All About Peptides

Peptides chemical makeup Peptides are groups of amino acids that act as the building blocks for proteins in your skin. They combine with each other to form long chains of amino acids in order to transform into proteins. Peptides that are found in short amino acid chains can penetrate into the top layers of your skin and sent out signals to your skin cells and instruct them on how they should be functioning. One of the most important proteins in the human body is collagen. Collagen is responsible for ensuring that the skin remains thick and supple. In other words, collagen is directly responsible for controlling skin aging. When the collagen level in the body breaks down, it leads to wrinkles and fine lines. Peptides can be topically applied onto the skin to send signals to your collagen proteins to increase their production. This helps you to get softer and younger looking skin.

Types of peptides

There are several types of peptides that are found in the human body.

  • Collagen Stimulating Peptides – The collagen stimulating peptides are considered to be the most popular ones in terms of skin care.
  • Copper Peptides –Copper peptide are also known to be extremely important to skin care. These peptides help you to reduce inflammation.
  • Neuropeptides – Neuropeptides help in reducing and relaxing facial muscles and diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Argireline, also known as Acetyl Hexapeptide – 8 is the most common type of neuropeptide used in skin care.

Peptides in Skin Care

Although peptides cannot work miracles on your skin, they are excellent ingredients in terms of skin care. In most cases, peptides function as agents that can bind the moisture and instruct your skin to heal itself. This can make peptides an exciting ingredient to have in your skin care routine, as long as you’re not entirely dependent on them. That being said, there is still much to be learnt about peptides and how they can be utilized properly in skin care products to maximize their benefits. Moreover, contrary to popular opinions, peptides don’t work as dermal fillers or Botox. In other words, they are not the solution for those who fear of needles.

How long do peptides take to produce results?

In most cases, you can expect peptides to take some amount of time to work their magic. Peptides are best applied in the form of serums and you should be able to see results within 4 – 12 weeks of regular application. However, you should remember that when it comes to peptides, regular care is essential. If you stop using peptides, you should be able to see the difference on your skin.

The Bottom Line

Peptides are excellent anti-aging ingredients when it comes to skin care products. However, as with all other skin care ingredients, your skin is not entirely dependent on peptides when it comes to looking young and healthy. You need to ensure that you give peptides the right amount of time to work, follow them up with adequate skin care practices and maintain other aspects of your lifestyle as well in order to protect your skin from further damage.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)

Blue background with hand writing white text showing Vitamin B3 compound Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is considered to be the “amide” version of Vitamin B3. In other words, the carboxyl group of nicotinic acid is replaced with a (carbox) amide group to form Niacinamide.

Niacinamide is seen as the bio-active version of Vitamin B3. It is generally known to be one of the most powerful ingredients in skin care products. It offers a range of benefits to the skin such as boosting its metabolic rate, regulating tdesquamation and supporting the barrier function of the skin. Niacinamide acts as a precursor for more than 300 enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body and it is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Although studies to determine the various skin care benefits of Niacinamide on the skin are still in full swing, a number of promising results have already been found. According to a study, Niacinamide not only helps in reducing hyper-pigmentation, blotches on the skin and redness, but it is also tolerated by almost all types of skin. This double-blind, placebo controlled study was conducted with a group of 50 women who were aged between 40 – 60. Randomized testing was carried throughout a 12 week time frame and this randomization was done between a moisturizer with 5% Niacinamide concentrations and a moisturizer that did not contain Niacinamide. According to the results of the study, the former solution offered much more noticeable skin effects when compared to the latter.

Another study conducted by the Department of Life Science, University of Seoul, found that the cells that were exposed to Vitamin B3 showed lesser oxidative damage. This makes the results consistent with antioxidants. Other studies have also shown the benefits that Niacinamide has to offer in terms of treating wrinkles and boosting the elasticity of the skin.

Now that you’ve understood exactly how beneficial Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) is for your skin, how about understanding the different ways in which it can benefit your skin?

Improving the moisture content of your skin – Niacinamide helps to improve skin hydration by strengthening the barrier function of the skin, thereby preventing weight loss. This was proved by a study that was conducted in the year 2000. The study showed that about 2% of Niacinamide helped in reducing the transepidermal water loss (TEWL) of the skin by as much as 24% within a period of 4 weeks. Furthermore, it also helped in increasing the ceramides (34%) and fatty acids (67%).

