The Chemistry of Anti-ageing Products & How They Work

On the back of any container of anti-ageing serum or cream, you read a long incomprehensible list of chemicals that you might not know what their exact roles are within the product. Below is list a top 10 ingredients that have been used in anti-ageing products that are in the market today, for you to read and know what exactly contributes to removing years of our faces.

Hyaluronic acid (HA)

...Is often touted as an active ingredient in anti-aging skin creams. HA is naturally found in the human body, particularly in the eyes and joints. Some describe it as a “fountain of youth”. HA cushions joints, nerves, hydrates skin and hair and fills the eye. When given as an injection it can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but applying it as a topical serum has no proven scientific evidence that it reduces fine lines and wrinkles.


A concoction of Glycerin, Methlyglucoside Phosphate & Copper lysinate / Prolinate – which is aims to re-activate collagen I, III and elastin synthesis to give visibly firmer, more supple skin and relive deep wrinkles.

Copper lysinate / Prolinate

.... Is a molecule that protects against lipid peroxidation. Copper is essential for the formation and maintenance of connective tissues and skeletal mineralization as part of Lysyl oxidase which catalyses cross –linking of collagen thus playing a pivotal role in structural tissue integrity.

Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer

A sodium salt of Hyaluronic acid and the strongest type of moisturizer. Sodium Hyaluronate supports the structure of connective tissue by acting as a water magnet to maintain extracellular fluidity. It functions as a tissue lubricant and facilitates wound healing.

Pseudoalteromonas ferment extract 

... Is a strain of bacteria isolated from mud found on King George Island in Antarctica. It is used in a number of anti-aging products because of its ability to regenerate and protect the skin by retaining moisture and water, heal wounds, increase collagen and elastin production, and improve hydration.  It’s considered to be 100% safe by the Cosmetics Database


... Is a probiotic. Probiotics have been studied for skin health for years and have shown to strengthen skin barrier and maintain moisture.  Probiotics try to offer some hope in slowing down the visible proof of ageing of all of that life experience we’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Saccharide isomerate 

... Is a water-binding agent and emollient. It’s an effective moisturiser containing natural carbohydrates found in the stratum corneum of human skin.

Palmitoyl tripeptide-5  

This synthetic chemical is designed to communicate with healthy skin cells in order to keep them acting in a healthy manner. Palmitoyl tripeptide-5 consists of chains of amino acids, and has the ability to penetrate the epidermis and enter deep into the dermis, where it stimulates collagen production and healthy tissue growth.

Polyglucuronic acid

... Is a polymer of glucuronic acid which is found in HA. HA is comprised of linear, unbranching, polyanionic disaccharide units consisting of glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-glucosamine.

Pentylene glycol

... Is just an emulsifier which thickens the serum / cream. 

Click to enlarge infographic!

If you haven’t seen yesterdays post click here.