MILOON INGREDIENTS GUIDE: Part 2.

 

 

Sure, K-Beauty is all about organic products based on natural  ingredients that, when powered by the latest cosmetics’ technology, allows to achieve outstanding products whose organic essence is left untouched. This translate into cruelty free, clean and pure products that act as miracle workers on our skin, making it clean, fresh, dewy. Indeed, when it comes to ingredients, nature bless us with a variety of alternatives to achieve our desired goals. Let’s dive deep in a  new chapter of Miloon’s K-Beauty Guides. This time is all about natural principles that allows our skin to shine. Lets’ start by examine Centella Asiatica, C-Vitamin, Niacinamide and AHAs and deepen its properties concerning  blemishes and scars, and all the many magical tricks they can perform on our skin.

 

 

CENTELLA ASIATICA.

If you’re a K-Beauty fan you must have heard about Centella asiatica. It has  variety of names, including Brahmi, Asiatic pennywort, tiger grass, and gotu kola, Centella Asiatica  extract is a powerful hydrating skin-saver; a popular ingredient in K-Beauty brands, often labeled “cica creams”.

What is Centella Asiatica, and what can it make for your skin?

Centella asiatica is a perennial herb that grows primarily in Asia. For years, it’s had both culinary and medicinal uses, but like many traditional plant extracts, it’s gaining popularity as a skin care ingredient.

Cica creams became a staple of every K-beauty ritual because of their soothing benefits. As the trend cycle spins,  Western beauty brands are claiming it’s the hot new beauty ingredient. But, is Centella asiatica worth the hype?

Studies show that Centella asiatica does have benefits for skin, thanks to its active compounds, including madecassoside, which serves as an antioxidant. Centella asiatica itself also has been shown to have potent antioxidant properties and to be a rich source of amino acids, and there’s additional research showing that it’s a good hydrating ingredient to soothe upset or compromised skin.

Centella asiatica also helps mitigate some of the visible effects of sun damage. Moreover it can help revitalize skin’s protective barrier.

That’s a great list of benefits for one plant ingredient. There are literally hundreds of beneficial natural ingredients, as well as outstanding synthetic ingredients like for example, Peptides.

Centella Asiatica is somewhat similar to green tea, in that it’s a plant-derived antioxidant with skin-soothing properties that got its start in traditional medicine, and now research supports many of the claims around Centella asiatica.

 

 

VITAMIN C.

 A 2017 research conducted by Pinterest shows that Vitamin C ‘saves on pinning’ were up 3379 per cent, proving it to be the favourite ingredient of the year. According to NY-based dermatologist Dennis Gross,  “Vitamin C is widely known for its antioxidant benefits for your body but also your skin, brilliantly boosting collagen while helping to treat UV exposure photo-damage,”It  boosts skin’s luminosity and smooth skin tone .

A concrete kick against flu during cold months, Vitamin C  has a proven record of success but what are its properties when it comes to skincare?

Vitamin C is a key anti-aging skincare ingredient to gently brighten and smooth your skin. It antioxidant power helps protect your skin against free radical damage caused by the environment, as this can breakdown your collagen barrier and promote wrinkles and sagging.

 There are several different types of vitamin C that are used in skincare products, including L-ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbyl phosphatem ascorbyl palmitate and retinyl ascorbate. The former has the most amount of scientific research surrounding its benefits and is deemed ‘the king’ of vitamin C, as Dr Sam Bunting explains in the video. L-ascorbic acid boosts collagen production and smooths and firms skin, as well as fending off photo-ageing.   However, any type of vitamin C in your moisturizing serum and lotion will offer some skin benefit. Research has shown that as little as 0.6 percent of vitamin C can help protect your skin from free radicals and aging.  

Remember that when antioxidants are exposed to light and air too frequently they can breakdown, so it’s best to opt for formulas in air-tight packaging, pumps or single-use, individually wrapped products.

Vitamin C is more commonly recommended for your morning regiment, when it comes to protect your skin from UV damage and environmental aggressors. However, since some research to say that free radical damage continues to effect your skin overnight, it can be used at night as well. If you’re using glycolic or salicylic acid and retinol, you will need to leave some time in between before applying your vitamin C product to avoid any stinging or redness. 

 

 

NIACINAMIDE.

Niacinamide is a derivative of Vitamin B3 that suppresses melanin from reaching the surface of the skin and protects the skin from further UV damage. Too much melanin (which is a naturally occurring substance in the body that is responsible for both its color the skin’s absorption of UV rays) can result in age spots, freckles, and hyper-pigmentation. According to a study done by Proctor and Gamble, data revealed that 5% Niacinamide applied to the face for 12 weeks resulted in reductions of fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness (yellowing). In addition, elasticity (as measured via cutometry) was improved.

“Topical application of Niacinamide has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, prevent skin from losing water content, and stimulate microcirculation in the dermis” according to the British Journal of Dermatology in 2000.

