And 2 that don’t. Get The Gloss asked a dermatologist to blow the lid off our skincare regimes
When it comes to our anti-ageing products, which ingredients should we really be looking for?
With labels full of oxides, acids and other names that sound like they’ve just come out of a chemistry lab, it can prove difficult to decipher the true contents of our bathroom shelves. To help clear the confusion, we asked respected cosmetic dermatologist and Get The Gloss Expert Dr Sam Bunting for her foolproof plan for understanding the ins and outs of our ingredients lists and identifying the anti-agers that are truly worth their weight in gold when it comes to our skincare regimes.
This is her pick of eight ingredients that actually work and two that don’t deliver when it comes to wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, texture and tone…
1. ZINC OXIDE
In my opinion, this is the best sunscreen ingredient for providing protection against the long wavelength UVA rays that are ravaging our collagen and contributing to hyperpigmentation; and now that it’s available in a micronized format, it doesn’t have to cause a grey-ish finish on the skin!
A brilliant all-rounder, it’s well-tolerated (and can even increase tolerability of more irritating ingredients like retinoids), plus it helps reduce hyperpigmentation and ageing-associated inflammation.
The most-substantiated of all the anti-ageing ingredients, I think that unless you’re pregnant or suffer from rosaceayou should probably be using a retinoid! It improves fine lines, improves texture and tone, and helps improve pore quality, so they’re less prominent and unclogged.
4. GLYCOLIC ACID
I’m a fan of chemical exfoliation as I find it delivers more precise and controlled improvements in skin texture and tone. It also improves penetration of other skincare ‘actives.’
5. SALICYLIC ACID
A great choice of chemical exfoliant for those with oily/combination skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties, exfoliates and therefore increases cell turnover and also gets into pores to keep them clear and unclogged, reducing visibility.
6. KOJIC ACID
This is a great ingredient for targeting hyperpigmentation, a sign of ageing that women loathe. It works well in combination with AHAs.
7. ASCORBIC ACID
Vitamin C is vital for healthy functioning collagen, so correctly formulated and appropriately packaged vitamin C in its L-ascorbic acid is a worthwhile investment.
8. AZELAIC ACID
This is a great ingredient for those who are prone to redness but want to tackle pore clarity and exfoliate without irritation.
…and two ingredients that don’t work…
This will function as a moisturiser but it won’t penetrate into the dermis to restore declining levels of collagen.
Again, this large molecule has to be made on-site in the dermis to be of any use. It can’t penetrate the outer layer of the skin so unfortunately it won’t restore elasticity in sagging skin.