Anti Aging Skin Cream: How Does It Work?

Welcome to the world of anti aging skin care, a realm where science and beauty converge to combat the timeless concern of aging skin. In this comprehensive guide, we'll unravel the mysteries behind the creams and potions that promise to turn back the clock on our skin. 

From understanding how our skin ages to exploring the key ingredients in anti-aging skin care, we'll delve into what makes these creams effective and how to choose the right one for your skin type and concerns. Let's embark on this quest for youthful, radiant skin together.

How our skin ages

A combination of intrinsic (natural) and extrinsic (environmental) factors contribute to visible signs of aging. 

Intrinsic aging is the natural aging process that typically begins in our mid-20s. As we age intrinsically, our skin's ability to produce collagen decreases. Collagen is the protein that gives our skin strength and elasticity. 

Alongside collagen, the production of elastin also diminishes. Elastin is another protein responsible for skin elasticity. The fat cells beneath the skin begin to shrink, and the skin's ability to retain moisture lessens, all contributing to fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, skin cell turnover and the body's natural ability to repair itself slow down, leading to a duller, less vibrant skin appearance.

Extrinsic aging refers to external factors that accelerate aging, the most significant of which is sun exposure. UV radiation from the sun breaks down collagen and elastin fibers, leading to photoaging characterized by deep wrinkles, rough skin texture, and uneven pigmentation like age spots. 

Other extrinsic factors include lifestyle choices like smoking, which leads to reduced blood flow and contributes to wrinkles, and repeated facial expressions, which form expression lines. Environmental pollutants and chronic stress also contribute to extrinsic aging by generating free radicals — unstable molecules that damage cells. 

The combined effect of intrinsic and extrinsic aging results in the common signs of skin aging: wrinkles and fine lines, loss of firmness and elasticity, dryness, thinner skin, and age spots. 

While intrinsic aging is a natural, unavoidable process, it’s possible to significantly reduce extrinsic aging through protective measures like regular use of sunscreen, a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

Key ingredients in anti-aging creams and their functions

Key ingredients in anti-aging creams and their functions


Retinoids are a class of powerful compounds derived from Vitamin A, widely acclaimed in dermatology for their profound effects on the skin. They are used in various forms and concentrations in over-the-counter skin care products and prescription medications. 

Retinoids work at the molecular level by binding to specific retinoid receptors in skin cells, impacting cell functions that contribute to skin health and appearance.

The most common forms of retinoids include:

  • Retinol: A gentler, over-the-counter version of retinoids commonly found in various skin care products. Retinol is converted to retinoic acid in the skin and is used for its anti-aging, acne-treating, and complexion-enhancing properties.
  • Retinoic acid: A more potent form of retinoid, available typically by prescription. It's used for more severe skin concerns, including pronounced signs of aging and moderate to severe acne.
  • Adapalene: A synthetic retinoid often used in the treatment of acne. It's available over the counter in lower concentrations and by prescription in higher strengths.
  • Tazarotene is another stronger retinoid used for acne and psoriasis with potent anti-aging effects. It's available by prescription.
  • The effectiveness of retinoids lies in their ability to expedite skin cell turnover, meaning they help the skin shed dead cells and regenerate new ones more quickly. 

    This process reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin discolorations, improves texture, and unclogs pores, making them effective against acne. Retinoids also boost collagen production, adding to their anti-aging benefits.

    However, their potency means that retinoids initially cause side effects like dryness, redness, and peeling. It's important for users to start with lower concentrations and gradually increase as the skin builds tolerance, and always use them as directed by a healthcare professional. Additionally, due to their powerful nature, retinoids are not recommended during pregnancy.


    Peptides are short chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. In skin care, peptides are used to provide various anti-aging benefits. They are mainly known for stimulating collagen production, which is necessary for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness.

    There are different types of peptides, each serving a specific function in skin care:

  • Signal peptides send signals to skin cells to boost collagen production and other essential proteins like elastin and glycosaminoglycans. By doing so, they help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin firmness.
  • Carrier peptides deliver trace elements like copper and magnesium to the skin, which are beneficial for wound healing and enzymatic processes. This helps in skin repair and rejuvenation.
  • Neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides: Often referred to as 'Botox-like peptides,' these work by inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters that cause muscle contraction. As a result, they help reduce the appearance of expression lines, such as crow's feet and forehead wrinkles.
  • Enzyme inhibitor peptides slow the rate at which collagen is broken down, helping preserve the skin’s natural structure and firmness.
  • When applied topically, peptides are small enough to penetrate the upper layer of the skin. Once absorbed, they act as messengers, signaling the skin to perform various functions, including repairing itself, which is necessary for maintaining youthful-looking skin. 

