Do Anti-aging Creams Really Work?

What are anti-aging creams, and how do they work?

Anti-aging—or anti-wrinkle—creams are intended to reduce wrinkles and slow the skin’s aging process. These creams moisturize your skin to maintain its elasticity and prevent it from cracking. The result is fewer wrinkles and more nourished skin.

People use anti-aging creams when they want to minimize the visible effects of aging, including reducing lines or wrinkles, but they can receive additional benefits such as reduced hyperpigmentation—or dark spots—on the skin.

Most anti-aging products are creams or moisturizers, but they can come in gels, serums, and sprays.

Common active ingredients to look for in anti-wrinkle creams

It’s important to look at the active ingredients on the label. Anti-aging creams can contain harsh chemicals in their active ingredients. Here are some common, and generally useful, ingredients to look for.

  • Retinol: This is the most common active ingredient in anti-wrinkle creams. Retinol helps the skin in many ways. It hydrates, increases cell turnover, and fades skin pigment discoloration. Retinol is a harmless ingredient when used in over-the-counter wrinkle creams, but there are prescription doses of retinol that should be taken more seriously.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is another common ingredient in anti-wrinkle creams. Vitamin C helps your skin by forming a protective layer against sun damage. Vitamin C helps prevent future sun damage and works to heal wounds and reduce wrinkle appearance, according to an Oregon State University study.

Vitamin C is also a safe ingredient. However, if you have a cream that contains Vitamin C, it should be kept airtight and away from heat and sunlight or it will begin to break down and lose its effectiveness

It is important to note when using anti-aging creams that you have to maintain these regimens for them to work. If you stop using the anti-aging creams, your skin may slowly begin to go back to its original appearance.

Mayo Clinic offers additional ways to maintain good skin health. Mayo suggests you:

  • Use sunscreen
  • Use moisturizers daily to keep your skin hydrated

Refrain from smoking so your skin does not sag prematurely