Popular Anti-Aging Ingredients, Demystified!
Wander into the beauty section of your local department store, and you’ll find an abundant - even overwhelming - selection of anti-aging skincare products, all boasting the newest and most potent of active ingredients. But, where do these ingredients come from, and how do they work? In this roundup, we’ll give you background on some of the most common players in the anti-aging game, and give you what you need to make informed choices when it comes to investing in the best products for you. Here’s what you need to know:
Retinol: Retinol has been an anti-aging mainstay for years, and still hasn’t lost its popularity. So, what makes it so special? Retinol is a vitamin A derivative, and can be used in many different concentrations and forms. It prompts rapid cellular turnover, cell thickening and exfoliation, to reduce wrinkles, dark spots, large pores, and fine lines that occur because of sun damage or age. Retinol also slows the breakdown of collagen and stimulates the production of new collagen to bolster skin’s elasticity. Retinol rich products can cause redness and irritation, so start slow with over the counter, non-prescription retinol based products before resorting to higher concentrations! For a more natural alternative to retinol, consider incorporating rosehip seed oil into your skincare routine. Like retinol, this oil rejuvenates skin, and also prevents the formation of wrinkles and dark spots, for a refreshed, youthful look!
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA): Alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic and lactic acids are powerful anti-aging ingredients, as they quickly and effectively break the bonds between dead cells and skin - without the harsh scrubbing of mechanical exfoliants. In addition to their precise and efficient exfoliating effects, AHA’s also stimulate collagen production! They are a strong multipurpose solution to common signs of maturing skin, like wrinkles and excessively dry skin. Because they can cause photosensitivity, don’t forget to use a strong SPF when using alpha hydroxy acids. If you’re looking for a natural alternative to synthetic AHA products, lemons, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits are a great source of natural AHA’s. You can go a step further and combine citrus with yogurt (another source of naturally occuring AHA) and make a DIY face mask.
Hydroquinone: Hydroquinone works by inhibiting the enzyme that stimulates melanin in the skin. Excess melanin production is responsible for hyperpigmentation and melasma - two conditions which are frequently triggered by sun exposure. It has long been regarded one of the most effective agents for lightening uneven pigmentation, but can have adverse reactions in users with darker skin tones - sometimes exacerbating dark spots rather than lightening them. While recent studies have indicated a possible connection between hydroquinone exposure and cancer, these studies have not been comprehensive, and medical professionals largely consider hydroquinone a safe and effective lightening agent. However, if you’d like to pursue a more natural route, kojic acid, derived from mushrooms, is another potent lightening agent.
Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is another ubiquitous component of many popular anti-aging products on the market today. This naturally occurring compound maintains skin’s elasticity and strength, and has a tremendous water retention capacity - it can hold over 1000 times its weight in water. Since moisture loss and dryness are a common cause of sagging and wrinkling skin, hyaluronic acid replenishes the skin’s moisture to smooth and soften skin. It also protects against UVB rays, which can cause sun spots! Integrating hyaluronic acid into your skin care regimen at a young age can help ensure skin is consistently moisturized, and help stave off visible signs of aging skin even as the skin matures! Some studies indicate natural tamarind seed extract may work similarly to hyaluronic acid to smooth wrinkles and promote moisture retention.
For our favorite solution for youthful, glowing skin, check out our Absolute Anti-Aging Face Oil - it’s a moisture rich, 100% organic and botanical blend that dramatically diminishes visible signs of aging.