Summary: Neither prominent names nor high dosages are a guarantee for the efficacy of anti-aging actives. There are lots of promises but reality is different. By taking the example of three well-established active agents, their theoretically possible effects and the prerequisites for optimal effects are explained. Hyaluronic acid, the retinoids represented by vitamin A, as well as vitamin C still hold the top positions together with the latest anti-aging developments. A comparative survey additionally provides some helpful tips and hints for the treatment in cosmetic and dermatological practices.