Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
This is an antioxidant that fights the effects of aging. The reason why it stands out among other skincare ingredients is that it is water- and fat- soluble. This is important because it means that it can easily penetrate the skin’s fatty layers and get to work in the watery skin cells. When it comes to its antioxidant qualities, Alpha Lipoic Acid is more potent than Vitamins C and E combined. We need antioxidants to fight off damaging free radicals in the body that lead to aging and skin damage.
Look for Alpha Lipoic Acid in eye creams where it will smooth your skin and fight dark circles since it boosts lymphatic drainage. It can also be found in face creams where it decreases unevenness and redness in your complexion, thanks to being an anti-inflammatory. Finally, it makes your skin glow because it enhances blood circulation.
Vitamin C Ester
You know that Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid is good for you, but Vitamin C ester (otherwise known as ascorbyl palmitate) is even more important for skin. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps to infuse the cells with more antioxidant activity than that found in ascorbic acid. It also helps to re-activate Vitamin E, which means smoother skin that is more youthful. But its benefits don’t stop there: Vitamin C ester encourages the growth of elastin and collagen, the two important structures required for stronger, flexible skin. When compared to Vitamin C, it is less irritating because it is less acidic.
It is sometimes used as a preservative in cosmetics but its antioxidant qualities have made it leap into a variety of skincare creams, such as sunscreens, skin creams, serums, skin lightening creams, and anti-ageing creams.
By now, you’ve probably heard all the buzz surrounding retinol in skincare. So, what exactly are retinols? They’re substances derived from Vitamin A and differ from retinoids because they are gentler. Retinols help to encourage cell growth and turnover so that your skin can look fresher and healthier. They also boost the skin’s collagen and glycosaminoglycans - these are carbohydrates that support elastin and collagen. The result is firmer, nourished skin. Find retinols in body creams, face serums and moisturizers.
When using retinols in a day product, such as moisturizer, always wear sunscreen as they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. You should also use retinol products with Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) exfoliating products (look for lactic acid or glycolic acid, an ingredient found in face peels and skin lightening lotions) to increase the product’s attack on sun-damaged skin.
Ceramides are lipid or fatty molecules that are naturally found in the skin’s cell membranes. They basically hold together the cells to prevent loss of moisture. As we age and expose our skin to environmental factors, or when skin becomes dry, it is stripped of these lipids so we need to replace them. That’s where ceramides in skincare products come in. They help to increase the skin’s hydration, giving skin a lovely plump appearance so that it looks youthful. It also strengthens the skin’s barrier so it can lock in moisture. This makes ceramides great healing agents for eczema, which is linked to the skin’s barrier being defective.
You can find ceramides in products such as moisturizers, eye gels and repairing serums. They are sometimes listed as phytosphingosine or sphingosine.
By choosing smart products that contain these potent ingredients, you will take your skin to a higher level of beauty.