Hi pretty people,
Today, it is going to be a “gyaani” post from me again 😛 If you’ll have been reading my articles, I am sure by now you’ll must have realized that I am a very cautious beauty geek. There was a time when it was so difficult for me to just stop trying new products, be it natural or loaded with chemicals or so called tagged as “herbal.” Well, that led me into researching and studying deep into the ingredients used in these products. Some were a real shock for me and there were a few which gave my skin a turnaround. Sometimes when I go, I tend to read a few ingredients and get lost in the most difficult and weird pronunciations; leading to either a wrong buy or buying nothing at all! Over the time, this has resulted into my hobby and here I am presenting to you a list of ingredients that are really good for your skin; even though some of them might sound scary 😛
Hyaluronic Acid: A naturally occurring substance in the human body that regulates cell renewal and maintains skin’s moisture and elasticity. I personally CANNOT do without this ingredient. When used topically, hyaluronic acid creates a moisture barrier on the skin; helping to make it smoother and softer. I know an acid probably sounds dangerous for your skin, but trust me, this is a total bliss for your skin. Though Hyaluronic acid has now gained fame in the skin care world, but the problem is that most of the times it is one of the last ingredients mentioned in the list. I personally recommend ‘Hyalu Gel’ by ethicare remedies – it’s a pure dose of hyaluronic acid for your skin.
Vitamin C Ester or L-Ascorbic acid: I am sure this is a winner ingredient when it comes to fame! Needless to mention here; it is a great ingredient to fight pigmentation, acne spots and fine lines. However, you should look at the potency of this ingredient, since it is very sensitive to air, so most of the products with this vitamin are not really that potent and thus not of any use. But a proper packaging (capsule, amber-coloured bottle etc) will do wonders to your skin, capable of giving you a flawless skin. My personal recommendation here would be Dr. Reddy’s Strea C 10.
Ceramides: Ceramides are fats naturally found in the skin’s outer layer, and they are a major component of skin structure. Ceramides act as a moisture barrier for our skin protecting it from harmful pollutants and other environmental factors. Studies have shown that dry and damaged skin lacks ceramides. So, it clearly means that using ceramides will give a healthy boost to your skin.
Peptides: “Palmitoyl Pentapeptide” – this is one of the most common peptides found in our skin care products. Peptides help our skin develop collagen and increase the elasticity of our skin. This in turn to leads to healthy and supple skin. Also note that certain form of peptides is no good as they do not penetrate into the skin layers. Hence penta-peptide and copper peptide are the ingredients to look for 🙂
AHA/BHA: I love them! Both AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids- glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids) and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids-Salicylic Acid) are a great way to reveal fresh, glowing and clear skin. BHA is great for acne-prone skin and AHA is great for aging and pigmented skin. When applied topically, both improve skin texture, tone and sun damage.
Retinol: Retinol is a source of Vitamin A to your skin. Usually found in anti-aging products, retinol helps shed the dead and dull layers of your skin; revealing fresh and younger-looking skin. It has a few side effects like drying out the skin and making it sun sensitive, but when combined with proper moisturizers and composition, it’s a must-have ingredient in your skin care regimen.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants are a sure shot way to get healthy and glowing skin. In fact, the quote “the more the merrier” suits antioxidants perfectly! They help in fighting free radicals attacking the skin. Look for names like rosemary, red tea, green tea, coenzyme Q10, Lycopene, Alpha lipoic acid, pomegranate, and parsley (does this also give you an idea for a DIY? :P).
Hydroquinone: The most successful ingredient in lightening your skin, which helps to a great extent in treating skin deep pigmentation. I know most of you must be wondering that how come I have mentioned this ingredient here! Yes, I still stand by my list. The thing is that it is important to know the composition and the percentage to be used, also the time period. I have used hydroquinone earlier with great results and zero problems! Agreeing to all the debates this ingredient has accrued, my personal experience says that using hydroquinone for just a few weeks (on and off) is absolutely fine. Long and continuous use is NOT recommended here. Also, before using this ingredient, a dermatologist prescription is a MUST. I have added this ingredient only to throw some light, as a lot of people are fighting with pigmentation with no results from other products.
Kojic Acid: If you are allergic to hydroquinones, you may benefit from use of products containing kojic acid instead. Also used topically to lighten skin, it is a much safer bet if you do not have severe pigmentation.
Tocopherol or TCP: It is a form of Vitamin E that helps in moisturizing and conditioning the skin. It works well when used with Vitamin C/L-Ascorbic acid.
Some points to note:
- Please be aware that ingredients are listed from highest to lowest concentration on the labels, so the key ingredients are best found near the top.
- The first ingredient is always water, followed by a second ingredient which is the transport vehicle and texturizer (common ones include alkyl benzoate, glycerol and polyethylene glycol).
- Then, the active ingredients (such as above and antioxidants) will be listed.
- Preservatives in skin creams are listed last.
- Add sunscreen when using products having any of these above ingredients. Look for products with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and antioxidants.
- If you’re out in the sun during the day, reapply sunscreen every two hours. If you use makeup, try some mineral makeup which makes acts as an effective sunscreen.
Healthy and radiant skin can be really simple. Just watch what you are putting on the skin and always use a sunscreen. Don’t complicate your life and stick to basics 🙂
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Image Sources: 1, 3, 4.