Tag Archives: skincare

Antioxidants and Skin Care

Woman eating orange

Are antioxidants the new religion? Since the superpowers of the oxidation fighters were revealed, we follow groundbreaking news about antioxidants on social media with the same rabid enthusiasm that we follow the Brangelina divorce or the newest celebrity posts on Instagram. Antioxidants are our lifeline against aging, judging from the amount of attention antioxidants are getting, this attribute may be more valuable than reservations at the Ivy. So for those of you for whom the latest skin care breakthrough headline is more enticing than the latest celebrity baby bump reveal, here is some eye opening information on antioxidants and skin care.

Vitamin C and E and Selenium
According to research, vitamins C, E, and selenium not only protect skin against sun damage and skin cancer, they may actually reverse wrinkles and discoloration associated with the aging process. Karen E.Burke, MD, PhD attributes these results to the ability of this trio to speed up the natural repair system of the skin and prevent further damage. The doctor recommends supplements containing 400 international units of vitamin E, 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 100 to 200 micrograms of selenium daily to reap the glorious benefits of this healthy triumvirate.

Woman at mirror

CoEnzyme Q10
CoEnzyme Q10 is an antioxidant which occurs naturally in the human body, promoting cell growth and protecting against cancer. Age-related decreases in the levels of CoQ-10 in the body are thought to be associated with aging, and a study published in the Biofactors Journal found proof that applying 0.3% concentration of the antioxidant may help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Applied topically, this antioxidant may be able to aid the skin in the prevention of sun damage. A study found subjects who applied a 3%-5% concentration of alpha-lipoic acid to their skin, starting at a rate of once every other day and gradually increasing to daily application, showed noticeable improvement in changes in the skin brought on by the sun.

Retinoic Acid
If you’ve been doing your homework, you already know that retinoic acid is the active form of vitamin Q in the skin, and is also typically referred to as the “gold standard” in skin care. Used topically, retinoic acids, often branded as Renova or Retin-A, effectively treat age spots, wrinkles, and rough skin caused by the sun’s rays. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science revealed findings that retinoic acid treatment reduces the appearance of wrinkles by restoring the elastic fibers responsible for keeping skin firm and tight. Although dermatologists once believed that use of this antioxidant increased skin’s sensitivity to the sun, they now believe that it actually protects the skin from further damage. However, because high concentrations of retinoic acid have been associated with peeling and redness, Burke recommends starting at a low concentration (0.01% in gels and 0.1% in creams) and applying it every two to three nights to introduce it slowly to the skin.

Asian woman with cup of tea

Flavonoids (Green Tea and Chocolate)
We saved the best for last. Research suggests that the flavonoids in green tea can protect from inflammation and cancer, and a German study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank cocoa with a high level of flavonoids had smoother, softer skin than those who drank a lower flavonoid version of the liquid chocolate. Although the results so far seem promising, Burke says more research needs to be done to prove the effectiveness of flavonoids and to determine the best dose, but, in the meantime, you are more than welcome to experiment.

Are you a believer in antioxidants? Let us know which ones you are most faithful to and why. We love to learn from you!

Developing A Skin Care Routine Based On Your Skin’s Needs

Woman at mirror

When it comes to relationships, you know you need to consider the needs of your partners in order form a loving, solid, lasting relationship. But what about when it comes to your skin? Your skin has needs too. Are you listening to your skin? What is it trying to tell you? Are you giving it the attention it requires to perform at its peak and feel special and adored at all times? When it comes to developing a skin care routine, you need to take the needs of your skin into account in order to form a nurturing, healthy bond. Here are some tips for determining the right way to meet the needs of your skin for a more fulfilling relationship.

