Anti-Aging—Does It Work?
If you’re anything like me, you’re a millennial gracefully—or not so gracefully—approaching the big 3-0. As you age, you lose fat in your face and neck, your skin may change in tone or acquire a dullness, and you may begin to see creasing wrinkles around your mouth, eyes, and forehead. And while it’s healthiest to love your body at any shape, size, or age, it can be hard to watch yourself change in the mirror and not reach for the wrinkle cream.
Recently, I started using a hyaluronic acid water gel. I picked it up because I could see lines sinking from my nose to the corners of my mouth. I actually stopped and bought it on the way to my 10th high school reunion, if that tells you anything! And using it definitely makes me feel better about my aging skin, but is it actually working or is it just a placebo effect?
Let’s take a look at a few typical anti-aging ingredients to see what claims they’re making and if there is any evidence to support them:
Hyaluronic acid is often included in products that are meant to plump the skin. It lessens wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid is made in the human body, but created to a lesser degree with age.
Topical application as a moisturizer is recommended by dermatologists.
Peptides are amino acids. They are used in skincare to make more collagen, the protein that helps your skin, hair, and nails.
Dermatologists support the use of peptides, particularly after age 30, but point out they should be consulted to choose a truly efficient product.
Retinol is vitamin A. Like peptides, it is meant to encourage the skin to create more collagen. Retinols can be effective, but take several months to show results.
There are some dangers to using retinol. It can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, for one. Skin may dry significantly. Retinol-containing products cannot be used during pregnancy as it can cause Fetal Retinoid Syndrome, which results in birth defects.