The most effective at-home solutions to smooth out lines and keep skin looking young.
These amino-acid compounds seem to help promote the growth of collagen—and elastin-stimulating fibroblasts—the skin's support structures that keep it smooth and youthful-looking. Most of these peptide products are also rich in antioxidants and topical nutrients like vitamins C and E, green tea and pomegranate.
With all the excitement surrounding injectables as wrinkle smoothers, the creation of topical creams was bound to follow—for the needlephobes among us—claiming to achieve similar results. Enter ingredients like manganese gluconate, a mineral that helps relax fibroblasts at the cellular level, and D-Contraxol, purported to help smooth out fine lines caused by smiling, frowning and other facial movements.
Retinol and retinoids
Retinoid or vitamin A-based creams remain top smoothers in the anti-aging arsenal—and now advanced formulations help prevent the red, flaky skin that was the most common side effect. The newest entrant: Tazarotene (Avage), which also helps reduce mottled pigmentation.
The downside: These products can increase sun sensitivity, so make sure to wear a sunscreen daily when using them.
You used to have to visit a doctor's office for the full effects of this treatment, in which dead skin cells are removed with tiny silicon or aluminum-oxide crystals blown against the skin using a hand-held device and then sucked up with a small vacuum. But there's a new generation of at-home alternatives that allow you to get similar results (smoother, more even-toned skin) in about four weeks.