Skin Care Chemicals
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This AHA helps exfoliate your skin and boost collagen production (the protein that strengthens connective tissue). It not only helps clear your pores and smooth fine wrinkles, but it can also help hydrate your skin. Creams and lotions with this ingredient often help with improving eczema, while cleansers that use this ingredient can assist with blackheads.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA)
Over-the-counter skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHA, (glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids) have become increasingly popular in recent years. Creams and lotions with alpha-hydroxy acids may help with fine lines and wrinkles, irregular pigmentation and age spots. It may also help shrink enlarged pores. Side effects of alpha-hydroxy acids include mild irritation and sun sensitivity. To help avoid skin irritation, start with a product with a maximum concentration of 10% to 15% AHA. To allow your skin to get used to it, you should only initially apply the skin care product every other day, gradually working up to daily application.
This AHA is produced in muscle cells and red blood cells. Like glycolic acid, products with this ingredient such as foot peels can help with exfoliation while others can help with moisturizing your skin.
Look to retinol to improve acne and acne scarring, mottled pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, skin tone and color, and your skin’s hydration levels. Retinol is derived from vitamin A and is found in many over-the-counter “anti-aging” skin care products.
Beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid)
Salicylic acid removes dead skin and can improve the texture and color of sun-damaged skin. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicle openings and, as a result, also helps with acne. There are many skin care products available that contain salicylic acid. Some are available over-the-counter and others need a doctor’s prescription.
L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
This is the only form of vitamin C that you should look for in your skin care products. With age and sun exposure, collagen synthesis in your skin decreases, leading to wrinkles. Vitamin C is the only antioxidant proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, minimizing fine lines, scars and wrinkles. It may also improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin. Initial use of vitamin C-containing creams can cause stinging or redness, but these side effects generally go away with continued use.
Skin care products containing this substance are often used with vitamin C products to assist in effective penetration. Hyaluronic acid (also known as a glycosaminoglycan) is touted for its ability to “reverse” or stop aging. In news reports, you might have heard of hyaluronic acid as the “key to the fountain of youth.” This is because the substance occurs naturally (and quite abundantly) in humans and animals, and is found in young skin, other tissues and joint fluid.
Niacinamide (vitamin B3)
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that helps build keratin and keep your skin firm and healthy. It can help retain moisture and stop skin flushing. If you have rosacea, face masks with this ingredient can help reduce redness and swelling.
Glycerin USP Kosher
This natural moisturizing ingredient helps repair dry or cracked skin. You’ll find this in a number of lip balms or face creams. This is a great ingredient for oily skin that can help reduce blackheads, pimples and acne. Because of its ability to lock in moisture, you can benefit from using products with glycerin at the end of the day to keep your skin moisturized overnight.