Monthly Archives: April 2011

What is Hyaluronic Acid as used in Skin Care?

In better skin care products, hyaluronic acid is used mostly as a moisturizer and is known for its ability to hold up to 1,000X its weight in water. By providing excellent hydration, hyaluronic acid makes your skin soft, supple and well-moisturized. This will not only minimize the signs of skin aging, but will keep your skin healthy and reduce the occurrence of blemishes. Despite being an “acid,” hyaluronic acid is not irritating and is safe for those with sensitive skin. It is an excellent dry skin moisturizer.

It is known that the body produces more HA during the process of wound healing. In addition to helping support the wound structurally, HA applied to skin wounds in animals has been demonstrated to facilitate healing.

In human skin, the legendary healing properties of hyaluronic acid help it repair damaged tissue, particularly from excessive sun exposure.

How to Read Skin Care Ingredient Labels

If you are shopping online for skin care products, be sure the website provides a full list of ingredients. If the ingredients are not revealed, either the merchant doesn’t want you to see that the concentration of active ingredients is low, or there are some questionable ingredients.

Understandably, to protect their formulas, skin care companies don’t reveal the exact percentage of each ingredient in their products. However, you can find some clues by reading the ingredient label. The FDA requires that cosmetic ingredients on the product label be listed in the order of highest to lowest concentration.  For example, if hyaluronic acid is the fifth item in the ingredient list for a moisturizer, it is the fifth most concentrated ingredient in the product. You want to be certain that the active ingredients – the ones you are paying for to improve your skin – are listed near the beginning of the list. Ingredients listed near the end of the list product typically comprise less than one percent of the total and if so, can be listed in any order.

You also want to look at the total number of unique ingredients in a product.  Products with an extensive number of skin care ingredients (more than 15-20), probably contain fillers.  Basic arithmetic will tell you that products with a large number of ingredients have lower concentrations of any given active ingredient.

Keep Your Skin Healthy – Protect from Sunlight

Limit sun exposure.  Avoid direct sunlight during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the solar radiation is strongest. Cloudy days don’t offer much protection – many of the sun’s rays can pass through clouds, especially ultraviolet.  Being around water can intensify sunlight through reflection and the fact that water’s ability to cool the skin can make people unaware they are getting burned.

Use a good UVA/UVB sunblock with a SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher.  Look for “broad spectrum” sun screen – the best kind contain titanium dioxide.  Also, use waterproof sunblock so it stays on your skin if you perspire of get wet.

Protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat will help shield your face, ears, and neck.  Be sure your sunglasses filter out ultraviolet radiation.

Avoid sun tanning, which includes artificial sunlight at tanning salons.

Are you exfoliating your skin?

Regular exfoliation is probably the most underutilized component of most people’s skin care routine.

Immediately after exfoliating, your skin will feel smoother and softer. By removing the outer layer of the dead cells of the epidermis, you not only improve the feel and texture of your skin, but you also stimulate production of fresh, new skin cells to achieve a more healthy complexion. At the same time, removing the layer of dull, dead skin cells not only allows oxygen to reach and nourish your living cells, but it makes it easier to benefit from skin care products applied to your skin.

There are three main categories of skin exfoliation products. Fruit acid or glycolic acid loosen the “glue” than binds dead skin cells together, making it easier to wash them away. Retinol products not only help remove the outer layer, but also stimulate the production of collagen, which helps support your skin’s structure and provide firmness.

Microdermabrasion exfoliation uses tiny abrasive crystals to scrub away the outer layer without irritation. A popular type of facial scrub uses very small amber crystals that effectively remove dead skin without any tearing or irritation.

As a final note, because your outermost layer of skin is removed after any exfoliation procedure, it is important to use a sunblock afterward.

Did you know that oily skin needs extra hydration?

Your skin will sometimes overcompensate for dryness and produce more oil. Here are some skin moisturizing tips to help prevent dry skin:

  • Apply a good moisturizer everyday to combat oily skin
  • Use a UVA/UVB sunblock to prevent dryness and premature aging
  • Hot water dries your skin – use lukewarm water for showering
  • Avoid harsh or detergent cleansing bars

Many popular “soaps” strip water and lipids from your skin. The worst offenders are antibacterial and deodorant bars. Dryness is also be caused by central air conditioning and heating. If you’re seeing dullness or have dry, itchy skin, use a good body scrub to exfoliate dead cells and enjoy smoother skin. Most importantly, find a good moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid, which holds 1,000 times its weight in water.

Parabens Shown to Accelerate Skin Aging

You may know that a class of synthetic chemical preservatives known as parabens has been linked to health issues in women, but a recent study has reported that methyl-paraben may accelerate skin aging in the presence of ultraviolet light (sunlight).

So, ironically, certain skin care products containing methylparaben may actually result in more skin aging instead of less!

The study about methylparaben causing skin aging in sunlight was published in the scientific journal Toxicology by researchers at Kyoto university in Japan.

The main health concern with parabens is that they can mimic the effects of estrogens in high doses. This has linked them to breast cancer in women.

Mango Madness Skin Care’s anti-aging skin care products contain no parabens, phthalates, sulfates or petroleum-derived substances.