Understanding Active Ingredients In Skincare Products
What Are Active Ingredients?
An active ingredient is a chemical in the skincare that makes the product work or the mixture and molecules in the product doing what the product says it's supposed to do. Most skin product ingredients are great for skin moisturizers, but if you want to treat your skin's specific concerns, such as acne, fine line, or sunspot, you need to choose a skin product that contains the right active ingredients to optimize the result you need.
With as many different skincare products on the market, as they are now, gleaming packaging, and alluring promises to fight and reverse the signs of aging, many ingredients seem complicated to comprehend, or we wonder what they mean. As a result, the skincare aisle can be overwhelming with saturated products and active ingredients, and it becomes challenging to navigate the beauty aisle with such assurance.
Understanding skincare ingredient lists isn't as easy as it seems. For example, how can you tell which ingredient suits you, which is the best for you, and which isn't? What about those long technical words and tongue-twister names? I hope you will get accustomed to some of the popular skincare active ingredients and their intelligible names after you read this. It will help you better understand and choose the component that's targeted your skin problem.
So now, let's decipher the product label by getting the knowledge of all these active ingredients listed; after all, when you tear away the lovely packaging, this is all left on the bottle- the ingredients. That's why it is vital to become an informed consumer, know what you're putting on your skin, and find effective skincare that serves you.
1. Alpha-Hydroxy Acids
AHA is great for exfoliating the skin.
Exfoliating is a great way to enhance skin tone and texture, but it might also harm the skin if we use harsh abrasive exfoliators such as sugar, salt, or oatmeal-based scrub. AHA (Alpha Hydroxy acids) is a relatively gentle form of chemical exfoliation widely used in many skincare products such as face cleansers, toners, masks, and creams. It helps loosen dead skin cells and generate a new smooth skin cell; no scrubbing is required. AHAs include lactic Acid from milk (lactose), Glycolic Acid derived from sugarcane, Malic Acid from apples, Citric Acid from citrus fruit Tartaric Acid derived from wine grapes.
Because they're water-soluble, these products don't penetrate deep below the skin surface and are the least likely to irritate the skin, ideal for all skin types and, even more, suitable for sensitive skin. Other potential skincare benefits of AHA include lightening dark spots and reducing the appearance of blackheads and acne.
2. Beta Hydroxy Acid
BHA is to clear acne and blemishes
Salicylic Acid is the most common BHA in skincare (lesser-known cousins of skincare superstars Alpha-Hydroxy Acids). This is another form of chemical exfoliant. This oil-soluble product that penetrates pores deeply below the skin's surface ensures efficacy for oily skin types to clear pores, acne, and blackheads. BHA also fights bacteria on the skin's surface, has a naturally soothing effect, and has the benefit of reducing inflammation. Salicylic Acid is best for those with congested pores or oily skin and is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an acne-treatment ingredient.
So, in other words, if you have oily skin, acne, breakouts, and Beta Hydroxy Acids, it should be your choice for your skincare regimen because of these benefits. And it has proven beneficial in treating skin breakouts and blemishes.
Collagen to achieve a youthful skin
One vital micronutrient in our body is collagen, a protein type, one of our skin's main blocks. You will find collagen in the bones, tendons, and ligaments; collagen gives your skin thickness, suppleness, and strength. The body naturally makes collagen by breaking down dietary protein into amino acids (organic molecules) that comprise a primary amino group; this Amino Acid is an essential compound that produces various proteins that our body needs, including collagen.
Unfortunately, collagen starts to deteriorate with age; genetics and lifestyle are critical in affecting how fast the degradation happens. Environmental factors such as sun damage, bad habits such as smoking, and poor diet all create free radical damage to collagen, one of the culprits of our skin's degeneration.
This's how the collagen serum comes in handy because this collagen replacement is designed to stimulate the production of this structural protein and replace your damaged collagen by erasing and preventing wrinkles and age spots from developing.
Peptides are to help boost collagen in the skin
In a protein molecule, various amino acids are linked together by peptide bonds; These proteins are the building block of our skin. The chains of amino acids and arrangements in different chain structures determine the framework of every tissue in our bodies. When peptide is a short chain of amino acids, they are small enough to penetrate the top layer of our skin, signal to the body that it needs to produce more collagen, and let cells know how to improve their function.
As we age, our collagen production decreases. As a result, it breaks down; peptides help reparative treatments combat specific signs of aging like wrinkles, loss of density, and changes in textures.
So, think of the peptide as the messenger between skin cells. When applied topically in skincare, it will send the message to stop collagen degradation, increase collagen production, and maintain our skin's youthfulness by slowing down the sign of aging and giving the appearance of more youthful and supple skin.
Retinol fights the sign of aging, making skin smooth and firm.
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that has been praised as one of the most effective acne treatments, but most recently has become part of a daily skincare routine. Retinol's benefits include promoting skin renewal, removing the brown spot, improving skin texture, and reducing the visible signs of aging due to sun exposure, fine line, and wrinkle. In addition, this potent Antioxidant fights free radicals, one of our skin's biggest Enemies.