Improving the appearance of the skin - Skin aging usually takes place because of things like reduced collagen, the appearance of wrinkles, a poorer skin structure and reduced skin elasticity. Studies have shown that Niacinamide can help in increasing collagen secretion by 54% and stimulating fibroblasts (an ideal strategy to reduce collagen breakdown) by as much as 20%.

Evening out the skin tone – Prolonged exposure to sunlight leads to hyper-pigmentation, which in turn leads to an uneven skin tone. Although Niacinamide cannot inhibit the production of melanin (the ingredient responsible for uneven skin tones), it can inhibit the transfer of these melanosomes to their surrounding keratinocytes. This was actually proved by a study conducted in the year 2002. This makes Niacinamide a great ingredient for helping even out skin tone.

Vine Vera Brings You the Most Fashionable Anti-Aging Ingredients Right Now

Hand holding pill labeled anti-aging It is almost impossible to sit in front of your anti-aging skin care products and not think about those gorgeous celebrities with beautiful skin. How we long for skin that looks beautiful. And no matter how much we try, it seems to be something that’s simply out of our reach. We also end up trying all sorts of skin care products, but to no avail. And finally we get frustrated and give up. But, what we don’t realize is that the secret is not in the product that we choose, but the ingredients that it uses. There are several skin care ingredients that are famous for being extremely effective in terms of anti-aging and actually delivering on their promise of beautiful looking skin. The secret lies in understanding what product suits your skin. Here is a list of some of the most fashionable anti-aging ingredients right now. Using products with one of these champions is sure to turn your seemingly hopeless dreams into reality.

Retinol

Retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A, is considered to be one of the best and most effective ingredients when it comes to anti-aging. It helps to treat sun spots, fine lines, sagging skin and dullness. What retinol essentially does is that it speeds up your cell turnover, boosts your collagen and elastin levels, stimulates cellular repair at the innermost levels of your skin and helps your skin to shed off its dull looking dead skin cells. Moreover, retinols also help in increasing blood circulation. As a result, you should be able to boast of younger, firmer, brighter and healthier looking skin.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is an extremely powerful antioxidant that is found in the skin of grapes. Resveratrol is considered to be one of the magic ingredients of skin care. What makes this ingredient so beneficial is that it doesn’t just have skin benefits, it helps in improving other aspects of the body as well. First and foremost, Resveratrol protects the skin from sun damage and helps to reduce the cellular damage caused to the skin. It is also considered to be an extremely stable and potent skin care product. Using Resveratrol is one of the fastest ways of getting rid of fine lines and wrinkles and firming up your skin because it works to directly improve your collagen and elastin levels.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is highly useful in preventing skin cancer, saving your skin from the damage caused by free radicals, preventing fine lines and wrinkles and making age spots disappear. Vitamin C is another antioxidant which penetrates your skin and protects your skin from the UV rays of the sun and the harmful free radicals in the environment. It works by turning these free radicals molecules into harmless compounds, thereby preventing them from damaging your collagen, DNA and elastin cells. Furthermore, it also reduces the appearance of skin discolorations and helps to strengthen the protective barrier of the skin.

Peptides

Peptides are active proteins that can communicate with your skin cells and make them act in a particular way. Therefore, peptides can easily instruct your skin to increase its elastin production or make your skin heal its wounds or imperfections. By doing so, it can make your skin cells alleviate redness as well as instruct your muscles to relax themselves by minimizing your wrinkles. Palmitoyl Pentapeptide is believed to be one of the most powerful peptides. There are some other peptides such as copper peptides that cannot stimulate the skin directly, but can penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin and act as delivery mechanisms for other ingredients.

Hyaluronic Acid

Skin care products that contain Hyaluronic Acid are known for their anti-aging properties. The substance occurs naturally in humans and animals and is a major component of the connective tissues in the body. As a result, it helps to cushion and lubricate the body. Unfortunately, the amount of hyaluronic acid in the reduces over time, which leads to problems like accelerated aging. Therefore, introducing the ingredient with the help of skin care products helps to replenish the ingredient and prevent your skin from aging.

