Top Anti-Aging Ingredients to Add to Your Skincare Routine

Aging is a natural part of life, but thanks to so many amazing advances in skincare, it’s much easier to have a youthful, radiant complexion well into your 40s and beyond.

As we age, our skin changes: We make less collagen, our skin becomes less stretchy, and fine lines and wrinkles start to creep in.

To fight these signs of age, it’s key to use skincare products with high-quality ingredients.  Knowing which ingredients to use and what really works can be confusing. So I’ve put together a list of the top anti-aging ingredients every woman over 40 should use, as well as my tips for creating an effective skincare routine that will make you look Age-amazing!

Top Anti-Aging Ingredients to Add to Your Skincare Routine

1. Retinoids (Retinol and Retin-A)

Retinoids, like retinol and Retin-A, are like your skin’s best friends when it comes to fighting the signs of aging. They’re derived from Vitamin A and work wonders in promoting skin cell turnover, boosting collagen production, and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. Using retinoids can really improve your skin texture and tone, leaving you with a more radiant complexion. Just start with a lower concentration to let your skin get used to it, and apply it at night. Don’t forget to follow up with a moisturizer and wear sunscreen during the day for complete care.

I’ve used different types of retinol in the past, but this one from Colleen Rothchild Beauty has an oil base that glides on much better than most and feels gentler. I put this on before I go to bed and wake up with silky smooth skin.

2. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is one of my favorite anti-aging tools. It’s is a powerful humectant that draws moisture into the skin, giving you intense hydration and plumping the skin. Humectants hold nearly 1,000 times their weight in water, so your skin looks plumped and less wrinkled like a fresh peach! You might notice this ingredient listed on all kinds of skincare and makeup products, including lip glosses and sunscreens.

To get the best results, apply a hyaluronic acid serum to damp skin before your moisturizer to lock in moisture and enhance the plumping effect. Some of the most popular hyaluronic acid serums are: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum, , Olay Hylauronic + Peptide 24  Serum. I switch around but the one I am loving right now is La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is like a daily dose of sunshine for your skin, protecting it from environmental damage and brightening your complexion. This potent antioxidant protects the skin from free radicals, fades dark spots, and stimulates collagen production. Wondering when to apply Vitamin C? I use it in the morning before applying my sunscreen.The one I have been using lately and love is Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

4. Peptides

Peptides are made up of amino acids that work to support the skin’s natural building blocks, promoting a smoother, more supple complexion with reduced fine lines and wrinkles. By boosting collagen production and improving skin elasticity, peptides also help make your skin look firmer and more youthful. If you aren’t already, try to incorporate a peptide-rich serum or moisturizer into your daily routine. 

5. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)

This versatile ingredient not only helps to improve skin elasticity and even out skin tone, but it also diminishes dullness, making your skin look more vibrant and youthful.  I find this really helpful because I have notice as I get older a bit of a grayish cast to my skin and this helps.

Niacinamide is also known for its ability to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and calm inflammation.

It’s one of the top ingredients in my Invisicrepe Body Balm, that I use to combat crepey skin on my arms and legs. I also wanted to include some of the most popular products out there that have niacinamide in it right now: Paula’s Choice Niacinamide 20% Treatment, Naturium Niacinamide Face Serum, and The Ordinary Niacinamide with Zinc Face Serum.

6. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) or Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)

Our skin naturally sheds dead cells through an exfoliation process. However, as we age and with prolonged sun exposure, this process can slow down or even stop! The result of this slowdown is dull, dry skin, clogged pores, wrinkles, loss of firmness, and uneven texture. This is where AHAs and BHAs come into the picture!

AHAs, like glycolic acid and lactic acid, work on the skin’s surface to gently exfoliate, improving skin texture, reducing fine lines, and promoting a radiant complexion.

On the other hand, BHAs, such as salicylic acid, penetrate deep into the pores, making them effective for addressing acne and blemishes. They also help to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and promote a clearer, more even complexion.

