The Science Behind Anti-Ageing Skincare Products
Anti-ageing skincare products often have bold claims about reversing the effects of ageing - so, do they work? And what’s the science behind it?
Ageing is a natural process that is inevitable for everyone, but for those who want to keep their youthful glow, anti-ageing skincare products are a viable and popular preventative solution. These products are so valuable that the global anti-ageing cosmetics market is estimated to be worth over $36 billion.
In this article, we’ll dive into what makes these anti-ageing products work, as well the key ingredients to look for the next time you’re looking for a cream or serum to keep your skin’s appearance radiant and supple.
Table of Contents
Understanding ageing affects the skin
How do anti-ageing skincare products work?
Anti-ageing ingredients to look for
Understanding Ageing Affects to the Skin
Before we get into how anti-ageing products work their magic, it’s important to understand how ageing actually affects our skin.
There are two main types of skin ageing: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic ageing happens when cell renewal slows down and shifts in hormone synthesis influence the skin's appearance and elasticity.
On the other hand, extrinsic ageing is a result of lifestyle and environmental factors. About 80% of extrinsic ageing is attributed to UV radiation, and other external factors include habits like smoking, an unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol intake, and health conditions like diabetes.
Being exposed to harsh environmental factors can accelerate premature ageing of the skin by triggering the formation of free radicals. These radicals boost the activity of enzymes known as matrix metalloproteases (MMPs), which break down collagen and elastin — causing the skin to lose it’s elasticity and bounce.
How do Anti-ageing Skincare Products Work?
The outermost part of our skin, the epidermis, houses a layer known as the stratum corneum. This layer acts as a natural barrier, making it tough for various foreign objects to penetrate deeper into the skin.
While this is good for preventing contaminants from harming our bodies, it also makes it difficult for the ingredients of regular skincare products to reach into the deeper parts of the skin where they can be most effectively absorbed.
How deep a skincare ingredient can penetrate the skin is influenced by both its molecular weight and polarity. Skincare ingredients with a non-polar nature and low molecular weight tend to penetrate more deeply into the skin, which is what effective anti-ageing skincare products contain.
Once these ingredients reach the inner parts of the skin, they can then play a part in conferring their benefits to help the skin, such as increasing collagen production, reducing fine lines and wrinkles by improving skin elasticity, and slowing down the effect of MMPs that break down collagen.
All of these effects collectively help the skin retain a more youthful appearance by giving it the essentials it needs to stay healthy.
Types of Anti-ageing Ingredients to Look For
The science tells us that because of the skin’s natural barrier, a better approach to achieve anti-ageing is to use skincare products that contain ingredients that can penetrate the skin instead of remaining on the surface for benefits that are only temporary.
Here are some skincare ingredients that are aimed at reversing the effects of ageing:
Polyphenols: Naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables, and nuts, polyphenols offer strong antioxidant and photoprotective effects, diminishing signs of skin ageing.
Niacinamide (vitamin B-3): As a potent antioxidant, niacinamide reduces trans-epidermal water loss and potentially enhances skin elasticity.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): This powerful antioxidant exhibits anti-ageing effects by boosting collagen production and inhibiting MMPs and collagenases, which break down collagen.
Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs): These mild acids not only chemically exfoliate the skin but also reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and induce collagen synthesis.
Coenzyme Q10: Functioning as an antioxidant, CoQ10 improves mitochondrial function in the skin, potentially preventing cellular-level ageing.
Vitamin A compounds (retinol and retinoic acid): Renowned for their efficacy, retinoids slow down ageing by reducing trans-epidermal water loss, enhancing the protective function of the epidermis, and inhibiting MMP activity to reduce collagen degradation.
Peptides: Specific peptides, like palmitoyl pentapeptide-3, stimulate collagen production, leading to improved skin texture and reduced wrinkles.
Which Anti-ageing Skincare Products Work Best?
When it comes to choosing anti-ageing products, there’s a little bit of trial and error involved. The science behind the ingredients is sound, but since everyone’s skin is different, you may find some products have varying levels of effectiveness. Still, it’s not a bad idea to look for products that are backed by scientific research and have positive reviews from others.
At BONIIK, we offer a premium collection of highly effective anti-ageing skincare products by trusted K-beauty brands that many of our customers swear by. Feel free to explore our collection online or in-store and try them out for yourself!