Niacinamide serves as a precursor of NADH and NADPH, which are co-enzymes essential for numerous metabolic pathways and play a key role in metabolism of glucose, cellular energy production, and synthesis of lipids. The levels of these co-enzymes decrease with age, and topical Niacinamide appears to reverse the decline. Niacinamide is also shown to have some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well.

Niacinamide is also used to treat acne, and in an 8 week study in which patients were treated with a 4% concentration Niacinamide gel, 82% of patients treated with Niacinamide were considered improved. There were no side effects. The research suggested that anti-inflammatory activity of Niacinamide may have contributed to its effect on acne (Source). In a similar rosacea study, 24 out of 36 patients showed improvement.

Niacinamide boosts the immunity of your skin. There are cells in your skin known as Langerhans cells. They are responsible for the protection and repair mechanisms of your skin. When you expose your skin to the sun, especially when you burn your skin, they temporarily retreat leaving the skin without its natural immunity against invading microbes or the safeguards against the activity of precancerous lesions.

Moreover, it enhance the epidermal barrier performances. The epidermal lipid barrier is what makes the difference in your skin’s health and appearance. Niacinamide increases the production of ceramides (an essential component of your lipid barrier), keeping the skin strong and preventing Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL). The lipid barrier helps retain moisture, keeps it hydrated for longer and will protect your skin from the harshness of the environment, regardless of the time of year.

Niacinamide acts on redness and blotchiness in the skin. With an improved epidermal lipid barrier, the skin’s natural ability to protect itself from external aggressors becomes vastly improved. Over time and with a daily application of a Niacinamide formulation, improvements in skin structure will reduce redness, blotchiness and sensitivity brought about by exposure to the environment due to a poorly functioning barrier.

Moreover, Niacinamide regulates the oil flow. This happens when your skin retains its natural moisture with a well-functioning lipid barrier This allows the natural oil flow of the skin to be controlled. Oily skins will appreciate topically applied Niacinamide to get the oil flow under control.

In addition, Niacinamide protects the skin from the sun’s infrared light. Along with the damaging effects of UV exposure, infrared activates free radicals and stimulates an overproduction of pigmented cells, and if your pigmentation is hormonal, heat is a big problem. Niacinamide protects the skin from heat. 

Hyper-pigmentation is another crucial issue where Niacinamide helps out most. The transfer of pigment (melanosomes) from your melanocytes to the surrounding skin of your epidermis is known as a tan. However, over time, this activity becomes dysfunctional, and many of us end up with uneven, blotchy pigmentation rather than a golden tan. If your skin has become susceptible to hyperpigmentation, then Niacinamide will assist in the reduction of uneven pigmentation by slowing down the transfer of melanin to your skin’s epidermis. This is something that cannot be missed when choosing a  hyper-pigmentation treatment.

But that’s not all, as Niacinamide minimize lines and wrinkles because it boosts collagen production. Along with the improvement of the skin’s lipid barrier comes an increase in cell differentiation which contributes to better synthesis and formation of collagen and elastin.

Lastly, it is the effect on dull and sallow skin. While many antioxidants prevent damage caused by oxidative stress and AGE’s, Niacinamide goes reverses the visible aging signs. As time goes by and with the constant exposure to free radicals and glycation, the skin can appear dull and sallow with a sad loss of radiance.  That’s why Niacinamide helps out the most. Its antioxidant action reduces the negative impact of oxidative stress and improves the skin’s ability to fight back.

 

 

AHA.

Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are natural acids derived from fruits such as oranges and lemons. In facial skincare products, the acids are often listed as sugar cane extract, glycolic acid, malic acid, triple fruit acid or lactic acid. For the best results, use a product with concentrated AHA levels of 10 percent or less. Because the acids make your skin more susceptible to the sun, wear a sunscreen whenever you use AHA-boosted creams or serums.

Alpha hydroxy acids act as chemical exfoliants, which help to loosen and get rid of the dead skin cells on your skin’s surface. The acids are more effective than abrasive exfoliants, such as scrubs and cloths, according to the Harvard Medical School. Regular exfoliation helps keep your complexion naturally bright by preventing a buildup of dead skin cells that dull your skin.

Even AHA has important skin lightening effects. In fact, Sun damage, scars and other health problems can lead to hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration on your face. Although a cosmetic concealer can camouflage the discolorations, it doesn’t correct your actual skin tone. Alpha hydroxy acids can help to “inhibit melanin formation” and remove discolorations that leave your skin tone dark.

Another pro is increased absorption. Surface debris and dead skin inhibits your skin’s ability to absorb the active ingredients in your skincare creams and serums. Alpha hydroxy acids remove these surface deposits to expose the underlying cells. The can optimize your skin’s absorption levels so you get the maximum results from your favorite skincare products.

Last, this contributes to lower the number of wrinkles.

Alpha hydroxy acids can reduce the severity of surface lines and wrinkles in a few ways, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The acids take off the top, damaged layer of skin, revealing less-damaged skin beneath and allowing for the regrowth of skin cells. The acids also may enhance your body’s production of collagen, the protein that plumps and firms the skin surface.