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Must-Have Moisturizer Ingredients

So…are you fumbling your way through the department stores, staring at the shelves, trying to figure out which moisturizer will truly work on your dry, parched skin?  Every product claims theirs is the best.  Or???  Do you check out blogs and websites?  Everyone has a favorite.  There are the “high dollar” skin care products…are they worth it?  Or…are the homemade concoctions the way to go…simple (well, not always) easy and affordable.   Skin Care is one of the most confusing things in life.  My advice: Ignore all the information that is being thrown at you, and look for formulas that contain the following ingredients.  These ingredients are scientifically proven to improve dry skin:

Anti-Oxidants

Antioxidants are a group of natural and synthetic ingredients that protect skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells.  Why is this important? Dry skin is caused when the outer layers of the skin lose their ability to maintain normal moisture levels (It is not because you are not drinking enough water!)  Unless you have had dry skin most of your life, this is a result of a variety of environmental factors including sun damage, pollution, smoking and alcohol use, or you have used products that have harmed your skin’s barrier. Antioxidants can do a lot for the health and appearance of your skin…from calming inflamed skin…to tightening and toning…to reducing the signs of aging.   Antioxidants can prevent some of the degenerative effects in skin caused by sun exposure. Sun damage is the #1 cause of wrinkles and other signs of aging.  Popular antioxidants include Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin E (Tocopherol),  Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, CoQ10, Green Tea, and Retinoids.


Skin Identical/Skin Repairing Ingredients

Skin-identical/skin-repairing ingredients are substances between skin cells that keep those cells connected to help maintain skin’s barrier. A healthy, intact barrier lets skin look smooth, soft, and moist…exactly the opposite of dry skin! There are many skin-identical ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, cholesterol, and ceramides.  Hyaluronic acid is an amazing humectant that holds one thousand times its weight in water. You can think of hyaluronic acid as a wafer sponge that fills and plumps out your skin.   As an ingredient in skincare, it is unfortunately too large a molecule to travel into the dermis of the skin- so it sits on the surface layer of the skin, where it is a good moisturizing ingredient.  Ceramides are necessary for their water-retention capacity as well as for barrier repair and cell regulation. Adding ceramides to skincare products can help restore the skin’s moisture barrier.



Emollients

 

Emollients are lubricating ingredients that moisturize your skin directly, instead of just attracting moisture to your skin like humectants do.  They coat your skin so it can retain its moisture, prevent water loss and have a softening, protective, and smoothing effect on the skin. Preventing water loss is key in maintaining skin’s moisture balance.  Emollients soften skin and seal in moisture, creating a protective barrier on the surface.  They may be fluid or thick in texture and include shea butter, cocoa butter, mineral oil, lanolin, petroleum, cetyl alcohol, olive oil, fatty acids such as linoleic acid, glycerin, triglycerides, and fatty alcohols, among many others. 

 

Anti-Inflammatory

Anti-inflammatory ingredients are any ingredients that reduce signs of inflammation, such as swelling, tenderness, pain, itching, or redness. Many antioxidants fall into this category, but there are many others that do as well – and all are good options for dry or very dry skin.  Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid and is an effective and powerful exfoliant that helps keep pores clear by exfoliating inside the hair follicle. It is related to aspirin, which has anti-inflammatory properties, so it is usually better tolerated than glycolic acid.  AHAs slough off dead skin cells that cause pimple-producing clogged pores and leave you with smoother, softer skin. They can be applied all over the face. Types of AHAs include glycolic and lactic acid, also.  Papaya is another one of Nature’s best anti-inflammatories and skin exfoliators.  It has special enzymes called papain, which act as an exfoliation agent by breaking down the surface of the skin cells, locking in moisture, reducing pore size and keeping the wrinkles at bay.

 So…now that you know the benefits of these wonderful ingredients and how they improve your skin,  especially the anti-aging benefits…what is your take on this?  Research your skin care products…get informed on what you want to accomplish with your skin care regimen…check out the ingredients before you buy…and Happy Shopping!  Your face will tell your story.  What is it going to say?

 

 

 

 

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