5 Top Anti-Age Beauty Elements
So, you want to take better care of your skin, huh? You decided it’s time to move from a basic moisturizer to a more sophisticated anti-age product. Sounds like an innocent enough endeavor, so you start out for your favorite store, or beauty website.
As you peruse the product selections you regret not paying better attention in chemistry class – should you buy a product with peptides, or ceramides? Is an alpha hydroxy acid better than beta hydroxy acid? Or, should you opt for a product with retinol? Is that better than a product with vitamin A, or C?
As sweat beads up on your brow and your heart starts racing, you search for a glossary of skincare terms, which only causes more confusion. What the hell is a peptide, anyway?
Well, never fear Career Girls! The ultra cool people at Refinery 29 developed a fabulous Periodic Table of Beauty Elements. It’s one of the best skincare ingredient resources I’ve seen in a long time. The table defines 29 separate ingredients, so I pulled out a few of the more confusing ones for you.
Get ready to see the light, thanks to Refinery 29!
- Retinol: Retinol is by far the gold standard of anti-aging. Nearly three decades of medical research proves it packs a serious wrinkle-reducing punch. This vitamin A derivative is able to spark cell turnover and, as a result, kick-start the production of new skin cells while spurring an increase in fresh collagen.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acid/ Beta Hydroxy Acid: This skin-perfecting dynamic duo is like the Dolce & Gabbana of skin-care—they’ve been around forever and never disappoint. Unlike gritty scrubs, these acid-based exfoliants gently loosen dead-skin cells lingering on the surface past their prime and rev cell turnover from the bottom up. They’re almost always paired together because they work synergistically for stellar skin-smoothing, brightening, and pimple-fighting.
- Glycolic Acid: Derived from sugarcane, this alpha-hydroxy acid is the smallest of the alpha-hydroxy acids. That makes it a super effective (and gentle!) exfoliant as well as an amazing moisturizer, too. Downsides? As far as skin experts are concerned, there aren’t any.
- Peptides: Think of peptides like the stealth anti-ager—especially for sensitive skin. Their main role is to stimulate the production of collagen, an essential youthful skin protein that keeps skin supple, plump, and line-free—all without causing any irritation.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C, the mega-antioxidant found in most citrus foods, is the ultimate immune system booster, but it’s just as important in your skin-care regimen. Years of research highlight its stellar pigment-reducing abilities, which results in more evenly toned and radiant skin.
Check out the complete table here for all 29 ingredient descriptions. And, don’t forget to finish your A.M. skincare program with a 30+ facial sunscreen! It’s the number one defense against premature aging. (Hate to nag, but it’s for your own good!)