Speaking of skin care, it is always important to remember that every person’s skin is unique. Therefore, when we cover specific ingredients and remedies that can help with various skin care issues, you should also consult with your dermatologist or skin esthetician to make sure you are using products with the right percentage of ingredients to suit your skin.
While some ingredients with a high percentage (of potency) might work fine for one person, they might be too strong for another (someone with sensitive skin). If you run into some skin problems and are totally confused, don’t ever hesitate to ask an expert to help you design a personalized regimen for your specific challenge.
Holistic Approach to Skin
Rule #1: To maximize results, when you use an ingredient in a topical skin care product, we suggest you consume (eat or drink) foods with the same ingredients in them. This internal and external synergistic approach will help you optimize the benefits to your skin. For instance, if you eat foods containing Omega-3, 6 and 9, like avocados, fish and wheat germ oil and use products infused with the same Omegas (including homemade recipes, like an avocado mask) - the combination of both will be very powerful and two-fold: a) reducing inflammation in your body and b) nourishing your skin by making it more vibrant and younger looking.
Rule #2: If you want to see quick results, keep in mind, it’s not only finding and using quality products… it’s also discovering ingredients that work well with your skin and using the right amounts!
Rule #3: Remember - your diet plays a big role in your skin. We’ll expand on this topic in the future.
Watch this short video (below) to learn how to integrate all of the rules above.
In this post, we’ll focus more on Rule #2, because, at the end of the day, it is ingredients that make an effective product. And discovering even a handful ingredients that work best with your skin will help you stay ahead of all challenges.
Natural Skin Care Products and Ingredients Fundamentals
When it comes to skin ingredient basics, the top nutritional ingredients in beauty supplements usually consist of common vitamins that your body needs, such as A, B, C and E. There are some fantastic ingredients that you might not be aware of… like some natural botanical extracts with antioxidants that fight free-radical attacks and/or amino acids that can assist in boosting your skin’s collagen levels, as well as proteins that in many cases will replace those that break down in your skin.
Also, keep in mind that a lot of products have many ingredients that will work for several skin types at the same time. If you look closer, you’ll find that a large group of different skin care products have alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA), such as glycol acid, retinol and salicylic acid. Many well-known A-Type-Hydroxy acids are beneficial building blocks in organic synthesis, which have been proven to reduce wrinkles and the overall look and feel of the skin.
Most off-the-shelf beauty products will contain a lower concentration of AHAs, usually under 4%, which can still be too potent for some skin types. Therefore, the key in selecting products is to find one with the right percentage of concentration for your skin type. The ingredients with higher percentages are usually listed on the top of the ingredient list on every label. So, glance at the label first to make sure it has a correct amount of the element your skin can handle.
Now, here is an example of how two skin types can share or use the same product. We’ll use a mother and daughter in both of our case scenarios. Let’s say a 15 year old daughter is using an off-the-shelf acne cleanser containing 2.5 percent salicylic acid to control her breakouts. The mom, on the other hand, can use that same cleanser by mixing it with some of her ant-aging cream to improve the effectiveness of her anti-aging product. It also works in reverse. The daughter can use a light anti-aging lotion to help with her acne. The amount of retinol mixed in the anti-aging formula is going to be more gentle and effective on the daughter’s acne than some basic anti-acne products.
Here is a second case scenario: Let’s say a 15-year-old daughter has dry skin in her T-zone area and would like to treat the spot, while her mother is looking for a moisturizer to rejuvenate her aging skin. Both of them can share a vitamin E or C-based lotion that is formulated for the face and for both skin types.
Also, more information on natural skin remedies can be found on our blog.
Select Ingredients That Fit Your Holistic Skincare Approach
Since our skin tends to be unpredictable and to change with our present surroundings (like weather, hormones or stress that can cause the skin to become oilier), having different products on hand for different conditions can be super helpful. Different skin challenges require different ingredients that will assist you with solving them. Each skin type and challenge has its own list of preferred key ingredients, for instance:
If you have sensitive skin, you should limit the amount of chemical ingredients in any lotions, creams, gels or liquid type of skin care products you use. Instead, look for naturally derived ingredients that help coat your skin and protect it against harsh elements in your environment. The more natural a product you can get, the less potential irritation you’ll experience. Products with added fragrances should be avoided, as well.
However, if a fragrance is derived from natural sources, like actual plants and oils, it should be fine. Just note that some people with super sensitive skin can’t tolerate many of the natural ingredients, either. If you think your skin is extra sensitive, it is best for you to consult with your dermatologist or primary care physician on what is safe to use on your skin.
Otherwise, search for natural elements that will soothe your skin with anti-inflammatory agents, such as chamomile, papaya, olive oil, oat kernel extract or oil, and grape seed oil. Also, another two ingredients that will even out the skin tone and comfort itchy, dry skin are refined colloidal oatmeal and glycerin, which is a great hydrator and is present in all natural (animal and vegetable) fats. Glycerin has the ability to attract water from the environment, as well as the lower layers of skin, while increasing the amount of water in the surface layers of skin. It also allows the skin to breathe.
In addition, I would like to mention a few obvious and non-obvious ingredients. Two of the obvious ingredients that you might be aware of are aloe vera and sulfur; both are known for their healing powers in chronic redness and inflammation. One of the non-obvious ingredient (because it is not used in products much) is the spice turmeric, which is fantastic for sensitive skin. My friend’s daughter has eczema, and this spice does miracles for her because it has very potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
If you are going holistic, ingredients such as comfrey root and oatmeal have great soothing effects. Also, look for products that contain polyphenols, such as pomegranate, which is a good anti-inflammatory agent.
Also, search for products containing natural exfoliants, such as olive seeds, apricot seeds or any type jojoba beads, which will help to loosen up and remove dead skin cells, leaving a smoother and more radiant skin surface.
Combination skin will most likely be divided into specific areas and will need to be treated individually. If you find yourself with a couple of challenges all at the same time, you will have to look at each problem independently and pick products / ingredients for each by mixing and matching them. You may need one product for the breakouts on your forehead and another to treat your dry cheeks.
ANTI AGING SKIN
The number one ingredient to look for in an anti-aging product is hyaluronic acid. It is a substance that is naturally present in the human body and found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints. When it comes to hyaluronic acid application, the best practice would be to start with a very low percentage, see how your skin reacts and then slowly increase the percentage from there.
The second ingredient that you should look for is retinol, which is a pure form of vitamin A. It accelerates cell turnover, so healthier cells rejuvenate faster, making your skin look smoother and younger. Another great set of ingredients to look for are the ones that will help in the regeneration of the skin’s collagen levels and they are hexapeptides, tripeptides and palmitates.
Besides other common ingredients like vitamins A, C and E (which is a great for moisture retention and helping the skin breathe), you also want to look for quality oils that fight wrinkles, like aloe, avocado oil, safflower seed oil, argan oil, cocoa butter and sunflower seed oil, that is all natural and lightweight oil that helps to moisturize, calm and heal your skin. Sunflower seed oil is also helpful if you are suffering from eczema, acne, inflammation or any irritation of the skin.
In addition, green tea extract is an excellent ingredient with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It assists in reducing wrinkles, fine lines, large pores and the appearance of puffiness. For more info, visit our anti aging skin care remedies page.
This should give you a solid understanding of some powerful ingredients and a good start to begin your mix and match process.
Test things out and share with us your experience or unique discoveries.