A raging war on aging skin appears to be in high gear. The U.S. anti-aging skin care market, valued at $832 million, is projected to expand 46 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to the market research company Mintel. As skin ages, the collagen and elastin, fibers that maintain skins firmness, gradually deteriorate. This may contribute to wrinkles as skin sags and loses its plumpness of youth. A handful of anti-aging products may help slow down the signs of maturing skin and bring back youthful radiance.
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Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that may diminish fine wrinkles and age spots, even out pigmentation and smooth rough skin. Tretinoin, sold as Retin-A and Renova, is a prescription-only retinoid that diminishes the signs of aging by promoting collagen production. Retinol may be an optimal alternative for individuals who are sensitive to more potent Retin-A, which can cause skin redness and a burning or stinging sensation. Retinol is a less potent vitamin A offshoot that's available in numerous over-the-counter wrinkle creams.
Alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids and poly hydroxy acids are all derivatives of sugar-containing fruits. Hydroxy acids exfoliate the skin by sloughing off the outer layer of old skin and encouraging the growth of new, fresher looking skin. More than 200 U.S. manufacturers produce skin care products that contain alpha hydroxy acids, notes the Cleveland Clinic.
Botanical antioxidants contained in lotions, creams and other skin care products may have anti-aging effects, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Common botanical ingredients include pomegranate juice, chamomile flowers, grapeseed extract, ginger, soy extract and green tea. Pomegranate and soy extracts may help rejuvenate older skin, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Green tea may help guard against photoaging, or premature aging from exposure to ultraviolet rays.
Moisturizers can prevent dryness by retaining water in the outermost layer of skin. Substances that guard against water loss include lanolin, mineral oil and petrolatum. Although moisturizers cannot treat wrinkles, they may temporarily plump skin and minimize their appearance. Facial creams and lotions should be applied to damp skin to help seal in moisture.
Sunscreen should be the basis of any skin care program, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Sunscreen is one of the most important skin care products because it helps prevent the signs of aging by protecting skin from damaging ultraviolet rays. Sunscreens should provide both UVA and UVB protection and contain a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15 or higher.