Countless skin care products promise the moon in terms of wrinkle reduction and prevention. A few of the better ones are discussed here, though keep in mind that results with these products will not be as dramatic or immediate as with a prescription retinoid.
Important as it is to take care of skin from the outside, it is of equal importance to nourish it from the inside. Make sure to drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day, eat a balanced diet, supplement with a multivitamin containing antioxidants, and get at least six hours of sleep at night.
Retin-A contains retinolic acid, the source of which is vitamin A. Retin-A works by accelerating the sloughing off of dead skin cells, and the replacement of newer ones. It also increases the production of collagen, a substance which keeps skin supple and elastic. The natural production of collagen decreases with age, causing the all-too-familiar wrinkles and sagging of facial skin. The newer skin cells and improved collagen production restore some of the youthful suppleness of the users' skin within a matter of weeks, if used properly and regularly.
While Retin-A is extremely effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles within a month's time, it is important not to use more than the recommended dose (generally a pea-sized amount, spread out thinly over the wrinkled areas). Using a larger amount, or applying more often, will not produce a desirable result. Also bear in mind that there are two concentrations of Retin-A--0.05 percent and 0.1 percent--and that the 0.05 percent concentration is the one to use for wrinkles. Avoid using around the eyes, and use only every other day.
When using Retin-A, it is important to use moisturizer, and even more important to use a high SPF sunscreen.
Over The Counter
There are a number of anti-wrinkle products available without a prescription because of their low concentration of wrinkle-reducing retinol. Because the concentration of retinoids in these over-the-counter products is much lower, the results won't be as dramatic or quick, and require a bit of patience. The positive side is the decreased chance for painful redness and peeling. Products like L'Oreal Advanced Revitalift and Dermadoctor Poetry in Lotion run anywhere from $20 to $80--somewhat cheaper than prescription Retin-A, but still expensive.
Make At Home
The Care2 website suggests making a homemade facial mask, using this recipe from Pierre Jean Cousin, an herbalist and acupuncturist.
This easy-to-make mask consists of 1 banana, 2 tbsp. of heavy cream, 1 tbsp. of organic honey, 1 tbsp. each of oat flour, spring water and rose hydrosol (or floral water). After mashing the banana, add the cream, honey, and oat flour, and mix thoroughly. Spread this over your face, and leave it on for half an hour. After the mask has dried, remove with the clean spring water, and finish up with a cotton ball dipped in rose hydrosol.
This mask does not need to be used more than 3 times per week.