3 Anti Aging Ingredients That Really Work
Noticing that first wrinkle on your face can really be a shock. No one wants to admit that they’re growing older, even if that means they’re getting wiser, too.
Fortunately, there are ways for you to be able to continue to learn and grow without having to worry. Knowing the best anti-aging ingredients to look for in that moisturizing anti-wrinkle cream, and which really work the way that they claim to, can cut down on the hassle that often comes with shopping for any new anti-aging cream.
MiamiMD has all of the information that you’ll need to find a hydrating cream that will help you transform your face and defy the idea that wrinkles have to be a normal part of life.
For many people, vitamin C (sometimes seen as ascorbic acid) is a “holy grail” product.
The vitamin works so well mostly due to its status as an antioxidant, which is a molecule that goes to work inside the body to fight off dangerous compounds known as free radicals. Free radicals can occur due to a number of different issues – sun exposure, environmental pollutants, or even just the body’s own, normal metabolic processes. The problem with them is that they contain an unpaired electron, which makes them desperate to bond to whatever is around them in an attempt to balance themselves out. This process can cause damage in the body, and lead to all kinds of problems. Free radical damage, or oxidative stress, shows up as fatigue, headaches, wrinkles, and even grey hair.
When vitamin C is present, it works to surround those free radicals so that they can’t bond with anything else, and ushers them out of the body. With fewer free radicals bouncing around in the system, there is also far less oxidative stress and less likelihood of skin cell breakdown, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Because of this method of action, vitamin C is also great at protecting the skin from some of the repercussions of sun damage like dark circles. However, it should not be used as a sunscreen — you need SPF 30 sunblock for that!
While all of that may sound like hype, the anti-wrinkle effects of vitamin C can be backed up by research. Over a period of weeks, vitamin C helped to stimulate new collagen formation, hydrate the skin, and show visible improvement in fine lines and wrinkles.
A pro-tip with vitamin C : always store your vitamin C in an airtight container, and away from sunlight. Contact with the air may oxidize the vitamin, and make it lose its potency. You don’t want to spend money on a quality skincare product just to make it ineffective.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids, more commonly referred to as AHAs, are a group of acids that are naturally found in different plants and foods, like citrus and sugar cane. Don’t let the name “acid” scare you off. Although they are strong, potent ingredients to use for firming and to exfoliate during your skincare routine, they are safe when used correctly.
Of all of the AHAs out there, glycolic seems to be the one that makes its way into most skincare products. Glycolic acid, which is the smallest of all of the alpha hydroxy acids, is derived from sugar cane. While in some cases bigger may be better, the fact that glycolic acid is so small allows it to more easily absorb into the skin.
Once it’s in, it works to loosen the bonds that occur between dead skin cells, allowing them to be removed from the face, resulting in brightening effects and improved skin texture for all skin types and skin tones. Over time, it may also help decrease the appearance of dark spots (or hyperpigmentation).
Not only is glycolic acid a powerful exfoliant, leading to a more even, smoother complexion, it also sets the stage for an increase in collagen production. Because it allows dead skin cells to be swept away from the outer layer of the skin, it helps to support skin cell turnover.
It also triggers activity in a specific type of cell in the dermis (or middle) layer of the skin, called a fibroblast. Fibroblasts, when active, are the principal cell responsible for synthesizing collagen. As collagen is the main structural protein (along with elastin) that helps support the top layer of the skin (the epidermis), increased production and prevalence leads to firmer skin and less visible fine lines and wrinkles. And yes, that has all been scientifically proven.
A pro-tip with glycolic acid : When first starting on a skincare product that includes glycolic acid, go slow. While it may be tempting to use it on your face every day, it can easily lead to sensitivity when it is used too frequently (especially in those who already have dry or sensitive skin). Use in moderation. In addition, any AHA can actually increase your skin’s sensitivity to direct sunlight, especially if you’re also using a retinol or retinoid moisturizer or night cream, so always make sure to wear sunscreen and be mindful of sun exposure.
Talking about peptides can be a massive undertaking, because there are so many that have shown potential at helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, so let’s start with some basics.
Peptides are essentially short molecular chains made up of anywhere between two and fifty different amino acids, linked together by peptide bonds (hence the name). As amino acids are often referred to as being the “building blocks of protein,” peptides are essentially to making that happen. However, you won’t just see the word “peptide” on a list of skincare product ingredients — you’ll have to look a little deeper.
Peptides are named for the way that they’re put together, and there are five different categories that are commonly used in skincare products.
Signaling peptides are found the most often, as they help to signal either the start of the production of collagen in the skin or an end to breaking down the already existing collagen. Either way, they help boost the amount of collagen present, which leads to firmer, more youthful appearing skin.
A good example of this is matrixyl synthe-6, also known as palmitoyl tripeptide-38. It gets its “6” because it can stimulate six different components that make up the skin matrix between the dermis and the epidermis — three types of collagen, as well as laminin-5 (helps “anchor” the skin), hyaluronic acid (improves hydration and elasticity), and fibronectin (to stimulate tissue repair).
While not many studies have yet been done on matrixyl synthe-6, its sister peptide Matrixyl 3000 (which can be found in MiamiMD’s Intensive Eye Repair Serum) has been the subject of one study that showed its capability of almost doubling collagen production.
Carrier peptides, like manganese tripeptide-1, are another popular skincare ingredient due to their ability to bond with other chemicals and help deliver them to the skin cells that need it. Definitely worth keeping an eye out for in a variety of dermatologist-recommended formulations!
”Neurotransmitter Inhibitor” Peptides
While less common in skincare products, neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides provide a unique and powerful service.
Instead of helping to boost collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides stop deep wrinkles from forming in the first place. They do this by stopping the release (inhibiting) of a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine, which is one of the key components in muscle contraction.
When applied topically and absorbed into the skin in targeted areas (specifically, areas known for developing facial gesture related wrinkles, like around the eye area and the forehead), these peptides help to relax the muscles similar to how those expensive injectables do.
A good example of a neurotransmitter inhibitor peptide is acetyl hexapeptide-30, which blocks the nerve signals to help significantly reduce the amount and appearance of both fine lines and wrinkles.
”Enzyme Inhibitor” Peptides
Instead of blocking neurotransmitters, enzyme inhibitor peptides block the release and bonding of enzymes. Specifically, these peptides seek out and bond to enzymes (or proteins) that have known aging effects, like breaking down collagen.
An example is a Progeline, which works on progerin, stopping the skin from thinning out and showing visible signs of aging. With less collagen breakdown, the other peptides can help not only replace the collagen loss but also boost it, for firmer, more youthful skin.
Structural, or keratin, peptides specifically work to target dry skin and dehydration. Keratin, which is the key strengthening protein found in hair and nails, also works to improve the skin barrier. When the moisture barrier is weak or damaged, it is more susceptible to dehydration, which leads to sagging, wrinkled, and even itchy skin. The more moisture the skin can retain, the more plumping effects will appear, without puffiness.
When choosing an anti-wrinkle cream, especially eye creams and serums, look for those that contain high quality active ingredients that have been tested and proven to be effective at banishing those crow’s feet and other fine lines.
MiamiMD has done our research, which means we use ingredients with proven science, so that you can give yourself back the youthful, radiant skin you’ve been looking for. It’s time you treat your skin the way it, and you, deserve to be treated. You’re worth it.
Ready to graduate from drugstore wrinkle creams onto expertly formulated skincare? Check out MiamiMD’s Instant Wrinkle Eraser to get a headstart!