Rejuvenating products which prematurely age the skin? A Dutch news service recently reported that anti-wrinkle creams may age your skin. 

The source of this news was claimed to be a British study, but a closer look revealed that the source are the opinions of two dermatologists about the use of skin care products and substances such as vitamin A acid and glycolic acid by younger women. 
Dermatologist Nick Lowe's product label
Dr. Susan Mayou

The dermatologists do not disapprove of vitamin A acid and glycolic acid, in fact Dr. Nick Lowe has his own product label which contains these ingredients and Dr. Susan Mayou uses Vitamine A Acid herself. They however warn that mis-use of cosmetic products can lead to premature ageing of the skin. 

Do cosmetic products cause premature ageing of the skin?

Surprisingly enough cosmetic products which contain irritating ingredients can indeed cause premature ageing of the skin according to Dr. Jetske Ultee (Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology). Her advice is to avoid long term use of irritating substances which have no beneficial use to the skin. 

Dr. Jetske Ultee
List of ingredients that are proven to be irritating to the skin:

Perfume - All types of alcohol (except at the bottom of the ingredientlist and except with the addition of cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl, and lanolin) - Balsam of Peru - Bergamot - cinnamic acid - Mint-like substances - Eucalyptus - Camphor - Citrus-like substances - Lavender - Geranium - Methylisothiazolinone - Tea tree oil - Witch hazel - ylangylang - oxybenzone - PABA - Propylene glycol - Sodium laurylsulfate - Methyl nicotinate - Synthetic dyes - Acetone

Scans of the skin can reveal invisible damage making your skin more susceptible to irritation, redness or blemishes.

Irritating skin rejuvenating ingredients 

There are some substances which have a rejuvenating effect on the skin: glycolic acid and vitamin A acid. This has been proven through many scientific studies over the years.

Vitamin A acid and glycolic acid are wonderful substances but can definitely irritate the skin. If you use them correctly you can avoid irritation and achieve an outstanding result. Always gradually build up their use and keep a close eye to see how your skin reacts. If necessary you can either reduce the use of the product or choose a lower concentration of the active substance. Because both substances remove the top layer of dead skin cells, the skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight so good protection is essential. Daily use minimum of SPF 15 or more is recommended.
Study shows efficacy Glycolic acid
How do glycolic acid and vitamin A acid work?

Glycolic acid thins the stratum corneum (dead skin layer) and improves the production of new skin cells. This makes the skin less dull and more smooth. Using higher concentrations (25%) glycolic acid can stimulate the production of collagen and elastin and reduce surface pigmentation spots. Glycolic acid can even decrease the risk of developing skin cancer according to one study.

Vitamin A acid improves the structure of the skin, fine lines and pigmentation and helps maintain “healthy” cell division. 


Keep an eye on your skin and how it reacts to products and irritants. Cut back on the use (dose or use) if necessary and rejuvenating cosmetic products will not age your skin prematurely. 

NOTE: Vitamine A acid and Glycolic acid in higher (more) effective concentrations are prescription drugs and should not be used without tailored expert guidance.

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Jetske Ultee

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