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Ingredients in Beauty Creams
Beauty creams are purported to do everything from diminish wrinkles to clear up acne, but all of those polysyllabic ingredients are enough to leave a glamour girl's head spinning.
Some are derived from nature and others a chemist's test tube, but what exactly do they do to make us more beautiful? Inquiring minds would like to know.
- Remember that although many countries mandate that cosmetic companies disclose their ingredients, the claims they make regarding results go largely unregulated. Companies include ingredients that have been proven to promote a certain action, but they do not always include them in the amount, or in conjunction with the compounds that render them most effective.
- Read the labels of zit zapping lotions and you're likely to find ingredients like salicylic acid (or beta hydroxy acid), benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, triclosan, sulfur or zinc. The acid promotes cellular exfoliation, which inhibits pore clogging debris, while the other ingredients act to combat bacteria or ease inflammation.
- Know that vitamin A, and its derivatives, retinol or retinoids, encourage deep cellular turnover and are believed to reveal new, unwrinkled skin. Vitamin C, as well as CO Q-10, are thought to promote collagen and elastin production, thereby giving skin the ability to defy wrinkles.
- Consider that some acids, including alpha hydroxy (or AHA) and lactic, as well as papaya are included in products to promote exfoliation, or removal the most superficial layers of your skin. Any oil, butter or lipid, as well as glycerin and petrolatum will moisturize your skin.
- Check labels for titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, oxybenzone, avobenzone or padimate-O (PABA) to confirm that your chosen product has a good sunscreen.
- Keep in mind that many ingredients lend your beauty creams a pleasant texture and long life. Parabens are common preservatives, cetyl and stearyl alcohols are thickening agents, and isopropyl myristate and lanolate give many potions their creamy consistency.
- Consult the manufacturer for complete disclosure on a product's ingredients and their intended actions.
- Ingredients are listed in order of concentration. Ignore any cream that includes its miracle ingredients at the end of the list, as they'll be significantly less effective.
- All skins are different, and no product offers uniform results. Test products whenever possible, as many modern products have ingredients that may irritate certain skins.
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