Difference and description of popular ingredients, spring 2014 newsletter
Lighteners vs. Brighteners A skin lightener is an ingredient that will decrease the amount of melanin in your skin. Melanin is responsible for the color of your skin and is produced from melanocytes. Hydroquinone slows the production of melanin therefore, reducing brown spots. A skin brightener is a type of ingredient that will bring out your skins natural glow. There is no lightening in terms of a direct effect on melanocytes so the results are less dramatic, but nevertheless effective. A popular ingredient for skin brightening is Vitamin C. In a stable form, Vitamin C reduces inflammation, reverses environmental damage; i.e. brown spots, and stimulates collagen. Chemical Sunscreen vs. Physical Sunscreen What are chemical sunscreens and what are physical sunscreens? These ingredients can be found on the back of your sunscreen listed under active ingredients. Chemicals sunscreens are a variety of up to a dozen ingredients that are absorbed by your skin cells which then, in turn, absorb. This allows your skin to absorb UVA/UVB rays before they can become harmful. Any chemical sunscreens must be applied 20-30 minutes prior to sun exposure for effectiveness. Physical sunscreens are made up of 2 ingredients, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide. By sitting on top of your skin, these ingredients act like a shield to deflect harmful rays away from your skin. Physical sunscreens tend to be better for those with sensitive skin and also are not absorbed into the skin. Chemical Exfoliants vs Mechanical Exfoliants A chemical exfoliant is classified as ingredients that work to dissolve dead skin, either on the surface or inside the pore. For example, Glycolic Acid, a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) exfoliates the surface of your skin by loosening the bonds of dead skin cells. AHA also promotes skin firmness moisturizing by increasing the thicker layer of skin that retains water. Retinols or Retinoids can reduce oil secretion from glands, reduces pore size and blackheads and promotes collagen formation. Salicylic acid gets inside the pore to unplug it, leading to reduced acne, blackheads and whiteheads. Mechanical exfoliants are more superficial; they only “scrub-off” what is on the surface and can’t work at a deeper level. Generally, they are made up of tiny beads, micro-sponges, etc. These can sometimes be more irritating because people can get aggressive when using these products trying to “clean out their pores”, something that cannot be accomplished this way. The gentle brushes of the Clarisonic® are an excellent way to get mechanical exfoliation that is both safe and effective. Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid Benzoyl Peroxide uses oxygen to kill Proprionibacterium Acnes (the acne-causing bacteria). These bacteria cannot live in an environment with an abundance of oxygen. When Benzoyl Peroxide comes in contact with the skin, oxygen is produced to kill the bacteria. Salicylic Acid penetrates into the pore to dissolve dead skin, dirt and oil. Salicylic Acid, also known as Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA, promotes exfoliation to prevent pore clogging. Salicylic treats acne by both reducing inflammation and unplugging blocked pores to allow the blemish to shrink. Green Tea vs Vitamin C Both are wonderful antioxidants with amazing benefits. Green tea is great for those who have sensitive skin because of the calming benefits. Green tea is an anti-inflammatory, meaning it soothes redness from rosacea, blemishes or skin that has general redness. If you are somebody that has a bigger concern with pigmentation, or more oily skin, Vitamin C is for you. High concentrations of Vitamin C act as an exfoliant to improve texture. It also helps and increase overall brightness. Growth Factors vs Peptides There is a variety of peptides and growth factors in skincare, they all have the same common goal, to make your skin look and feel younger. There are 3 categories that peptides fall into. Some stimulate new collagen, others support existing collagen, and the rest inhibit movement of your skin to prevent lines from forming. It is also possible for peptides to increase lymphatic drainage which can minimize puffiness and dark circles under the eyes or reduce bruising after an injectable treatment. We all have growth factors naturally occurring in our skin, as we age, the amount produced slows which causes fine lines. By using a topical treatment containing growth a factor, cell turnover is increased, which in turn softens lines and reduces scarring and pigmentation.