 45 applied a product with peptides and antioxidants twice daily. The research aimed to evaluate the efficacy and tolerance of the treatment for wrinkles around the eyes. The topical peptides demonstrated immediate and long-term improvements in eye wrinkles’ appearance, as confirmed by clinical and subject evaluations.
Finding the right product type can go a long way, but we have two excellent suggestions for you:
skyn ICELAND Dissolving Microneedle Eye Patches
Formulated with hyaluronic acid and peptides, these eye patches are a fantastic solution for puffiness. Every patch is densely-packed with microneedles and does a great job when you wear them overnight.
Jan Marini Skin Research Transformation Face Cream
Try the ultimate cream for dramatic improvement in aging signs and damaged skin. Enhanced with peptides and antioxidants, the Jan Marini Cream goes way beyond simple hydration.
Our body produces hyaluronic acid (HA) by nature, but it depletes as we grow older. An overall decline of hyaluronic acid manifests as a functionality loss of the skin’s deeper layers to bind water, leading to a lack of plumpness and firmness. As a multi-functioning molecule in our body, HA can hold nearly 1,000 times its weight in water, help moisturize and plump the skin, and regulate water transport and water content in the skin. Without hyaluronic acid, the collagen and elastin fibers are not kept moist and elastic.
Fair to say that topical hyaluronic acid serums and creams don’t have the same effect as injectables, but if used in conjunction, will definitely keep skin hydrated and firm for more extended periods. Hyaluronic acid in skincare products is produced by bio-fermentation or synthetically, being very similar to the type found in cosmetic procedures.
Many women prefer hyaluronic acid as the main ingredient in their skincare products because of its hydrating properties and moisturizing ability. When the overall HA content in the skin increases, it creates an ideal environment for collagen to thrive.
In skincare products, hyaluronic acid comes in two sizes: high molecular weight and low molecular weight. The high molecular weight means it has a large molecular size, allowing it to hold water at the skin’s surface, having high moisture retention. This is excellent for plumping skin and increased moisture retention. Retaining water in the skin creates a barrier, protecting the skin against sun exposure. The low molecular weight hyaluronic acid has a small molecular weight, penetrating the skin more profound than the high molecular weight HA. The smaller the molecular weight, the greater the penetration and skin action.
However, like all products formulated with HA, they don’t penetrate into the dermis, but they still play a massive role in amplifying moisture and water transfer to the skin. Check out our editors’ favorites:
Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream
Pamper your eye area with this HA formula that locks in the skin’s natural moisture without using greasy oils.
Tree of Life Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Skin
With botanical hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and other amazing ingredients, this serum is perfect for enhanced moisturization and is 72% organic!
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