ACTIVE SKINCARE INGREDIENTS
There are a number of ingredients used in topical skincare that are more beneficial to the skin than the usual water loss prevention that most moisturisers provide.
Increase the hydration of the skin as well as polishing the surface by encouraging sloughing of dead skin cells. Products with alpha-hydroxy acids may help with fine lines, irregular pigmentation and age spots, and may help shrink enlarged pores. In excess, they can be drying and irritating to the skin but generally improve texture and tone when used appropriately. A sunscreen should always be used with AHA products as they temporarily increase sensitivity to the sun for the first few hours after use. They are especially useful for acne, fine lines and combination skin
Salicylic acid removes dead skin and can improve the texture and color of sun-damaged skin. It penetrates the hair follicle and stabilizes oil production, and as a result, helps with acne. It is a very popular ingredient in cleansers because it improves the feel of the skin after cleansing and moderates oil production. It also gives improvement in skin texture and color.
There are many different forms of vitamin A that can be used in skincare and all have their benefits. Finding the one that gives maximal improvement in skin quality and thickness and texture with minimal irritation will give the best results for any particular person. Retinol is derived from vitamin A and is found in many over-the-counter “anti-aging” skin care products but is often irritating to the skin. Retinyl Palmitate and other forms of vitamin A are gentler than old fashioned retinol. Vitamin A containing products are designed to penetrate the dermis and encourage growth. It also improves pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, skin tone and color, and the skin's hydration levels.
Vitamin C and its derivatives such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbyl palmitate have potential to improve skin texture and tone as well as pigmentation and pore size. Vitamin C is antioxidant so has many benefits to the skin. L-ascorbic acid is the most useful form of vitamin C in skin care products but is difficult to stabilize and shortens the life of the product. With age and sun exposure, collagen synthesis in the skin decreases, leading to wrinkles. Vitamin C is the only antioxidant proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, minimizing fine lines, scars, and wrinkles.
Hyaluronic acid (a glycosaminoglycan) occurs naturally in humans and animals, and is found in skin, other tissues, and joint fluid. It is an important component of connective tissue, and is known to cushion and lubricate. Hyaluronic acid abundance decreases with age, reduced nutrition, smoking and other environmental toxins. Using skincare with hyaluronic acid can boost the levels of this water binding molecule in the skin, thus improving hydration, plumpness and firmness of the skin. Nutrients that improve the skin can travel through it more easily when it is well hydrated so hyaluronic acid assists other active ingredients to benefit skin.
Peptides are multifunctional skin-care actives, with generally 2 – 10 amino acids, that can reduce wrinkles, treat acne, improve skin tone and elasticity and lighten or tan skin. Peptides are created in the body in response to stimuli in order to achieve healing. Applying peptides tricks skin into thinking that it is injured and needs to make additional types of proteins. Peptides induce or inhibit the formation of a specific type of protein and can stimulate collagen, elastin, laminin, hyaluronic acid, elastin, epidermal growth factor (EGF), and other growth factors, or act directly or indirectly to inhibit an enzyme such as tyrosinase, which stimulates skin darkening, or matrix metalloproteases (MMPs 1, 2 and 9) that can degrade tissue. Peptides also act as facilitators to transport important trace elements (such as copper and manganese) necessary for wound healing and enzymatic processes. Copper peptide promotes collagen and elastin production, acts as an antioxidant, and promotes production of glycosaminoglycans. The substance helps to firm, smooth, and soften skin, and remove damaged collagen and elastin from the skin and scar tissue.
There are a multitude of skin lightening agents mostly all derived from the plant based substance Arbutin. These substances inhibit the enzyme that converts tyrosine to melanin, thus reducing the expression of colour in the skin. They can be used to generally lighten the skin or for spot treatment. There are also other substances that can be added that inhibit the transport of the melanin to the surface, or the inflammation that can result in hyperpigmentation.
ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
Alpha-lipoic acid has been referred to as a "universal antioxidant" because it is soluble in both water and oil, which permits its entrance to all parts of the cell. Due to this quality, it is believed that alpha-lipoic acid can provide the greatest protection against damaging free radicals when compared with other antioxidants. Alpha-lipoic acid can help to diminish fine lines, gives skin a healthy glow, and boosts levels of other antioxidants, such as vitamin C.
DMAE is produced in the brain but is also present in anchovies, salmon, and sardines. DMAE boosts the production of acetylcholine, which is important for proper mental functions. DMAE in skin care products may affect cellular metabolism as it shows remarkable effects when applied topically to skin, resulting in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
Niacinamide can inhibit inflammation within the skin, which reduces a lot of damage to the skin. Because of this vitamin B3 derivative’s anti-inflammatory effects topical niacinamide-based products are extremely useful in treating acne, rosacea, and hyper-pigmentation.
Ceramides help improve the skin’s barrier function and therefore greatly reduce transepidermal water loss. Ceramides are made naturally by the skin to waterproof it. They also repair the barrier when it is damaged, and assist with cellular regulation.
Often used in conjunction with other antioxidants, Vitamin E helps to stabilize the typically unstable vitamin C. It is naturally found in human skin, but it’s easily depleted because of UV exposure and other toxins.
Restoration Clinic copyright of Keturah Cosmetics 2018
Photography by Risa Herman
Design by Zoe Hoffman
First floor, Unit 9, 405 Oxford St, Mt Hawthorn
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