All About Retinol

Vitamin A molecule, 2D image Retinol is one of the most famous superstars in terms of anti-aging ingredients. And the best thing is that it doesn’t just help with aging, it also helps to fight pigmentation, acne and other common skin care issues. Retinol is a Vitamin A molecule that was first introduced into the world of skin care in the year 1971. It went on to become a rage and is still known to be the most famous anti-aging ingredient till date. Since retinol  can communicate with your cells, it can also help in enhancing skin cell turnover and create healthier skin cells. Furthermore, it boosts the production of collagen and helps you to get rid of dead skin cells. Simply put, retinol is another name for Vitamin A. It is an antioxidant that helps to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals and the harmful rays of the sun. It also boosts the collagen production, thereby helping out with reducing the effects of skin aging.

Things to Know about Retinol

Retinol is one of the best ingredients for your skin, but you also need to understand how to best use it. There are certain things that you should know about retinol before you begin to use it.

  • All ingredients such as Retinol, retinoic acid, etc. have the same benefits. – True and False. In most cases this statement is true. Biochemically these two things might be the same, but there is a lot of research which shows that retinol is more gentle on the skin when compared to retinoic acid. This helps to prevent irritation and inflammation. It might also take more time to see results with retinol. On the other hand, pro-retinols such as retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate are the most gentle of all retinol variants, but they are they take the most time to work as well.
  • Always apply retinoids on dry skin. – True. Although it is said that retinoids should always be applied to dry skin, there is no literature that proves that applying retinoids on wet skin increases its sensitivity. In fact, some doctors are also known to  advise their patients to apply retinoids on damp skin. Ultimately, it depends on you. Although they suggest that retinoids should be applied on dry skin, there’s no evidence stating that you cannot apply retinoids on damp skin either.
  • It should take anywhere between 4 – 6 weeks for retinoids to work on your skin. Even though retinoids are among the best ingredients for your skin, don’t expect them to perform miracles overnight. It should take a minimum of 4 – 6 weeks for you to start seeing visible differences. It might even take up to 12 weeks in some cases. The time taken ultimately depends on the person’s skin condition when he/ she begins to use retinoids.
  • Never use retinoids around your eyes. – False. The skin around your eyes might be the most sensitive, but eye creams that have retinoids don’t hurt you. In fact, they go a long way in boosting your eye care routine. There are a number of studies which prove that people applying retinoids on the skin around their eyes always get the best results. And if it gets in the eye? It should sting a little, but it is not serious. Wash your eyes with cold water and you should be fine in some time.

What is the difference between Retinol, Retinoids, and Tretinoin

Retinol can be broken down into a number of compounds, with each compound having its own regulations, duration and effectiveness. There are some types of retinol that are used in skin care and cosmetic products. Similarly, there are several types of retinol that can only be purchased with proper prescriptions. Here are a few tips to help you distinguish between the different types of retinol.

  •  Retinol can be used in any cosmetic product and it doesn’t require any prescriptions. Other products that are used in cosmetic and skin care products include retinyl acetate, retinaldehyde and retinyl palmitate.
  • Even though all types of retinol can lead to irritation, retinoids usually have the highest risk of causing irritation or inflammation.
  • The most common prescription retinoids include retinoic acid, adapelene and tazarotene.
  • Retinol breaks down into retinoic acid once it gets absorbed into your skin. This acid is the compound that affects your skin cells and the way they behave.
  • All types of retinols have quite similar functions and almost all of them offer wondrous benefits.

What You Need to Know About Retinol Before Choosing A Product
Make sure that you understand the following points before you purchase or apply any product with retinol on your skin.

  • Never buy retinol products if they are not stored in opaque containers. The opaque containers block out air exposure and prevent the retinoids from breaking down.
  • Always look for ingredients such as retinol, retinyl aldehyde, retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate. Retinoids cannot be used without proper prescriptions.
  • Retinol don’t suit everyone. Make sure that you test the product on a small patch of your skin and wait for 24 – 48 hours to see if it leads to irritation, flaking or redness.
  • If you find that it irritates your skin, this should subside within a few days as your skin adjusts itself to the regular use of retinol. If it doesn’t, you need to stop using retinol.
  • Never start off with daily use of retinol. Apply the product every alternate day and make sure that you mix it with your everyday moisturizers in the beginning. This helps your skin to adjust to retinol.
  • Always use gentle cleansers and well formulated moisturizers to give your skin the best chance of tolerating retinol.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid Formulat Hyaluronic Acid, also known as HA, is considered to be one of the most concentrated ingredients in the world of skin care. The substance is known to hold more than 1000 times its weight in water and readily found in all sorts of moisturizers and serums. In the gel form, HA binds itself to water and offers the necessary to fill larger folds of the skin around the cheeks and the mouth.

