Just look at the ingredients list of any skin care product and the average person is going to be confused. The endless list of skin care ingredients that we can't even pronounce. What are all those ingredients, and what benefit do they have for our skin, if any?
Skin care companies are required to list the ingredients in the order of the highest percentage. So, it's important to pay attention to the ingredients that are listed first, as they have the highest concentration levels. Also, there may be ingredients that can be harmful, so you want to pay attention to that as well.
The further down on the skin care ingredients list, the less concentration. So, ingredients that are listed near the bottom, make up the lowest concentration level.
What The Heck Is In My Skin Care Product?
Butylene Glycol- is a small organic alcohol used as a solvent and a conditioning agent. It is added to skin care products to increase penetration by other ingredients contained in the formula. By allowing the other products to go deeper into the skin, it makes the product more effective.
Cetyl Alcohol- Which is also known as palmityl alcohol, is a fatty alcohol. It is produced from the end products of the petroleum industry, or derived from plants. At room temperature, cetyl alcohol takes the form of a waxy white solid. Not all alcohols are bad, ,and some can deliver significant benefits for our skin. Cetyl Alcohol is used as a lubricant. It keeps the oil and water parts of an emulsion from separating, and ensures that the product spreads easily.
Cyclopentasiloxane - It is a silicone derivative that is synthetically manufactured. Cyclopentasiloxane in skin care products is used as a conditioner, delivery agent, and lubricant. It helps lock in moisture in the skin.
Dimethicone - It is a silicon based polymer used as a lubricant. Emollients work by forming an oily layer on the top of the skin thereby trapping water in the skin. Dimethicone can be listed under the following names. Dimethicone Copolyol, Dimethyl Silicone, Dimethicone Copolyol
Glycerin - is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin. Glycerin absorbs ambient water, meaning it can help seal in moisture.
Hyaluronic Acid - The key molecule involved in skin moisture is hyaluronan or hyaluronic acid (HA), It has a unique capacity to bind and retain water molecules. A great ingredient to look for if you need to moisturize your skin.
Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate - is used as a preservative in many cosmetic and personal care items. Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate main function is preventing bacteria growth. The European Union limits the dosage to 0.01% for leave-on products.
This ingredient is a suspected gastrointestinal and liver toxin. It is also thought to present risks to human reproduction and development.
Isohexadecane- is a branched chain hydrocarbon with 16 carbons. It is a component of petroleum. In skin care products it is used as skin conditioning agent.
Laureth-7 - is a synthetic compound derived from the extensive chemical modification of Lauric Acid, a natural fatty acid. It is used as an emulsifier in skin care products. Basically meaning, it mixes two or more liquids that are usually not mixable.
Niacinamide - Is a form of vitamin B3. Dermatologist Jenny Kim, MD, PhD, FAAD, associate professor in the division of dermatology, department of medicine, at UCLA presented results of a study of B3 applied topically.
The study consisted of 50 women. The participants applied 5% niacinamide (topical vitamin B3) to one side of their faces, twice a day for 12 weeks. These women experienced significant reductions in the appearance of age spots and other discoloration, redness, wrinkles, as well as improved the skin's elasticity.
Octinoxate - is a sunscreen. Octinoxate has the ability to absorb UV rays. These rays contain free radicals that are known to age the skin. Octinoxate is also known as o methoxycinnamate (OMC), parsol, and parsol MCX,
Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 - It is a pentapeptide, which is a synethsized chain of proteins created by linking five amino acid peptides. It stimulates collagen and elastin fibroblasts. Studies confirm that it is as effective against wrinkles as retinol, but less irritating.
The study showed an increase in Collagen I by 212%, Collagen IV by 100 to 327%, and Hyaluronic Acid by 267%. Collagen in our skin starts to decrease after age 25. So, anything that helps build collagen, helps keep your skin young. Another name for Palmitoyl PentapeptideIt is Matrixyl.
Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 is made up of chains of amino acids. It has the ability to penetrate the epidermis and enter deep into the dermis, where it stimulates collagen production.
Recent studies have shown that chemicals like Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 may keep skin healthier and younger by improving collagen production.
Panthenol - is a form of vitamin B5 Other names used for Panthenol are Pantothenol, Pantothenylol, Dexpanthenol, D-Panthenol, D-Pantothenic Acid, and D-Pantothenyl Alcohol. When you see any of these ingredients listed, you know it is a form of vitamin B5.
Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate - is a vegetable derived ester. It is used as an emollient, binder, and skin conditioning agent in skin care products.
Phenoxyethaqnol- It is also known as Ethylene Glycol Monophenyl Ether. When you see this ingredient listed in a skin care product, it is generally used as a preservative fighting against bacteria growth.
Polyacrylamide - It is a polymer that is formed from units of acrylamide, also known as neurotoxin. It is used as a stabilizer and binder in skin care products.
Polyacrylamide is made up of repeating molecules of acrylamide, which is a suspected carcinogen. Small amounts of acrylamide remain in polyacrylamide.
Retinol - It is Vitamin A, and can be found in green and yellow vegetables, egg yolk, and fish-liver oil. It is known for reducing wrinkles and fine lines, reversing sun damage, and smoothing the skin.
The prescription strength Vitamin A is called tretinoin and is sold under the brand name of Retin A.
Stearic Acid - is a saturated fatty acid. that is commonly found in natural vegetable and animal fats. It has binding and thickening properties which helps the product adhere smoothly to the skin, and also extends the shelf life.
Tocopheryl Acetate - Also, referred to ask Vitamin E Acetate. It is ester of acetic acid and tocopheryl (Vitamin E) It is used used as an alternative to pure tocopherol (or undiluted vitamin E) because it is less acidic. It is used as a skin-conditioning agent and antioxidant.