Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Best Skincare Ingredients

The Best Skincare Ingredients To Look For

There are a multitude of ingredients used in beauty and skincare products and making the right choices can be overwhelming if you don’t know which ones truly offer the most desirable benefits. There are three naturally occurring ingredients that I particularly care about when making a determination about the best products to include in my skincare regimen.  



HYALURONIC ACID

This clear substance is naturally produced in our body to lubricate our eyes and joints. Its synthetic version is used as an effective ingredient in beauty and skincare products as a humectant to help plump the skin by drawing a significant amount of water to the skin. Hyaluronic Acid also plays an important role in tissue repair making it an ideal treatment for acute or chronic wounds, burns, pressure ulcers, and eczema. This substance may also possess a free-radical scavenging property which may help significantly protect the skin from sun damage. It is non-irritating, lightweight, and compatible with any other beauty ingredients or products. For best results, use it in addition to a moisturizer or cream and apply a liberal amount to dry areas at least twice a day. It may also be safely mixed with your skin care products as its topical form does not cause any known harmful side effects. It can be found in products under the names Hyaluronan and Sodium Hyaluronate as well.



ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHAs)

AHAs are mostly naturally occurring compounds that are derived from fruits like apples, papayas, pineapples, grapes, lemons and strawberries; sour milk; and sugar cane. They have become popular and effective beauty product ingredients because of their ability to exfoliate or slough off dull, dead cells on the skin’s surface which accumulate as we age. Glycolic acid, a safe and non-irritating form of AHAs that comes from sugar cane, penetrates the skin’s top layer easily and effectively. Used in low concentrations of 5-10%, AHAs in products are safe to use on a daily basis to help manage acne, melasma, sun damage, keratosis pilaris, fine lines and wrinkles, and other discolorations or pigmentary issues. Look for creams, moisturizers or lotions, soaps or cleansers, toners, and scrubs that contain either the ingredient name glycolic acid or AHAs and follow instructions on use. If you have sensitive skin, find one with the lowest concentration (5%), test product on your skin before continued use, use sunscreen regularly, and incorporate aloe vera or allantoin in your skincare regimen to avoid and treat irritation.




ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants are probably the most important and sought after skin care ingredients and there are lots of great reasons why. Free radicals cause oxidative damage which leads to a dysfunction of the body’s and skin’s cells, a process that leads to premature aging and possibly cancer. Since antioxidants are packed with nutrients that include Vitamins A (retinoids and retinoic acid), C (L-ascorbic acid)  & E (tocopherol), Selenium, Ferulic Acid, Coenzyme Q-10, and polyphenols (from green tea), they offer the most benefits to protect the skin from and combat free radical damage and to achieve and maintain healthy skin by promoting cell and tissue growth. These wonderful benefits include skin rejuvenation and firming; treatment of existing fine lines and wrinkles; protection from and repair of sun damage (UVR); reducing inflammation from acne, psoriasis and eczema; minimizing scarring and promoting development of new skin; and boosting collagen production. Antioxidants are found in a lot of natural and organic skincare products including creams and lotions, serums and soaps. Make sure they are a part of your daily skincare routine for satisfactory long-term results.