There are really 6 ingredients for healthy skin, but with all the new creams, lotions and potions available today, how are we supposed to know what really works? Dr. Fleming found an article in Allure (Dec 2007) that directly addresses this question. So, what are these 6 ingredients? Let’s start with the “A’s”:
Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A and are used to smooth the skin’s surface, even skin tone, increase blood flow & unclog pores. “They may even help to prevent some types of skin cancer,” according to Doris J. Day, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University. And according to Ranella Hirsch, president elect of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons, “retinoids are the one topical treatment actually proven to regenerate collagen”. Retin-A has FDA approval for the treatment of acne as well as skin regeneration and can be found in topical prescription products such as Tazorac.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) are a family of acids that include glycolic, citric and malic acid discovered in 1974 by two scientists from Temple University when they were searching for a cure for ichthyosis (extremely dry skin). They found that the acids helped to smooth the skin and also improved the thickness of the skin. AHA’s provide a reliable mechanism for exfoliation without being rough like scrubs and therefore allow other ingredients to penetrate the skin more easily and effectively.
Hyaluronic Acid is known for it’s ability to bind water to the skin. And as we all know, water retention leads to plumping, which is a good thing for skin and lips (not so much for the tummy or hips!). There are lots of topical products that have hyaluronic acid, but unfortunately the molecule size is too big to effectively penetrate the skin. That’s why there are injectable products like Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm. With injectable hyaluronic acid, we can fill deep lines like the ones from the nose to the edges of the mouth, as well as naturally enhance lips, cheeks and tear troughs. The effects last anywhere from 3 to 9 months, as hyaluronic acid is naturally absorbed and metabolised by the body.
Hydroquinone is a lightening agent that works by inhibiting the enzyme that forms pigment in the skin. Hydroquinone offers a solution for hyper-pigmentation in skin types that are unable to be treated by other methods such as Photorejuvenation. Recently kojic acid and some botanical extracts have been touted for they’re lightening abilities, but nothing so far has been as effective as hydroquinone.
Antioxidants are a group of vitamins and nutrients that are used to fight “free radicals”, molecules generated by sun damage and pollution, that damage the DNA of healthy skin cells which leads to wrinkles, discoloration and even cancer. Vitamin C is at the top of this group. Vitamin C was originally studied for it’s ability to stimulate collagen production, but was found to be really good for protecting the skin from sun damage and can be found in a number of Vivier and Young Pharmaceuticals products. The latest addition to the family of antioxidants is Coffee Berry. Coffee berry is said to be even more powerful than vitamin C and it can be found in our skin care line by Revale.
Finally, there’s Sunscreen. We’ll discuss sunscreen in more depth in our next blog because it gets a little confusing with all the SPF’s, UVA, UVB, physical or chemical blocks. Basically, without a good sunscreen applied every day, you don’t have a good skin care regimen. Sun exposure is the biggest cause of discoloration, wrinkles and premature aging of the skin. A good sunscreen is one that will protect your skin from the burning rays of the sun (UVB), as well as the aging rays of the sun (UVA). UVA’s can also lead to skin cancer, so it’s really, really important to wear a good sunscreen applied several times a day, every day, whether you work outside or in, summer, winter, spring or fall.
I know it’s a lot to take in, so if you have more questions or would like to schedule a skin care consultation, give us a call at 604-421-3111or e-mail us at email@example.com. We’ll be glad to assist you any way we can.