Anti-Aging Skin Care For Your Body: The Best Ingredients To Look For

Dermatologists recommended retinol, antioxidants, SPF and more to prevent premature aging — not just on your face, but on your body.
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Treat the skin on your body as well as you treat the skin on your face with this fragile skin cream that helps combat crepey skin, this calming complex that can protect skin from damage and a firming moisturizer with retinol.

It may go without saying that the way you take care of the skin on your face is the way you should take care of the skin on your entire body. After all, it ages in the same way.

Dr. Erum Illyas, a board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology Group in Pennsylvania, said that sun spots on your shoulders or thinning skin on the underside of your arms are some of the most common indicators of skin aging on the body.

“In fact, the number one complaint I hear amongst men and women alike when it comes to body skin is the tissue paper-like wrinkling or crepe-like quality of the skin,” she said.

So, how can you combat that?

According to Dr. Heidi Prather, a board-certified dermatologist with Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas, fighting premature aging of the skin comes down to three key principles: protection, preservation and repair.

“Translated into skin care, we think of these three principles as sunscreen and antioxidants (to protect), retinols (to preserve) and peptides and growth factors (to repair),” Prather said.

You should also avoid using physical scrubs because it can break down the skin barrier of already aging skin, according to Dr. Elaine F. Kung, a board-certified dermatologist with Future Bright Dermatology in New York City.

Illyas said that other essential ingredients such as argan oil or lactic acid can also be helpful in creating a well-rounded skin care routine. Read on to learn more about which ingredients you should look for, how they work for aging skin, and some great products that contain them.

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Retinol

“Retinoids can actually help reverse the signs of aging that come from sun damage. They are known to improve fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen production in addition to helping to retain water in the skin. They can also work to minimize discoloration in the skin and give the skin more of a glow.” ― IIlyas

A skin-smoothing body lotion with encapsulated retinol
This non-greasy and lightweight lotion by Versed contains 0.10% encapsulated retinol, a more stable delivery method of the ingredient, to brighten skin and improve elasticity. It’s also formulated with a blend of cocoa butter and vitamin E, which can help protect skin from environmental damage at a cellular level.
An argan oil body butter with a gentle pro-retinol and antioxidants
Illyas explained that argan oil, which is rich in triglycerides, has hydrating, antioxidant and wound-healing properties and has even shown evidence of improving skin’s elasticity. For this reason, she recommends products like this whipped body butter by Josie Maran, which contains a heavy dose of argan oil and a pro-retinol in the form of pink algae extract.

Antioxidants

“Antioxidants are a critical part of skin protection because they capture environmental free radicals present in pollution, ozone and UV exposure.” ―Prather

A shea butter-based body lotion with vitamin E
An ideal choice for people with sensitive skin, this shea butter-based lotion contains vitamin E, which according to Kung, is an antioxidant that can protect cells from free radical damage while strengthening the skin barrier. It's also formulated with pycnogenol, which helps to improve elasticity and adds hydration.
A calming and protective complex that promotes skin’s natural exfoliation
Fung also recommended this gel-like lotion which contains an antioxidant blend of vitamins E, B5 and A to defend skin against damaging free radicals, stimulate collagen production and improve microcirculation. The fast-absorbing formula also contains salicylic acid to exfoliate skin and reveal a brighter complexion.

Ceramides

“Ceramides help to moisturize and strengthen the skin barrier, and protect the skin from external aggressors such as weather and pollution.” ― Kung

An ultra-rich reparative cream ideal for compromised skin
This bestselling moisture-intensive cream has a heroic lineup of skin-loving ingredients, including five different essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, which Kung said can "reduce redness and inflammation, treat acne, protect the skin from UV damage, brighten the skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles." The rich and velvety formula is great for extra dry, compromised or sensitive skin.

Lactic and glycolic acids

“Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that can improve hydration of the skin and promote skin cell turnover, [which] can improve the tightness of the skin and its overall appearance.” ― Illyas

A skin treatment that targets hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation can occur on aging skin that has been damaged by the sun. This fast-absorbing skin treatment for the body contains an effective blend of glycolic, lactic and kojic acids to improve tone and texture as well as help fade hyperpigmentation. It also has retinol and niacinamide.
A daily moisturizing lotion with 12% lactic acid that targets rough skin
Helpful for rough and bumpy skin or skin conditions such as keratosis pilaris, this daily lightweight lotion combines 12% lactic acid neutralized with ammonium hydroxide to boost skin’s natural renewal process through gentle exfoliation.

Hyaluronic acid

“This sugar molecule occurs naturally in the skin and helps it to bind water to collagen, trapping it in the skin, so that it can appear plumper and more hydrated.” ― Kung

A fragile-skin cream that helps address thinning and crepey skin
This nourishing cream by DerMed was specifically intended to help address the most common signs of aging skin such as thinning, loss of elasticity and fragility. It's most notably formulated with hyaluronic acid to help skin repair and protect itself, however, it also contains retinol, glycolic acid, ceramides and niacinamide for a holistic approach to caring for the skin.

Peptides

“The most sophisticated and newest ingredient on the market for body repair are peptides. [These] are synthetic proteins with targeted functions in the skin, largely meant to replace growth factors.” ― Prather

A skin-toning moisturizer formulated with blend of peptides
Using a blend of peptides and amino acids made from hydrolyzed wheat protein, this toning moisturizer by First Aid Beauty aims to visibly improve the appearance of skin’s texture. It also contains ceramides, colloidal oatmeal and glycerin for lasting hydration and an improved protective skin barrier.
A luxury contouring lotion created to target crepey skin
This body-firming cream contains a patent-pending blend of powerful peptides, botanical extracts and prebiotics said to help improve the appearance of sagging, crepey skin. It also contains caffeine for antioxidant benefits as well as glucosamine, which can smooth and soften rough, dry skin.

SPF

UPF clothing and sunscreen are the most important elements to anti-aging for the body from a preventative standpoint.” ― Illyas

A hydrating and antioxidant-rich sunscreen with a sheer finish
For skinmore prone to dryness, this hydrating sunscreen lotion contains nourishing squalane which is easily absorbed and helps prevent moisture loss from the skin. An antioxidant blend of botanicals and caffeine help repair your skin from environmental damage and neutralize free radicals.
An everyday sunscreen lotion with sunflower extract
This everyday lotion by Supergoop has an SPF of 50 and is both water- and sweat-resistant, which, according to Prather, is desirable for optimal protection.The formulation is non-greasy and fast-absorbing, unlike some sunscreens for the body, and contains sunflower extract rich in beta carotene to help protect the skin from environmental elements.
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