We all want to look and feel our best as we get older. While aging is inevitable, there are small things we can do each day to keep our skin looking youthful and healthy. According to Dr. Monica Jones, a board-certified dermatologist and author of The Secret to Perfect Skin at Any Age, using the right skincare ingredients is key.
“With the proper ingredients and routine, you can dramatically slow down the hands of time and visibly reduce the effects of aging on your skin,” says Dr. Jones.
After two decades of research and testing ingredients on herself and patients, Dr. Jones swears by these 5 little-known skincare ingredients for tackling wrinkles, sun spots, sagging, and other signs of aging.
- Derived from the seeds of the babchi plant
- Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties similar to retinol but without the harsh side effects
- Reduces wrinkles and fine lines by boosting collagen synthesis
- Evens out skin tone and improves elasticity
- Best for mature skin looking to minimize signs of aging
“I always recommend bakuchiol over prescription retinoids to my patients. It produces the same wrinkle-fighting, glow-boosting results without the redness, peeling, and sensitivity,” explains Dr. Jones.
- Extracted from French maritime pine bark
- Potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and prevents collagen breakdown
- Reduces hyperpigmentation and age spots by slowing melanin synthesis
- Has anti-inflammatory benefits that improve skin elasticity
- Taken orally and applied topically for maximum effects
“Pycnogenol is one of the most powerful antioxidants out there. I’ve seen it work wonders on patients struggling with dark spots, sagging skin, and loss of firmness,” says Dr. Jones.
3. Bearberry Extract
- Derived from the bearberry plant, also known as uva ursi
- Contains hydroquinone, a compound that inhibits melanin production
- Fades dark spots and evens out skin tone over time with regular use
- Also has antioxidant properties to prevent future pigmentation
- Works well for melasma, sun spots, and post-acne marks
“For patients concerned about hyperpigmentation and melasma, I highly recommend incorporating bearberry extract into their routines. It’s incredibly effective at tackling dark spots at the source,” advises Dr. Jones.
4. Matrixyl 3000
- A peptide complex containing palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7
- Stimulates collagen and elastin synthesis to reduce wrinkles and crepiness
- Repairs skin damage and improves tone and texture with continued use
- Shown to reduce wrinkle depth by up to 45% in studies
- Suitable even for sensitive skin types
“Matrixyl 3000 is one of my go-to peptide recommendations for lifting, firming, and minimizing wrinkles. The clinical results speak for themselves,” raves Dr. Jones.
- Lipids naturally found in skin that decline with age
- Help form skin’s protective moisture barrier to prevent water loss
- Improve hydration, smooth texture, and brightness
- Strengthen skin barrier against pollution and irritants
- Come in serums or moisturizers for easy application
“Replenishing ceramides is crucial for maintaining youthful, supple skin as you get older. I tell all my mature patients to use a ceramide serum or cream daily,” advises Dr. Jones.
How to Incorporate Skincare Ingredients Into Your Routine
Dr. Jones recommends looking for these 5 ingredients in your serums, moisturizers, cleansers, masks, and other skincare products. Always do a patch test before applying anything new all over your face. When layering multiple products, apply them in order of consistency – from lightest to heaviest.
Here’s one way to incorporate all 5 ingredients into your day and night time routine:
- Cleanser with ceramides
- Vitamin C serum
- Moisturizer with matrixyl 3000
- Serum with bakuchiol and pycnogenol
- Bearberry extract spot treatment as needed
- Night cream with ceramides
Dr. Jones stresses the importance of using SPF 30+ sunscreen every morning, even if you’ll be inside all day. “Sun exposure is the number one cause of skin aging. No amount of retinoids, peptides, antioxidants, or other ingredients can reverse sun damage after it’s already happened,” she warns.
The Future of Anti-Aging Skincare
While these 5 science-backed ingredients deliver real results now, Dr. Jones is most excited for the future. She predicts that stem cell technology and exosome therapy will completely revolutionize the skincare industry.
“The ability to harvest and replicate your own stem cells to heal and regenerate skin is truly revolutionary. I expect stem cells and exosomes to be huge in anti-aging skincare over the next 5-10 years,” she says. “We’ll be able to actually reverse – not just minimize – signs of aging like wrinkles, spots, and sagging. It’s the holy grail for my field and I can’t wait to see the innovation to come!”
Until then, incorporating ingredients like bakuchiol, pycnogenol, bearberry extract, matrixyl 3000, and ceramides into your routine will protect your skin and turn back the clock. Pay close attention to the ingredients in your skincare products and always do a patch test before trying anything new. With Dr. Jones’ simple routine above, you’ll be on your way to firmer, brighter, younger-looking skin in no time.