If the products used in an anti-aging regimen were classified according to a five card poker hand, then retinoids or vitamin A acid would be your king. Applicable to acne, wrinkles and pigmentary problems, this is where one begins to build a straight flush.
Queen for the perfect poker hand would be an alpha hydroxy acid, primarily glycolic or lactic acid. Both address the aforementioned skin problems with less irritation and quicker results than retinoids with the additional strength of working synergistically with other products to amplify their results.
Anti-oxidants make up the jack card with key ingredients such as vitamin C, Co-Q 10, idebenone, vitamin E, copper or alpha lipoic acid. Addressing the second cause of premature aging, free radical damage, these ingredients are typically “free-standing” products, meaning they will be labeled primarily as an anti-oxidant. The order in which they are used is dependent upon the vehicle. Serums, emulsions or liquid type products are placed under retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids while lotions and creams are placed over them.
The ten of cards is a high performance moisturizer with such anti-aging preferred ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, squalene, niacinamide, copper, multi-peptides as well as licorice, kojic acid and hydroquinone for specific pigmentation problems. This is also where a clean, cosmetically elegant hydrocortisone can be used in conjunction with or alternately with the moisturizer to decrease potentiality for the irritation and redness sometimes encountered with retinoids and alpha hydroxy usage.
So what is the ace of your program? If you are already a savvy consumer then you might have been wondering when it was going to appear. You got it, sunscreen! Reversing previous damage with the king, queen, jack and ten is an incomplete hand. One needs to stop further damage in order to win. Without it, your other cards are four of nothing.
With a straight flush you are on your way to younger looking skin with no confusion of how to play the anti-aging game. Lay down your hand and collect your winnings!