Anyone else feel completely confused about what skin care to buy these days? Especially when it comes to products specifically designed for anti aging.
Most advertisements for skincare products don’t tend to include a lot of detail. They’re often focused on the tactile benefits: how soft your skin will feel, how fine lines and wrinkles will be diminished. They rarely go into much detail about why these things are going to occur. On the rare occasion it does happen, the ad will tend to fling out the name of a chemical as if any potential consumers will have advanced degrees and know exactly how it’s going to make a difference to them.
Some of the chemical compounds you hear mentioned, flashing across the screen without any attribution as to why they are successful, are created solely by the manufacturers. It’s like you choosing two random ingredients from your kitchen, mixing them, then dubbing it “Ageicine” and claiming it can reduce the signs of aging.
Nevertheless, we buy the products because of the promises they make. Who doesn’t want smoother skin? To hold back the aging process for as long as possible? Improved skin texture glowing with good health on the back of these products? So we throw our money at them, not truly understanding what’s at the heart of their claims and - if we’re lucky - the success we achieve with them.
It’s not something we do often with other things. Most of the time, we’re discerning. We want to know what goes into our food, the calorific value, the number of fats, protein and carbohydrates that it contains. We’re careful to check the labels of the clothes we buy for washing instructions, too. We don’t just assume something, throw money at it, and hope for the best.
It’s natural to want to trust in the claims of the ad, the beaming face of the celebrity (who may or may not have achieved their look not through the blessings of the product, but kind lighting, the help of those such as Dr Jordan Rihani, and flattering makeup!). So we let ourselves believe based on literal but the claims themselves - and really, we shouldn’t.
What you actually need are recognized solutions and chemicals that have years of research behind them. So the next time you fancy splurging on a skincare purchase, go by your needs from the product and the subsequent compound you’re going to want to see is included.
I have been given some research with regard to what to specifically look for in a product dependent on what you are looking for and I have shared this below.
For Skin Brightening: Alpha Arbutin
If you have dark spots, acne scars, or just an uneven color across your skin, then look for products containing the synthetic bleaching agent Alpha Arbutin.
The term “skin bleaching” might sound problematic and worrying, so let’s allay some of those fears. Alpha Arbutin is not a skin bleach in the forms found in cosmetics. It’s not going to alter the pigment of your skin itself, but it will help to lighten any areas that are darker or more uneven than you would like.
I have a small patch of skin on my neck which is uneven in colour so I may try this out.
Look for it in concentrations of around 2% of the total product and use sparingly, only targeting the dark spots you want to lighten. It’s generally well-accepted and shouldn’t pose an issue to sensitive skin, but do a patch test first just in case.
For Skin Hydration: Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid acts as both a lubricant and a humectant, meaning it helps the skin to retain moisture. It’s present in many products from the budget to the luxury end of the scale, at strengths of up to 10% of the mix.
If you’re looking for a deep moisturizing boost, then there’s little better than this clever little acid. For the best results, use at night applied to a clean face. It will feel slightly sticky on the surface, so be prepared for that - and make sure you wash your pillowcase frequently! However, the next morning you should wake up looking plumped and suitably refreshed
For Fine Lines/Wrinkles: Retinol A
Finally one I have heard of! There is no doubt that anti-aging is at the top of the tree when it comes to claims about the efficacy of a skin product. We all know that prevention is better than cure, so it’s no surprise most of us are willing to throw money at the problem to stave off the lines a little bit longer.
Retinol A is the product to look out for above all others. It tends to be more expensive than the standard drug store choices, but then again, isn’t it better to spend on items that are actually going to work?
One word of caution: if you are using retinols, then it is imperative that you use SPF protection during the day (even if it’s cloudy out) and wear a hat too if possible. Without that, your skin could be more susceptible to burning, so look for makeup or day cream that can get you covered.