While there’s absolutely no harm in sticking to all-natural formulas when it comes to our face, there’s no denying the fact that the use of chemical-infused formulas is a tempting shortcut to happy skin. Wait, don’t run for the mountains just because we said ‘chemicals’! The fact is that the cosmetics industry relies heavily on the use of certain chemical compounds that majorly benefit our skin. So, before you reject another face serum only because the ingredient label doesn’t read familiar, let’s brush up your knowledge of good chemicals for skin, shall we?
Consider benzoyl peroxide as a warrior against P acnes, the bacteria that live in our pores and feed off of excess oil and cell debris. Not only does this anti-bacterial agent kill all traces of such bacteria but it also improves the texture of acne-prone skin by soothing inflammation and redness.
Widely used in exfoliation formulas, glycolic acid effectively peels away the top layer of dead skin. Thus encouraging cell turnover and revealing newer, protein-rich cells underneath. As a result, what’s left behind is a visibly brighter complexion, devoid of dullness caused by a build-up of dead cells. Hello, brighter-looking skin!
Commonly known as the secret behind reverse aging, hyaluronic acid is a compound that’s present in our body’s connective tissues. It helps cells retain up to 1000 times their weight in water, giving skin a plump appearance. However, with time, the levels of HA in our body are depleted leading to wrinkled and sagging skin. Mostly found in moisturisers, topical HA helps restore our skin’s vitality and firmness. A blessing for the skin? We think so!
A compound that treats sudden breakouts and blemishes like a pro, salicylic acid is a key ingredient in anti-acne treatments. Not only does it assist the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) to shed more readily and open clogged pores in the process, but it also prevents them from clogging again by constricting pore diameter. Breakouts? We gotcha!
A crucial ingredient in most sun protection formulas, zinc oxide happens to be the only chemical ingredient that protects against all three types of radiation—UVB, long wave UVA and shortwave UVA radiation. To top that, the compound also possesses subtle astringent properties that soothe skin irritation. Another example of good chemicals we should be looking for in our skincare products.
With age and excessive exposure to the sun, collagen (protein in the body that keeps the skin firm) synthesis in our skin rapidly decreases. This leads to the formation of wrinkles. Vitamin C is the only antioxidant that’s powerful enough to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, hence minimizing signs of aging. And L-ascorbic acid is the only form of Vitamin C that you should be looking for in skincare formulas. Brb while we hoard on all the Vitamin C serums out there!
Invest in skin brightening formulas that consist of kojic acid. A brilliant remedy to hyperpigmentation, this effective lightening agent slows down the production of melanin in our body. Hence, brightening dark spots.