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CHOOSING THE RIGHT SKINCARE PRODUCT

Nadia Lam

When choosing a skincare product, the most important thing to look for is not the name or the design of the packaging.  It’s the ingredients.  It’s the ingredients that make the product.  If they are not suitable for the skin and will cause damage in the long run, then you are going backwards in your skin health rather than going forward.

Going more natural and organic is definitely ideal when choosing a product.  But if you don’t know what to look for in the ingredients then you will choose the product blindly and risk further damage in the skin.  There are many great ingredients to look for.  Here is a list of 20 names along with the benefits:

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Algae Extract 

Detoxifies the skin and helps ease the skin’s absorption of amino acids, mineral bioactives and vitamins.  Its water-binding property helps maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance.

Aloe Leaf Juice 

Is an effective antibacterial agent best known for its softening and soothing benefits.  Aloe also acts to suppress the inflammatory response of ultraviolet light exposure.

Bergamot 

The essential oil of Bergamot can be used for all skin types and with its antiseptic and healing properties, it makes a good choice for treating disorders such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.

Caffeine 

Caffeine is a powerful antioxidant that is capable of reducing several UV-induced free radicals, including hydroxyl radicals, hydrogen peroxide, peroxyl radicals and singlet oxygen.

Carrot Seed 

This essential oil is known to help with mature, ageing skin, wrinkles, psoriasis and eczema.

Citric Acid 

Is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) found in citrus fruits.  It increases the hyaluronic acid content in the dermis and epidermis to help the skin attract and hold moisture more effectively.  It also exfoliates dead skin cells and is a natural skin brightener.

Collagen

Is a fibrous protein that makes up the connective tissue in the body.  In cosmetic products, it is used as an emollient and humectant agent that is able to draw moisture from the dermis into the epidermis.

Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)

Aids in the healthy proliferation of skin cells and the repairing of skin damage from aging.  Our EGF protein is a product of yeast metabolism.

Geranium

This has a cleansing, refreshing and astringent effect on the skin and is recommended for general skin care.  It may be also used on inflamed skin and for sluggish oily skin types.  Because of its balancing effect on the sebaceous production in the skin, geranium is valuable for skin that is excessively dry or oily.

Glycerin

Is a humectant and emollient that helps to bind water to the skin.  Glycerin is one of the most effective topical hydrators, as it is readily accepted by the aquaporins (water channels) in the skin cells.  It also improves the appearance and function of the skin by assisting in the healthy maturation of keratinocytes.

Glycolic Acid

Is an AHA that helps to break down the bonds between the cells (desmosomes) and acts as a strong degreasing agent.  It is best used short-term on very oily skin types.  Overuse can cause dehydration and overproduction of sebum.

Grape Seed Extract

Is rich in polyphenols including resveratrol, which are powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and improve circulation.  Grape seed has also been shown to assist in cell regeneration and the strengthening of capillaries.

Hyaluronic Acid

Is a naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that helps retain water in the skin.  This ingredient can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.  It plays an important role in cell protection and lubrication, and maintenance of the structural integrity of tissues.  The amount of this protein depletes as we age.  

L-Ascorbic Acid

Is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant that is the only bio-available form of vitamin C for the skin.  It is also an antioxidant agent that provides important protection against damage induced by UV radiation.  Vitamin C also improves skin elasticity and decreases wrinkles by stimulating collagen synthesis.  

Lavender

The soothing, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of lavender make it valuable for many skin conditions, and its well loved aroma lends itself to blending in creams and lotions.  Lavender stimulates the growth of healthy new cells making it effective for cracked skin, eczema, boils, wounds and burns.  It is helpful for acne as it inhibits the bacteria which causes the skin infection while soothing the skin, helping to balance the over secretion of sebum.

Neroli

Also known as Orange Blossom, Neroli is particularly valuable in skin care, for it has special property of stimulating the growth of healthy new cells, with certain special rejuvenating effects.  It can be used for all skin types, but is especially good for dry and sensitive skin.

Niacinamide

Is a form of the B vitamin, niacin (vitamin B3).  When used topically it has been shown to help reduce breakouts and rosacea-like symptoms.  Niacinamide increases ceramide and fatty acid levels in the skin to provide maximum hydration.  

Peptides

Are compounds consisting of two or more amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.  Peptides act as transmitters from the brain to the body, telling muscles and nerves to perform specific functions.  There are multiple peptides available that will achieve different topical results.

Retinol

Is a form of vitamin A that is converted to retinoic acid in the skin.  It works to repair photodamaged skin, acne and other sluggish skin conditions.  It helps to normalize cell turnover, increase collagen deposition and bind moisture in the skin.  

Squalane

Is a naturally occurring oil found in such foods as olives and wheat germ.  It helps keep the skin moist.


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