The potent anti-ageing skin care ingredients you need to use
By Claudia Renford
New Idea Beauty Editor / May 15 2017
The must-have essentials to power up your skin care and outsmart wrinkles
It’s easy to get lost in the multitude of anti-ageing products out there. But what will actually work? New Idea’s skin experts reveal the key ingredients for firmer, smoother skin.
What is it? A form of vitamin A. Originally used to treat acne, it helps to reduce fine lines and improve skin tone.
How it works... When it’s worked into the dermal layers, “our skin converts it to another form of vitamin A called retinoic acid,” says Emma Hobson, Education Manager at Dermalogica. “This triggers cells to stimulate collagen and elastin, helps reduce the breakdown of healthy collagen from UV exposure, and reduces production of skin melanin.” The result is less skin pigmentation and better hydration.
Try it... It’s in night-time products such as moisturisers and serums. For best results, your skin needs to get accustomed. Start with a small amount every second day. Use alternately with vitamin C.
Product picks: PCA Skin Intensive Clarity Treatment; SkinMedica Retinol Complex; Dermalogica Age Smart Overnight Retinol Repair
What are they? These free radical fighters protect the skin against environmental aggressors and premature ageing.
How they work... “When UV radiation and environmental factors such as pollution attack the body, free radical molecules are born. As they multiply, they attack the structure of the skin,” Hobson explains. Antioxidants penetrate the skin and turn any free radicals into harmless compounds, preventing them from destroying collagen and elastin.
Try them... You’ll find them in everything from toners to serums, in the form of green and white tea, grape seed, and ascorbic acid. Use day or night under your sunscreen.
AHAs and BHAs
What are they? Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are exfoliants, and they come in different forms, including lactic and glycolic acid to smooth the skin. BHAs are ideal for oily or acne-prone skin.
How they work... AHAs soften the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and prompt them to shed, letting other products penetrate deep into the skin. Similarly, “BHAs will help deeply cleanse and clean out your pores,” says Paula Purser from Australian Skin Clinics. “They are oil-soluble and can reach deep inside the pore to break up stubborn dirt and reduce the risk of breakouts.”
Try them... They’re in cleansers, spot serums, exfoliants, masks and moisturisers. Don’t scrub or overuse them – twice a week is ideal.
Product picks: Balense Next Generation Cleanser + SRC; First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads; Avène Cleanance Mask
What are they? Vitamins A, E and C are active ingredients that protect, moisturise and act as antioxidants. Niacinamide (B3) is also commonly used in anti-ageing products.
How they work... “In moisturisers, they are used to assist in barrier repair and rebuilding the skin’s lipid barrier,” says Tracey Beeby, Global Education Ambassador for Ultraceuticals. “In hyper-pigmentation products, they help block pathways within the formation of melanin.” And when used in formulations for blemished skin, they “primarily assist with repairing the skin’s barrier”, Beeby adds.
Try them... Use moisturisers and serums. But see a dermatologist first to ensure you are being prescribed the right products.
What is it? “It is an enzyme that naturally occurs in all cells and is responsible for
the skin‘s energy supply,” says NIVEA skin care expert Ken Lee. It helps protect, regenerate and renew skin.
How it works... “The level of Q10 decreases with age and skin becomes more prone to damage,” Lee says. “It’s vital in protecting skin from free radicals and increasing the skin‘s energy production.” It works to repair, protect and renew for younger-looking skin.
Try it... In anti-ageing products such as moisturisers and oils. Look for formulas with a high concentration of Q10 to help delivery directly into skin.
Product picks: NIVEA Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Replenishing Pearls; Lacura Skin Science Renew Night Cream Q10; Dr. LeWinn’s Line Smoothing Complex S8 Eye Recovery Complex