We have all been there, you walk into the skincare isle, pick up a few anti-aging creams, ‘spot fighting cleansers’, ‘skin perfecting exfoliators’, ‘hydrating youth serums’ and the latest miracle mask that promises to transform your skin in ten minutes. You turn the product to the back, glance at the ingredients, decide that you don’t have a clue what it means and decide to trust the claims on the package instead. Afterall it claims it’s a best-seller with 5-star celebrity-endorsed reviews and looks premium so it must be good… right?… Wrong. Unfortunately understanding all of the ingredients is near-impossible so over the next few blog posts we will be looking at the different skin types and 10 different ingredients that are beneficial for them; starting with dry skin…
AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acid – which includes Glycolic acid) – not a moisturiser itself, Alpha Hydroxy Acid is derived from natural substances and is a good exfoliator for the skin. Used in chemical peels and other skin care products, AHAs promote skin cell turnover by removing dead skin from the surface. This helps reduce acne scars, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone and smooth rough textured skin. It is particularly good for helping the skin absorb moisturisers and serums. This is because AHAs remove the dead skin cells which in turn makes the skin more permeable and therefore hydrated.
Beeswax – When added to skin lotions beeswax creates a protective barrier on the surface of the skin, creating a film against irritants whilst still letting the skin breathe. Beeswax contains vitamin A, which is beneficial in softening and hydrating the skin. In addition to this beeswax is anti-bacterial, antiviral and offers anti-inflammatory benefits.
Coconut oil – A popular choice in skin-care ingredients, coconut oil is a brilliant moisturiser, it effectively softens the skin when rubbed on the body in its raw form. It contains fatty acids that relieves inflammation whilst revitalising the skin. Coconut oil is also a fantastic makeup remover for dry skin – just massage some into your face and then wipe off with a cotton pad soaked in warm water.
Emollient – Emollient is an essential ingredient for those with dry, flaky, eczema or psoriasis-prone skin types. The help the skin stays supple by reducing the water that is lost from the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) by creating a protective film to lock in moisture.
Essential oils – Oils such as lavender, jojoba, sandalwood and rose are all beneficial in skincare ingredients. Essential oils not only moisturise but also calm and soothe skin. Unlike heavy lotions, light essential oils are more able to penetrate the skin – rather than sit on the skin’s surface.
Glycerine (Glycerol) – Glycerine is hygroscopic, what that means is that it can draw moisture from the air around us to help keep the skin soft and supple. It mimics the skin’s natural moisturising process making it compatible with all ages and skin types. Strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier and improving its youth and resilience.
Hemp seed oil – Becoming ever more popular in medicines and skincare, hempseed oil is a powerful anti-aging oil because it helps the skin retain water thus improving its elasticity. Hemp seed oil doesn’t clog the pores and provides tired dry skin with long-lasting moisture. It is also good for treating skin irritations such as eczema and psoriasis.
Hyaluronic acid – Also hygroscopic, like glycerine above, hyaluronic acid draws and holds water to the skin keeping it hydrated. One molecule can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water! As we age our body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid slows down, this is why it has become a popular ingredient in skincare products. It works for any skin type and helps lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles whilst defending the skin against free radicals like pollution.
Vitamin E – Vitamin E is a naturally occurring component in healthy skin. It helps prevent signs of aging by neutralising free radicals such as air pollution and UVB which ultimately contributes to the production of wrinkles and brown spots. Vitamin E is a great moisturiser and helps hydrate the skin but be cautious as it tends to be thick and greasy – too much of which can cause breakouts.
Zemea propanediol – a natural, skin-friendly preservative suitable for many different skin types. It provides enhanced moisturisation compared to glycerine and is also less-tacky and faster absorbing. It is another humectant (a substance that absorbs and promotes water retention). Which helps the skin remain soft and supple.