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The Single-Most Important Ingredient for Every SkinCare Concern

The sheer volume of skincare products on the market with varying claims and ingredients makes it a wonder how the average person can really navigate what may work best for them based on the ingredient they may need. Read more...
 

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skincare ingredient

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How is it best to approach shopping for skincare? by skin type? by skin concern?



The sheer volume of products on the market with varying claims and ingredients makes it a wonder how the average person can really navigate what may work best for them.


Skin types such as dry skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, and combination skin, are truly marketing terms not rooted in definitions from a medical perspective. When product claims are vaguely stated in euphemisms for staying young, they appeal to a desire and hope of the consumer to look like the image they hope for without recognizing how unrealistic it is for ingredients in skincare to achieve these results.


Understanding how to evaluate your skin, in the absence of products, to determine if your skin fits the audience for the product as well as understanding ingredients and if they can specifically address your concerns can avoid wasteful spending.



Where should I start when evaluating my own skin?


Start with the basics. Everyone needs to cleanse their skin and protect their skin.


Cleansing is as simple as choosing a product that degreases the skin and removes oil, dirt, and debris. This doesn't have to be fancy.


Protecting your skin is recognizing that we need to protect it from the environment to optimize its ability to do its job.


The next step is looking at your skin and your experience with your skin to determine what you need to address and which products can achieve your goals. For example, is your skin dealing with:

  • Acne?

  • Excess oil?

  • Fine lines?

  • Pigmentation?

  • Dryness?

  • Sensitive skin?

  • Dull skin?


Once you figure out what bothers you about your skin, then we can focus on which ingredients to add to supplement your routine.




Why do ingredients matter in a skincare routine?



Many people choose products based on vague claims of improving the appearance of their skin but never quite give answers on how and why they are capable of doing so. Ingredients in products are added to achieve goals. If your skincare goal is addressing acne, for example, but your product potentially clogs your pores, you are not going to get very far. Conversely, if the ingredients in skincare products may not always be able to achieve your skincare goals, but could likely irritate or inflame your skin. So many anti-aging ingredients work via the process of exfoliation that the potential for dry, irritated skin is difficult to avoid.



For each of the following skin care concerns, what is the single most important ingredient you would recommend using and why



Acne/blemishes


Salicylic Acid | Salicylic acid breaks apart superficial skin cells to help remove dead skin cells from the surface. It is used in acne medications but can also be found in higher concentrations in wart treatments. It can be effective without being too irritating.



Hyperpigmentation


Vitamin C | Vitamin C inhibits an enzyme called tyrosinase in the skin to reduce hyperpigmentation from sun damage and melasma. It is important to note that it may not have the same effect against post-inflammatory pigmentation from acne scars or other sources.



Dryness


Petroleum jelly | Petroleum jelly is widely used in skincare products due to its many benefits including:

  • Skin Barrier: Serves as an effective skin barrier to protect the skin from the environment. Can be used to prevent diaper rash for example.

  • Healing: By serving as a barrier for the skin, minor cuts, and scrapes have the opportunity to heal in a moist environment protected from outside irritants.

  • Lubricant: Petroleum jelly can hydrate the skin as an occlusive moisturizer that traps hydration.


Oiliness



Tretinoin or Adapalene | Tretinoin is a prescription, adapalene is over the counter, or retinols for acne regulates oil or sebum production, assists in the exfoliation of the skin, and accelerates the improvement of pigmentation from acne evening the skin tone.



Signs of aging



Tretinoin or Adapalene | Tretinoin is a prescription, adapalene is over the counter, or retinols for anti-aging work by increasing collagen production and decreasing collagen breakdown.



Under-eye puffiness/inflammation



To address under-eye puffiness, it is important to likely avoid many products that contain anti-aging ingredients as they can contribute to irritation and inflammation. Recognize that the factors that are under eye puffiness or related to lymphatic drainage, sinuses, and fluid buildup in the skin can avoid wasting money on products that cannot deliver on promises.


Coupling the cool temperature of a roller such as a jade roller or ice roller along with pressure applied from rolling, will restrict dilation of the blood vessels in the skin with firm and constant pressure from the gliding motion of the stone, there is a potential for benefit that can be seen here.



Dull skin



Tretinoin as a prescription or retinols for acne regulates oil or sebum production, assists in the exfoliation of the skin, and accelerates the improvement of pigmentation from acne evening the skin tone.




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