The Cost of Beauty
Do you get what you pay for in skin care products? In other words, can a $400 cream do anything that less costly formulations can’t?
You’ve got to ask this question when attempting to “keep up” with all the new developments and product promises popping up constantly. Because I am at the forefront of product development and have been for more than twenty years, this has been a subject for constant inquiry. Having researched many of those highly priced and touted products, I’ve come to the following conclusions.
Expensive Doesn’t Always Mean Better
Despite evidence to the contrary, the combination of seductive marketing and opulent packaging has convinced many consumers that expensive means “better” in the world of beauty. The truth is there are impressive skin care and makeup products at all prices. Whatever you decide to spend is up to you, but let me assure you, many less expensive products work as well as, if not better than, their pricey counterparts.
Wasting Money Isn’t Beautiful
IF you can get past price as an indicator of excellence, your skin (and wallet) will be far better off, because you’ll make choices based on quality and results, not exaggerated claims. Keep in mind that wasting money isn’t beautiful!
What Is Effective In Smoothing Wrinkles…Really
The truth. Regrettably, there is no magic potion or combination of products in any price range that can truly make wrinkles disappear! The wrinkles you see and agonize over (not to be confused with fine lines caused by dryness — these are easily remedied with a good moisturizer) are the result of cumulative sun damage and the inevitable breakdown of the skin’s natural supportive structure. Skin care ingredients, no matter who is selling them or the claims they assert, cannot replace what plastic surgeons or cosmetic dermatologists can do. Sorry.
The good news. Thanks to the constant search by some of our most inventive, creative, and talented research scientists, there are a group of cosmetic ingredients that help us to reduce the negative environmental and lifestyle factors that contribute to premature aging.
The basis of the following step-by-step plan is what the skin needs to repair itself and function optimally:
An excellent sunscreen that is well-formulated rated SPF 15 or higher is the best defense against wrinkles. Daily application of a sunscreen (be it in your moisturizer or foundation) is critical to preventing new wrinkles and keeping existing lines from deepening each year. Make sure the ingredients include full-spectrum protection, both UVA and UVB. Such a product is even better with the inclusion of antioxidants, such as Beta Carotene.
An effective antioxidant-rich moisturizer can go a long way toward improving skin texture, enhancing its radiance, and creating a smoother, suppler surface. A gel, cream, serum, or lotion that is loaded with antioxidants, ingredients that mimic the structure of skin, cell-communicating ingredients, and anti-irritants can generate new collagen, create normal skin cells, and reduce further damage. This should be infused with a full complement of ingredients, such as UGL Complex (glucosamine hydrochloride), Vitamins A, E, Alpha lipoic Acid, DMAE, Co-Enzyme Q10, Betaglucan, Zinc, mineral complexes, extracts of Aloe, elderflower, cornflower, green tea, and chamomile are just some of the most effective ingredients.
Serums rich in Stabilized Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid (the natural moisturizing factor that occurs naturally in our skin) can be used at least daily and/or nightly to boost nutrient availability to skin cells.
An effective AHA or BHA product. One of the significant consequences of sun damage is that the outer layer of skin becomes thickened, discolored, rough, and uneven. The best way to help skin shed is to use a well-formulated alpha hydroxyl (AHA) or beta hydroxyl acid (BHA) product. Such exfoliation will not only even out skin tone, it will also produce a significant improvement in the texture of skin. Another benefit is that the smoother skin will allow other products penetrate and be far more effective.
Be gentle! Use pH-balanced and water-soluble cleansers that minimize skin irritation, prevent moisture loss, and don’t leave a skin-dulling residue. No cleanser will change a wrinkle, but cleansing skin gently and reducing irritation and inflammation helps the healing process that can occur from over-exfoliation.
Can Peptides Replace the Need for Botox?
There are ingredients that can make a significant difference in terms of how skin cells are produced, but in terms of “anti-aging,” there is no proof that those claims are really valid in the least. Most of what passes for “laboratory research” is based on assumption. There has never been a product launched that has put a plastic surgeon/cosmetic dermatologist out of business!
Peptides Play Many Roles in Skin Health
Peptides are being touted most recently as being an anti-aging ingredient, mainly in gels and serums. Proteins are comprised of a long chain of amino acids, and individual portions of proteins are known as peptides. In the body, peptides regulate the activity of many systems. This regulation is achieved by interaction of the peptide with a target cell. Enzymatic activity breaks proteins into peptides so they can exert their influence on the body. Some peptides have hormonal activity, others demonstrate immune activity, and some are cell-communicating ingredients telling cells how to react and what to do. Others are believed to play a role in wound healing, and still others are thought to influence the pathology of skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and eczema.
Can Peptides Help Eliminate Wrinkles?
The question is: can a skin care product containing active peptides effect a change in the tendency to develop fine lines and wrinkles? In order for these specialized peptides to exert a benefit, they must be stable in their base formula. They must be paired with a carrier that enhances absorption into the skin and must be able to reach their target cell groups without breaking down. This is no easy feat, but one that today’s cosmetic scientists are predicting will have significant potential in the realm of anti-aging skin care ingredients. The best potential is in the “what” and “how” each product is formulated.
Since truly accurate testing to determine the efficacy of such ingredients is so costly in both time and money, few, if any, of consumer products have substantiated research behind their formulations.
For now the proof is in the hands of the consumer: you and me!
My skin has taken on a new glow.
I feel it is healthier and cleaner since using your products.