Although aging is a privilege, it's okay if you want to find what works best for fine lines and wrinkles. That's why this blog is going to talk about the three best serums from The Ordinary for fine lines and wrinkles. To begin with, fine lines and wrinkles are very hard to treat, and it's easier to prevent them. But to do so, it's important to understand why they form.
Why do wrinkles happen?
Wrinkles happen because of a process that's similar to folding paper. You know how you fold a piece of paper over and over, and the crease does not really disappear? That’s how it is with our skin. Our skin sits on top of our muscles so we can express emotions. Making facial expressions causes creases, and over time, the creases become ingrained. So, when it comes to wrinkles, prevention is easier than treatment, but there are a couple of things you can do afterward. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, get yourself a prescription retinoid. But, if you’re looking for something that’s OTC (over-the-counter) and for everyday use, there are definitely some ingredients that have medical data and science surrounding their effectiveness.
What is argireline, and why is it called "Botox in a bottle?"
Argireline is not Botox, but it is known as "Botox in a bottle." Botox is an injection and a neuromodulator. Neuromodulators paralyze our facial muscles. And if we paralyze our muscles, we can’t move them. Then, our skin can’t create those creases and lines. So, Botox or neuromodulators are very preventative.
The reason why argireline is compared to Botox is because because of its ability to inhibit or block muscular action. Our muscles and bodies send signals through tiny little spaces called the neuromuscular junction (Dr. Howard Katz, 2023). Argireline is effective because it blocks these signals.
Argireline is able to reach the deeper layers of skin and influence the "neurotransmitters" or brain chemicals responsible for causing muscular contractions (Dr. Howard Katz, 2023). This stops the muscles from contracting which is what causes wrinkles.
However, getting these results from argireline require a lot of consistency, and the result will be a lot more subtle than those from Botox.
On the other hand, if you use a topical product, it's probably not going to work as well as Botox even if it gets absorbed into that muscular junction. And if you don’t use it regularly, it’s not going to work. But, this is $10 or $15 vs the couple of hundred that Botox requires, and it's more convenient than Botox. Argireline is also very hydrating serum.
This is one of Cassandra’s top picks for fine lines and wrinkles, specifically for prevention. Although argireline is not as tested or well-studied as retinoids, it is still known to be an effective peptide. Peptides are building blocks that make up proteins, and they can help make the skin bouncy.
Vitamin A or "retinoids" are an umbrella term, and there are different types such as retinoic acid, retinaldehyde, and retinoids, and granactive retinoids. If you’ve already got wrinkles, you’re better off using retinoids or hydrating the skin to plump up those lower layers.
In regards to which retinoid is best, retinoic acid works best for fine lines and wrinkles, but it's prescription only. We have an article about retinoid prescriptions here. But, there are some OTC retinoids. that work very well too.
The Ordinary has a granactive retinoid, and they say it is more stable, less photoactive, and less irritating. So, you could use it during the day. Retinoic acid is still the gold standard for fine lines and wrinkles, but if you are looking for an OTC solution and one of the best Ordinary solutions, this is one of Cassandra’s favorites.
This formula is a retinol. Your skin takes retinol, turns it into retinaldehyde, and then, retinoic acid. Because there are so many conversion steps, it’s not as irritating or potent as retinoic acid, but it’s a great option for over the counter. It’s inexpensive, and yes, it can help with fine lines and wrinkles.
This formula is much less irritating. It soaks into the skin so perfectly, and Cassandra also loves it for acne-prone skin too. Because of the way retinoids plump up the layers deep within the skin, it makes the top of your skin shed first. Because of this, you might go through retinization. Retinol works deep within the skin, and it plumps up those skin cells and likewise helps with fine lines and wrinkles.
#3 Vitamin C
When people think of vitamin C, they think of it's brightening components and how it helps with hyperpigmentation. But, did you know that vitamin C is essential for your skin to produce collagen? It’s essential to consume it so your entire body can make collagen. But, it’s also essential in the skin, and you can apply it topically too.
However, our skin is literally a barrier. It's meant to keep stuff out. So, if we’re trying to get a bunch of ingredients into our skin barrier, our skin is going to block them a bit. So, how are we going to get stuff through the skin barrier? Well, our skin produces oil, and if we put on something that is water-based, the skin will repel it. A little might absorb into the outer layers of the epidermis, but it’s kind of hard to get the products to penetrate. However, if we use an oil-based serum or oil-soluble active ingredients (mixes with oils), we can use the skin’s natural oils to make the ingredients go deeper.
So, you can use an oil-soluble vitamin C to get the vitamin C super deep into the skin and into the nucleus of the cells. That way, it can help with collagen production, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Ethylated Ascorbic Acid is a form of vitamin C that is very special. The one from The Ordinary is very oily, but it’s very inexpensive. It’s anhydrous, meaning it has no water. This has simple ingredients, and it has an active but stable form of vitamin C. It can help with brightening, pigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. It helps you stimulate that collagen over time.
How does vitamin C help increase vitamin C?
We have fibroblasts on our faces, and these little cells our responsible for creating collagen, the strong stuff. An oil-soluble vitamin C can get the fibroblasts to make a few more skin cells. This is a potent isolated ascorbic acid at 15%. It soaks in very well, and it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to build collagen. You can use it in the morning with a sunscreen.
These are also good choices for mature skin.
The Ordinary Pycnogenol - $11.10
The Ordinary EUK - $11.10
The Ordinary Buffet Copper Peptides Serum - $30.99
Cover photo cred: istock photo