We're delighted to welcome back skincare expert Natalie Fisher, aka The Derm Nurse. We're lucky enough to have Natalie write a series of guest blogs for us, where she shares her knowledge on all things skin!
Two weeks have passed since my last blog, where has that time gone?! I hope you have been keeping well and enjoying the wonderful weather we’ve been experiencing in the UK.
So I’m here to bring you the second installment of our ingredients guide, taking you from K all the way through to T. Let’s get cracking!
K- Kojic Acid. Kojic acid is a by-product of fermented soy sauce and rice wine. This acid is mostly used for its ability to brighten skin so can be helpful for uneven skin tones.
L- Lime Pearl. This is a new generation of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (remember back to the first installment where we looked at AHA’s.) This exfoliating ingredient is particularly gentle so is suitable for most skin types. Used regularly it will help skin become softer and more radiant.
M- Macadamia Oil. This is rich in Omegas 6 & 7, these will not only help to restore the skin's barrier function but they also have anti-inflammatory properties. This oil is a great emollient which can be used to help treat dry skin.
N- Niacinamide. This is also known as Vitamin B3. Niacinamide, in my opinion, is a superhero ingredient. Why do I hold it in such high regard? For starters its ability to improve uneven skin tone, fine lines and dullness. Then add to this its ability to improve the appearance of enlarged pores and also repair damage from UV light. I think that justifies the ‘superhero’ title!
O- Oatmeal. This often underestimated ingredient has been used in skincare for years. The main benefit of oatmeal is its ability to protect and soothe the skin whilst preventing water loss. A little tip for those suffering with dry skin, add some porridge oats to the foot of an old pair of tights, tie it off and add it to your bath water. When you get out of the bath you’ll have super soft skin!
P- Peptides. Peptides are chains of amino acids, these are the building blocks of proteins. When thinking about your skin, the main proteins are collagen, elastin and keratin. So if you are looking for anti-aging ingredients, try adding in peptides.
Q- Quinoa Oil (this was tricky, hardly any skincare ingredients start with Q!). Quinoa oil is thought to have emollient properties for the skin but currently there isn’t a lot of research on it so it could be one to watch!
R- Retinol. Now I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of this ingredient. Often talked about in the media and praised to be ‘the’ skincare ingredient above all others! Yes it is a powerhouse ingredient, a true multitasker offering wrinkle smoothing and skin restoring abilities. The thing to remember when introducing a retinol to your regime is to start low and start slow, this way you can avoid some of the side effects associated with retinol.
S- Salicylic Acid. This is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA). It is particularly beneficial for acne prone skins because of its ability to not only exfoliate the surface of the skin but also penetrate into the pores and exfoliate inside the pore. This will essentially help to reduce spots including blackheads (comedones).
T-Turmeric. A tasty ingredient in your dinner but turmeric also has benefits when applied topically in skincare. Research has shown that turmeric can help to calm the skin and may be beneficial in reducing redness associated with acne. It is a potent antioxidant and also interestingly has been found to boost levels of hyaluronic acid within the skin.
So that concludes the second instalment. I hope you are finding this helpful and you are now becoming a savvy skincare shopper! Try not to overcomplicate it, think about what your main concerns are and look for the ingredients designed to treat them. Try to keep your skin regime simple and concise, then commit to it. Great skin is a long term goal not an overnight quick fix!