What do we want? To stop the aging process! How can we do it? With an effective anti-aging serum.
The right anti-aging serum can’t turn back the clock, but it can help you look as young as you feel. It can treat current signs of aging while also protecting from and preventing future damage and signs of aging. It can improve the texture, tone, firmness, elasticity, and radiance of your skin while also reducing wrinkles, smoothing fine lines, and minimizing dark, puffy under-eye bags.
What anti-aging ingredients should I look for?
Anti-aging serum is only as effective as the ingredients it’s made with, so be sure to look at the ingredients list. Active ingredients placed higher on the ingredients list implies the product has higher concentrations of said ingredients. You need a high enough concentration for the ingredients to actually do what they’re supposed to do.
Here is what you’ll be looking for on an ingredients list:
Antioxidants help protect your skin from free radical damage and environmental pollutants. They also have the ability to repair, heal, and prevent signs of aging. The two main antioxidants to look for are:
- Vitamin C — This collagen-boosting antioxidant protects skin from UV rays and other environmental stressors, plumps skin, brightens skin, and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.
- Vitamin E — Your body doesn’t naturally produce vitamin E, so you want it in your serum because it enhances radiance, moisturizes the skin, fights wrinkles and lines, and reduces inflammation.
Retinol is a form of vitamin A, and although this vitamin is also an antioxidant, retinol deserves its own mention here for its ability to treat a variety of aging skin concerns. Your body starts losing vitamin A the older you get, and that’s what causes those unwanted signs of aging, like wrinkles and brown spots. Retinol helps reverse this. It replenishes your body of vitamin A and increases cell turnover, which in turn treats fine lines and wrinkles, improves discoloration and skin texture, and overall just keeps your skin healthy, smooth, and younger-looking. Be careful if you’ve never used retinol before as it can cause dryness and/or irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.
You want retinol in your anti-aging serum, but strong doses of retinol can dry out your skin. And while you’re gaining grey hairs, your skin is losing moisture. Hyaluronic acid acts as a sponge for your skin. It can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid will hydrate and plump your skin. Hydrated, plump skin is younger-looking skin.
Glycolic acid makes up part of a group called alpha-hydroxy acids. AHAs break down the bonds between dead skin cells, thus leading to better skin tone and texture. But glycolic acid does more. Being such a small molecular size, it can penetrate deep down into your skin, boosting your skin’s collagen and elastin levels. What does this really mean for you? Bye bye wrinkles. Glycolic acid can irritate skin, especially if you have sensitive skin, so gradually start using this regenerative ingredient.
Peptides don’t always make it on the best anti-aging ingredients list, but they should. As short strings or chains of amino acids, which are your body’s protein building blocks, they can easily infiltrate your top layer of skin and then start working their anti-aging magic by increasing collagen production, smoothing fine lines, decreasing the appearance of pores, and more.
If you want an effective anti-aging serum, look for these ingredients, but more importantly, find one with ingredients appropriate for your skin type. If you have dull skin, you want antioxidants. If your skin is dry, make sure you use a serum with vitamin E or hyaluronic acid. If you deal with adult acne, vitamin C serums will be effective for you.
You’ll also want to be aware of certain ingredient combinations, especially if you have oily, combination, or acne-prone skin. Certain serums can cause clogged pores and more breakouts. But no matter your skin type, use an anti-aging serum made with natural ingredients that’s formulated without phthalates, parabens, sulfates, and fragrances.
Does price matter?
Several skin-saving serums come with a colossal price tag. But don’t think you have to pay a big price for something in such a small bottle. The truth is, the price doesn’t matter with anti-aging serums. When you find a serum made with the right active ingredients that are also appropriate for your skin type, you’ve found an effective product whether it’s a drugstore or luxury line serum.
Does age matter?
Some skincare experts say you should start using anti-aging products when you’re in your early 20s. Others say you’re fine to wait until you’re in your 30s or 40s. The truth is, certain ingredients and types of anti-aging skincare products are beneficial in their own ways at different times in your life.
Antioxidants are great preventive ingredients, so if you’re in your 20s, now is probably the time to prevent current and future damage and signs of aging. In your 30s, your skin is under more attack from stressors, so it’d be a good idea to invest in an anti-aging serum that boosts collagen and defends your skin. If you’re 40 and older, you want to increase firmness, reduce fine lines, and restore your skin, so you better be on the lookout for a facelift in a bottle that has retinol and vitamins E and C.
Ultimately, you know your skin best, so you’ll know when you need to start using anti-aging products and what types are best for your skin and age.