Simple Routine
An essential routine should be followed by everyone, regardless of skin type. A good general morning routine should consist of a cleanser, followed by and exfoliant, and topped off with a hydrating moisturizer with a built in SPF. An evening routine is basic repeat of the morning, only the SPF component of the moisturizer is not required. Daytime and nighttime moisturizers can be applied around the eyes as a substitute for eye cream, but if an additional eye cream is used, choose one with sunscreen for daytime application and one without sunscreen for the night, as with the moisturizer.

Woman using toner

Advanced Routine
If a specific skin issue needs to be addressed, such as signs of aging, uneven skin tones, large pores, and breakouts more advanced action may be called for. If this is the case, your routine may look something like this:

  • Cleanser
    A gentle cleanser should be applied first to remove debris and allow your skin to receive the maximum benefits from your other products.
  • Toner
    Toners contain replenishing ingredients to hydrate and refresh the surface of the skin after cleansing. They also smooth and calm skin, minimizing redness and the appearance of dry patches. Those will oily skin will notice tightening of the pores after repeated toner usage.
  • Exfoliant
    Exfoliants remove dead skin build up for noticeable skin renewal and elimination of dullness. Choose products with AHAs to exfoliate the skins surface, and BHAs which go deeper to penetrate oil that can clog pores and worsen the appearance of deep wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Acne Treatment (If Needed)
    If acne is an issue, a topical treatment with benzoyl peroxide is recommended to kill bacteria and prevent new blemishes from appearing. Use after exfoliation with AHAs and BHAs for maximum benefit.
  • Skin Lightening (If Needed)
    If dark spots and discoloration are a problem, skin lighteners with hydroquinone can fade spots within 8 to 12 weeks of use. Ongoing use will help to maintain results, as will the use of a broad spectrum sunscreen.
  • Serum
    Serums are packed with antioxidants and anti aging ingredients to help protect your skin from environmental damage. Apply twice daily to keep skin looking young and radiant.
  • Anti-aging Moisturizer (With Sunscreen For Daytime, Without For Night)
    Every skin type can benefit from a good moisturizer. When used daily, moisturizers, whether in cream, lotion, or gel form, work to hydrate skin keeping it plumped and noticeably younger.
  • Targeted Solutions
    Targeted solutions are optional products that can be used as an extra step to calm or hydrate skin, absorb an excess of oil, or address a certain issue, such as those related to aging. Examples of targeted solutions include facial masks, lip care, and mattifiers.

What do you do to make sure the needs of your skin are being met? Let us know! We love to hear from you!

What To Look For In Natural Cosmetics

Woman with flowers

Does it ever seem odd that we pointedly avoid buying foods with any vaguely chemical sounding ingredients, but we actively search for them in our cosmetic products? Breyer’s Ice Cream brags of containing only five simple ingredients, yet we persist in putting a veritable cocktail of synthetic chemicals on our faces. Although it is true that many of the manmade skincare ingredients have proven harmless and effective, there has to be a certain amount of wisdom in the belief that the best things for our bodies come from the same place as our bodies do: the earth. With that in mind, let’s talk natural cosmetics and take a look at what you can do to keep green while you look beautiful.

Scale Down
While there seems to be a myriad of products to address each skin issue individually, some of them really have very similar formulations. Eye creams, for example, vary very little in consistency from basic facial moisturizers. If you are trying to scale down on the number of chemicals you are putting on your face, limit the amounts of products you are putting on your face. Try to limit your skincare routine to the basic essentials: cleanser, moisturizer, toner, and broad spectrum sunscreen.

Organic beauty products

Choose Organic Beauty Products
Organic ingredients are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers which make them a healthier choice for both our planet and out bodies. Even better are botanicals grown employing biodynamic farming methods. These take the green mentality one step further by putting emphasis on the holistic relationship between plants, soil, and animals. The USDA National Organic Program has been certifying organic skincare products since 2003, and an increasing number of formulas are now bearing the organic seal. Biodynamically certified products feature the Demeter USA’s approval stamp.

