When you think of high-end skin care ingredients, most people don’t go immediately to green tea or vitamin C. Yet nature provides the most fantastic ingredients to give you healthy, beautiful skin. Here are 4 nature-inspired skin care ingredients that help keep your skin looking its best.
1. Green Tea
Studies have shown that these antioxidant ingredients can help protect the skin from free radical damage due to sun and environmental stresses. Free radicals damage skin causing skin cancer and wrinkles. But, applying green tea antioxidants to skin has been shown to help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by helping repair damaged DNA – this damage repair is critical for your skin health. The trick is getting enough of the hefty amounts of the right green tea compounds. Just adding green tea to a skin care product isn’t good enough. In my opinion, these compounds are the most effective plant-based antioxidant in skin care today. Our most popular green tea antioxidant product is Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy.
2. Zinc Oxide
The unwanted consequences of skin aging are almost entirely due to sun damage. It’s the reason your tummy skin looks better than the sides of your face and neck or the back of your hands. Exposing your skin to UV rays from the sun leads to skin thinning, wrinkles and sun spots that make your skin look old. Even once you stop going into the sun, the “stage has been set” for this to happen as the years pass. Protecting your skin from the sun, starting today, will have lasting consequences for you skin for years to come. Zinc oxide is the best best option for sunscreen, in my opinion. Zinc oxide particles in sunscreen sit invisibly on the surface of your skin bouncing the UV rays off like balls bouncing off of a hard surface. There is no chemical reaction at your skin level as there is with chemical sunscreens.
Also, zinc oxide is one of the two UV-A1 sunscreen ingredients approved by the FDA . The other one, avobenzone, is too fragile to depend on, in my opinion. Zinc oxide gives you broad spectrum protection from UVB all the way through to UV-A1, meaning your skin is getting the best sun protection possible. Zinc oxide is a stable sunscreen ingredient that, unlike chemical ingredients, is much less likely to break down in the bottle or on your skin. My favorite go-to sunscreen is our Citrix Sunscreen with SPF 40.
3. Vitamin C
Wrinkles are due to a loss of collagen in the skin. The collagen is lost mostly from sun damage, but aging also causes some collagen loss. As skin wrinkles, it becomes thin and fragile too. To really reverse wrinkles on your skin, you need to re-thicken the skin and build more collagen. Vitamin C has been shown to stimulate collagen formation in human test subjects (meaning they reduce wrinkles).
Vitamin C skin care products also provide a proven antioxidant benefit, neutralizing the damaging free radicals that play a role in skin aging. Most vitamin C skin care products don’t work, however, because the chemistry of how the product is made and stored impacts whether it works. It takes a dermatologist or skin chemist to figure this process out. To get into the skin and stimulate collagen production, a vitamin C product must be in the stable L-ascorbate form, in a concentration over 10% and have a pH of under 3.5% (as in our Vitamin C Anti-Aging Professional Treatment Serum). Plus, vitamin C in a skin care product breaks down when air touches it, so the product you buy needs to be in an air tight container, like our Vitamin C Serum.
Retinoids are forms of vitamin A. When applied to the skin they have been proven to:
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
- Reverse skin thinning from sun damage and age
- Brighten and smooth out dull and rough, damaged skin
- Reduce uneven skin pigment
Retinoids are nighttime treatment products because light breaks them down. Not all retinoid products work because you need strong concentrations of the right retinoid such as in our Retinol Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Cream.
What about you? Do you have special skin care ingredients that are you go-to products?
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