Vaijayanti Bhalchandra, Co-Founder, YLG Salon, decodes actives, the soul of products to StyleSpeak
In the realm of skincare, knowledge reigns supreme, and understanding active ingredients in skincare products is your compass to achieving truly transformative results. It’s imperative to comprehend the role each active ingredient plays in your products for your skincare routine to deliver the results you are hoping for. So, let’s embark upon this journey of discovery together.
What is a Skincare routine?
Let’s pause before jumping into ingredients and check what a skincare “routine” should look like. CTTMP (Cleanse, Tone, Treat, Moisturize and Protect) is the easiest way to remember it. Cleansing is the process of removing excess oil, dirt & pollution from the surface of the skin. Toning plays two roles, first, to remove the last of the dirt and grime left on the skin and second, to balance the pH of your skin. Serums and other concentrates are then used as a treatment for primary and secondary skin concerns. Followed by a hydration kick from a moisturizer and last but not least, a final layer of protection from further damage. SPF!
This routine in the AM minus the SPF can be carried forward for the PM routine as well. So many products to choose from, but, dear reader, have you ever truly dissected the long list of ingredients? To ensure there is no clash or contraindications. Reading the ingredient list is a subtle art, akin to decoding hidden messages.
- Ingredients are listed from most to least concentration – a vital clue to their potency
- Scroll to the end, the potential allergens, a vital consideration for the ones with allergic problems or sensitive skin
What is an Active ingredient?
Much like a chai’s soul lies in the ‘patti’, actives are the heart of products. Whether its sun damage, acne, or embracing the youthfulness of your skin these actives address specific concerns with precision often implemented in the “treat” step of routines.
Aloe Vera, Retinol, Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, Beta-Hydroxy Acids, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Niacinamide – Let’s have a closer look.
AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy Acids)
A gentle chemical exfoliant, sheds old skin cells to boost new cell growth.
- Lactic acid derived from dairy products, has a larger molecule size – working on the surface, it balances the microbiome of acne prone skin. Suitable exfoliant for sensitive skin types.
- While Glycolic acid, with smaller molecular size, dives deeper, reduces pigmentation and aids in penetration of other products.
BHA (Beta-Hydroxy Acids)
BHAs are organic carboxylic acids. They are oil soluble, which means they penetrate deeper into the pores to remove excess sebum, blackheads, and dirt, making it an ideal choice for acne-prone and oily skin. The most used BHA is Salicylic Acid.
Salicylic acid can be a highly effective combination treatment for battling acne and blackheads. (Should not be applied along with Benzoyl Peroxide)
Hyaluronic Acid’s water-retaining prowess enriches the skin’s texture, leaving behind a trail of plumpness and vitality. By delivering a boost of hydration all day long, it is dry skin’s hero in shining armor. Ideal for all skin types with rarely any contraindications.
Derived from Vitamin A, Retinol takes center stage in enhancing cell turnover, diminishing fine lines, reducing hyperpigmentation, and fostering a youthful glow. Approach with care, as it is a strong active that MUST be paired with sunscreen and has some contraindications such as AHAs, BHAs, niacinamide, Vit C. It is recommended to be used only in the PM routine on alternate nights when starting to build the skins tolerance to the active.
Niacinamide, is a form of Vitamin B3. Is a star product to improve the overall health of skin, especially those facing the problems of inflammation and rosacea. It is one of the gentler actives making it suitable for all skin types to strengthen the skin’s barrier and improve elasticity.
Vitamin C, as we know is found naturally in many foods like oranges, lime etc. promoting collagen production. Its prowess in protecting the skin from UV damage and fending off environmental foes makes it an ideal part of the AM routine (Treat).
An all-natural and edible ingredient. Soothing and healing with every touch, its versatility offers respite from redness, itching, and even sunburns.
Remember, your skin is delicate, when treated with kindness it will thank you in the long run!
- Introduce one active at a time,
- Avoid overuse of one active,
- Protect with SPF daily.
At YLG Salon and Institut, your journey to radiant skin takes center stage, we delve into the world of skincare services with an unwavering passion for knowledge. We invite you to embark on a path of discovery, nurturing your skin’s masterpiece with the wisdom of active ingredients.
For further inquiries, contact us at [email protected]
Co-Founder, YLG India