Ingredients that Can Help Fight Signs of Premature Skin Aging

Next time you're shopping for skin-care essentials, check the labels for these beneficial ingredients.

You want to maintain your youthful glow, and you’re willing to spend time and money to help delay premature signs of aging on your skin.

And yet with so many products on the market, it can be difficult to suss out which ones will slow the effects of time on your face and which ones are smoke and mirrors, says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the dermatology department at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Some ingredients, such as retinol and sunscreen, do have proven benefits, he explains. Those aren’t the only ones to consider when building your healthy skin-care routine, though.

Dr. Zeichner and other dermatologists recommend using the following to help your skin look firm, bouncy, and glowing for years to come:

B Vitamins for Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails

These essential vitamins appear in multiple forms and complexes in skin-care products. Yet the function of all vitamin B derivatives is the same: to convert food into energy, notes Mount Sinai. This fuels vital body processes, including those responsible for healthy, firm skin. "Vitamin B and all its derivatives are essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails," says Joel Schlessinger, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Omaha, Nebraska.

B vitamins can be especially potent when used topically in moisturizers, Dr. Schlessinger says. When these vitamins are among the ingredients in your skin care, damaged cells will heal and regenerate more quickly.

Coenzyme Q10 to Protect Collagen

Coenzyme Q10 (vitamin Q) is a strong antioxidant that can help build the foundation needed for younger-looking skin, notes Paula’s Choice Skincare. "Coenzyme Q10 helps protect the elastic tissue and collagen that shape your skin," explains Jessica Wu, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Vitamin E to Reverse Damage and Rejuvenate Skin

Vitamin E is a powerhouse when it comes to protecting against skin damage that may lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Why? The vitamin neutralizes cell-damaging free radicals, which are triggered by environmental factors like sun exposure, notes the Linus Pauling Institute. "Vitamin E is a great antioxidant to look for in rejuvenating skin creams, and it can assist with wound healing as well, by strengthening the skin barrier," says Schlessinger. This is why pure vitamin E oil remains a popular (and inexpensive) salve for cracked cuticles and scars from cuts, burns, and surgery. Topically applying both vitamins C and E together exerts the biggest benefits, as the two antioxidant vitamins work together to preserve and build collagen, notes a past review in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Vitamin C to Neutralize Damage and Lighten Dark Spots

Along with applying a vitamin C serum, also load up on C-rich foods (such as strawberries and bell peppers), as consuming the vitamin also helps your body create new collagen, notes the National Institutes of Health.

Hydroxy Acids to Exfoliate Dead Cells and Fight Wrinkles

Hydroxy acids like glycolic acid help exfoliate dead cells from the surface of the skin, according to the AAD. “They’ve also been shown to stimulate collagen and improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles,” explains Zeichner. Hydroxy acids come in varying strengths and can be found in peels, serums, and creams, so it’s important to check with a board-certified dermatologist to find out which one is right for you.

Additional reporting by Grace Gold.

5 Common Hygiene Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Do you need to shower every day? Wash your hands with scalding-hot water? Here's the dirt, according to health experts.

Which Collagen Sources Should You Try?

From powders and gummies to foods and topicals, here’s a list of collagen sources ranked from best to worst.

Potentially Toxic Chemicals Called PFAS Are Common in Cosmetics, Study Finds

Lab tests suggest that more than half of cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada may contain high levels of the chemical. U.S. legislators recently...

6 Places You're Missing When You Apply Sunscreen

No matter how thorough your SPF routine, these are the spots experts say are often overlooked.

Ask a Castle Connolly Top Doctor: How Aging and Gravity Affect Your Skin

A renowned plastic surgeon, recognized as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor, discusses the factors that affect our skin’s appearance, and how patients can ...

California Bans 24 Toxic Chemicals From Personal-Care Products: What to Know

A bellwether state for federal efforts, California just became the first in the nation to ban certain chemicals from cosmetics and personal-care ingredients...

What Are the Benefits of Fish Oil for Your Hair?

Eating more whole fish with omega-3 fatty acids may help strengthen your tresses, but there’s limited evidence that fish oil pills will do the same.

Read more on: beauty, skin, aging