What skin care products help reduce wrinkling?

James M.. Wilmott

Good anti-wrinkles products combine the benefits of an immediate improvement in the appearance of lines and wrinkles with materials that have a physiological benefit in helping the skin return to a proper metabolism and functioning.  The former should include optical diffusers such as Nylon-12, PMMA beads, spherical silica, or light diffusing polymers.  The latter should contain at least some of the time-tested and scientifically proven materials that clinically improve the appearance of the skin.  These materials include retinol (Vitamin A) or derivatives of retinol (retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinyl propionate), ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) or derivates of ascorbic acid (ascorbyl glucuronide, ascorbyl palmitate, salts of ascorbic acid phosphate), niacinamide (Vitamin B3), alpha or beta hydroxy acids (glycolic acid, lactic acid, fruit acids, salicylic acid), soothing agents (allantoin, chamomile, licorice), compounds to improve specific functions (peptides, botanicals), and intense moisturizing agents (glycerin, hyaluronic acid, pentylene glycol, urea).    These products should also either contain a sunscreen or be used in conjunction with a sunscreen and antioxidants to protect the skin from further damage that can accelerate the premature signs of aging.

There aren’t many of them, but they work. Two are prescription-only derivatives of vitamin A: tretinoin (brand names: Retin-A, Avita, Renova) and tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage). Called retinoids, these are FDA-approved, rub-on treatments that rank high on my list of skin-renewal candidates. I regularly prescribe them in my practice, and they can be applied to the neck, chest, hands, and forearms in addition to the face. You would start by applying the treatment twice weekly—at night while your skin is naturally recuperating. This helps you minimize the irritation that usually accompanies the treatment when you first start out. Then, you would increase how often you use it, with the goal of applying it every night.

It takes several weeks to start seeing results, but prescription retinoids can transform your skin, smoothing wrinkles, unclogging pores, lightening superficial brown spots, and improving the texture of the skin. They also go to town on acne, as well as be used to treat other skin conditions, such as psoriasis, all of which we’ll discuss later. Retinoids can actually regenerate collagen and may help prevent basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, too. These are the nonmelanoma skin cancers. Nothing else you can buy in a drug or department store will be as effective and powerful. Some people do experience side effects from these, including skin irritation (dryness, redness, and peeling) and an increased sensitivity to sunlight, but most people do not experience them to the point where they want to discontinue use. There are ways to lessen any potential side effects by using a lower concentration or avoiding any super sensitive areas on the skin. This is why you would start using a retinoid once or twice a week, then get up to applying it every night at some later point.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Marmur shares her favorite skin care products that help reduce wrinkling. Watch Dr. Marmur's video for information on how to keep your skin looking young and healthy.
Jeanette Jacknin
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

RetinA is the proven topical that really does help reduce wrinkling. But there are many natural anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory products that help too. Inflammation is the final pathway of many diseases including aging of the skin. Pomegranate and soy are two such ingredients with known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity now used in topical cosmeceutical products. They both have been documented in double-blind clinical trials to significantly improve signs of extrinsic skin aging.

The history of the Pomegranate goes back as far as the history of agriculture itself, 10,000 years. Allusions to the pomegranate are readily found in the oldest cultures of the Indus Valley, ancient China, and classical Greece, as well as in the Old Testament. It has a long history of medicinal use, with the peel well regarded for its astringent use. Anti-oxidant anthocyanins account for the red-purple color of the pomegranate’s skin, flesh, and seed. Pomegranate juice made from squeezing the whole fruit is a rich a large polyphenol antioxidant. Research has shown that the physiological effects of pomegranate juice constituents are remarkable in their preventive potential against two of the major chronic diseases of aging - heart disease and cancer. A study done at the University of Michigan medical school showed the pomegranate helped skin repair by promoting regeneration of the dermis and epidermis, two different layers of the skin.  Several popular brands are already using the anti-aging benefits of pomegranate

Topical soy currently used in dermatological and cosmeceutical products has been documented in double-blind clinical trials to significantly improve signs of extrinsic skin aging. It also has a reputation for improving hyper-pigmentation, elasticity, and moisture in the skin and is used in lightening agents. Companies are now discovering soy as an important ingredient in their skin creams.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.