As you age, it is more and more important to pay special attention to what ingredients in beauty products you are putting on your skin. The younger generations have skin that can rejuvenate and replenish itself much easier than skin that is getting older, so during the younger years, you can put pretty much what you like on your body and not have to worry about it too much. This is not the case for the skin as it matures, however, and it is within the later stages of life that you need to pay extra special attention to the ingredients in your beauty products to ensure that you are not putting any undue stress or damage on it.
There are a number of ingredients that you are likely to find in many of the beauty products that you will use on your skin, and we are going to take a closer look at these now.
This is a word that is often thrown around with many beauty products, and among the most popular of these are Vitamins C, and E. It has been noted that in many of the beauty products that contain these, the percentages are so low that it normally wouldn’t have the greatest effect on the skin at all.
As well as these two vitamins, you are also likely to find BHA, grape seed extract, EDTA, resveratrol, L-ergothioneine and green tea extract, which are used for their beauty properties, but also as preservatives.
This is another word that you will commonly find in the list of ingredients in beauty products, and is these ingredients that will change the way that your skin feels. This is a compound in the product that will be absorbed by the upper layers of skin; the epidermis, and helps to make it feel softer to the touch, and also more pliable.
There are two main emollients that you will find used as ingredients in beauty products – petrolatum and lanolin, which are ingredients found in petroleum jelly and sheep skin respectively. You may also find derivatives of Vitamin E, called cocopherals, in that list.
The problem with emollients is that, when used in high percentages, they have a habit of making the skin feel really greasy. There are a number of other ingredients in beauty products that fall into this category, and these often include:
- Seaweed extract
- Mineral oil
- Almond oil/coconut oil/sunflower oil and again, grape seed oil
This is something that you wouldn’t normally associate with beauty products, but this is another compound that can make the skin feel smoother and softer to the touch. Two of the most common forms that you are likely to find as ingredients for beauty products are glycerin and Cetyl alcohol.
Rather than adding moisture, however, it actually helps to attract moisture from the outside. There are a large number of ingredients that fall into this category, but among the most popular are things such as collagen and DNA, glycerin, lecithin, panthenol, sorbitol and urea. The latter is one of the surprising ones, as it is actually a component naturally found in sweat!
Many beauty products have a rather large shelf life, and when you consider the fact that a lot of them have natural ingredients, you must expect a certain amount of preservatives being used, much in the same way as they are used in the storage of foods. These ingredients in beauty products help them to last and not grow mould or other such organisms, but you should still remember that most cosmetics should only be used for about a year, (sometimes less – always check the packaging) and using them after this time is not advisable.
There is a large number of ingredients in beauty products that you will find fall under this category including – EDTA, (be wary when using this as a link has been shown between this and dermatitis) parabens, sodium borate, sorbic acid, citric acid, and even urea again.
You need something to combine all of the ingredients in beauty products and make them work together, and for the most part, this is usually alcohol based, although there are some water based ones. Alcohol actually dries the skin out, so you should be careful when using too many alcohol based products. You will often find that the alcohol components found are SDA-40, SD-40, and lanolin alcohol. The water based ones will contain one of the following – purified, deionized or distilled water.
As with most things in life, there are some ingredients in beauty products that seem somewhat random. A number of acids are often found which can be worrying but you do need to remember that they are in small quantities. These include things such as citric acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid, and these are often used for exfoliating the skin and getting rid of the dead skin cells.
Cellulose is often found in many products because it helps to make it thicker in texture, and you will also find natural oils in the form of ceramides, which actually help the skin to bond together.
Words of warning
There are a few problems that you may find with some of the ingredients that we have discussed, especially if you have older skin. As we have mentioned, the alcohol content of the beauty products can dry your skin out, which can cause more problems if you already have dry skin. You’ll find some examples of alcohol-free beauty products right below this article. You also need to remember that a lot of the ingredients in beauty products haven’t been proven to work as yet. For example, collagen is often highly promoted in many products but in reality, it cannot increase the amount of collagen in your skin itself. It will promote water retention, but it will not effectively help with the production of it in your skin cells.
The preservative EDTA, just like some of the other ingredients, has been shown to cause dermatitis in high amounts. Also, those that are allergic to lanolin, (one of the emollients) may not even realize as it will just come across as dry skin. On top of that, another emollient called isopropyl palmitate can actually cause acne, so is not advised for those that suffer with the condition.
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