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The future of (anti) aging

Tone, tighten & smooth

A trip to the cosmetics counter says it all: Skin care is an ever-changing business. Last year's big news is this year's snooze as fresh products hit the shelves, promising to tone, tighten, and smooth better than anything that's come before. Here, the pros address your biggest aging concerns, tell us what's hot and what's not, and offer a glimpse of what the future might bring.

Jeff Westbrook

Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Old Think: When acne medication Retina-A hit the market in the 1980s, doctors started noticing an unexpected side effect: fewer wrinkles. Since then, retinoids (derivatives of vitamin A) have been a top choice in fighting lines and wrinkles. Unfortunately, accompanying irritation and dryness makes it a tough topical to stick with.

 

New Think: At home: Topical creams made with silicone and mica particles fill in wrinkles like spackle — at least until you wash them off. Try Olay Regenerist Filling + Sealing Wrinkle Treatment, $20. For long-term smoothing, retinol, an over-the-counter retinoid, is more potent than most topical creams yet less irritating than prescription retinoids, thanks to amped-up formulas that keep the molecule stable and provide a slow time-release function, explains Bank. Try L'Oréal Paris Advanced Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Clinical Action, $17, and Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Intensive Night Cream, $17. Another new approach: combining ingredients that stimulate skin-supporting collagen, such as peptides, with antioxidants that protect the skin from wrinkle-inducing environmental damage. "Until recently, products didn't prevent new damage while the repair was taking place," says Bank. Try iS Clinical Super Serum Advanced, $130, with antioxidant vitamin C and collagen-stimulating copper; and SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF, $150, with vitamin C, ferulic acid, and collagen-boosting phloretin, a root-bark ingredient.

 

At the Doctor's Office: Injectable fillers literally fill in wrinkles. The most popular are hyaluronic acid fillers (HAs) such as Restylane, Perlane, and Juvéderm. HAs bind with water in the skin to create volume that lasts for six to 12 months.

 

Future Think: Combining powerhouse topical ingredients to work synergistically is a trend that Stuart Kaplan, M.D., a Beverly Hills-based dermatologist, thinks we'll see more of. "Your skin cream will become like a multivitamin," he explains. Up next in fillers? HAs that also contain lidocaine or novocaine, to limit the ouch factor — a common complaint of those injectable fillers.

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