Common Wrinkle Cream Ingredients
Vitamin A (retinol)
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative and is the first antioxidant to be widely used in OTC anti wrinkle creams. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals — unstable oxygen molecules that break down skin cells and cause wrinkles. Retinol is less potent than the vitamin A derivative tretinoin, the only prescription topical treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating wrinkles. Both retinol and tretinoin can cause redness and irritation, but retinol's side effects are usually milder.
Alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids and poly hydroxy acids are all synthetic versions of acids derived from sugar-containing fruits. These acids often used in anti wrinkle creams, are exfoliants, substances that remove the upper layer of old, dead skin and stimulate the growth of smooth, evenly pigmented new skin.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that penetrates skin cell membranes and is often an ingredient in anti wrinkle creams, where it neutralizes free radicals and increases the effectiveness of other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. It may also work as a superficial chemical peel to exfoliate dead skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Coenzyme Q-10 is a nutrient that helps regulate energy production in cells. This is very commonly used in anti wrinkle creams.
Copper is a trace element found in every cell. In topical products, it's combined with small protein fragments called peptides. Copper peptides enhance wound healing. They also stimulate production of collagen and may enhance the action of antioxidants.
Growth factors are naturally occurring hormones found in plants and animals. This is a main ingredient in anti wrinkle creams. They act as chemical messengers between cells. Kinetin, a plant growth factor, is the one most often used in cosmetics.
Protein extracts of soybean and soymilk contain several different estrogen-like substances called isoflavones. Because they may mimic the effects of estrogen, they're sometimes called phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens may produce wrinkle-reducing effects on skin that are similar to those resulting from hormone therapy.
Green, black and oolong tea contain compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea extracts are the ones most commonly found in wrinkle creams.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant nutrient that helps recycle vitamin E. It also promotes collagen formation.
Vitamin E, an antioxidant nutrient, is the major antioxidant found in human skin. Declining levels in skin are associated with wrinkles. This is a very common substance in anti wrinkle creams.