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Anti-Aging Products


Everyone would have the desire to possess charming and youthful skin. However, to which extent that the desire can be realized? Aside from eating healthily and doing exercises, anti-aging product is also becoming an option for certain individuals to preserve the skin from aging signs. Skin aging process is affected by two main factors, which are the natural process in the body as well as environmental factors. Among the environmental factors that may affect skin structure are sunlight, smoke and exposure to certain chemicals. Continuous exposure to direct sunlight is the main cause of premature aging of the skin. Skin aging signs can usually be seen with the presence of fine lines or wrinkles, rough surface, pigmentation as well as uneven tones of the skin. Therefore, often we will see advertisements on television or in magazines on anti-aging products which claim to reduce or protect the skin from those aging signs.

Ingredients in Anti-Aging Products

There are various formulations of anti-aging products available in the market. The following are the common ingredients found in such products:

  1. Antioxidant

    Human skin contains natural antioxidant that functions to protect skin from free radical effects that may damage skin structure. Free radicals are formed due to exposure to sunlight and others. Natural antioxidants known to protect skin consist of vitamin A, C, E, squalene and coenzyme Q10. However, antioxidant level in the body will decrease as we age and also due to constant exposure to direct sunlight. Hence, the usage of cosmetic products containing those antioxidants is presumed to help in reducing aging signs especially in terms of reducing skin wrinkles and increasing the firmness of the skin.

    Aside from natural antioxidant, cosmetic formulation may also use alpha lipoic acid (ALA). ALA is also a good antioxidant, but it is not being produced naturally in the body.

  2. Vitamin (Vitamin A, B, C and E)

    Many researches have been carried out on the efficacy of vitamin A and its derivatives in order to manage the problems of wrinkles, pigmentation, dull skin as well as for the treatment of acne. Vitamin A that is usually being used for those purpose are retinoic acid (tretinoin), retinol, retinaldehyde and retinyl palmitate.

    To avoid unwanted side effects, the usage of products containing tretinoin is only allowed with supervision and advice from professional healthcare providers. Pregnant mothers are not encouraged to use the products because it may cause harmful risks to the unborn babies. Products which contain tretinoin are categorized as Controlled Medicine and need to be registered with the authorities. Hence, those formulations can only be obtained from hospital, clinic or pharmacy.

    The usage of products containing vitamin A derivatives that may be used in cosmetic formulations can be obtained in common retail stores or cosmetic counters. This is because the derivatives are less potent as compared to tretinoin.

    The common types of vitamin B found in cosmetic cream are niacinamide (B3), nicotinamide and DMAE. Although the data on their efficacies are limited, the substances are believed to help in reducing aging signs, including making the skin fairer.

    There are many studies that support the effectiveness of vitamin C as anti-aging agent. Among the main role of vitamin C on the skin is production of collagen. Collagen is important to maintain the elasticity and youthfulness of the skin.

    Vitamin E (tocopherols or tocotrienols) prevents free radical from harming the skin. The use of vitamin E in combination with vitamin C is found to give more anti-aging effects as compared to using vitamin E alone.

  3. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

    AHA is a natural substance that can be found in food. Glycolic acid and lactic acid are the most common types of AHA used in cosmetic preparations. Among the interesting facts about AHA; glycolic acid can be found in sugarcane while lactic acid can be found in sour milk and tomato juice.

    AHA acts to remove layers of dead skin cells, hence promoting the growth of new skin cells. The effectiveness of AHA as anti-aging agent is highly dependent on the concentration used. The usage of products containing AHA may cause burning sensation if exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, the product users are advised to wear protective clothing such as sunglasses, hat and sunscreen while using the product up until a week after.

  4. Moisturizing Agent

    Skin moisture is important to maintain healthy and beautiful skin appearance. Outer layer skin is composed of lipid membrane that acts to prevent dehydration and retain moisture in order to sustain the structure of soft and elastic skin. Moisturizing agent can support the role of lipid membrane. Among the commonly used moisturizing agent in anti-aging products are petroleum, lanolin, mineral oil, vegetable oil, glycerine, propylene glycol, urea and waxes.

  5. Pentapeptides

    Substances based on pentapeptides are found to be helpful in the production of collagen, hence reducing wrinkles and repairing rough texture of the skin. This substance, also known via its trade name Matrixyl, has gain attention from cosmetic industrial since the year 2002.

  6. Polyphenol

    Plant also contains natural antioxidant agent that acts to prevent damage of the plant cell caused by free radical. The agent is known as polyphenol. Among the commonly used polyphenol are bioflavonoid, anthocyanin, catechin, hydroxycinnamic acid, hydroxybenzoic acid and proanthocyanidin. Looking at the potential of the substance, further studies on its effectiveness as anti-aging agent need to be carried out to support the claim of being a natural anti-aging agent.


The level of aging signs may not be the same for an individual to another depending on natural protective mechanism in the body as well as exposures to different environment. As we grow older, certain individuals may only experience wrinkles and dry skin problems, while others may be facing a more severe type of skin problem. Therefore, you should choose products appropriately according to the type and skin problem that they you are having.

You should also obtain sufficient information before trying out a product by referring to the product’s label. If you are having severe skin problem, you are advised to refer to accredited beauty specialist. The use of anti-aging product is considered to be a method in preserving skin and consumers may need other methods to manage aging signs.

As we can observe in the market, anti-aging products consist of various types of different ingredients. The effects of a product may differ from an individual to another. If side effects are experienced after using certain products, stop using the product immediately and refer to doctor if necessary. Be more careful in choosing products in the market and not to buy any products from doubtful source. You are also advised to report any serious adverse effects due to the usage of products to National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

To ensure the notification status of product with NPRA, you may refer to the website npra.moh.gov.my

Last Reviewed : 21 July 2017
Translator : Hazlin bt. Othman
Accreditor : Munira bt. Muhammad