Reversing the visible signs of aging has always been a hot topic in skin care. Today, advancements in ingredient technology and treatment options do more than ever to stimulate collagen production, soften fine lines, even discoloration and prevent future damage. While we still have not discovered the fountain of youth, today's topical products can absolutely create a visible change in fine lines, texture and tone.
Vitamin A products, known as retinoids, have been trusted for decades to yield visible results in the skin. Because their efficacy is unquestioned among dermatologists and estheticians, they should be at the top of your list of anti-aging products. You may recognize the names Retin-A, Renova, tretinoin, retinol and retinyl palmitate—all of which refer to some form of Vitamin A. When applied topically, retinoids accelerate the turnover of skin cells, reducing surface build-up of dull cells and creating a firmer dermal layer. Over the course of months and years, collagen and elastin increase, lines fade, and skin texture and tone become smooth and even. Vitamin A comes in many different forms and strengths, either prescription or over the counter, like Renew Retinol Plus Smoothing Serum with green tea extract. Your dermatologist or esthetician will help you choose an appropriate Vitamin A product for your skin type.
Peptides are newer group of ingredients getting well-deserved attention. There are many different peptides, but most are used for anti-aging purposes. These tiny protein fragments absorb into the skin and trigger our cells to perform certain functions, like manufacturing more collagen and elastin. PCA ExLinea Peptide Smoothing Serum contains the "topical Botox" peptide Argireline, which relaxes muscle contraction over time, thereby reducing the depth of lines caused by repetitive expression. Peptides are also gentle on the skin and typically do not cause any irritation, even on sensitive skin.
Stem cell extracts and processed skin proteins are also a developing technology in skin care. It is believed that they help the skin repair damaged cells, particularly the membranes of the cell, which results in hydrated, intact cells and reduced cell death. Products that contain processed skin proteins, like Neocutis Biogel, are especially useful after chemical peels and Fraxel resurfacing when the skin is repairing and rebuilding. Processed skin proteins are also gentle enough to apply to burned or injured skin and have been shown to reduce the severity of scar tissue and post-traumatic redness.
After you have worked to correct damage to your skin, preventing future damage is just as important. Antioxidants are typically used to help prevent damage to the skin, but higher concentrations can also be corrective. Many antioxidants have other benefits to the skin as well. For instance, green tea is a nice anti-inflammatory for reducing redness and irritation. Vitamin C helps to brighten the skin tone and encourages collagen growth. The antioxidant caffeine has been shown to destroy many abnormal cells, potentially lowering your risk for skin cancer. Renew Triple Antioxidant Cream contains caffeine, green tea extract, and potent resveratrol to protect and correct, while PCA C-Quench offers a 15% L-ascorbic acid to strengthen skin while it neutralizes free radicals.
Broad spectrum sunscreen is critical for everyone's home care, but especially when you use anti-aging products like retinol which can make your skin more sun sensitive. We recommend you pick a sunscreen with zinc oxide, a mineral that provides excellent protection against UVA rays that break down collagen. All of our sunscreens contain zinc oxide, and we offer a range of choices for different skin types. Super light Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 is perfect for acneic skin and patients who are afraid of the thick, greasy feeling that can be associated with sunscreen. Another best-seller, PCA Perfecting Protection SPF 30, contains five pigment brighteners to fight uneven pigmentation. For clients who take advantage of clinical treatments like chemical peels or Fraxel resurfacing, sunscreen helps to maintain your results and maximize your investment in your treatment. Stop thinking of sunscreen as a summertime product that you take to the beach; think of it as your anti-aging lifeguard.
If you feel overwhelmed by the number of products available, you're not alone! Luckily, Renew Dermatology offers free skin care consultations with a licensed Master Esthetician who will create an individualized home care plan according to your skin type, conditions, and goals.