Anti-aging is one part mystery plus nine parts maintenance. Commitment to good daily skincare forms an important barricade against the march of time. However, deciphering unpronounceable ingredients and grand promises by a plethora of creams and serums can be overwhelming.
Look out for these key elements that will give you a powerful edge over age the next time you scan the skincare counters.
What: The body has thousands of peptides – small proteins made of short chains of amino acids – each encoded with specific messages to our cells to either turn on or turn off something. Certain peptides signal the body to coordinate healing of cells damaged by UV rays or free radicals, while others increases cellular collagen production. In order for these youth whisperers to work, they must be included in a formula that effectively penetrates the skin.
Try: Dermalogica Overnight Repair Serum is a supercharged peptide serum with Brown Seaweed, and Argan and Rose oils to stimulate collagen replenishment, repair tired sensitized skin, and revitalize lacklustre complexions. Price: S$138
“A few tiny drops of this liquid gold before bed is all it takes to hydrate my dry, travel-sapped skin and keep it velvety soft all night, all day. The natural calming flora perfume from the botanical oils makes it a joy to use. Verdict: Love!”- Emily Wong, 30s.
What: It isn’t new. It certainly isn’t sexy compared to all the new sci-fi-ish super-ingredients spilling into the anti-aging scene. But backed by volumes of clinical research over decades, this veritable dowager remains the go-to ‘skin’-gredient for dermatologists worldwide.
Retinoids (the umbrella name for a host of various Vitamin A derivatives such as retinoic acid, retinol, retinyl palmitate, etc) trigger multiple changes in the skin to visibly smooth out lines, obliterate breakouts, lighten hyperpigmentation and tighten pores into tiny little nothingness simultaneously. New improvements in formulation have dramatically reduced retinoid-induced irritation, peeling and sun sensitivity, and placed this miracle worker back into the limelight.
Try: For high octane action, grab the award-winning Sloane Inc Age Defy. Its prescription-strength stabilized Vitamin A bolstered with powerful natural moisturizing agents reactivates healthy cell regeneration, ramps up collagen replenishment and reveals brilliant luminosity – wrinkles, saggy skin, pores and dullness finally met their match. Price: S$200
“If I have to be stranded on an island, this definitely comes along with me. It cleared my acne while keeping my cranky skin hydrated. And it made my skin look brighter and smoother than it ever did in less than a month. Enough said.” – Alexia Wilson, 37
What:Besides collagen, hyaluronic acid is another vital component of skin – it lends support to collagen and elastin strands for bouncy firmness; locks in moisture to maintain skin’s inner hydrobalance; boosts skin cellular repair and optimises its physiological function. As this complex sugar gets destroyed by forces of nature and production diminishes with age, the complexion looks simply ‘bleh’, and skin becomes depressingly sluggish and dehydrated.
Topical hyaluronic acid products help plump up the surface skin, making it look more youthful. Being a huge molecule that has limited penetration deep into the skin where it’s meant to be, hyaluronic acid injectables by a certified skin doctor or plastic surgeon remain the only surefire way to date to genuinely replenish the lost stores and transform your complexion from within.
Try: Don’t be fooled by its close-to-nothing texture. iS Clinical Poly-Vitamin Serum is a heavyweight in the ageless skin category with a whopping 40 percent hyaluronic acid content, together with essential skin vitamins and bionutrients to restore skin’s silky smoothness, dewy freshness and youthful resilience. Price: S$98
“This potent youth-concentrate plumped up my fine lines right before my eyes. I can’t stop looking at my fresh radiant new skin in the mirror now. Go easy on this though – a little goes a long way despite its super liquidy texture.” – Audrey Tan, 40.
What: A simple sugar derived from a plant found in Brazil and also found in the silver birch plant, Rhamnose at 5% concentration is found to power up the papillary dermis (the ‘command centre’ that lies between the surface epidermal and deep dermal layers of skin), revving fibroblast production of collagen and elastin while soothing sensitive skin due to its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Try: Vichy Liftactiv with Rhamnose 5% Day has test results that prove 20 percent reduction in wrinkles and increase in skin firmness after 2 weeks. Price: S$69
“I decided to give this affordable anti-aging moisturiser a go after reading so much about it, and I never regretted it. My redness-prone, work-drained complexion looks less tired and more even toned. I like how this quick-sinking gel-cream leaves the skin more supple, not sticky even in our crazy humidity.” – Jeanne Yong, 28.