What's in Your Products

It's hard to know what is good and what is bad on the huge list of ingredients on the back of most make-up and beauty products, that's if there even is a list (there should be - be wary of anything without one) so I've made a list of things here, some good, some bad for quick reference.
  • AHA's (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) - such as lactic, glycolic or tartaric acids. They can help reduce the sign of wrinkles.  
  • Almond Oil - an emollient that is easily absorbed into the skin. Improves complexion, soothes skin irritation and inflammation whilst helping the signs of aging. Helps prevent moisture from leaving the skin.
  • Amala - See Indian Gooseberry
  • Avocado Oil - high skin penetration and rapid absorption making it perfect for moisturisers. High content of proteins, unsaturated fats and Omega 3 fatty acids. Sterolin which facilitate the softening of the skin and reduces incidents of age spots. Antioxidants make it good for sun-damaged skin and can help relieve dry/itchy skin. Helps increase collagen production to keep skin plump.
  • Azelaic Acid - a gentle exfoliating acid that helps to unclog pores and refine skin. A must-have in any skin routine as far as I'm concerned. 
  • Coconut Oil - a great antioxidant. Delays appearance of ageing and sagging skin. Is used to treat a lot of conditions including psoriasis and eczema. 
  • Cucumber - helps revitalise and tighten the skin. It's very mild bleaching properties gives a youthful glow and helps sun-damaged skin. It is 95% water so it helps add moisture to the skin, the seeds are rich in Vitamin E and potassium which helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, blemishes and other signs of aging. 
  • Ferulic Acid - a naturally occurring antioxidant that fight free-radicals that can increase the signs of aging. It also helps the skin naturally protect itself against UVA/UVB. Best applied topically (so in a serum or moituriser) this stabilises Vitamin C and E making them more effective. 
  • Ginseng - naturally supplies oxygen to the skin.
  • Glycerin - a humectant often used in toners to keep the skin moist
  • Glycolic Acid - excellent at penetrating the skin can reduce wrinkles, acne scarring, hyper-pigmentation. Reacts with the upper layer of the epidermis weakening the bindings that hold the dead skin-cells together allowing them to be exfoliated to expose live skin cells.
  • Hyaluronic Acid - found naturally in the fluids around our joints and in the eyes and skin. Although it is abundant in young skin it declines with age. It gives skin volume by holding onto water but does not easily penetrate the skin so it has to be injected and is the primary ingredient in Restylane - a cosmetic filler. Sodium Hyaluronic is smaller so it penetrates the skin when applied topically. As it is found in the skin it is not harmful or irritating and replaces the natural acid that is lost through aging and sun damage. 
  • Indian Gooseberry (also known as Amala) - Antioxidant super fruit. Helps prevent degradation of skins proteins enhancing the firmness of the skin. 
  • Lactic Acid - part of the AHA family, derived from sour or fermented milk. Good for improving skins texture and hydration level. Can be irritating or damaging to allergy prone skin. Can increase sensitivity to the sun so it's important to use sunscreen if you use products containing lactic acid. Moisturises and sloughs off the dead skin and promotes collagen growth - helps to even out the skin tone and diminish acne scars. Most gentle of the AHA's. Is used in some chemical peels. It increases natural barrier lipids in the outer layer of skin.  
  • Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil - oil expressed from the Babassu palm. Used in soaps and detergents, makeup, skin and haircare products. Emulsifying and slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skins surface. Found in The Body Shop Nutriganics Gel to Oil Cleanser.
  • Paraben preservatives (methyl, butyl, ethyl, propyl) - used as a preservative in conditioners, foundations, concealers, mascaras, face masks... these can disrupt hormones and have been linked to breast cancer (though no firm scientific evidence linking to tumors) and skin rashes, damage and aging.
  • Salicylic Acid - an anti-inflammatory known to ease aches and pains and reduce fevers this is found in a lot of acne, dermatitis and psoriasis treatments. It causes skin cells to shed more readily and unclogs and neutralises bacteria from pores whilst decreasing the diameter of the pores to prevent them re-clogging. 
  • Simmondisa Chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil - used in bath products, eye makeup, haircare, makeup, nail care, personal hygeine and skincare products. Often as an emulsion stabiliser to stop oil separating from it's liquid componants. It's skin and hair conditioning and can increase the thickness of the oil/lipid portion of a cosmetic product. Found in The Body Shop Nutriganics Gel to Oil Cleanser.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate - the sodium salt of hyalonic acid. A powerful humectant that attracts and holds water helping hydrate the skin, keeping it moist and supply and reducing trans-epidermal water-loss. Because it attracts and binds to water it causes slight swelling which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It's easily absorbed by the skin and as hyalonic acid is found in the skin it is a natural ingredient to find in skincare.  
  • Sucrose Laurate - can help to soften and condition the skin and remove dirt. Found in The Body Shop Nutriganics Gel to Oil Cleanser.
  • Sunflower seed oil - great surface barrier that helps skin keep moisture without clogging pores and doesn't leave any greasy residue. 
  • Vitamin C - a powerful antioxidant that protects collagen whilst stimulation further collagen production. It plumps the skin, reduces redness, hyperpigmentation and combats dullness. A must in your skincare routine. But make sure you get good quality properly packaged. 

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