Written by Stuart Miles- the UK's leading ageing expert and founder of MilesYounger.com

Stuart Miles

Stuart Miles

Anti-ageing products can be so enticing! The minute you see those claims that this miracle pot of cream will roll back the years you want to believe it, all that hype and those amazing results.

Some of the claims that product manufacturers make are quite frankly ludicrous.

My advice is to look at any results they quote carefully and in particular the small print that reveals how big the sample was, often less than 100 people! Improvement may occur with any new product as it can plump up the skin initially but will it continue to work long term for you?

There are certain key products in the market place however which are scientifically proven to achieve results. You should ensure your product contains one or more of these if you want it to be effective and not waste your money.

AHA’s such as glycolic acid peel or BHA’s such as Salicylic acid.

They exfoliate the skin, reducing fine lines, age spots, acne scars, and uneven skin colour. You can get peels with high concentrations of AHAs from a beauty specialist or dermatologists, but you can find lower concentrations, say between 5% and 10%, in creams or lotions on a daily basis. Skin specialists recommend using moisturiser and sunscreen when you use any products that have AHAs or BHA’s.

Retinol cream.

Made from vitamin A, retinol is added to creams that go on your skin. It boosts the amount of collagen your body makes and plumps out skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It also improves skin tone and colour and reduces mottled patches. Many dermatologists prescribe retinol's stronger counterpart, Tretinoin, or similar products, to slow skin ageing, improve irregular colouring, and clear up acne. Over-the-counter products that have retinols may be weaker, but they can still improve how your skin looks. Often, they will include an ingredient called Retinyl palmitate, a slightly weaker version of Retinol. Try and find out how much is actually in the cream to make it effective as ingredients listed may only be in tiny amounts.

Hyaluronic Acid

Your body makes Hyaluronic acid naturally, keeping tissues cushioned and lubricated. It's found in skin, joint fluid, and connective tissues. Age, smoking, and an unhealthy diet can cause you to make less of it over time. Products that have hyaluronic acid may help smooth out skin. They work especially well when you use them with vitamin C products.


Peptides are fragments of proteins. Proteins are the fundamental building blocks of skin. Without peptides, skin doesn’t remain intact and the results is loss of firmness, appearance of wrinkles, texture changes, and skin that doesn’t bounce back as it once did. What’s so fascinating about peptides in skin products is that abundant research has clearly shown they can help revitalize those building blocks and, in turn, help revitalize skin.

So next time you pick up a pot of miracle cream or serum, study the ingredients and you will find that it not only looks after your skin but your wallet too!