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The Best Anti-Ageing Ingredients in Skincare

When it comes down to it, skincare is only as good as the ingredients included. In terms of anti-ageing formulas, the best skin care ingredients are those that work deeply on skin (we’re talking on a cellular level)..

Best Anti-Ageing Ingredients

You’re most likely acquainted with some of the best-known anti-aging skincare ingredients. Anti-ageing retinol, vitamin C for wrinkles and caffeine to energise skin can all be efficacious and beneficial. To really address or prevent signs of ageing – including fine lines, discolouration or loss of firmness – how you combine those products matters too.

Ahead, we’ve compiled six scientifically proven anti-ageing ingredients and how to use them effectively. Explore the separate benefits of formulas like squalane and hyaluronic acid for a skin-boosting routine. Skincare shouldn’t be complicated – with the right regime in place, radiant and healthy skin can be unlocked at any age.

Anti-ageing ingredients 101

Alongside external stress like UV radiation, some internal changes – like slowed skin cell cycles and a decrease of collagen and elastin – result in common signs of ageing. To combat this, the best anti-ageing ingredients help to protect skin against external stress and encourage renewed skin. Alongside the benefits of hyaluronic acid for wrinkles, see the skin care ingredients that really work – for you or a loved one!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C belongs to the antioxidant family, which are some of the best anti-ageing ingredients around (more on that in a minute). Naturally found in plants, fruits and vegetables, vitamin C can be stabilised for topical use. Our bodies can use vitamin C by turning it into derivatives like L-ascorbic acid and activated C. 

As an antioxidant, vitamin C is particularly talented at protecting skin. Repeated exposure to everyday stressors like UV radiation and pollution can cause skin cells to become destabilised. Use of vitamin C can reverse this weakening of cells – which helps to minimise the appearance of fine lines, alongside discolourations and dulled complexions.

For more information, explore our Vitamin C Benefits for Skin guide.

How to use this anti-ageing ingredient:

You can utilise the benefits of vitamin C for wrinkles and more in moisturisers and serums. For a powerfully-packed eye serum that helps to reduce dark circles, include Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing & Dark Circle-Diminishing Vitamin C Eye Serum in your morning skincare regime.

Hyaluronic acid

As a humectant, hyaluronic acid is a deeply hydrating ingredient. This makes it one of the best ingredients for skin which struggles to hold onto moisture (hello, ageing skin). Hyaluronic acid is already abundant in skin, but its production slows with age – which is partially why dryness and dehydration is so common in later years. By implementing it in anti-ageing routines, plumpness and hydration is encouraged. Hyaluronic acid is also an incredibly gentle ingredient, meaning that all skin types can easily adopt it and other ingredients are supported by it.

For more information, explore our Hyaluronic Benefits for Skin guide.

How to use this anti-ageing ingredient:

Try using hyaluronic for wrinkles in a serum formula – as the skincare product penetrates deeply, providing hydration to numerous skin layers. Vital Skin-Strengthening Super Serum is formulated with 11kDa hyaluronic acid – our smallest form. Alongside adaptogenic herbal complex, this super serum neutralises skin ageing stressors for renewed complexions. 


Squalane is an emollient – a waxy ingredient that helps to moisturise and prevent water loss. Like hyaluronic acid, squalene (note the spelling difference) is abundant in skin’s natural oils. Production also decreases with age – but can be reimplemented though the squalane version. Gentle and nourishing, squalane is one of the most moisturising anti-ageing ingredients available.

How to use this anti-ageing ingredient:

Reaping the skincare benefits of squalane is easy with Kiehl’s. Squalane is most beneficial in – you probably guessed it – moisturising skincare. You can use it in moisturisers like the Ultra Facial Cream to hydrate the skin barrier, and also in face oils like Midnight Recovery Concentrate as a moisturising ‘sealant’


One of the best known and best anti-ageing ingredients, retinol is a skin-renewing superhero. A derivative of vitamin A, the benefits of retinol for wrinkles are relatively unmatched in the skincare world. So what does Retinol do? Anti-ageing retinol stimulates cell growth, prevents the degradation of collagen and elastin, and inhibits the growth of proteins which result in wreaked skin barriers. If that sounds like a lot of benefits, it’s because it is! So, what does this mean for the look and feel of skin? Correct use results in refined and even skin texture, reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and brightened complexions.

How to use this anti-ageing ingredient:

The most effective way to use this ingredient is in a Retinol serum. Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum contains pure retinol alongside ceramides and peptides for potent yet supportive results. This serum is suitable for all skin types and is perfect for beginners or those with sensitive skin. For more potent results, try our potent Retinol night serum formulated with our most concentrated dose of retinol to achieve real results fast. As the ingredient sensitises skin, we recommend using it in the evening only, and always follow with SPF in the morning.


Used frequently in cleansers and scrubs to awaken skin, it’s no surprise that caffeine is an invigorating ingredient. What you might not be aware of is that caffeine is one of the skin care ingredients that really work for ageing. When used daily, caffeine helps to promote circulation, which reduces under-eye puffiness. Because of the amino acids it contains, it can also promote elastin and collagen production in skin. Finally, it’s an antioxidant, helping to address fine lines and wrinkles.

How to use this anti-ageing ingredient:

Moisturisers, cleansers and scrubs are all great uses of this multi-faceted ingredient. Facial Fuel Energising Moisture Treatment For Men is an awaking moisturiser for men, which works to reduce occurrences of dullness common in ageing skin.

Glycolic Acid

One aspect of slowing skin cycles is increased build-ups of dead skin. Without the natural shedding of old skin cells that we enjoy in our teens and 20s, dead skin is left to remain on skin. This means roughened skin textures and dulled complexions – both common to mature skin. Glycolic acid is effective at exfoliating skin, making it incredibly useful in anti-ageing routines. Used in cleansers, serums and exfoliators, glycolic acid can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve skin texture.

Best anti-ageing ingredients

Loved this guide? Discover your new anti-aging skincare routine next.


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