Antiaging Breakthrough No. 4: Peptides
Small proteins that stimulate the production of collagen, peptides have been on the cusp of antiaging skin care for a while. The excitement began several years ago with NIH-backed research on the ingredient Matrixyl (palmitoyl pentapeptide-3), showing its ability to stimulate collagen production in skin. Today, further studies on additional peptides continue to generate research news.
According to Jamal, studies on formulations such as Argireline (acetyl hexapeptide-3) show they can produce a mild, Botox-like effect, inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters that keep facial muscles from forming wrinkles. Even newer peptide formulations act like growth factors, stimulating skin cells to make a quicker turnover, much like young skin.
What’s new for peptides? Formulations that seem to yield overall improved results. "They are really getting the science down now, learning how to stabilize the peptides and at the same time inhibit collagenase [the breakdown of collagen] so we have better, more tailored peptide products," says Beer.
Products containing the newest versions of that peptide technology include:
- Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with amino peptide complex (1.7 ounces, $29.99)
- Lumene Premium Beauty Rejuvenating Instant Serum (1 ounce, $29.99)
- Avon Anew Clinical Eye Lift (0.5 ounce, $28)
- Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Face Lifting Serum (1 ounce, $75)
- Emerge Bio-Peptide Night Repair Cream with 10% peptides (1.12 ounces, $43)
Antiaging Breakthrough No. 5: Vitamin A
Among the most medically studied topical antiaging treatments are the retinoids -- derivatives of vitamin A. They are offered as prescription treatments such as Retin A or Renova, but also available in weaker strengths in over-the-counter products, listed as the ingredient retinol.
Retinoids are "thought to work on aging skin by increasing collagen production and decreasing collagen breakdown," says Jamal -- and a ream of studies backs her up.
But while many doctors believed only the prescription-strength retinoids were powerful enough to cause significant change in the skin, 2007 was the year that idea changed. In a study published in the Archives of Dermatology in May, researchers from the University of Michigan found that 0.4% retinol lotion applied three times a week for 24 weeks yielded significant difference in skin wrinkling when compared with a similar lotion without retinol used on a separate group of people in the study.
Even more surprising: The average age of study participants was 87, meaning it’s truly never too late to look younger.
"For those who can’t or don’t want to have an office procedure for wrinkles, I suggest starting with retinol products, and if there are no problems, such as redness or irritation, you can work up to a prescription-strength Retin A product. But we now know that both have the power to produce measurable antiaging results," says Goldberg.
Products containing retinol include:
- Vichy Reti-C Intensive Corrective Care (30 milliliters, $31)
- Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Intensives with retinol and antioxidants (Serum, 1 ounce, $16.99; Eye Cream, 0.5 ounce, $16.99)
- Clinique Zero Gravity Repairwear Lift with retinol, antioxidants, and peptides (1.7 ounces, $52)
- L’Oreal Advanced RevitaLift Double Lifting Gel (1 ounce, $16.99)
- RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum (1 ounce, $19.99)