Know What’s Really In “Natural” Products
Many companies market skincare by slapping the word “natural” on the label; however, the words “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated terms. To be sure, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database site. This will tell you the level of toxicity in popular cosmetics products on a scale from 0 to 10.

No Fragrance
Besides the use of the word “natural” on product labels, federal law also overlooks the need for companies to state the toxic chemicals in a product’s fragrance mixture. Artificial fragrances can contain phthalates, which can trigger health problems and allergic reactions. Beware of products with “parfum” or “fragrance” on the label, as this could indicate hidden toxicity.

Healthy diet plan

Keep Healthy
Of course, a great way to get a natural glow without chemicals is by making sure you maintain healthy diet and exercise habits. Make a point to get the occasional workout in to keep the blood flowing to your skin, and eat plenty of healthy fats, like flaxseed and omega-3 fish oils, protein, fruits and complex carbohydrates.

Are you going natural with your cosmetics? Let us know how you’re greening up your routine. We love to hear it.

Balancing Your Skin’s pH

Woman floating

If you’re trying to get this “science of skincare” down, you may feel like you are revisiting your high school chemistry class with a slightly more positive attitude. Maybe you can learn something useful about your skin while you’re keeping your brain cells from degenerating. Some of the concepts may even be starting to sound familiar. You vaguely recall the phrase PH being tossed about. Are you wondering what that has to do with your skin? Here’s a little rundown on how it all balances out.

pH Levels and Your Skin
In short, pH is a measure of the acidity of a substance. To provide perspective, on a scale of 1-14, battery acid clocks in at 0, while a level of 14 indicates the most alkaline, or basic substances. Your skin should come in at about 4.5-5.5. The measurement is a little more acidic than basic. The larger percent of acidity helps skin retain moisture and fight bacteria, allergens, wind, and pollutants. Environmental factors and UV light can throw off your skin’s pH resulting in all sorts of reactions, including inflammation, dry skin, and even eczema. To keep skin in its best shape, you should try to make sure you’re keeping that number as close to its recommended PH level as possible.

Soap on hands

Soap Cleansers
Most of us grew up putting our faith in soap. It kept us clean, our mothers were always telling us to use it. Since when did it become the bad guy? The thing about soap is that it has a pH of about 9-11 which is really much too basic for your skin. The most alkaline cleansers are used for heavy duty cleaning; drain pipe cleaners have a pH level of about 14. Look for cleansers that say “pH balanced or “soap free” to make sure your skin is maintaining a healthy level of acidity.

Don’t Over Peel
Most people are results oriented, and peeling products give quick results; however, there can be such a thing as too much of a good thing. Peeling is intended to slough off dead skin, but once the dead skin is gone, you’re removing more than that. If you’re breaking out, or experiencing redness and inflammation, you should probably take it as a sign to slow down. You’re breaking down your skin’s defences.

Woman eating salad

Eat Well
You’re always hearing about how you are what you eat, so it should come as no surprise that it is no different when it comes to your pH level. Since what you consume is filtered through your skin cells when you sweat; sweat has a lot of influence on your pH level. Processed foods tend to be acidic, so you need to make sure your diet has a lot of dark leafy green veggies to keep your skin balanced and protected against breakouts.

Product pH Levels
The good news is that you really don’t have to do much math to keep your pH balanced. It’s not a case of trying to neutralize a breakout caused by a high acid level by using alkaline products; you’re likely to go in the opposite direction. Most of the math has been done for you. Just look for products with the same pH level recommended for your skin, between 4.5 and 5.5. If you want to figure out how much pH is in a product, you an purchase pH testing kits from the drugstore.

We hope you enjoyed your chemistry lesson for today. Let us know what you’re doing to keep your pH in check, Let us hear your comments and suggestions.

