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Outsmarting Lines & Wrinkles - Learn more about some common options for maintaining a youthful appearance

Jun 22, 2015 07:42AM ● Published by Kevin

Whether you’re 40 or 60, odds are that your skin-care routine includes some kind of anti-aging measures. After all, while aging is inevitable, no one wants to look older than necessary.

And even if you’re still something of a spring chicken, fighting against lines and wrinkles now can keep you looking fresh and youthful down the road. “You want to prevent, maintain and make sure you’re not abusing your skin,” says Jennifer Licciardi, director of Stillwater Spa and Salon at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort. “If you start earlier, the results are going to be greater and help you maintain what you have.”

But when you pick up products at a drug- or department store, it’s easy to get confused by all the ingredients and claims listed on the packaging. So we’ve put together a primer on common anti-aging ingredients to help you understand just what they are and what they do.

Antioxidants—These chemical substances, such as vitamin C, fight against oxidation caused by pollution and sun damage, which causes skin cells to break down. “They’re really important, especially if you live in Florida,” says Shanah Cyr, aesthetician at Florida Skin Center, which has offices in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

Ceramides—These lipids or fats help moisturize the skin and keep it firm. They can be particularly good for people with especially dry skin or conditions like eczema or rosacea.

Glycolic acid—An alphahydroxy acid derived from sugarcane, this exfoliator removes dead cells from the outer layer of your skin, helping to improve texture, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and lighten dark spots. “It’s been around forever and is still a tried-and-true ingredient, because everyone needs to exfoliate,” says Pam Attuso, owner/director of Sanibel Day Spa, which offers a glycolic acid peel and uses products from MD Formulations.

Hyaluronic acid—Naturally present in the human body, this humectant keeps skin plump and hydrated, which makes it look younger. “It sits on the skin and acts as a barrier for moisture,” says Licciardi, who uses it in Stillwater Spa’s Hydra Facial. “If you just washed your face and there’s water still on your skin, apply hyaluronic acid to help hydrate the skin and maintain hydration throughout.”

Niacinamide—A form of vitamin B3, it helps improve elasticity and decongest the skin. “We have a niacin facial that uses the B. Kamins Nia-Stem line, and your skin feels clean and detoxified afterward,” says Attuso. “It feels like you just sucked out all the bad.”

Peptides—These chains of amino acids send signals to the skin to make new collagen, which helps lead to a fresher, more youthful appearance. “Everything seems to come back to collagen, because as we get older we make less and less of it,” says Attuso. Peptides can be added to facials at Sanibel Day Spa and show up in several treatments at Stillwater Spa.

Retinol/Retinoids—A form of vitamin A, this antioxidant helps generate cellular turnover, which keeps skin plump and firm and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles. You can find forms of it in over-the-counter products or by prescription. “It can be irritating sometimes, so start off slow and work up to using it every night,” says Cyr. “But it’s my favorite thing for lines and wrinkles.”

Written by Beth Luberecki, a Venice, Florida–based freelance writer who’s a frequent contributor to TOTI Media. Learn more about her at bethluberecki.com.

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