Photoaging or photodamage are skin changes from chronic sun exposure such as wrinkles, dark spots, redness, rough, thick, or sagging skin. In addition, collagen decreases with age, which causes the skin to lose its firmness and elasticity.
Anti-wrinkle or anti-aging cream ingredients that have antioxidant properties to help decrease the appearance of photoaging are Vitamins A, B3, C, E, and AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid). Many cosmetics will not list the ingredients by these common terms, but by the ingredient names. So, when shopping for anti-aging or anti-wrinkle products, look for these ingredient names below.
Anti-Wrinkle Topical Vitamins and Ingredient Name
1. Vitamin A (Retinol)
Increases collagen and wound healing. This antioxidant can improve wrinkles, decrease skin roughness, and lighten dark spots (lentigines). Also used in the treatment of acne (Burgess, 2008).
Another Vitamin A derivative might be listed under ingredients as Retinyl Palmitate, but is considered less effective than Retinol (Tian, 2008).
Also included in this family of Retinoids is Tretinoin: may help wrinkles, dark spots, and increase blood flow to the skin, but may take 3-6 months before any improvement can be seen (Tian, 2008).
2. Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide, Nicotinic Acid, or Niacin)
Anti-inflammatory may help photoaging, oiliness, pigment disorders, blistering disorders, wound healing, acne (Burgess, 2008).
3. Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate)
a. L-Ascorbic Acid: anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, promotes
collagen synthesis, inhibits collagen degradation, and reduces
dark spots. Regenerates vitamin E, so the combination of vitamins
C and E has a synergistic protective effect. Therapeutic uses for
vitamin C: treatment and prevention of wrinkles, dark spots, and
redness (Burgess, 2008).
b. Ascorbyl Palmitate: another Vitamin C derivative might be listed
under ingredients as Ascorbyl Palmitate, which may help lighten
the skin, but does not boost collagen synthesis as much as
L-Ascorbic Acid (Tian, 2008).
c. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: a third Vitamin C derivative
might be listed under ingredients as Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate,
which is as effective as L-Ascorbic Acid but in lower concentrations
4. Vitamin E (Tocopherol Acetate, Alpha-Tocopherol)
Helps restore antioxidant defense barrier of the skin. Benefits include photoprotection, atopic dermatitis, and skin protection (Burgess, 2008)..
5. AHA - Alpha Hydroxy Acid (Glycolic Acid, also Lactic, Malic,
Citric, and Tartaric Acids)
Sometimes called fruit acids because they are derived from fruit and milk sugars. Helps remove the dead outer layer of the skin and may reduce wrinkles, acne, scarring, and dark spots. Higher concentrations, 8-15% glycolic acid, have shown modest improvements in skin wrinkles (Tian, 2008).
Very high concentrations of AHA are used for chemical peels that must be applied by a dermatologist and is effective for wrinkles and dark spots (lentigines).
6. Other Cosmetic Ingredients and Purported Skin Rejuvenation Properties (Tian, 2008):
a. Anapsos (from P. leucotomos fern): photoprotective
b. Silymarin: photoprotective affects against UVA radiation
c. Soybean (flavonoid): antioxidant
d. Green tea: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, photoprotective effects against UVA radiation.
e. Furfuryladenine (plant-derived growth factor): reduces wrinkles, fine lines
f. Copper Peptides: anti-inflammatory, promotes synthesis of collagen, elastin, reduces wrinkling, improves texture.
g. Palmitoyl Pentapeptides: promotes synthesis of collagen, elastin, reduces wrinkling.
h. Lipoic Acid: antioxidant; improves skin texture, wrinkling.
i. Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone): antioxidant; boosts skin repair, reduces wrinkles around eye area.
j. Lycopene: antioxidant, improves skin texture, blocks UV light.
k. DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol): may help skin tightening.
l. Collagen: replaces damaged skin collagen to reduce wrinkles.
m. Argireline (Acetyl Hexapeptide-3): relaxes facial tension, reduces wrinkles.
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