I was reading this fantastic book the other day "Simple Skincare, Beautiful Skin: A Back-To-Basics Approach" by Ahmed Abdullah and it's been quite an eye-opener. It talks in dept about acne treatments, common skin concerns, how to read ingredient lists, skincare ingredients to include into your skincare routine and his personal approach to skincare. In one of the chapters 'Simplified Decoding of the Bottle', he spoke about water being the most popular base in skin care products today as it's abundant in nature. An interesting point he made was that the skin cannot absorb water. A small amount does get absorbed into the keratin layer but that's about it. The rest of it evaporates into thin air!
Simply put, the active ingredients in the product which have water as a base do not reach the deepest layer of skin because of water's inability to get absorbed into the skin. Plus, water dilutes other ingredients and hence aren't able to perform their best. I researched online and it's true, water-based products don't do much for your skin. However, there are other ingredients that get absorbed into the skin almost instantly and we're about to learn more about 'em in detail.
Before you add any product to cart, study the ingredient list once. Is the product actually going to soak into your skin and help your complexion or is it just going to sit on the surface of your skin? Ask yourself these questions.
Aloe vera is a fantastic base product that penetrates deep into the skin. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, aloe takes care of acne, soothes inflamed skin, treats dermatitis and rosacea. Each stalk of aloe is abundant in vitamins, enzymes, minerals, fatty acids and polysaccharides. When aloe is the base product, it makes sure that all the active ingredients reach the deepest skin layers. Also, your regular aloe house plant won't make the cut. In fact, it might even break you out as it contains irritating substances. You need to look out for Aloe Barbadensis Miller. That's the one that's used in medicinal and skincare products.
Hyaluronic Acid is a popular skincare ingredient we see today in stores. It's because they're amazing! They agree with almost every skin type and rarely cause irritation. In fact, our skin naturally produces hyaluronic acid to maintain moisture levels. However, due to environmental factors, it disrupts the moisture levels in the skin. Applying products that contain hyaluronic acid and keeping yourself hydrated are ways to keep your skin moist, supple and youthful.
Vitamin C is a skincare product you must not break up with. It plays an important role in brightening the skin, fading scars and slowing down the ageing process. A Vitamin C product can be applied topically at night and during the day. However, if you've applied the product during the day, make sure that you layer it with sunscreen as your skin becomes sensitive with Vitamin C on. Not to mention that it helps to boost collagen and improve the skin's texture by making it firmer and smoother. Always to do a patch test first because for some skin types Vitamin C can be too harsh. If you're a newbie to using Vitamin C, always start with less concentration of product and then gradually work your way up.
Think of peptides to be tiny messengers that trigger the skin cells to build more collagen and elastin. Since collagen proteins are too large to be absorbed by the skin, hence you need peptides to get the job done. Invest in creams and serums that contain peptides so they can penetrate into the skin and command the cells to produce more collagen.
Apart from Vitamin C, Vitamin E is easily absorbed into the skin. It's rich in lipophilic antioxidants and because of this, it is easily able to penetrate into the deepest layers of your skin. It helps to reduce UV damage and does a great job at nourishing and protecting the skin from free radicals.
Oils too can penetrate the skin. However, only certain ones. Soybean and almond oil reach the deepest layers of skin and jojoba and avocado only reach the first layer of skin, aka the epidermis.
The next time you feel the urge to splurge, give that ingredient list a looksie!