The superstar addition: topical soy. “Soy contains polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants that scavenge up skin-damaging free radicals that you come into contact with on a daily basis,” board-certified dermatologist Jeffrey Morris, M.D., FAAD (aka, @TikTokSkinDoc1), recently explained in this TikTok video

This is important, as free radicals can throw your skin into a state of oxidative stress. When you stay under that kind of stress, skin aging will accelerate. 

Morris adds, “It mimics the hormone estrogen, which mitigates the effects of menopause on the skin2.”

This sounds confusing, but here’s why it works: Soy can increase your skin thickness by improving collagen production and microcirculation3 (aka, blood flow) and decreases the degradation of your dermal matrix, as he says, which influences sagging and wrinkling of the skin. 

Morris notes that soybean oil is best for anyone with dry or sensitive skin because it serves as an occlusive barrier to trap in hydration. “It also contains linoleic acid, which is the building block of ceramides, which can help repair a damaged skin barrier,” he adds. 

One study even documents soybean oil’s protective activity against UVB-induced skin inflammation4, like sunburn. Morris notes that soybean oil will never replace sunscreen, but it can be a helpful booster ingredient. 

Finally, it’s helpful for those with an uneven complexion: “It inhibits an enzyme in pigment product called tyrosinase5, so it evens out skin tone and is great for people with dark spots and melasma,” he shares.

One important note is that soybean oil isn’t the best for anyone with super-oily skin or those prone to breakouts, as it could clog the pores. But for those with mature skin prone to dryness, it’s sublime.