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What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
Advice for all of your skin care needs
What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
Does drinking gallons of water really hydrate your skin? And can your skin be oily and dehydrated at the same time? Here, we sort through the facts from the fiction about skin hydration.
You’d think keeping your skin perfectly hydrated and moisturized would be simple business, right? But wait, aren’t hydration and moisturization the same thing? Actually, no. And that’s just the start of the whole confusing business.
Thankfully, you have us to help you get to grips with the correct – and best – ways to keep your skin truly hydrated and to understand, once and for all, what’s true and what’s total bull.
So, let us begin…
FACT #1: Dry Skin & Dehydrated Skin Are NOT The Same Thing
Like fine lines and wrinkles, you’ll often read about dry skin and dehydrated skin in the same sentence, as if they’re one and the same. Or are some kind of ultimate power couple that can never be separated. However, dry skin and dehydrated skin are very, very different things.
The most important thing to remember is that dry skin is due to a lack of natural oils (sebum) and is a skin TYPE that’s predetermined by your genes. Dehydrated skin, however, is due to a lack of water and is more of a skin CONDITION. Of course, dry skin can also be dehydrated but in truth, dehydration can affect any skin type at any time.
Things like cold weather, stress, lack of sleep and sun damage all contribute to dehydrated skin because these upset your skin's protective barrier function, allowing water to more freely evaporate from your skin's surface.
FACT #2: Drinking Water Is NOT The Best Way To Keep Skin Hydrated
The fact that your body is made up of around 80 percent water means you can’t argue that keeping yourself hydrated is beneficial to your overall health. Drinking plenty of water and eating water-rich foods like fruit and veggies is vital for maintaining the correct balance of your body’s essential fluids. It also ensures everyday functions like digestion, circulation, the elimination of toxins and your internal temperature balance all work properly. So yes, water is life.
But, and it’s a big but, does drinking water really keep your skin hydrated? Truthfully? Not as much as you might think. In fact, there’s no real evidence that water consumption plays any part in the hydration of your skin. The fact is, any water you drink goes straight to other essential organs first – sadly, your skin is way down on the list of your body’s priorities.
So, instead of expecting your water intake to miraculously give you soft, hydrated skin, look after its hydration levels through other means. This includes avoiding harsh soaps and cleansers, investing in a humidifier for your home and thinking carefully about the ingredients you put on your skin.
One word: humectants.
Experts agree that topical humectants are essential when it comes to skin hydration. Humectants are substances that grab water from the air or deep within your skin and pull it to the outermost layers to help repair and strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier and keep it soft, strong and hydrated at a surface level.
Some of the best humectants in skincare include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera, lactic acid, urea and honey. Retinol Moisturizer contains aloe, glycerin and hyaluronic acid for super powered skin hydration. Plus jojoba oil and shea butter help to stop all that water from evaporating from your skin. No need for thanks: that’s what we’re here for.
FACT #3: Facial Serums Are Ideal For Hydrating Your Skin
Of course, moisturizer is key for locking in hydration, but if you want to really up your moisture game, you’ve got to think beyond moisturizer. And this is where facial serums come into play.
Serums are quite different to moisturizers because they have a much smaller molecular make up. This means they’re way lighter and are able to absorb into your skin quicker and deeper. Unlike moisturizers, which contain either occlusive or emollient ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil and squalane to seal moisture into your skin, serums are usually liquid or gel-based meaning they don't seal in moisture. Instead, they contain active ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, hydroxy acids and peptides to offer benefits on a much deeper level.
If you're looking to turn up the hydration levels in your skin, a humectant-based serum will fill your skin with moisture, making it a must for rehydrating thirsty skin. Apply our fan-favorite Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum to clean skin, then finish with moisturizer to lock it in and help reduce TEWL (transepidermal water loss). Perfection.
FACT #4: All Skin Types Need Hydration (Yes, Even Oily Skin)
It’s a common misconception that oily skin doesn’t need to be hydrated. But the thing is, while oily skin has more oil-producing glands, this has nothing to do with its levels of water. In fact, oily skin is often dehydrated due to over-cleansing or using harsh skincare products, so hydration is possibly even more important for oily skin types than anyone else.