Most Fashionable Skin Care Ingredients Right Now

Mask on face with slices of various fruits on top With the different ingredients out there, it can become quite difficult what to choose and what not. Moreover, with trends and fashion dictating almost everything we do, women across the world try to seek out some of the most fashionable ingredients, believing that they cannot go wrong in selecting something that dictates world fashion in terms of skin care. In most cases, their reasoning is correct. There are a number of fashionable skin care ingredients that are performing miracles on the human skin around the world. However, before you choose one of these ingredients, you need to ensure that the product suits your type of skin. Remember, the ingredient is only as good as its compatibility with your skin.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid, a type of BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) is extremely beneficial in treating skin care problems such as acne and irritation. Salicylic Acid works well with normal skin and oily skin and it can penetrate through the sebum which clogs your pores and clear blackheads. Using Salicylic Acid on a regular basis allows you to decrease the severity and frequency of your acne problems. However, make sure that you avoid Salicylic Acid if you’re suffering from aspirin allergies or dry/ sensitive skin.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide, another form of Vitamin B3, can help you to prevent the formation of brown spots and reduce the appearance of wrinkles on your skin. Niacinamide is also known to be highly beneficial in clearing up your blemishes and reducing skin inflammation. This magical ingredient helps to increase the production of ceramides in the skin, which in turn improve the barrier function of the skin and prevent water loss. Niacinamide can be found in all sorts of serums, cleansers, lotions and moisturizers. It is usually known to be a well tolerated approach to soothing skin problems. According to a study conducted in the year 2010, women who used Niacinamide reduced the appearance of wrinkles when compared to women who used simple anti-aging creams.

Green Tea

Green Tea, also known as EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is suitable for all types of skin. Green tea works wonders in terms of reducing sun damage, soothing irritation and taking care of skin aging. Green tea is also believed to be one of the most potent ways of photo-protection. According to studies, products that contain 5% of green tea can help to prevent skin cancer when applied along with sunscreens.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)

Alpha hydroxy acids are known to be one of the best exfoliators in the world. These acids occur naturally in the form of malic acid (apples), Glycolic acid (sugarcanes), citric acid (citrus fruits such as oranges) and lactic acid (milk). AHAs help to give your skin a smoother texture and allow it to look more radiant. Moreover, they also help in boosting the collagen production and allowing your skin to retain moisture. AHAs produce a chemical peel to exfoliate the outermost layers of your skin. However, you would not want to use AHA cleansers along with retinols as this could lead to skin inflammation or irritation.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera might be one of the oldest known skin care ingredients, but it still remains to be one of the most fashionable ones. Haven’t you noticed? All the oldies are making a comeback in terms of fashion. Aloe Vera is just one of those that simply refuses to go away. Aloe Vera has been used in skin care for generations. It can help you to soothe skin burns, treat cuts, comfort your rashes and reduce sunburns.

Alcohol is Bad for Skin Care – Myth or Not?

With the amount of misinformation available online, it is very easy to believe that alcohol based moisturizers don’t hurt your skin. Many formulas that contain ethanol often have a quick drying finish and this leaves behind a pleasant effect on your skin. Before we begin to discuss about the effects of alcohol in skin care, you need to understand that any product which lists alcohol as one of its main ingredients is bad for your skin. It is also important to realize that there are two types of alcohol being used in skin care products. Understanding the difference between the two can actually help you to select a product that is not harmful to your skin care routine.

Bottle of ethanol Ethyl Alcohol – Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol, is the regular alcohol that is commonly used in skin care and cosmetic products. It is the kind of alcohol that most people are familiar with and it is commonly used in beers, wines, facial toners, gels and hairsprays. However, the ethanol that is used in cosmetic and skin care products  is denaturated. This is what gives it its bitter taste. This type of alcohol is usually listed as SD Alcohol or Alcohol Denat on the ingredient list. Ethanol is mostly derived out of sugars and it is extremely volatile. Its volatility is one reason why it is so popular in hair styling products.

Alcohol splash on split coconut Fancy Alcohols – Fancy alcohols are another type of alcohol that are commonly used in skin care products. This alcohol is a fatty alcohol such as behenyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol or cetyl alcohol. All such alcohols are usually derived from palms and coconuts and are solid at room temperature. Some of their main applications come in hand and body lotions, conditioners and moisturizers.

It is common to misinterpret ingredients containing alcohol because of their fancy names. Moreover, when users see the name ethanol, a name they are the most familiar with, they end up believing it to be safe. On the other hand, when a fancy name such as cetyl alcohol comes up, most people end up believing that it is very harmful to their skin. Actually, fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol are not drying at all. Instead, they are extremely beneficial for the skin as they condition your hair and your skin.

