Drugstore shelves bend under anti-aging skin care products. How do we know which creams to choose? What should an ideal anti-aging product contain? Take a look at my choice of the most effective ingredients in anti-wrinkle creams. See the ranking!
A form of vitamin A. It belongs to few substances which have scientifically-proven rejuvenating power. Retinol stimulates skin to build thicker epidermis and supports the biosynthesis of collagen and repair of damaged elastic fibers, enhancing skin elasticity and firmness at the same time. Moreover, it prevents acne lesions thanks to regulating the function of sebum glands.
Retinol is a strong antioxidant which neutralizes the harmfulness of free radicals. It stimulates the exfoliation of dead skin cells and – consequently – makes skin look radiant and less oily. Post-sun spots are less visible.
2. Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body, especially in skin. It has an exceptional ability to bind water molecules for skin hydration, elasticity, density and bounce. In medicine, it is extracted from Streptococcus equi bacteria, genetically modified in micro-biological fermentation.
When time passes, its content in tissues drops, making skin lose its youthful looks. Even though hyaluronic acid works only in epidermis, it effectively stores water, moisturising skin and filling in fine lines.
3. Stem cells
Stem cells are able to turn into all kinds of cells and have limitless possibilities of division. Whenever they divide, they give life to new cells which replace old ones for the body regeneration. When we grow older, their number drops whereas the pace of division slows. Cosmetologists got interested in stem cells because wrinkles are the side effect of damaged tissue making up the skin ‘scaffold’. Is was a trigger for creating products that protect stem cells from aging, letting lots of new cells come into being. As a result, skin gets back its ability to rebuild damaged structures; wrinkles are smoothed.
4. Vitamin C
Not long ago, cosmetic brands didn’t make use of its qualities. Then, vitamin C got stabilized (before that, it would break because of air, light or temperature) and its carriers were devised (I mean microscopic liposomes and nanosomes which let the vitamin penetrate skin). Thanks to that, vitamin C works also on cells below the corneum and more deeply (where collagen and elastin fibers are situated). As a strong antioxidant, it protects them from harmful free radicals.
Regular application of vitamin C products (having appropriately high concentration, minimum 5%) gives a striking anti-aging effect. Consequently, the production of collagen is stimulated and fine lines are gone. Vitamin C accelerates regeneration of epidermis and – as a consequence – eliminates post-sun spots. What’s more, better synthesis of collagen strengthens blood vessels (making them less breakage-prone) and enhances skin tone.
5. Coenzyme Q10
It is included in every cell and is responsible for its metabolism – stimulates cellular renewal, helping skin keep firm and supple. Additionally, it is one of the strongest antioxidants.
Coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E duet detoxifies cells and blocks the formation of free radicals. Because its production gets lower with the passage of time, coenzyme Q10 products make a great choice, protecting collagen and elastin against harmful UV radiation and stimulating production of new fibers.
Telomeres are the endings of chromosomes. Without them, chromosomes would get shorter with every division. Telomeres get gradually shorter because of protecting the chromosomes. That is why they can be compared to a clock that measures how many times a cell can be divided. The discovery of the telomeres’ mechanism of action turned out to be a breakthrough, worth the Nobel Prize. Thanks to the discovery, we had a chance to learn more about the aging process, which opened up the possibilities of finding ways to delay it.
7. Aquaporin proteins
Aquaporin proteins make up channels in membrane which enable water to flow between cells. Discoverers of aquaporins have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Cosmetologists also got interested in the discovery because aquaporins occur in skin as well. There is a connection between the number of aquaporins in skin and its level of hydration: dry skin has much fewer aquaporins.
Analogically, the higher number of aquaporins means enhanced skin moisture, quicker repair and better resistance to the occurrence of wrinkles. That is why a substance which increases a number of aquaporins in skin (enhancing the transport of water and delivering better hydration from within) is a desirable ingredient. Some cosmetic brands have already found it.
8. Peptides (hexapeptide, tetrapeptides & arginine)
Peptides are synthetic substances of varied structure and effects. However, they have a mutual feature: their molecules are so tiny that they easily get into deepest skin layers. That is why they tend to be carriers of rejuvenating substances or stimulate the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Peptides in skin products work like botox: prevent cells from shrinking thus keep laugh lines from deepening.
Have you got your own private ranking of anti-aging substances in skin care products? Is it similar or completely different? Waiting for your opinions!