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If you spend a lot of time (or money) slathering on various potions for beautiful skin, you may question the effectiveness of this ritual. Some skin care products smell great, others feel wonderful when you put them on, but are all truly beneficial? Much depends on whether the products contain active ingredients, in what concentrations, and how they are formulated to best deliver those active ingredients to where they are needed to do their job.
In an era when many natural, organic or somehow safer skin care options abound, I think it is important to question whether the formulations you're using are truly beneficial to your skin. If you're looking for results, you'll need skin care preparations with active ingredients. Active ingredients exert an effect on skin and include sun filtering agents, skin lighteners, exfoliants and cleansers. For example, in the case of acne treatments, retinol may be added to speed up cellular renewal or reduce oil production.
Creams, lotions and serums will often contain inactive ingredients, which are included to help deliver active ingredients. They comprise buffers, coloring agents, emulsifying agents, fragrances, preservatives, thickeners, etc. While inactive ingredients don't exert a specific action on skin, they do perform important functions in making skin care products effective.
In order to be beneficial, active ingredients must contain adequate concentrations and be able to penetrate through the skin's barrier system. Keeping skin well-hydrated helps maintain an intact barrier and increases product absorption. Steam and exfoliation may also assist. And, how you apply (thinnest first; thickest last), as well as the amount of product you apply, are also important to produce results. Trying to make a serum last longer by using half the recommended dose will simply give you half of the active ingredients needed and delay or impair results.
If you want the results that active ingredients achieve, you may have to look for professional grade products. This isn't to imply that there aren't any good products at the drugstore. However, professional product lines are commonly formulated with higher percentages of active ingredients to create a desired reaction. Also look out for type of ingredients used. For example, there are many forms of vitamin C, but they may differ in various ways. Think of it as a comparison between a cheeseburger from a fast-food restaurant versus a high-end steak house.
We stock a range of professional grade skin care products that contain adequate amounts of active ingredients that deliver results, including:
Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at PharmacyMix.com
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