Everything You Need to Know About Anti Aging Ingredients
Knowing which anti-aging ingredients to include for your own personal skin care plan can be confusing.
Most people start to feel concerned about their skin showing signs of aging, somewhere in their 30’s. Did you start having that concern sooner or later than that? There are many things you can do to prevent and even reverse the signs of aging, but it takes perseverance. Like creating any new habit, better health and skin care requires consistent effort.
Skin aging is caused by the natural progressions of the aging process in our bodies but also due to sun exposure and exposure to the elements and environmental factors.
The Aging Process of Our Skin and It's Causes
Our skin has two distinct layers - the epidermis that makes up the outer barrier of our skin and protects us from environmental factors, such as bacteria and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Meanwhile, the dermis is rich in collagens and other proteins, which are responsible for skin’s strength and elasticity.
Both layers go through a lot during our lifetime, and with more time, damage can accumulate. Here are some medically proven reasons why our skin shows the signs of aging:
The dermis contains a very complex arrangement of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, including collagens and others, such as elastin, which provides elasticity.
Fibroblast cells in the dermis not only produce these proteins, but they are also firmly lodged in between these proteins and connected to them. As we age, the ECM progressively loses its integrity as the protein structures become fragmented.
Fibroblasts lose their ECM connections as enzymes slowly degrade the protein networks. This leads to a change in fibroblast shape, severely affecting the cells’ function. Protein production by fibroblasts is reduced, contributing further to the breakdown of the ECM network.
This detrimental circle of events causes a significant reduction in elasticity and results in the loss of our pert skin tone. Why this happens during the normal aging process is not clear, but scientists think that it is caused by a combination of oxidative stress damage to DNA, cell senescence, and chronic inflammation.
However, the dermis is not the only culprit at play.
Epidermal Cells and UV Damage
Although we all experience some natural loss of elasticity and ECM integrity as we age, sun exposure makes this much worse.
But fibroblasts themselves do not react to direct irradiation with UV light in laboratory studies. Instead, scientists think that cells in the epidermis respond to UV exposure by releasing chemicals that diffuse into the dermis and lead to enzyme release in dermal fibroblasts.
This complex interplay is thought to result in deep wrinkles, which is a hallmark of UV-induced skin aging. And recent evidence implicates a third player in causing the signs of skin aging.
As our bodies age, the fat layer below the skin naturally shrinks, resulting in sagging. But until recently, scientists were unable to see any connection between UV damage and fat; UV rays do not penetrate deeply enough to reach the subcutaneous fat.
However, a new type of fat depot in the deep dermis was recently discovered that can penetrate the upper dermis, which is well within reach of UV light.
These specialized fat cells can also respond to chemicals released by cells in the epidermis. In response to chronic UV damage, these fat cells die and are replaced by scar tissue.
Armed with this knowledge, can we avoid the inevitable accumulation of skin damage? Sun exposure at safe levels will certainly limit the amount of damage that UV can inflict on your skin.
The Signs of Aging and What You Can Do About It
You notice that your skin is looking a little dull.
Your skin cell turnover slows down as early as your 20s. By the time you hit your 30s new cells are visible every 28-35 days, whereas they once turned over every 14 days or so when you were a child.
Since your skin cells aren’t turning over as often, you can rid your skin of these dead cells manually to reveal newer, brighter skin cells underneath. This not only makes your skin more glowing, but it also helps ensure that the products you layer on top are absorbed more deeply. The best way to do this manually is to find a scrub that you like as well as an exfoliating tool, like a buff puff, to help the process along.
Your skin is very dry.
Another pesky side effect of slowing skin turnover is that the top layer of skin has a more difficult time staying moisturized naturally. It takes longer for the top layer of the skin to slough off, giving a more dull and dry quality. In addition, production of hydrating factors in the skin such as hyaluronic acid slows down and break down increases. The best solution is to include an acid product into your weekly routine to help with cell turnover
Your face doesn’t look as full as it used to.
In our 30’s cell turnover slows down, skin recovers less easily from inflammation, important proteins such as collagen and elastin breakdown faster and less is made and the naturally found skin plumping sugar known as hyaluronic acid starts to decrease. Forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, bags under the eyes, and more prominent laugh lines called nasolabial folds are all new things you might notice. Changing hormones also contribute to many of these changes, specifically a loss of estrogen that causes us to lose volume and bone mass in our skull, cheekbones, and jawline. The best solution to this is a moisturizer that agrees with your skin. A good moisturizer is going to hydrate, decrease collagen breakdown, and normalize cell turnover.
Your skin seems to get irritated more often.
In addition to your skin being more susceptible to dryness, it is also less tolerant of external factors like cold and dry weather and harsh soaps. In other words, the cleansers you may have used on your face and body when you were younger without blinking an eye at the ingredients list won't cut it anymore—they’ll quickly cause skin irritation and leave you hanging out to dry, literally. The best solution is to find a cleanser that is soap free and has hydrating ingredients.
Dark spots pop up from nowhere and don’t fade as fast as they used to.
With decades of sun exposure under your belt, you might start noticing dark spots popping up on your face. These spots are caused by years of low-grade exposure to the sun, which stimulate pigment-producing cells to go into overdrive. You might also start to notice scars from things like acne fade at a slower rate. Those with darker skin types often notice these changes in pigmentation to a higher degree. Hyperpigmentation is often made worse by hormonal changes, UV exposure, and certain medications.
The best solution for this is adding a brightening product to your routine. Retinoids, arbutin, and kojic acid are the best natural ingredients to help with discoloration.