Skin care companies, beauticians, anti-aging enthusiasts and make-up junkies, all have a serious affection for Hyaluronic Acid. It’s found everywhere – moisturizers, creams, lotions, serums, foundations, primers, masques, lipsticks, blush and even injectable fillers.

So what is it that makes Hyaluronic Acid so special? According to the Consumer Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, Hyaluronic Acid is a sugar compound that can be found in the connective tissues of vertebrates. It is a jelly like substance that contains a range of amino acids and proteins and also seems to have glue-like properties. Although this acid is naturally found in the skin, it diminishes as you age (the same way in which Collagen reduces with age). As a result, your body begins to develop fine lines and wrinkles and show other signs of aging. Moreover, a lack of Hyaluronic Acid can leave your skin looking dehydrated.

There are a number of sources of Hyaluronic Acid. You can easily find it in skin care products, but you can also find its existence in food items. All foods that are rich in Retinol contain high amounts of Hyaluronic Acid. One of the best sources of Hyaluronic Acid is cod liver oil. Root vegetables are also known to encourage the production of Hyaluronic Acid in your body.

On the topic of product safety, Hyaluronic Acid is considered to be extremely safe. However, there might be a few mild allergic reactions or side effects in certain cases, and some people might also experience swelling or redness. Therefore, it always works best to try out a new skin care product that contains Hyaluronic Acid on a small patch of your skin to check for side effects. You can obviously consume Hyaluronic Acid naturally without having to worry about any of these problems.

Now that you’re aware of what Hyaluronic Acid is and how it can help your body, how about understanding exactly which aspects of skin care it affects the most?

Moisturizing – Hyaluronic Acid is known to work wonders in terms of holding moisture. It can hold up to 1000 times its weight in moisture. As a result, skin care companies love to use Hyaluronic Acid in moisturizers. What this essentially means is that moisturizers that contain Hyaluronic Acid not only deliver the water to your skin, but also hold it there.

Anti-aging – According to reports, Hyaluronic Acid is one of the main reasons behind the aging of the skin. As you age, the amount of Hyaluronic Acid found in the body begins to reduce. This leads to things such as fine lines and wrinkles. Therefore, by adding Hyaluronic Acid supplements to your diet and skin care routines, you can help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and allow your skin to look supple and young.

The Science Behind Erasing Wrinkles

Woman appearing to remove wrinkles from her forhead Yes, there are those salesmen who would sell you almost anything in the name of skin care, but there are a few skin care ingredients and treatments that are extremely effective. Over the past decade or so, researchers have spent a great deal of time and energy in trying to determine exactly which treatments work on your skin and how they work.

The key to understanding what ingredients and treatments work came about with increased knowledge about the connective tissue of the skin (known as the dermal collagen). The fact that researchers understood that external factors also play a huge role (apart from genetics) in causing wrinkled skin also enhanced the discovery process.

According to a review published in “The Archives of Dermatology”, there are 3 anti-aging treatments that are extremely effective – topical applications of retinol, injection of hyaluronic acid and carbon dioxide laser resurfacing. All three treatments depend on the interaction of fibroblasts with the collagen that they produce. Dr. J. Leffell, a professor at Yale Univerisity, mentions that the study is not among the hype, but actually among the “good science” prevailing in the field.

Generally, your collagen fibers are expected to last for approximately 30 years. However, the damage caused by free radicals and exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun hastens this process. As a result, the exposed areas of your body – such as your face, neck, hands, upper chest and arms – suffer the most and end up becoming wrinkled and pigmented. Moreover, this also causes the connection between collagen and fibroblast to weaken and wrinkle. Experts state that there are ingredients such as topical applications of retinol (a form of Vitamin A) that can be quite useful to counteract this problem. However, retinol also makes your skin more sensitive to the damage caused by UV light. As a result, using broad spectrum sunscreens that offer you SPF 30 sun protection is essential as well.

Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing is the other treatment that has been tested properly when it comes to wrinkles. The treatment works by inducing high levels of MMP (an enzyme which destroys fragmented collagen) and replacing it with undamaged collagen). The healing process usually takes 2 – 3 weeks and the wounds need to be cleaned with saline and treated with ointments in order to prevent scarring. Experts believe that this process can be done only once and the results should generally last you for years.

