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skincare ingredients for aging skin

Cosmetic Ingredients That Help With Aging Skin

Understanding Aging Skin

Aging skin experiences reduced elasticity, diminished moisture, and lower natural oil production. These changes contribute to wrinkles, fine lines, and a less vibrant complexion. Targeted ingredients can help mitigate these common signs of aging, improving skin health and appearance.

Key Skincare Ingredients for Aging Skin:

Retinol for Collagen Production

Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, boosts collagen production and speeds up cell turnover. It can visibly reduce fine lines, reduce pore size, and enhance skin texture, leading to a more youthful look. Another vitamin A derivative is retinaldehyde or retinal, the closest retinoid to the prescription anti-aging product Tretinoin. Retinol is converted in the skin to retinal and finally retinoic acid, the biologically active form. Retinoic acid is available as a topical prescription called Tretinoin.

Vitamin C for Antioxidant Defense

Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, shields the skin from free radical damage that can lead to premature aging. L-ascorbic acid, the biologically active form of vitamin C, is also an essential cofactor for the enzymes responsible for collagen synthesis and topical applications of vitamin C can increase collagen production. It also aids in the skin's natural repair process and brightens the complexion.

Peptides to Enhance Skin Structure

Peptides, short chains of amino acids, are native to the skin but can be applied topically to improve the signs of aging. There are 5 categories of peptides that differ based on their mechanism of action and aid in skin appearance and health in different ways. The categories include signaling peptides, carrier peptides, enzyme-inhibiting peptides, neurotransmitter-inhibiting peptides and antimicrobial peptides with the first four categories being most relevant in improving the appearance of aging skin. Signaling peptides can stimulate components in the skin including collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid vital for maintaining firmness and reducing aging signs. Enzyme-inhibitor peptides can inhibit enzymes such as tyrosinase responsible for dark spots and matrix metalloproteases that break down collagen. Carrier peptides can improve transport of trace minerals including copper and magnesium that enhance wound healing and skin repair properties while neurotransmitter-inhibiting peptides reduce muscle contractions responsible for fine lines and wrinkles.

Niacinamide for Barrier Strength

Known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a precursor to important coenzymes responsible for several biochemical reactions. It strengthens the skin's barrier, improves texture, and evens out skin tone, while also diminishing the impact of environmental stressors.

Hyaluronic Acid for Intense Hydration

Hyaluronic acid delivers essential moisture to aging skin, which may lose the ability to stay hydrated. It is available topically in various molecular weights which reach different depths in the skin. Large molecular weight hyaluronic acid forms a film on the surface of the skin to hydrate while low molecular weight hyaluronic acid penetrates the deeper layers and is best to address skin aging by plumping the skin and smoothing out wrinkles and lines.

Coenzyme Q10 for Energy and Repair

Coenzyme Q10 helps skin cells repair themselves and regenerate. It is crucial for collagen and elastin production, contributing to firmer, smoother skin.

AHAs for Exfoliation and Moisture

Alpha Hydroxy Acids, such as glycolic and lactic acid, promote the removal of dead skin cells, revealing brighter, more youthful skin. These acids, unlike BHA, don’t reduce sebum production and exfoliate to create a more compact even skin texture. Their humectant properties also enhance hydration and improve skin tone. Glycolic acid is known for its rejuvenation benefits and improves skin elasticity by increasing production of collagen and hyaluronic acid while increasing epidermal thickness.

Ceramides to Lock in Moisture

Ceramides reinforce the skin's moisture barrier, key for retaining hydration and maintaining a smooth, supple complexion. Ceramides decrease with age but can be replenished through topical application. They repair, restore, and fortify the skin barrier improving skin appearance and texture.

Incorporating Anti-Aging Ingredients into Your Routine

Introducing these ingredients into your skincare regimen can significantly impact the visible signs of aging. For an effective routine:


  • Start with a gentle cleanser, like Prequel's non-drying glycerin cleanser to prepare your skin for active ingredients.
  • Next apply water based serums that contain retinol, vitamin C, or peptides.
  • Use moisturizers with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides to strengthen the barrier and lock in moisture.
  • Integrate AHAs through weekly exfoliation to gradually improve skin texture and radiance.
  • For sensitive skin or those new to these ingredients, begin with lower concentrations and less frequent application to build tolerance. Always consult with a dermatologist before starting a new skincare regimen, particularly if you have concerns about reactions or sensitivities.

Aging skin benefits from a thoughtful approach that includes a variety of active ingredients. By choosing products that contain these key components and following a layered application strategy, you can carefully nurture your skin and address the signs of aging effectively.





DISCLAIMER: All skin care articles are intended to help educate on specific ingredients and skin care topics. Our articles are written to be informative and informational. Any reference to a specific patient experience is not a medical suggestion for treatment. Please note that any Prequel products with referenced ingredients are formulated for Cosmetic Use Only and NOT intended as replacements for physician advice and/or pharmaceutical product recommendations.

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