Your skin relies on collagen and elastin fibers to retain a firm, wrinkle-free appearance. Think of these fibers like a rubber band. When you first stretch the rubber band, it stretches back. Over time, however, the band becomes looser. The same is true for the fibers in your skin. Aging, sun damage and other factors can cause you to lose skin elasticity. When this occurs, a number of skin creams are designed to firm the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Retinol is a form of vitamin A that acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help to fight particles in the body, known as free radicals, that cause inflammation. When you apply retinol to your skin, the antioxidants fight off free radicals that can cause collagen and elastin breakdown, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Caffeine is a natural vasoconstrictor, meaning it tightens the blood vessels when applied, according to Real Simple. Just a small amount of caffeine-containing cream is all you need to tighten your skin. This cream serves as more of a temporary solution than others that are applied to stimulate new cell growth.
Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids
Alpha and beta hydroxy acids are derived from fruit acids. They include glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid, according to Oprah.com. When applied to the skin, these acids help exfoliate the skin, removing its top layer. As a result, the skin improves in texture and appears smoother. Because the exfoliation may make your skin more susceptible to sunburn, it's a good idea to wear sunscreen when applying alpha or beta hydroxy acids.
Kinetin is required for plants to grow, according to the Mayo Clinic. While the exact action of tightening the skin is unknown by researchers, it is theorized that kinetin helps to stimulate collagen production. Kinetin also takes on antioxidant properties when applied to your skin.
While you may think of copper as an element in your pennies, copper is found in almost every cell of your body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Copper can be combined with proteins known as peptides. This solution was first used to encourage wound healing. In the same way copper peptides heal wounds, they can heal your skin by fighting free radicals and stimulating collagen production.