R Is for Retinoid: What Do Anti-Aging Ingredients Do?
This all-star ingredient multitasks like no other. A derivative of vitamin A, retinoids can remove dead skin cells, fade age spots, shrink pores, and pump up collagen production to reduce and prevent wrinkles. Over-the-counter varieties aren’t nearly as potent, but they’re also better for first-time users or those with sensitive skin. Younger users looking to prevent rather than reduce the signs of aging might do well to choose weaker versions as well. Retinoids, especially the prescription versions, can cause irritation and might even decrease the skin’s ability to protect itself from harmful UV rays. (You also shouldn’t use them if you’re pregnant.) The prescription Differin is reportedly the most benign, but consult with a dermatologist to see which one’s right for your skin type.