5 Common Skin Care Ingredients That Can Cause Allergies

Woman checking face at mirror

Were you the kid in school who could never eat the cookies during snack time because you had a nut allergy? Life is rough for the allergy sensitive. Whenever there is something great that everyone seems to love, it makes you break out in hives or start sneezing uncontrollably. Like skin care products. Just when you find a skincare product that is really working for you, it turns on you, causing you to break out itching and scratching. While little can be done to stop your allergies, there are ways to save some heartache, by avoiding certain products, to begin with. Here are some ingredients to look out for when you’re buying products.

Salicylic Acid
Dendy Engelmen, MD, explains that salicylic acid is, “the same active ingredient in aspirin and three to five percent of the population is sensitive to aspirin too.” If your product contains salicylic acid, you’re probably using it to fight blemishes, but you should know that it’s likely to cause inflammation and hives as well. The allergy sensitive is better off using benzoyl peroxide.

Aluminum
Aluminum is usually found lurking in your antiperspirant or deodorant because it reduces sweating. However, because it is a salt, it can also cause itching, swelling, and redness. Engleman recommends using magnesium oil, which prevents sweating using ninasium chloride, or aluminum-free antiperspirants and deodorants.

Glycolic Acid
It seems that the things about glycolic acid that make it so good for your skin are the same things that make it so bad for your skin. David Bank, MD, explains, “This acid is so small that it’s very good at penetrating into the skin. On the efficacy side, it’s great. But that rapid entry can make it more irritating.” If you’re experiencing redness or drying from glycolic acid, you may want to replace it with lactic acid, which is, “physically larger so it releases more gradually over time.”

Sulfate
Bank clarifies that “When people use the word sulfates, they’re particularly referring to sodium lauryl sulfate. These detergents are found in cleansers and shampoos and can cause redness and dryness on sensitive eczema-prone skin.” For a milder treatment, look for products which are sulfate free or shampoos containing sodium laureth sulfate instead.

Retinol
It may be great for fighting aging, but it’s also pretty good at drying out skin. Bank says, “Retinol still remains the gold standard for anti-aging, reversing sun damage and stimulating collagen, The major drawback is that it can be on the drying and irritating side.” He does add, however, that the unpleasant side effects tend to be more uncomfortable than toxic.

Allergic? Let us know what skin care ingredients you think we should avoid. We love to hear it.

Luxurious Skincare Ingredients That Are Trending Right Now

Woman on bed of flowers

Those of us who have done our homework will know that retinol has often been referred to as the “gold standard in skincare,” but what about gold itself? Could gold be the “gold standard in skincare” or are we talking about apples and oranges here? When it comes to skincare, it is no secret that most women are prepared to pay a king’s ransom for a product that works, and, while there is truth in the saying, “You get what you pay for,” you do need to know what you’re paying for. Let’s look at some skincare ingredients that give new meaning to the words, “pretty penny” to see if they’re truly worth their weight in gold.

Gold
We all know that gold is precious in and of itself, but can it also be useful? As it turns, out, the metal has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can decrease acne and redness and protect skin from free radicals. Colloidal gold, which is composed of particles of gold suspended in liquid, has been used in injection for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Maybe the term “golden glow” has more to it than we thought.

Pearl in seashell

Pearls
Ever wonder why flawless skin is often referred to as “pearlescent?” While a relatively novel skincare concept in the Western world, pearls have been a long held beauty secret of Asian royalty since ancient times. Crushed pearls were used to give skin a luminous glow during the Ming Dynasty and pearls have been used in traditional Chinese medicine because of their detoxifying and anti-inflammatory abilities. Pearls also have high calcium content and contain trace minerals, amino acids, and conchiolin, a protein that helps restore collagen to skin.

Caviar
Largely popularized by the reported usage of Baerli sturgeon caviar by Angelina Jolie to rid her body of stretch marks resulting from the birth of her twins, fish eggs have been reputed to have beneficial effects on skin. While its effect on stretch marks is a matter of dispute, caviar does contain antioxidants like Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that can promote production of collagen and prevent cellular inflammation. It also has selenium and potassium, which may increase skin’s elasticity.

