Power ingredients in your skincare
Have you ever been to your local aesthetic practice with intentions of purchasing skincare products but left empty handed because the endless list of ingredients left you more confused than before? Or has your therapist tried to explain why you need a certain product but you can’t seem to fully understand the “Greek” words she is using…
Well here are a couple of “buzz words” that may catch your eye when purchasing your next lot of skincare products and may help you in making the best decision for your skin.
Peptides are chains of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins in the skin. When peptides form a long chain of amino acids, they become proteins. When they are in a short chain of amino acids, they can penetrate the top layer of our skin and send signals to our cells to let them know how to function. Peptides are messenger cells that send specific instructions to perform a specific task i.e. smoothing, plumping, and hydrating.
One of the most important proteins in our skin is collagen. Collagen gives our skin its thickness, suppleness and youthfulness. When collagen breaks down in the skin (from age and environmental factors like the sun, stress and diet), wrinkles form.
Peptides applied topically to the skin (i.e. in your skincare products) can send a signal to collagen to prompt the formation of new collagen, and voila, you have the appearance of more youthful, supple skin! This potent anti-ageing ingredient is all the craze now and is a definite must when choosing your next product.
We’ve all heard this word and know it is important but how exactly do anti-oxidants benefit the skin? But first, let’s see how oxidants, otherwise known as free-radicals, cause damage to the skin.
Free-radicals are very harmful to the skin. Free-radicals contribute towards the deterioration of the skin’s structural support and decrease the elasticity, resilience, and suppleness of skin. They are often tagged as the culprit in the case of wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity and suppleness. Free-radicals are caused mainly by external influences such as harmful UV rays and pollution but internal influences are just as damaging such as smoking, poor diet and stress. Anti-oxidants are used in skincare products to fight against these ageing free-radicals and prevent them from destroying existing healthy cells. Anti-oxidant rich skincare products will contain components of Vitamins A, C and E.
Stem cells are phenomenal healers that can morph into a healthy existing cell. An example would be transforming a raisin back into a grape. By regenerating the existing damaged cell, we can give back some of the strength, suppleness and youthfulness our skins once had.
Plant-derived stem cells typically are obtained from plants and fruits that can stay fresh for a long time or regenerate on their own. Extracts of these stem cells are added to products to help neutralize free radicals and fight signs of aging and sun.
So Hyaluronic Acid isn’t exactly a “latest” ingredient but rather a long-standing winner in skincare. And don’t be fooled by the word acid… this ingredient does not strip the skin like normal fruit acids but does in fact the exact opposite. It is a powerful humectant (moisture binding ingredient) that can help to keep your skin hydrated, plump and looking radiant!
Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring component found in the human body. With age these levels drop, specifically. Even though it may be impossible to get back to our plump and dewy baby skin, we can improve our skin by applying this ingredient to it.
One way that we can achieve this is through hyaluronic acid fillers or serums and needling. This product is injected directly into the skin to help plump out fine lines and wrinkles. Another effective way to introduce hyaluronic acid into the skin is topically through serums and moisturisers. While it won’t give you the dramatic and instantaneous results that you would get from dermal fillers or needling, you can see benefits in the form of softer, smoother and more hydrated skin. Apart from hydrating the skin it also helps to improve elasticity and reverse free radical damage.
“I’m a big believer in that if you focus on good skincare, you really won’t need a lot of makeup.” – Demi Moore
Written by Holly
© The Aesthetics Centre November 2014