Finally, another effective way of treating wrinkles is injecting a type of hyaluronic acid into the dermis. The injection causes the fibroblasts to respond by producing more collagen. Numerous studies have demonstrated that this treatment can increase your collagen production almost immediately and visible results are generally seen in a month. The effects usually last for about 6 months.

Ultimately, choosing the best treatment is a matter of perception and choice. It’s a matter of how much of a problem wrinkles are for you and how much you’re willing to do to get rid of them. But for people who really want to improve their appearance, the benefits of these treatments far outweigh the problems or side effects that they might have.

Banish Wrinkles with These Anti-Aging Superstars

Anti-Aging Pill Suffering from fine lines, wrinkles and older looking skin? Searching for the best anti-aging ingredients? Can’t understand what antioxidants to look for? Do you really need to use retinol? The questions can be endless. But, the answers are actually the same. All you need to do is understand how to counteract the signs of aging. And here’s how to do it.

What Your Skin Needs

Irrespective of the brand, there are several skin care products that are a must when it comes to fighting aging.

  • Sunscreens. Wearing a sunscreen every morning and replenishing it once for every two hours spent under the sun is a must. Make sure that you use a broad spectrum sunscreen that offers SPF 30 protection. Don’t forget to apply it all 365 days of the year, irrespective of whether it’s sunny or cloudy.
  • Exfoliants. Exfoliants help to remove the dirt and germ build up as well as the dead skin cells from the outermost surface of your skin. This helps your new skin cells to replace the dead ones and make you look better and younger. Exfoliants are also important in boosting the collagen production and improving the skin structure.
  • Antioxidants. Antioxidants repair DNA damage, fight against the free radicals, reduce inflammation and restore the surface barrier of your skin. Moreover, antioxidants also help in offering additional sun protection.
  • Superstars. Each skin care routine needs to introduce those few champion ingredients in order to help to rejuvenate and protect the skin. These ingredients work wonders on the skin and help it look better, younger and fitter. Some of the main functions performed by these ingredients include ensuring that the skin remains soft and supple, sun protection, protection from damage caused by free radicals, boosting collagen and elastin production, eliminating dryness, building the surface barrier of the skin and eliminating fine lines and wrinkles.

 

The Best Anti-Aging Superstars To Look Out For

Some ingredients are known to work wonders when it comes to anti-aging. Choosing any one of these ingredients is likely to offer you with a variety of skin care benefits and make life much easier for you.

Vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the most well documented vitamins in the world. The various skin care benefits that it offers have mostly been proved using a variety of studies. Some of the main functions of Vitamin C are to boost the collagen production, strengthen the surface barrier, reduce inflammation, sun protection, reduce skin discolorations and enhance the repair process within the skin. Vitamin C can be found in a number of forms, with Ascorbic acid being the most common one. Other forms of this anti-aging superstar include L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, ascorbyl palmitate and ascorbyl glucosamine.

Resveratrol. Resveratrol is believed to be one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world. It is commonly found in red wine and in the skin of red grapes and is known to work wonders for the human skin. When applied topically, Resveratrol helps in boosting collagen production, reducing cell damage, protecting against fine lines and wrinkles and offering sun protection. Certain studies have also shown that Resveratrol helps in sharpening the memory and inhibiting tumor development.

AHA and BHA. AHAs and BHAs are considered to be the most powerful exfoliants available. Exposure to the harmful rays of the sun can make your skin abnormally thick. Moreover, if your skin is prone to blemishes, the outer layer becomes thicker. AHAs and BHAs help to exfoliate the surface layer of the skin, remove dirt and germ build-up, eliminate dead cells and prevent wrinkling. Research has also shown that AHA products can also help to boost collagen production.

Retinol.  Retinol is commonly used to describe the Vitamin A molecule. It acts as a powerful antioxidant as well as a cell communicating ingredient. Some of the main functions of retinol include protecting the surface layer of the skin, boosting the collagen production, assisting in creating healthier skin cells and preventing fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol is usually found in the form of retinol, retinylaldehyde, retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate.

Ceramides. Ceramides constitute of almost 20% of the intercellular matrix of the skin. In other words, ceramides are the glue that stick your skin cells to each other, form the protective surface barrier and help it to maintain its appearance. Your ceramide content usually diminishes when the skin is exposed to environmental extremities, sun damage or irritating products, thereby leaving your skin vulnerable. So, you need to make sure that you replenish the ceramide in order to help your skin to look fitter, firmer and younger.

