Three Ingredients: Skin Care Simplified

Some antiaging substances have more science backing them up than others. 

Dermatologist Leslie Baumann, director of the University of Miamis Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute, named her top recommendations for ingredients in over-the-counter products, which can be used separately or in tandem.

1. Retinol
This is the most effective retinoid available in nonprescription products. (Retinoids are the only ingredients proven to get rid of wrinkles you already have, Baumann says.) Make sure retinol -- not similar-sounding ingredients such as retinyl palmitate -- is listed on the label. Baumann recommends RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream ($20), Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream ($13), and Philosophy Help Me ($45).

2. Niacinamide
This form of vitamin B3 has been shown to prevent and diminish age spots and hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide helps repair UV damage to DNA in skin cells. It can be used alongside retinol and antioxidant products without reducing their efficacy or creating irritation. Baumann suggests daily use of a sunscreen that contains niacinamide, such as NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention 100 percent Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 ($45), or a niacinamide moisturizer such as Olay Definity Correcting Protective Lotion with SPF 15 ($28).

3. Coenzyme Q10
This protective compound occurs naturally in human cells, but our store of it diminishes as we age. Coenzyme Q10 also has beneficial effects when applied topically, helping to reverse damage caused by environmental factors such as sunlight and pollution. Baumann suggests applying a moisturizer that contains coenzyme Q10 every day. She likes Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Lotion SPF 15 ($12).

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