Here is the second half of my list of favorite skin care ingredients. While they do different things eg moisturize, soothe or encourage collagen growth, they all share one characteristic- they all actually do something for the skin. You will be able to see results and get your money’s worth for a product.
6. Hyaluronic Acid
Found naturally in the skin, this important substance is a super effective moisturizer. Like so many others natural factors in our body, healthy levels keep dropping as we get older– yet another reason our skin keeps getting dryer. Scientists have shown that one molecule of hyaluronic acid holds 214 molecules of water! When hyaluronic acid first appeared skin care products it was available only in the more expensive lines, but now you can find great examples in drugstore creams and lotions.
Its hard not to love oatmeal. It contains anti-inflammatory phenol compounds that reduce redness and itching making it the perfect ingredient for sensitive and rosacea troubled skins. Oatmeal in a mask or lotion inhibits the release of cytokines in the skin which have a nasty habit of breaking down collagen. Damaged collagen leads to more lines and wrinkles, so less cytokines= less wrinkles.
But wait there is more. Oatmeal contains both saponins which are gentle cleansers AND antioxidants that protect against UV rays. Finally the beta glucans which gives a bowl of oatmeal its cholesterol-lowering mojo, can also help lock in moisture when used in creams and cleansers. All this from an inexpensive, modest grain.
8. Salicylic Acid
You’ve heard of alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid or lactic acid. Now meet a beta-hydroxy acid that is helpful for both acne and aging. For acne, salicylic acid unclogs pores to control breakouts. For signs of aging, salicylic acid takes off the top dead dry layers to stimulate healthy collagen renewal.
Salicylic acid is found in the bark of the willow trees and you might see it listed as willow bark extract on the label of a skin care product. The FDA limits salicylic acid to 3% in cleansers and about 2.5 % in products left on the face. Since salicylic acid is part of the salicylate family( which includes aspirin,and is not considered safe to be used during pregnancy), doctors advise against using salicylic acid if you are expecting.
Soy is one of those rare ingredients that delivers both inside and oout. As a meat substitute like tofu, in dairy style products and just as is in salty black soy sauce, soy can play a big role in a healthy diet. In a skin care product soy has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant and protect the skin from UV damage. Equally exciting, soy contains genisten, a compound that prevents melanin from attaching to skin cells– definately a good thing. Soy is a wonderful addition for sun protective products and appears effective for reducing dark spots due to sun damage. However soy is a pseudo estrogen and is much less effective for larger brown patches of melasma which are linked to estrogen levels in the body. If you developed hyperpigmentation after you’ve been on the pill or pregnancy, soy is not going to get you where you want to be.
10. Retin A ( tretinoin)
Its no secret that I’m a Retin A groupie. Like many dermatologists, I believe that its the gold standard for overall skin care and the only one that the FDA allows to make anti-aging claims. As a retinoid, tretinoin has a duel personality. It is an effective acne fighter, shutting down oil glands and cleaning out clogged pores. A few decades later, Retin A will stimulate your collagen to reduce wrinkles and boost skin circulation to produce a healthy pink glow.
Retin A is available in creams and gels in strengths that range from .925% to 1%. True Retin A is available only by prescription. Keep in mind that Retin A is a turbo powered ingredient. You need to use just a pea size dab for the entire face, start slow using it every other night and always wear a sunscreen. For more Retin A road rules you can go to Retin A- Five Top Questions. If you like my Facebook page, you can download a free four page guide that includes a description of the different types of Retin A and and step by step day and night skin care program for using Retin A. And if you have additional questions you can also email me at Deb@nonsensebeauty.com.