How Skin Care Mixes and Matches Ingredients

Various cosmetic ingredients in beakers There are a number of skin care ingredients which can be paired up with each other to make both of them work better on your skin. You need to think of these ingredients like your zodiac signs. Some pairings are likely to give you excellent compatibility and a lifetime of happiness while others are likely to end up as a disaster. This post concentrates on offering you with insights of skin care ingredients that work like bread and butter as well as ingredient combinations that you simply must avoid at all costs.

Ingredients that work like bread and butter

Here is a list of ingredients that you can mix with each other without having to think twice about their effects on your skin.

  1. SPF and Antioxidants. According to Women’s Health Magazine, SPF is just one of the ingredients that shields the skin from the sun. Antioxidants also play a huge role in ensuring that the harmful rays of the sun don’t harm your skin. Some of the ingredients that you should always be on the lookout for include Ferulic Acids, Grape Seed Extracts, Vitamins C and E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Green Tea and Coenzyme Q10.
  2. AHAs and BHAs. Those looking for clear looking skin can pair Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) together. AHAs such as Glycolic Acid exfoliate your skin and loosen the dead skin cells from the outermost layer of your skin. BHAs such as Salicyclic Acid help you to fight acne and unplug pores.
  3. Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid. Retinols are one of the best over the counter ingredients for your skin. However, you can make them even more effective by pairing them with hyaluronic acid. Retinols can end up drying your skin and giving you a parched look. This is where hyaluronic acids play a huge role. These acids are lubricating substances that bring back the moisture content and allow your skin to look supple, young and plumped up all over again.

Ingredients that simply cannot tolerate each other

There are some ingredients that pair up like bread and butter. And then there are those who can’t stand each other like many divorced couples.

  1. Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxy Acid. Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxy Acids are acid-based substances. Therefore, pairing them with each other increases the chance of peeling, irritation and redness. In fact, many AHAs need to be washed after some time n order to allow the skin to tolerate them.
  2. Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide. While Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide are excellent ingredients when it comes to warding off your acne problems and preventing any further occurrences when you combine the two together, they can lead to a number of issues such as lasting redness, excessive peeling, scarring, blisters and skin pigmentation.
  3. Vitamin C and Copper Peptides. Both Vitamin C and Copper Peptides are extremely effective when it comes to increasing the levels of collagen and elastin formation in your skin. However, when you combine the two, they end up negating each other, therefore rendering the other ingredient useless.
  4. Retinol and Sunscreen. Retinol helps in boosting the generation of collagen in the skin and as we all know sunscreen shields us from damaging rays of the sun. Logically we can assume that products with sunscreen are used during the day when your skin is exposed to the sun. Since using Retinol makes your skin extremely UV sensitive it is strongly advised for Retinols to be used at night, or for those more sensitive to the sun, during winter and fall. Mixing Retinol with sunscreen for use during the day just doesn’t make sense!
  5. Retinoids and SPF. Mixing retinoids with SPF is not a good idea. Retinoids are known to make the skin more sensitive to the UV rays of the sun. Therefore, you should always be ensuring that you don’t use retinoids, especially when you need SPF protection.

Perfect Ingredient Marriages

Woman with cosmetic bottles There are things that are made for each other in all spheres of life. You have real life couples who just seem perfect for each other. If you’re a food lover, you would vouch for the fact that spaghetti and meatballs are simply made for each other. More clichéd examples would be that of a bat and a ball or toothpaste and a toothbrush. Talking about the superhero world, Batman would simply seem to be incomplete without boy wonder Robin. You can also mix and match skin care ingredients in the same way. They might not be as wonderful as the made-for-each-other couple, but they are definitely not as cliched as toothbrush and toothpaste. In fact, there are a number of skin care ingredients that work wonders when paired with each other.

Perfect Ingredient Matches for Sun Protection – Antioxidants and Sunscreen

Antioxidants and sunscreens are two ingredients that can do wonders for each other, particularly when the issue is sun protection. The sun’s UV rays can damage your skin, leave it wounded and also accelerate your aging process. Antioxidants help to prevent further damage to your skin by warding off the free radicals that the sunscreens fail to block. Therefore, when used together, they manage to offer a complete form of sun protection for your skin.

Perfect Ingredient Matches for Anti-Aging – Retinols with exfoliants

There are a number of skin care claims which state that Retinols should never be paired with exfoliants. But, if younger looking skin is what you’re looking for, retinols and exfoliants can work wonders when used in tandem. Before, we explain how these two miraculous ingredients complement each other when it comes to anti-aging, you must clear a few misconceptions first.

