Let's face it, as we age, we all want our skin to look young. Aging slows production of collagen and elastin, main components of young-looking skin. Eating healthy, exercising regularly and drinking ample water all help. But there's hardly a woman who hasn't also turned to skin-care lotions and creams. If you're looking for skin-care products that minimize your wrinkles, look for products with specific ingredients. Be advised, though, that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate many of these preparations and the amount of active ingredients may be unknown.
Retinol and Tretinoin
Retinol is a natural form of vitamin A and is the first anti-oxidant to be used widely in nonprescription wrinkle-removing creams, according to the Mayo Clinic. Vitamin A stimulates the production of collagen. Retinol is often used by those with acne, as well as those who want to minimize their wrinkles, because of its exfoliating properties.
The prescription-only tretinoin, a vitamin A derivative, is the only topical agent approved by the FDA for treatment of photoaging. Although those using tretinoin experience initial redness, scaling, burning and itching, many report improvements in both fine and large wrinkles. Because of the short-term reaction, some physicians prescribe tretinoin in low, rather than high doses. Pregnant women should never use vitamin A derivatives because of the risk of birth defects.
Hydroxy acids--alpha, beta, and poly--are synthetic versions of fruit acids, according to the Mayo Clinic. As exfoliants, hydroxy-acid lotions and creams remove the upper layer of dead skin and accelerate growth of smooth, evenly pigmented skin. These creams and lotions may even stimulate collagen and elastin production. The Mayo Clinic recommends that sunscreen be worn during use and for a minimum of one week thereafter, because hydroxy acids increase vulnerability to sun damage.
Coenzyme Q10, which we all produce, is necessary for the basic functioning of our cells, according to the Mayo Clinic. Because natural production of coenzyme Q10 decreases with age, creams containing the substance may reduce fine wrinkling, especially around the eyes. It may also protect the skin against sun damage.