This post was written by Linda Brown and Published on

Anti-aging products make alluring promises from fighting pesky free radicals, to facilitating natural collagen production. According to American Academy of Dermatology, customers for one reason or the other spend millions each year in lotions, creams and other skincare products with anti-aging agents.

For many vitamin supplements, creams and lotions that claim to have the ability to reduce wrinkles, slowdown or prevent premature aging, there hasn’t been adequate proof to ascertain that they actually work. Experts say that even if some anti-aging products contain active ingredients that have been scientifically proven safe and effective, the key concern if finding the right combination that works for every individual.

According to a New York University dermatologist- Dr Elizabeth Hale; there have been so many claims of products that work which is overwhelming for both doctors and patients.

Common Anti-aging Cream Ingredients

Below is a list of most used active ingredients and their significance which may help better understand the science behind anti-aging products.


As we age the skin losses fat, becomes thinner, and develops fine lines which makes it sag. The body does not produce much elastin and collagen which help the skin to remain youthful, smooth and plump. Peptides are proteins that stimulate cell growth and hasten skin healing process. Peptides are good in skin moisturizers because they make the lines less noticeable and keeps the skin hydrated.


Most anti-aging creams and moisturizers are rich in antioxidants, usually coffee and vitamin C and E. These agents are used to protect your skin against inflammation- by preventing free-radical formation usually produced when the skin is stressed. Free-radical formation can be as a result of smoking, exposure to the sun and other damages. Avoiding free-radical formation reduces the signs of aging by slowing down the skin breakdown process.


Termed as tried-and-true anti-aging formula, retinol is a derivative of vitamin A. It is available both over the counter and as a prescription. It is used to treat acne as well as improving skin texture, fine lines appearance and wrinkles. Prescription retinol products have more side effects including skin tingling, warmth, burning and stinging. However, there have been newer formulations that are effective and tolerable. Vitamin A is not advisable for pregnant women as it increases chances of birth defects.

Hydroxy Acids

They are; beta hydroxyl, alpha hydroxyl, salicylic, and glycolic acids. Though credited for improving the lines and wrinkles, exfoliants are best known for facilitating growth of new fresh skin underneath. Hydroxy acids are a better alternative for people who experience irritation and dryness when they use retinol.


Resveratrol is a plant compound usually found in wine and also as a supplement. Drinking wine in moderation has slow age effects. Resveratrol supplement might have the same effects. A study conducted in mice showed that exposure to wine slowed down age-related decline.

Polyphenol – tea extracts

Tea extracts for example those from green tea contain polyphenol in high concentrations.  Polyphenol has anti-aging effects by decreasing free-radical formation and reducing inflammation. Tea extracts prevent most of the damage that regularly happen to the skin and help improve texture, tone and color.

Combining Products

A combination of different products is definitely beneficial depending on the results you want to achieve. For example one may use a highly concentrated antioxidant moisturizer and a cream containing retinol at night. Though beneficial it’s not advisable to layer product after product at once. Using each product separately gives the active ingredients time to work without interference.


For whatever product you chose, always consider these three tips

Safety: Any product that causes reaction, irritation or makes the skin more sensitive should be used under sun protected environment. Never apply the product without testing on a small area first and use one product at a time and once you establish their safety you can add to your regime.

Value: There are products at all price ranges know what you need and go for products within your price range. Expensive does not mean effective.

Goals: There is no miracle cream out there, improving your skin may take time, so manage your expectations.



Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease

Hydroxy Acids

Flatt, Michael A., et al. “Are ‘Anti-Aging Medicine’ and ‘Successful Aging’ Two Sides of the Same Coin? Views of Anti-Aging Practitioners.” Journals of Gerontology Series B-Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, vol. 68, no. 6, 2013, pp. 944–955.

Bae, Hyeyoon, et al. “Influence of Negative Age Stereotypes and Anti-Aging Needs on Older Consumers’ Consumption-Coping Behaviours: A Qualitative Study in South Korea.” International Journal of Consumer Studies, vol. 42, no. 3, 2018, pp. 295–305.