A number of ingredients in over-the-counter treatments may help your skin appear more youthful, but it’ll take time. You may see improvement within a few months. But you shouldn’t expect to look like you’ve stepped out of a time machine. What will work best for you will depend on your skin, and the results you’re trying to get.
If you have fine lines, retinoids like retinol may make your skin smoother because they help your skin make more collagen. It’s easier on your skin than the prescription-strength version, tretinoin (Retin-A), which can dry your skin.
Products with vitamin C may help take away fine lines, as well as help lessen the damage the sun does to your skin. That could help keep wrinkles away.
For Sagging Skin: Peptides, Ceramides
Treatments with topical growth factors or peptides could help firm sagging skin. Peptides are groups of amino acids that help make proteins, including collagen. That’s the main protein found in your skin.
For Age Spots: Hydroquinone, Retinoids, Vitamin C, Kojic Acid
Hydroquinone, an over-the-counter drug that can bleach your skin, may fade dark spots. Retinoids may make your skin tone more even. One study says vitamin C helps fade age spots when you use it for 12 weeks. Kojic acid — a chemical that’s often used as a skin-whitening ingredient in products — can do it, too.
For Uneven Skin Tone: AHAs, Retinoids
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) remove dead skin cells. This could help to reveal new ones with a more even tone. Retinoids can do the same thing. Both can irritate your skin, so use them with caution if yours is dry or sensitive.
For Dull Skin: AHAs, Retinoids
If you smoke or if your skin is dry, you’re more likely to have dull skin. A moisturizer may make it look fuller and firmer. Alpha hydroxy acids and retinoids (like retinol) could brighten your skin when they remove dead skin cells.
Which Strength Do I Need?
Some over-the-counter products only come in one strength. Others have different levels of the active ingredient. If you choose something that might dry or irritate your skin — like retinol — start with the lowest strength and get used to it before you try something stronger.
How Should I Apply Them?
If you use more than one anti-aging skin product, but the one with an active ingredient on first so that your skin absorbs it better. For example, in the morning, put a vitamin C product on first, sunscreen next, and makeup last. At bedtime, apply retinol first and moisturizer after that.
Need Help With Your Decision?
If your skincare products irritate your skin, there are other options you can try. Having trouble finding the right combination? Talk with a dermatologist. They can help you find a safe choice that will make your skin look and feel better. Source: webmd.com