Myth No. 1 – Retinols should not be used with AHA/BHA exfoliants. This statement is false because there is no scientific data or study which proves that retinols cannot be used with AHA/BHA exfoliants. On the other hand, when the two have been together, miraculous results have been recorded.

Myth No. 2 – The pH levels of AHA/ BHA exfoliants end up reducing the effectiveness of retinol. This is completely false as well. The pH level of AHA/BHA exfoliants is below 5.5 – 6, which makes it impossible for them to convert retinol into retinoic acid.

Myth No. 3 – Retinols are more effective without AHA/BHA exfoliants. You would be surprised to know that research has proved to the contrary. When retinol is combined with exfoliants, the results are much better.

Myth No. 4 – Retinol exfoliates the skin, so it should not be used with AHA/ BHA exfoliants. Both ingredients work differently on the skin and also complement each other when paired.

Simply put, mixing retinols with exfoliants is an excellent way of taking care of anti-aging. Don’t fall victim to misguided facts and always base your judgements on facts that have scientific proof to back them up.

Perfect Ingredient Matches for Pigmentation – Uva Ursi with Kojic Acid

Bleaching products work by disrupting the production of melanin by targeting those melanin producing cells that are functioning on hyper drive. There are a number of ways to get bleaching products to work more efficiently on your skin. One of the easiest solutions is to mix Uva Ursi with Kojic Acid. Uva Ursi, also known as Arbutin, is an excellent alternative to hydroquinone. Similarly, kojic acid is considered to be one of the most common natural bleaching agents. Together, they can effectively penetrate the skin and inhibit the production of epidermal melanin. One of the best reasons of pairing them together is that kojic acid might lead to allergic reactions, something that uva ursi helps to offset.

Perfect Ingredient Matches for Acne – Salicyclic Acids with Benzoyl Peroxide

Acne is considered to be one of the most common skin care problems for people all over the world. In fact, about 80% of the world’s population suffers from acne at one point of time or the other. There are a number  of factors that lead to acne issues. Some of the most common ones include overproduction of oil, inflammation, bacteria build-up, irregular shedding of dead skins and hormonal activities. Because of the fact that acne is quite common, a number of myths with regards to acne have also sprung up. So, before we can begin to understand why salicyclic acids can be perfectly paired with benzoyl peroxide, you need to clear your mind of these myths.

Myth No. 1 – Blemishes can be dried up. Blemishes have nothing to do with dry or wet skin. All you would accomplish in trying to dry up a blemish is drying up your skin even more.

Myth No. 2 – Dirty skin leads to blemishes. Most people believe that blemishes are usually caused because of dirty skin. This makes them over-cleanse their skin, a process that simply increases the risk of getting blemishes.

Myth No. 3 – If the product tingles, it is working. There are certain ingredients that can tingle your skin, but there is no research which proves that they actually benefit your skin. In fact, these products are more likely to make matters worse.

Now that you’ve removed these myths from your mind, you can begin to understand how to combine salicyclic acid and benzoyl peroxide to treat acne. Salicyclic acid, also known as BHA, is an excellent exfoliant that also offers your body with anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, benzoyl peroxide is one of the most powerful anti-bacterial agents that can help you get rid of blemishes. What makes benzoyl peroxide so special is that it lowers the risk of skin irritation. Therefore, by combining the two, you can actually expect wondrous results for your skin.

Perfect Ingredient Matches for Dark Circles – Kojic Acid with Caffeine

Hectic lifestyles have made dark circles all too common around the world. Most people end up trying a variety of products in search for the right solution, but they don’t realize that the perfect solution can be found right under their noses. When it comes to dark circles, one of the best solutions is to mix kojic acid with caffeine. This usually works wonders on your dark circles as it helps in reducing the puffiness, constricts the blood fessels and strengthens your capillaries which helps in making the darker color less prominent. Moreover, adding caffeine also helps you to make your eyes look fresher and rejuvenated.

Perfect Ingredient Matches for Anti-Aging – Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid

Looking for another anti-aging solution? You can also match retinol with hyaluronic acid. In fact, Hyaluronic acid acts as the perfect support system to for retinol because it firstly draws  the water and then seals it to your skin. Therefore, hyaluronic acid helps in offsetting any drying effects that retinol might have on your skin. The best time to apply this combination is at night after cleansing your skin.

These are just some of the skin care ingredients that can be paired up with each other to help you treat various skin care concerns. Do you have some other mix and match tips of your own? Let us know your favorite mix and match ingredients in the comments below!

