Do you know what’s in your favorite, “can’t live without” skincare and beauty products? Don’t be seduced by pretty packaging and savvy celeb marketing ploys when it comes to your biggest beauty asset – your skin! Let’s take a look beyond the bottle and get down to some beauty basics. Learn to be a skincare sleuth and take your beauty habits undercover. Here are the hero highlights of some of today’s most innovative, game-changing ingredients to get you gorgeous and glowing, while enhancing your skincare and beauty regimens. Sometimes, labels really ARE everything!
Unfortunately, some of the most popular, trendsetting, Insta-promoting products are comprised of nothing more than a few active ingredients, leaving the rest of the jar, tube, or bottle brimming with chemical-laden fillers that are out to do more harm than good to your beloved visage. And, we’re not just referring to the often “guilty-as-charged” drugstore gems. Some of the biggest names in the beauty biz are just as blameworthy for producing less-than-stellar skincare wares. Not to mention, the combination of certain active ingredients also plays a pivotal role in product efficacy and skin safety, as some ingredients “play well with others” (such as vitamin C and retinol) and actually boost the efficacy of one another, while some ingredients “cancel each other out” when formulated cohesively. Furthermore, other active ingredient combos can cause detrimental harm and irritation to the skin, both with long and short -term effects (such as glycolic and retinol), but work amazingly well on their own. While the most popular, clinically-proven hero ingredients that have quickly become the holy grail go-to’s in the business of beauty, both their formulation and pairing-up partners can be slippery slopes when it comes to the health and beauty of your skin. Check out this cheat sheet highlighting the most revolutionary ingredients this side of the beauty counter.
Hyaluronic Acid and Sodium Hyaluronate
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly heard and seen these two ingredients on the backs of bottles, fronts of face creams, and sides of supercharged skincare serums. And, for excellent reason. So, what exactly are these two hydrating heroes and what’s all the hype? Here’s a little breakdown of these two hardworking skincare ingredients that are taking the industry by storm, and why you need to get pumped about them. Hyaluronic acid (commonly referred to as “h.a.” by the most studious of skincare savants) is a molecule naturally found in human skin, including connective tissue and joints throughout the entire body. Interestingly, the average adult human has approximately 15 grams of h. a. buzzing about, but the production of this heavenly humectant begins to decline by the ripe old age of 27! Scientifically classified as a polysaccharide, h.a. inherently provides cushioning, long-lasting moisture, and lubrication for joints, nerves, hair, skin, and even eyes. But, its recent claim to fame is due to its indomitable power to “plump,” preserve, and perfect the skin, hence giving the complexion an ethereal-like, youthful, dewy-delicious glow! Its impressive capacity to attract and retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water makes h.a. an attractive aging antidote and an integral component of the skin’s susceptible lipid layer. Just a single gram of the moisture-binding h.a. can hold up to 6 liters of water, preventing trans-epidermal water loss, leading to dry, flaky patches and sagging skin. What does that mean for one’s skin health and appearance? A daily slathering of a hyaluronic acid-infused serum, lotion, or cream will exponentially help maximize collagen production and retain more of those skin-smoothing stores, leaving one with succulent, supple, baby-soft skin! Sodium hyaluronate, on the other hand, is the generic, salt-derived form of its prized predecessor that has been bio-engineered to a lower molecular weight for virtually effortless penetration of the epidermal layers for quick, deep-down delivery and superior efficacy. The results are both visibly instantaneous and long-term. You’ll find most legendary, department store-worthy potions have a proprietary, beautifying blend of both h.a and sodium hyaluronate for the most powerful “instant plump-ification.”
Another mega multi-tasking, hardworking hero ingredient on the “It” list is the virtuous vitamin C. A true power player and headlining all-star, this skin-saving staple really does DO IT ALL – brightens, lightens, tones, and tightens! With continued use, L-ascorbic acid, the scientific name for the most potent form of vitamin C, reduces hyperpigmentation, unsightly scarring, and mottled sun spots due to UV overexposure, thus, evening skin tone, while promoting skin-supporting collagen synthesis for a more lifted look and contoured complexion. Plus, this versatile vitamin boosts hydration levels for long-lasting, luscious moisture to the skin. Aside from its bevy of brightening and beautifying benefits, vitamin C is also a natural, anti-aging antioxidant, meaning it neutralizes free radical damage from environmental aggressors, such as smog, pollution, smoke, and the sun. So, be sure to lock in all the get-gorgeous goodies with your daily dose of this skincare superstar. See. Spot. Run.