To simplify, Under Vitamin A derivatives contain a group of families. One of them is a retinoid family, and all the family members are, including Retinoic Acid/Tretionoin Acid (Retin-A, Different, Renova), Retinal ( Retinaldehyde), Retinol, Retinyl Esters, and so forth. They all share the same last name, Retinoid. You can obtain Retinol without a prescription. Numerous studies, and it has evidence-backed topical medication for diminishing fine lines and visible signs of aging due to sun exposure. Another strong medicine for the Retinoid family you can get over the counter is Differin, a medication specially formulated to treat acne.
While the cosmetic industry is saturated with skincare products that promise to reverse and prevent the sign of aging, there is only one "Gold standard" product that dermatologists and FDA approved effective- None other than Retinol.
Niacinamide protects the skin from inflammation and contains Antioxidant Properties.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, also known as nicotinamide. Which has potent Antioxidant activities and helps reduce inflammation; it may also reduce red and brown pigmentation. Studies have shown that Niacinamide can act as an Antioxidant advocacy, improving epidermal barrier function and decreasing skin hyperpigmentation. It also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, decrease redness-blotchiness, and improve skin elasticity.
The culprit of all the skin conditions that will damage and cause inflammation of our skin is the environmental aggressors such as pollution, stress, or poor lifestyle and diet. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) can help our skin problems and fix them, and it can also help the body perform critical tasks, like indicating DNA and converting carbohydrates into fats and proteins. Vitamin B3 derivative suppressed melanin (uneven color skin area of dark spots that appears on mature skin) from reaching the skin's surface.
7. Coenzyme Q10 (COQ10)
Coenzyme Q10 (COQ10) is to help growth and maintenance.
CoQ10 is an antioxidant our body makes from scratch using the same enzyme we use to make cholesterol. It is found inside the powerhouses of cells called the Mitochondria (the engine), the site where energy production occurs in all living cells; Ubiquinone, Coenzyme q10, is integrated into the mitochondria cells throughout the body and stored and regulates fats and sugar conversion into energy. Q10 is an antioxidant that the body produces naturally. The cells that need energy the most are the essential parts of our body, such as the heart, liver, and kidney, which contain the most abundant mitochondria. Therefore, they need the most Coq10 to help transfer the energy required to function correctly.
Why do we need CoQ10 to maintain youthful and healthy skin? Our skin is a large, sophisticated biological membrane; it's alive, can regenerate and repair itself, and produces CoQ10 naturally to destroy free radicals in the cells. As complicated as it is, our skin consists of two essential proteins: protein elastin which gives our skin elasticity. The other is collagen, a protein that is responsible for skin strength. These proteins are the building blocks of our skin. Unfortunately, as we age, its productions tend to decrease, making the skin cell more vulnerable to damage; our skin suffers from tiredness, inelastic skin, and wrinkles. Fortunately, we can get CoQ10 through our diet, supplements, and skincare products. CoQ10 will help regenerate our skin and help battle our ordinary enemy-free radicals.
Ceramides to help improve barrier function.
Ceramides are lipids, some fat molecules that make up a significant cell membrane proportion that provides the smooth, plump skin we desire. Like Collagen, Ceramides are vital components of the epidermis and play a key role in barrier protection of the skin, the outermost layer of your skin, which comes in contact with the exposure elements such as environmental stressors. It captures and binds water to stay hydrated. It also maintains skin moisture levels, preventing dry and irritated skin. In other words, the form of barriers that keep the contagion out and the nutrients inside the skin.
Although your skin innately creates its ceramides, like everything else our body produces, it mostly declines as we age. While you can't completely stop the decrease of your natural levels of ceramides, incorporating ceramide into your regime would help increase the level with the cream to help elevate the skin's ceramides level. It will simultaneously repair skin barriers and diminish inflammation.
9. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid helps slow down the effect of aging and hydrate skin.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a powerful moisturizer and is one of the primary contributors to maintaining our skin supple, hydrated, refreshed, and encouraging skin cell renewal. Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant with the most significant ability to hold water up to 1,000 its weight in water. It absorbs and retains water within the skin, keeping the body well-lubricated moisturizer. The main reason why Hyaluronic Acid is so popular right now is that almost every well-known brand of skincare products dedicates one exclusive line to Hyaluronic Acid. It has mega power to hydrate your skin, keeping its natural glow and radiant.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is produced naturally in our bodies; the most substantial amount of Hyaluronic Acid is found in the skin, the eyes, and the connective tissue. But as we age, the skin's HA level will decrease; we need a supplementary serum to replace this substance that we lose because of environmental stressors.
Hyaluronic Acid has significant benefits for your skin; it's a must-have for every skincare routine, including an anti-aging ingredient. So if you are looking for a more hydrated, dewy, and plump complexion, you know what to get. And one of the great things about Hyaluronic Acid is that it is ideal for all skin types.
Thank you so much for reading
Reading source: www.mayoclinic.org, www.healthline.com, www.webmd.com, www.medscape.org