If your approach to anti-aging is strolling down the aisle of your local drugstore or Sephora, picking up whichever product sounds the most appealing, going home, and slathering it on, we've got some news for you: Unfortunately, you're doing it wrong. Anti-aging products need to be selected carefully and should be as tailored and specific to your skin type as your usual skincare. Just because your friend swears by retinols doesn't mean you should also become a retinol devotee. As such, with the help of Dr. Karen Hammerman of Schweiger Dermatology Group, we put together a visual guide so you can hone in on the ideal anti-aging ingredient for you based on your goals and needs. Go ahead, find your miracle ingredient below!
Okay, did you find your ideal ingredient? Good. If you're curious as to why this specific ingredient works best for your skin type and needs, keep scrolling to read Dr. Hammerman's explanations for each.
"These are used for anti-aging to smooth wrinkles and reduce the visual effects of aging. Peptides are a portion of larger protein molecules used in the body to communicate with and direct skin cells to behave in certain beneficial ways, such as producing more collagen or thickening the support structure of the skin, which are all essential for dry skin."
"Ceramides will help repair skin and can increase hydration and moisture in the skin. Moisture loss can exacerbate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles."
"Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, will help to decrease damage from free radicals as well as protect it from future damage. Vitamin C also has the ability to lighten skin discolorations from sun damage. Vitamin C–based antioxidants are best for helping treat uneven brown pigmentation."
"Argan oil is loaded with vitamin E and fatty acids, which help soften fine lines. It’s also an antioxidant, so it will help protect the skin and prevent future fine lines from forming."
"Licorice extract is a natural and gentle skin lightening alternative to hydroquinone. It's also an effective treatment to reduce redness and inflammation, which can go hand in hand with dry skin."
"The gold standard ingredient for treating sun damage is hydroquinone, and when used with a retinoid [Ed. note: pictured below], you’ll receive noticeable results in a shorter time period. Once your desired lightening has occurred, you can stop using the hydroquinone."
"A prescription-strength retinoid such as Retin-A will check two boxes: First, it fights breakouts by controlling oil production and increasing skin-cell turnover, minimizing the potential for clogged pores. Second, that speedy turnover provides anti-aging benefits, helping skin tone appear more even. Use at night only!"
"Though you probably associate the word 'acid' with 'harsh' and 'abrasive,' hyaluronic acid is the exact opposite. It's a humectant, meaning that it draws out water from the air and dermis (the skin that lies below the surface)."
Interested in how the rest of the globe does anti-aging? Check out the fascinating skincare routines of women in Korea, London, and beyond.