Our skincare choices are often based on a clever marketing line which promises to erase the signs of ageing and restore youthful skin. We often hear of the next best thing in treating hyperpigmentation and the ultimate cure for acne. How do we differentiate between a product that has the evidence to back up it’s claims and a product that simply makes empty promises?
It all starts with what’s inside… the product that is. A professional in the skincare industry might understand that certain groups of ingredients are great for certain skin conditions. But, as a consumer, it can be tricky to understand the benefits of certain ingredients, and when to choose which?
Begin with your skin condition, age, level of damage and what kind of results you would like to achieve. Regardless of age or skin concern, getting the skin healthy should always be your priority. It’s difficult to treat any skin condition successfully without addressing the skin’s barrier function first. A poor barrier function makes the skin dry, sensitive and irritable. It would be difficult to focus on treating ageing with a vitamin A based product for instance, when the skin reacts to everything you apply to it. Allow for 6 to 12 weeks of treatment with ingredients that reduce sensitivity and redness, hydrates the skin and restores healthy barrier function.
Niacinimide is a hero ingredient when it comes to restoring skin barrier function. It’s famous for it’s anti-inflammatory benefits, its ability to soothe and restore hydration to the skin and will even have beneficial effects on collagen induction. Niacinimide is also an excellent ingredient for oilier skins and skins prone to hyperpigmentation as according to studies it has beneficial effects on regulating sebum production and reducing the signs of melasma. We use Niacinimide in various products of which our Micellar cleanser for sensitive skin is one and our Balance day/night cream is another. These two products are ideal to start with if you have any of the above-mentioned skin conditions.
We have just introduced CBD Cream. CBD (cannabidiol) is the legal, “medical” active in cannabis. Most cells in the body have receptors that CBD can interact with. The keratinocytes in the epidermis are particularly influenced by CBD, increasing cellular turnover and the production of both enzymes and filaggrin – two essential elements of a healthy, hydrated skin barrier. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory and regulator of sebum in acne prone skin.
Once skin barrier function has been repaired, you can start by addressing skin concerns such as ageing and hyperpigmentation. Vitamin A derivatives and Hyaluronic acid are still the two gold standard ingredients when it comes to treating ageing, and they should form part of most anti-ageing skincare routines. Our Collastin serum contains a sophisticated and unique combination of anti-ageing ingredients that work on every aspect of ageing and its most obvious signs and symptoms. Two of these ingredients are Copper peptides and vectorised hydroxyproline.
Copper peptides are famous for their ability to heal wounds and is often combined with collagen induction therapies such as microneedling for their wound healing abilities. They are also regarded by researchers as one of the most important collagen stimulating peptide sequences. We use our own proprietary form of copper peptide. Vectorised hydroxyproline, is the most important amino acid for collagen synthesis. It is therefore very important to use when treating existing ageing concerns or if you are younger and want to prevent the loss of smoothness and firmness from the skin.
Hyperpigmentation will forever be a tricky skin condition to treat and requires a multi modal approach. It usually also requires a few active ingredients used together to successfully treat hyperpigmentation. As most forms of pigmentation disorders are exacerbated by inflammation, we should always aim to limit inflammation in the skin as much as possible. Niacinimide as mentioned before is great, as is green tea catechins which are about 100 times more powerful than ascorbic acid according to studies. Reducing the amount of pigment that is made by the skin requires an ingredient which has the ability to limit the enzymatic activity in the skin that stimulates the melanocyte, the cell responsible for making pigment. There are some gold standard ingredients that do this, but some of them have harmful side effects and no proven efficacy in the long run. We need to treat hyperpigmentation gently and slowly to see long term results. A brilliant ingredient to try is Oligopeptide-68. This peptide works by inhibiting the MITF Gene that plays an important role in controlling melanin producing skin cells, melanocytes. Our Fade cream contains this active ingredient and Octadecenedioic acid (OA) which reduces pigmentation in all skin types due to its effect in inhibiting melanogenesis. The added benefit to OA is that it has a beneficial effect on acne prone skin.
When it comes to treating skin conditions effectively, it’s important to consider the ingredients present in the product, their percentages and their mechanism of penetration to know whether they will be effective. Talk to your medical aesthetic practitioner or somatologist to find out what the best combinations of ingredients are needed to treat your unique skin condition. Ask questions about the ingredients and do your own research to make sure that you get the best possible formulations!