One of the most important factors in preventing skin ageing is regular skin care.

With the millions of products currently on the market claiming to have anti-ageing properties, it may seem daunting to select out what actually works. People often also become disappointed if immediate results are not seen with a particular product. Most products take at least 6 weeks for a visible changes to take place.

A skin care regimen does not have to be complex or expensive. However, if you are investing in anti-ageing procedures this is the best way to maintain and improve any results you achieve.

Below are some key ingredients in skin care products that have scientific evidence to show they can slow down the process of ageing as well as reverse some of the signs of ageing.

It is important to note that even though these ingredients may be present in many creams purchased over the counter, their concentration may not be enough to have any significant effect.

First the simple things:

  • Sunscreen

The most obvious but important ingredient of all.

Extrinsic skin ageing or photodamage occurs due to excessive sun exposure. This manifests as wrinkling, pigment changes and loss of elasticity.

The best type of sunscreens contain zinc oxide which totally blocks uv rays. Other sunscreens tend to cause a chemical reaction and may not be as effective. It is important if you are using antiageing strategies such as vitamin A products that you apply sunscreen as these increase sun sensitivity.

  • Nutritional antioxidants

Again diet may seem like a simple solution but there is much evidence to suggest that a poor diet with refined sugars leads to free radical production which in turn leads to premature skin ageing.

So which ingredients can directly neutralize free radicals? The best systemic antioxidants and their dietary sources are listed below. These are :

Vitamin C

Vitamin E




  • Exercise

High intensity exercise has been shown to increase endogenous growth hormone which in turn has anti-ageing effects.

Key skin care ingredients how do they work?

Antioxidants- Vitamins C, B3, and E

are the most important antioxidants because of their ability to penetrate the skin through their small molecular weight.

Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) in concentrations of 5-15% has a skin anti-aging effect by inducing the production of collagen, as well as enzymes important for the production of collagen, and also increases the production of substances that prevent collagen breakdown. Concentrations below this have not been shown to have enough effect.

Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) in concentrations of 2-20% has anti-inflammatory effects and it smooths the skin and accelerates production of the skin surface layer (epithelialiaziation) and protects the skin from photoageing.

Clinical studies have proven that the antioxidative protection is higher with the combination of vitamins C and E than with the vitamin C or E alone

Vitamin B Niacinamide in concentrations of 5% regulates cell metabolism and regeneration and improves of skin elasticity, erythema and pigmentation.

Cell regulators retinols, peptides and growth factors (GF)

Have direct effects on collagen metabolism and influence collagen production.

 Vitamin A

Vitamin A (retinol) and its derivates (retinaldehyde and tretinoin) not only have antioxidant effects but also induce collagen biosynthesis and reduce production of enzymes that degrade collagen.

Tretinoin a prescription strength Vitamin A compound is able to reduce the signs of UV-induced early skin aging, such as wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity and pigmentation. It has an excellent anti-ageing effect but in a small percentage of individuals can cause excessive skin irritation. Retinol and retinaldehyde cause less skin irritation and still have an excellent anti-ageing effect.

No Vitamin A products should be used if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

Growth Factors