Drugstore skincare: Science-backed anti-aging ingredients that don’t break the bank – . Health Blog

With a sharp increase in working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are noticing age-related skin changes up close on their video conference calls.

The good news? You don't have to rush to the dermatologist to get your antiaging needs. The best skin care systems for combating the major signs of aging, which include uneven skin tone, fine lines, roughness, and dryness, can be done in the comfort of your home. You don't need a prescription, time to get to a dermatologist, or deep pockets to get quality products.

Here are some science-based, dermatologist-preferred ingredients that can help slow or even reverse signs of aging. All of the ingredients listed below are available over-the-counter and in preparations that cost under $ 30.

The problem? Uneven skin tone. The solution: topical niacinamide

Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, helps block additional pigment from building up by preventing the transfer of melanin (the main pigment in the skin) between skin cells. The twice daily application of topical niacinamide (5% concentration) was shown in a randomized and controlled split-face study to reduce freckles and sunspots in just four weeks. The results were maintained throughout the eight week treatment period. Another clinical study showed improvements in skin redness and paleness (yellowing of the skin that occurs with age) in people who used topical niacinamide, resulting in a more even complexion. Niacinamide can also improve acne and fine lines.

Topical niacinamide appears to be well tolerated with no serious side effects.

The problem? Thin lines. The solution: topical retinoids

Aging can contribute to the gradual loss of vitamin A, a retinol that occurs naturally in the skin. This can be supplemented with vitamin A derivatives known as topical retinoids. Topical retinoids such as retinol and adapalene are available over the counter. It has been shown to significantly improve fine wrinkles, likely due to increased collagen thickness of the skin with prolonged use. Other benefits of retinoids include improving dark spots and reducing atypical skin cells that can lead to skin cancer.

If you have acne or clogged pores, go for adapalen, which appears to have more absorption into the follicles where acne begins and also has anti-inflammatory effects. Both factors are important for acne formation. Adapalene can also be less irritating than some other retinoids.

The most common side effects of topical retinoids are dryness, redness, and irritation. This can be mitigated by gradually increasing use (from every third night through every other night to night) or by avoiding use with other potentially irritating or abrasive products.

Avoid topical retinoids if you are trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, make sure to use a sunscreen with SPF 30+ on your face every day as this product has increased sensitivity to the sun.

The problem? Rough or dull skin. The solution: alpha hydroxy acids

The top layers of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, may increase in thickness with age, possibly because older cells are less able to renew and turn over. This can lead to skin roughness and impair the "glow" or luminosity of the skin. Alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid or lactic acid are naturally occurring substances that help break the bonds between cells in this top layer of skin, resulting in smoother skin in just 24 hours. Over time, regular use can also improve fine lines, skin yellowing, spotting, and dark spots.

Glycolic acid in concentrations of 30% or more is used as a peeling in dermatologists' offices. However, there is evidence that OTC supplements at concentrations around 10% can give real results and are safe to use at home.

Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid are also found in OTC body lotions. They help smooth the skin from the neck down.

The most common side effect is excessive redness, which can be made worse by using several new, irritating products at the same time.

The problem? Dry skin. The solution: hyaluronic acid

An important (but often overlooked) sign of aging skin is dryness. As we age, our skin naturally loses its ability to retain moisture. This is due to the reduction in hyaluronic acid stores, an important part of healthy skin that can soak in water. Replacing hyaluronic acid with topical serums or moisturizers can help increase overall skin hydration. Hyaluronic acid can also improve the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin firmness.

A few farewell words

Start slowly. If you're new to skin care, you don't want to use all of these ingredients at the same time (this is especially true when using a retinoid and an alpha hydroxy acid at the same time). Start gradually and increase the frequency or add additional products just as tolerated. Remember that any skin care improvement can be subtle and time-consuming.

Once your skin gets used to these ingredients, consider combination products that combine two or more of the ingredients you are looking for. After all, no skin care routine is complete without good sun protection. So limit your sun exposure, wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses outdoors, and apply sunscreen daily.)

For treatment of deep wrinkles or sagging skin, or for medical skin problems, contact a qualified dermatologist.

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