    Regularly using peptide-infused skin care products might improve skin texture, tone, and overall appearance. However, it's important to note that the effectiveness of peptides in skin care depends on their stability, concentration, and the formulation of the product.



    Antioxidants are molecules that combat oxidative stress. In skin care, antioxidants protect the skin from various external aggressors, including UV radiation, pollution, and environmental stress.

    Free radicals are generated through everyday processes like exposure to UV light, pollution, and even natural metabolic processes. They cause oxidative stress, which accelerates the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. 

    This breakdown shows signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, and a loss of firmness and elasticity. Free radicals also trigger inflammation and contribute to skin conditions like acne and rosacea.

    Some of the most well-known antioxidants used in skin care include:

  • Vitamin C: Renowned for its brightening properties, Vitamin C also boosts collagen production, reduces the appearance of skin discoloration, and enhances overall skin texture.
  • Vitamin E: Often used with Vitamin C, Vitamin E moisturizes and helps strengthen the skin barrier. It also helps neutralize free radicals and reduces UV-induced skin damage.
  • Retinol (Vitamin A): Apart from being an antioxidant, retinol is famous for its anti-aging properties, promoting skin renewal and collagen production.
  • Green tea extract: Contains catechins, potent antioxidants known for their anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for acne and rosacea-prone skin.
  • Resveratrol: Found in grapes, resveratrol protects the skin from environmental damage and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): This versatile antioxidant reduces inflammation, evens skin tone, and improves skin barrier function.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Helps in energy production in cells and diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Antioxidants in skin care are found in serums, creams, and sunscreens. By incorporating antioxidants into your skin care routine, you help your skin fight the signs of aging and improve its overall health and resilience against environmental damage. Regularly using antioxidant-rich products leads to a more radiant, youthful-looking complexion.

    Hyaluronic acid

    Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the human body, renowned in skin care for its remarkable ability to retain moisture. It's a type of glycosaminoglycan, which is essentially a fancy term for a substance that holds onto water effectively. 

    This property makes hyaluronic acid a superstar ingredient in many skin care products, particularly those aimed at hydration and anti-aging.

    Moisture retention

    Hyaluronic acid holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. When applied topically, it helps hydrate the skin by retaining moisture in its outer layer. This provides immediate plumping and smoothing and enhances skin's hydration over time.

    Suitable for all skin types

    Hyaluronic acid is incredibly gentle and suitable for all skin types, including oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. It doesn't clog pores or contribute to oiliness, making it an excellent moisturizing option for those who might shy away from heavier creams.

    Healing and soothing abilities

    Hyaluronic acid is also known for its skin healing and soothing properties. It helps skin repair and regeneration, making it beneficial for post-procedure care or to calm irritated skin.

    AHAs and BHAs

    Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) are two types of hydroxy acids commonly used in skin care for exfoliation, each with distinct properties and benefits.

    AHAs are water-soluble acids derived from sugary fruits and other plants. AHAs exfoliate the skin's surface, breaking the bonds between dead skin cells. They encourage the skin’s outer layer to shed, resulting in a more even skin tone, reduced fine lines, smoother texture, and a brighter complexion.

    AHAs generally work for most skin types, but they might increase your sensitivity to the sun, making daily sunscreen wear essential. 

    BHAs are oil-soluble acids that penetrate pores to exfoliate dead skin cells and excess sebum. This makes them particularly effective in treating acne and blackheads. BHAs also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which calms inflamed, acne-prone skin. BHAs are ideal for oily and combination skin types.


    Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of Vitamin B3. It has become increasingly popular in skin care due to its wide range of benefits for various skin types and concerns. It is well-regarded for its versatility, effectiveness, and typically gentle nature on the skin.

