Why Retinol Isn’t The Only Answer To Aging Skin
Not that we’re dissing retinol. It’s just that it’s not the ONLY skincare ingredient out there worth a place in your daily regime…
Don’t get us wrong, retinol gives us all the feels and we’re mad about its cunning ability to improve everything from wrinkles and dark spots to acne and sagging skin. But it’s pretty potent stuff, so not everyone’s skin can get away with using it on the reg. Also, it’s not the be-all and end-all. In fact there are plenty of other trusted skincare ingredients that offer awesome anti-aging benefits for no-so-youthful-looking skin.
Of course, any brand promising you miracles like a ‘face lift in a bottle’ is lying to you – no matter what kind of clinically-proven wonder-potions are packed inside. But if you keep at it, and give skincare time to work, certain ingredients are guaranteed to offer real, skin-changing results.
Here are our top five…
1. Exfoliating Acids
According to the Mayo Clinic, exfoliating acids like AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) and PHAs (poly hydroxy acids) are among the most effective ingredients for reducing the visible signs of aging. Unlike manual exfoliators like scrubs, loofahs and face cloths that require some kind of physical movement to work, exfoliating acids dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells to encourage them to get a move on and fall away from the surface of your skin. This process accelerates cellular turnover and works to brighten, smooth and even out your entire complexion. It also helps prepare your skin to better absorb and reap the benefits of the rest of your skincare routine.
You’ll find exfoliating acids in various forms across anything from cleansers to serums, the most common of which are glycolic, lactic, gluconic and salicylic acids. We formulate salicylic acid into our Vitamin C Super Serum+ which is a great choice for aging skin. Always patch test first, then apply it to clean, dry skin before moisturizing.
Not a blog post goes by in which we don’t talk about antioxidants, yet here we go again –sorry, not sorry. Antioxidants are up there as some of the most important things to include in your skincare regime. Granted, cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen are THE most important products for maintaining healthy skin, but if you care about defying lines, wrinkles and so on, antioxidants are everything. How so? Because they protect your skin from free radicals which are unstable oxygen molecules that wreak havoc on your skin when it’s exposed to things like UV radiation and environmental pollution.
Niacinamide is very well tolerated by the skin which makes it a great choice for sensitive skin. Research also shows that it increases the production of ceramides in the top layers of your skin which improves your barrier function, increases moisturization and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also reduces inflammation, diminishes discoloration, fights breakouts and balances sebum. Is there anything niacinamide can’t do? For sure, but who needs a facial serum to walk the dog?
Often overshadowed by the big guns, MSM is 100 percent worth a place in your skincare routine. And here’s why. Otherwise known as methylsulfonylmethane (agreed, a real mouthful), MSM is a sulfur compound which primarily contains sulfur, as well as small amounts of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Sulfur is extremely plentiful in the human body and found mainly in your skin and bones. It’s often known as the ‘healing mineral’ due to its ability to support healthy collagen synthesis, boost circulation, reduce inflammation and detoxify. Impressive stuff, right?
As a topical ingredient, MSM has been proven to not only increase collagen production, but to also reduce environmental damage by increasing your levels of glutathione. Glutathione is one of your body’s most important, naturally-occurring antioxidants, helping to fight oxidative stress caused by those devils called free radicals. We hate free radicals. You should hate free radicals, too.
You’ll find MSM in a bunch of your favorite TruSkin products including our Hyaluronic Eye Cream.
Peptides can be tricky to get your head around, but simply put they’re chemical compounds made up of amino acids. Now, if you paid attention in 7th grade biology you’ll remember that amino acids combine to form proteins and are pretty much the building blocks of the human body, aiding in important functions like growth and repair. Well, while proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids, peptides are the little guys, made up of shorter chains.
In skincare, certain peptides act like little messengers to encourage your cells to produce more proteins – namely collagen, elastin and keratin – and simultaneously improve your skin’s texture and tone. They can work on fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, even breakouts. But only if you choose the right ones…
One of the most effective peptides to look out for is Matrixyl 3000 which is thought to be able to almost double the amount of collagen your cells produce. Impressed? Much? Then you have to try our Peptide Eye Gel and Ocean Minerals Super Toner which both contain the mighty Matrixyl 3000 as well as plenty of other skin-loving and anti-aging ingredients.
5. Vitamin C
Another, dare we say it, powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is so good, we like to tout its abilities on an almost weekly basis! But it’s so much more than a free radical-fighting powerhouse. It’s literally ‘the’ ingredient for boosting radiance and diminishing dark spots.
So, how does that work? Well, studies have shown that it reduces the amount of melanin your skin produces by inhibiting tyrosinase (a catalyst for melanin production). By hampering melanin, vitamin C works hard to fade existing dark spots, help stop new ones from forming and give you a more glowy complexion. Oh, vitamin C also promotes cellular turnover and collagen production as a couple of extra bonuses.
Topical vitamin C takes on many forms, most commonly l-ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP). L-ascorbic acid is the pure form but it’s notoriously unstable meaning it breaks down easily, therefore becoming less effective. It can also be a little potent for sensitive skin so, instead, we use SAP across all of our C-products because it’s way gentler on the skin, still super effective and maintains its stability for much longer. SAP is the salt version of pure vitamin C which is why our infamous Vitamin C Facial Serum looks a little cloudy.
So, now you know!
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.