Peering At The Pores
In Our Skincare Products?
Article by Jess Kew
There's a bewildering array of skincare products on the
market, so how much do you know about what's in them? Health
Gazette takes a close look at the most common ingredients
found in these treatments.
When it comes to skincare products, we're spoilt for choice.
To pick something that suits your needs, you need to be
informed about some of the most popular substances that are
contained in these products.
(1) Vitamin E
Vitamin E protects and heals skin by neutralising free
radicals (oxidants), which can cause premature aging of
skin. It's oil-soluble, moisturizing and suitable for all
skin types. It's especially beneficial for those with dry,
sensitive and blemished skin. Vitamin E is found in a large
variety of cosmetics products, as well as sunscreens.
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid)
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that is capable of
preventing and even reversing the effects of aging on human
skin. Topically applied, a high dose of Vitamin C can help
prevent and treat dry skin problems. An unstable compound,
only Vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid can be used by
Vitamin K is traditionally used by surgeons to aid blood
clotting. Cosmetically, it is used to encourage fading of
scars, plus to brighten and clarify skin tone. Often found
in eye care products, Vitamin K can reduce the appearance of
surface capillaries and dark circles under the eyes.
Vitamin A (Retinol)
Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that accelerates skin
regeneration and results in a more radiant complexion. It's
often used in products that aim to minimize pore size and
reduce wrinkles. It's also frequently found in anti-acne and
dermatitits preparations. Another unstable ingredient, it
should be kept from overexposure to sunlight and air.
(1) Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
AHAs are acids derived from plants and fruits. Products with
AHAs are marketed for a variety of purposes: to smooth fine
lines and surface wrinkles, to improve skin texture and
tone, to unblock and cleanse pores, and to improve oily skin
or acne. The most common AHAs used in cosmetics products are
glycolic acid and lactic acid.
Some studies have shown that products with AHAs may make
users more sensitive to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation
component of sunlight, which can damage the skin. Therefore,
if you use products with AHAs, it's a good idea to protect
your skin with sunscreen.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
Like AHAs, BHAs are simple organic acids, though they are
somewhat different in structure and mode of action. Besides
possessing the qualities of AHAs, the most commonly used
form of BHAs, which is salicylic acid, is especially
effective for treating acne.
As with AHAs, you should apply sunscreen if you regularly
use products containing BHAs.
Aloe Vera is found in a plethora of cosmetics products, and
has been used for centuries as a natural medicine for cuts,
burns, sunburn and dry skin. It also possesses moisturzing
properties. Fresh gel derived from the Aloe Vera plant is
the best form of this compound.
Collagen is a primary protein component found in skin that
acts as a support structure for the skin. Collagen that is
used in cosmetics is derived from animal and plant sources,
and aims to firm up slack and saggy skin. It is often found
in products that claim to promote 'taut' skin, and in
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is obtained from the Australian Tea Tree. A
member of the Eucalyptus family, it has a very
characteristic fragrance. Used as a fungicide, a
bactericide, as well as a solvent, this oil is found in many
anti-acne and blemish removal preparations. It is also used
in natural skin infection treatments.
Dead Sea Salts
Derived from the Dead Sea, which is actually a lake bordered
in the north by the Jordan River, dead sea salts are touted
to provide relief from psoriasis symptoms such as itching,
burning, flakiness and muscle and joint aches. They are
also purported to stimulate circulation and encourage
skin renewal. They are often found in exfoliation, bath and