3 of the Best Ingredient Types for Taking Years off the Skin?

Let’s talk about ingredients that are medically proven to help with graceful aging, fine lines, and wrinkles. While reading this though, just remember – aging is a privilege and lines from aging are actually quite beautiful and endearing. 

What are fine lines caused by?

Even if we use sunscreen on a regular basis, our collagen is slowly degrading. Think of your skin as a piece of paper. If you take a piece of paper and you fold it over and over, you can try to smooth it out as much as you want, but it’s always going to have a little crease. That’s what happens with a fine line. Our skin is made of the epidermis and dermis. These layers sit on top of the hypodermis and muscles. When our muscles contract from facial expressions movements, smiling, and laughing, the skin creases momentarily, but over time, those creases set in.

So, it’s understandable to want products for graceful aging, but with claims out there like “this product will take years off of your face!” we have to be aware of what truly works, especially if you don’t want to rely on things like Botox or fillers. There’s no harm in doing those things but if you’re looking to “take years off of your face,” how would you do so without those procedures? There are things like lasers, chemical peels,  and PRP microneedling, but those things aren’t safe to do at home. And if you don’t have the licensure or experience, you shouldn’t be “DIYing” those. But, there are some safe and effective ingredients you can use at home.

As proven by science, we are going to break down the best ingredients for graceful aging, and we’re going to explain how they create more collagen and prevent free radical damage. These ingredients can be organized into three categories: protectors,.antioxidants, and cell regulators. 

#1 Protectors

For this category, we’re not going to simply talk about SPF but what makes an SPF good. Firstly, we want a sunscreen that protects against a broad spectrum of rays, namely UVA, UVB, and visible light. Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength, and it is associated with skin aging. Ultraviolet B (UVB) has a shorter wavelength, and it is linked to skin burning. Visible light can also cause photoaging. However, not all sunscreens are effective at protecting against UVA and visible light. 

Most sunscreens do a pretty good job of protecting against UVB rays, but certain sunscreen filters do a better job at protecting against both UVA and UVB rays. Ultraviolet (UV) filters are added to sunscreens to absorb or block UV radiation from the sun. Physical filters block and chemical filters absorb. Chemical filters are primarily work against UVB, sun burning rays. 


Does sunscreen help with fine lines?

Zinc oxide and avobenzone are physical filters, and they are the best at protecting against UVA rays and visible light, the rays associated with aging. Most sunscreens have a combination of different sunscreen filters. Some sunscreens are solely mineral and some are a blend of chemical and mineral ingredients. But, specifically for aging, you want to look for zinc oxide and avobenzone filters. Look for the letters “UVA” inside of a circle on the sunscreen’s packaging. This indicates that the sunscreen protects against UVA rays.

What does PA+ (plus) mean?

PA+ is how much protection your sunscreen provides against UVA. You want to look for PA++++ (4 pluses) because these types of sunscreen provide the most protection against UVA rays. You can look for specific words on bottles like “broad-spectrum” too. 

What does broad-spectrum mean?

Broad spectrum refers to the electromagnetic spectrum. “Broad spectrum” describes a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Below, we have listed some greatbroad-spectrum SPFs that help with graceful aging. 

Dr. Sam’s Flawless Daily Sunscreen -$36

Dr. Sams’s SPF 50 is phenomenal, especially if you’re someone who wants a cosmetically elegant product that helps with adult acne. This product is always wonderful for graceful aging. This sunscreen is a blend of mineral and organic. When we say organic, we mean that the formula is carbon-based.

Care:Nel No Sebum Perfect UV Shield -$6.89

This happens to be a great option from a K Beauty Line. If you’re looking for something that is mineral and has zinc oxide in it, this is a great one. This is one of Cassandra’s favorites that includes zinc oxide.

Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen -$32 

This goes on so smoothly, and it is a UVA master. As you can see, it says PA++++ which also means it has full spectrum protection. This is completely sheer and wonderful. 

 Supergoop unseen Sunscreen - $36 



Trader Joes Sunscreen


Daily Facial Sunscreen SPF 40

Both of these have avobenzone at 3%. Most of the time we see avobenzone under 2%. So, the fact that these both have 3% is nice. 

#2 Cell regulators

Cell regulators like peptides and retinoids (vitamin A) are another thing that can help with anti-aging. Vitamin A can be an OTC retinol, Retin-A, and tretinoin. Retin-A and tretinoin are one of the most potent forms of vitamin A you can get. Tretinoin is the gold standard in dermatology because it’s been used for so many years. It was originally found and developed for acne. But, the acne patients began to present fewer fine lines too, meaning their skin elasticity was also better. 