But does this mean that ethanol is damaging? Well, if you look at ethanol used in hair spray products, it is not damaging because the amount of ethanol that you use or spray on your hair is minimal. This prevents it from causing any drying or permanent damage. However, if this is used in skin care products, it might be used in greater percentages, but even then, that would be under 10%. This debunks one of the most common skin care myths – alcohol is not always harmful to your skin. In fact, it can prove to be quite beneficial.

Surely, with so many skin care companies using alcohol in their products, you would believe that there is some science behind it right? As explained above, there are two main reasons for the use of alcohol in skin care – alcohol helps in creating a thick product weightless and it is highly useful in helping beneficial ingredients to penetrate your skin.

Skin Care Ingredient Myths Debunked

Most people try to do a lot of research before making decisions on the skin care ingredients to use for their skin. Understanding how each ingredient affects the skin also helps to make educated choices with regards to what products to use. This is especially useful when it comes to people who are prone to dry skin, breakouts or acne. Now, when you wish to purchase a product, there are three things that you generally consider – the ingredients, the smell and the touch. Having a pleasant smell and not having harmful ingredients is a no-brainer, but the ingredient list is where things can become extremely difficult. This is because of the number of skin care ingredient myths that are floating out there. So before you make your decisions on the products, there are a few skin care ingredient myths that you should know about.

Skin Care Ingredient Myth # 1 – The more the ingredients, the more the chances of irritation

It’s easy to understand why most people believe that the lesser the ingredients that their skin has to tackle, the safer it is from problems like irritation. While this might have been true to a certain extent a few decades ago, it doesn’t hold any weight today. Most skin care solutions offer their customers with some of the most amazing formulations, and more often than not, in today’s world, the lesser ingredients a product has, the less effective it is.

Skin Care Ingredient Myth # 2 – The ingredient list is more than enough to let you know whether a product will work

Unfortunately, the ingredient list will not shed any light on whether a product will work or not. In fact, most ingredient lists will contain a number of products that you’ve never heard of. Moreover, many of your assumptions can be held invalid because of the percentages in which these ingredients are present. So instead of trying to figure out something that’s impossible to figure out, spend your time trying to understand what the product is meant for. Remember, no product is suitable for all types of skin and different products work differently on different types of skin.

Skin Care Ingredient Myth # 3 – Ingredients with long and unheard of names are bad for your skin

Most of the best ingredients mentioned in the product list usually have long names that simply cannot be pronounced. Most people end up assuming that they’re bad as they commonly associate them with chemicals. While these ingredients might sound extremely complicated, they could actually be referring to power performers such as retinol or Vitamin C. In case you didn’t know. The FDA regulations mandate manufacturers to list down the Latin names of each plant based ingredient.

Skin Care Ingredient Myth # 4 – Oils are bad for the skin

We often come across people looking for “oil free” products only, particularly when they’re suffering from oily skin. However, almost all creams and lotions use some sort of emollient or oil to allow the product to slide across your skin. All oils don’t end up clogging your pores or are comedogenic in nature. Some of the “safe oils” found in skin care products include Sunflower Seed oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Jojoba Oil and Soybean Oil.

Skin Care Ingredient Myth # 5 – Parabens are harmful when placed in skin care products

There was a study which was conducted in the year 2004 that started this argument. However, this doesn’t hold true anymore as the FDA, the American Cancer Society as well as the National Cancer Institute have all come forward with conclusive evidence which shows that there is no link between parabens and cancer. The main reason for this is that parabens do not disrupt the estrogen. They transform into a non-estrogenic metabolite once they are applied to your skin.

The Bottom Line

Simply put, while it makes sense to stay informed on the various skin care ingredients, it is virtually impossible to determine how each ingredient benefits your skin. What you can do is either take a patch test or try to understand what ingredients are harmful for your skin. While most  companies do not use harmful ingredients, you might come across something that might cause a problem for you. And if you’re wondering what a patch test is, simply put some of the product on a small patch of your skin to see how it reacts. Give it 24 hours. If there are any problems, they should become evident by then.

Natural VS Chemical – What You Need to Know

Young woman using skin care products For every good there seems to be an equal and opposite bad. Superman had Kryptonite, Batman had Joker, GI Joes had Cobra, the list could simply go on and on. Each and everything in the world is known to have an opposite match for itself. It’s the same when it comes to skin care products as well. There’s a constant battle between choosing natural versus chemical skin care products and making the choice is not always as easy as you think. To get a clearer picture and to understand which products are best, you need to know certain facts about both these options.

