How you introduce active ingredients to your skin is just as important as the ingredients you choose. The right choices can make a marked difference to your skin’s health and appearance.
The word ‘active’ gives us a clue about how important it is to make the right decisions about the active ingredients we choose, and also about how we use them.
Firstly, not all active ingredients are useful to treat all skin conditions. In fact, some active ingredients can worsen particular skin conditions. For instance, you would not use AHA or retinol on a sensitive or sensitised skin unless you are under a doctor’s care and guidance.
Secondly, introducing active ingredients to your skin needs to be gentle and built up over time. Compare it to starting an exercise regime – you can’t run a marathon without conditioning the body first. The same can be said for a skincare regime that contains active ingredients. The best approach is to start off gently, then introduce more ingredients and possibly higher dosages over time.
Which active ingredients should be on your radar?
As we have mentioned here and in our first article introducing active ingredients, we have a wealth of active ingredients to choose from in skin care, but does this mean they are necessarily right for our needs?
Important to know: To get the best advice as to which is best suited to your skin type, we strongly recommend you have a consultation with a skincare specialist, especially when suffering from a skin condition that could be worsened with the use of incorrect active ingredients.
Some of the most effective active ingredients on our radar include:
Hyaluronic acid (HA)
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule found naturally in our skin. As with most things, however, its levels decline as we age.
What makes it special is its incredible ability to absorb and maintain moisture within our skin, keeping it hydrated. Hydration is vital to keep our skin’s functions working effectively.
Luckily, we can introduce HA into our skin through anti-ageing skincare products in order to maintain a radiant glow, smooth fine lines and help skin feel comfortable.
There are many different forms of HA available in skin care, and, unfortunately, not all are created equal. This is why choosing an HA product from a medical skin-care range will mean it is most effective.
Peptides form protein chains, which are important building blocks in our skin. In skin care, different peptides are used for different actions. The most important ones help to stimulate production of collagen and elastin (the skin’s scaffolding), This, in turn, slows down and can also repair the ageing process, but could also fade dark spots in the process.
Retinol is a potent derivative of vitamin A. Once in the skin, it converts into retinoic acid – the active form of vitamin A required by the skin.
Retinol is known for its anti-ageing properties and its ability to clear acne.
Applied topically on the skin, retinol helps improve skin renewal by speeding up cell turnover and exfoliation of old, dead cells.
- The correct formulation and usage is vital, as strong dosages introduced to the skin without first preparing the skin can cause major irritation.
- It is essential to use a sunscreen when using a retinol product as it makes the skin very sun-sensitive and prone to burning.
- Follow the guidance of a skin-care therapist or doctor on the right product and
Vitamin C is another powerful skin champion. It is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from external environmental aggressors and prevents damage from free radicals internally too.
It also promotes healthy collagen production in the skin as well as fibroblast activity. It strengthens your skin barrier, and it has a smoothing and brightening effect on your skin.
To find out more about the active ingredients and products most suited to your skin type, visit www.skinrenewal.co.za. It’s one of the many ways we can help you enjoy living in your beautiful skin for longer.
Take the quick Beyond Beauty Survey and you could win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher to spend in our online store, with free delivery within South Africa. T&Cs apply.