Guest blog: Renee Rouleau
In my 20+ years of working with skin in my Texas skin care spas and developing skin care products, I’ve come up with five of my favorite skin care ingredients…and these should be your favorites, too!
Salicylic Acid- It’s a keratolytic beta hydroxy acid (BHA) famous for its ability to smooth the skin without causing irritation, reduce acne-causing bacteria and oil to prevent blemishes, all while penetrating the pores to help clear out impurities (making it also excellent for reducing blackheads). You’ll usually find Salicylic Acid in cleansers and moisturizers formulated for skins prone to break outs, as well as in acne spot treatments. It’s a fabulous ingredient with proven results in reducing blemishes.
Vitamin C (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate)-One of the most powerful age-fighting ingredients on the market today is Vitamin C proven to act as a body guard for your skins collagen to prevent free radicals from increasing skin aging. However, not all Vitamin C is equal. Most Vitamin C products use the acid forms of Vitamin C (like Ascorbic Acid or Alpha Lipoic Acid) which is why you can feel a stinging sensation on the skin. My research on skin aging indicates that daily use of skin irritating acids actually encourage free radical formation, which counteracts the reason why you are using Vitamin C in the first place! Plus, the problem with these Vitamin C acids is that they are highly unstable and break down every time you open the bottle and oxygen gets to the product. If your Vitamin C product starts to turn brown half way through the bottle, that’s a sign that it is oxidizing and is losing its effectiveness. (Think of an apple that turns brown 20 minutes after taking a bite.) Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, which is believed to be one of the most beneficial types of Vitamin C is the one that I use in my products because it doesn’t cause skin irritation and won’t lose its ability to fight free radicals.
Hyaluronic Acid-It’s a bioactive hydrating ingredient to bind 1000 times its weight in moisture to the skin and commonly found in toners (alcohol-free), specialty serums, moisturizers and eye creams. It’s also known as Sodium Hyaluronate and has been used for years and continues to be one of the most commonly used skin-hydrating ingredients. With continued use, skin’s water content improves daily and fine lines and wrinkles become less visible. Skin cells are like fish, they need water to live and without it, they turn into dry skin cells. Who wants that? So incorporating this ingredient into your products will make your skin healthy, comfortable and hydrated.
Peptides-A fairly new ingredient (and there are many types of peptides) but generally speaking, they are used in anti-aging products and have been shown to outperform Retinol (pro-Retinoic Acid) to smooth wrinkles and reduce the visual effects of aging without causing skin irritation. This ingredient is meant to be used long-term as the results will show with continued use. It’s also ideal when used on the neck, since this is certainly an area in need of anti-aging.
Beta Glucans- It’s one of the most multi-tasking ingredients used in skin care products today. Also known as a Biological Response Modifier (BRM); they help support the body’s natural ability to correct itself. When applied to the skin, they have been shown to correct a variety of skin problems, including the lessening of acne breakouts, sallow skin due to smoking, and skin cells adversely affected by sun damage (lines and wrinkles). When used after laser or chemical peel procedures, it also gives a noticeably faster recovery period because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It is used primarily in moisturizers and serums and is one of my favorite ingredients because it addresses so many skin conditions.