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My last post “Harmful Chemicals For Skin” caused some worry to the readers, so I decided to bring some happy news. Good thing is that there are many chemicals that do more good than harm. In today’s post, I am listing down the chemicals that we should look out for in our beauty products, but please do not use them raw on your skin as after all these are chemicals and can be very active in their action. The point is to look for these ingredients in the beauty products instead of some harmful chemicals.
It is similar but not identical to the active component of aspirin and is best known for its anti-acne treatments. It is a key ingredient in many skin care products for the treatment of acne, calluses, corns, keratosis and warts. It works as a keratolytic, bacteriocide and comedolytic agent by causing the cells of the epidermis to shed more readily, opening clogged pores and neutralizing bacteria within, preventing pores from clogging up again by constricting pore diameter, and allowing room for new cell growth. Because of its effect on skin cells, salicylic acid is used in several shampoos used to treat dandruff.
Zinc oxide is the main ingredient in sun block creams and lotions. It is best known for its superior sun protection capabilities and is known to prevent skin damage. Zinc oxide provides superior protection against UVB, long wave UVA and short wave UVA radiation. In fact, it is the only ingredient that protects against all three types of radiation. Zinc oxide also has subtle astringent properties and acts as a skin drying agent. It controls inflammations and relieves the skin against irritations and rashes. It is often preferred over titanium dioxide which is another commonly used ingredient in sunscreens.
For example: Lakme Sun Expert.
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A and is known to have many skin benefitting properties. An effect of retinol on the skin is the proliferation of skin cells. Since retinol is such a small molecule, topical application of a retinol cream allows the chemical to penetrate into deeper layers of your skin. These deeper layers contain live skin cells, which continually proliferate, giving rise to new cells that eventually move towards the surface of your skin. Overall, regular treatment with retinol under the supervision of a physician can improve the health and appearance of your skin. But it also increases photosensitivity. It is advisable to wear sunscreen if you are using a cream containing Retinol.
For example: Ponds Age Miracle.
It is a type of AHA and is best used in exfoliation products. The outer layers of our skin are made up of dead skin cells, called keratinocytes. These cells, packed with protein, slough off slowly over time, allowing younger cells to reach our skin’s surface. Glycolic acid breaks up these outer layers of cells, revealing the newer cells underneath. Regular glycolic acid peels can promote a youthful appearance of your skin, preventing the dryness and dullness that can occur due to a buildup of dead cells on the surface of your skin. A study advises to use glycolic peels twice a year for youthful newer generation of cells. But just like with Retinol, Glycolic acid also increases photosensitivity hence wearing sunscreen is highly recommended.
For example: Glycolic Acid Peel and AHAGlow Face Wash.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids:
You must have heard about AHAs. They are mentioned on the product covers as well as advertised on TV. AHAs are basically fruit acids, substances that are naturally found in fruits and milk sugars. Commonly used AHAs are glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid. Basically the acids that are found in fruits are AHAs. Products that contain AHAs are used to smooth out the surface of the skin by eliminating fine lines and wrinkles, clearing out pores, evening out the tone and improving texture. AHAs cause exfoliation, or speeding up of the skin’s natural ability to shed its outer surface cells and reveal newer skin cells beneath. AHAs do not serve life long benefits. Our skin returns to the normal stage after we finish using AHA products. BHAs are also used and work in the similar fashion as AHAs.
Some commonly used AHAs are:
- Glycolic acid – derived from sugarcane.
- Lactic Acid – derived from dairy products and fermented vegetables and fruits.
- Tartaric Acid – found in grapes.
- Citric Acid – derived from oranges and lemons.
- Malic Acid – found in apples and cherries.
- Mandelic Acid – derived from bitter almond.
For example: Neutrogena Toner.
These should have been listed on the top of this list as these are probably the best ingredients cosmetic products can offer to us. Peptides are present in our skin naturally which give strength to our skin and make it plump and firm. The peptides contained in the creams are lab created and they work on our skin from inside out. They erase wrinkles from our skin from within and because of their effectiveness, creams containing peptides are usually expensive.
For example: Fair and Handsome Skin Care Cream.
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