Dermatologists Agree: This Anti-Aging Ingredient Can SAVE Your Skin

SheFinds / Merrell Readman

Your skincare routine is going to be the saving grace for your complexion as time passes and you are able to hold signs of aging at bay. Although there are a number of products on the market currently which have little to no bearing on the future of your skin, others have the potential to make a major impact on your appearance into the future, preventing fine lines and wrinkles from forming and maintaining consistent collagen production even as you grow older. If you’re unsure what members of your skincare lineup are superfluous and which can actually save your skin, this is what dermatologists want you to know about the one ingredient you really need to be using daily.

Collagen production is the one thing keeping your skin taut and firm as you age, preventing wrinkles from forming, so it’s important to give your skin a boost when it begins to slow production naturally. Therefore, retinol variants are going to be the most useful addition to your skincare routine starting in your youth in order to preserve the integrity of your skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

“Retinol gets a lot of love in the over the counter anti-aging skin care product world. Retinol itself is a form of vitamin A found in foods and products,” explains board-certified dermatologist Erum Ilyas, MD, MBE, FAAD. “By itself it actually is not directly active in the skin. When applied to the skin, it is converted into retinoic acid which is considered an active retinoid. Retinoids are known to improve fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen production in addition to retaining water in the skin.”

Collagen helps to maintain the elasticity of the skin, so integrating retinol into your daily routine will help to maintain the integrity of your complexion while preventing future damage. “[Retinol] can help actually reverse the signs of aging that comes from sun damage and can also work to minimize discoloration in the skin and give the skin more of a glow,” explains Ilyas. Compared to hyaluronic acid which has a merely topical effect on the skin, retinol can help with longterm collagen production as well.

When applying your retinol serum, concentrate the product on any areas of your skin which may be subject to aging–not just limited to your face. “Retinoids can work on the body as well as the face. Some areas of the body that are impacted the most by aging are the hands, neck and chest. Applying retinol to these areas can slow down the aging process and firm up the thin skin and fix any crepey texture. It can also reduce hyperpigmentation, age spots, and acne scars,” suggests board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marina Peredo.

Although retinol does have great long term benefits, it’s important to be aware that in the short term it may cause mild irritation on the skin which will clear up as you grow used to the product. “You should use retinol once daily at night and a little goes a long way. It can cause a little dryness and irritation at first, so start slowly and use a good moisturizer. You’ll need a good sunscreen, because retinol makes you more sensitive to the sun,” says Maryann Mikhail, MD. Overall, integrating a retinol variant into your skincare routine will preserve your ageless appearance even as you grow older, halting wrinkles in their tracks and maintaining elasticity. You’ve finally located the fountain of youth!