Top 20 Ingredients to Help Fight the Aging Process
1. Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid helps to prevent the signs of aging in the skin while soothing it at the same time. Also known as thioctic acid, alpha-lipoic acid improves cellular energy production and reduces inflammation, a major cause of aging. It also provides your skin with superior antioxidant protection, further activating antioxidants such as coenzyme Q10.
Vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin, is part of the B-complex group of vitamins. Symptoms [of biotin deficiency] include hair loss, dry scaly skin and cracking in the corners of the mouth. Biotin helps cells reach their full growth cycle, promoting stronger hair, skin and nails. Natural sources of biotin include nuts, soybeans, eggs, avocado and cauliflower.
Many believe caffeine reduces the appearance of cellulite by constricting the blood vessels, giving skin a firmer appearance. According to a study in the Skin Pharmacol Physiol journal, caffeine has potent antioxidant properties. It helps protects against UV radiation and slows down the process of photoaging in the skin.
4. UV Protection
If you’re not using sunscreen religiously, there’s just no point in wasting your time or money on any other anti-aging ingredients. It’s a certifiable fact that sun exposure is one of the primary causes of all the signs of aging, from spots to wrinkles and everything in between. That makes adequate, daily sun protection a MUST, which is exactly why sunscreen is on this list.
5. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency can result in an inability to properly produce collagen and elastin, two of the main building blocks of healthy skin. Unfortunately, most people over the age of 30 are deficient if they don’t take a supplement with the enzyme. Also known as ubiquinone, coenzyme Q10 is present in every cell of the body. It provides powerful antioxidant protections and collagen-boosting capabilities.
6. Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid, a popular chemical exfoliant, is a derivative of sugarcane and is found naturally in foods. It’s been known to boost the production of collagen and elastin in the body, reducing the signs of aging in the skin. It is an alpha hydroxy acid that’s used as an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells and smoother skin texture. Glycolic acid can reduce the look of fine lines and aging.
7. Green Tea
Green tea has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-aging benefits of green tea are attributed to polyphenols, a type of flavonoids found in plants. Early studies have shown that green tea can reduce sun damage, protect skin from cancer and decrease collagen breakdown. The polyphenols are thought to influence biochemical pathways that lead to cell regeneration.
8. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a powerful moisturizer and is one of the main contributors to keeping your skin supple and hydrated. It can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, is naturally found throughout your entire body and can be used as a natural alternative to synthetic fillers. Compared to other polymers, hyaluronic has the greatest ability to hold water. For maximum anti-aging effects, use topical hyaluronic acid twice per day (day and night).
Medical research has proven that arbutin is very effective in treating pigmentations, age spots and it can also inhibit the negative effects of UV-radiation thanks to its sun protection properties. Arbutin evens out skin tone and is also effective in treating acne scars.
10. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is a vegetable wax extracted from jojoba plants in the desert. It’s rich in vitamin E, zinc and B-complex vitamins to help sensitive skin fight the signs of aging. Jojoba oil can control acne when used regularly, help lighten dark circles underneath the eye and help minimize puffiness under the eye.
11. Kojic Acid
Kojic acid limits melanin production in the skin, which is the substance that gives skin its color. Kojic acid lightens pigmented skin, which is usually the result of sun exposure. Kojic acid is also an antioxidant that helps with the premature damage or malfunction of skin cells.
12. Lactic Acid
Lactic acid provides general exfoliation and skin lightening for skin types too sensitive for glycolic acid. Studies show it can increase firmness and thickness of skin while also reducing the signs of aging
Lactic acid has the amazing ability to attract and hold moisture since it is a humectant. This helps bring additional moisture to dry or dehydrated skin.
Additionally, L-Carnosine is an excellent agent for keeping our skin elastic and youthful looking by helping to prevent skin collagen cross-linking. One of the strongest anti-oxidants known, L-Carnosine also is instrumental in protecting cellular DNA from the damage gathered with aging.
Niacinamide (aka vitamin B3) can help the body perform critical functions, like cell signaling, DNA signaling and converting carbohydrates into fats and proteins. This vitamin B3 derivative suppresses melanin from reaching the surface of the skin, thus lightening areas of dark spots that plague mature skin. Niacinamide is a more ‘natural’ way of dealing with hyperpigmentation compared to something like hydroquinone.
Peptides are the building blocks of collagen and elastin fibers that are found in our skin. They're short chains of amino acids, and can tell the body to produce even more collagen. Peptides can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant essential to neutralizing free radicals, improving the appearance of skin and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a natural antioxidant compound found in high amounts amongst the skins of grapes and in red wine. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant that fights free radical damage (which leads to aging skin).
Retinol is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and reduces the signs of aging. It’s a form of vitamin A that when in concentrations of 0.25 percent or higher can increase cell turnover, helping to improve skin texture, fine lines and brown spots. You want to apply this to cleansed skin before your moisturizer.
18. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the skin from environmental pollutants, including UV exposure. According to Dr. Eric Braverman, founder of the PATH Medical Center, Vitamin C increases skin’s collagen, making it appear plumper while reducing signs of wrinkles and fine lines.
19. Vitamin E
A powerful source of antioxidants, vitamin E helps fight wrinkles and fine lines caused by pollution, UV rays and free radicals by neutralizing the oxidant effect of free radicals. Your body cannot naturally produce it, so it’s vital to get it from a skin or hair care product. Vitamin E reduces inflammation both within your body and on your skin, helping you to maintain healthy and youthful skin.
20. Vitamin K
Vitamin K can help to reverse the appearance of aging in skin because of its role in blood circulation, making it perfect for under-eye creams. Vitamin K reverses the calcium that is deposited in your skin’s elastin fibers, which harden and lead to wrinkles.
Our entire anti aging collection focuses on plant derived, natural ingredients that have proven to be successful in various studies and trials: