Many anti-aging products on the market are targeted to reduce aging signs. Products containing retinol, for example, are used in many top-selling products, including creams, lotions and serums. Other popular anti-aging products include those containing peptides. Very often dermatologists will advise patients that sunscreen is the ultimate age-fighting product as well.
A derivative of vitamin A, retinol is often used in anti-aging products because of its proven ability to improve the appearance of skin. Retinol has been shown to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, while improving the texture of the skin, leaving it smoother; it also helps improve skin tone by reducing dark spots that often come with age or from sun damage.
Retinol comes in several forms, including creams, serums and lotions. Retinol is a common ingredient in anti-aging products designed for the face, eyes, and hands. Using these products once or twice daily consistently over time will usually produce a reduction in signs of aging, but users should be aware that redness and skin irritation are possible, and it is important to use the products exactly as instructed.
Peptides, working as a base for protein in the skin, assist with collagen production and help prevent the collapse of skin firmness. Collagen is the foundation of the skin, giving it fullness. With age, collagen production declines, causing the skin to lose firmness and become thinner, creating an environment that allows skin to sag and lines and wrinkles to form. Anti-aging products containing peptides signal the skin to boost collagen production. Peptides are small molecules that easily penetrate the layers of the skin; they have been shown to block signals from nerves to facial muscles, similar to injectable prescription age-fighting products, giving skin a smoother appearance.
Sunscreen also is beneficial as an anti-aging product because, when used regularly, it actually can help prevent signs of aging from manifesting in the first place. It protects skin from both kinds of ultraviolet (UV) radiation — UVA and UVB. UVB rays cause sunburn, but UVA rays penetrate deep into the layers of the skin and cause signs of aging, including wrinkles and sagging, also known as photoaging. As an additional and important benefit, sunscreen also helps prevent skin cancer.
When using a new anti-aging product, users should use caution, as some people may have sensitivity to certain ingredients. Some uncomfortable side effects include redness, peeling or soreness. Before trying a new product on the entire face, it is advisable to perform a test on a small patch of skin and evaluate the results after 24 hours.