-Therapeutic moisturizers are formulations that use humectants and emollients which are effective in reducing water loss, such as ceramides.
In addition to moisturizers, there are a few products that have shown evidence that they may improve the quality of the skin.
Retinol is an over-the-counter version of the prescription drug retinoic acid (tretinoin), which is derived from vitamin A. Live Science says it works by “reducing the appearance of wrinkles and boosts the thickness and elasticity of the skin.”
Studies do support the use of retinoic acid but there is less evidence that the over the counter retinol shows similar benefits. Retinoids must not be used by pregnant women due to risk of birth defects.
Alpha hydroxy acids
Alpha hydoxy acids are often used to exfoliate the older top layer of skin to allow new cells to surface. Examples are lactic acid and glycolic acid.
Lactic acid may have a brightening effect on the skin, while glycolic acid may reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles so that skin appears smoother.
Frey said that the evidence to support the use of alpha hydroxy acids are from concentrations and pH levels in prescription products, so benefit from over-the-counter versions is unclear.
Care must be taken to use sunscreen if using alpha hydroxy acids, due to increased sensitivity to UV radiation from the sun.
Antioxidants in skin care products are touted to reduce the signs of aging due to fighting the effects of free radicals.
Free radicals occur from the breakdown of oxygen used by the body, and can contribute to cell damage.
Antioxidants have been shown to neutralize free radicals in a laboratory setting, but it is unclear as to whether they can be of benefit when applied in skin creams.
The most important anti-aging product we can use on our skins is sunscreen. Sunscreens block damage to our skin from our environment, namely sun damage.Read more in Your Ultimate Guide to Beautiful Skin
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