If you think guys don’t need to take care of their skin, think again. According to a study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, the condition of a man’s skin influences people’s perception of his age, attractiveness, and overall health. While you’re smart to be skeptical about products claiming to make you look twenty again, there are many options out there that have been scientifically proven to smooth wrinkles, reduce sun damage, and more. Here are some ingredients that provide the best anti-aging skincare for men.
This clear fluid found in your body helps lubricate your joints and maintain collagen, among other things. Hyaluronic acid’s strong moisture-retaining properties make it a popular skin care ingredient. Topical use may “plump” skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. One study found formulations containing 0.1% of hyaluronic acid led to significant improvement in elasticity and hydration after 60 days of use compared to a placebo.
This antioxidant has proven to be particularly beneficial for improving the appearance of aging skin. A clinical trial in Japan found adults who took CoQ10 reported a reduction in wrinkles, and a 2016 study found an association between 150 mg of CoQ10 for 12 weeks and reduced wrinkles around the eyes and mouth compared to placebo. There are many topical CoQ10 moisturizers and serums on the market, and anti-aging expert Dr. Nicholas Perricone says they can work by deeply penetrating the skin, helping to boost collagen and elastin.
Another antioxidant, vitamin C also helps your body produce collagen. It can protect against as well as repair sun damage, brightening and evening your skin tone. One study found participants who applied a topical vitamin C solution for 12 weeks experienced a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. Other research indicates it may reduce age spots.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that works at a cellular level to protect skin from free radical damage. It’s often added to sunscreens because it helps prevent UVB damage. A study conducted on hairless mice found both dietary and topical vitamin E effectively protected skin from some of the early damage induced by ultraviolet radiation. Vitamin E works especially well when paired with vitamin C.
As you age, the collagen in your skin does too, which can lead to sagging, wrinkles, and other issues. Research shows taking collagen can help. In one study, oral collagen peptide supplementation significantly increased skin hydration and collagen density, among other anti-aging effects. There’s not a lot of evidence out there supporting the efficacy of topical collagen, probably because collagen molecules are too large to penetrate the skin. If you decide to go the external route, look for products containing hydrolyzed (broken down) collagen.
A compound found in red wine and dark chocolate, resveratrol is sometimes called “the longevity molecule” because it has been shown to lengthen the lifespan of many different animal species. I’ve written quite a bit about resveratrol because there’s so much research supporting its health benefits, including an ability to improve aging skin. In one study, subjects who took a supplement containing resveratrol for 60 days had smoother skin, shallower wrinkles, and significantly decreased age spots.
Several studies show topical vitamin A reduces wrinkles and other skin damage associated with aging, which is why retinol (a form of vitamin A) is one of the only wrinkle treatments approved by the FDA. A randomized, double-blind study conducted in 2007 found topical retinol improved fine wrinkles associated with aging, and other research supports this finding. HuffPost reports using retinoids is dermatologists’ second-favorite piece of advice behind wearing sunscreen.
Now that you know a little bit about the best anti-aging ingredients for men, you have no excuse not to step up your skincare game.
Wondering what areas of your health could use your attention? Consider taking my Optimal Men’s Health quiz. It’s designed to help you determine your next best step to getting healthier and closer to winning.
Myles Spar, MD, MPH is the Chief Medical Officer of Vault Health, a national medical practice specializing in care for men, and Is board certified in Internal Medicine and in Integrative Medicine. As a clinician, teacher and researcher on faculty of two major medical centers, he has led the charge for a more proactive, holistic and personalized approach to care that focuses on cutting edge technology and preventative care. Dr. Spar has traveled with the NBA, presented a TEDx Talk, appeared on Dr. Oz, and been featured in publications such as the Men’s Journal and the Los Angeles Times.