Products and Their Ingredients
Although most consumers pick a product based on smell, texture and it’s advertised ability to work, we must look further into the formulas, and the ingredients that make up those particular products.
Otherwise known as alpha hydroxy acid’s, these naturally sourced acids are found to help with many different skin concerns. Whether chosen to create cell turnover, brighten the skin, or provide moisturizing benefits, these acids are very commonly used and very predictable. Glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid are among the most common acids that are found in products ranging from cleaners , toners, serums and even light skin peels. Long term use of these acids are very beneficial when it comes to creating and maintaining happy healthy skin!!
Just as antioxidants provide us with a healthy inner-self, we look to topical application of these ingredients for our skin as well. The main role of antioxidants in a skin care product will typically refer to cell protection. They are known to combat the free-radical damage that is responsible for the visible signs of aging in addition to preventing call damage all around. Environmental factors can challenge the skin, so daily application of various vitamins and antioxidants can contribute to the overall health of the skin.
Another popular anti-aging ingredient you may have heard about in the recent years are peptides. Peptides are proteins that provide the skin with support and strengthening powers. Most peptide formulas used today are not naturally sourced, but are synthetically built in order to function properly and predictably. Skin care products that incorporate peptides can act as multi takers whereas they act as moisturizers, collagen and elastin stimulators, which ultimately contribute to our skin looking firmer, fuller and healthier.
With extreme popularity, this vitamin A derivative happens to be one of the most effective ingredients used in the skin care industry. It is available in different strengths, which include low-dose over the counter products as well as clinical/prescription formulas. The main goal with a topical vitamin A product is to increase cell turnover. In the realm of anti-aging, this plays a very important role as we try to “get rid of the old as we build the new”. Retinol’s can be found in all various formulas such as gels, creams, lotions and serums.
Sun Protection Products and Ingredients
Exposing your skin unprotected in the sun, especially long term, can put you in a higher category for premature aging of the skin, mild to moderate discolorations, and ultimately at a higher risk for skin cancers. SPF products need to be used on our daily routines, regardless if direct outdoor activities are being performed.
Are you a bit confused by the labels and all the numbers? Over the last few years, the FDA has been trying to implement a new set of regulations and standards on how a product is labeled, which ultimately will make it an easier and well educated choice for all of us. First, we may see changes in the actual number on the container- so the consumer doesn’t actually think that an SPF 100, for example, has the ability to protect them 100%. Those numbers currently only refer to UVB rays. Although important to look at, products that say UVA/ UVB broad spectrum protection is key to a great product.
Being “label conscious” when it comes to the active ingredients is a good start. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide have been well studied and are most commonly used for both UVA/ UVB protection, however we are seeing some newer ingredients that may have similar benefits added to the list that the FDA may approve in time.
UVA and UVB can both ultimately contribute to skin cancers and long term degradation of the skin. UVA mainly refers to the deeper penetrating rays that can age us prematurely, and UVB which tend to be shorter rays that are associated with burning.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are minerals that stay very surface, creating a barrier, and therefore act as a reflective shield. Both ingredients have the reputation of lasting a bit longer due to their formulas and no longer have the white pasty look that was so undesirable years ago.
Other key ingredients to look for in the formulas are antioxidants, which will help with the overall health of the skin. Also the success of a sun protection product is relative to how much is applied and how often. The more exposure one has throughout the day – the more frequent the applications should be. Just remember that daylight means sunlight. Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you don’t need your sun protection. Also, consumers rely on the sunscreen in their makeup, which is very unreliable because it typically requires a heavier layer that most prefer in order to protect the skin properly.
Although a great option for a healthy glow, self tanners are typically associated with uneven color results, unpleasant odors, dryness, etc. The main ingredient that is used in all self tanning products still remains DHA which is what actually “stains the skin”. Being out in the sun triggers the skins natural response to try and protect you. This is the actual pigment that gives our skin additional color but is also known as DNA damage to most skin professionals in the industry including dermatologists. Therefore , self tanners, whether over the counter/at home versions, or at an actual tanning salon that provides the service, are still a better option altogether.
When using products, especially with active ingredients, it is always best to check for the expiration dates. If you are using product religiously, there shouldn’t be a problem with this. However, keep in mind that where you purchase your products is also very important due to the shelf life of products and the environment that they are stored in. A product can lose its effectiveness over a period of time especially if it hasn’t been stored properly, or shipped properly. Most reputable facilities understand good inventory control, as well as understand a client’s needs.