There is a world of difference between anti aging creams and moisturizing creams. For one thing, each is formulated with different goals in mind. Although both aim for beautiful skin, the focus of each one is different. Moisturizing creams are meant to simply address dry skin, but anti aging creams cover a wider range of skin problems, especially those that are related to the aging process, such as fine lines and wrinkles, crow’s feet, dark circles, eye bags, sagging lids, and yes, dry skin.
Anti aging creams and moisturizers also differ in composition. Generally, plain moisturizers are made up of three basic ingredients:
- Water-binders or humectants that are supposed to keep the skin hydrated, especially during humid conditions. Often used in moisturizing creams, serving as humectants are hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, glycerin, and urea.
- Emollients (sometimes called fillers), such as cocoa butter, shea butter, palm kernel oil, and lanolin, to restore natural oils and make the skin smoother.
- Vitamins to nourish the skin. Vitamins A and E are usually found in moisturizing creams.
Anti aging creams meanwhile may also contain these ingredients, but with the addition of:
- Antioxidants. Anti aging creams contain more than just vitamins, they have powerful antioxidants such as Coenzyme Q10, too, to fight free radicals that accelerate the ageing process.
- Fruit acids or hydroxyl acids to remove dead skin cells.
- Peptides toencourage the production of collagen which acts as a filler to make the fine lines and wrinkles appear less visible.
- Retinol that helps to reverse aging by stimulating new skin cell growth.
- Kinetin which, like peptides, helps increase the production of collagen.
- Hydroxyl acids to remove dead skin cells, revealing younger, smoother, and more beautiful skin.
Anti aging creams can act as moisturizers, themselves, but moisturizing products may not double up as an anti aging cream. Although many moisturizers nowadays contain hydroxyl acids, in the absence of the other age-defying ingredients, they are still classified as that – moisturizers. There should be no reason to be confused as to what beauty cream you need, though. If dry skin appears before the other signs of aging do, then your problem is simply that your skin is dry, and this can be resolved with a good quality moisturizing cream. On the other hand if age spots, along with dry skin, are already starting to become more visible than you’d like to admit, then what you need is an anti aging cream, not a moisturizing cream.
As to when is the best time to use either one, however, that is difficult to say. For people who are not so blessed with good genetics, the need to use a moisturizing cream may come earlier than most. In like manner, people who have been taking good care of their skin from the start may not need an anti aging cream even if they are already in their 30s. The bottom line is, you decide what and when to use these beauty products based on the condition of your skin.