The amount of beauty ingredients and terms can become overwhelming for most of us… Not to worry though! We are here to clear up some confusion with definitions of commonly used skin care terms and ingredients.
AHA/BHA: Two types of acids that are very useful in the fight against acne, exfoliation, anti-aging, and overall skin maintenance.
AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy Acid): Alpha-hydroxy acids are water soluble and are excellent exfoliators by causing the cells of the epidermis to become “unglued” allowing the dead skin cells to slough off. This helps make room for the growth of new skin. AHAs help improve the appearance of wrinkles, roughness, and mottled pigmentation of photodamaged skin and they also help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. Sometimes AHAs can cause mild irritation and sun sensitivity, so make sure you apply sunscreen every morning too.
BHA (Beta-Hydroxy Acid): Beta-hydroxy acid is lipid (oil) soluble. This means that beta-hydroxy acid is able to penetrate into the pore, which contains sebum, and exfoliate the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore.
Antioxidant: The antidote against free-radicals, antioxidants protect cells from damage that causes aging and even cancer. They can come in the form of synthetic chemicals or vitamins. It is also important that your skin care regimen includes antioxidants to protect you from environmental aggressors.
Barrier Function: The skin’s barrier (the epidermis) is the outermost layer. Its main function is to keep water in, so that the skin is well hydrated and moisturized. It also helps to keep “bad” things out, such as bacteria and viruses.
Collagen: One of the most important structural proteins in the skin, it keeps us wrinkle-free, and youthful.
Elastin: Collagen’s best friend, these two work together to keep the spring in skin’s step. Without elastin, sag would be a permanent status.
Enzyme: Proteins that speed up a chemical reaction without being consumed in the chemical reaction. For skin, they help with inflammation, aging, and cell turnover (exfoliation).
Free Radicals: A tiny chemical particle that, when activated by UV light, wreaks cosmetic havoc on the skin, causing wrinkles and discoloration. This happens by disrupting the cell’s DNA which can also lead to skin cancer.
Peptides: The building block of proteins that function as moisture binding agents helping skin to repair itself. They are small particles that can penetrate the skin easily and function as messengers to signal other cells to do things, such as stimulating collagen production, reducing inflammation and helping to slow the signs of aging. Peptides are especially good for your eyes and are renowned for combating wrinkles and puffiness and keeping dark circles at bay.
Retinol: Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that increases cell turnover which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, evens tone and texture and keeps your skin looking young and refreshed!
Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid, famously used in dermal fillers, is an excellent topical treatment. It is capable of holding up to 1000 times its own weight in water and helps to restore critical moisture to dehydrated skin, increase skin’s suppleness and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Growth Factors: Growth factors are the proteins responsible for rejuvenating skin and the main ingredient in SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum & TNS Recovery Complex. Topical growth factors are absorbed into the skin to stimulate cell growth. This helps support the skin’s natural ability to heal and maintain a healthy skin structure.
TNS (Tissue Nutrient Solution): TNS is a human fibroblast conditioned media that is a physiologically balanced, naturally secreted, stabilized growth factor blend of over 300 growth factors. It helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and overall skin tone and texture.
Now that you’ve been armed with this skincare dictionary, it’s time to say GOODBYE dullness… and HELLO to fresh rejuvenated skin!