ingredient explainer

Here's How Prejuvenative Skin Care Actually Works

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Meet our current favorite beauty buzzword, prejuvenation. A new topic in skin care, prejuvenation is a combination of prevention and rejuvenation. Just as you use SPF to avoid future sun damage, a prejuvenative skin-care routine can help minimize future signs of skin aging. We can't turn back time, but we can start on a high quality skin-care routine as soon as possible. Brands that focus on high-quality ingredients, rigorously tested products, and proven results are the perfect place to start in order to develop a skin-care routine that will help prevent early signs of aging and keep skin glowing for a long, long time.

After 30 years as a physician-focused skin-care company, Obagi has released its own retail line of skin care available exclusively at Sephora. Each product is developed to aid in prejuvenation and provide the excellent ingredient quality that really makes a difference in skin-care products. The science-backed formulas help the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while also addressing the concerns you're dealing with today.

Obagi ClinicalTM products are formulated with some ingredients you may be familiar with (think vitamin C and retinol) and others that may require a bit of explaining (like kinetin and arbutin). But the scientists at Obagi want us to understand what's going into their formulas — so we can better anticipate exactly just how glowy skin will be, thanks to a prejuvenative skin-care routine. We asked dermatologists to explain exactly how these hero ingredients work. Find out how each of the ingredients below — all of which are featured in Obagi ClinicalTM products — will address a variety of skin concerns.

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Courtesy of Obagi

Vitamin C

Sheel Desai Solomon, a board-certified dermatologist in North Carolina, has noticed more and more patients asking about vitamin C. "The ingredient has grown in popularity because it is effective," Solomon says. "Vitamin C helps support the skin's natural collagen, addresses free radicals, and infuses a hefty dose of antioxidants into the dermis and the epidermis." This, she says, makes the ingredient versatile enough to address the needs of different types of skin, at various stages of aging.

Of all of Obagi Clinical's star ingredients, vitamin C is probably the one you know best. As a natural skin brightener, vitamin C is perfect for anyone who is worried about dull skin or wants to smooth skin texture and even skin tone. The Obagi Clinical serum, eye brightener, and sunscreen each contain glow-inducing vitamin C.

TRY IT: Obagi Clinical Vitamin C + Arbutin Brightening Serum, Vitamin C Eye Brightener, and Vitamin C Suncare Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

Courtesy of Obagi

Arbutin

Arbutin, an extract of the bearberry plant, a shrub that grows red, edible berries. According to Zain Husain, a board-certified dermatologist in New Jersey, arbutin also has skin-brightening properties, which add to the radiance-boosting effect of Obagi's Vitamin C + Arbutin Brightening Serum.

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"Arbutin, an alternative to hydroquinone, addresses a key enzyme in melanin pigment production, which helps to brighten and even skin tone. It is often found in creams and serums combined with other skin-brightening ingredients such as vitamin C, kojic acid, or niacinamide," says Husain.

TRY IT: Obagi Clinical Vitamin C + Arbutin Brightening Serum

Courtesy of Obagi

Retinol

As my dermatologist tells me, no skin-care routine is complete without a retinoid, especially if "prejuvenation" is one of your skin goals. Retinoids come in various derivatives, ranging in strength. For example, there are a number of options on the market, including cosmetic retinol and prescription-strength retinoic acid. Obagi Clinical Retinol 0.5 Retexturizing Cream contains entrapped retinol, that is released gradually to minimize skin irritation.

A derivative of vitamin A, retinol has earned a reputation for being a highly effective ingredient for overall glowing skin. "Retinol accelerates cell turnover and exfoliation, which helps with skin tone and brightening," says Husain. "It gives the skin a more youthful appearance by reducing the look of wrinkles and fine lines."

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Retinol is more suitable for those with sensitive skin, says Husain, because it is tolerated much more easily than prescription retinoids. The Obagi Clinical retinol formula also contains chamomile, green tea, and white tea extracts to help soothe skin.

TRY IT: Obagi Clinical Retinol 0.5 Retexturizing Cream

Courtesy of Obagi

Kinetin

"Kinetin is a plant growth factor and a go-to ingredient in prejuvenative skin care. Kinetin has been shown to improve skin texture, tone, and the appearance of wrinkles," says Husain.

Almost half of Obagi Clinical products are formulated with a special Kinetin+ Complex. This complex contains ingredients that have been clinically shown to minimize the signs of skin aging, including the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as signs of sun damage.

According to Solomon, kinetin may help maintain cells' health and vitality for longer periods of time in plants. "In one particular study, when scientists removed kinetin, plant cells began to show regular signs of the aging process again," she says.

Kinetin helps to slow down signs of aging while also acting as an antioxidant to help defend against skin concerns like dark spots and uneven texture. Kinetin is a cytokinin, a class of growth factors "that stimulates cell division and induces plants to grow," says Husain.

"In humans, growth factors are substances like vitamins and hormones produced naturally in the body to promote healthy skin cells," explains Solomon. "Growth factors are necessary to maintain and repair skin cells, but as we age, our skin produces fewer growth factors," she says. To help pick up the slack, Obagi Clinical has formulated multiple products that contain kinetin, giving your skin a refreshed and renewed look.

TRY IT: Obagi Clinical Kinetin+ Hydrating Eye Cream, Kinetin+ Rejuvenating Serum, and Kinetin+ Hydrating Cream

*Clinical significance in human skin has not been established.