Understanding Anti-Aging Treatments

Written by eHealth Navigator

Wondering about the best way to keep your skin looking young?  Here is some advice about the best anti-aging ingredients in products today.

Anti-aging skin care is indeed confusing, thanks to the ever expanding array of age fighting ingredients listed on labels.  A glance at store shelves can leave you with a lot of questions.  What are hydroxyl acids?  Does your skin really benefit from vitamins?  Can your skin absorb vitamins from topical creams? Does retinoid cream work?  And does it make a difference when products are applied?

Retinoid creams are anti-aging most proven ingredients.  Over the past two decades, retinoids have been shown to stimulate collagen production, speed skin cell turnover and minimize fine lines.  On the downside topical retinoid creams can cause redness, irritation, and peeling in sensitive individuals, so are best used under a dermatologist’s supervision.  When using a retinoid cream start with the lowest strength 0.025 percent or 0.05 percent cream, and apply it every other night after moisturizer.  Daily sun protection is a must because retinoid can increase sun sensitivity, so keep that in mind.

Anti-aging formulations are packed with antioxidant vitamins such as C and E, but can skin really absorb vitamins from a cream?  The answer is absolutely.  Vitamins C and E help prevent free radical damage to skin cells, and they have been proven in clinical trials to help skin maintain healthy collagen and elastin.

A red wine compound touted for its anti-aging properties, resveratrol, is popping up in skin care formulations that claim to reverse the signs of aging.  According to its supporters, resveratrol delivers a powerful antioxidant that soothes inflammation, protects skin against environmental damage, and fights premature aging.  Research on resveratrol is limited, but it is believed it can be an effective part of an anti-aging skin care routine when paired with an effective sunscreen.  Combined with good sun protection, antioxidants can help minimize adverse results of sun damage. 

Hydroxy acid is a tried and proven ingredient to treat uneven skin tone (hyper-pigmentation).  Mostly commonly used is hydroquinone; which is available over the counter in strengths of 2 percent or less and in prescription strength creams containing anywhere from 4 percent to 10 percent.  Hydroquinone is sometimes combined with a retinoid cream or topical steroid in facial peels or skin lightening.  Note when combining these powerful agents it is best done under a dermatologist’s care.

Remember there are cosmetic creams that can help aging skin, but nothing can replace preventing damage to begin with. To fight signs of aging the most important part of daily skin care is regular sun protection with a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.  Many modern sunscreens are light and not greasy, so even oily complexions should use a high SPF sunscreen product. Just with oily skin pick oil-free formulas. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 3 January 2013 4:34PM