The concept of limiting or reversing the signs of aging isn’t a new one. In fact, anti-aging has been popularized by mythological stories, traditions, and even beliefs, for centuries. Take the ‘fountain of youth’ as an example: a mythological fountain, that flowed with water having the capacity to keep a person young forever.
Luckily enough, today’s consumer doesn’t have to travel far and wide to look for such a fountain. All they have to do is go to their local supermarket and pick up an anti-aging cream.
Anti-aging creams are skin-care products, marketed as products that can limit, prevent, or even reverse any signs of aging. The ‘signs of aging’ targeted by such products predominantly involve the face: wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, etc.
Today, anti-aging creams have their own dedicated counter in the skincare aisle. As such, consumers need to be able to differentiate between the numerous ingredients contained therein, their uses, and the side effects.
In a nutshell, Vitamin C is an antioxidant and a collagen-stimulating agent. Vitamin C, or Ascorbic Acid, is proven to help neutralize free radicals in our body, thereby reducing oxidative stress.
To put it in simpler terms, your body routinely produces destructive free radicals. The destructive capacity of these free radicals comes from their free charge. Ascorbic acid scavenges these free radicals and neutralizes them, thereby, rendering them ineffective.
Additionally, Vitamin C promotes collagen production. Collagen (predominantly type I) is the body’s natural filler. Hence, the substance is responsible for giving skin its firmness and reducing wrinkles.
Our body’s collagen supply decreases steadily as we age. Ascorbic acid stimulates collagen growth to keep pace with the natural aging process and limit wrinkles from ever forming.
Retinoids are either natural (derived from Vitamin A) or synthetic anti-aging ingredients. The ingredient has been used historically to treat acne, but recent studies have shown that retinoids are powerful collagen-stimulating ingredients and help in reducing signs of sun damage.
The ingredient is supplied as either retinol or retinoic acid — both are derivatives of Vitamin A. As a natural or synthetic ingredient, retinol is used to peel away the skin’s topmost layer.
Thereby, stimulating the body’s natural response to produce more collagen. Also, retinol stimulates the production of blood vessels and gives the skin a natural rosy appearance.
Green Tea Extracts
Green tea comes from a natural group of compounds known as polyphenols. Green tea extracts are added to anti-aging creams owing to their antioxidant properties.
The extracts scavenge free radicals in the body and neutralize them to limit their destructive capacity that might have targeted collagen and other natural skin barrier substances.
Without their antioxidant potential, free radicals would have made the skin look dull and tired — a common aging complaint.
Hydroxy acids are non-organic acids, also known as fruit acids. They are amongst the most popular ingredients found in anti-aging creams for the plethora of benefits they provide.
For example, hydroxy acids such as lactic acids, citric acids, and glycolic acids (Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHAs) are used to exfoliate the skin’s topmost layer and stimulate collagen production. The chemical component, thereby, effectively reverses signs of aging, such as wrinkles and blemishes, improving skin elasticity, tone, and hydration.
Hydroxy Acids additionally improve the subcutaneous barrier function of the skin. This increases epidermal proliferation and thickness and restores hydration through an increase in hyaluronic acid.
Anti-aging creams are popularly marketed with the promise of alleviating signs of aging. While many people are skeptical and consider this as a marketing gimmick, the ingredients contained within the anti-aging creams speak for themselves in terms of reducing, limiting, and reversing signs of aging.