The best anti-aging skin-care ingredients: A breakdown

The best anti-aging skin-care ingredients: A breakdown

Anti aging cream Image by: Getty Images Author: Grace Toby


The best anti-aging skin-care ingredients: A breakdown

Navigating the world of anti-aging products can be daunting. Find out which skin superstars our experts deem worthy of adding to your beauty arsenal.

1. SPF
What: The number one dermatologist-approved must-do: sunscreen! A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects skin from UVA (the aging rays) and UVB (the burning rays), sun rays that can lead to skin cancer and skin damage.

Why: “Ninety percent of aging comes from photo damage (a result of sun-exposed skin), therefore sunscreen is the best way to prevent aging and sun damage. Don’t even look outside at the weather. Just put it on,” insists dermatologist Dr. Julia Carroll. Dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett agrees, and emphasizes the importance of using sunscreen every single day, no matter the season. Just hopping into the car or working in an office? “The sun can penetrate through windows, too,” she advises.

How: Look for sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply it in the morning before your moisturizer or choose a moisturizer with built-in sunscreen. Don’t forget to apply it to the neck, chest and back of hands. For a fuss-free option, look for a clear sunblock spray that’s alcohol-based and dry to the touch.


2. Retinol
What: Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and its biggest job is to promote collagen production, helping to increase skin turnover while removing dead cells.

Why: It acts as a light peel. In the short term, dull-looking skin will be replaced with a healthy glow.

How: Choose a 1% retinol–based serum, which your skin will absorb better than a cream, suggests Dr. Kellett. It will tingle and can be a little irritating, so use it at night and when you’re out of the sun. Apply it after you’ve washed your face and before you apply moisturizer, or add a drop or two (depending on the season and your skin’s sensitivity) to your favourite moisturizer. This step will help more sensitive skin tolerate the retinol.

3. Vitamin C
What: It is a powerful topical antioxidant, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and prevent photo aging and photo damage. Specifically, look for L-ascorbic acid, one form of vitamin C.

Why: It helps fight sun damage. Vitamin C mops up the free radicals (molecules in the skin that cause damage) that can lead to photo aging (aging from the sun).

How: Depending on your skin type, look for products that contain up to 20% Vitamin C, suggests Dr. Kellett. Incorporate it into your morning routine and follow with sunscreen. “Sunscreen and vitamins C and E are great partners, working well together to create a super combo,” says Dr. Carroll. 

4. Resveratrol
“Found in red wine, specifically in the skin of its grapes, resveratrol is an antioxidant with a bit of a sexy history,” says Dr. Carroll. Plants produce resveratrol as a response to injury.

Why: It works to repair skin damage caused by the sun. It also helps increase skin firmness, elasticity and radiance.

How: Use it at night. It will work to repair the skin while you sleep. Apply it to a cleansed face. It can be used in combination with retinol.

Over 50 and fabulous? Our guide to aging gracefully helps you choose the skincare, hair and makeup products that are right for you.


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The best anti-aging skin-care ingredients: A breakdown