Ceramides: Ceramides are intercellular lipids, meaning they fill in the spaces between your skin cells in the stratum corneum (the outer protective layer of skin). Your skin already makes ceramides on its own. Without them, your skin won’t be able to effectively retain moisture or keep irritants out. Topical ceramides can be found in both prescription eczema treatments and over-the-counter products.
Niacinamide: It is a form of vitamin B3 (niacin) that can be applied to the skin. Some research suggests it may be helpful in managing acne, rosacea, and signs of aging, including hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles.1
peptides: Peptides are known as the building blocks of proteins. They are made up of short chains of amino acids. In the field of skin care, we mainly talk about peptides as a constituent of collagen, a protein that your skin needs to maintain its structure. Different types of peptides can boost your collagen in different ways, but the most common are signal peptides, which can both stimulate the skin’s collagen production, especially at night, and slow the natural breakdown of collagen.
Retinoids: These compounds — retinol, retinal (or retinaldehyde), retinoic acid, and synthetic retinoids like adapalene and tazerac — are one of only two proven ways to prevent the signs of aging. (The other is sunscreen!) Retinoids, which are forms of vitamin A, work by stimulating the shedding process of skin cells from below, leading to smoother skin and reduced signs of aging. and acne.
These are available both by prescription and over-the-counter, usually in a 1% concentration, so if you’re unhappy with the results of an over-the-counter option, see a dermatologist for a prescription version. . If you’re using it to treat signs of aging like fine lines, Dr. Skotnicki recommends starting to use retinol products around age 30 to get a head start. Retinoids are also known to cause irritation when you first start using them, so it’s crucial to apply them a few days a week to start with and apply moisturizer right after using them.
Solar cream: You’ve probably used sunscreen to prevent sunburn, which is a form of UV damage. But did you know that UV rays can also contribute to other types of damage? And that damage can cause dark spots, wrinkles and other signs of aging? It’s true. Preventing this – and skin cancer, of course – is a big reason to use sunscreen every day. Be sure to use a sunscreen that has at least SPF 30 and provides broad-spectrum protection, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. While the sunscreen in your makeup doesn’t count as your daily SPF, the sunscreen in your moisturizer can, as long as you use it on your ears and neck as well as your face.
Vitamin C: Yes, that vitamin C! This vitamin is essential for the production of collagen and other important compounds in the body. And when applied topically, it can work as an antioxidant, preventing UV-related damage. It can also inhibit the production of melanin (pigment) in the skin, making it a good option for lightening dark spots due to photoaging or other types of damage. But beware, all forms of vitamin C are not equal, some are more or less effective or stable than others. You need to incorporate vitamin C at about a 10 percent concentration for it to be effective in fighting sun damage, says Dr. Skotnicki. Also be aware that vitamin C often appears on the label in the form of these derivatives: look for ingredients such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl-6-palmitate, ascorbic acid sulphate or acid L-ascorbic (also called simply ascorbic acid).