While we’re on the subject, moisturizing oily skin is just as important as hydrating it. If you fail to keep your skin balanced with the perfect combination of water and light moisturization, your skin will not only become dehydrated, but it will produce even more oils to compensate for dryness on the surface.
To help stabilize excessively oily skin, apply a hydrating serum after cleansing – again Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum is perfect – followed by a light moisturizer that avoids pore-clogging occlusives ingredients like waxes, silicones and butters. We're obsessed with Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer.
FACT #5: Long, Hot Baths Dehydrate Your Skin
The simple fact is hot baths (and showers) draw moisture from your skin AND strip all the healthy fats and oils away. So, not only are they killers for your skin’s hydration levels, but they also cause dryness and may exacerbate conditions like rosacea, eczema, acne and psoriasis. You know how your fingers and toes often become wrinkly after a long, hot soak? Well, that’s a sure sign of moisture having been literally sucked out of your poor skin.
The answer? Shower in lukewarm water for five minutes max. And if you also love a weekly soak in the bath, limit your time to 20 minutes and, again, turn the water temperature down to lukewarm. Remember, if your mirror gets totally steamed up while bathing or showering, your water is way too hot.
Is Your Skin TRULY Hydrated?read more
It might sound basic, but glycerin is anything but. And quite frankly it deserves just as much praise as hyaluronic acid when it comes to hydrating and protecting your skin…
Glycerin: it doesn't sound glamorous, nor does it steal all the headlines (mentioning no names, hyaluronic acid), but it should never be written off in terms of skincare ingredients you absolutely need in your daily routine. Yes, we know your brain’s already overloaded with ingredients like retinoids, hydroxy acids, peptides and MSM, but trust us, you’re going to need to make space for glycerin in your beauty vocab. And good news: it's very simple to get your head around.
What Is Glycerin?
There are three types of moisturizing ingredients in skincare: occlusives, emollients and humectants.
Occlusives are the rich, waxy ones like cocoa butter and petrolatum that create a barrier on your skin to help prevent moisture loss and protect it from irritation. Meanwhile, emollients are the smoothing oils or lipids that repair cracks and help smooth your skin – think coconut oil, argan oil and shea butter. Then, you have humectants.
Humectants work like sponges to draw water into the top layers of your skin. If the environment contains enough humidity, humectants attract water vapor from here, but they can also pull it up from the underlying layers of your skin to help protect and hydrate it at a surface level. Sidenote: for the ultimate moisturization, your routine should always include a mixture of humectants, emollients and, if your skin is super dry, dehydrated or sensitive, occlusives.
Just like hyaluronic acid (HA), glycerin is a highly effective humectant that’s naturally present in your skin. However, unlike hyaluronic acid, poor old glycerin has taken a bit of a back burner in recent years, being totally overshadowed in ad campaigns and TV commercials by its ballsy HA cousin.
Now, don’t get us wrong, we love hyaluronic acid just as much as the next person. It’s a fantastic humectant that’s able to hold around 1,000 times its weight in water which is why we use it in plenty of much-loved TruSkin formulations including Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream and Retinol Moisturizer.
But HA is not the be-all and end-all. In fact, contrary to popular belief, studies suggest that glycerin (aka glycerol) is the most effective humectant out there. Stop. The. Press. This is due to its low molecular weight which helps it penetrate deeper into the skin, making it better at replenishing your skin’s natural moisturizing factor and helping to increase hydration and minimize moisture loss in as little as ten minutes. Glycerin also helps heal and protect your skin as an added bonus. It’s simple, but very, very effective.
A clear, colorless and odorless liquid, the type of glycerin used in skincare is derived from either vegetable oils or animal fats. We go for vegetable glycerin every time.
Is Glycerin Right For You?
Glycerin is naturally-occurring within your skin, making it a very effective and tolerable ingredient in skincare. For these reasons, derms often prescribe treatments with glycerin to help treat extremely dry, dehydrated, irritated or cracked skin, so if you have any of those concerns, your parched complexion will lap up its moisturizing benefits.
Glycerin is also great for combination or sensitive skin as it’s very unlikely to cause adverse reactions. However, before using any new product we always recommend performing a patch test first… y'know, just in case.