The BFF to vitamin C, retinol is the natural derivative of vitamin A. Also listed on many labels as retinyl palmitate, retinol is probably the most singlehandedly and remarkably effective anti-ager on the market. Due to its tiny molecular structure, this revolutionary ingredient has been clinically-proven to regenerate skin cells on a cellular level, enhance complexion-perfecting collagen production, and increase firmness, while reducing hyperpigmentation and decreasing wrinkle depth and appearance. In a nutshell, retinol is your fairy godmother to the ever-elusive Fountain of Youth, as its signature “one-stop-shopping” –esque status leaves no skin stone unturned. Though some may be reactive to the vitamin A by-product, most skin types can handle retinol in small, incremental amounts and still reap all the anti-aging and beauty benefits. When used in conjunction with vitamin C, you’re sure to be getting more bang for your beauty buck with this sexy skin sister act.
Make it a threesome with celeb-status Cirem Cosmetics® HCR 3-IN-1 Serum that features the trifecta of ageless, A-lister skin – the iconic feature of hyaluronic acid, retinol, and vitamin C all in a single step, skin-saving step. Save time and face, while scoring the skin of the sexiest, attention-grabbing stars.
AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)
The almighty, anti-aging army of AHA’s is comprised of glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids, respectively. And, depending on your skin type and what issues you’re seeking to target, AHA’s can prove to be an effective part of your skincare routine. The two most popular being glycolic (derived from sugarcane) and lactic (deriving from milk substances), these anti-aging acids target hyperpigmentation by loosening dead skin cells that dull and dehydrate the complexion, while refining skin’s texture and helping to reduce the appearance of skin’s pores and fine lines. Basically, AHA’s provide a chemical peel-like exfoliation in the comfort of your own bathroom with brightening effects to boot. But, due to the initial stinging of the solution, it is imperative to start with a product which touts a solution of 10-15%, as to avoid unwanted redness and irritation. And, any cream, lotion, cleanser, or serum containing AHA’s should be applied before bed just a few nights a week, then working up to a nightly, regimented application for optimal results. As with any active skincare ingredient, be sure to always slather on sunscreen during the day to avoid potential burning of the skin.
Known as the all-star ingredient of yogurt, miso, kimchi, and other fermented foods, these gut-fighting microbial communities can make you glowing and gorgeous on the outside, too! This burgeoning beauty trend relies on the topical application of strain-infused skincare to help keep skin luminous, healthy, and youthful by acting as a physical barrier on the skin. These natural bacteria of probiotic technology help facilitate healthy skin function, while keeping complexion clean, clear, and beautifully balanced. Ban the blemish – and bad bacteria – with probiotic-imbued skincare essentials. Probiotic skincare is primarily targeted for those who suffer from excessive inflammation, including battling breakouts.
An illustrious antioxidant shown to help reverse and repair the signs of aging, this potent and powerful ingredient is extracted directly from ripe green tea leaves and is commonly found in the most high-performing creams, serums, cleansers, and sunscreens. Green tea extract also boasts brag-worthy boosting powers when worn with an SPF-infused product. The antioxidant-packed ingredient has also been clinically shown to improve the appearance of UV overexposure.
These beauty babies are categorized as any group of natural or synthetic ingredients that help protect and preserve the skin from environmental stressors, including free radicals, which contribute to oxidation and premature aging of the skin. The most potent and popular amongst the antioxidant elite are green tea, vitamins E, C, and K, lycopene, niacinamide, caffeine, caviar extract, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Skincare imbued with any of the aforementioned daily defenders are sure to wage a war on wrinkles and reverse the ravages of time.
Botanicals are any organic, plant-based ingredient shown to have beneficial beauty benefits to the skin and/or overall health. The most commonly used beautifying botanicals in today’s top tier skincare include: ginkgo biloba leaf extract, olive leaf extract, rooibos leaf extract, white tea leaf, nettle leaf extract, elder leaf flower extract, just to name a few. Botanical oils, such as sweet almond, jojoba, macadamia, grapeseed, coconut, argan, evening primrose oil, and others are also plant-based and cold-pressed upon extraction and are treasured for naturally mimicking the skin’s natural lipid layer and inherent moisture composition. Botanical oils instantly melt into skin, leaving both body and complexion comfortably balanced and lusciously luminous.
Also known as vitamin B5, panthenol helps to increase the skin’s resiliency to irritation and inflammation, while acting as a barrier from environmental stressors. This vitamin’s versatility also helps soothe and smooth skin from frequent flaking and dehydration, providing long-lasting, much-needed moisture.
Brimming with skin-saving vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, fatty acid -enriched caviar extract feeds skin with a luxurious, dewy-fying dose of omega’s for a plump, youthful, gorgeous glow. Antioxidant-rich properties help protect skin against UVA/UVB damage, preventing collagen and elastin breakdown that leads to the appearance of lax skin and wrinkles. The regenerative and restorative powers of caviar extract stimulate cell turnover for the ultimate skin renewal and rejuvenation.
Used gratuitously for aesthetically-appealing purposes, diamond dust casts a light-reflecting luminescent quality to the skin. The diamond dust used in Cirem Cosmetics® YouthBoost Diamond Moisturizing Cream optically blurs, brightens, and beautifies the complexion for fabulously flawless skin. #Nofiltersnecessary