What are Natural Skin Care Products?

Natural skin care products those that claim to be made with botanical ingredients such as natural oils, fruit acids and fruit extracts. Sometimes these products are also referred to as “green” or “organic.” Most natural skin care products are thought of as being harmless especially when compared to synthetic or “chemical” ingredients. Marketing still seems to be ahead of science with products like these, there are still too few studies available on the subject to definitively prove whether or not these claims are true.  Homemade facial masks and ingredients to make them: oats, cucumbers, etc

What are Chemical Skin Care Products?

Chemical skin care products are composed of synthetic ingredients. Many of these ingredients are created especially to be more potent in their effects on skin. Some chemicals are also known to be extremely harsh for those with sensitive skin. It seems that the biggest cause of irritation in skin care products are the chemicals added to give a fragrance.

The case might seem to be completely against chemical products, but don’t judge these items on their simple descriptions. There are a number of cases where chemical skin care products are known to work wonders while the natural skin care products fail to offer similar benefits. Here’s what you need to know about skin care products.

Self Concerns

Most people have suffered from one chemical product or another in the past. But, more often than not those who experience irritation or other negative reactions have these experiences due to ignorance or a poor choice of product. Some people choose products that are not the correct fit for their skin type or skin issues and do not see the results they would like. Some others may not realize they have an allergy or a skin sensitivity to a specific ingredient. Most skin care products contain many different ingredients in one product, making it difficult for people to recognize the particular thing their skin is reacting too. Natural products are the seemingly more safe and healthy option and people always prefer to choose the safer option. But, it always helps to get expert opinions as there are many cases where chemical skin care products are known to be more effective than the natural ones and vice versa.

It’s not a choice between a safe product and a chemical product

It always helps to keep an open mind when it comes to choosing between natural and synthetic skin care products. There are a number of products that are known to be extremely beneficial for humans and not all concerns are based on the impact on your skin. Some concerns might be environmental as well.

Natural products are not always the safest option

Most people believe that natural skin care products automatically imply safe, but this isn’t always the case. There are plenty of natural products that can cause a great deal of harm to your skin. When you try any product, don’t take its safety as something that is obvious. Acquaint yourself with what the product has to offer and how safe it is for your skin. It is especially important to read and understand ingredient labels. Dermatologists and other skin care experts, suggest looking for products which contain particular ingredients that have been documented to be safe and effective. Know which basic ingredients to look for in your skin care.

Eventually, you need to decide on what product suit you best depending on how effective and safe it is for your particular type of skin, not by basing it on predetermined notions about natural or chemical skin care products.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Ceramides

Skin care with ceramide capsultes Ceramides make up for almost 50% of the natural protective barrier of your skin. They are responsible for preventing the moisture from evaporating and ensuring that your skin remains moisturized and hydrated. Ceramides are often termed as the “glue that holds the skin cells together”. Therefore, replenishing the ceramide content in your skin is an excellent way to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the environment, treat a variety of skin care concerns and look younger and healthier.

Ceramides are considered to be an integral part of sebum, a normal skin oil which is a mixture of cholesterol, Vitamins D and E, fatty acids, ceramides and phytosphingosine. A reduction in the amount of ceramides in the skin can lead to numerous skin concerns such as redness, dry skin, weakened skin and sensitive skin.

Ceramides can be added topically into the human body. Topical applications are one of the best ways of replenishing the ceramide content in the skin and rebuilding the protective barrier that ensures hydration. The problem is that the natural barrier is disrupted on a daily basis because of all sorts of toxins. This is why it is very important to ensure that you use products which help to replenish the ceramide content in your skin. This also helps you to prevent diseases such as dermatitis and psoriasis.

You can choose from all sorts of skin care products such as moisturizers, lotions, cleansers, serums and creams to replenish the ceramide content in your skin. There are a number of skin care products that also contain fatty acids and cholesterol along with ceramides. According to research, a balance of all three can do wonders in healing your skin and rejuvenating your appearance.

Now that you’re aware of why ceramide is so important to your skin, how about learning about the various skin care conditions that can be directly influenced by adding ceramide based products into your skin care routines?

Eczema – People with eczema more often than not suffer from a low level of ceramides in the outermost layer of their skin. According to a study that was published in the Cutis Journal in the year 2008, ceramides might help in reducing the duration and improving the symptoms of flare ups for patients suffering from mild eczema.

