Peptides are the naturally occurring building blocks of protein in skin. We don’t necessarily become deficient in them as we age, but introducing more into our routine is beneficial because of a specific receptor in the cell. “They stimulate collagen in a very unique way,” says Dr. Dennis Gross, a dermatologist based in New York. “The more receptors you put to work, the more firming you’ll see. If your concern is wrinkles or laxity, then it’s an important ingredient to look for in your products.” With consistent use, expect to see changes after one month.
Dr. Dennis Gross Firming Peptide Milk ($78), at sephora.com.
The Ordinary “Buffet” Multi-Technology Peptide Serum ($14.80), at ordinaries.com.
2) Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule found in connective tissues that supports skin due to its ability to bind water, says Dr. Kucy Pon, a Toronto-based dermatologist. “Creams that contain hyaluronic acid can improve hydration of the outer layer of skin and give a softer, smoother appearance,” she says. “When skin is well hydrated, the look of fine lines and wrinkles may also be improved.” Look for hyaluronic acid and/or sodium hyaluronic on an ingredient list.
Lierac Paris Hydragenist Moisturizing Rescue Balm ($70), at lierac.ca.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel ($25), at shoppersdrugmart.ca.
Ceramides are waxy lipids in the top layer of skin that act as a protective barrier and help retain water. The production of ceramides declines with age, compromising the skin barrier. “This can let in harmful environmental components and lead to inflammation,” says Gross. “An intact barrier is also essential for the delivery of other anti-aging ingredients.” On a label, look for ceramide NG, AP or EOP, ceramide 2/ceramide NS, ceramide 3/ceramide NP, sphingolipids or phospholipids.
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 ($140), skinceuticals.com.
Ren Flash Hydro-Boost Instant Plumping Emulsion ($52), sephora.ca.
4) B VITAMINS
B vitamins have an essential role in the body. “Topically applied, niacinamide [a type of B vitamin] perfects the skin, strengthens the cell membrane, combats acne and controls hyperpigmentation,” says Gross. Retinol and niacinamide work exceptionally well together. Look for names like riboflavin (B2), niacinamide (B3), panthenol (B5) and biotin (B7).
Kat Burki Complete B Bio-Correcting Face Crème ($430), at murale.ca.
AlumierMD AluminEye ($80), at alumiermd.com.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter