Skin Care Ingredients Weighing The Benefits
If you've ever stood in the aisle of the skincare section of your
favorite cosmetics department looking for a face cream to help you look
younger and healthier, you know how confusing it can be to find a
product that will help improve the look and texture of your skin.
As confusing as it is, science and research have become our best
friends in the quest for younger looking skin, and the quest isn't
over, there are promising new studies and clinical tests every day that
help us understand what it takes to stay looking young and youthful.
Then why are we so confused about what we need?
According to consumer industry tracker Packaged Facts, the 2004 U.S.
skincare sales reached $6.4 billion and is expected to reach over $9
billion by the year 2010. If you consider all the skincare
manufacturers competing for their share of the industry it's not
surprising that we fall prey to the more prominent marketing hype and
miss the actual research findings.
The best advice is to do your homework. Understand what your needs
are and be realistic about the results. Don't expect a magic potion
that will erase years off your face in a few days. It took years for
those lines and wrinkles to develop, it isn't practical to expect they
will disappear in a few days.
It's also important to remember that the aging process can only be
slowed down, it can't be reversed. Everyone experiences different
levels of improvement. Skin care experts have found it reasonable to
expect about a 30% improvement over the course of six to eight weeks
The best place to start is to identify what your skin care needs are. Read the labels and understand what the ingredients do.
Depending on what doctors, specialists and advertisers you talk to,
you're likely to get differing answers but if you do your homework by
researching the ingredients and using products as prescribed, you will
most likely see a difference.
Here are a few facts on the most popular ingredients.
AHA - Alpha Hydroxy Acids AHA's are used as a skin exfoliator. It
can clear pores and rid the skin of dead cells. Beta Hydroxy or
salicylic acids are often used for acne prone skin but can be a bit
drying. Experts seem to agree that AHA's are an excellent skin
exfoliator but it is questionable as an anti-aging ingredient.
Copper Peptides It is not conclusive as to whether copper peptides
can reduce the aging process by reducing wrinkles and other signs of
aging in the skin. It may be possible since copper peptides seem to
stimulate the production of collagen in unscarred skin and help reduce
skin inflammation, however there is a lack of clinical evidence and
more extensive research studies are needed before the experts can agree
completely on these claims.
Green Tea Teas, be it black, white or green contain antioxidants
which are clinically known to fight off free radicals. Most skin care
experts agree that these teas can help decrease inflammation and
swelling of the skin and can also decrease the effects of UV exposure.
Skin care products that contain antioxidant teas are often recommended.
Hyaluronic Acid Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant that occurs naturally
in humans, animals and in young skin, however aging, smoking and
dieting can result in its loss.
Hyaluronic Acid has often been used as an injected lubricant for
osteoarthritis and other ailments. When applied topically, it helps
retain moisture and has been used to plump the skin. Experts can agree
that it is excellent in helping retain moisture but are unsure of its
Kinetin Kinetin is a plant-growth hormone, and its technical name is
N6-furfuryladenine. Kinetin can offer temporary hydrating benefits,
however further applications of kinetin need to be investigated.
Kinetin is probably best used as a preventive measure as opposed to
reducing the look of aging.
Retinol Most experts seem to agree that Retinol, (a derivative of
Vitamin A) and tretinoin (Retinol's stronger counterpart) which is the
active ingredient in Retin-A and Renova, are the most effective
ingredients in the fight against anti-aging. They can help regenerate
collagen to reduce lines and wrinkles, and help lighten dark spots,
freckles and sun damaged skin.
Absorption is a key factor in using retinol so it is recommended
that using a combination of retinol and palmitic acid (retinyl
palmitate) be used for proper penetration at the cellular level,
however if you use retinyl palmitate you will need to use more of this
product than one that contains retinol to get the same effect.
Retin-A can cause skin sensitivity in which case retinol is an excellent alternative.
Soy It is believed that soy has mild skin rejuvenating effects as it
contains botanically-based estrogen. IT contains anti-oxidants and
anti-inflammatory that soothe the skin but there are no anti-aging
elements to soy.