I don’t have to be the first to tell you that finding the right, most effective skincare brand for your skin can be like finding a needle in a haystack! There are so many options out there, with new products coming out each day – making it virtually impossible to find the best one! In fact, you could try a new skincare product every single day for the rest of your life, and there is a good chance you still won’t find it! I’m assuming if you’re following my blog, (or reading any other beauty blogs out there!) you are probably on the quest to do just that and hoping to find the answers from someone who has found that magical skin cream (if there even is one!)
The truth it, few of us realize that the ingredients in most skin creams are basically the same (especially if they not natural skincare brands) – which is exactly why this magical skin cream probably hasn’t shown up in your life yet! Paying a lot for a cream with an exotic ingredient isn’t always the answer either! Most of these “exotic” ingredients have never actually been shown to actually benefit your skin! Yep, as it turns out the FDA is actually pretty liberal when it comes to skincare and only has a list of about 10 ingredients skincare brands can’t use (compared to a list of over 100 in Europe!) and another small list of ingredients that can be used in only small concentrations. The FDA will usually only step in if there is a complaint about a product’s ingredient. Most skincare brands know this, so they take a chance by adding some exotic ingredients they think will be effective and charging a fortune for it, without it being proven to be safe or effective! Scary huh?!
When buying skin care, the best step you can take is paying attention not only to the ingredients used in the product but whether or not these ingredients even do anything for your skin! Not only that, but you also need to take into account your skincare routine and what issues you are trying to overcome (whether it’s getting rid of the acne, fading sun spots, reducing redness, or minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles). That last part is pretty obvious and I’m sure if you’ve been dealing with zits on the regular, you’ve already been searching high and low to find the best acne product out there, but what you may not have realized, is that how you prepare your skin prior to applying any product can totally make or break that skincare product working at all for you! This last statement is absolutely detrimental in whether your skincare products will work or not, so I’ll repeat it again for you:
How you prepare your skin prior to applying any product can single handily be what determines whether that product will work at all for you!
The skin is the largest organ of the body, which acts as a barrier for protecting the body from environmental toxins, pollutants, bacteria, and damage caused from repeated exposure to the sun. It’s no secret that the sun’s rays are responsible for premature aging, but there are some very important steps you can take to “break” the skin barrier, in order to make your skincare products more effective.
1. In order to maintain the integrity of the skin, it is absolutely vital to keep skin healthy and hydrated. All you have to do is turn on your computer or TV to see that skincare companies maintain focus on antiaging benefits. This is great, but like I said above, if you’re not prepping your skin correctly prior to using these antiaging products, you’re not going to see the results you want (keep reading for tips on how to do that).
There are also some important questions you can ask yourself before choosing the best skincare product for you.
- Does the product contain clinically proven ingredients that have been shown to improve the health of your skin?
- Is the product safe and effective for ALL skin types (not just your own)?
- Has the product been shown to clog pores?
2. Once you’ve chosen your moisturizer, make sure you’re using it in the proper way! Read the instructions and follow them! There is a reason the company has listed it! Not all skin creams are created the same and some have different directions to help you get the most benefit. These products have been tested thoroughly in order to give you the best advice for how to use it to see the best results!
3. The single most important step to make sure your skincare will work properly is to first remove the layer of dead skin cells. Skin is constantly repairing itself by regenerating new skin cells to replace old and damaged ones. This process of cellular regeneration takes place every 27 days and as skin cells age and die, they are pushed to the skin’s surface where they accumulate, eventually shedding away as dry, flaky skin.
If dead skin cells are not removed your anti-aging moisturizing cream just sits on your skin’s surface and cannot penetrate deep into the skin layers where they can benefit your skin in the most effective way.
The best way to get rid of dead skin cells is to use a gentle and effective exfoliator to remove the dead skin cells prior to applying your night cream or lotion. A good exfoliating agent only needs to be used two or three times a week and should contain gentle fruit acids to exfoliate. *Most Dermatologists recommend natural fruit acid exfoliators rather than the many abrasive scrubs that are on the market today.
Products that use chemicals or harsh granules can scratch and disrupt the integrity of the skin, allowing bacteria to enter – in turn- giving you zits!
4. You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole. This explains why many skin creams are not even given the opportunity to do their job. One of the ways natural botanical ingredients get into the lower layers of skin is through our pores. Human pore sizes range from 10 μm to 85 μm (microns) – which is one-millionth of a meter (39 inches), & therefore very small. Cosmetic formulators use ingredients that are milled to around 150 μm. This means they are attempting to fit a 150 μm “peg” into a relatively round 10 μm to 85 μm “hole.” As you can guess – it simply doesn’t work!
While pores are not exactly round, the botanical ingredients, which are usually powders, come in all shapes and sizes. A particle of 90μm has nine times the volume of one of 30 μm and therefore a smaller number of particles are exposed to the same surface area of the skin. This greatly reduces the possibility of the larger particle sized ingredient from being absorbed into the skin. Known as “Fricks Law,”this basically says the more of an ingredient that is exposed to a particular surface area of the skin, the better the chance it will be absorbed. This along with the fact the 90 μm particle is too large to even enter the pores of our skin, even further demonstrates that the smaller the particle size the better it will be absorbed into the skin and the better it will work. These figures become even more crazy when you consider the “normal” standard particle sized used by most formulators is 150 μm.
Cosmetics with normal botanical ingredient particle sizes over 85 μm don’t stand a chance of being absorbed into the lower layers of skin. Therefore, if a cream or serum is designed to combat hyperpigmentation, fight wrinkles, reduce redness, or hydrate the skin, they simply won’t work because the active botanicals are not being properly absorbed.
Skincare formulated with ingredients with particle sizes under 85 μm will get absorbed into the lower layers of skin, and therefore, those botanical ingredients, if correctly formulated to the desired outcome, will have the best chance of doing what they were promised to do.
*The smaller the particle size of an ingredient, the more of it is absorbed. And since more of it is absorbed, it can be used in lower concentrations, in turn, reducing the risk of side effects.
The Benefits of using Lycopene in Skincare:
I know many of you have heard of lycopene in tomatoes and it’s health benefits, but did you know that it’s actually amazing for the skin too? Lycopene was recently recognized as the leading antioxidant by the Mt Sinai School of Medicine. In addition to its antioxidant activity, when it is applied topically to the skin’s surface, it is proven to protect the skin by reversing the cell damage caused by the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB radiation. Most lycopene ingredient suppliers offer the ingredient in powdered tomato form which has not been purified. It contains some lycopene but also has a significant amount of tomato by-products which provides no benefit to the skin.
Lycopene Skincare figured this out and working together with a leading Medical School in Italy, they were able to extract pure lycopene from Italian organic tomatoes, in order to enhance its botanical benefits by increasing its absorbability into the skin. As a result of this research, Aquose Micro-Dispersed Lycopene was born.