When there are so many options at our disposal, how do we narrow down to the ones that will do the job? Sure, we love – no, we bask in – our freedom of choice, but there comes a point when too much of anything becomes overwhelming.
Take a breath.
Step away from ads, hone in on product labels, and look for the following five ingredients. And yes, life can be that easy. Simple and straightforward always wins the race.
1. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
AHAs are naturally occurring acids derived from fruit or milk sugars renowned for their ability to help promote cell turnover. By sloughing away dead skin and dulling buildup, AHAs can actually reveal a fresher, brighter, newer complexion over time.
Of all the various AHAs available on the market, Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid are two of the most popular ingredients found in anti-aging skincare products. The former boasts incredible – yet gentle – exfoliating power. In fact, Glycolic Acid has the smallest molecular structure of all AHAs, a unique attribute that allows it to penetrate into the skin easily and effectively. It helps retexturize the skin, revealing a fresher, brighter, more radiant complexion. Lactic Acid is noticeably gentler than Glycolic Acid but equally effective on dry, mature skin without irritating the skin. In addition to exfoliating, Lactic Acid also hydrates the complexion – it increases natural barrier lipids in skin’s outer layers to help prevent natural oils and water from escaping.
Magazines constantly rave about the importance of antioxidants in your skincare (and diet) – but what are they exactly?
Antioxidants are nutrients and enzymes with anti-inflammatory properties and skin-firming abilities that help promote cell turnover and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. On top of all that, however, they also help protect against sun damage, which takes responsibility as the number one cause behind all visible signs of aging. Therefore, it is essential you incorporate antioxidants into your skincare to help maintain your complexion and improve the skin’s overall health.
Look for ingredients Vitamins A, C, E, and Green Tea, all of which can help fortify cells against damaging free radicals. Vitamins C and E not only help boost sun block as an added layer of prevention (and protection!), but also aid in improving skin tone, texture, and discoloration. Green Tea Extract features flavonoids which help improve skin tone and texture and prevent inflammation.
Collagen is, essentially, the foundation of youthful skin; it’s a protein that helps maintain hydration and elasticity of the skin to give your complexion its texture and structure. Over time, however, existing Collagen breaks down and production decreases – causing skin to sag and wrinkle as we age.
While its presence as a skincare ingredient doesn’t affect actual Collagen production at the cellular level, it can help uncover and restore a more youthful-looking complexion.
Here’s how: Collagen possesses a water-binding capability that helps the skin retain natural levels of hydration. In preventing moisture loss, it helps the skin maintain that plump, dewy glow. The complexion is left noticeably softer, smoother and more supple which, in turn, helps tone and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
4. Hyaluronic Acid
Dry skin actually exacerbates hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles – making proper hydration especially paramount for maturing skin.
This is where Hyaluronic Acid comes into play. It’s ideal for daily, daytime use because, unlike most humectants found in anti-aging creams and moisturizers, it’s a greaseless humectant that will not clog pores.
What makes it an esthetician and dermatologist favorite, however, is its ability to retain water at the cellular level and help the skin retain its natural moisture levels. In addition to preventing dehydration, Hyaluronic Acid is known to help visibly plump the skin, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines making makeup application more seamless.
5. SPF Protection
Always, always, always take the time to incorporate a broad spectrum sunscreen into your daily skincare regimen. Thirty minutes before leaving the house, apply a moisturizer with SPF protection or a separate sunscreen and be sure to bring the product down onto the neck and décolletage. Limit the time you spend under the sun, but if it’s unavoidable, protect the skin against damaging UVA/UVB rays and free radicals by re-applying a waterproof, SPF 30 (at the very least) sunblock every half hour or as needed.
Here’s why: two-thirds of sun damage – age spots (also known as sun spots and dark spots), hyperpigmentation, premature signs of aging – is incidental. Over 90% of all visible signs of aging – fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, etc. – is the result of sun exposure.
These complex structures – made up of amino acid chains (the most basic building blocks of proteins) and connected by peptide bonds – are some of the latest and most promising discoveries on the anti-aging frontier. Known to harness a unique ability to communicate with cells, peptides can actually encourage increased Collagen production.
Over time, peptides are found to help restore a luminous glow and inspire a visibly smoother, more youthful-looking complexion. Invest in a peptide serum to target all visible signs of aging; with regular use, there’s no doubt that you’ll see – and feel – a difference in your skin.
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About the Author’s
Kimberly Yang. Writer, blogger, and marketing maven currently working for Mario Badescu Skin Care.