Ginseng

Ginseng
Red ginseng is often used in skincare to relieve dryness, brighten dark spots and under eye circles, and reduce wrinkles and fine lines, According to a study published on the National center for Biotechnology information, fermented red ginseng is a “novel skincare anti-aging ingredient” that “offers increased anti-wrinkle efficacy and whitening efficacy.”

Bee Venom and Propolis
Bees certainly are busy! Not only are they constantly working to produce honey and pollen,they are also responsible for royal jelly, bee venom, beeswax and propolis. While honey has been a long time ingredient used in skincare as a humectant and antibacterial substance for wound heeling, bee venom is one of the newest bee production to be used in sincere. The bee venom works by using its apparent ability to trick skin into thinking it has been stung, which production tightening and plumping effects by relaxing the facial muscles. Propolis is a resin like substance used to seal chambers where bee larvae inhabit and also works as a natural disinfectant Although research is still being done on its benefits, preliminary studies show that it may have anti fungal and antibacterial properties that may be effective against acne. It is also purported to be an antioxidant and is currently being studied as a possible treatment for fighting cancer.

What do you think? Are you willing to lay out the big bucks for the good stuff? Let us know! We love to hear from you!

A Moisturizer For Skin and Hair

Woman touching face

Today, many of us won’t touch a product unless it lists hyaluronic acid, retinol, or any of the other scientific-sounding ingredients that seem to be revolutionizing the face of skin care, and your own, these days. However, while much of this stuff has proven quite effective, there are still those of us who prefer natural ingredients, that have grown out of the same earth as we have. Shea butter is a natural ingredient used for centuries. In fact, Cleopatra was said to have used it in her beauty regimen, and they say Marc Anthony was not hard on the eyes. Here are some of the ways shea butter can be used as a moisturizer for skin and hair.

For Skin

  1. Healing
    Shea butter contains fatty acids and plant sterols which do not convert into soap as easily as other nut oils and fats, which makes it a great healer for skin. Raw shea butter has been known to help treat skin rashes, and peeling after tanning and is effective on everything from scars, frostbite, athlete’s foot, stretch marks, arthritis, to insect bites.
  2. Antioxidants
    Shea butter consists of plant antioxidants, like vitamin A and vitamin E and catechins, which protect cells from damage by the environment and free radicals, and cinnamic acid esters to prevent skin from sun damage.
  3. Anti-Aging
    In addition to preventing sun damage, shea butter can stimulate the production of collagen, the protein building block of skin. The vitamins E and A lend their moisturizing powers, keeping skin supple and preventing premature wrinkles.
  4. Skin Elasticity
    As mentioned earlier, shea butter is non-saponifiable, which means it does not convert easily into soap. This and its vitamin F content make it vital in the maintenance of skin elasticity and tone.

Woman combing hair

For Hair

    1. Dry Scalp
      Got flakes? Try shea butter. It’s an effective treatment for dandruff or a dry itchy scalp. Shea butter is easily absorbed into the skin, so you don’t have to worry about greasy residue or clogged pores. Once penetrated, its vitamins A and E work to repair breakage, soothe dryness, and mend split ends.
    2. Moisturizer
      Shea butter can be used as a natural substitute for your conditioner. Its presence of A and E vitamins make it effective in locking moisture in without added weight and greasiness. Shea butter is widely used in the treatments of curly hair because of its emollient properties, It can also restore moisture loss caused by chemical treatments, such as perms and straighteners.
    3. Hair Protection
      Not only can shea butter protect your skin against free radicals, it can protect your hair as well. The small amount of SPF contained in the cream provides sufficient protection from sun damage caused by UV rays, and can actually repair preexisting damage as well. This is because shea butter coats the shaft of the hair to protect it from heat tools and other damaging materials. This is especially beneficial to frequent swimmers looking to protect hair from chlorine and to those with colored or processed hair.
    4. Hair Softener
      Brittle, dry hair? Shea butter to the rescue. Because of its non-greasy texture, shea butter can help control the spread of excess oil in the scalp and make hair soft and silky. Shea butter should be applied generously twice a week for moisturizing and improving hair texture and growth.

