Your guide to ageless beauty

You want your skin to look young and wrinkle-free for as long as possible. You've seen anti-aging creams, serums, lotions, and cleansers advertised everywhere. But you still don't know which anti-aging product to go for and why. You're not alone. Shopping for anti-aging products can be quite daunting to a beginner. Knowing the ingredients to look for and why is a great place to start.

Bear in mind that while most anti-aging products in the market will only moisturize your skin, lessening the appearance of wrinkles, there are some which work deeper to heal and prevent damage. When shopping for an anti-aging beauty product, look out for the following ingredients:

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA)                     

AHAs are the most common ingredient in anti-aging products. They are available in a wide range of products- from expensive spa formulations to bargain-priced store brands. AHAs are natural acids found naturally in foods such as citric acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid among others. When applied to skin, these acids moisturise and exfoliate the skin, stimulating the production of new cells. Some dermatologists believe that AHAs also enhance the skin's moisture-retaining ability, making the skin soft and firm. On the flip side, AHAs can make your skin more sensitive to the sun- which can lead to more wrinkles if you don't apply sunscreen. AHAs can also cause irritation and redness.

Beta hydroxyl acids

BHAs have a different structure compared to AHAs- hydroxyl acids are water soluble while beta hydroxyl acids are oil soluble. However, BHAs are less common in beauty products. The most commonly used BHA is salicylic acid (sometimes listed as salicylate or sodium salicylate) but also look out for beta hydroxybutanoic acid, tropic acid, or trethocanic acid. BHAs are great for exfoliating and can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. They can also help prevent and treat acne, pimples, and other texture abnormalities. Because they are oil soluble, BHAs are better suited for oily skin types. Although BHAs are less likely to irritate your skin, it's still advisable to apply sunscreen to prevent irritation.

Growth factors

One of the most controversial ingredients in beauty products, growth factors are spawned from human stem cells harvested from umbilical cords, foreskin, and fat cells. Growth factors are said to help trigger the skin's natural healing response. When delivered to an area of the body, they read the surrounding cells and morph into the healthy cells surrounding that area, repairing any damage that may have occurred. In beauty care, this can mean reversing signs of aging, evening out skin tone, removing blemishes, and so much more. However, there have been concerns that the use of growth factors can lead to skin cancer. Experts say the use of growth factors doesn't increase the risk of cancer. When shopping, look out for Epidermal Growth Factors (EFG), Firbroblast Growth Factor (FGF), Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-B), and Platelet-Deried Growth Factor (PDGF).

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are very common in beauty and skin care products. They range from vitamins such as E and C, coenzyme Q10, retinol, resveratrol, green tea, and retinol (vitamin A) . Antioxidants can nourish your skin, keep it looking young and supple and help fight signs of aging. Vitamin E (often listed as tocopherol or tocotrienols) is praised for its ability to help fight sun damage while vitamin C (ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) can even out skin tone and brighten dull skin. Retinol has a great reputation for resolving a lot of skin care problems such as uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, bumps, rough texture, and enlarged pores. Note that antioxidants work better when combined.

Peptides

Peptides are short chains of amino acids which are the building blocks for proteins. In skin care, they are designed to add collagen to your skin, making it thicker and getting rid of wrinkles and fine lines. When shopping, look out for the words amino acids, peptides, or something beginning with 'palmitoyl'. For best results, go for products with a combination of peptides. Remember that if not correctly stored, peptides are vulnerable to degradation from light and air.

 

 


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