Skin Care Ingredients
Skin Care Ingredients
Learn Which Ingredients to Look for to Solve Common Skin Problems
One thing worth noting is that ingredients in skincare products are divided into two categories. Active ingredients are the ones that actually perform. Other ingredients are referred to as inactive; they work to suspend the product, as well as bind and transport the active ingredients. When you read a label, the ingredients are listed in order of greatest amount to least. For example, if you pick up a product that lists water as the first ingredient, it means that water makes up the majority of the product. Below is a list of common skin conditions and the best active ingredients to treat them.
Dry/Parched Skin: winter weather can cause skin to feel tight, flaky, thin or papery. Try purchasing a small humidifier and running it while you sleep (the Eware Mini Bedroom Ultrasonic Humidifier is a great choice). The best way to tackle this particular skin condition is by layering on products containing hyaluronic acid. This is a substance made from plants and other natural substances that mimic the lubricating fluid in our joints. Hyaluronic acid works wonders, drawing moisture from the air and absorbing it into the skin. Recommended: DermaE Products. Apply the hyaluronic acid toner first, and then layer the serum and the day cream on top for maximum hydration.
Fine Lines: unfortunately, even women in their 20’s can have fine lines appear just from squinting in the sun (reason enough to invest in a stylish pair of shades). Fine lines respond very well to retinol products. Retinols are derived from vitamin A. It’s important to read the labels on retinol products and start out with the lowest percentage strength you can find. Use it until your skin builds a tolerance and then you can move on to a higher-strength product. A few skin care lines that carry retinol products are Philosophy, Murad, Neutrogena and ROC.
Oily Skin: oily skin is rich in sebum but can lack the balance of water moisture. Look for a face cleanser that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid comes from willow bark and has the ability to clear a greasy complexion right up. Don’t fall for the myth that oily skin doesn’t need moisture. A good choice would be a product containing aloe. Peppermint is another ingredient that can help balance the oiliness of skin. Recommended: Burt’s Bees acne line and Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser.
Blackheads: if you’re prone to blackheads, the best ingredient to treat them with is glycolic acid. Glycolic acid comes from sugar cane and has the ability to dissolve dead skin cells, resulting in clearer skin. Recommended: At-Home Brazilian Peel, available at Sephora. This is a safe, self-neutralizing product—be sure to follow the directions very carefully.
Acne Blemishes: to help treat acne look for products containing tea tree oil. This particular oil is actually a dry oil, acting as a solvent to unblock pores and kill acne-causing bacteria. It takes a little time to work, so don’t give up if you don’t see immediate results. Another option is to see a dermatologist and ask for a prescription for Aczone Gel. This is the newest breakthrough product on the market. It gets rid of acne blemishes quickly with little to no side effects. As an esthetician, I would warn against using benzoyl peroxide products. In my opinion, they’re just too harsh to treat acne, and cause unwanted dryness and flaking.
Keratosis Pilaris (KP): this is a very common and harmless skin disorder characterized by numerous small white bumps behind the arms (they resemble goose bumps). To treat this condition, look for products containing lactic acid. Lactic acid occurs naturally in plain yogurt. If you have this condition, you can apply a thin layer of yogurt to the affected area, massaging it in. Wait a few minutes and then wipe it off, leaving the residue on your skin (it will help unclog the bumps).
Uneven Skin Tone: uneven skin tones can be caused by both internal and environmental causes. Genetics, diet, hormones, sun exposure, and other extreme weather conditions can all play a role. Those with uneven skin tones can benefit from products containing DMAE, a solution that combines antioxidants and amino acids. Recommended: PerriconeMD serums and creams.
Broken Capillaries: small broken capillaries frequently appear around the nose and on the cheeks. One of the most common ways to get these spidery veins is by allowing hot shower water to spray directly onto your face. Using products that contain witch hazel and horse chestnut extract will strengthen these broken capillaries over time, making them less visible.
Dark Spots & Scars: dark spots and dark facial scars fall under the umbrella of hyperpigmentation. As a licensed esthetician, I would strongly urge you to avoid using a product containing hydroquinone to address this concern. Hydroquinone has been used for many years in skin-lightening products; however, it can be toxic on the cellular level. There are much better, safer ingredients that will give you similar results without the unwanted side effects of hydroquinone. Look for a product containing vitamin C, kojic acid bearberry, arbutin, or licorice extract. Recommended: Skin Lightening Cream by Timeless Skin Care.
Now that you know which ingredients to look for, you will be better equipped to navigate the high seas of the skincare aisles.