No wonder this is one of the most common questions we receive. It’s difficult and confusing to choose from the multitude of creams and potions with purported anti-aging benefits.
Many over the counter creams contain ingredients, such as, peptides, growth factors, vitamins, hydroxy acids, hyaluronic acid, etc, which have anti-oxidant and/or anti-aging properties. Some products have limited clinical data showing they improve the appearance of the skin. The active ingredients in these creams are not classified as drugs or regulated by the FDA and do not change the structure or the function of the skin. In other words, their benefits are limited. In addition, there aren’t comparison studies to rate these creams so ultimately it’s trial and error. Also, there is no correlation between price and effectiveness.
Ok, so what’s the answer? The best anti-aging cream is a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 rating applied daily. The second best anti-aging cream is a prescription strength retinoid such as, tretinoin (e.g., Retin A, Renova) or tazarotene (Tazorac) applied nightly or every other night. The caveat is that these products make your skin more sensitive in general and to waxing in particular. A less potent alternative is an over the counter cream containing retinol. Sunscreen use is critical due to increased sun sensitivity from topical application of retinoids. Finally, retinoids should not be used during pregnancy or nursing.
If you have questions about your home skin care regimen, schedule an appointment with one of our physicians.