The Truth About Anti-Aging Products

Updated: July 2017

We all want to fight the signs of aging and so we go to the malls, our Estheticians and Dermatologists, hoping they will have the answer, maybe even the cure for our wrinkles. From fighting free radicals to stimulating skin’s natural collagen production, anti-aging products make enticing promises.

Do they work? That’s what we want to know, right? Below I have listed 4 commonly listed ingredients and some evidence on whether they actually play an effect on your skin.

Peptides

As we age our skin gets thinner, loses fat and starts to sag and develop fine lines and wrinkles. We produce less collagen and elastin to keep our skin firm and plump. Oh my gosh!

Peptides are small proteins that help stimulate new cells to grow and to help skin cells to heal.

Scientists are still not sure how beneficial these actually are because of the size of the molecule. They are rather large and that makes it more difficult to deeply penetrate the skin. They can, however, do some good in a moisturizer and serum. This way they can hydrate the skin and make lines less noticeable. Whether they reduce wrinkles, the jury is still out.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s)

Examples are glycolic, lactic and citric acids which are natural ingredients that come from fruits and milk sugars. They are great for exfoliation because they get rid of dead skin cells, allowing new cells to grow.

Each acid does something different for the skin. Lactic Acid (comes from sour milk) removes the dead skin cells so this will have a brightening effect. Glycolic Acid (comes from sugar cane) helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles which can make skin look smoother and tighter.

Retinols

A natural form of Vitamin A, this boosts the thickness and elasticity of the skin therefore reducing the signs of wrinkles.

There is an abundant amount of evidence to support that retinol works! Finding it in the right products is the tricky part because you need to have enough to get results. Most over-the-counter products cannot put enough retinol in them to give you the benefits you need. This Retinol Serum is amazing and when used correctly, can do great things for the skin.

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Antioxidants

Help fight cell damage from free radicals, which are molecules that could injure cells and increase inflammation.

There are many antioxidants that are effective, however, the formulation is the most critical. Vitamins C and E are the most commonly used and time-tested.

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Sunscreen Ingredients Explained

Oxybenzone– There has been a lot of controversy about this chemical (as well as others) but the concern isn’t valid. Only a small percentage is even allowed in sunscreen and it is non-toxic, non-phototoxic (which means that it doesn’t cause skin reactions to the skin when exposed to sunlight) and it does not have hormone-disrupting effects.
It is great for blocking out UVB rays and some UVA rays.

Avobenzone– Some have said that this is unstable and cross-reacts with other sunscreen ingredients but the truth is, when any sunscreen ingredient is exposed to sunlight, the chemicals start breaking down. It has been around since 1981 and is the most used sunscreen ingredient in the world. It is safe for topical use and does not have a negative effect on skin cells.

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Retinyl Palmitate– A powerful antioxidant that is actually found naturally in the skin. A combination of vitamin A and palmitic acid, this does not pose a problem to the skin when properly formulated in sunscreens (meaning stabilizing ingredients are included, which is typical). It has also been shown to offer sun protection all by itself.

Titanium Dioxide– A natural ingredient found in nature but is usually polluted with potentially harmful contaminants such as lead and iron so therefore it is purified through a synthetic process. It protects skin from UVA and UVB radiation and is considered to have no risk of skin irritation. And since titanium dioxide is so gentle, it is an excellent sunscreen active for use on sensitive or rosacea-affected skin. It is also great for use around the eyes, as it is highly unlikely to cause stinging in this area.

Zinc Oxide– This is considered to have no risk of skin irritation. It can also be an anti-irritant and potentially an antioxidant. My favorite sunscreen has this ingredient.

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Read Other Posts About Sun Protections

Kids and Sun Protection

Pregnancy and Sun

Winter is Here- How’s Your Skin?

As the seasons change so do the needs of our skin. Our skin can get drier, more oily, we can have more breakouts or maybe just more sensitivity. Don’t panic! It’s most likely not your products that have suddenly stopped working for you, it’s the weather that has changed your skin. All it means is that you need to change how you use your products. So much easier, right? And a money saver! Here are some ingredients with their side effects that may affect your skin differently in the winter. Change accordingly if you needed.

Retinol– A derivative of Vitamin A, this can be drying to the skin. You may not notice it as much during the summer but in the winter when our skin gets drier, this can wreak havoc on our moisture level. You don’t have to stop using this, just use less.

Salicylic Acid– Great for acne and breakouts but extremely drying for the skin. When I recommend this product, I do not suggest using this everyday (for most of my clients) because I do not want to dry out the skin as the acne goes away. I usually have them use it every other day or only 3 times a week. If you find your skin seems flaky or dry, cut it back a bit, maybe just once and go from there. You still want to use the product and get the effectiveness but not as much. Sometimes even one less use can make a difference.

Vaseline– This seems like an odd choice to be on this list, right? Well, in the winter this seems to be the go-to product. A lot of people use it on their chapped lips, hands, feet, etc. Here’s the thing…it’s occlusive. That means it can’t penetrate the skin and will only sit on the surface. It will not moisturize the skin but it will protect it. Great to put over lotion on the hands and feet for extra hydration (it will lock in that moisture) and also for the nose area when you have a cold. It has no healing benefits though. It can clog pores on the face since it can’t penetrate so use with caution.

Benzoyl Peroxide– Same as salicylic acid but even more drying. Hopefully you are only using this as a spot treatment. The severe drying side effect can actually age your skin. Whatever the season, use with caution. In the winter, think twice.

Hand Sanitizer– Although this is not for the face, I thought I would throw it in here anyway. 🙂 The alcohol and lack of water can really dry out your hands. Try washing your hands like we used to…with soap and water and then moisturize.

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These are guidelines and suggestions. What works for one person may not work for another. Some may not be able to change their routine so that means you will need to add to your regimen so you can get more moisture. You need to compensate for the water being pulled out of your skin because if you don’t, your skin will start to produce more oil.

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