The anti-aging sector of the skincare industry has seen huge scientific advancements in recent years. Nearly every product boasts about some difficult-to-pronounce compound it claims will work wonders for your skin – but who knows what these “miracle” ingredients really do? Here are five ingredients to check out if you’re interested in anti-aging products and why they work:
In all the chaos one day can bring, it’s hard to remember to stick to daily routines – like taking your vitamins. But vitamins can make a huge difference not only in general health, but in the strength of your hair, nails and skin too. Which ones should you take, and why?
You’ve probably heard that biotin (otherwise known as Vitamin H, or B complex vitamins) can do wondrous things like increase hair and nail growth rates and improve their strength. Board-certified dermatologists told HuffPo that B complex vitamins are important in metabolism, helping your body to process energy and transporting carbon dioxide from your cells, and that they can improve the keratin infrastructure (and we’ve all heard how important keratin is in hair and nails).
Biotin deficiency is common in pregnant women, which is one of the reasons prenatal vitamins are packed with B vitamins and are often touted for use in beautifying hair, skin and nails. Side effects of biotin deficiency include brittle nails and hair loss, which could explain why ingesting the supplement could result in the opposite effect. However, be warned that the increase in hair growth from taking biotin is only about 6% over the course of several months, and that overdosing could be related to high blood sugar levels and lower vitamin C and B6 levels. Everything in moderation, beauties!
li·po·somes (LY-poh-zohms) n. tiny balls of lipids (fats) derived from a mixture of water and phospholipids that deliver moisture to the skin and are used in moisturizers. Because of their small molecular size, they are able to penetrate the cell wall particularly well. They are also able to absorb water-soluble nutrients and vitamins.
Liposomes are not active themselves, but are believed to function in creams as carriers of various encapsulated active substances that otherwise could not penetrate the skin’s fatty layers. Once applied, stored nutrients and vitamins are theoretically released into the skin or hair.
However, there’s some argument that liposomes are ineffective because scientists speculate that they break down when they hit the skin’s surface, before they can aid in having active ingredients penetrate the skin. Skin is intended to act as a protective barrier – designed by evolution to keep us safe from the elements of the world that might damage us. Because of this, it’s more difficult than beauty advertisers would like you to think for their ingredients to penetrate and rejuvenate this protective barrier.
The skin’s major structural protein that is responsible for its strength and durability and occupies 75% of its space is called collagen. You might have heard the name used often in relation to skincare products, and you might have heard how useful this fibrous protein is to keep the skin looking young, elastic, plump, and how its reduction in time causes the appearance of wrinkles and lines. Natural aging processes in fact make collagen production rarer, which apart from other health problems that come with aging, affect the skin by making it lose vitality, moisture and smoothness even.
Collagen Peptide is a usable form of collagen for the skin, or just collagen hydrolyzed, and it contains ten times the amount of the amino acids such as proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline than found in other proteins. Collagen and elastin combine to create collagen peptide bundles that cause the firmness of the skin. Loss of collagen peptide directly causes the loss of firmness in the skin, which plummets and sinks in, and eventually forms wrinkles and lines.
Everyone has something they don’t like about their face. (OK, maybe not Alessandra Ambrosio.) Contouring is an excellent solution. By “contour”, I mean to change the visual impression of the shapes of your features. Many of us unwittingly contour every day: wing-tipped eyeliner creates the illusion of more angled, exotic eyes, bronzer suggests higher cheekbones, etc. Contouring is a daunting process that most makeup neophytes will probably shy away from, but it’s one of the most powerful tools available in makeup. Highlighting pairs neatly with contouring by drawing light and attention to more flattering areas. In this How-to, I’ll discuss how to cast the right light and shadow on your face.