Anti-Aging Ingredients Your Skin Needs Now


In This Article:

At Paula’s Choice we know that giving your skin the right ingredients it needs to be radiant, appear younger and smoother, and lessen the appearance of wrinkles and deep lines can yield some stunningly beautiful results. We’ve seen this firsthand and want to share what we know and what the research proves to be true.

In order to help you, we summarized some of the key things to look for when shopping for anti-aging products—it can be confusing, but after reading this you’ll have a much clearer understanding of what aging skin really needs.

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Paula’s Choice Favorite Anti-Aging Products

The Best Skin-Care Is Like A Healthy Diet

The topic of diet in connection to skin isn’t about all-natural versus synthetic ingredients (there are good and bad natural ingredients for skin and good and bad synthetic ingredients); rather, it's about comparing the complex needs of your body with the complex needs of your skin.

It’s a fact that our bodies need an array of nutritionally-balanced foods to keep us healthy and so does our skin. One food is never beneficial for your body and one skin care ingredient (or one product,  however great it may be) will never serve the complicated needs of your skin, especially as time marches on!

The fact is a state of the art moisturizer cannot rely on one ingredient to enhance skin's well-being, vitality, healthy appearance, and youthfulness any more than your diet can rely on only one nutrient to fuel it. Skin needs a balanced, elaborate mixture of powerful ingredients to improve its texture, revive radiance, visibly even skin tone, improve loss of firmness, and visibly minimize other signs of aging.  

Think about it this way: if you only consumed one food or one vitamin, you would soon become unhealthy and malnourished. The same goes for skin! It's your body's largest organ and requires a complex range of ingredients to look beautiful and ward off telltale signs of aging.

Anti-Aging Products Come in All Forms

In order for anti-aging products to provide visible benefit to skin, they need to contain specific types of ingredients which we explain below. A surprising fact: The texture of the products do not need to be the same; in fact, just the opposite is true.

As long as the product contains the best anti-aging ingredients it can be in a cream, lotion, serum, gel, or even a liquid formula. When any of these varying product textures are filled with proven anti-aging ingredients they will work wonders for your skin.

Your skin needs ingredients that support and maintain its resiliency, reduce signs of environmental damage, and replenish it with ingredients that occur in abundance in young skin. The Paula's Choice Research Team will help show you the way…

The 5 Things Your Skin Simply Can't Go Without

1. Antioxidants
Without question, topically applied antioxidants are essential for skin and there are many brilliant ones that show up in skincare products.

Antioxidants include different forms of vitamins A, C, and E, superoxide dismutase, beta carotene, glutathione, selenium, green tea, soy extract, grape extract, pomegranate extract, among dozens of others. And the more of these included in your skincare products, the better!

Antioxidants can:

  • Reduce or prevent some amount of the daily environmental assault that destroys skin over time.
  • Visibly calm stressed, reddened skin
  • Help increase the feel of skin’s firmness.
  • Become unstable when packaged in a jar because, once opened, jars allow air in and air causes antioxidants to deteriorate.

2. Skin-Replenishing Ingredients
Healthy, young skin’s surface layers naturally contain substances that keep it smooth so it can retain an ideal balance of water to preserve skin’s moisture balance. These ingredients range from ceramides to lecithin, glycerin, fatty acids, polysaccharides, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, peptides, amino acids, cholesterol, glycosaminoglycans, and many more.

Skin-Replenishing ingredients function to:

  • Provide skin with the ingredients it needs to protect its surface against moisture loss      
  • Refresh the ingredients actually found in skin to make skin look smooth and feel supple.
  • Help reinforce skin so it remains soft and hydrated.
  • Dramatically improve skin's texture and, with continued use, relieve uncomfortable, rough-feeling skin.

3. Skin-Restoring Ingredients
As a result of environmental exposure (including sun damage from not using a broad spectrum sunscreen daily), age, and midlife changes, skin can lose its ability to restore itself the way it did when we were young.

One way you can help turn this around is to apply products rich in restorative ingredients like retinol, synthetic peptides, niacinamide, lecithin, and adenosine. All of these can revitalize and energize skin’s uppermost layers so it reflects a younger-looking, more even appearance.

Skin-restoring ingredients can:

  • Revitalize skin’s surface to restore a more youthful look.
  • Help reduce the impact environmental exposure has on skin
  • Plump surface layers of skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

4. Sunscreen
About 75% of what we think of as aging is caused by unprotected sun exposure, so applying a broad spectrum sunscreen every single day is the most important thing you can do to stop this skin-aging damage.

Sun damage begins within the first minute of the skin being exposed to daylight, even if it’s cloudy. To ensure you're getting sufficient broad spectrum protection, your sunscreen must contain one or more of these active ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, ecamsule, or Tinosorb. Look for products rated SPF 30 or greater, and don’t be afraid to layer makeup (like foundation) with sunscreen over your facial moisturizer with SPF.

Daily use of a well-formulated sunscreen will help:

  • Prevent wrinkles, redness, uneven skin tone, and loss of firmness.
  • Adequately protect against both UVB (burning rays) and UVA (aging rays)—that’s what we mean by “broad spectrum protection”.
  • Help preserve youthful substances in skin’s surface layers that unprotected sun exposure routinely depletes.

Note: The only significant difference between a daytime moisturizer (day cream) and a nighttime moisturizer (night cream) is that your daytime moisturizer should contain sunscreen.

5. A Formula That Suits Your Skin Type
Now that you know what should be in any anti-aging, moisturizing-type product you use, the question is: What type of product should you buy? Should you shop for a lotion, gel, serum, cream, liquid, or balm?

Here's how to choose the right product:

  • Thicker creams, balms, and ointments contain oils and emollients that are best for dry to very dry skin. There are hundreds of emollients, but some widely-used examples include all non-fragrant plant oils, shea butter, cocoa butter, fatty acids like lecithin, stearates, and triglycerides.
  • Lotions and serums are ideal for normal to combination skin because of their lightweight, often silky textures and near-weightless feel on skin.
  • Gels, liquids, or non-aqueous serums are extremely unlikely to clog pores and are best for oily or congested skin.
  • Combination skin can benefit from using multiple products: i.e., a gel in oily areas (usually the center of the face) and a creamier texture on any dry spots, including around the eyes.

No matter the product’s texture, every skin type needs the same types of ingredients to look younger, healthier, less wrinkled, and to help defend against environmental damage that ages skin prematurely.

Sunscreens, antioxidants, skin-replenishing ingredients, and skin-restoring ingredients are what the best anti-aging products should deliver so you can have better skin starting now!

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth scientific research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Anti-Aging Products.

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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