    Improves your skin barrier function

    Niacinamide helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier function by increasing the production of ceramides, which are lipids that keep the skin hydrated and protect against environmental aggressors. This is particularly beneficial for dry and sensitive skin, as it enhances its ability to retain moisture and reduces susceptibility to irritants.

    Anti-inflammatory properties

    It has anti-inflammatory properties, effectively reducing redness, swelling, and irritation. This makes niacinamide an excellent ingredient for those with acne, rosacea, and other inflammatory skin conditions.

    Regulating oil production

    For oily and acne-prone skin, niacinamide regulates sebum production, reducing the occurrence of breakouts and the appearance of enlarged pores.

    Brightening and hyperpigmentation

    Niacinamide is known for its ability to lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation by inhibiting pigment transfer to skin cells. It improves skin tone and reduces the appearance of discoloration over time.

    Anti-aging benefits

    By boosting collagen production, niacinamide reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, contributing to a more youthful and revitalized skin appearance.

    How anti-aging creams work

    How anti-aging creams work

    Anti-aging creams are a staple in skin care routines to combat the visible signs of aging. They work through a combination of active ingredients, each contributing in different ways to improve the skin's appearance and health. Here's how these creams typically function:

    Stimulating collagen production

    Collagen is the protein responsible for the skin's firmness and elasticity. As we age, collagen production diminishes, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. Ingredients like retinoids and peptides in anti-aging creams stimulate collagen production, helping to firm the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


    Keeping the skin well-hydrated is crucial for a youthful appearance. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid in anti-aging creams attract moisture to the skin, plumping it up and smoothing out fine lines. Well-hydrated skin also repairs itself more efficiently and maintains a healthier barrier against environmental stressors.


    The skin's natural exfoliation process slows down with age. Anti-aging creams often contain AHAs or BHAs that help remove dead skin cells from the surface. This improves skin texture and brightness and enhances the absorption of other beneficial ingredients in the cream.

    Antioxidant protection

    Antioxidants like Vitamins C and E, resveratrol, and green tea extract neutralize free radicals. By countering oxidative stress, these ingredients help protect the skin from premature aging caused by environmental factors like UV exposure and pollution.

    Repair and regeneration

    Certain ingredients in anti-aging creams aid in repairing skin damage and promoting cell regeneration. For example, niacinamide improves skin elasticity and reduces discoloration, while retinoids speed up cell turnover to reveal newer, healthier skin.

    Sun protection

    Some anti-aging creams include sun protection factors (SPF) since UV exposure is a major contributor to skin aging. These creams help prevent new damage, while the other ingredients work on repairing existing signs of aging.

    It's important to note that a cream’s effectiveness depends on the concentration and quality of active ingredients, the formulation, regularity of use, and individual skin type and condition. While these creams significantly improve the skin's appearance, they work best as part of a comprehensive skin care routine that includes sun protection, hydration, and healthy lifestyle choices.

    Choosing the right anti-aging cream

    To pick the right anti-aging cream, you’ll need to understand your skin type, identify your main aging concerns, check the active ingredients, and consider the formulation.

    Understand your skin type

    Different skin types respond differently to anti-aging creams. If you have dry skin, look for creams with hydrating ingredients. For oily skin, opt for lighter formulations or serums that don’t clog pores. Those with sensitive skin should choose products with gentle, non-irritating ingredients.

    Identify your main aging concerns

    Anti-aging creams target fine lines, deep wrinkles, skin sagging, dullness, and hyperpigmentation. Identify your primary concerns and choose a product that specifically addresses those issues. 

    Check the active ingredients

    Look for key anti-aging ingredients like retinoids, peptides, antioxidants (like vitamins C and E), AHAs, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. The effectiveness of a product largely depends on the quality and concentration of its active ingredients.

    Consider the formulation

    The product’s formulation should complement your skin type. Creams are great for dry skin, while gels or serums may be better for oilier skin types. Also, consider the texture and feel of the product — if you enjoy using it, you’re more likely to apply it consistently.

    Anti aging skin cream from Kalahari Rose

    If you’re looking to care for your aging skin with the most natural yet effective ingredients, try Kalahari Rose. With ingredients you’ll recognize, our products provide all the benefits of anti aging skin creams without any worries about what you’re putting into your body. 

    Shop our line of skin care products, and see what Kalahari Rose has to offer!