All About Antioxidants

Fruits and veggies on silver forks - antioxidant power An insight into the world of antioxidants

The human body consists of as many as 1 trillion cells. Each of these cells are known to face constant threats from improper food consumption, infections, virus and the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals refer to a group of chemicals that are capable of damaging the genetic material of the human body. These free radicals can be found almost everywhere. The human body itself generates some amounts of free radicals as a byproduct of converting food into energy. Other sources of free radicals include sunlight, food and the air.

Free radicals are considered to be found in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They can change the instructions that are coded in your DNA strands and can also make it more feasible for a lipoprotein molecule to get trapped in the artery wall. Furthermore, these free radicals can also alter the cell membrane, forcing it to change the flow of what leaves and what enters the cell.

Luckily, the human body isn’t completely defenseless to these free radicals. The body has always been used to the relentless attack that they crop up and it continuously creates free-radical defenders. These defenders are often grouped together as antioxidants. Antioxidants work by adding a few electrons to free radicals while ensuring that they don’t turn into electron scavengers themselves.

There are a number of substances that can play the role of antioxidants in the human body. Some of the most common antioxidants include Vitamins C and E, manganese, beta-carotene, lipoic acid, polyphenols, phytoestrogens, flavanoids and selenium.

However, the term antioxidant actually refers to a chemical property, i.e., the ability of a compound to act as an electron donor. In fact, there might be a number of compounds that act as antioxidants, but are electron grabbers in reality.

The Pros and Cons Of Using Antioxidants in Skin Care

Beauty and skin care companies have begun to harness antioxidants from a range of botanical compounds such as green tea, coffee berries, olives, grape seeds, mushrooms and pomegranates. According to Dr. Patricia Farris, a dermatologist based in Louisiana, topical antioxidants have become extremely popular. Scientific studies are proving the effectiveness of these antioxidants in terms of reducing wrinkles and aging, as well as preventing diseases like skin cancer and rosacea.

However, Dr. Richard Thomas, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, advises users to exercise some levels of caution while using topical antioxidants. He states that the idea behind topical antioxidants is an excellent one. He also believes that antioxidants still have a long way to go before their full benefits can be realized. Dr. Thomas states that they might not be harmful for the body, but their true benefits are still not crystal clear.

How Do Antioxidants Work

Oxidation mostly occurs because of the creation of free radicals at the cellular level whenever the skin gets exposed to UV light. Antioxidants help in relieving the oxidative stress caused by free radicals and bind with unstable electrons to prevent them from damaging the cells in the skin’s architecture. What makes antioxidants so wonderful is that they don’t end up turning into electron scavengers themselves.

How Do Antioxidants Help In Skin Care

It is essential to take care of your skin. After all, it is the largest organ in the human body and the major point of reference in terms of beauty. Antioxidants help in protecting the skin cells from the damage caused by free radicals and help to make your skin look younger and healthier. Here are some of the main skin care benefits offered by antioxidants.

  • Anti-Inflammatory. One of the biggest advantages of antioxidants is that they help in calming inflammation by increasing blood circulation and boosting cell metabolisms. By reducing inflammation, antioxidants also help in promoting an even skin tone and allow you to keep problems such as wrinkles and acne at bay. According to a study published in a book written by P.U. Giacomoni, the pro-oxidative factors that lead to accelerated skin aging might also end up activating inflammatory processes which interrupt with the elasticity and thickness of the skin. The study went on to show that topical antioxidants helped in decreasing the inflammation and offering protection to the skin structure.
  • Skin Firming. Antioxidants are also known to offer wonderful results when it comes to skin forming. In fact, antioxidants are known to reverse the effects of aging and promote healthier looking skin. Coenzyme Q10, a commonly used antioxidant is popular in products that help in toning the skin. According to a study published by Skin Research Technologies, an antioxidant named 19 DMAE managed to produce a firming effect on the human skin. According to clinical reports, DMAE also became the first topical agent that helped in firming sagging skin.
  • Reducing wrinkles. Antioxidants don’t just help you in reducing your existing wrinkles. They also help in delaying and/ or preventing the formation of new ones. Most antioxidants can help in reducing fine lines and wrinkles, but Vitamins C and E are considered to be the most beneficial. This is one of the main reasons why serums and anti-aging products are packed with antioxidants. According to a study made popular by R.E. Fizpatrick, Vitamin C helped in drastically increasing the collagen formation and reducing the formation of wrinkles within 12 weeks. The study was conducted with a group of people who were asked to use Vitamin C on one half of their face and placebo gel on the other half. Proper tests in terms of wrinkling, inflammation and pigmentation were performed before beginning the study, after 4 weeks, after 8 weeks and upon completion. The results of this study also correlated with biopsy evidence for formation of new collagen.
  • Treating scars. Antioxidants also help in reducing the appearance of scar tissues. Your scar tissues have a different cell structure that makes them extremely rigid. A number of antioxidants, particularly those found in onion extracts and aloe, help in increasing the blood flow to the scar tissue and assisting in the development of new skin in the problematic area.
  • Repairing the damage caused by the UV rays of the sun. It is common knowledge that excessive exposure to the sun can damage your skin cells, vaporize the moisture content and lead to pigmentation. Sun damage can also bring about wrinkles and toughen up your skin. Antioxidants negate the damage caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun by encouraging the growth of new skin cells and stimulating blood flow in the skin. According to a 3 month study published in the year 1999 by SS Traikovich, Vitamin C treated skin showed significant improvements in terms of ironing out wrinkles, making the skin supple, evening out the tone and improving the condition of photodamaged skin.

