Published: September 28, 2015
It seems we spend the first quarter of our lives wishing we were (and looked) older than our true age, and then the other three quarters are spent wishing, praying, spending, trying and searching for anything to contribute to our looking younger. And there’s something about looking younger that helps us to feel younger, though there’s no scientific data to support this assertion. It’s true, nonetheless. Ask anyone. So, for the vast numbers of men and women with a focus on finding products that actually work to hide or defy their age, what it really boils down to is ingredients. Knowing the ingredients in any product claiming to help you defy the aging process is how you can avoid being taken in by fancy advertising and clever, attractive packaging that is totally misleading for many consumers.
The volume of hard earned money that is literally wasted each year on products that promise to have you looking younger–but don’t is shocking. This wasted money and time can be avoided by two steps: First, finding out which ingredients really work, and second, taking the time to read the list of ingredients on the product package. Here are some to look for, if you want your age-defying purchase to be effective:
- Retinol: Derived from vitamin A, included in a milder form (than the prescription-strength variety) when used as an ingredient in OTC products. Can take several weeks to work, but it’s highly effective in unclogging pores, reducing severity of wrinkles and even lightening brown spots associated with aging.
- Niacinamide: Scarring that produces discoloration at any age can be lightened with this ingredient. It is derived from vitamin B3, and prevents the skin pigmentation known as melanin from coming to the skin’s surface. It’s been effective in treating acne, and may help support the skin’s moisture barrier and production of collagen, which can undo years of telltale signs of sun exposure.
- Vitamins C and E, Pomegranate, Green Tea, and Coffee Berry Extracts: These are all highly effective antioxidants, known to slow signs of aging from making an appearance. They both prevent and repair, and encourage cell growth. And they neutralize free radicals, the damaging molecules in your body.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids: These work in exfoliating the dead cells of the skin’s surface to reveal fresher, more youthful skin beneath while encouraging cell turnover, and also “pave the way” for other skin products to be more effective..
- Hyaluronic Acid: As a humectant, this ingredient not only beautifully moisturizes, but it’s thought to increase collagen production.
- Avobenzone: often found in sunscreen products with SPFs of 30 or higher. Apply before all other products like serums, lotions and foundation.
It’s always best to check with your dermatologist for the latest, safest and most effective treatments and methods in skincare. Not only will you save time and money on products and fads, but you want to play it safe, especially with stronger creams and serums that could potentially be harmful to your skin. Over-the-counter wrinkle creams CAN be effective but for the higher strengths, your doctor will be able to either give you samples or write a prescription.