Do you use shea butter? Let us know which one of its myriad of applications you find most beneficial and how it is working for you.

Summer Skin Care Saviors

Girl on hammock

When Helena Rubenstein famously said, “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones,” one might stop to think if that held true for the makeup mogul in the long lazy days of summer. When it was too hot to lift a finger, was Helena still lifting hers to extract hot rollers from her hair, or to apply that final coat of mascara? While the modern woman may not take Rubenstein’s words completely literally, she will understand the wisdom behind them. While the heat of summer may provide a good excuse to take a snooze on an outdoor hammock, it certainly is not an excuse to abandon your skincare, maybe just lighten up on it a little. Here are some great summer skincare tips for doing just that.

Lightweight Moisturizer
While the winter cold and dry inside air require the protection of heavy creams, the humidity of summer gives you a little more leeway. Melissa Pilang, MD, explains, “During the warmer seasons, lighter moisturizing lotions will likely provide enough moisture for the skin, while heavier and creamier formulations may lead to clogged pores and breakouts. The best summer products are the ones that contain hydrating ingredients, like resveratrol, which fights radical damage, and hyaluronic acid.

Antioxidants
Antioxidants are particularly important in the warm weather when the UV rays are strongest. Tsippora Shainhouse, Beverly Hills MD, says, “Not only can too much sun lead to direct DNA damage, but it can also break down collagen and elastin, due to UV-induced free radicals.” Avoid free radical damage by applying an antioxidant serum after cleansing your face in the morning and top with sunscreen.

Woman applying sunscreen

SPF
Of course, the lazy days of summer suffer no lack of intense sunshine. While the application of SPF should occur every day, it becomes even more vital during the summer months. Dr. Dendy Engelman warns, “Incidental sun exposure, even for only ten to fifteen minutes a day, adds up over time and can cause significant sun damage, photo-aging, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles.” She suggests the use of a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of at least 30 (ideally 50) to reduce accumulation of UV damage associated with aging and non-melanoma skin cancer.

Reduce Retinol
Even though retinol works wonders on wrinkles, it can actually make your skin more sensitive to the sun, which can be somewhat counter productive. According to Joel Schlessinger, MD, “Retinol boosts cell turnover, which means it eliminates dead skin cells and replaces it with new ones, and these healthy, new cells are more sensitive and prone to burning from the sun’s rays.” Don’t fret, however, you don’t have to completely abandon your precious retinol in the summer months, just cut the frequency to one or two times a week and wear enough sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat to reduce sun exposure to your face.

More Astringent Cleanser
More humidity means more sweat and more sweat means more shine. However, you can control both shine and sweat with the use of a slightly more acidic cleanser. S. Manjula Jegasothy, MD, says, “Spring days become much warmer in the afternoon than the morning. Your cleanser should keep your skin clean and sweat-free throughout the day, which a more acidic cleanser is likely to do.”

How are you changing your skin routine on these warm, lazy days. Let us know what your favorite summer skincare go to’s are!

Powerful Peptides

Woman examining face

The science of skincare. Some of us have no interest in the way an ingredient works, as long as it does. And that’s fine. After all, results are the bottom line. As long as the buzz is positive, we’ll try it. Others, on the other hand, have a vested interest in exactly what products do for your skin. Both groups have probably heard the word peptide being tossed around by skincare experts. To the latter group, here is some information that you may find fascinating. To the former, here is some more buzz about peptides.

