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Do anti-aging creams and serums really work?

You are not the one to get swayed by alluring promises of anti-aging creams and serums flooding the market. The tall claims that come with the package often leave consumers overwhelmed. They spend a fortune and blindly rely on them. The million dollar question is, do anti-aging creams and serums work?

Hardly, one gets reliable consumer reports validating the effectiveness of these products. Even some doctors are doubtful about these claims and promises. Therefore, the obvious question arises, how effective these are. Are they really good for our skin?

While pouring all our hopes in the jar, it is better to check whether there are any proven results or not. It is prudent to understand the skin-aging process and the ingredients that can work well in reversing it.

Collagen – the key to youthful skin:

anti-aging-creams-and-serumsSkin elasticity lies behind the youthfulness of the skin. It is the support structure that keeps our skin firm and fresh. When collagen levels are high, our skin looks supple and fresh and when the level falls, signs of aging set in. Our skin loosens giving rise to wrinkles and creases. Therefore, anti-aging creams work only when they support collagen formation or maintain its desired level.

Active ingredients in the product matter more than the price:

Anti-aging creams work often provided they are formulated with right ingredients and are applied in a proper manner. It is not always that the expensive creams work better. Consumers should be aware of what is good for their skin and the science that goes with it.

Retinol and antioxidants are active ingredients that make these anti-aging products work best. Other ingredients play a supportive role in reversing skin aging.

Retinol:

anti-aging-creams-and-serumsRetinol is the active ingredient of Vitamin A and can reverse skin aging. According to the Aesthetic Dermatology specialist Dr. Desmer Destang, it is the best wrinkle remover. With aging, our body gradually loses Vitamin A giving rise to wrinkles and creases in the skin.

Retinol and retinoic acid have the ability to reverse this process by facilitating collagen build-up and enhanced cell production. Therefore, a retinol based product is likely to produce better results.

Topical application of retinol has proven results in treating aging skin. This was established in a study of three anti-aging treatments by the University of Michigan in 2008 among three anti-aging treatments. The other two were Hyaluronic Acid injection (not same as the ingredient itself) and carbon-dioxide laser therapy.

Anti-oxidants – the protector:

These active ingredients do not help in healing and repairing of skin but it can prevent aging by protecting the skin from damage caused by environmental free radicals. UV radiation and pollution are the common environmental stressors that speed up skin aging.

Common antioxidants are Vitamin C and E, green tea, resveratrol and niacinamide. If you are yet to see signs of skin aging but apprehensive about your future skin health, you can look for products loaded in antioxidants.

The concentration of active ingredients make anti-aging creams work better:

anti-aging-creams-and-serumsThe concentration of active ingredients can often give you an idea of how effective they are. The concentration should be high enough and top the ingredient list of a specific product. The active ingredient placed high on the list indicates a high concentration which ought to be enough to create a biological effect.

Moisturizing agents are good for skin but not effective to reverse aging:

A majority of the anti-aging creams and serums are packed with moisturizing agents that make your skin look plump giving a youthful appearance. But this does not truly serve the purpose. For example, Hyaluronic acid is a good skin hydrator with an ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water.

It is good for the skin. Skin loses a lot of moisture with aging resulting in fine lines. Even applying very high doses of retinol can dry your skin.  Hyaluronic acid acts as a protector in preserving the moisture of skin preventing dryness. Therefore, the presence of Hyaluronic acid along with active ingredients can truly make anti-aging creams work. 

Alpha-Hydroxy acids (AHAs):

anti-aging-creams-and-serumsThese natural ingredients known as lactic acid, citric acid, glycolic acid available in milk and fruits are good exfoliants. They help in removing dead cells making way for new cells. AHAs help the deeper layers of skin rise to the surface faster speeding up the turnover of cells.

Different AHAs have different effects on the skin. Lactic acid derived from milk brightens up the skin. Glycollic acid available from sugarcane can help in reducing lines and wrinkles.

Peptides:

Some of the anti-aging products contain peptides or pentapeptides, which are known to promote the growth of new cells speeding up healing of the skin. But the jury is still out. Initial research with penta-peptides in wound healing showed encouraging results.

The results published showed these compounds reinforced the body’s natural healing process by speeding up cellular production for more collagen.  Peptides are being added to a number of skincare products but the experts could not confirm the exact formulation that could make anti-aging creams work. At best, they can hydrate the skin making the lines less noticeable.

Do not expect an overnight miracle:

anti-aging-creams-and-serumsTo make anti-aging creams work, you must stick to a consistent skincare routine and give the required time. It would be wrong to fall into the trap of enticing promises of quick skin makeover in 7 or 10 days.  Your skin requires a definite time to complete a full rejuvenating cycle. Even the best products take 2-4 weeks to show up the effects.

 Picking the right anti-aging cream:

Anti-aging creams work but not to the extent of Botox, which is far more effective. But those unwilling to go for medical procedures can find satisfaction in anti-aging creams and serums. A product rich in active ingredients will not always do the trick. You may face unwanted side effects.

Even some of the most expensive products offer nothing more than exfoliating and moisturizing. You may think of studying consumer reports of a specific product but that could be bewildering. The product that works well with others may not be suitable for you.

To make the best choice, consulting a dermatologist may be useful especially those with sensitive skin. There are some doctor recommended anti-aging creams with proven results.  If at all, you need to make your own choice, study your skin before making the choice. Do not forget to go for a patch test to determine your skin’s acceptability of that product.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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