Many creams and lotions sold in departmental stores and on the internet promise to reduce wrinkles and prevent or reverse damage caused by the sun in a few weeks’ time. Anti-aging creams hydrate the skin and plump up the surface resulting in a radiant, soft tone and texture. Dry, dehydrated skin looks darker and fine lines appear due to the dryness. Hence, if you moisturize well, the skin will certainly glow. Most of the time, a moisturizer and a sunscreen are all one needs. Anti-aging creams may help those who need extra boosters due to their profession or lifestyle such as sun exposure, smoking, and stress. But the most important question is do these creams really work?
Anti-aging creams may include conventional moisturizing ingredients. They also usually contain specific anti-aging ingredients. Some of them include retinol, AHA’s, Peptides, anti-oxidants, sunscreens and Vitamin C. Here are five commonly listed active ingredients, and the scientific evidence about whether they may play a role in decreasing signs of aging.
Rentinol can be used in various forms, like in the form of retinyl palmitate. It has shown to reduce fine lines and pores. Prescription-strength retinol products may cause more side effects than the over-the-counter strength. Side effects may include burning, warmth, stinging and tingling.
Resveratrol is a plant compound — it is found in red wine, and is also available as a supplement. A 2008 study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, found the red-wine ingredient slowed down age-related decline in mice.
Antioxidants are commonly claimed to help fight cell damage from free radicals, which are molecules that could injure cells and increase inflammation, and increase the risk of cancer. As for their health benefits, there are antioxidants that are effective, however, it’s the formulation of the antioxidants that is critical.
One of the myth heard about anti-aging skin care is that more expensive the product, the better the results. It’s not necessarily the cost of the skin care product that determines its effectiveness — it’s what’s in it. Talk to your dermatologist about cost-effective anti-aging skin products that contain tretinoin for the most benefit. Another rampant myth is once you see improvement, you can stop using anti-aging products. However, this is not true. You may need to continue using your anti-aging skin care products after you see results in order to maintain them. Also remember, you shouldn’t use anti-aging face creams all over. A rich anti-aging skin cream for the face may be effective in promoting youthful-looking skin all over, but it’s not a cost-effective solution. Face creams have a nicer base than body creams. Hence they are more expensive and you will just go broke if you continue using face creams for your entire body.
The trick is finding the right ingredients that work well with you, experts say. “The bottom line is that if these creams could accomplish the same thing as a medical procedure, they would be drugs and not cosmetics — and that’s what you have to keep in mind when deciding whether to try or buy,” says Marsha Gordon, MD, vice chairman of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.