Aging Skin – Ceramides are also known to protect the body from xerosis, a condition that is usually associated with abnormal drying of the skin. According to a study that was published in the International Journal of Immunopahtology and Pharmacology in the year 2008, applying creams or moisturizers that contained ceramides helped in improving the barrier functions of the skin and also increasing the resistance to xerosis. This makes ceramides excellent anti-aging ingredients.

Skin Irritation – Ceramides are quite popular for helping in saving and protecting the skin from certain kinds of irritants. According to a study published in the International Journal of Dermatology in the year 2008, applying emulsions that contain ceramide helped in increasing the hydration levels, improving the barrier function of the skin and protecting the skin from irritation caused by exposure to sodium lauryl sulfate, a chemical that is commonly found in many beauty and skin care products.

Basic Ingredients to Look for in your Skin Care

Woman looking at skin care products When it comes to choosing the perfect ingredient for your skin care product, you’re really spoiled with choices. With so many powerhouses and must-haves to choose from, things can become quite overwhelming. Frankly, the variety of skin care products to choose from makes you want to drop everything and run away. And who hasn’t succumbed to that perfect sales pitch which made them buy products that they don’t need? Luckily for those in the know, skin care is not all that complicated. All you need to understand is what ingredients to look for in your skin care products.

Retinol
Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A and is considered to be the holy grail of skin care. There are thousands of products that contain retinol or one of its counterparts. Retinol has a molecular structure that is small enough to be able to get absorbed into the deep lying areas of your skin. This brings it closer to your collagen and elastin and allows it to work on pigmentation, wrinkles, skin texture, fine lines, color, skin tone and hydration. Moreover, retinols can also boost the production of collagen and fasten cell turnover to give you healthier and younger looking skin. Some of the main ingredients to look out for on the labels include tretinoin, tazarotene and adapelene (for prescription products) or retinol (for over the counter products).

Vitamin C
There are so many uses and advantages of antioxidants that people simply fail to realize that some of them (for example, ascorbic acid) might be irritants to the skin. There are actually two types of Vitamin C to choose from when it comes to skin care products – fat soluble and water soluble. The Fat Soluble Vitamin C ester realizes Vitamin C’s potential as an anti-aging ingredient. It offers greater antioxidant activity than the water soluble option and also requires lesser doses. Moreover, it resides in the fatty membranes of the skin cell, thereby allowing it to regenerate the depleted vitamin E on a continuous basis. Fat soluble Vitamin C also showcases a greater ability to stimulate the growth of cells which help in increasing the production of elastin and collagen. Finally, fat soluble Vitamin C is considered to be more stable with topical solutions. On the other hand, water soluble Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, might have certain advantages, but it also has some drawbacks when compared to the fat soluble option. It cannot maintain or protect the cell membranes in times of oxidative stress. It can also prove to be a major irritant to the skin. That being said, it is still an extremely powerful antioxidant for the skin.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Alpha-hydroxy acids, also known as AHAs, has become very popular in the recent past, particularly in the United States of America. Creams and lotions that contain AHA can help your skin deal with irregular pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. AHAs also play a major role in decreasing your enlarged pores. However, AHA might lead to sun sensitivity and mild irritation. Therefore, it is essential to try out AHA on a small patch of your skin and ensure that you religiously apply SPF 30 sunscreen every morning while using any AHA product. The ingredients to look out for in those product labels include lactic acids, citric acids, glycolic acids and malic acids. Glycolic acid is the most common type of AHA used in skin care products because it is known to cause the least irritation.

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera, botanically known as Aloe barbadensis, has been used as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments for more than 4000 years. According to historians, Queen Cleopatra and Queen Nefertiti from the Ancient Egyptian civilization rated Aloe Vera very highly because of its beauty and skin care properties. Some of the main benefits offered by Aloe Vera include smoothening the skin, moisturizing the skin and healing irregularities. Aloe Vera is also known to be an extremely powerful antioxidant for the skin.

Choose products that contain any of these ingredients and you really couldn’t go wrong with your skin care routines. All you need to ensure is that you don’t end up taking products that actually worsen your skin conditions. For example, a person with oily skin should never choose products that increase the oil levels and are actually made for people with dry skin. Remember, understanding what ingredient to choose and what kind of product to avoid is all you need to say goodbye to all your skin care conditions.

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.