Skincare 101- Anti-Aging

In the first part of our Skincare 101 we discussed the basics of skincare.  I would suggest you start there.  Many people just want basic skincare with basic steps.  But a lot of you have been asking for more because you are ready to add more steps and want to know where to add them and which products you need.  So this is for all of those that want the next level in skincare.

The question I get most is generally about lines and wrinkles and the #1 Best product for that.  If only it could be that simple.  However, there are a lot of good ingredients and understanding what each one does, where it fits and why you should have it is where we are going to spend some time today.  I’m going to discuss 7 anti-aging ingredients.  This is not all the anti-aging ingredients there are, but it’s a good place to start. The list started at 5 but I just couldn’t quit!  If you decide to start any of these actives add them slowly into your skincare.  DO NOT ADD THEM ALL AT ONCE, and DO NOT ADD THEM EVERYDAY to start.


Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A.  Visible change can take up to 3-6 months.  Be patient. The results are coming. It is a very effective anti-aging ingredient.  Not only does it help with wrinkles but it has also been effective on brown spots and acne. What it’s doing is speeding up your cell turnover and sweeping away dead cells making way for new cell growth underneath.  Because this  is such a strong product it needs to be added gradually.  If you want to add Retinol into your skincare:  Apply Retinol at night. After Retinol apply your moisturizer.  Personally I give the Retinol a head start before applying a moisturizer.  I wait about 15 minutes.  In the am SPF is very important when using retinol because your skin is more sensitive to sun damage.  There is also a prescription strength option for this(Tretinion, Retin A and Renova). Results for prescription strength is usually 6-8 weeks.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the most researched anti-oxidant in skincare and is often described on the label as L-Asorbic Acid (there are other forms as well).  Vitamin C helps build collagen, improves fine lines, helps with hyper-pigmentation, smooths skin, helps the skin protect itself from sunlight, reduces inflammation and helps with tone.  If it is stable it’s very good.  It can become unstable when exposed to excess sunlight and air.  So put the bottle away when you aren’t using it.  Some people keep their vitamin C in the refrigerator.   Vitamin C works with Vitamin E.  So if this is something you want to add, look for a C that has E in it already.  If you want to add Vitamin C into your skincare:  Apply the Vitamin C after you cleanse and tone in the morning.  I wait 15 minutes after applying this ingredient before moisturizing.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E protects you from UV light, pollution,and other elements that produce cell damaging free radicals.  It helps the skin look younger by reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.  Vitamin E prior to sun exposure can reduce sunburn cell formation.


Niacinamide is Vitamin B3, prevents melanin or pigmentation from rising to the surface.  It is great for people with  age spots, sunspots, freckles and hyper-pigmentation.  It also prevents skin from losing moisture, helps with redness, and wrinkles. Currently, mine is 4% but I will be in the market for a 5% in the future.

Hylauronic Acid

Hylauronic Acid nourishes the skin so your skin can work on the repair.  The part of the name Acid sounds a little scary but this is exactly the opposite.  Basically this keeps your skin hydrated and plump. Babies have a lot more Hylauronic acid in their skin which helps them have that “baby soft skin”.  As we age we begin to produce less.  We can’t go back in time but we can add this to our skincare.  You can add this am and pm before your moisturizer.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid and Beta Hydroxy Acid

We are going to use the abbreviations for these 2 acids.  The abbreviations are AHA for the Alpha and BHA for the Beta.  These are going to exfoliate your skin resulting in less lines and wrinkles, firmer skin and collagen that is stimulated.  As the sun damages our skin, our skin thickens.  AHA(no more than 8%) is usually for dry or sun damaged skin. BHA is best for Combination or Oily skin types treating black heads and white bumps.  BHA can get thru the oil that is clogging the pore.  BHA is also an anti-inflammatory so good for people with red skin or rosacea.  Not everyone with rosacea can exfoliate so make sure you test an area before committing to using this product. This ingredient can be used in the am.  It would be after Vitamin C if you are using that.  I also wait 15 minutes after applying this ingredient.


This is on the list last but make no mistake this is possibly the most important.  SPF should be used daily.  Some people think they only need SPF if they are going to be in the sun all day.  This is a mistake.  You can get sun damage by walking to your car or through your car window.  The sun not only gives you a sunburn but it actually destroys collagen, elastin fibers and damages DNA.  90% of aging is premature 75% of aging is due to sun damage.  Sun damage occurs within the first minute of being exposed.  You need UVA and UVB protection with a minimum of SPF 25.

How do you put it together??


  1. Cleanse
  2. Toner(if you are using a non asian toner)
  3. Vitamin C-I wait after this step 15 minutes this is optional
  4. AHA/BHA- I wait after this step 15 minutes this is optional
  5. Hyaluronic Acid
  6. Moisture
  7. SPF


  1. Double Cleanse(There is a post on Double Cleansing Here)
  2. Toner(If you are using  a non asian toner)
  3. Retinol- I wait after this step 15 minutes this is optional.
  4. Hylauronic Acid
  5. Moisture with Niacinamide

Here are a few studies if you want to read more.  There are lots of studies but perhaps this will get you started.

Study on effectiveness of antioxidants.

Improvement of naturally aged skin with Retinol.

Double Blind Study Vitamin C.

Niacinamide improves ceramide levels

Niacinamide in anti-aging

Niacinamide improving skin color

In the future, we can walk through additional anti aging ingredients. Maybe a deeper dive into PH?  Hope you liked this.


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