Understanding the Top 10 Anti-Aging Ingredients in Skincare Products, and Why Using Them Will Help Keep Your Skin Healthy, Glowing and Beautiful at Any Age
Imagine if you could jump in a tiny box, click a button, and emerge 10 minutes later looking 10 years younger. Anti-aging ingredients are among the most searched and sought after for this reason alone — no one really wants to have ‘aged-looking skin. And yes, there are some really effective skincare products out there, but keep in mind that nothing can totally turn back the hands of time. The good news? It’s never too late to start taking care of your skin.
If you’re younger, using these ingredients in your 20s, ’30s, and 40s can help prevent premature signs of aging, and have people raving about your beautiful skin when you’re in your 50s, 60s, and 70s! Remember that old saying: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? When it comes to investing in your skin, what you do now will save you a lot of angst and money down the road!
Anti-Aging Ingredients to Look For and Why
#1 Niacinamide aka Vitamin B3
This skin vitamin has been shown to help fight free-radical damage to collagen, brighten dark spots and help manage acne and oily skin, Look for a serum or lotions that contain at least 6% and up to 20% to reap the benefits of this powerhouse that suitable for all skin types. Make sure you don’t mix this with an acidic serum as that can convert the niacinamide to nicotinic acid, which may be irritating to some complexions.
No, we’re not talking about Retin-A and its derivatives. These are prescription strengths, and frankly, often these powerful products prove to be too drying for many complexions. Rather, find a product that contains retinol, which is converted slowly to a usable form. Retinols, in general, is ‘the gold standard’ for overall skin vibrancy and have an abundance of evidence to back their use.
Retinoids, including retinol speed cell turnover, meaning that the skin will shed the upper skin cells more rapidly, thus aiding the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and acne. It is also believed that retinol helps increase collagen production, which aids in helping skin stay firm. Collagen production, unfortunately, decreases as we age.
No matter if you’re using a prescription-strength retinol product or over the counter, retinol products tend to cause some irritation and/or dryness when first used and you may experience some flakiness, stitching, or redness, so start slowly, with less product, then gradually increase, over time and be sure to use a moisturizer over the treated area to help alleviate dryness and absolutely use sunscreen to protect the fresh skin revealed beneath.
#3 Vitamin C and its trifecta companions, ferulic acid and vitamin E
Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, et. al., discovered the antioxidant power of Vitamin C on the skin and that the positive effects are potentiated by the addition of ferulic acid and Vitamin E. This original cocktail is known for its skin lightening/brightening powers, ameliorating oxidative damage, and also has a protective effect from cumulative UV radiation effects. It’s best to use a more stable form of Vitamin C known as either sodium ascorbyl phosphate or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, which are more stable against light and oxygen degradation and are more pH friendly to facial tissues.
Anti-Aging and Acids
Acids!!? On my face? Yes, these ingredients are the rock stars of facial ‘resurfacing’ or refinement. Some use mechanical exfoliation, such as microdermabrasion or dermaplaning but these should generally be done by a professional and can be too irritating for fragile, sensitive skin. Rather, consider these ingredients that you can control.
#4 Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is the gold standard exfoliant and overall brightener in professional circles. It is one of the two major alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) and can be found in many different products such as chemical peels, toners, creams, etc. Its exfoliant actions dissolve the old skin cells away from the new, revealing fresh, bright, skin, minus, fine lines, dark spots, and blemish scars.
It’s available in various strengths and products, usually not stronger than 10% in over-the-counter products, which can be used several times a week but may go up to 70% in professional-grade peels used by physicians and estheticians. These products are used under supervision and much less frequently. There is ‘downtime’ associated with the use of these stronger peel-type products. It is imperative to wear sunscreen when using this product.
#5 Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is the sole BHA, or beta hydroxy acid that is gentler than glycolic acid, and more specifically used in the treatment of acne. It too has exfoliating effects that are always helpful in softening the signs of fine lines and wrinkles and, since it is an oil-soluble ingredient, it’s especially helpful in keeping oil-filled pores clean – good especially if you’re prone to blackheads. Ditto on the sunscreen.
#6 Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is another alpha hydroxy acid that can be combined with glycolic, or used alone. It has all the same characteristics as glycolic acid, but is generally a bit more gentle, and has ‘hydrating’ properties, making it a good choice for skin that is dull AND dry. Again, as with all AHA’s and BHA’s new skin revealed when using these products is more susceptible to the sun, so be sure to wear at least SPF 25.
#7 Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid has become almost a household word these days, but it is a terrific humectant that attracts moisture to the skin, making it look more plump, moist, and youthful. Hyaluronic acid along with glycerin is very common in skincare products and they typically are well tolerated in most skin types since they are hydrators, not exfoliators. If your skin tends to be chronically dehydrated, this is an ingredient to look for in products.
Bee Naturals Products that contain Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Serum, Hydrating Facial Freshener Hand & Body Nectar, Ultra AA Serum, CC Serum, Oil-Free Moisturizer, Rose Geranium Moisture Veil, Oil-Free Night Repair Creme, Queen Bee Ultimate Eye Serum, Restore I Cleanse with Beta Glucan, MelaClear Pigment Lightening Creme,
Ceramides are one of several lipids or fatty acids that help hold your skin together- sort of like flexible mortar. Skin that is chronically dry and/or mature will benefit from using products that contain these ingredients. They restore skin moisture by locking it into the skin, they protect the skin, help reduce inflammation and soften dry, dull skin.
Panthenol is vitamin B5 and like glycerin, honey, and hyaluronic acid, it has both humectant and moisturizing properties making it a great addition to skincare products for dry, dehydrated, and mature skin. Panthenol also has anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in wound healing. Oh, and it’s good in hair care products, too.
Yes, we know you’re probably tired of hearing this, but you can’t worship the sun and have youthful, healthy skin. Now, what you choose to use is another story altogether. The debate rages about the relative benefits and potential hazards of chemical sunscreens too lengthy to go into here, but whatever you choose, use it or you’ll be inviting all those lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation right back to your face and breakdown of collagen.
We prefer using products with zinc oxide in a finely milled form to provide non-toxic UVA and UVB sun protection. We do not sell an SPF rated sunscreen (due to the high cost of lab testing to verify the rating claims), however, a good, non-chemical start for sun protection is our non-nano particle Tinted Facial Primer 25% Zinc Oxide. It can be used over your chosen sunscreen, or alone.
It’s important to stay educated. Have an understanding of what you’re putting on your face as well as why you’re doing it. Remember, too, that it’s never too late to start treating your skin well.