This gem was the ingredient that started the cosmeceutical revolution. Glycolic acid (also sometimes listed as Alpha Hydroxy Acid) exfoliates the skin and enhances collagen production. It gives you that sought after “glow” and smooth, flawless appearance. When first used, this product may cause some intermittent tingling or stinging, but as your body becomes accustomed to it, that will wane. Glycolic acid is a small molecule with the ability to get into tight spaces and rid your skin of unwanted dry, dead skin cells which leave your skin dull.
Of any skin care category, this is the one that garners the most confusion and the most celebrity. Every day, new antioxidants are coming out on the market. First and foremost, remember this: EVERY ANTIOXIDANT IS ANTI-AGING! What you want is an antioxidant which is not only powerful, but works fast. These two are especially notable:
- Vitamin C – One of the first antioxidants to enter the skin care arena. This antioxidant both protects and promotes the collagen layer, making it perfect for those wanting a lift. It’s amazing how many times we come back to this winning antioxidant.
- Green Tea Polyphenols – Green tea has been at the forefront of antioxidant technology for several years now, because it works. This fast-acting antioxidant also calms and soothes the skin. There is also some evidence to suggest this antioxidant has an anti-bacterial property which will help breakouts.
Retinoids (Vitamin A)
Coming first to the market as an acne treatment, users of topical retinoids quickly found out that this product was also effective for lines and wrinkles. Both retinoic acid (Retin-A) – the prescription form, and retinol (over the counter) are effectively used to promote cell turn-over and promote collagen production. Users of retinoids should be educated on the proper use of this ingredient. It takes about two weeks for the skin to “retinize” at which point some users may experience a little redness or peeling. You need to make it through this period (1-2 weeks) and not stop using the treatment. Persevere and your efforts will be rewarded with smooth lustrous skin.