The anti-ageing ingredients that work
Tuesday 23 November 2010
As we watch celebs cheat the years and grow younger before our very eyes, its not surprising we mere mortals want a piece of the action.
We spend £600 million a year on anti-ageing face creams and its set to rise. But what actually works? Instead of celeb endorsements and gimmicks what should we be buying?
Fear not! We’re here to tell you the proven ingredients you need to look out for that can really halt skin ageing.
First on the shopping list is Retinol. A form of vitamin A, this super-ingredient exfoliates the top layer of skin and stimulates the production of skin-firming collagen - perfect for plumping those wrinkles. With regular use over six months, sun-damaged or tired skin can also gradually become smoother and firmer.
A word of warning however: Retinol makes the skin more sensitive to the sun, so be careful to apply the sunscreen afterwards. It may also cause irritation, so use sparingly (a pea sized amount) before bedtime.
Skin needs to be hydrated. What’s the first rule we’re always told for better skin? Drink more water. This is where hyaluronic acid comes in - named as one of the most effective hydrators, it soaks up water from the air into the skin.
This makes it handy ingredient top at restoring life to skin by making it appear instantly (but temporarily) plumper.
When we age, cell turnover deteriorates - leaving dead skin on the surface to clog pores and give off a rough texture. To put the radiance back into your complexion use glycolic acid: derived from sugar cane, it penetrates the skin, wipes away the dead layer and increases cell turnover. Used regularly, skin can appear brighter and smoother within just a few weeks. Phew! Not bad for just one ingredient eh?
Believe it or not, our skin can be polluted. Even the sun is our enemy when free radicals generated by the environment damage healthy skin cells and cause wrinkles and discolouration.
The best way to fight free radicals is with anti-oxidants. Step in, one of the most effective: idebenone. The ingredient not only boosts the skin’s natural protection against them, but helps to repair past damage too.
This is a rather new arrival on the anti-aging scene.
A vitamin B3 derivative, studies have shown that niacinamide can boost new skin production, calm inflammation and fade sun spots.
Sensitive skin? It’s a must for people get irritated by retinol or glycolic acid.
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant against environmental damage to the skin; it helps build new collagen and fades sun damage - such as brown spots.
Often referred to as L-ascorbic acid on labels, it can sometimes be hidden ingredient in skin creams. However, when used in high concentrations, it can have real anti-ageing benefits — so be sure to scan ingredient lists for 10 to 20% L-ascorbic acid.
Also, remember to keep your lotions airtight - vitamin C loses its potency when exposed to air. Products have different shelf lives, but six months is normally the limit.
A traditional favourite in skin creams, vitamin E (or tocopherol as it is usually listed on labels) is renowned for its complexion-restoring properties. It can repair skin damage such as inflammation, scars and sunburn and is also a powerful antioxidant against cell-damaging free radicals.
Studies have also shown it boosts the work of other antioxidants, such as vitamin C.
Peptides are handy little weapons in getting the message across to your skin that those wrinkles need to go. When applied to the face, these tiny chains of amino acids transmit a signal to skin cells, prompting them to produce more collagen and plump up skin.
These naturally occurring proteins are pumped into many effective anti-ageing products and can tackle various skin conditions, from wrinkles to pigmentation.
Bad news for the sun lovers among you: up to 80 per cent of skin ageing is caused by sunlight.
So if you’re serious about keeping your skin looking young, a sun cream with an SPF of at least 30 is absolutely essential.
Also be on the look out for formulas that offer long-lasting protection against skin-burning UVB and ageing UVA rays. Triazone, Mexoryl, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are a few examples to put on the shopping list.
Info from Daily Mail