5 Age-Fighting Skin Care Ingredients

Dr. Amy Wechsler
5 Age-Fighting Skin Care Ingredients
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Women drop billions of dollars each year on anti-aging creams and potions. Maddeningly, much of that money is being spent on products that have little effect on the skin's aging process. Stop getting lost in the skin care aisle--try one of these anti-aging ingredients that will actually make a difference in how your skin looks.

Retinoids are prescription-only treatments that can transform your skin--smoothing wrinkles, unclogging pores, lightening superficial brown spots and improving the texture of the skin. Nothing else you can buy in a drug or department store will be as effective and powerful. Retinoids are usually used for anti-aging effects by women starting in their 30s.

Moisturizers are like aspirin: Mini-miracles that we take for granted. While they won't have an effect on wrinkles per se, they do help protect skin from dryness and weathering, and keep it smooth, soft and healthy. You can have a huge impact on how your skin looks just by applying topical ingredients that give the illusion of youth. Just be sure to select a formula that has an SPF 30 or higher.

AHAs and BHAs: Otherwise known as alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, both of these smooth skin's outer surface and speed up cell turnover, which slows with age. In high concentrations, both AHAs and BHAs can help fade brown spots and fine wrinkles, but they also make skin extra sun sensitive, so sunscreens are mandatory when you're using them.

The list of these free-radical fighters is constantly growing and includes certain ingredients found in pomegranates, green tea, red wine, dark chocolate, coffeeberry, as well as vitamins C and E. When they work, they can protect skin from sunburns, inflammation, DNA damage and skin cancers. Women in their twenties should consider adding an antioxidant serum to their daily regimen.

Retinols are basically retinoids-light--over-the-counter derivatives of Vitamin A that are not strong enough to need a prescription. As such, they are also not strong enough to deliver the same anti-aging goodies: replenishing collagen, undoing sun damage. On the plus side, they are less likely to irritate skin than prescription-strength retinoids, and for some people they can improve wrinkles, roughness, and overall aging ever so slightly.

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