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Anti-aging Secret Ingredients

Body+Soul, April/May 2007

Give skin back its youthful luster by reducing age spots and evening out its tone with skin brighteners. Steer clear of conventional picks, which pose risks: Last fall the FDA took steps to ban hydroquinone, a popular skin lightener, from nonprescription products, noting its potential to cause cancer. Instead, look for these natural alternatives to enhance your glow the healthy way.

Ingredient: Arbutin
What It Is: A substance present in cranberry, mulberry, and bearberry leaves
How It Works: Inhibits melanin (pigment) production in the skin, causing gradual lightening

Ingredient: Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
What It Is: Naturally occurring acids found in fruit (malic acid, citric acid), sugar (glycolic acid), and milk (lactic acid)
How It Works: Encourages dull, damaged surface cells to shed and promotes fresh new skin growth

Ingredient: Kojic acid
What It Is: An acid derived from a common fungus
How It Works: Inhibits melanin production, helping to minimize age spots and even out skin tone

Ingredient: Licorice extract
What It Is: A compound sometimes called glabridin that is found in licorice root (aka Glycyrrhiza glabra)
How It Works: Reduces inflammation and redness while inhibiting melanin production

Ingredient: Vitamin C
What It Is: A potent antioxidant also known as ascorbic acid
How It Works: Fosters cell repair and helps prevent further sun damage