A Brief Guide to Common Active Ingredients in Skincare Products

A Brief Guide to Common Active Ingredients in Skincare Products

Looking to learn more about the active ingredients found in many SkinStyle.com products? This guide offers the basic information most pertinent to skincare patients:

● Retinol. One of the oldest and most widely skincare solutions on the market, retinol is actually a derivative of vitamin A: an important nutritional component found primarily in vegetables, as well as fruits, fish, meat, and cheese. In a concentrated topical form, vitamin A can have a big impact on the skin. It promotes rapid turnover of skin cells, thickens the deeper layers of the skin, and helps prevent the breakdown of collagen: an important protein that lends skin both strength and elasticity.

Retinol was first developed as an anti-acne product due to its ability to facilitate the turnover of skin cells (thus speeding up the healing process) and it’s ability to exfoliate pores (thus preventing the clogging that causes acne in the first place.) Nowadays, Retinol is also used as an anti-aging product and as a treatment for psoriasis.

● Vitamin C. In its concentrated form, this powerful antioxidant can help promote even pigmentation, improve hydration, and revitalize skin.

● Salicylic Acid. The chemical structure of this acne-fighting medication makes it highly oil-soluble, allowing it to penetrate the superficial levels of the skin and facilitate deep exfoliation. Salicylic acid works best against whiteheads and blackheads (as these are purely the result of clogging.) It can help fight against cystic acne as well, but only to a certain extent. This medication can create dryness, however, for most patients, simply accompanying salicylic acid with a moisturizing supplement is enough to minimize this problem.

● Glycolic Acid. Another powerful exfoliator (with a reputation for being a bit more gentle than salicylic acid) glycolic acid is used as an acne treatment as well as an anti-aging product. Glycolic acid can make the skin more susceptible to UV light, however, which is why patients using this product should take extra care to avoid excessive sun exposure.

● Micronized zinc oxide. Widely considered the best and safest of the 17 approved active sunscreen ingredients, this natural compound sits on top of the skin, blocking out UVA, UVB, and even UVC rays.

● Arbutin. An extract derived from bearberry, cranberry, mulberry, and blueberry leaves, Arbutin works to reduce pigmentation, and is thus very useful for spot-treating skin discoloration, especially due to aging and sun exposure.

● Caffeine. A diuretic that constricts blood vessels and drains fat cells of their liquid, caffeine can help keep skin firm and elastic, thus making it an excellent anti-aging supplement.

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