And if your skin is super oily? Sure, your skin will benefit from a good douse of glycerin, but you may want to back off products containing it in super high concentrations. Why? Because glycerin is so effective and hydrating that unless your skin really needs all that moisture, it can leave it feeling slightly sticky.
How To Include Glycerin In Your Skincare Routine
Glycerin is one of the most commonly used ingredients within the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, so, chances are, your skincare routine already contains it in some form or another.
Some people advise buying pure vegetable glycerin and mixing it with your favorite moisturizer for an extra hit of moisture. But we don’t really agree with skincare DIY-ing. Instead, look out for it on your product labels. And not just in moisturizers, either. Glycerin is an awesome ingredient within facial cleansers as it helps counteract the often drying effects of washing your skin. We use a small amount of kosher vegetable glycerin in our Skin Clearing Charcoal Face Wash to help balance and increase hydration while unclogging your pores and decongesting your skin.
You’ll also find kosher vegetable glycerin in many of our serums, moisturizers and eye treatments because yes, it’s that good.
Don’t see glycerin in any of your products? Look out for glycerin derivatives which include glyceryl caprylate and glyceryl stearate. These clever esters combine glycerin with emollient fatty acids like caprylic acid and stearic acid to not only draw moisture to the surface to the skin, but to hold it there while smoothing and softening your skin at the same time. Our Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer contains both glycerin and glyceryl stearate for the ultimate in hydration.
Now, move over, hyaluronic acid, it's time to share the limelight.
Is Glycerin The True Unsung Hero For Hydrating Your Skin?read more
Skipping your zzzs is a one-way ticket to tired, dull skin. So, if you’re thinking of burning the midnight oil – perhaps with a little help from your vodka/wine/hard seltzer buddies – you’re going to need a few post-party skin tricks up your sleeves.
It may seem like a great idea at the time, but no sleep, coupled with way too many cocktails, not only equals a banging headache and zero energy for the next 24 hours, but it spells disaster for the state of your complexion. We’re talking puffiness, dullness, dehydration, maybe even a little irritation if you’ve a) eaten your weight in fast food and b) finally rolled into bed without taking off your makeup.
Thankfully, there are many ways to cure your skin’s hangover and counteract all those nasty effects of a late night. In fact, if you’re smart you can even go so far as to take a few precautionary measures the night before. Don’t fret, you don’t need to be dramatic and avoid late, boozy nights altogether, but if you swap out high-sugar cocktails (one word: glycation) for hard seltzers, or alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water this'll go a long way to preventing your skin from looking lousy the next day.
Too late for that? Then here are five of the most effective, post-party skincare must-dos – and trust us, we’ve tried them all ;)
1. Cleanse & Detox BEFORE Bed
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: DO NOT go to bed without first taking off your makeup. Overnight is when your skin goes through its most important healing and regenerative phase, but clogging up the surface with oil, bacteria, sweat, makeup and goodness-knows-what-else ruins your skin’s chance to renew itself. Makeup also clogs up your pores – especially if it contains oil or silicones – and you all know what clogged pores leads to (*cue Jaws music)…
So, before your head hits the pillow, wash your face and neck with a gentle, but deep cleansing face wash like Skin Clearing Charcoal Face Wash which also helps detoxify your skin and draw out impurities. And if you really are too beat, at the very least grab a biodegradable cleansing cloth. Just this once, of course.
Finish with Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream to help hydrate and moisturize your skin as you sleep and come the morning, that old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ will never be more true.
2. Massage Your Skin
The next morning you might want to do little more than lie on the sofa with just Netflix and coffee for company, but if you can face it, a cleansing massage will do wonders for depuffing and reenergizing your skin by boosting circulation and promoting lymphatic drainage.
First, grab a brightening cleanser like our Vitamin C Daily Facial Cleanser (side note: vitamin C also helps reduce damage from alcohol-induced free radicals) and apply this to damp skin, using the pads of your fingers. Press your fingers into the brow area and slide them up to your forehead a few times, then concentrate on your cheeks and work from each side of your nose, out towards the hairline. Do this a few times, then do the same over your chin and jawline before smoothing your fingertips up your neck. Just a couple of minutes doing this in the shower will really boost your glow. Promise.
