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An A-Z of Skincare Ingredients

by Caroline Camber
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The vast array of ingredients used in skincare products can be bewildering, but understanding their purposes and benefits can empower users to make informed choices.

Skincare is an essential part of daily self-care. It offers not just a moment of pampering but also provides the skin (the body’s largest organ) with vital nutrients and protection.

If you’ve ever looked at a product label and wondered what something is, why it’s there, or if it’s good for you (and yes, there are a lot of ingredients in products that aren’t good for you), then use this A-Z to get clued up.

Just like you need to incorporate a diverse range of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients in your diet, your skin thrives with a range of active ingredients offering these nutrients.

Over the next few issues, we will embark on an A-Z journey through skincare ingredients, starting with A to E, to demystify their roles and highlight their significance. Please note that some of these ingredients are in this list because they are commonly found in products.

I personally do not advocate using all of them due to health and environmental reasons. For example, I do not use any synthet ic/petrochemical-derived ingredients or those which have known bio or eco-toxicity ratings. If you want to know more about this, then feel free to drop me a message, and I will help. I know labels can be a bit of a minefield!

A for Aloe Vera:

A staple in skincare, Aloe Vera is celebrated for its soothing, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it’s especially beneficial for sunburned or irritated skin, helping to repair and regenerate. Aloe Vera’s gentle, cooling effect makes it a popular choice in moisturisers, serums, and masks.

B for Benzoyl Peroxide:

Primarily used in acne treatments, Benzoyl Peroxide is a potent ingredient known for its ability to kill acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation, and help clear clogged pores. While effective, it can be drying and irritating to sensitive skin, so it’s often recommended to start with lower concentrations.

C for Vitamin C:

This powerhouse antioxidant is essential for fighting free radicals, brightening the complexion, and promoting collagen production. Vitamin C can help to fade pigmentation, even out skin tone, and protect against environmental damage. It’s a key ingredient in many serums and moisturisers for its anti-ageing and skin-revitalising effects.

D for Dimethicone:

Found in a variety of skincare and makeup products, Dimethicone is a type of silicone that acts as a smoothing agent and emollient. It forms a protective barrier on the skin, locking in moisture and leaving the skin feeling soft and silky. It also fills in fine lines and pores, creating a more even texture.

E for Exfoliants:

Exfoliating ingredients, including alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid, work by removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. This process helps to unclog pores, smooth the skin, and promote cell renewal. Regular exfoliation can lead to brighter, clearer, and more youthful-looking skin.

For more beauty related articles, click here, or to get in touch with Caroline, click here.

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