Every day, we all get older. Even though aging is a fully natural and common life event that affects everyone, the way it manifests in terms of skin changes might be very different for each individual than it was for their mother, older sister, or beloved aunt. Because of this air of mystery, aging is a fascinating topic, particularly in the skincare industry.

You’re not the only one who worries about how your skin may change as the years pass. 59% of the 1,800 racially diverse women InStyle polled in the U.S. between the ages of 17 and 74 about their top skin concerns were concerned about fine lines and wrinkles.

The good news is that there are several treatment options available, from over-the-counter and prescription lotions to injectables like Botox, all of which promise significant benefits, if you’re among the 59% of people who wish to turn back the hands of time or even simply hit pause. But can these well-liked anti-aging remedies genuinely stop and reverse the natural aging process?

Four leading dermatologists were consulted to learn what they wished they could tell you about the effectiveness of anti-aging treatments and what you could expect.

How Do Anti-Aging Products Work?

Anti-aging solutions function by utilizing certain components that support skin regeneration in order to make room for a fresh, younger-looking layer of skin. Anti-aging solutions work to lock in moisture, combat free radicals, quicken cell renewal, increase collagen, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and more.

Ingredients in Anti-Aging Products

Knowing the best ingredients can help you distinguish between good and ineffective anti-aging skincare products because there are so many of them and they all claim to prevent and treat signs of age.

According to Dr. Scott Thompson, MD of Utah Facial Plastics, “it’s crucial to select medical-grade treatments that are offered under the care of a physician as they include larger concentrations of active components than what you can buy over the counter and will be far more successful.”

Dr. Thompson explains the ingredients to look for. They include:

  • Antioxidants, such as vitamin C (or L-Ascorbic Acid), that neutralize free radicals caused by solar radiation and other environmental factors

  • Ceramides to seal in moisture

  • Hyaluronic acid to plump the skin

  • Retinol or vitamin A to accelerate skin cell turnover

  • AHA’s for light resurfacing

  • Kojic acid and short-term use of hydroquinone for hyperpigmentation

  • Growth factors to boost collagen

  • Zinc and titanium oxide in a mineral sunscreen for maximum protection

  • Niacinamides, a B vitamin also known as vitamin B3. It helps even skin tone. It is a potent antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory so it helps reduce redness.

  • Peptides, or amino acids that stimulate new collagen production. They improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Squalane, an anti-inflammatory lipid that reduces redness in the skin. It is also very hydrating.


Don’t Expect to See Results Overnight

Dr. Howard Sobel, a cosmetic physician and the founder of Sobel Skin, asserts that nothing can be fixed fast and that consistency is key. “Look for products that have preventative elements such as peptides, which are high in antioxidants and function as a shield to protect your skin, and ceramides to maintain skin’s hydration.”

It’s crucial to persevere even if you don’t get results right away. The optimal regimen for your particular needs may require experimenting with several brands and formulae, according to Dr. Sobel. “These medications take time to kick in,” he says.


Ceramides Are an Anti-Aging Ingredient That are Just as Effective as Retinol

“Ceramides are lipids that are widely distributed in the skin. Effective skin function, moisture retention, and the formation of a natural protective barrier are all due to it “says board-certified dermatopathologist Dr. Gretchen Frieling of Boston. “However, beyond the age of 20, our ceramide production declines 1% annually. Using moisturizers enriched with ceramides would be a way to slow down the aging process, even if the effects of this drop in production won’t be apparent until your thirties.”


That Being Said, Yes, Retinol and Other Retinoids Can Be Transformative

A retinoid, according to Dr. Sobel, “might be thought of as the fountain of youth if there is one ingredient.” They function to level out the skin and encourage skin cell turnover.

According to Dr. Frieling, “Retinol is a precursor of vitamin A and is very well-liked in the beauty industry today since it helps accelerate cell turnover and collagen formation and directly treats uneven skin tones, sun spots, and fine wrinkles.” You can talk to your doctor about a prescription-strength retinol therapy or choose an over-the-counter medication that is less potent but more long-lasting.


Sun Damage Can Cause the Earliest Signs of Aging, So Wearing SPF Is a Must

“Everyone, regardless of age or skin tone, ought to use sunscreen. In order to prevent skin cancer, which is estimated to affect one in five Americans at some time in their lives, everyone should aim to include sunscreen in their skincare routine “said Dr. Frieling. “The skin is shielded from the sun’s damaging UV rays, one of the many noteworthy advantages of sunscreen. In addition to raising your risk of developing skin cancer, these damaging beams also induce fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.”

Free radicals in the air can speed up the aging process along with UVA/UV rays. However, sunscreen can offer security. Dr. Ted Lain, a board-certified dermatologist and the company’s chief medical officer, says preventing collagen loss is best accomplished by reducing the impact of free radicals. We now believe that leading a healthy lifestyle and eating well will prevent aging, but daily, constant sun protection, as well as topical anti-oxidants, are also crucial.

Sun exposure is the leading cause of wrinkles and, according to Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, cosmetic dermatologist, chief medical officer, and creator of PFRANKMD, “most people wrinkle on their face more than they do on their buttock.”