What Are the Best Ingredients in Anti-Aging Face Serums for Men?
If you want to work on looking your best and turning back the clock, the good news is that there are tons of ingredients that truly work to fade dark spots, resolve texture concerns, and tackle those fine lines and wrinkles.
You just have to know where to look - and how to tell the good stuff apart from the bad-for-you ingredients that don't work. Here, we’ll discuss the top anti-aging ingredients for men so you always choose products that will make a difference.
Let’s take it from the top.
Understanding Anti-Aging Ingredients
Anti-aging ingredients work to resolve at least one of the three main signs of aging: dark spots, fine lines/wrinkles, and texture concerns. The best ingredients will tackle more than one or - in the case of ingredients like vitamin C - all three at once.
So what’s at work here? When we talk about aging, we’re really referring to damage caused by the sun's UV rays and other stressors like:
- Emotional stress
- Cigarette smoke
- Airborne pollutants
In fact, a whopping 90% of visible aging to the skin is caused by photoaging or cumulative sun exposure. That’s no joke! This is the damage that you’re preventing or reversing with anti-aging ingredients.
Anti-Aging Ingredients That Work
Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan, a powerful substance found naturally in your skin. That’s right - you naturally make hyaluronic acid on your own! The problem is that production starts to slow in your 20s and continues to decrease as you age.
That’s why it’s important to apply hyaluronic acid topically. This gel-like molecule can retain over 1,000 times its weight in water. And it works as a humectant, meaning it draws water from the surrounding environment.
So what does this have to do with aging?
A major contributing factor to wrinkles and texture concerns is skin dehydration which can also make it impossible for any active ingredients to penetrate the skin.
By flooding your cells with hydration, you can re-plump the skin and prevent hydration-related wrinkles and lines from forming. And there’s no overdoing it: hyaluronic acid can regulate moisture levels within your cells; it’ll never make you appear shiny or oily.
You probably remember aloe vera from when you got sunburns as a kid - but you may not know that it also has powerful anti-aging benefits. Like hyaluronic acid, aloe is a powerful moisturizer - but it works in different ways.
Aloe is packed with vitamins and nutrients that help you maintain ultra-moisturized, clear skin. They include:
- Vitamins and minerals: These include vitamins A, B, C, D, and E - all of which benefit the skin - along with minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc
- Glycosides: They promote cellular regeneration and have antihistamine properties
- Phytosterols: These are anti-inflammatory, help calm itchiness and irritation, promote skin elasticity, and help the skin keep its moisture over time.
- Polysaccharides: Their protective effects on the skin arm aloe vera with wound healing, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Polysaccharides and phytosterols make aloe vera an effective hydrator. Natural antioxidants help fight free radical damage and prevent future skin damage, which can help maintain a youthful appearance over time.
Peptides are proteins found naturally in the skin that communicate with cells to trigger collagen production. This minimizes wrinkles, plumps skin, and promotes healthy, youthful skin.
Like hyaluronic acid, collagen is a compound - more specifically, a protein - found naturally in your skin. As you age, collagen production goes down. That leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of volume in the skin. Peptides are the smallest links that make up the collagen molecules. By applying them topically you can:
- Boost collagen
- Regenerate tired skin
- Increase moisture and hydration
- Improve elastin synthesis
- Decrease inflammation
Translation: Younger, healthier skin.
Vitamin C is an all-star antioxidant. It helps fight free radical damage and the visible signs of the aging process. But that’s not all. Vitamin C also:
- Prevents acne and fights existing breakouts
- Banishes dark spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation
- Helps prevent sunburn
- Stabilizes the skin’s collagen and elastin
Vitamin C is suitable for all skin types - it won’t cause adverse reactions like other pigment-reducing ingredients.
Jojoba oil is vitamin-rich and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores or make you look “oily” like many other options.
This is because jojoba oil is biomimetic - its composition is super close to your skin’s own sebum. In fact, jojoba oil and sebum are a 97% chemical match! This similarity allows the oil to penetrate deep into the skin rather than simply sitting on top like many oils with larger molecule sizes.
Additionally, jojoba is rich in a ton of vitamins and nutrients, including:
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is an antioxidant used by the upper and lower layers of the skin. It’s known to prevent sun damage by interrupting the process that breaks down collagen.
- Vitamin E: Also known as “tocopherol,” vitamin E is an oil-soluble antioxidant that can repair and treat the skin, helping with sun damage, scarring, and more.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps fight infections. Studies show that, if you don’t get enough of it, you’re much more likely to deal with acne and other infection-related skin concerns.
- Fatty acids: These make up a huge portion of cell membranes, which means that getting enough of them is critical for proper cell function. When it comes to skincare, this translates to skin that’s moisturized and healthy. On top of that, omega-3s can lower inflammation and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier, thereby helping prevent wrinkles, acne, and infection.
Find it in: Reviving Day Serum
Glycolic acid is an AHA, or a natural exfoliant that’s derived from plants like sugar cane. It’s considered to be the most effective AHA because it has the smallest molecule size, which makes it easier for the skin to absorb.
AHAs work by loosening the intracellular “glue” that holds dead skin cells together. This exfoliates and speeds up the skin shedding process, which can ultimately:
- Allow other ingredients - like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid - to penetrate the skin more effectively
- Help reveal younger, healthier skin cells
- Fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation
- Address blackheads, excess sebum, and other acne-causing blockages
Over time, it can also visibly reduce lines and lead to younger-looking, more glowing skin.
Find it in: Smooth Finish Glycolic Acid Serum
Plant Stem Cells
You’ve probably heard of stem cells: they’re your body’s “original cells.” In modern science, they’re being used to promote cell health and even treat diseases and conditions.
Plant stem cells work much the same way. They're undifferentiated cells that can either produce more stem cells or turn into specialized cells. In skincare, they help fight off wrinkles, reduce sun damage, and restore youthful, healthy-looking skin.
How? These cells contain high amounts of growth factors and antioxidants. When applied topically, they exhibit a major antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, helping to:
- Stimulate cell turnover
- Protect against sun damage
- Prevent wrinkles
- Promote the production of new collagen
- Provide photoprotective properties like sunscreen
- Increase skin elasticity
They can also fill in the gaps that exist on the surface of the skin and that are often exacerbated by pollution, stress, weather, and UV rays.
MSM is a natural compound found in all living things. Formed organically from carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur, it is the “glue” that holds together your amino acid chains (the base of your body tissue).
It inhibits the breakdown of collagen, reduces inflammation, decreases pigmentation issues, and makes the cell wall more permeable and responsive to topical nutrients.
MSM can also reduce the production of cytokines, meaning that it can cut down on inflammation and detoxify the body.
Ready to load up on your anti-aging defenses? You can find all of these ingredients and more in our Men’s Complete Defense Anti-Aging Routine. One and done.