Wrinkles are a normal part of aging. Cell production slows down, collagen protein synthesis in the body decreases, and skin loses its elasticity and firmness. The cosmetics market offers plenty of products with age-defining properties. But what ingredients really work to support the skin against creasing and forming fine lines and wrinkles?
Based on clinical studies, the top 3 choices are peptides, retinol and Vitamin C.
There are four types of peptides used in cosmetics:
Signal peptides can stimulate fibroblasts (cells responsible for skin functioning and repair) to produce more collagen, elastin, and other proteins in the dermal matrix. Among the forms used in cosmetics are Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, and Palmitoyl Dipeptide-6.
Carrier peptides deliver micronutrients such as copper and magnesium, which have been shown to stimulate procollagen synthesis, and improve skin elasticity and overall appearance. Among the forms used in cosmetics are Copper Tripeptidе and Manganese Tripeptide-1.
Neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides decrease the appearance of wrinkles as they inhibit the release of acetylcholine through various chemical interactions that deprive the muscle of the ability to contract and relax it. Among the forms used in topical cosmetics are Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Pentapeptide-18, Tripeptide-3, and Pentapeptide-3.
Enzyme inhibitor peptides can reduce the breakdown of collagen and other proteins by interfering with the processes that damage these proteins. Among the forms used in cosmetics are Tripeptide-10, Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, and Oligopeptide-20.
How to incorporate Peptide serums into skincare routine?
As an age-refining ingredient, peptides are usually started to be used at 40+.
Peptide serum can be part of both morning and evening routines. It’s usually very light and thin, so it should be applied after the toning step and before moisturizing, to ensure proper absorption of its molecules into the skin cells.
Peptides are friendly with other anti-aging ingredients like Vitamin C, Retinol, and Hyaluronic Acid, which makes such serums very convenient to fit into a skincare routine.
Retinol is an ingredient derived from vitamin A that helps stimulate metabolic processes within your skin, supports collagen and elastin synthesis, and promotes smoother, brighter, and younger skin appearance.
In cosmetics, retinol comes in different forms (for example, Retinyl Linoleate, Retinyl Palmitate, and Retinal). The efficiency depends on its percentage in the product formula.
How to incorporate Retinol serums into skincare routine?
As an age-refining ingredient, Retinol is usually started to be used at 35+. It’s recommended to begin with one-two applications a week to ensure the skin won’t experience any side effects, such as dryness, irritation, flaking, or redness. If none of these occurs, retinol products can be applied more often and become a part of a regular skincare routine.
Retinol is UV-sensitive, so it should be a part of the nighttime regimen.
Doctors recommend avoiding this ingredient during pregnancy.
For very sensitive skin, consider the serum with so-called vegetable retinol named Bakuchiol. It promotes the production of structural collagen proteins and helps to make the skin thicker and more smooth. Bakuchiol can be used in the daytime as it’s not photosensitive compared to Retinol.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant helping to neutralize free radicals that damage cells. Due to damage, the skin ages faster, becomes less elastic, and dull. Regular use of Vitamin C can help your skin achieve a firmer, more radiant look making the wrinkles less defined.
One of the most efficient and stable Vitamin C forms used in cosmetics is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate. It penetrates deep into the skin and stimulates the synthesis of collagen.
How to incorporate Vitamin C serums into skincare routine?
Recommended time of the day to apply Vitamin C serum depends on the ingredient’s concentration in its formula. Higher concentrated options (over 15%) with very acidic pH should be used in the evening as they can increase skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light and cause irritation. Lower concentrated products can be safely incorporated into the morning skincare routine. Daytime use of Vitamin C serum is more common as most products are sustainable for that.
Vitamin C serum application follows the “thinnest to thickest” rule. Serum should be applied right after skin cleansing and toning steps. Moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup layer on it, in respective order.