Probiotics, Essential Oils, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, AHA’s, BHA’s, Clay, Charcoal, Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Acai, Elastin, Retinol, Caviar, Aloe Vera, Green Tea …The list of “hero” ingredients is endless. But what exactly are the benefits of these ingredients and why do we need them in our skincare?
To save all the confusion and prevent you spending hours trolling the internet for answers, we asked skincare expert and Pevonia Australia’s Director of Education, Liane Scior for the low down on her top 10 skincare ingredients (let’s face it without a little help, figuring out which “youth-enhancing” products to buy is enough to give us wrinkles!)
“There are so many skincare products to choose from nowadays, all promising an array of solutions for our skin but without understanding the key ingredients and how they’ll benefit our individual needs, purchasing products can be a minefield,” said Scior.
“It’s important to firstly work out what you really want from your skincare, for example whether it be luminosity, lesser wrinkles, smaller pores, a clear complexion….then read the benefits of these ingredients and understand if they are for you. Understanding ingredients will not only help you find the right skincare choices, it’ll also save time, money and potentially unwanted breakouts, reactions or simply just a lack of results”.
AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)
Derived from plant and fruit sugars (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids) AHA’s break down the glue that holds dead skin cells together allowing for fresh, new skin to come through. The gentle acids exfoliate skin, while offering a multitude of other benefits such an evening out skin tone, helping to fade pigmentation and age spots, hydrating the skin and providing an overall brighter complexion.
AHA based skincare products are great for those who have a preference for a gentler exfoliation as they are free from beads and grains found in other exfoliators. Also good for those with dull, ageing and sun damaged skin.
BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acids)
BHA’s are oil soluble mild acids (salicylic acid) that penetrate pores deeply to unclog, clean and clear oil, dirt, pollution and dead skin cells.
BHA based skincare products are perfect for people dealing with blackheads, congested skin, breakouts and acne
Try: Spot Treatment
Collagen is technically a protein. It actually occurs naturally in our bodies giving our skin strength and elasticity and working to replace dead skin cells. However as we age, our natural Collagen levels begin to decline which is why we need a little help by applying it topically through skincare.
Collagen is re-absorbable, which means it can be broken down, reabsorbed into the skin and used to boost your skin’s natural Collagen production processes, leaving you with a plump, refreshed complexion the natural way.
Collagen based skincare products are perfect for those looking to counteract the first signs of aging.
Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. It has been proven to boost collagen and elastin production, and energise and speed cell turnover making them function like the cells of a child! Using a well-formulated and stable product with retinol will also visibly reduce the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, lines, wrinkles and large pores.
Retinol based products are perfect for those with sun damaged, dull and discoloured complexion. Also good for those suffering from blemished skin as it can reduce pore size and acne or simply aging skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance in skin, a component of the body’s connective tissues.
As we age, the environment and lifestyle choices destroy hyaluronic acid in our skin, in turn our skin loses the ability to preserve moisture, resulting in the visible loss of firmness and plumpness. Hyaluronic acid when applied topically through skincare has the ability to replenish moisture (that is crucial to having younger-looking, supple skin) as well as revitalise the skin’s outer layers, so they look and feel plumper, smoother and softer. Hyaluronic based products are also known to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
(Plant) Stem Cells
Plant stem cells are undifferentiated cells taken from the stem of a plant. Like human stem cells, they have the ability to self-renew and when applied topically to the skin, help protect the human skin stem cells from damage and deterioration as well as stimulate better cell turnover, leading to more youthful skin cells at the surface of the skin.
Products that contain plant stem cells can help keep skin looking young by fighting off wrinkles, protecting against sun damage and reducing inflammation.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant which helps boost collagen production while treating photo-damage. Not only does it penetrate the skin to fight free radical damage caused by the environment it also helps fade pigmentation and repair tired, lacklustre skin visibly boosting skin brightness and luminosity.
Vitamin C based products are perfect for those with dull, devitalised, pigmented and aging skin.
Try: “C” Complexe
Probiotics are good bacteria that normally reside in our bodies and in our skin. Due to sickness, toxicity, the use of antibiotics, and other external factors, our good bacteria diminishes.
Topical probiotics help deliver a dose of good bacteria directly to our skin, restoring radiance and balance. Some topical probiotics are recommended for mature skin because of their ability to regenerate as well as protect the skin by retaining moisture, healing wounds, and increasing collagen and elastin production for anti-aging effects. They are also an effective anti-inflammatory which means they bring calm to the skin soothing redness and irritation.
Products formulated with probiotics are great for anyone wanting to restore balance and radiance to the skin. Also perfect for those wanting to counteract large pores, uneven texture, oil excess, aging and dehydration.
Elastin is a highly elastic protein in connective tissue that gives skin its flexibility. It is a crucial factor in ensuring we maintain a youthful appearance. Also when applied topically it helps skin retain moisture.
Our bodies start to produce less and less of the protein as we get older. As skin loses elasticity it starts to show signs of aging – sagging and wrinkling.
Products formulated with elastin are great for those with skin sagging and loss of elasticity. They deliver repairing and tightening benefits, visibly firming the skin.
An antioxidant that protects skin effectively against free radical damage which plays a large part in the aging of our skin!
By blocking free radicals, products formulated with Vitamin E can reduce the signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles and brown spots in turn prolonging youthful looking skin.