The Bottom Line

Free radicals lead to a number of diseases that  range from Alzheimer’s disease and cancer to heart diseases and loss of vision. This damage can be negated to a great effect by using antioxidants. Numerous studies have suggested that eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants as well as topical applications of antioxidants can help you negate a number of skin care problems. However, the world of antioxidants is still known to be relatively young in the medical field. Yes, antioxidants might be helping your skin to fight the damage caused by free radicals, but their full scope is still to be realized.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Coconut Oil

Coconut leaves, fruit and oil Coconut oil is derived from the meat of the coconut and it is considered to have enormous health and skin care benefits. Coconut oil consists of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These MCTs can help in lowering cholesterol, improving energy, saturating fat and balancing HDL – LDL ratios. Coconut oil is also considered to be the richest natural source of lauric acid, an ingredient that is known for strong anti infective properties and is abundant in breast milk.

Coconut oil remains semi-solid at room temperature and helps to moisturize, cleanse and protect your skin and your hair. It reduces the loss of proteins and provides rich and creamy moisturizing properties. The fact that it is very rich in Vitamin E doesn’t do its reputation any harm either. Coconut oil has become extremely popular in the beauty, health and skin care industries of late. Like Shea Butter, Coconut Oil effortlessly combines with body butters and creams and leaves behind a silky and smooth finish. Furthermore, when ingested, coconut oils can help to speed up the metabolism rate. As a result, many people have resorted to cooking dishes in coconut oil as well. This ingredient is definitely great for healthy skin and body.

Now that you know what coconut oil consists of and how it affects your body, why not learn about the various skin care benefits that it offers?

Fixing frizzy hair – Dry frizzies and split ends are common hair care issue all over the world. Coconut oil can actually help you get over these issues and repair and improve your hair condition as well. All you need to do is apply some coconut oil to your scalp before going to sleep and then shampoo it off the next morning. Ideally, you should always apply some coconut oil the night before you plan to shampoo.

Lip Gel – Coconut oil can help in healing cracked lips. Moreover, it helps you to stay away from toxic chemicals that you would otherwise use to heal your cracked lips. The biggest advantage that coconut oil offers is that it acts quickly and even if it goes in your stomach, it helps in speeding up your metabolism rate, thereby giving you additional health benefits.

Heal your blemishes – Coconut oil is not only one of the best hydrating ingredients, it is also famous for its anti-bacterial properties. One of the best things that can be achieved with coconut oil is that you can use it to speed up the healing process and heal your blemishes.

Soften your skin – Coconut oil is one of the greatest skin softeners and a must use for people with dry and hard skin issues. All you need to do is rub some coconut oil on your face, hands and feet twice or thrice a week. This should help you boost the moisture content and also make your skin more supple and smooth.

Use it as a makeup remover or as a cleanser – Coconut oil is an extremely effective makeup remover. It allows you to seamlessly remove your makeup without damaging your skin. You can also use coconut oil as an extremely effective cleanser.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Olive Leaf Extract

Olive oil, branch and olives Olive Leaf Extract is a common name in the skin care, cosmetics and medical world because of its various healing properties. Olive oil, a natural ingredient, is commonly used in Mediterranean dishes because of the fact that it is extremely healthy and that it can help in reducing blood pressure and weight as well. Olive oil has always been popular throughout centuries as a medicinal herb and now it has also managed to take the center stage in beauty and skin care products.