3. Reduce Redness
Alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate which is why drinking a tad too much often results in red, flushed skin. To balance tone and reduce inflammation look for soothing ingredients in your morning-after skincare. Our Daily Facial Rose Water Toner is a great place to start, followed by Niacinamide Facial Serum. Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is awesome for reducing redness and blotchiness. It also strengthens your skin’s barrier function to reduce moisture loss as an added bonus.
After cleansing, spritz your face with Rose Water Toner, then immediately apply a couple of drops of Niacinamide Serum all over your skin. Applying serum before your toner dries helps lock in moisture and counteracts the dehydrating effects of alcohol, fast food, zero zzzs and so on.
4. De-Puff Your Eyes
A big night out inevitably results in dark, puffy circles under your eyes. Why? Because all that bad stuff causes the blood vessels under the thin skin around your eyes to dilate, increasing blood retention and causing darkness and swelling. Lack of sleep also makes your levels of cortisol – the ‘stress hormone’ – go sky-high, altering the salt balance in your body and forcing it to retain water and cause unwanted swelling.
A great pep-up for your eyes is to pop a couple of cooled tea bags over them for five minutes. This might sound like an old wives’ tale, but caffeine has been proven to narrow blood vessels to help reduce swelling and dark circles. To further de-puff, brighten, moisturize and reduce redness, follow with Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream. For an extra cooling boost, you could even stash it in the fridge.
5. Most Important Of All, Rehydrate
Dehydration is the biggest issue for your skin (and in fact, your whole body) after pulling an all-nighter, and when your skin is dehydrated it looks dull, sallow and so much older (hello fine lines and wrinkles).
Drinking plenty of water is a great move for your internal hangover, but it’s not going to immediately benefit your skin. Dang. Instead, douse your face and neck with a serum containing humectant ingredients to draw water to the surface of your skin like a sponge. We love Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum which has been formulated with three super effective humectants: glycerin, aloe and hyaluronic acid. It also contains green tea, plus vitamins C and E to help reduce oxidative stress from damaging free radicals.
Finish your post-party-pick-me-up routine with Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer to seal in all that goodness and add a final boost of radiance… and bam. Late night, what late night?
How To Deal With Tired, Hungover Skinread more
Face serums are a must for anyone interested in maximizing their skin’s potential and targeting those little annoyances like dryness, lines, dark spots or excess oil. But that’s the simple part: it’s choosing a serum to suit your skin that can be a bit of a minefield…
If you’re yet to introduce a serum into your skincare routine, let us be the ones to tell you – the right one could change your life. Yes it’ll add another step to your beauty routine, but honestly, what’s an extra minute or so between friends? And when you see what the right one can do for your skin, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Lightweight and super-powered, serums pack a real punch thanks to their small molecular makeup. What does this really mean? Simple: small molecules allow for a deeper penetration of active ingredients and therefore more effective results for your skin. A serum is able to get right under your skin where regular lotions and moisturizers dare not, and in all honesty cannot, go. This means they are way more effective at targeting specific issues like discoloration, fine lines, wrinkles and any other bugbear you care to mention.
But how do you know where to start? Erm, right here, with these six, cleverly formulated serums that cater for the most common skincare types and concerns.
1. Normal or Dry Skin Types: C-Plus Super Serum
One of our favorite all-rounders, think of C-Plus Super Serum as your go-to for maintaining healthy, more radiant skin. Packed with vitamin C, along with niacinamide, retinol, hyaluronic acid and MSM it reads like a veritable who’s who of clinically-proven skincare ingredients. And if you’re worried about this cocktail of active ingredients playing havoc with your skin, don’t be. C-Plus Super Serum is surprisingly gentle and free of common irritants like synthetic fragrance, silicones, parabens and sulfates. It’s a bit of show-off, we know, but deservedly so. Use it two or three times a week for the best results.
2. Oily Skin: Tea Tree Clear Skin Super Serum
A customer must-have for reducing breakouts and balancing excess oils while maintaining a certain kindness to aging skin, Tea Tree Clear Skin Super Serum has been touted as “pretty life-changing” by one particular fan. Yes, truly.
Research shows that tea tree oil boasts anti-bacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne… and a great, natural alternative to benzoyl peroxide. Tea tree oil can also help balance oiliness, minimize enlarged pores and may even help relieve dryness. We combine it with salicylic acid, retinol and plenty of other age-defying ingredients to produce this gentle but oh-so-effective serum that your skin will love. Use it to spot treat troublesome breakouts, or apply it all-over, two to three times a week before moisturizing.
