What is the best chemical to combat aging?

Therefore, regular use of sunscreen will help prevent such problems. By itself, sunscreen won't reduce wrinkles or dark spots you already have, but it will help prevent them from forming more, prevent them from becoming more noticeable due to sun exposure, and protect your skin while dealing with any other problems you have, such as acne. Unlike so many modern skincare ingredients, we have decades of information about different sunscreen ingredients and innovation in sunscreen formulas. Gone are the days of thick, pasty and boring SPF, today's sunscreens come in physical and chemical varieties (often containing a combination of the two) and are absorbed into the skin leaving little or no white tint.

If you're not sure where to start when buying sunscreen for your face, check out SELF's guide to sunscreen here, or take a look at some of our editors' favorite moisturizers with SPF. Along with sunscreen, retinoids such as retinol are the skincare ingredients that have the best real evidence of anti-aging benefits. All retinoids are naturally occurring forms of vitamin A. But when you eat foods that contain vitamin A (such as milk, eggs, carrots, and broccoli), your body needs to convert those vitamin A preforms and provitamins into an active form that you can actually use.

Retinol is the first step on that path. Zampella, M, D. Perelman's dermatology department at NYU Langone Health, told SELF earlier, topical retinoids (including retinol) cause your skin to accelerate its normal process of cell renewal, which means it will eliminate skin cells faster. That helps address problems such as fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and acne.

Researchers also think that retinol may help increase collagen production, reducing signs of aging. The other important advantage of using retinol is that it's basically everywhere. You can find over-the-counter retinol in pharmacies and luxury products, so you don't need a prescription for it. However, because these products are regulated as cosmetics rather than medicines, you can't necessarily be sure what you're getting.

Although research shows that retinol is effective, there is no way to guarantee that what you are using in an over-the-counter product is as potent or effective as retinol in those studies. The other drawback of using retinol (or any retinoid, really) is that these ingredients are known to cause irritation, at least when you first start using them. This usually includes symptoms such as dryness, itching, redness, and increased sensitivity. However, not everyone experiences these symptoms.

If you experience irritation with retinol, you can try products that contain retinal (also called retinaldehyde), which is another form of retinol, or bakuchiol, a newer ingredient that is often touted as a natural alternative to retinol. Both seem to cause less irritation than retinol. Retinol is eventually converted to retinoic acid in the body, Dr. Zampella told SELF, so it's probably not surprising that some of the strongest prescription acne medications we have, such as tretinoin (Retin-A) and isotretinoin (formerly Accutane, taken by mouth), are forms of retinoic acid.

In addition, the way these drugs work by increasing the cell renewal process also makes them excellent anti-aging ingredients. And, since they're usually only available by prescription, you know exactly what you're getting. However, because these drugs are more potent than over-the-counter options, they can also cause more severe side effects, such as dryness, peeling, itching, and tenderness. When using a retinoid like these, it is very important to moisturize it effectively and, as always, use sunscreen.

In addition to retinol, retina, and retinoic acid, there are some synthetic retinoids, such as adapalene and tazarotene, that some research suggests are less irritating than tretinoin and isotretinoin. One of the most common active ingredients in skincare products today, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to counteract and protect against free radical damage, Shari Lipner, M, D. In addition, it can also be used to effectively lighten dark spots over time. But it can also be a surprisingly difficult ingredient to use correctly.

It is sensitive to light, for example, so it is important to buy only vitamin C products that are in opaque, airless packaging that protects it from degradation. And it also occurs in varying concentrations (between 5% and 20%), which means that effects and side effects, such as irritation, can vary greatly between products. This increasingly popular skincare ingredient is a form of vitamin B3 that has shown promise in combating free radical damage, lightening dark spots and controlling acne. And people with sensitive skin will be happy to know that some research shows that it can brighten skin with fewer side effects or irritation than other first-line treatments, such as hydroquinone.

