You already know about the importance of wearing sunscreen every day to protect your skin from harmful UV rays that age and burn your skin. But there’s a lot more you can be doing on a regular basis to help reduce the look of wrinkles, dark spots and other signs of aging. The best part? It’s all totally achievable over the counter. Read on for the anti-aging ingredients that truly work for getting the results you want, according to skincare experts.
What it is: Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that is widely regarded as a superstar anti-aging ingredient. “You’re likely to find a retinoid in any [dermatologist’s/plastic surgeon’s] medicine cabinet,” says Dr. Dara Liotta, a plastic surgeon and IT Cosmetics advisory board member. “There’s nothing more effective when it comes to anti-aging.”
What it does: Retinol works to increase surface cell turnover to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as the feeling of firmness.
How to use it: If you’re new to retinol, it’s a good idea to look for a formula that delivers a low concentration of this active ingredient. That’s because retinol can cause redness, dryness and flaking, especially when you first start using it. Start with a pea-sized amount and reduce your frequency of application as tolerated. Also check whether your retinol cream says it can be applied in the morning. If yes, just be sure to apply sunscreen afterward, as retinol can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
What it is: Naturally occurring lipids in the skin that help form the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
What it does: Known to reinforce the skin’s barrier, ceramides are ideal to incorporate into your daily skincare routine if you have dry skin or another skin condition that results in moisture loss. Even if you don’t, ceramides can help promote softer, more supple-looking skin, and who doesn’t want that?
How to use it: You’re most likely to find ceramides in moisturizers (like this one). Whichever ceramide-infused formula you choose, apply it morning and night for the best results.
What it is: A natural substance found in the skin with a unique capacity to retain moisture.
What it does: Because of its moisture attracting ability, hyaluronic acid is known to support skin elasticity and plump the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
How to use it: It’s not hard to find this ingredient in anti-aging skincare products, like our Bye Bye Lines Hyaluronic Acid Serum. And because all IT Cosmetics makeup starts its life as skincare, you’ll find hyaluronic acid in our foundations and concealers, too!
What it is: A potent antioxidant, also known as vitamin B3.
What it does: Among other anti-aging benefits, niacinamide helps to support healthy skin barrier function and reduce environmental damage. It is known to help minimize the look of dark spots and discoloration for more even-toned skin.
How to use it: Because it’s known for its ability to help reduce the look of uneven skin tone, you’ll find niacinamide in eye creams for dark circles, face serums for dark spots, and moisturizers that promise the look of healthy, glowing skin.
What it is: A form of alpha-hydroxy-acid, a type of chemical exfoliant.
What it does: Glycolic acid helps to improve surface cell turnover. “When fresh cells are constantly brought to the skin surface it makes it brighter and more youthful,” says Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, a dermatologist and IT Cosmetics advisory board member.
How to use it: You can find glycolic acid in over-the-counter face serums and chemical peel products. Dr. Liotta recommends using a peel as part of your nighttime skincare routine because it takes time to dry. Follow it up with your favorite night cream.
What it is: An antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
What it does: Vitamin C helps defend against free radicals and bring radiance to the skin, which makes it ideal for use in skincare products designed for dullness.
How to use it: Because vitamin C is an active ingredient, it’s best not to apply it at the same time as other actives like retinol or glycolic acid, especially if you have sensitive skin. We recommend reserving your retinol or glycolic acid product for nighttime and applying two pumps of a product like Bye Bye Dullness Vitamin C Serum, which contains 15% pure vitamin C, in the morning after cleansing.
Now that you know what anti-aging ingredients to look for, read this article to learn when you should start using anti-aging products.