Retinol, hydroquinone, sunscreen, antioxidants and alpha hydroxyl acids are five potent skin cream ingredients with antiaging benefits. These standout elements add real punch to creams and serums, but use them the wrong way and your skin will stage a rebellion.
Retinol, which is the gold standard in skincare, is listed first because it is “among the best anti-aging ingredients we have,” according to a clinical professor of dermatology at Yale. This vitamin-A derivative sweeps away dead cells, boosts collagen and elastin and pumps up circulation. Use retinol at night, apply to dry skin after cleansing, make sure it tingles (if you can’t feel it, it’s not strong enough) and dab around the eyes every third night only. Tretinoin is a great form of Retinol that, when used with the Obagi Nu Derm System, achieves amazing, long lasting results.
Hydroquinone aka “the eraser” is the most effective tool for bleaching skin, and fading hyperpigmentation (dark skin spots). Dab it directly on your dark spots, but also make sure to apply sunscreen relentlessly. If UV rays hit your unprotected skin, the spots you’ve faded will resurface. At the same time, you can also assault your spots with a glycolic or salicylic acid cleanser. Nu Derm Clear is a great product that really works hard to clear pigmentation and balance uneven skin tone. Nu Derm Blender contains 4% Hydroquinone and is to be used with Tretinoin to help carry the active ingredients deep into the skin layer. For younger skin, Obagi CRx Clarifying Serum makes great use of Hydroquinone and helps to give a clear, radiant complexion.
Sunscreen aka “the preventer” will be most effective if you follow these rules: 1) choose a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher; a sunscreen with antioxidants will boost effectiveness, 2) apply 20 minutes before sunlight exposure 3) use at least a teaspoon for your face and 4) wear it on your body every night before a beach vacation because it builds up in your skin. Obagi have some really hard working sunscreens in their range such as Sun Shield SPF 50. This elegant and light sun screen is great for everyday use. Nu Derm Healthy Skin Protection SPF 35 is designed to be used in the Nu Derm System and really compliments the other products in the system and CRx Sun guard SPF 30 offers great sun protection from damaging rays linked to premature skin aging.
Antioxidants aka “fixers” such as vitamin C, green tea, pomegranate, CoffeeBerry or idebenone can be layered on to help prevent wrinkles, spots and maybe even skin cancer. Their role is to save cells from environmental damage. Choose a serum with multiple antioxidants to target free radicals in different ways. Obagi Profession C Serum is a great antioxidant. With different strengths of vitamin C to choose from, it’s a light serum that to protects skin cells and stimulates collagen production.
Finally, alpha hydroxyl acids, aka “radiance makers” such as glycolic acid, help to fade blotches and allow other anti-aging ingredients to penetrate faster and work more effectively. But do not do use peels more than twice a week and do follow a “peel” with treatment serum and a barrier boosting moisturizer. If you don’t fancy the strength of a peel but still want a radiant glow, exfoliating daily can really help slough away the dead skin cells on the skins surface that can cause a dull look to your skin. Try Obagi CRx Exfoliating Day Lotion. This is a really nice day cream that’s light but gently helps your skin remove any dead skin cells and skin debris. For those who want a little tougher exfoliating, try Nu Derm Exfoderm or the even stronger Exfoderm Forte. Great for bringing out your skins inner radiance.
If you’re still not happy with your skin’s performance, you can get help from your dermatologist.