The 4 Most Common Anti-Aging Ingredients

Your dermatologist may know what’s best for your skin but these skin-care ingredients are universally beneficial, no matter your age. Treat problems like acne, dry skin, sun damage and uneven skin tone with these powerful ingredients to help restore your skin to its natural beauty.


This gold standard fights acne, reduces wrinkles and sunspots, and increases cell turnover for smoother skin. It can cause dryness, redness and sensitivity, so you may need to test different formulas and percentages to find what works for your skin.


Whether you choose one that is vitamin-, plant- or syntheticbased, antioxidants protect skin from environmental damagers (sun, smoke, pollution, etc.) that cause signs of aging. The majority of antioxidants are naturally sourced, so most of them are compatible across the board. “I like antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and resveratrol, which prevent collagen and elastin damage and promote new collagen growth,” says San Diego dermatologist Mitchel Goldman, MD.

Alphahydroxy Acids (AHAs)

AHAs break up the bonds that hold dead skin cells to the skin’s surface so that you get a more even tone and a healthy glow. Sensitive, acneic or really dry skin may not be able to tolerate AHAs because they are so acidic, so something like salicylic acid may be a better option.

Vitamin C

Perhaps the best skin-care ingredient for promoting collagen production, this citrus-derived vitamin works wonders at decreasing signs of sun damage (think spots, discoloration and weathered skin) and helps prevent them, too.