3. Dry Or Dehydrated Skin: Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Hyaluronic acid (HA) has been having a moment in skincare for quite some time now. And its popularity is not going away. A key component in your skin's natural makeup, HA has the unique capacity of retaining up to 1,000 times its weight in water. We’ll just let that sink in for a minute. One. Thousand. Times.
This sponge-like quality makes HA extremely important for keeping your skin moisturized and healthy, and it's why it rightfully takes its place at the top of ingredients your skin can’t get enough of. Hyaluronic Acid Serum harnesses the powers of this water-loving ingredient and blends it with vitamins C and E, plus jojoba oil to help lock moisture into your skin. A real find for dry, dehydrated or ANY skin type, if you ask us.
4. Aging Skin: Retinol Serum
Speaking of ingredients that can literally do no wrong, let’s give a big shout out to retinol. Proven time and time again to be one of the most effective ingredients for reducing the visible signs of aging, retinol is a topical form of vitamin A that activates certain genes in your skin to boost collagen production and stimulate your skin cells to turn over more efficiently. This helps soften wrinkles and dark spots, and it's dynamite at making your skin look, well, damn good.
Our Retinol Serum combines retinol with HA, vitamin E, aloe and green tea – an awesome combination known to help hydrate, protect, nourish and reduce irritation. Priceless.
5. Sensitive Skin: Niacinamide Serum
Sensitive skin and active ingredients don’t often make for a match made in heaven. However, niacinamide is one of the exceptions to this rule. A proven antioxidant, niacinamide boasts all the usual benefits of your favorite free radical-fighters (ie: an improvement in dark spots, lines, wrinkles, blemishes and firmness), plus it helps regulate inflammation and improve your barrier function to strengthen and protect your delicate skin. And all this with few to no side-effects. Yes, there really is a beauty god.
Niacinamide Facial Serum might only be a year old but it’s already a favorite with customers looking for an antioxidant serum that brightens and balances skin gently, yet effectively.
6. Dull Or Sun Damaged Skin: Vitamin C Serum
We don’t like to blow our trumpets too much, but our awesome Vitamin C Serum continues to turn heads and now boasts over 65,000 reviews on Amazon. In fact, it’s the number one best seller in facial serums. Just saying.
One of the most effective and highly researched antioxidants in skincare, topical vitamin C works hard to boost collagen, fade dark spots and protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Depending on the type of vitamin C used, it can be a tad too good to be true for some skin types, but we use sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) in our formulations which is more gentle than the pure stuff… but equally as effective. This classic serum combines SAP with vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, MSM and a whole host of botanicals for a glow-boosting treat you'll want to use time and time again.
PS: Before We Go…
Our serums have been carefully curated to suit all skin types, but still, they contain a lot of potent active ingredients so they should always be applied with care. The golden rules? 1. Do a patch test first. 2. Introduce one slowly into your routine (two or three times a week) before applying it every day. And 3. Always finish with your favorite moisturizer to lock all those ingredients into your skin.
Done and done.
6 Of The Best Face Serums For Every Skin Typeread more
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Hyaluronic acid is neither new nor fancy, but the truth of the matter is it works. So, it’s time to forget your snail mucus and 24k gold-infused serums, and embrace this tried, tested and totally trusted wonder ingredient.
Everyone knows that moisturizer is one of the most important steps in an effective skincare routine. After all, if your skin lacks essential moisture, you may as well throw every other product you own in the trash. The real issue, however, is finding the perfect moisturizer for you. You know the one – that sweet product which makes your skin feel soft, supple and hydrated, without leaving you with that icky ‘just-dipped-your-face-in-a-vat-of-olive-oil’ glow.
Well, chances are this much beloved product of yours will contain hyaluronic acid (HA), because when it comes to skin-loving moisturizing ingredients, HA is one of, if not the best. And yes, we know that may be a bold statement, but it’s one we firmly believe in.
