Even though we've heard it before, Taub insists that sunscreen is the single most important thing we can put on our faces if we want younger-looking skin. She says that what's in your makeup or day cream isn't enough; you need the real deal. It's your first line of defense against fine lines and wrinkles (not to mention skin cancer).
"AOs are the police molecules of your skin. They track down bad molecules made by environmental pollutants and sun, and they try to get rid of them before they do harm," explains Taub.
Alpha hydroxyl acids, retinols and retinoids (among others) help your skin metabolize more quickly and increase the penetration (and skin-boosting ability) of your other skin care products.
Collagen stimulators, or biological stimulators, encourage cells to produce more collagen and elastin --resulting in smoother, younger-looking skin. They restore lost volume, making skin firmer and minimizing fine lines. Sounds great to us! Moisturizers such as Skinfo hydro-nutrients ($110) contain such collagen stimulators.
To help take some of the confusion out of skin care shopping, Taub started Skinfo (a combination of skin and information), where you can shop for products she has hand selected and stands behind. She says the best thing you can do when choosing anti-aging products is to learn about ingredients before buying -- how much is in the product and what the ingredient does. Usually, products advertise certain ingredients as "active" or able to smooth fine lines or tone skin. "If the ingredient they are touting as 'active' is one of the last five ingredients listed, then it is usually just put in there for marketing purposes and doesn't have enough active to do what it says," she warns.
Taub says she's been seeing more items aimed at helping skin care products penetrate (such as massagers for face washes and eye creams). "Right now, there is a lot of work being done on increasing the penetration of the active molecules through the skin rather than new ingredients per se," she says. But there are always new ingredients and products, such as the new lightening cream called Elure that does not contain hydroquinone, a potentially harmful chemical. She is also seeing more scientifically based ingredients and more high-tech devices such as lights and lasers for in-home use.