Beauty In A Bottle: What Ingredients Promote Healthy Skin?

July 30th, 2011

Skincare products are marketed with all kinds of promises of eternally youthful skin that entice with well designed packaging. The allure of agelessness is so great many are taken with aesthetically pleasing advertisements and all they purport to deliver. So how do we decipher what ingredients and products will really perform for the benefit our skin’s health?

If your wallet can handle it you should choose to truly invest in your skin by selecting quality organic skincare products. The idea is to find products with few or no chemical additives that can pose a detriment to the overall health of your skin. Ultimately you want uplifting skincare that does not irritate, gently cleanses and soothes for a look of youthful vitality and good health. Choosing products fortified with vitamins, minerals and enzymes will stimulate skin cell growth and promote total vibrancy and ageless appearance.

Desirable Ingredients in Skincare

Vitamins A and E are essential for deeply moisturizing skin and retaining hydration for decreasing fine line and wrinkles. Vitamin C protects against damage from daily sun exposure especially in summer months. For a natural anti-inflammatory, choose Vitamin F to soothe skin irritation. Minerals like calcium, zinc, and magnesium draw impurities from the skin and create a protective barrier against free radicals: pollutants, cigarette smoke, chemical pesticides, food preservatives and additives. Galactoarabinan (GA) is one of those difficult-to-pronounce, but useful active ingredients in some quality organic skincare products. It actually boosts immunity and is an excellent source of dietary fiber, recognized as such by the FDA.

Whether it’s a cleanser, mask, toner, exfoliant or serum, be sure to look for some of these key essential ingredients for the best skin care possible. The botanicals in your product of choice should be naturally abundant with these vitamins and minerals for the overall beautiful appearance and good health of your skin. Fruit, vegetable and herb based skincare are generally better choices for complete epidermal nourishment.

Ingredients to Avoid for the Healthiest Skin

We see “paraben-free” on so many products these days, most notably on sunscreen labels. This is because parabens are a synthetic chemical found in a wide variety of skincare products, touted as an anti-aging ingredient. It can be absorbed into the blood stream and fat tissue, especially troubling for women as it mimics estrogen and may potentially lead to breast cancer. Parabens also respond to UV ray exposure in a way that actually accelerates the aging process making them the least reliable as a sunscreen. Some types to keep an eye out for are Benzoic Acid, Aseptoform Butyl, Isobytlparaben, Methylparaben and Ethylparaben. Alcohol is best to avoid topically, and in moderation internally, since it is a drying agent that will deplete your body and skin of necessary hydration. When your body lacks moisture it’s an opportune time for fine lines to appear, leading to wrinkles in the long run. The quest is to find products that reverse the onset of premature aging as gently and reliably as possible. What do your skincare bottles declare and do the products deliver?

Antropia Luna has a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute and a Masters degree in cultural anthropology from New Mexico State University–now writing health and wellness articles for Joanna Vargas Skincare Sanctuary in NYC and trekking the national museum scene freelance.