Skin Care Saviors: 4 Must-Have Ingredients for Aging Skin

It can be difficult to come to terms with getting older, but whether we like it or not, it’s happening each and every day. Inevitably, this process is going to cause our appearance to change, namely: our skin. 

Saggy skin, dullness, dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles—these are just some of the changes we can expect to see in our skin with age. However, these developmental signs of aging can easily be managed with the right anti-aging skin care products. 

Finding the ideal skin care for a youthful-looking complexion means understanding the various types of anti-aging ingredients out there, and how they work to affect the skin. Let’s take a closer look at the four must-have ingredients for aging skin:

1. Niacinamide

Acting as a water-soluble vitamin formed from vitamin B3, niacinamide is a skin care ingredient that works with other natural substances in your skin to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, improve texture, brighten and tighten the skin, and restore and renew the surface of the skin. What more could you ask for?

And that’s not all—for those of you who are looking for an ingredient that’s not only great for battling signs of aging, but also great for treating a particular pigmentation condition like rosacea, this one’s for you!  When it comes to treating rosacea or any other kind of redness or irritation issue, niacinamide should be a go-to-grab as it’s designed to calm inflamed skin and reduce any unwarranted pigmentation. Because of the versatility and safety of this ingredient, it’s generally tolerable and recommended to use on most skin types—no matter the concern or condition.

Needless to say, if you’re looking for a practical, yet powerful way to plump and protect your skin, try reaching for skin care products with niacinamide. Regardless if it’s  a serum or a cleanser formulated with it, this ingredient is worth adding to your current regimen. But, keep in mind that for optimal results, avoid pairing your niacinamide product with a vitamin C treatment as the two don’t mix well together. As explained by skin care scientist, Cheryl Woodman MChem, “When mixed together they metaphorically make brown and you can’t un-mix them again to get their awesome skin benefits. Mixed together they can become inactive.”

2. Collagen

Unlike the collagen that is naturally produced by your body, collagen supplements are composed of shorter chains of amino acids called peptides. These peptides are absorbed into the bloodstream from the digestive tract, and used as the building blocks to produce collagen within the body. Additionally, these peptides stimulate your body’s own natural collagen production, kicking it into high gear to help restore the collagen that we’re no longer making as efficiently ourselves. Experts believe this stimulation also affects the production of elastin, another type of connective tissue fiber that improves skin elasticity and its suppleness, along with substances that maintain the skin’s ability to retain water.

Collagen supplements can come in powder, capsule, or even cream form. Some are applied topically; some are taken like any other capsule supplement; and others, such as powders, are mixed into drinks or sprinkled onto foods. Experts believe, however, that topical products may not be as effective as those taken orally, since collagen resides deep within the dermis of the skin. Unless they are specially prepared, topical products typically only penetrate the outermost surface of skin, and don’t reach the dermis.

For skincare specifically, collagen can help combat fine lines and wrinkles by restoring a smoother texture, improving the skin’s plumpness, and bolstering the skin's hydration making your skin look fresh or dewy.

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3. Retinol

Commonly regarded as a tried-and-true ingredient in the skin care industry, retinol offers a number of advantages—one of them being anti-aging. Derived from vitamin A, retinoids—the umbrella term for retinol—works to combat dark circles, dullness, and other developmental signs of aging. This, along with the fact that retinol also helps to treat acne, makes it a must-have ingredient for your skin. 

Depending on your skin type, and the severity of your unique concerns, the type of retinol skin care product that’s recommended for you may vary. If you have a sensitive skin type and are looking to prevent the formulation of fine lines and wrinkles, for example, you may benefit more from using an over-the-counter (OTC) retinol product as these tend to be less abrasive on the skin, but are still effective. 

On the other hand, if you identify with a mature skin type and are looking to target and treat any existing signs of aging, you may get more benefit from using a prescription retinoid product on your complexion. A prescription treatment such as an anti-aging cream formulated with retin-A, for instance, will likely better serve the needs of your skin and ultimately speed up the timeline to visible results. If you’re not sure which route to take, be sure to consult with a dermatologist about which wrinkle-fighting retinol product is right for you.

4. Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

By now, most of us are aware of the fact that exposing our skin to the sun is dangerous—but do we know why? The reasoning lies within the skin damaging effects that come from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Specifically, UV rays work to penetrate deeply into the skin, which can cause irreversible damage to genetic DNA cells, producing genetic effects and mutations—both of which can lead to skin cancer—and of course, speed up the signs of premature aging.

Believe it or not, sun-exposed skin is actually one of the leading causes of premature aging, meaning sun protection factor, or SPF, should no longer be thought of as an optional ingredient to add in your daily skin care routine. Rather, this should be thought of as a non-negotiable, must-have ingredient to use as part of the last step in your morning regimen. So go out and grab the broad-spectrum sunscreen of your choosing and pack on the product!

Usually, classic sunscreens require at least a thirty-minute waiting period before it's fully absorbed, while mineral-based SPF products need only a few minutes of time before you’re good to go! Again, the choice is completely up to you, just remember to allow your skin a few minutes to absorb the broad-spectrum protection completely before exposing your skin to sunlight or another UV light source like blue light. 

Age with Grace

The natural aging process may be a less-than-enjoyable journey for all of us, but again, there’s no getting around it. That’s why it’s essential that we take control of the youthful years we have left and really hone in on our skin care habits. With consistency of the proper routine, in addition to using skin care products containing anti-aging ingredients like the ones listed above, you can age with grace effortlessly.

To learn more about other positively influential skin care ingredients and how they work to affect the skin, check out the infographic below offered by the good people at Hers!

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