Does vitamin A help with fine lines?

When it comes to wrinkles, fine lines, elasticity, and pigmentation, tretinoin is one of the most prescribed ingredients by dermatologists. Retinoids work as cell regulators, and they literally causing your skin cells to make more, healthier, stronger, and plumper versions of themselves. Retinoids also help cells to rebuild fragmented collagen and elastin.

Tretinoin binds to RAR and RXR receptors in your skin, and they cause a reaction that results in an EGF (epidermal growth factor). EGF means your cells are creating more of themselves in the basil layer, and they’re becoming plumper. As they thicken, they slough off the skin’s top layers.

So, If you’re worried about those fine lines and wrinkles, tretinoin is wonderful. Tretinoin has also been shown to reverse signs of aging, especially when it comes to things like sun spots and a lot of those fine lines. 

Agency Custom Blended Future Formula

Agency is a custom blended skincare brand that was created by dermatology providers, and it is wonderful for  mature skin. Cassandra’s blend has tretinoin, but it also has a blend of other ingredients like tranexamic acid which is great for pigmentation. There's niacinamide (vitamin B3) which is considered an anti-aging ingredient. This also has dexpanthenol, a vitamin B5. Dexpanthenol has been shown to help with eczema, and it’s bioavailable meaning the skin absorbs it easily without converting it to another substance. For example, the skin converts retinol into retinoic acid. 

Cassandra has been using Agency for a while, and it is the only brand or company that Cassandra knows of that has dexpanthenol as part of a blended ingredient system. Plus, hey match you with a dermatology provider. You take a quiz, upload pictures, and get matched with a provider. The formulas have a really good shelf-life and last longer than a couple of months. Agency is kind of like the “grown-up” version of Curology. Agency focuses more on antioxidants, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots as opposed to acne. 

Cassandra uses the dark spot formula during the day on her forehead, and it absorbs nicely as opposed to being gritty or chalky.


Antioxidants are vitamins and polyphenols. Whether it’s the sun or pollution, antioxidants can protect us from free radical damage like pollution, stress, and the environment. Our skin is constantly being bombarded, but antioxidants give themselves up, and the free radical destroys the antioxidant, not your skin. Likewise, antioxidants can help with collagen formation, especially when you mix them with other ingredients. For example, green tea mixed with epigallocatechin gallate or epigallocatechin 3 gallate is absolutely wonderful, and this combination was in Cassandra Bankson’s dark spot formula. 

Cassandra’s dark spot formula contains azelaic acid, kojic acid, resveratrol, green tea, and EGCG.  But, although green tea is wonderful, vitamin C combined with vitamin E is medically proven to work for stimulating collagen in the skin. 

Does vitamin C help with fine lines?

Vitamin C has shown to be very helpful with anti-aging for multiple reasons. The first thing is that it helps to stimulate collagen. Collagen holds our skin up and firms it together, but vitamin C inhibits also MMP or collagenase 1. MMPs are enzymes that break down collagen, and we don’t want collagen to be broken down. So, vitamin C prevents that from happening, and likewise, our skin is not only being protected from free radical damage, but collagen break down is also being prevented.

Ultimately vitamin C, vitamin B3, niacinamide, and vitamin E are some of the best for anti-aging or graceful aging. 

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum

As an acne-prone girl who wants to gracefully age, this works wonderfully for Cassandra. This has vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbyl phosphate which is better for those who are breakout prone, and it’s also got vitamin E and hyaluronic acid. This is great for anyone with acne-prone skin to use. It’s super easy, non-irritating, and absorbs very well. 

Perricone vitamin CCC Ferulic -$40

This is a luxury product that Cassandra stands behind. In Cassandra’s opinion, it works better than the ferulic acid from Skinceuticals. This vitamin C is oil soluble which means it penetrates well into the skin. Our acid mantle is made of oil so  this vitamin C absorbs deeply into the skin.

This also has ferulic acid, a very potent antioxidant and stabilizer that is similar to vitamin E. When it comes to evening out the skin and making it feel luscious, this is amazing.

If you’re looking “to erase years off of your face,” these ingredients are what’s proven by science to help. These ingredients work best when they’re in a stabilized formula that penetrates the skin.