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Published: 01 February 2021

Skincare Ingredient Focus

Ever wondered what some of the words mean in the ingredients list of your skincare? Learn their meaning (and the ingredients you should be looking out for!) in our handy guide, written by one of our experienced Imagine Spa spa therapists!

HYALURONIC ACID

If your skin is feeling and looking a little dry, it may well be that you're dehydrated (lacking water), rather than suffering from dry skin (lacking oil). It means, dehydration can affect all skin types even oil skin equally, and with us cranking up the central heating, you may well be starting to feel your skin is rather parched.

Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate molecule and a existing natural component of skin, with a unique capacity to bind and retain water molecules. It has been estimated that hyaluronic acid (HA) can hold up to one thousand times its own weight in water molecules and the complexion champion has an unrivalled ability to hydrate our skin. As we age, our natural hyaluronic acid levels deplete, and that loss of moisture means drier, rougher and prematurely aged skin. When you apply a hyaluronic acid to your skin, it acts like a sponge by attracting moisture to boost hydration on the surface to leave skin plumped and hydrated."

Think of hyaluronic acid as the cement between the bricks on a wall holding the structure together thus preventing fine lines and wrinkles on the skins surface.

NIACINAMIDE
Just as we've all got our heads around hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C another ingredient has landed swiftly onto everyone’s radar. Better known as niacinamide, vitamin B3 is one of the most potent anti-inflammatories in skincare. What's remarkable about it is its ability to multi-task, this single ingredient can gently tackle an impressive stack of skin complaints and breakouts could soon be a thing of the past.

Armed to tackle the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone and combat blemishes which rapidly regulates sebum production and blemish-causing bacteria for a visibly clearer complexion.

It strengthen the skin barrier function, making it especially beneficial for skin prone to dehydration. A strong skin barrier will keep the good stuff (moisture) in and the bad stuff (pollution) out. By increasing cellular energy, improving cell turnover, microcirculation and antioxidant protection it is a great anti-ageing weapon!

SALICYLIC ACID
In the over-the-counter battle against breakouts, there is a key ingredient you should know about, and that is salicylic acid.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and is oil soluble. Generally, oil-soluble ingredients penetrate through the lipid layers between the skin cells more readily, In other words, oil-soluble ingredients can penetrate the skin at a deeper level than their water-soluble counterparts. What all of this means is that salicylic acid can get deep into your skin to do its job. This quality is precisely what makes salicylic acid such a potent ingredient for targeting acne — especially for blackheads and whiteheads.

Once it penetrates the skin, salicylic acid dissolves skin debris that clogs pores, acts as an anti-inflammatory and also helps red inflamed pimples go away faster. This breaking down of skin cells also promotes exfoliation leaving the skin fresh and youthful.

LACTIC ACID
Lactic acid belongs to the family of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).  They work by breaking down the bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface, resulting in gentle and even exfoliation of dull, dry skin. It’s found in common dairy products, and is what gives yogurt and soured milk that distinctive tang!

Typical of an AHA, lactic acid is predominantly an exfoliant that speeds up cell turnover as well stimulating cell renewal to help even out skin texture, fade hyperpigmentation and smooth fine lines. However, lactic acid has an extra benefit you won’t get from its AHA cousins, helping improve the skin’s natural moisture barrier and hydration levels. This makes it ideal for dry or sensitive skin.

It’s found in common dairy products, and is what gives yogurt and soured milk that distinctive tang!

GYLCOLIC ACID
Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that's derived from sugar cane. It joins other acids you might recognize, such as lactic acid (derived from sour milk , tartaric acid (from grapes), and citric acid (from citrus fruit). Of the AHA family, glycolic is the simplest in structure and the smallest which means it's easy for it to penetrate your skin and be effective.

Glycolic acid is an exfoliant. It helps shed dead skin cells and reveal the newer, brighter layers underneath by acting on the very top layer of skin, because glycolic acid is so small, it can get deeper into your skin and get to work. By stimulating fibroblasts in the dermis to produce increased amounts of collagen it helps skin feel firmer and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.

Your skin will feel smoother and look more radiant and even toned.

Interested in adding to your skincare line-up? Try GLOWCOLIC, an exfoliating toner from Temple Spa that contains Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid  and Vitamin C!

RETINOL
Retinol is a type of Vitamin A and it's one of the proven ingredients to visibly reduce the appearance of ageing and it's a skilled multi-tasker.

Among the many benefits of retinol, it can increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen and elastin production. It can significantly increase the appearance of firmness by plumping up fine lines and wrinkles. It can improve uneven skin tone, treat pigmentation and smooth the surface of skin. It can even help with cystic acne and blemishes. So it really is worth getting to grips with.

But before you jump in head first its important to build up the skins tolerance to it gradually  as it can make the skin more sensitive initially so extra UV protection is essential. Always use a SPF daily This should be everyone’s first anti-ageing step as at least 80% of why we age is due to environmental aggressors and is preventable.  And remember to use at night as UV exposure deactivates most retinoids, rendering them useless.

Retinol is a type of Vitamin A and it's one of the proven ingredients to visibly reduce the appearance of ageing and it's a skilled multi-tasker.

Among the many benefits of retinol, it can increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen and elastin production. It can significantly increase the appearance of firmness by plumping up fine lines and wrinkles. It can improve uneven skin tone, treat pigmentation and smooth the surface of skin. It can even help with cystic acne and blemishes. So it really is worth getting to grips with.

But before you jump in head first its important to build up the skins tolerance to it gradually  as it can make the skin more sensitive initially so extra UV protection is essential. Always use a SPF daily This should be everyone’s first anti-ageing step as at least 80% of why we age is due to environmental aggressors and is preventable.  And remember to use at night as UV exposure deactivates most retinoids, rendering them useless.

Interested in adding to your skincare line-up? Try TRUFFLELIXIR, an Anti-Ageing Retinol Serum by Temple Spa.

 

Published: 01 February 2021