Skin Care Ingredients / Weighing The Benefits
Skin Care Ingredients / Weighing The Benefits
Women's Issues Articles | October 22, 2005
Confused by all the skin care and anti-aging ingredients? You're not alone. Find
out what the most popular ingredients are and if they really do what they claim
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, I'd have to admit that science and research has become
our best friend 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 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 time.
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
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 seemto agree that AHA's are an excellent skin
exfoliator but it is questionable as an anti-aging ingredient.
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.
Teas, be it black, white or green contain antioxidants which are clinically
known to fight off free radicals. Most skin careexperts 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
Hyaluronic Acid is a humectants 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 long-lasting value.
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.
Most experts seem to agree that Retinol, (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 youuse 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.
It is believed that soy has mild skin rejuvenating effects as itcontains
botanically-based estrogen. IT contains anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory that
soothe the skin but there are noanti-aging elements to soy.