7 Best Anti-Aging Ingredients

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What ingredients should you look for in your anti-aging and beauty skincare products? Top-rated dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Haley answers your top beauty product questions!

7 Best Anti-Aging Ingredients for Younger-Looking Skin

As a dermatologist who specializes in anti-aging skincare, my clients often ask me is what ingredients to look for when shopping for anti-aging products. Following are the 7 anti-aging ingredients that I look for in skin care products.

1. Retinol: The Wrinkle Eraser

Retinol is the most effective non-prescription anti-aging ingredient available, according to WebMD. This derivative of vitamin A is a mild form of the retinoids found only in prescription anti-wrinkle formulas. While it takes several weeks for visible results to appear, retinol smoothes wrinkles, unclogs pores, lightens superficial brown spots and improves the overall texture of aging skin.

Derivation's Ultimate Rejuvenation Night Cream ($125.00) contains the highest concentration of Vitamin A available in an over-the-counter product. This ultimate regeneration creme infuses the skin with Vitamin A and allows Nordic sea ingredients to penetrate the skin.

What else should I know about retinol?

Skin irritation may occur, especially with exposure to direct sunlight. To avoid skin sensitivity, apply retinol products at night and use a moisturizer with SPF during the day.

2. Niacinamide: The Dark Spot Corrector

Niacinamide lightens dark spots associated with sun damage, advancing age, and acne scars. These spots can occur as the result of melanin, the substance that gives color to skin, rising to the surface of the skin. As a derivative of vitamin B3, niacinamide prevents this rise of melanin to the skin’s surface to keep the skin free from unattractive dark spots. As an added bonus, niacinamide reduces inflammation and acne.

3. Hyaluronic acid: The moisture miracle

Hyaluronic acid draws moisture from the environment and deep tissues to keep surface layers of the skin hydrated and healthy. Hyaluronic acid adds to a moisturizer’s hydrating qualities and may stimulate collagen production to prevent skin from sagging.

4. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): The Effective Exfoliator

AHAs help remove dead skin cells, fade brown spots and smooth wrinkles. AHAs is short for alpha hydroxy acids, which exfoliate the skin to gently remove dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth. Products containing greater than 8 percent AHAs are more effective at fading brown spots and wrinkles than weak formulas are but these stronger solutions may increase skin sensitivity to sun exposure.

5. Antioxidants: The Free Radical Eradicator

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are molecules that damage skin cells to cause signs of premature aging. Antioxidants repair damage caused by free radicals by stimulating the growth of new cells.


One of my favorite antioxidants is pomegranate. The pomegranate has three times as many antioxidants as red wine and green tea, containing three types of polyphenols—tannins, anthocyanins and ellagic acid. Various studies suggest that pomegranate juice and pomegranate extract help support the immune system and promote healthy blood circulation, control bad cholesterol and keeps arteries clear, reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke and the risk of certain cancers.

Derivations Purifying Cleansing Fluid ($45.00) uses cucumber and pomegranate to deeply cleanse the skin. Plant-based salicylic acid helps eliminate facial bacteria and leaves the face feeling refreshed.

6. L-ascorbic acid: The Collagen Creator

L-ascorbic acid is the scientific word for vitamin C. While this vitamin plays a prominent role in boosting your immune system, L-ascorbic acid is an important component of skincare. L-ascorbic acid is an antioxidant that fights damaging free radicals, helps build collagen, reduces inflammation and promotes elasticity.

7. Sunscreen: The Secret to Younger Looking Skin

Stopping sun damage before it starts is the key to wrinkle prevention. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, like Derivations Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Protection ($40.00). You want a sunscreen that contains avobenzone, a common ingredient in sunscreen that blocks dangerous UVA rays. Sunscreen makers often combine avobenzone with benzophenone-3 or oxybenzone to also protect skin from UVB rays.

I'll be back soon to answer more of your questions.

Until then,


Dr. Jennifer T. Haley, MD


To learn more about anti-aging ingredients, visit WebMD