Apply From the Outside
A growing number of health and beauty products claim to improve and nourish your skin. Many of these so-called cosmeceuticals (that is, cosmetic pharmaceuticals) include the same wrinkle-fighting nutrients found in food. However, the Food and Drug Administration approves these products only for their safety, not for their effectiveness. Improvements based on "clinical trials" and vague terms like "noticeable difference" may rely on nothing more measurable than the observations and impressions of those involved in the study -- which the company paid for.
Also, antioxidants in topical treatments are quickly degraded by oxidization on contact with air. Although airtight packages and the addition of stabilizing ingredients help reduce oxidation, you can't determine how much of their original potency these nutrients retain.
That being said, a handful of nutrient-based ingredients have been shown to reduce wrinkles. They include [source: Mayo Clinic]:
- Retinol, you'll recall, is a form of vitamin A. It may be identified as retinoic acid or retinaldehyde on product labels.
- Peptides are chains of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are the main component in skin. Copper peptides are thought to be especially effective.
- Hydroxyacids occur naturally in many fruits. They're also found in the lactic acid in dairy foods. They help your skin shed dead cells, which induces new growth.
While these products may help reduce wrinkles, they don't prevent damage from the sun or pollutants. It's a good idea to use them at night and apply sunscreen during the day.
Are you willing to wander a little farther off the beaten path? Our next idea opens the gate to the road less traveled.