Need a little convincing? Then here’s some important information about the mighty HA that proves why it’s rarely beaten in the skincare stakes…
What Is Hyaluronic Acid? The Science Bit
Hyaluronic acid (also known as hyaluronan), might sound like something hippies ingested in the sixties, but au contraire, dear friends; it’s actually a type of polymer that’s found naturally in the body. Composed partly of sugars, HA is present in the eyes and joints where it functions as a powerful lubricant, but most of it (50 percent, in fact) is found in the skin's structure where it acts as a humectant. What is a humectant, you ask? It’s basically a water-loving ingredient that draws moisture in and helps retain it – kind of like a sponge. Get this: studies prove that HA can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. That means just one gram can hold up to six liters of water. Impressive stuff, right?
HA not only acts like one big drink of water for your skin; it also stimulates collagen production, helps reduce inflammation, promotes skin healing and works like an antioxidant to fight free radicals and reduce the signs of premature aging.
Photo by Buenosia Carol from Pexels
Why Your HA Needs A Boost
If the human body, and your skin in particular, is overflowing with a readily available supply of hyaluronic acid, this begs the question: why do you need more of it in your skincare routine? Fair point. And if you’re reading this as a young, fresh 16-year-old, it’s a totally valid point. The thing is, just like collagen and elastin, levels of HA start to decrease from the age of around 18, and when you hit your 40s, these levels can drop as dramatically as 50 percent.
What does this mean for you? Depleted levels of HA contribute significantly to the signs of aging including aching joints, dry eyes and obviously sagging, wrinkled skin. Sad times.
How To Up Your Hyaluronic Acid
The good news is that HA supplements and injections are widely available from your physician if you’re suffering with mild to severe joint pain or issues like arthritis. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are also a great choice for plumping hard-to-treat fine lines and wrinkles, and most reputable injectable brands (Juvéderm and Restylane, for example) use synthetic HA, which means it’s not derived from animal sources. We love that.
When it comes to your skin, a simple way to help it retain hyaluronic acid on a daily basis is to ensure you eat a healthy, well-rounded diet with lots of fruit and veggies. Full disclosure: an apple a day will not create miracles for your HA levels, but it will certainly help.
And then there’s our favorite subject of all: skincare. The best news is that as a skincare ingredient, hyaluronic acid is formulated to act like your own, naturally-occurring HA. This means it rarely causes allergic reactions, making it the perfect choice for all skin types, even the most sensitive. It also combines well with other active ingredients so is perfectly safe to use after chemical peels or with a retinol treatment, for example.
Warning: Not All HA Products Are Created Equal
When checking out the ingredients of your favorite beauty products, it’s good to know what you’re looking at. Manufacturers are obliged to list ingredients in order from the highest to the lowest concentration, but only until an ingredient is 1 percent or less – then they can be listed in any order they like. Research shows the ideal concentration of HA is at least 1 or 2 percent, so if you see it hovering around the bottom of your ingredients list, it’s probably not going to be all that effective.
Unlike some skincare brands, we at TruSkin ensure you get a good dose of hyaluronic acid in every drop of our HA products. We even list the concentrations on many of our labels for full disclosure. Our hyaluronic acid is also synthetic, vegan-friendly and we believe in it so much that it appears in no less than eight of our products and every single one of our serums.
And we think that speaks volumes.
Hyaluronic Acid: The Legit Skincare Must-Haveread more
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash
With their countless skincare benefits, antioxidants are to skin what Netflix is to your couch – sheer bliss. Here’s everything you need to know about these super-effective skincare powerhouses…
Sure, many beauty buzzwords are on a need-to-know basis (yes, we’re talking to you glycosaminoglycans), but there are a few key terms and ingredients you really have to understand. And antioxidants are right up there.
Here at TruSkin, we truly believe antioxidants are the key to a healthy, radiant complexion. How so? Fair question, so let’s buckle up for a few facts, shall we?
First, a small science lesson. As far as your skin is concerned, antioxidants are naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals that help prevent damage caused by free radicals. What are free radicals? They’re the result of exposure to light, heat, pollution or other external aggressors and for fear of bombarding you with too much chemistry spiel, they’re highly reactive, unstable atoms with unpaired electrons in their outer shells. This means that to stabilize themselves they tend to snatch electrons from other atoms or molecules (think DNA, collagen and elastin), resulting in what’s known as oxidative stress. And this is where antioxidants come to the rescue. Unlike other vital skin cell components that become damaged when they lose electrons, antioxidants can donate them to free radicals without losing their own stability.
