The cosmetics industry is constantly striving to produce the most innovative and effective products on the market for skin care, tempting us to buy the essence of dreams: miracles in jars.
However, since all products are designed specifically to make us look younger for longer, the consumer is faced with a bewildering collection of attractively packaged products that prompts questions such as:
- How to choose (Those unpronounceable names)
- What ingredients are they?
- What effects do they produce?
- They’re safe?
- What evidence is there to support claims / claims against companies?
- Do you care about these claims?
- How do they decide the prices?
- What are facial creams made of?
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Cheap cosmetic products probably contain cheap components. In the case of expensive brands, you usually pay for the promise that the new X component will provide anti-aging, rehydration, anti-wrinkle, skin firming, and some other benefit over the many that exist.
Cosmetic companies seem to be interested only in the most modern and best-selling. Multiple resources are used to develop components that make skin products more effective than ever. In this way, research provides a slight advantage to companies, but then innovation is copied, adapted and reproduced with a wide variety of qualities and prices in the cosmetics market.
In addition, cosmetic companies strive to discover new and effective ways to get skin ingredients. Liposomes are used frequently. They are tiny capsules filled with active components that are absorbed by the skin releasing their contents precisely in the places where they are most needed: under the surface, in the deepest layers of the skin.
Dermatologists argue that cosmetics in general can achieve little; At most a temporary hydration. By definition, a cosmetic is not authorized to alter the structure or function of the skin. Of course, many companies imply that their products alter the skin. These are going beyond the limit between cosmetics and therapeutics. The laws are in constant change and are not the same for all the countries, reason why many of these products are subject to supervisions. For this reason, the public is sometimes misinformed and confused about:
- Preservatives: like essential oils or synthetic parabens, including ethyl, propyl or butyl.
- Emulsifiers: like linolenic acids that are usually used to assure a uniform and consistent mixture.
- Moisturizers: (retain water), such as glycol or glycerin. Mineral oil derivatives are often used to extract water from the air to the surface of the skin and in turn prevent the product from losing water and drying.
- Silicone: often incorporated to provide a nice texture and make the application easier
Alpha-hydroxy acids (fruit acids)
Also known as AHAs. They have revolutionized the effectiveness of many products. Its properties have been known since Roman times, and the earliest scientific papers date back to 1974. As a group, there are no other cosmetic components that have been more studied than AHAs. They include citric acids from citrus fruits, malic acid from apples and lactic acid from milk. However, the most widely used and researched (by far) is glycolic acid, which comes from sugar cane.
At low concentrations, they act as exfoliants, with little chance of irritating the skin. The highest concentrations are used in cosmetic clinics or dermatological consultations, proving to be effective in reducing the signs of aging, and are of great help for the treatment of acne and excessive pigmentation. It is important to emphasize that the application of high concentrations of AHAs must be carried out under medical prescription and together with a photoprotector.
This is the chemical name given to the basic molecule of vitamin C. Derivatives of pure vitamin C are unstable and very irritating. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant with a great ability to clarify pigmentation; For this reason is the most common component of current products.
The most common BHA is salicylic acid. BHAs are anti-inflammatory and exfoliating agents, very useful for the treatment of pimples or pimples, but can cause hypersensitivity reactions if abused.
Substances that form proteins and are present in the skin and hair. Theories that can be absorbed by the skin to rehydrate and provide nutrients are not proven.
Every inspiration we carry involves the formation of free radicals that damage healthy cells. This causes skin wrinkles and loss of skin tone. Antioxidants can reduce the activity of these free radicals. That’s why, in theory, antioxidants can help the body repair itself. Currently, there is no evidence to the contrary and there are many products that contain antioxidants. Look for vitamins A, C and E and picnogenol, the active part of grape seed extract.
Some theories claiming that putting caviar on skin rejuvenates are for innocent and overly gullible people.
One of the rumored components is found in the skin. Again it must be said that there is no scientific support to despise this theory. Ceramides may be effective in the future.
It is also a fashion component. It is found in the skin and is an antioxidant and antibacteriological agent. As we turn our years, the levels of Q10 decrease and can influence the aging of the skin. Theories about the antiaging properties of Q10 are insubstantial.
It is a very large molecule and there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that it can penetrate the skin. It can only be located on the surface where it produces few benefits.
It contains polyphenols that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a very popular component and can be found in any of the depilatory creams or waxes. These effects may explain why cold tea bags are applied to the face to reduce inflammation in the eyes. Do not dismiss the idea of tea bags as the research promises!
It is an essential protein found in the skin. It has enormous moisturizing properties, capable of attracting about 100 times its weight in water. However, to be active, hyaluronic acid needs to be in the correct concentration.
It is obtained from wool and is used as a barrier to reduce the loss of water from the surface of the skin. It is a frequent cause of hypersensitivity, therefore it is necessary to read carefully the list of components.
They are present in foods and cosmetics to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. They are non-toxic and approved by the authorities.
Retinoic acid, retinol or retinyl palmitate
They are the derivatives of vitamin A. Retinoic acid has convinced the medical class that a topically applied cream can actually reduce the appearance of wrinkles and pigmentations. Under the trade name Retinova, this is the first medication licensed to treat sun-damaged skin. Of course, in order to obtain such license the company has to demonstrate without any doubt that the product has effect on most people with limited side effects. However, it can irritate and make the skin more sensitive to the sun so it should be used with a photoprotector. Cosmetic companies have gotten into the car quickly with several vitamin derivatives. Most have limited benefits for the skin and none is as effective as Retinova.
It is another fatty component of the skin, which helps maintain the barrier function of it and its flexibility.
Vitamin E. It is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Often this vitamin is included in photoprotectors to fight free radicals produced by sunlight. Rigorous information is being collected on the benefits of topical and oral vitamin E in skin aging.
With this list of components it is not surprising that most people feel insecure when it comes to choosing the right product to protect their skin. So, the next time you choose a facial or body product, seek the opinion of a dermatologist. They have powerful products in their arsenal, which are usually more effective than cosmetics found in stores. Look at the product components and feel free to ask.