The sun is more “friend” than “foe” when it comes to maintaining the youthfulness and elasticity of your skin. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30+, which provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays and re-applying every two hours is a golden rule. Blue light exposure from spending hours in front of computer screens is another reason why we need to take this seriously. Over time, ultraviolet radiation from the sun destroys the collagen and elastin inherent in skin, both responsible for maintaining skin’s healthy structure.

Anti-aging Superpowers

If we were to choose two anti-aging ingredients that no skin care routine should ever go without, they’d be Vitamin C and Retinol. A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C helps with environmental stress and it can be layered under sunscreen to provide extra protection from the sun. It may cause irritation though, especially when paired with other acids like AHA’s and BHA’s. Astaxanthin is suggested as a gentler alternative to Vitamin C. Derived from fresh water microalgae, it is an antioxidant presumed to be 6000 times more powerful in preventing oxidative stress; fighting free radicals caused by UV exposure, pollution and poor diet. It is an overall winner in fighting fine lines and wrinkles.

Retinol works wonders on visible signs of aging as it promotes cell turnover and boosts collagen production but is not always easily tolerated. Some effective alternatives like Bakuchiol, a Korean phenomenon that is a derivative of Vitamin A and Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR) that is a fraction from the retinoid family are presumed to be less harsh.

Peptides are a group of amino acids, protein building blocks that aid in the production of collagen and elastin. They help prevent dehydration and work towards achieving firmer skin. Growth factors are proteins that act like “messengers” signaling cells and activating mechanisms to heal and produce new collagen which in turn improves firmness and elasticity.

Hyaluronic acid is a star hydrating agent. We know that drinking plenty of water helps maintain skin’s elasticity. Just as we hydrate our body from within, we can use topical hyaluronic acid products to lock moisture into the skin, keeping it supple. The best thing about Hyaluronic acid is that it is quite tolerable and you get results both over time and instantly as in healthy-looking, plump skin. It is an ideal base for use under make-up.