What Are Peptides?
Peptides are pieces of proteins made of amino acids. When the amino acids combine, they create specific peptides. That’s why you may have heard the word peptide mentioned in athletic doping scandals, pepto bismal, and skincare; there are hundreds of types used for many different things. We’ll keep to skincare, to keep the lesson brief. When peptides combine in a certain way, they make proteins and proteins are the building blocks of skin. Without them, skin texture changes, wrinkles appear, and skin becomes saggy.

Woman at mirror

Peptides and Skincare
While peptides are a clear member of the “ingredients to look for in a skincare product” team, it is important to remember, that this is just what they are, a part of a team, albeit very important ones. There is no single solution to all the aging problems, and peptides are no different. However, they do play a valuable role, helping to make skin more resilient and providing support for the skin’s fundamental building blocks.

Collagen Production
Collagen is a protein made up of peptides, and forms peptides when it is broken down. The result goes into your wrinkle cream. When the collagen supply in your skin lowers with age, the peptides signal your skin to make new collagen. The most popular peptide for this function is palmitoyl pentapeptide (matrixyl). Smart consumers will look for this on the ingredient labels of items they are considering for purchase.

Copper
The small size of peptides enables them to penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin. When combined with copper, the peptide will deliver copper to those layers. Research shows copper has healing properties and seems to act as an antioxidant and promote collagen production.

Woman reading product label

Read Before Buying
Even though peptides are capable of great results, many things have to happen to ensure that they happen. Because they are products of broken down proteins, peptides may continue to break down in a topical cream, until they are rendered useless. They also need to be in a cream which will be thin enough to penetrate the skin. A peptide in a thick cream may sit on the surface of the skin, only to wash off before going to work.

Have you tried peptides? What do you think? Did you get the combination right? Let us know!

Upgrade Your Skincare Routine With Hyaluronic Acid

Woman at mirror

If you are one of the many searching for the fountain of youth in a bottle, you probably have something in your medicine cabinet with the words “hyaluronic acid” on the label. If so, you’re probably aware that there are other kinds of acids out there than the kind that burns your skin and the kind that blows your mind. Hyaluronic acid is one of the many ingredients to be included in the phenomena known as the “science of skincare.” This may be enough to qualify the ingredient as the worthwhile investment that it is, but it never hurts to do a little private investigating.

What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is, in fact, a sugar molecule capable of retaining an impressive 500 to 1,000 times its weight in water (Doesn’t sound very comfortable). Our body produces it naturally, but the production slows down with age. When this happens, we may want to seek an outside source. Hyaluronic acid is used in serums and face creams to keep the skin plump, firm, and hydrated. The only problem is that the molecules used in most brands are too large to penetrate the layers of the skin and only offer a temporary fix.

Injectable Hyaluronic Acid
What many users may not know about hyaluronic acid is the fact that the only way for the hyaluronic acid to the deepest layers of the skin is by injecting it. Otherwise, it will still work, but it will sit on the surface of the skin. There it will work to decrease wrinkles, and draw moisture from the air, but the improvements will not be permanent. However, due to recent innovation in the topical use of the product, the effects may soon be able to yield longer lasting results. Intensifiers work around the size of the pores, using a cocktail of ingredients to encourage the skin to produce more of its own hyaluronic acid. Users report a 30 percent increase in hydration, although they do caution that it may take a few weeks before results become apparent.

Woman reading product label

Buying Hyaluronic Acid
When looking to buy products containing hyaluronic acid, you don’t always get what you pay for. Don’t let a high price fool you into thinking you’re buying a superior formula. Instead, as Randy Schueller, cosmetic scientist advises, “Always check the label and make sure hyaluronic acid is one of the first few ingredients.” This is the best way to ensure the dose of the ingredient is strong enough to have an effect. Be aware that hyaluronic acid may also appear on labels as hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid or sodium acetyl hyaluronate.

The Upshot
No matter how big the molecule, you should feel a difference, however short lived. But if you want the good stuff, you need to know where to look.

Have you or do you use hyaluronic acid as part of your routine? Let us know what you think? How permanent are the changes you experienced?