When you have a specific concern, you will look for help in the form of your Beauty Therapist, Aesthetician, or a line of home-care products. Sometimes it can be hard knowing what to look for when reading the extensive list of ingredients on the back of a product bottle. So, I thought I would break it down a little bit for you, and explain what the best things to look out for, are.
For oily, breakout, blackhead prone skin, you will want to look for Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid and Mandelic Acid.
Salicylic Acid is a BHA acid (it works deeper in your skin), it works by loosening and breaking apart the dirt, debris and sebum sitting on your skin and in your pores. It penetrates that thick layer of sebum easily, allowing for a deeper clean.
Lactic Acid is an AHA acid (it works on a more topical level on your skin), and helps to treat hyperpigmentation, dull skin tone and uneven texture.
Mandelic Acid is also an AHA, and it works by promoting cell turnover. It helps to reduce the damage done by acne and any scarring that may be on the skin, as well as helping with dark spots and exfoliation.
Of course, with all ingredients, the higher the percentage, the stronger the product will be. If you have severe skin issues, then something you can buy online or in a normal shop will not be enough, so please go and see a professional for advice.
Now, for dehydrated and dry skin, ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Lactic Acid again and Glycolic Acid are best.
Hyaluronic Acid hold 1000x its weight in water. It is a sugar-based molecule that occurs naturally within the skin anyways. It will help to bind water to collagen, trapping in within the skin. This is amazing for making your skin look more plump, dewy and hydrated.
Glycolic Acid is amazing for dry skin, but also anti-aging, but it is also good for acne. Its defiantly an all-rounder! It works by breaking the bonds between the outer layer of skin cells, and the new cell layer. This creates a light peeling effect that can make skin appear smoother and more even toned. It is commonly used in stronger quantities in our professional peels, as it is so good on so many levels.
For people who may be suffering with hyperpigmentation, or texture issues on the skin. You will want to look for that Glycolic and Lactic acid again, but also look for Vitamin C and Azelaic Acid.
Vitamin C promotes collagen, and is a natural anti-oxidant, meaning it protects skin cells from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure.
Azelaic Acid is a naturally occurring acid that helps skin renew itself quicker, and reduces inflammation from thing such as acne. It is also proven to help lighten the skin slightly, meaning it is good for any dark spots on the skin.
Lastly, for anti-aging, you will want to look for products containing Collagen, that amazing Glycolic Acid again, Lactic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid again too, but also look for Retinols and Retinoids.
Retinols and Retinoids are essentially a derivate from Vitamin A. You will need to use these at night, as they do not react well to sunlight, and they are stronger, so whilst you sleep and your skin heals, you will want to use them. They can cause irritation, so always start low in the dosage, and always patch test before using on a larger area. Also, some people cannot use them, such as pregnant and breast-feeding ladies, so please always check with your GP.
An alternative is Medik8 Bakuchiol Peptides, for example. This is a peptide infused serum, that is gentle enough for those people who cannot use Retinols and Retinoids, as it is a plant-based alternative.
I hope breaking these down has helped anyone looking for some answers out there!