The olive leaf is full of phytonutrients and antioxidants and it is used as a liquid concentrate, in a powdered form or as tea. Research has shown that having the right levels of Olive Leaf Extract can also help in the treatment of certain skin conditions. The Olive leaf is also a major source of luteolin and apigenin, both of which are quite useful when it comes to reducing inflammation and offering youthful and glowing skin, lower blood pressure and fight against cancer, particularly breast cancer.

The anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties of Olive Leaf Extract also makes it popular in ointments that help to prevent cold and flu. Finally, Olive Leaf Extract is known to be full large amounts of antioxidants that help the body to fight against viruses, protect the skin from damage from free radicals and prevent cancer and the Alzheimer’s disease.

Now that you’re aware of the benefits that Olive Leaf Extract has to offer, why not understand how exactly it can benefit your skin.

Reducing skin tumors – According to a study published by the International Journal of Cancer, Olive Leaf Extract helps in protecting the skin from skin tumors and skin cancer. This study was performed on mice where it was shown that Olive Leaf Extract helped in inhibiting cell reproduction and also inducing programmed cell death in tissues with cancerous cells.

Anti-aging – Anti-aging creams are considered to be the most popular skin care products today. Olive Leaf Extract is commonly used in anti-aging creams because of their compositions that allow them to improve longevity, immune system functions, blood circulation and eliminate toxin accumulations and diseases and infections.

Protecting your body from sun damage – Olive Leaf Extract helps you in protecting your skin from damage caused by exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun. According to a study published in the Phytotherapy Research Journal, Olive Leaf Extract constitutes of oleuropein, an ingredient that inhibited skin reactions to UV radiation. This ingredient also helped in lowering melanin production and inhibiting enzymes that break down skin tissue.

Antioxidants – Olive Leaf Extracts are known to be loaded with antioxidants that can help your skin fight the free radicals and protect your blood vessels from getting damaged.

A better alternative to Vitamin E – Olive Leaf Extract contains oleuropein which helps with dehydration, a better blood flow and reduced reddening. According to a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in the year 2008, oleuropein helps the skin in better ways than Vitamin E and also protects it from sun damage.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Kojic Acid

Young lady with pigmented skin Kojic Acid is a relatively new ingredient in the cosmetics and skin care industry. In fact, it was literally unheard off when skin lightening products were quite new in the markets. Today, Kojic Acid has become a household name and is commonly used in cosmetic and skin care products because it is not known to have any major side effects like many other chemicals. Kojic Acid is a natural compound that has been derived from fungi. This makes Kojic Acid completely natural and not something that was created by scientists and dermatologists.

Kojic Acid was discovered in the year 1989 and is known to have a similar effect as Hydroquinone. Studies conducted on the effectiveness of Kojic Acid have shown it to be a lightening agent as it helps to inhibit the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for the color of the skin. Kojic Acid is also known to be extremely effective in skin care products dealing with age spots and hyperpigmentation.

According to a study conducted by Baumann, Kojic Acid was associated with contact allergy and it was classified with high sensitizing potential. Therefore, it was only used in concentrations of about 1%. Reports then spring up about sensitization to the 1% product as well. This was finally cleared by the studies conducted by Bordock that proved Kojic Acid to be safe when consumed as a food additive or used with a topical ointment. The study showed that Kojic Acid was sensitizing only if it was injected into the skin.

However, like all other skin brighteners, Kojic Acid will end up making your skin more sensitive to the sun because it stops your skin from producing melanin, the natural sun barrier for your skin. Therefore, you need to make sure that you always use a sunscreen with SPF 30 on a daily basis when using products with Kojic Acid.

Now that you know what Kojic Acid is, would you like to know how it works? Here are some of the ways in which Kojoc acid works on your skin.

Inhibit the production of melanin – Kojic Acid inhibits the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for the color of the skin. This makes it an extremely effective skin lightening agent and also makes it a wonderful ingredient for those suffering from hyper-pigmentation and age spots. Kojic Acid can also give the body an overall lighter appearance when used with topical treatments. Kojic Acid counters the antioxidant properties of the tyrosinase enzyme. This leads to a reduction in the production of melanin and ultimately ends up lightening your skin tone.

Longer Shelf Life – Kojic Acid has a very long shelf life because it resists spoilage and oxidation. Therefore, it always makes sense to buy a skin lightening product that contains Kojic Acid.

Freckles – Melanocytes are the melanin producing cells in the skin. These cells get damaged over time because of exposure to the sun. As a result of the damage, excessive melanin is fed into the dermis. This leads to brownish spots known as freckles. Kojic Acid helps to counter freckles by countering the melanin and whitening the skin.