Although your dermatologist cannot prescribe a niacinamide product alone, this ingredient can be combined in many other topical recipes, Laura Ferris, M, D. And there are also more and more over-the-counter options for niacinamide. Although you may be more familiar with salicylic acid as a treatment for acne, this beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) has some serious exfoliating powers, making it a good choice for managing signs of aging as well. There is some evidence to suggest that it may also increase collagen production, Melanie D.

Palm, M, D. Unlike other chemical scrubs, salicylic acid is also oil-soluble, explained by SELF recently, allowing it to penetrate deeper into greasy pores. So, if you have particularly oily or acne-prone skin, salicylic acid could be a key ingredient for you. One of the two main alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), glycolic acid, a chemical exfoliant that is regularly used in products such as peels and tonics exfoliating, pads, cleansers, and creams.

It works by dissolving the bonds between skin cells, SELF explained earlier. That way, when you clean your skin, you remove those skin cells and reveal the softer skin underneath. Glycolic acid is especially useful for reducing signs of aging, such as hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. But you should know that its effects vary depending on the concentration of glycolic acid in the product you are using.

Milder over-the-counter products, such as tonics, for example, generally contain about 5% to 7% glycolic acid and a maximum of about 10%. Can be used several times a week. But peels contain more than 20% glycolic acid (up to 70% for in-office deep treatments). Products with such high concentrations should not be used anywhere as often as products of lower concentration, and many are only available in a derm's office.

Lactic acid is another AHA, often milder. It works in a similar way to other chemical peels, meaning it removes dirt and dead skin cells, but tends to be easier on the skin. For that reason, it is also a good option for dry skin that may be irritated by other scrubs, dermatologist Ellen Marmur, M, D. With so many different skincare products on the market as there are, it can be difficult to navigate the beauty aisle with confidence.

There are many anti-aging ingredients, some of which are just as difficult to pronounce (for example,. Hyaluronic acid), as they are to decipher that it is difficult to know which ones are right for your skin type. We asked dermatologists, skincare educators, and beauticians to help us understand how 20 of the most popular ingredients in skincare products help prevent aging. Many believe that caffeine reduces the appearance of cellulite by constricting blood vessels, giving the skin a firmer appearance.

According to a study published in the journal Skin Pharmacol Physiol, “caffeine has powerful antioxidant properties. Helps protect against UV radiation and slows down the photoaging process in the skin. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency can result in the inability to produce collagen and elastin properly, two of the main building blocks of healthy skin. Unfortunately, most people over the age of 30 are deficient if they don't take a supplement with the enzyme.

Niacinamide (also known as vitamin B) can help the body perform critical functions, such as cell signaling, DNA signaling, and the conversion of carbohydrates into fats and proteins. Retinol is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and reduces the signs of aging. Rodgers, MD of Modern Dermatology in Seattle. You've heard that they can slow skin aging: products made with products like acai, alpha-lipoic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid.

Preliminary studies have found that tea ingredients can relieve sun damage and may protect you from skin cancer when applied to your skin. Use green tea extract under sunscreen to double protection. Polyphenols in creams and lotions can also delay the signs of aging and reduce sagging skin and wrinkles. Made from vitamin A, retinol is added to creams that are applied to the skin.

Increases the amount of collagen produced by the body and plumps the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It also improves skin tone and color and reduces mottled spots. Many dermatologists prescribe the strongest counterpart of retinol, tretinoin or similar products, to slow skin aging, improve irregular coloration and eliminate acne. Over-the-counter products that contain retinols may be weaker, but they can still improve the appearance of the skin.

Using a retinol-based product can cause the top layer of the skin to dry and flaky. It is best to apply it at night and use moisturizer and sunscreen the next morning, or ask your dermatologist about alternatives. It is also an antioxidant, but experts don't know if it can reverse skin aging. Even so, companies have added it to lotions and creams according to research showing that caffeine could help prevent the growth of skin cancer and, when applied to the skin, can make wrinkles less defined, especially “crow's feet” around the eyes.

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Kristen Barbre
Kristen Barbre

Incurable coffee junkie. Hipster-friendly organizer. Typical coffee expert. Passionate music enthusiast. Professional food scholar. Unapologetic pop culture junkie.

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