As you get older, you want to start doing more to protect the skin on your face and neck than simply washing it day and night. While nothing can stop the hands of time, even a facelift or other plastic surgery, some skin care ingredients have been shown to be effective at slowing down the aging process. It can be easy to get lost in a sea of skin care products in the drugstore, department store or even in your physician’s office. Here are a few ingredients to look out for.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is the main ingredient in a number of injectable fillers, such as Juvederm. It’s also naturally produced by the body and plays a role in the production of collagen, which helps keep skin smooth and elastic. A number of facial products also contain hyaluronic acid. Moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid do a better job of hydrating the skin than those that don’t contain it.

Retinol and Retinoids

Retinol and retinoids are the workhorses of the anti-aging ingredient world. Derived from vitamin A, they help smooth out wrinkles, reduce dark spots and improve the texture of your skin. Retinoids are available by prescription only while retinol is found in over-the-counter products at the drugstore or beauty counter. The ingredient can be irritating, which in some cases is a sign that it’s working, as part of its job is to improve cell turnover. It is easily destroyed by sunlight, so it’s best to use a product with retinol at night.


People make a big deal about eating foods that contain antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause cellular damage and cancer. You can also find antioxidants in your skin care. For example, Dr. Choe has created a skin care serum called Renuvare that is full of antioxidants.

Antioxidants include vitamins C and E, as well as ingredients found in green tea, pomegranate and myrrh. Look for a skin care product that contains more than one antioxidant, as they tend to be more effective in fighting the signs of aging in groups.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acid

Alpha-hydroxy acids work as exfoliators, sloughing off the top layer of dead skin cells and encouraging the production of new skin cells. As you get older, your cell turnover slows down, which makes skin look duller and less refreshed. Along with exfoliating your skin, AHAs also help reduce the look of fine lines and dark spots.

Follow the instructions given by your doctor when using a product with AHA. Overuse can lead to irritation, for example. You also want to be careful about the other products and ingredients you use at the same time.


While you shouldn’t wait until the signs of aging start appearing to start using sunscreen, it is an ingredient that plays an important role in fighting aging. The sun’s rays play one of the biggest roles in causing wrinkles and other aging concerns. Shielding yourself from them on a daily basis is a must, whether you are 18 or 65.

UV rays from the sun damage the elastin and collagen in your skin, making it thinner. The rays also damage your skin’s DNA. You  have a few choices when it comes to sunscreen. You can use a chemical sunscreen, which should be applied to your skin first, before your other products. You can also use a mineral-based sunblock, which acts a barrier between your skin and the sun’s rays. For best results when using a mineral sunblock, apply it last.


Derived from vitamin B-3, niacinamide plays a few roles when it comes to fighting the signs of aging. It helps reduce the look of sun spots or age-related dark spots on your skin by preventing melanin, a skin pigment, from coming up to the surface. It also plays a part in encouraging the production of collagen and in keeping skin moisturized.

If you need help determining which skin care ingredients or products are best for your specific needs, contact the Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Virginia Beach. Dr. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who can recommend the right products to use to keep your face looking youthful for years. Call his office at 757.389.5850 to schedule an appointment today.