8 Skincare Ingredients That Help Hide Your Wrinkles, Experts Say
Erase your wrinkles with these powerhouse products.
Reducing wrinkles as you get older is all about adding the right creams and serums to your skincare regimen, and this starts with understanding how they're made. While some ingredients can smooth and soothe your skin, giving it a more youthful appearance, others can actually worsen the appearance of fine lines. That's why we spoke to doctors to learn the best skincare ingredients for wrinkles—some of which may surprise you.
8 Best Skincare Ingredients for Wrinkles
Bart Kachniarz, MD, a Harvard and Johns Hopkins-trained plastic surgeon working with Belcerna Plastic Surgery, starts by recommending one of the most popular anti-aging skincare ingredients: retinol, a form of retinoid.
"This vitamin A derivative boosts collagen production and cell turnover, plumping up skin and smoothing wrinkles," he says. "Start with a low strength and gradually increase as tolerated. Retinol can cause dryness, peeling, and redness, so moisturize and use sunscreen."
2. Vitamin C
Next, Kachniarz says your daily skincare routine should also include vitamin C. "This antioxidant shields skin from sun damage and free radicals, while promoting collagen production. It comes in serums, lotions, and creams, [and is] generally safe for all skin types but may cause stinging or irritation for some," he says.
Corey L. Hartman, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist and the founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, says that vitamin C is one of the three pillars in his own "Holy Trinity of Skincare," alongside retinol and sunscreen.
"Applying the right mix of the Holy Trinity will not only slow signs of premature aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, but can help reverse some of the damage already done," Hartman tells Best Life. "Products with antioxidants like Vitamin C will help prevent free radicals from destroying collagen in your face, which leads to sagging."
3. Hyaluronic Acid
Another ingredient you'll want to look for to help hide your wrinkles is hyaluronic acid, Kachniarz says. Naturally produced in the eyes, joints, and skin, this slippery substance helps keep those body parts hydrated and flexible, the Cleveland Clinic explains.
It's also commonly used in anti-aging skincare products as a topical moisturizing ingredient. "This humectant attracts moisture to the skin, plumping it and reducing wrinkles," Kachniarz explains. "Available in serums, lotions, and creams, it's gentle for most skin types."
Choosing skincare products that include niacinamide can also bestow major beauty benefits.
"Niacinamide is one of those ingredients found in many skin care products to brighten skin, prevent signs of aging and treat conditions like eczema or acne," dermatologist Alok Vij, MD shared with the Cleveland Clinic. "Niacinamide may be the 'it' product of the moment, but it's been around for years and has staying power given its positive impacts on many skin conditions."
"This form of vitamin B3 improves skin tone and texture, and can lessen wrinkles," Kachniarz notes. "It's generally safe but may cause temporary stinging or irritation in some people."
Peptides are another ideal ingredient for repairing age-related skin damage. "These short amino acid chains help build collagen and elastin, improving skin elasticity and reducing wrinkles," Kachniarz says.
In fact, according to one 2020 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, you may see results in record time. That study evaluated the anti-wrinkle benefits of peptides by analyzing skin changes in 22 healthy Asian female volunteers older than 40 years.
"As a result, significant improvements in skin wrinkles for all of the five sites were observed after two weeks, as assessed by skin topographic measurements," the study authors write.
6. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are another useful addition to your anti-aging skincare routine. "These chemical exfoliants remove dead skin cells, revealing smoother, younger-looking skin," Kachniarz says.
However, he notes that "they can cause dryness, peeling, and redness," meaning it's important to "moisturize and use sunscreen."
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you may see different results depending on the type of AHA product you choose. "The extent of exfoliation depends on the type and concentration of the AHA, its pH, and other ingredients in the product," the FDA explains.
7. Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) are similarly effective at removing dead skin cells from pores, "preventing breakouts and reducing wrinkles," Kachniarz says.
Products containing BHAs are especially useful for people with oily skin since they help to reduce oil production and sebum buildup and slash your odds of acne.
Some products, such as Murad's AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, combine the benefits of both ingredients to pack a greater punch, erasing wrinkles and tackling oily skin all in one.
Heather Smith, owner of bareLUXE Skincare, suggests using a nourishing oil as the final step in your skincare regimen since it can lock in the other products you've used and prevent moisture loss. Specifically, she recommends an oil with squalane.
"Squalane is an ingredient that is known for mimicking the skin's natural oil, so it's perfect to apply to the skin, no matter your skin type," adds Lynnette Cole, global education director for PÜR Beauty and licensed esthetician.
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