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.