...Stem cells, peptides, growth factors. Dr Anita's guide to good skincare.
Everywhere we look we see glossy, shiny, enticing ads that are promoting the latest REVOLUTIONARY skincare product, with claims that they will make us look younger, more radiant and beautiful.
Each brand claiming theirs to be the very best on the market. Confused? Do you have a bathroom cabinet full of lotions and potions for your skin, that you have used once and then discarded? If yes, you are not alone.
I am a sucker for pretty packaging, as many people are, so have been guilty in the past of buying products that look great but are not actually going to do much for my skin. Now I know better working as a Doctor in skincare.
At my clinic Nuriss Skincare and Wellness Centre in London I take time to talk through my clients’ skin care regimens and review the products they are using. It is essential to get back to basics and get your daily skin care right, in order to have nourished and healthy skin. So many people plaster their faces with multiple products, without really knowing what they contain or how they work. This can do more harm than good.
I want to share my knowledge with you… so here are my tips on the active ingredients that you should be looking for on product labels. These are the ingredients that have been scientifically proven to be of benefit to the skin. You should also look for the strength of the active ingredients when looking at products as some may contain a very small percentage.
1: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
These have been used for centuries in skin care. They are derived from natural fruit sugars and work by exfoliating the skin surface naturally, helping to remove dead skin cells and allowing the fresh new healthy skin cells to reach the surface. By removing the old skin cells this allows your other skin products to get into the deeper skin layers, where they work more effectively.
-increase strength of skin
-increase skin smoothness
2: Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAS ) come from salicyclic acid
You should avoid this ingredient if you have an allergy to aspirin or if pregnant.
BHAs are lipid soluble which means they can dissolve in oil (or fat). This makes them able to penetrate the skin deeper than AHAS (which are water soluble) where they can get to work to unblock clogged pores.
-use this for ‘oil’control
-good for acne /rosacea and open pores
-kills p. acne the bacteria linked with Acne (antimicrobial)
3: Tretinoin and Retinoids:
A popular ingredient in anti-ageing skincare.
It is known to unclog pores, boost collagen, reduce fine lines and speed up cell turnover, reducing uneven pigment, in as little as 4 weeks
Derived from Vitamin A. Dermatologists have been using these for years but now many skin care brands have gentler versions of this wonder
ingredient in their ranges. I think this is an absolute must for anyone looking for the following skin benefits:
-promotes cell growth
-stimulates collagen and elastin
-controls sebum production
-slows down breakdown of collagen and elastin
-Remember that this product works best when used at night as Retinoids are sensitive to sunlight and destabilise quickly. Some people find that their skin is a little more sensitive in the sun when they use these products and I always recommend wearing SPF 30 day cream to protect the skin
An antioxidant serum should be the first thing you put on in the morning, after cleansing and toning.
These penetrate and protect the skin against UVA and UVB and also act as protection from the harmful effects of pollution
My top choice antioxidants are Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) Vitamin B and Vitamin E.
I absolutely love my Nuriss Vitamin C, B, E and Ferulic Vitamin infusion serum and use it every day.
5: Growth factors
These are an exciting development in skincare. Growth factors are proteins that regulate cellular growth, cell turnover and help to heal and repair the skin. They play an important part in maintaining the healthy skin structure and function. Plant derived growth factors are one of my top choice ingredients in skincare. Listed below are just a few of the benefits they can have on the skin,
-reduce fine lines and wrinkles due to new collagen synthesis
-reduce age spots and uneven pigmentation
-reduce skin laxity and dryness
-reduce skin roughness
-improves texture and elasticity
-improves smoothness and tightness
Once again peptides are at the top of my skin care ‘must have’ lists. Another really exciting ingredient. I advise my patients, family and friends to look for these perfecting peptides when choosing any serum or moisturiser.
So what exactly are peptides? They are a precursor or building block for collagen and we all know that good collagen is the key to good skin.
As we age we lose our peptides from our skin, that's why when you pinch the skin on a teenager it is nice and taut but when we pinch the skin on an older man or woman it feels loose. Therefore, it makes sense to out back into our skin, what we are losing as we age.
-peptides are delivered into the skin, reversing the effects of ageing
-reverse sun damage, pollution damage
-heal and repair skin
7: Stem cells
One of the key ingredients in my new skin care Nuriss Range are stem cells. Scientists have been looking at the health benefits of stem cells in the medical world for years. These are cells capable of renewal of damaged cells and repair. Good news for us, as stem cells have now been used in advanced skin care, so we can heal and repair our skin very single day.
-promote longevity of skin cells
-delay bioloigcxla signs of ageing
-encourage cell turnover
-create protein and lipids and lead to a strong hydration barrier
Hopefully this article has helped to unravel some of the mystery behind skincare. Chose wisely, check labels for ingredients and don’t overload your skin with hundreds of different products. Keep your daily regimen simple. Wake up your skin with a morning skincare programme of cleanse, tone, Vitamin C serum, spf day cream to start your day and cleanse, tone, repair serum and night cream to treat your skin whilst you sleep.
Remember though, my best advice for healthy skin is to eat well, drink plenty of water, to exercise regularly, limit alcohol and caffeine and don’t smoke. The biggest tip is to protect your skin from the sun. Wear a day cream with SPF 30 broad spectrum protection and when looking for a sunscreen, the best sunscreens contain zinc and titanium- physical blockers act as a screen and scatters UVA/B rays and octinoxate, which is a good organic chemical blocker.
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