Both AHAs and BHAs contribute to a smoother, more even skin tone and improved texture, making them valuable additions to a skincare routine. Some of the best are the AHA and BHA exfoliant products made by Paula’s Choice.  I swear by Paula’s Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Salicylic Acid Liquid Exfoliant. Use that at night every few days and you skin will look so fabulous in the morning!

7. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

CoQ10 promotes collagen production, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and improves skin’s elasticity and firmness. Apply it in the morning to take advantage of its protective benefits throughout the day. This Q10 Cream is affordable, unscented, and has almost 14,000 reviews!

8. Ceramides

Ceramides play a crucial role in maintaining the skin’s barrier function and retaining moisture. Look for moisturizers and creams that contain ceramides and use them both morning and night.

9. Sunscreen

This is the most important skincare ingredient that you should have in any skincare routine! Remember that sun exposure causes wrinkles, if you remember nothing else from this post. Make sure that you are using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin from UV damage. I used to think I didn’t need it if I was inside, but since my desk is in front of a window and there is always light coming in, I have started to make a habit of wearing it daily even if I’m not outside.

Apply sunscreen every morning, even on cloudy days and during winter, and reapply every two hours if you’re spending extended periods outdoors. My favorite sunscreens are: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen SPF 46CeraVe Hydrating Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50 for Face and Body.

10. Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is rich in antioxidants, protects the skin from environmental damage, and improves skin elasticity. You can find green tea extract in different skincare products, like this Matcha Tea Treatment Toner  I’ve been hooked on for several years. It’s very light and fresh feeling on the skin.

Creating an Effective Skincare Routine for Women Over 40

Now that we’ve covered the top anti-aging ingredients, here’s how you can integrate them into a comprehensive skincare routine:

Morning Skincare Routine:

  1. Cleanser: Start with a gentle cleanser to remove impurities and prepare your skin for the next steps. You can find all of my favorite cleansers in this post.
  2. Vitamin C Serum: Apply a Vitamin C serum to protect your skin from environmental damage and brighten your complexion.
  3. Hyaluronic Acid: Follow with a hyaluronic acid serum to boost hydration.
  4. Niacinamide: Use a niacinamide serum to improve elasticity and even out skin tone.
  5. Moisturizer: Choose a moisturizer with peptides and ceramides to lock in hydration and support your skin’s barrier.
  6. Sunscreen: Finish with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to protect against UV damage.

Nighttime Skincare Routine:

  1. Cleanser: Use a gentle cleanser to remove makeup and impurities.
  2. Retinoid: Apply a retinoid product to promote cell turnover and stimulate collagen production. Many people use retinoids every other day rather than every single night.
  3. AHA: If you’re not using a retinoid, consider applying an AHA product to exfoliate and renew the skin.
  4. CoQ10 Serum: Use a CoQ10 serum to protect against oxidative stress.
  5. Hyaluronic Acid: Reapply hyaluronic acid serum to maintain hydration.
  6. Peptide or Ceramide Moisturizer: Finish with a rich moisturizer containing peptides and ceramides to nourish and repair your skin overnight.

Looking for more information on skincare?

Visit this post to read an interview I did with a long-time aesthetician at the spa I’ve been visiting for 30+ years. We cover the proper way to layer skincare products, what products should and shouldn’t be used together, and how much product you should be using.

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2 thoughts on “Top Anti-Aging Ingredients to Add to Your Skincare Routine

  1. Thank you, Deborah, for all of this valuable information. I also appreciate the summary of what to apply and when to apply it. I live in the desert Southwest, and the climate is not favorable to my 73-year-old skin, especially my face. I will follow much of what you suggest.

    1. Hi Christine, So glad this helped becausethey are always coming out with new anti-aging ingredients, and it can overwhelming to know what to use! In a dry climate like that it’s all the more important. Cheers, Deb

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