• What do the most common skincare ingredients do?

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    Reading a label and understanding WHY a product is good for you can be difficult if you are not used to skin care and cosmetic terminology. While most of the ingredients are not as bad as they sound, you must be aware of their origin and role in your skincare regimen.
    Here’s a short list of frequently found ingredients in your skin care products:

    Witch Hazel – also called Hamamelis, is an efficient astringent and a soothing agent
    Emollients – these are substances that soften and hydrate the skin
    Humectants – ingredients that attract water in the cells
    Butylene Glycol – humectant used in dry/sensitive skin moisturizers
    Propylene Glycol – humectant that penetrates the skin easily, lubricant, an efficient moisturizer
    Isopropyl alcohol – a strong drying alcohol used in cleansing formulas to remove excess oil. It can be a bit harsh on any skin if overused.
    Azulene – hydrocarbon derived from chamomile flower, soothing agent; it is usually blue
    Chamomile – antimicrobial agent, soothing agent for the skin (wounds, infections, inflammations)
    Salicylic Acid – antibactarial, exfoliant agent
    Sodium PCA – a natural moisturizing and emollient ingredient (it is of vegetal origin)
    Ceramides – lipid materials that protect against cellular water loss; can be obtained synthetically too
    Glycerin – humectant, with strong water retaining properties
    Fatty Acids- derived from plant or animal fats, used as lubricants in cosmetics, excellent skin emollients
    Sunflower Oil – Good source of Essential Fatty Acids, hydrating, non-comedogenic
    Phosholipids – these are naturally moisturizing humectants found in skin layers; water binders
    Dimethicone – it is a silicone emollient (derived from silica, a substance that occurs naturally in sand and stone); silicones are often used instead of fatty type emollients
    Linoleic Acid – essential fatty acid – also called Vitmain F, antioxidant, prevents dryness
    Petrolatum – an oil derivate, emollient, anti irritant; prevents moisture loss
    Evening Primrose Oil – derived from evening primrose flowers; excellent source of Fatty Acids, including linoleic acid; used to treat eczema and very dry skin
    Citric Acid – it is a betahydroxy acid (BHA) used as a Ph adjuster, natural preservative, but can also be used as a mild exfoliant; it adds a sour taste to food
    Allantoin – derived from the comfrey root; usually added to moisturizers for its soothing properties
    Hyaluronic Acid – hydrophilic agent with excellent moisturizing properties; great in anti-aging treatments
    Collagen – protein that lies in the top of the skin layers and binds water and also helps to prevent water loss
    Elastin – protein in connective tissue and skin that is elastic allowing body organs to stretch, helps prevent water loss.
    Parabens – preservatives found in cosmetics and food, with anti-bacterial properties
    Coenzyme Q10 – enzyme and antioxidant that occurs naturally in the skin; its presence decreases with aging. It has revitalizing properties for the cells and the entire body.

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