19 February 2019

3 Ingredients You Absolutely Need in Your Skincare Routine

Clear, beautiful skin doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the result of great skin care using top products that deliver the benefits you’re looking for. If a fresh-looking face with a smoother complexion is your goal, here are three ingredients you need to know about. Once you do, you'll probably want to add them to your skincare routine today.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha hydroxy acids have been used as exfoliants since the days of Cleopatra. They gently peel away the dead cells on the top layer of the skin, making way for new, younger-looking cells to grow. DermNet NZ further explains, “hydroxy acids loosens the glue-like substances that hold the surface skin cells to each other, therefore allowing the dead skin to peel off gently. The skin underneath has a fresher, healthier look with a more even colour and texture.With high concentration and long-term use, alpha hydroxy acids may also affect the deeper layers of the skin. Collagen and elastin regenerate making fine lines less obvious.”

Alpha hydroxy acids were once prescription-only products, but now they are available over the counter. They're your best bet for smoothing wrinkles and rough skin or lightening unwanted pigmentation.

Vitamin C

Everyone’s skin is composed of hundreds of vitamins and nutrients, and making sure that it has what it needs to be healthy is of utmost importance. Belli Skincare explains, “vitamin C brightens and helps to even out skin tone.” It’s one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, and it protects the skin against oxidative stress that can damage it prematurely.

Topical Vitamin C is different from the Vitamin C found in orange juice. It comes in several forms, and of them, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, or MAP, is the most stable and effective. Formulas containing up to 20 percent MAP are ideal. A larger percentage isn’t necessarily better.

Good quality Vitamin C creams and serums can be found on drugstore shelves, but high-end formulas tend to be sold by dedicated skincare companies and dermatologists. There’s been much research done, and it’s been found that Vitamin C can help keep people looking young by repairing damage done by the sun, assisting in treating skin condition like eczema, and aiding in the production of collagen, carnitine, steroids, and other beneficial elements. Some research suggests that Vitamin C works better when combined with Vitamin E. Since Vitamin E is beneficial for the skin in its own right, a product that contains both is ideal.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid is not an alpha hydroxy acid. It’s a natural chemical made right in your body. Like Vitamin C, it neutralizes free radicals that contribute to fine wrinkles, dark spots on the skin and other signs of aging. The Skin Careless explains, “ALA is both fat- and water-soluble, meaning that it’s easily absorbed through the lipid layers of your skin and works well as a free-radical fighter in the cell plasma membrane. Further, ALA is 400 times stronger than Vitamins E and C combined (both of which are renowned for their antioxidant properties).”

Alpha lipoic acid is available in over-the-counter and specialty creams, but studies show it may be even more effective when taken as an oral supplement. If you opt for a cream, choose a brand in an opaque container. This ingredient degrades when exposed to the sunlight that can filter through glass jars.

Extraordinary skin is no mystery. It’s a combination of various factors from genetics to diet to lifestyle, but using the right ingredients and the best quality products as part of a commitment to good skin health is a step everyone can take.

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