Best ingredients for beautiful skin.
Best Ingredients for beautiful, youthful skin
There are a myriad of ingredients being touted in skincare as the next best thing since sliced bread. It can be confusing when you are faced with huge marketing campaigns and don't have a PhD in cosmetic science. There are some key Active Ingredients that you should definitely look out for and try to include in your skincare regime. With two caveats:
- Make sure that the skincare brand you are considering uses Active Ingredients in the full concentrations, as they were clinically tested. Especially important for leave-on products such as moisturiser. If they don't include that information on their website, ask them. If they've got nothing to hide, they've got no reason not to tell you. This is the only way you will get the results the ingredient claims.
- Most, though not all, active ingredients have been tested with application twice per day. Again, if you are not using the ingredient as they were clinically tested, you will not get the same extent of results claimed.
SPF - Sun Protection Factor
UVA causes skin ageing. UVB causes skin burning. Make sure you select an SPF that has protection against UBA and UVB. Often called broad spectrum it is critical to help prevent premature skin ageing. Given that most UV damage is done early in life, start using SPF protection as early as possible. SPF 15 is the minimum you need for daily skin protection. Using moisturiser with an SPF is fine and be sure to cover all areas of the face (and neck). Be sure to find ways to get some Vitamin D either through sun exposure or supplementation.
Hyaluronic Acid - sometimes called Sodium Hyaluronate or SHA
This is the most effective water binding ingredient, holding up to 1000 times its own weight in water. There are different molecular weights available. The smaller weight penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin. It is important to make sure you select a brand that uses 2/3 different molecular weights in each product so that you can retain water throughout the layers of skin. Primal Hyal is a low weight hyaluronic acid molecule, and as well as moisture retention and skin plumping, it also activates the beta defensins, that hellp to prevent the microbial invasion that causes spots. So, if you have a problem or acneic skin, use treatment products that include this particular type of Hyaluronic Acid. This ingredient is effective even in small concentrations. In fact, over use of this ingredient makes the product really sticky and mainly serves as a marketing purpose. Do look out for any product that says it is 100% Hyaluronic Acid - that statement is untrue and that can be proven if the ingredient list has any other ingredient on it.
Retinol - sometimes called Vitamin A, Retinoic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate
Retinol has as stood the test of time and been proven to reduce signs of skin ageing, help acneic skin and reduce scarring. It does this by increasing cell turnover. This means that newer skin cells are accelerated to the surface, reducing wrinkles, spots, scarring and uneven tone and texture. Retinol works by causing inflammation in the skin and typical negative effects are redness, skin peeling, dryness, flaking, soreness. These effects can be mistaken for exfoliation, but are actually are signs of the inflammation that Retinol causes. The maximum concentration of Retinol legal in the EU is 0.3% and I advise to stick with that. While there has been a trend, supported by many bloggers and journalists, to use 1 or 2% Retinol and even buy high dose Tretinoin from Mexico, i advise against. There is a reason 0.3% is the maximum dose in the EU and that is safety. In addition, there is growing evidence that suggests little and often is the way to go, rather than an infrequent blast of high dose that has your skin looking like it is falling off. While some will tell you that Retinol should not be used in combination with other ingredients, there is no evidence that any other ingredient will undermine the performance of Retinol I suggest that you look out for Retinol in 0.3% which is combined with a peptide like Matrixyl. The combination of increased cell turnover, with collagen boosting action of Matrixyl is a powerful combination to get your skin looking significantly more youthful. You must use an SPF during the day when using Retinol at night.
Matrixyl is a peptide that was originally used in skin healing. It was invented by Professor Karl Lintner, who has been involved in selecting all the active ingredients in MERUMAYA products. It was the subject of the BBC Horizon documentary and was proven in trials conduced at Manchester University to work brilliantly well. At the time, Boots Protect & Perfect was used as the subject, however it's Matrixyl that was the workhorse so look out for this powerful ingredient. You may want to look at MERUMAYA Youth Preservation Moisturiser™ SPF20 and Retinol Resurfacing Treatment™
Inflammation is the body's natural response to damage from UV light, pollution, smoking, cuts, disease, etc. Appropriate inflammation is good; the cornerstone of good health even. However, when it hangs around for too long it causes damage to cells and that can result in skin ageing, acne, rosacea, exzema, psoriasis, sensitivity and many other conditions.
From a skincare point of view, it can be difficult for people with these skin conditions to use high performance skincare without reacting. Look out for brands that use multiple anti-inflammatory's in clinically tested concentrations. Look out for Echium Oil especially, which contains Stearidonic Acid at about 12-14% vs. fish oils containing about 2-4%. That is why it is a truly amazing anti-oxidant, immediately calming skin ageing, acneic and highly sensitive skins. It's also a plant source of omega 3,6,9.
Everything reacts with oxygen and the oxygenation ages everything. You are oxidising as you read this. The good news is, it means you are alive. Give the air a punch of joy! We can help prevent the damage by using anti-oxidants. Look out for Vitamin C (make sure it is encapsulated so that it is still potent when it hits your skin), Vitamin E, Mangosteen Extract, Echium Oil and others.
There are many types of acids but generally AHA's are good all rounders. They tend to come from fruits and act to loosen the 'glue' that holds skin cells together at the surface, allowing them to be removed and revealing younger skin cells below. This is called exfoliation and it happens naturally in your skin, though the process slows as we age. Pretty much all skin types can benefit from exfoliation to make skin look brighter and clearer and to make skin look more youthful, reduce spots and minimise scarring. Do use and SPF during the day.
Chose from brands that offer good information on their website, research for yourself, googling anything or any ingredient and look at customer reviews.