If you still have young, tight, healthy skin, you can take steps to ensure it stays that way. The challenge is sifting through all the different products that purport to be youth serum.
We’ll help you separate the skin savers from the money wasters so you can feed your skin with nutrients, and protect it from UV damage and toxins throughout the day.
When you cruise the drugstore aisles, you’ll find thousands of products. The trick is discerning which will weigh down your skin and lighten your wallet versus those that will really do something.
Look for products that list an “active ingredient” and a particular concentration. To make a difference, vitamins in lotions and creams should be in the one to 10 percent range. The formulations should also be pH balanced. Products that make therapeutic claims must be scientifically proven to be safe and effective, and FDA-regulated.
The Big Guns
There’s very little science to the many skincare ingredients out there. The list of those that really make a difference in the skin is small. Here are the most potent ingredients (and their close relatives) to know:
These eight skincare ingredients you can slather on with the comfort of knowing they have scientific backing. It makes sense to steer away from hexapeptides and collagen, as they are too large to penetrate the skin. However, smaller peptides are OK.
Know Your Vitamins
You know you need to ingest them, but vitamins are also important topically. These are three of our favorite for good skin health.
Vitamin A: One of the most valuable nutrients to be applied to the skin is vitamin A (not in a vitamin pill). Without vitamin A (a retinoid), your skin, hair and nails would be dry and you’d be sickly. Vitamin A is found as retinoic acid (Retin-A), retinol (retinaldehyde) or retinyl-propionate. (If you could be pregnant, consult your doctor before using vitamin A products.)
All of these forms of vitamin A work—your body can transform one into the other. Retinoic acid knocks out bacteria and helps regulate shedding of the dead skin layer and pore-clogging oils (this decreases visible pore size). Topical vitamin A increases elastin fibers, the structural collagen and your natural moisturizer, hyaluronic acid. It lessens dark pigmentation and is the first-line drug for acne, rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis.
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