30 Days of Beauty, Day 6: Addressing Special Concerns
We all have our own special skin concerns. Below is a list of some of the top ingredients for addressing them. There certainly are many more that could be listed, including newer and fad items, but these are commonly listed treatment actives that have passed the test of time.
The Best Skin Care Treatment Ingredients
There are thousands of beauty products on the market. With so many options available, it is hard to tell which ones deliver on their promises and which ones will not. A good way to determine a product’s effectiveness is to read the ingredients list. The best beauty products will feature some of the following ingredients.
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids: Great for Brightening, Acne, Wrinkles, and Anti-Aging
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a popular ingredient in health and beauty products. They help smooth fine lines and wrinkles, improve the texture and tone of skin and eliminate blemishes. Many anti-aging products contain alpha hydroxyl acids. Glycolic and lactic acid are the most commonly used types of alpha hydroxyl acid. Malic, citric and tartaric acids are other types of AHAs. This ingredient also exfoliates. It removes dead skin cells so that new skin cells can form. Alpha-hydroxy acids also encourage the production of collagen and elastin.
- The Brazilian Peel: A wonderful once per week exfoliating and anti-aging treatment.
- Peter Thomas Roth 10% Glycolic Hydrating Gel: A good overall daily Glycolic serum.
Retinol: A Top Anti-Aging, Anti-Wrinkle Ingredient
Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. What makes this ingredient special is its tiny molecular structure. Its small structure gives it its ability to penetrate the outer layers of skin. Retinol facilitates in cell renewal. It is also an antioxidant. Retinol has several other properties that make it a popular ingredient in beauty treatments. It increases the amount of moisture in the skin and treats acne. Retinol is a common ingredient in anti-aging products and topical face treatments.
- Derma Doctor Poetry In Lotion: A full over the counter strength retinol lotion formulated to be a least irritating as possible.
- Roc Retinol Corrextion Wrinkle Resurfacing System: For the budget conscious consumer, this system offers maximum over the counter retinol- something most of the drugstore products fail to deliver on.
Beta-Hydroxy Acids: Perfect for Oily and Acne Prone Skin
Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) are another type of hydroxy-acid. While BHAs and AHAs are similar, there are different in one critical area. Beta-hydroxy acids dissolve in oil while alpha-hydroxy acids are water soluble. Because BHAs are oil soluble, they can penetrate pores and exfoliate dead skin cells. This acid is beneficial for people with oily skin. Beta-hydroxy diminishes wrinkles and improve the texture of the skin. It is an acceptable alternative to alpha-hydroxy acid because it is non-irritating to the skin. Salicylic acid is the most commonly used BHA. Beta-hydroxy acid is can be found in skin moisturizers and cleansing pads.
Our Favorite:Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Clearing Pads: These pads are great for acne prone skin!
Ascorbic Acid: Brightens and Smoothes
Ascorbic acid, Vitamin C, is an ingredient in many personal care products and cosmetics. There are several other derivatives of Vitamin C; they are not as effective. It is an antioxidant that reduces the effects that exposure to air and sunlight has on the skin. This ingredient helps to stimulate collagen production. It is also a common ingredient found in scar-removal products.
- Philosophy The MicroDelivery Peel: This Vitamin C peel separates the ascorbic acid for freshness-important because the ingredient quickly becomes unstable and less effective once mixed with liquid and exposed to light.
- Lumene Vitamin C Products: Lumene is an affordable brand that makes a number of quality Vitamin C products.
For a mix of gentle natural lactic/glycolic and fruit acids, try this DIY face mask recipe from Sharzad Kiadeh of LuxLyfe:
DIY Cranberry Face Mask:
6 Tablespoons Fresh Cranberries, boiled for 5 minutes in 1 cup of water , Or if you don’t have fresh cranberries you can use 5 tablespoons of 100% cranberry juice.
3 Tablespoons of Plain Yogurt (I used a thick Greek yogurt)
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Honey
Mix all of these up together, and apply to your face, avoiding the eye area, wait for 15-20 minutes.
WARNING: This will get messy!
Copper Peptide: Firms and Tackles Wrinkles
This ingredient does several things. It stimulates collagen and elastin production and is an antioxidant. Copper peptide also enhances the body’s ability to create tissue. It is an ingredient in skin care products because it leaves the skin firm and soft. Copper peptide seems to help skin achieve these effects faster than other anti-aging products. Another advantage of copper peptides is its ability to heal scars and rid the body of any damaged elastin and collagen. Acne medications, shaving creams, anti-aging skin care, post-surgical and hair regeneration products all contain copper peptides. There are numerous skin care treatments on the market. Many of these products claim to achieve certain results. To know if the product will live up to its claims, it should contain the best ingredients. Buying products that contain strong and effective ingredients will ensure that people spend money on beauty products that deliver.
For Victoria Girard of RevealGreatSkin.com, the combination of copper peptide and LED light therapy really pays off. She says:
“Here is the real magic; once my face is clean, smooth, and renewed I apply a light peptide serum onto my skin and then I sit in front of the two large panels of the DPL Therapy System (a red LED light therapy unit) for 9 minutes. This system is my holy grail of anti aging treatments.”
You can read more about LED light therapy here: Should You Try Home LED Light Therapy?
Our Favorite: Kinerase C8 Peptide Intensive Treatment: One of the standard favorites for peptide treatment.
Kojic Acid: Perfect For Melasma
While hydroquinone is a common ingredient used to tackle hyperpigmentation and melasma, it can cause rebound pigmentation in some and carries a cancer risk concern. It also is banned in many countries, but is still in use in the United States. A natural alternative is Kojic Acid, which treats the problem more gently.
Our Favorite: PCA Skin Haze 13 HQ Free: This is our go to hydroquine free melasma treatment and the best HQ free one we have found after testing many of them.
Aloe Vera Gel: Great for Irritated Skin and Puffy Eyes
Aloe is a natural wonder. It sooths sunburn, or irritated skin. For puffy eyes, it can sooth and depuff them. Try it after face peels too for skin calming relief.
Puffy eyes can also be treated with various home remedies. Cucumber slices placed on the eyes are an old standby, or Alicia Mohr from Things to Cherish suggests the following to depuff eyes faster:
“Use a gel based eye cream and keep it in the refrigerator. Tea bags also work wonders. Chill wet tea bags for 15 to 30 minutes and then place them on your eyes for 5 minutes to depuff.”
You can find Aloe Vera gel at any drugstore or major retailer. We have no favorites among brands as most are nearly identical in quality. This is one where you can pick up whatever is cheapest or on sale!
Day 7 Tomorrow: Try a New Hair Cut or Style.