Esthetician Renée Rouleau shares her list of favorite anti-aging ingredients that both she and researchers find are the most efficacious to keep your skin more youthful-looking.
We have special skin repair cells just below the skin’s surface called Langerhans cells. They are our first line of immune defense in the body. These cells are very active when we are young to protect us from environmental skin damage and reactions. As we age, these cells become less active and the signs of aging begin to show. Yeast extracts are like nothing else on the market in stimulating these sluggish skin repair cells. They work well for both tired and sensitive skins alike. Beta-glucan yeast extracts have been shown to make skin less sensitive over time, as well as provide excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
AHAs (including glycolic, lactic, and fruit acids) are helpful in reducing wrinkles, fine lines, irregular pigmentation, age spots, and decreasing the size of enlarged pores by exfoliating away dead surface cells that age the skin. Exfoliation triggers repair, producing newer, fresher, younger-looking skin. The favored AHA is Glycolic Acid because it has the smallest molecular structure, and can penetrate deeper. Lactic cannot penetrate as deeply, but is gentler and more hydrating. AHAs are more effective in higher concentrations, such as those found in serums, which also retain the desired pH levels. It is important to note using acid products too often can lead to irritation, which then triggers an aging and inflammation response.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
This is the most stable form of Vitamin C, and converts to Ascorbyl Acid once inside the skin and is time-released so it works for up to eight hours giving you potent anti-aging protection. In addition, it stays fresher and more active longer and it isn’t as acidic, so it doesn’t cause stinging, redness or irritation. I feel it’s one of the very best topical age preventers, because Vitamin C has been the most extensively researched antioxidant in skincare. It’s found to be extremely effective in interfering with many aging free radicals found in the environment (such as sunlight, stress and pollutants). It is recommended to be worn daily under a moisturizer containing sunscreen. This antioxidant not only gives your skin its daily dose of anti-aging, it is also helpful with reducing discoloration and brown spots.
Water is essential for feeding the cells of our skin and keeping them looking plump, radiant and youthful. Found naturally in your skin’s dermis, Hyaluronic Acid holds onto water and provides tone and contour to the skin. When used in skin care products, it helps retain the skin’s natural moisture balance. Amazingly it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, resulting in enhanced elasticity, lubrication, plumpness and moisture in the skin. (Renée Rouleau Skin Drink uses a highly concentrated Hyaluronic Acid based, hydrating formula.) Layer it under your moisturizer or masque, or mix it with another serum to load up on this super humectant.
Peptides are used for anti-aging to smooth wrinkles and reduce the visual effects of aging. Peptides are a portion of larger protein molecules used in the body to communicate with and direct skin cells to behave in certain beneficial ways, such as producing more collagen or thickening the support structure of the skin. Peptides are able to enter the cells of the skin and remain intact. Different types of peptides influence different types of cells. Common peptides used in skin care products are Acetyl Hexapeptide, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Dipeptide-2 and Caprooyl Tetrapeptide.
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Resveratrol is extracted from the skin of red grapes, blueberries, cranberries, Goji berries and pomegranates. Research is showing that these fruits have incredible amounts of anti-aging antioxidants. Consuming these on a regular basis will help your body fight off those age-producing free radicals. When used topically in skin care products, they also have powerful anti-aging and skin protective properties.
Marine Algae Extracts
This “miracle” ingredient is believed by many researchers to be an immune system enhancer, as well as an exceptional moisturizer, with healing capabilities for environmentally-stressed skin. When important skin barriers are compromised, to keep skin looking and acting young, one must direct their first attentions to focusing in on how to repair and strengthen the skin. In nature, Marine Algae is constantly being exposed to extreme conditions. Over time, these plants have developed defense systems against the elements that can be beneficial when applied to human skin. Used regularly, these extracts can help heal and repair your skin. Clinical studies show improvement in hydration levels and increased skin firmness, strength and elasticity. Marine Algae offers long-lasting skin softness and comfort.
Coenzyme Q-10 (COQ-10)
The mitochondria is the engine or “power house” of the cell. It is capable of harnessing the energy in the cell and powering up the cell to do all the necessary metabolic functions skin cells need to remain healthy and young looking. Co Q-10 increases the accessibility of cellular fuel for building new cells and tissues. Unfortunately, as we age, the amount of usable CoQ-10 diminishes and the metabolism of the cells slows down. CoQ10 (or ubiquinone) positively influences cellular metabolism and enables us to combat signs of aging starting at the cellular level. Topical application of CoQ10 is extremely beneficial, especially for dull, sluggish skin. It plays a key role in keeping skin looking youthful, healthy and vibrant.
The purest form of Vitamin A, Retinol is a cell-communicating ingredient and antioxidant that stimulates collagen, activates cellular metabolism to encourage faster cell turnover, fades brown spots and discoloration and improves skin firmness. Retinol is certainly not a quick fix but when used long-term, it can give remarkable results. Simply put, it’s an anti-aging powerhouse.
It’s the most powerful of the carotenoid antioxidant family, providing protection against lipid peroxidation and oxidative damage, as well as protecting cells, cell membranes and tissues from destructive aging surface radicals. Visibly, it helps to reduce the look of wrinkles to encourage a smoother, more youthful-looking skin.