Still with us? Good! :-)
The human body naturally has a very efficient antioxidant defense system. Unfortunately, the inevitable aging process, together with overexposure to the sun, pollutants or other lifestyle nasties such as smoking, alcohol and poor nutrition, disrupts this defense system and free radicals start to take over. This causes damage not only to your skin, but to the health of your entire body.
Staying out of the sun, wearing a high, broad-spectrum sunscreen and having a healthy, balanced diet are all important ways to protect your skin from the visible effects of free radical damage such as lines, wrinkles, sagging and discoloration. But include a hard-working, clinically-proven antioxidant (or two) in your daily skincare routine and you immediately ramp up your skin’s ability to win the war.
Here are some of the best antioxidants the skincare world has to offer…
The TruSkin Big 5
1. Retinol: The Ultimate Age-Fighting Hero
You’ll see retinol splashed all over the skincare shelves. And for good reason. As a vitamin-A derivative that gets converted into retinoic acid when applied to the skin, retinol works by increasing cell turnover to help exfoliate, repair and strengthen the complexion. Unlike full-strength prescription retinoids like tretinoin, however, retinol needs to go through two steps to become retinoic acid. This makes it much gentler and tolerable on the skin and why it’s seen as the darling of anti-aging, antioxidant ingredients.
Great For: Improving fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and poor texture.
Find It In: Retinol Moisturizer
2. Niacinamide: The Gentle Skincare Giant
If there were a prize for the most unassuming hero of antioxidants, niacinamide would win, hands down. This water-soluble form of vitamin B3 is found in many foods like meat, grains and leafy greens, and its skin-loving powers are often harnessed by the beauty industry. Why? Because niacinamide has the innate ability to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier by increasing its ceramide and fatty acid levels. This not only helps prevent environmental damage, but visibly improves the appearance of the skin.
Great For: Reducing redness, blotchiness, brown spots and enlarged pores. Sidenote: it’s also well tolerated by sensitive skin types.
Find It In: Tea Tree Clear Skin Serum Serum
3. Vitamin C: The Super Antioxidant
Skincare skeptics may try to convince you that topical vitamin C is unstable and therefore pointless. Not so. Vitamin C is a super-effective antioxidant that boosts collagen production, lightens pigmentation, adds clarity, provides UV protection and, well, the list goes on. You just need to find the right form of vitamin C, which, in our opinion is Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP). SAP is known for being much more stable than l-ascorbic acid, and many find it to be much less likely to cause irritation. Win-win.
Great For: Boosting radiance, reducing inflammation and breakouts, and improving poor texture.
Find It In: Vitamin C-Plus Super Serum
4. Vitamin E: The Sun Damage Savior
A seasoned skincare vet and loved by many, vitamin E is a big-hitter when it comes to helping prevent and correct sun damage. It’s also a darn good moisturizer. There are many types of vitamin E, but you’ll most commonly see this lipid-based antioxidant listed in your day cream as tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate. On its own, however, it’s easily oxidized so can quickly become ineffective on contact with the skin. This is why you’ll generally find it combined with another antioxidant powerhouse like vitamin C which instantly makes it more stable and beneficial. Antioxidant cocktailing, hey? You’ve got to love that.
Great For: Treating dry, rough or photodamaged skin.
Find It In: Vitamin C Serum
5. Hyaluronic Acid: The Moisturizing King
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is arguably one of the best, most effective skincare ingredients available. Found naturally in your body and particularly abundant within the skin’s structure, HA is a humectant, which means it works like a sponge to trap moisture in your skin – up to 1000 times its own weight in water, in fact. The problem is, it gradually depletes as you age, which is why including a topical botanical HA in your skincare routine is such an awesome idea. Along with its moisturizing prowess, HA also reportedly promotes collagen production, reduces inflammation and fights free radicals. Yes, it’s that good.
Great For: All skin types (even sensitive) to help maintain soft, supple skin and fight premature aging.
Find It In: Hyaluronic Acid Serum For Skin & Face
Antioxidants And Your Skin: What’s The Deal?read more