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Trying To Prevent & Smooth Wrinkles? Consider These 3 Underrated Heroes

older woman skin care
Image by Studio Firma / Stocksy
November 4, 2022
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Ask any derm to rattle off the best ingredients for aging skin, and chances are they'll give kudos to vitamin C, retinol, and glycolic acid—the Holy Trinity of skin longevity, if you will. However, the skin care space is certainly not scarce with options; depending on your specific goals and skin type, you can find an ingredient lineup that works perfectly for your complexion.

If you'd like to add some other (gentler) options to the table, you sure have come to the right place: Below, find three underrated ingredient heroes that will help restore collagen and nurture your skin barrier:

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1.

Argan oil

When it comes to caring for mature skin, oils are everything. Thanks to their occlusive nature, oils can seal in all of your previous skin care steps and stop precious moisture from seeping out of your skin barrier—and a hydrated, strong barrier is key for youthful-looking skin. Bonus points if you give yourself a luxurious facial massage, which can improve circulation and spur collagen production.

But alas, there are loads of oils to choose from. It's a cruel and unusual punishment to make us play favorites, but argan oil is beloved by many experts for promoting bright, youthful skin. It has plenty of anti-inflammatory properties1, and research shows it has an "anti-aging" effect on the skin2 by improving elasticity. Snag a bottle of this liquid gold (just make sure it's 100% pure and cold-pressed), or look for it in your various creams and tonics.

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2.

Collagen supplements

If you care about healthy aging and skin care, there's a good chance you have collagen on your radar. It's the most abundant structural protein in the body and skin, but as your natural levels decline over time, fine lines, sagging, sallowness, and crepey skin aren't too far behind.

To restore those levels, you might want to flock to supplements, as these have been shown to enhance your body's own collagen production3 by stimulating fibroblasts, those same cells that make collagen and elastin to begin with. As a result, research has found that collagen can support skin elasticity4 and potentially make fine lines appear smaller.

Just one caveat: Not all collagen supplements actually put in the work, especially after the product category received a ton of buzz over the past few years. It seems everyone wants to hop on the collagen train, so we created a helpful guide to aid your search. Here, find the best high-quality collagen supplements on the market.

3.

Mandelic acid

Mandelic acid is a member of the AHA family, which means it helps exfoliate, brighten, and stimulate cell turnover—and regularly exfoliating your skin, for what it's worth, can further enhance collagen production. One 2013 study even found that chemical peels containing mandelic acid were able to help stimulate collagen production and reduce signs of aging5.

However, it's very easy to go overboard with the exfoliators, especially if you have more mature skin that runs sensitive. Good news for all: Mandelic acid is considered the best AHA for easily irritated skin. "It's my absolute favorite AHA—way underrated in my opinion—as it is the most gentle," board-certified dermatologist Roberta Del Campo, M.D., once shared with mbg. "Meaning, anyone can use it, but it is just as effective as other AHAs, such as lactic acid and glycolic acid." Find our favorite mandelic acid-infused products here.

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The takeaway. 

Caring for aging skin will always be a personal venture—only you know what's best for your complexion and lifestyle!—but these three ingredients are frequently touted by derms, editors, and industry experts alike. Especially if your skin runs a bit sensitive, you'll want these gentle-yet-effective heroes in your lineup.