Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Mahek Chawla (Dietitian & Nutritionist) on 29th Jan 2021
Anti-aging Ingredients to Look for in Your Skincare Products
Can anyone turn back or stop time? No one, right? But who said aging could not be beautiful and signs of aging cannot be delayed? Well. For those who do not believe in the wisdom we share, you have to try and see it for yourself.
Skin has a lot more potential than you think. All it needs is the correct amount of care to make you look young and radiant. Anti-aging is a broad category, and the industry tries to cater to all aging-related issues with appropriate skincare products. With so much information to look for, you'd go nuts to decide what to choose.
So what exactly are antiaging ingredients?
Well, though you cannot turn back time to become a teenager again, you definitely can make the signs of aging appear a lot later than the current age at which most of us start seeing initial signs of aging.
What exactly are the signs of aging?
Wrinkles, fine lines, dull, loose, et al. are the most common visible signs. Some of us also experience dark spots due to pigmentation or melasma as we age. When looked at all these signs together, they have different reasons to appear, but with time comes wisdom. This wisdom, if acquired, can help you know which ingredients to use when targeting different signs.
Mechanism of aging:
As we age, the topmost layer of the skin, the epidermis, begins to lose its integrity. This makes the skin look pale, thin and translucent. Even the blood vessels under the skin become visible. The skin's topmost layer loses its cells due to wear and tear, but in the latter part of life, the rate at which skin can recover these lost cells becomes slow.
When we're older, the fiber called elastin breaks down, causing the skin to sag. Gravity can also cause the skin around the eyes and brows to droop. Fine lines and other lines caused by facial muscle movement lines like laugh lines & crow's feet become more prominent.
Since the subcutaneous fat layer starts thinning when you age, it offers less insulation & protection from external elements like the weather and injuries.
At what age do you see the first signs of aging?
Earlier it was observed that people started observing signs of aging in their late 30s or early 40s. Today, with so much stress, internally and externally, exhaustion has made a real difference. People have started observing signs of aging in their early 20s.
So below are some ingredients you should look for when you want to delay the process:
1. Retinoid -
Retinol (Vitamin A) with its natural (retinaldehyde, retinoic acid, & retinyl esters) & synthetic derivatives, belong to the Retinoid family. Retinoids are known for their ability to promote cellular growth in our bodies. These can fight photo-aging by exfoliating at the cellular level and one can achieve a brighter, clearer complexion. Retinoids also stimulate skin cell proliferation. This restores the skin's thickness, making it firm & youthful.
Above all, it is extensively prescribed by dermatologists to be applied as ointments or creams containing retinoids for many reasons like acne, aging, and oily skin. Retinol serums are the latest addition to the family of skincare, but they are much more friendly to the skin as they are milder and have other calming ingredients to counterattack the irritation or itchiness caused by retinol.
2. Peptides -
Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins joined together to form chains, are called peptides. These skin proteins have genetic makeup and are naturally synthesized by our body. They are responsible for maintaining the resilience and firmness of the skin. However, with increasing age, our body's capacity to generate these proteins (growth factors) gradually diminishes, and the absence of cell replacement leads to aging. These proteins include elastin, collagen, etc., which form the cell structure.
Peptides containing products like creams, serums, and lotions have recently gained the limelight because of their visible results. Thus, a multi-peptide serum that includes various essential peptides can be included in your daily regimen.
3. Ceramides -
the cells that make up the tissue composition have a lipid bilayer, which gives the structure and texture to the tissue collectively. This layer acts as the barrier to your skin, not allowing foreign particles to disintegrate the structure. This layer with age disintegrates due to reduced production of ceramides. Ceramides are lipids found and produced naturally in the skin. They are responsible for retaining moisture, maintaining the structure, and reducing the appearance of fine lines.
4. Antioxidants -
no need to describe what they are, but to revise their role is a must. They are basic ingredients that reduce oxidative stress and scavenge the free radicals that are constantly being produced in the body. This function is of the utmost importance when talking about immunity or fighting back the damage. Thus many antioxidants are available to use like vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, beta carotenes, et al. different antioxidants in different concentrations are available in serums and extracts. It is always recommended to use these antioxidants at night time to make you photosensitive on exposure to the sun.
5. Hyaluronic acid -
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a humectant that pulls moisture and locks it into the skin. HA, naturally occurring glycosaminoglycans, can bind and retain water molecules up to 1000 times its weight making it vital for youthful, plump skin. The smaller the molecule size, the deeper it penetrates the epidermis that provides hydration for a longer duration and delivers other vital roles of HA in the body, such as antiaging and healing. Larger HA molecules stay on the outer skin and provide surface hydration, only giving you instant hydrated and supple skin.
6. Niacinamide -
This increasingly popular skincare ingredient is a form of vitamin B3 that has shown some promise in fighting free radical damage, lightening dark spots, & managing acne. And those with very sensitive skin will be pleased to know that some research shows it can lighten skin with fewer side effects or irritation.
Above all, there many other ingredients available that can be tried to either reverse or delay the process of aging. Although the primary seems to be very difficult to achieve, the latter can be a feasible option for all of us struggling with fine lines, wrinkles, and aging spots.
Alpha Arbutin and Kojic Acid are two special ingredients to look for when facing hyperpigmentation as a result of aging.
Along with the ingredients, one has to also take care of when and how to use the ingredients:
- When beginning with an anti-aging skincare regimen, always ensure your skin is not unclean or infected with various bacteria present on the skin.
- Try using a mild cleanser as after a certain age, the sebum production naturally reduces and does not cause much worry.
- Never forget a moisturizer, I repeat never! All age groups require some moisture to keep the skin hydrated, but as you age in your late 30s and early 40s, skin starts to show the signs of aging naturally, even if you have had a healthy genetic makeup. To delay this or to reduce the appearance, moisturizer becomes more important.
- Don't use multiple antiaging products at the same time. It is always recommended that you use one product at a time and wait for it to work for you.
- In case of irritation, allergy, or itching, try discontinue the product as the skin is a bit more vulnerable at this point.
- Drink ample amounts of water and eat your greens, berries, and healthy fats to ensure nothing lacks your nutrient requirement.
- Lastly, sunscreen is extremely important not because you don't want to get tanned at this age but because the hyperpigmentation that occurs due to aging can aggravate with UV rays.
Do not believe in today's beauty standards and let yourself feel inferior to anyone because of age. Consistent skincare is vital for youthful skin, and this can only be attained if you use the correct products in the right way. Try and see what suits you the best. For guides and further reading on various ingredients, refer to the knowledge section of our page.