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Active Anti-Ageing Ingredients You NEED to Know About!

26 March, 2017 - 09:02pm by - First Lady | 21 Comments

Article by BR Amelia

You'd have to be made of stern stuff if you curiousity isn't piqued when you hear about the latest anti-ageing products on the market.  You know what it's like, you're watching TV when all of a sudden a product containing a revolutionary ingredient promises to turn back the clock, or at the very least freeze it.

But do you know what the key anti ageing ingredients are?  And more importantly, how they work?

No?  Never fear - here's the BR guide to active anti-ageing ingredients.

Retinol is the ultimate multi tasker.  It's a derivative of Vitamin A and when it's used on the skin it changes to retinoic acid and that stimulates the production of healthy skin cells. It boosts circulation by increasing blood-vessel formation, so skin looks healthier, it can also lighten dark spots AND stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, which preserves collagen, and firms and tightens skin.

Retinol works best in the dark and actually enhances sun damage, so if you do use a product with retinol during the day, you need to be judicious about using SPF and reapplying. 

DNA Repair Ingredients are commonly derived from plankton or rose myrtle extract.  They can reverse sun damage and have properties that stimulate collagen.  Collagen is a protein that keeps your skin's elasticity, it also depletes with age.  So stimulating it is a great way to stay young looking!

Peptides are sneaky little ingredients!  They trick the skin into thinking it's not making collagen - so it produces even more.  And the effects continue after you stop using it!

Hyaluronic Acid is a natural compound - Hyaluronic Acid is something we are born with in our bodies and it decreases with age.  It's probably one of the reasons babies skin is so hydrated, soft and smooth!  Hyaluronic Acid is found in our joints, muscles and in our skin - it's kind of the CRC of the body - without it we'd become brittle and dry.  

It's a 'dermal filler', because it absorbs lots of moisture and fills in wrinkles.  It preserves collagen, which in turn firms and plumps up the skin.

Glycolic Acid exfoliates dead skin cells leaving skin looking healthy.  It's one of the alpha hydroxy acids which smooth fine lines, help fade blotches, and allows other anti-aging ingredients to penetrate faster and work more effectively.  It also encourages an increase in collagen production.  But here's the catch - the effects only last as long as you continue to use it!

Antioxidants hunt for free radicals in the cells and politely escort them out of the body before they can cause damage to cell membranes.  Free radicals accumulate in body tissues and blood as a result of pollution, UV light and smoking.  They are also a natural 'by-product' of our metabolism.

Vitamin C protects against free radical damage.  By boosting your antioxidant defense you can repair and protect from future free radical damage.  Vitamin C is also needed for cell growth and collagen production. And unlike B vitamins, it's actually absorbed by your skin.

Coenzyme Q10 is also known as CoQ10.  It has the ability to improve energy production in cells, and act as an antioxidant. Q10 is actually present in everyone's cells naturally, however as you age, the amount of Q10 in your body decreases. Topping up your Q10 levels either by taking it orally (it comes in pill form) or topically in a lotion or cream can assist in reducing fine lines and wrinkle depth.

Caffeine is incredibly effective at temporarily reducing puffiness - it's fantastic for under eye bags - but just like your cup of coffee, the perks last only so long! 


When should I start to use anti-ageing products?

Ok, here's the thing, it's never too early to begin looking after your skin.  The very best thing you can do in your early 20s (in fact make that forever) is wear sunscreen everyday. The damaging effects of the sun will age you faster than any other factor.

From your 30s you might want to switch up to a more intensive moisturiser and maybe invest in a serum to tackle specific issues you're noticing, such as dark spots or fine lines.

In your 40s look at where you're starting to show the signs of ageing and pick products with ingredients from the list above to tackle them!

So there's our guide to common active anti-ageing ingredients - anything to add?


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Now I just need to find a good retinol product, I had heard that it was good, but now I'm thinking its time to invest in some.

Anything that aids in slowing the aging process, gets a huge thumbs up, from me!

There's a lot to choose from! I need all the help I can these days. I've taken CoEnzyme Q10 as a supplement for heart health but I didn't notice any difference in my skin. I probably didn't take it long enough.

I enjoy using products that have aha & glycolic acids my skin is definitely looking better for it.

I'm in my 20s and already researching anti aging (I'm also a little bit of a science nerd so it's become somewhat of an experiment, looking into different ingredients). An interesting article.

It seems like every moisturiser or serum has one of these ingredients- I need one with them all in it!

That is me too !!

27th March, 2017 at 7:22 am

Ahhhh yes that would be awesome. Unfortunately some ingredients don't play well with others that's why you can't get a "one product does it all". Look into The Buffet by The Ordinary, some great ingredients in that.

27th March, 2017 at 9:45 am

The Buffet just sounds perfect! Will have a look

27th March, 2017 at 7:03 pm

I am past the age where I can look young but do appreciate products that give a healthy glow and make my skin less saggy.-So many products and I think I need them all !!! Good to understand what each one does though.

Nice glossary. I like the idea of antioxidants 'hunting ' down free radicals lol.

I've seen a lot of these ingredients on different creams. At the moment I'm using antioxidants. I would like to try them all to find out what works best for me.

First of all this is the best information for how to choose skincare products. Right now I am really enjoying serum and face oil.

Oh you missed Niacinamide! This is a terrific wee ingredient that helps reduce the size of pores and wrinkles (plus other good stuff like calming the skin from inflammation and breakouts).

Never too early to start with anti-aging products :).

Wow what a comprehensive list! I'm in my early 20s so am mainly focussing on wearing an SPF moisturiser everyday, avoiding tanning at all costs, and generally caring for my skin with lots of fruit and water.

I really need to invest in a good retinol. It's on my list but keeps getting put off.

I'm loving the 2% Advanced Retinol from The Ordinary. It's not too expensive. Don't go for the 1% if you're keen on trying it though, it's quite silicony :(.

27th March, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Oooh thanks for the recommendation.

27th March, 2017 at 8:22 pm

I would have loved to have seen product suggestions too, to go with this list :D I'm going to look into a few of them, I think. I feel like putting more into my skincare!

Many products contain some of these ingredients already but be careful as they don't always put in the right percentage that is truly effective. Do a bit of research and you'll find what you need and you DON'T have to spend stupid amounts of money.

29th March, 2017 at 9:28 am

Imoshen, I was just wondering how many products put in enough to be effective, as opposed to just a tiny bit to make a sale.

6th April, 2017 at 1:08 am

Ooh this is very helpful! Even at my age, I am trying to find products that are good for protecting my skin from damage and aging


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