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What they do: They make up about "20 percent of the skin's intercellular matrix, the 'glue' that holds skin cells together, [and] helping skin maintain its appearance while protecting it," says Begoun. When your skin suffers from "sun damage, a dry environment or irritating skin care products, ceramides decrease, leaving the skin vulnerable, [therefore,] replenishing the skin's ceramide content is a powerful way to protect skin, helping it act and look younger," she continues.

Products to try:
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Gel Cream, $49
Mario Badescu Skin Care A.H.A. & Ceramide Moisturizer, $20

You can't sit for 20 minutes in front of the tube without some celebrity flash dancing across the screen advertising the new "breakthrough" in anti-aging skin care. The lights are flashy, her skin looks flawless and there is always some gimmick that sets this one apart from the hundreds of other skin care products out there. The next thing you know, you're buying said celebrity-endorsed product only to have it sit under your sink along with the other eye creams you got suckered into buying.

Why does this happen? Well, each year tons of new anti-aging products are launched because companies know you're on a desperate search for that fountain of youth. These products promise to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, abolish sun damage and lift any and every sagging bit on your face. But can you trust them? Paula Begoun, skincare expert and best-selling author of "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," says to be wary. "You can't read into all the hype you see in print and TV advertisements for beauty products," she says. Because if all the claims out there were true, it wouldn't matter which product you bought, be it the serum from the drugstore or the eye cream that cost a mint — they would produce the same anti-aging results.

So, who can you trust? Begoun says the ingredients are dependable. She says not to focus on the brand name or the glitzy commercials, but to look for products that contain the ingredients actually proven to produce noticeable improvements in all signs of aging. Here, she reveals her list of the top anti-aging skin care ingredients along with the beauty products that contain them.

Image via Imaxtree
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