Facial Skin Care Helena MT
By Catherine Guthrie
The well-fed face, it seems, is here to stay. First it was vitamin A for wrinkles. Then vitamins C and E became the next big thing. Now many creams contain actual foods like soy and green tea. According to cosmetics ads, these ingredients deliver a virtual face-lift in a jar—and if you’re old enough to worry about wrinkles, you’re wise enough to have heard that line before.
But is it possible the ads are right? Can using vitamin creams really make your skin look younger? And if the science does exist to back up the claims, can you find the fountain of youth in inexpensive drugstore brands or must you spend a boatload on dermatologists and high-end products?
First, it’s important to understand that skin doesn’t age the way people once assumed. In the past, the number of furrows lining your brow was thought to correspond roughly to the number of candles on your birthday cake. Period. But thanks to the past 30 years of skin care science, we now know there are two types of aging: chronological and environmental.
Chronological aging is controlled by genes and age-related hormone changes. But before you resign yourself to having your mother’s skin, consider this: Genetics accounts for only about 10 percent of the visible signs of aging. The rest are mostly environmental, meaning they are caused primarily by free radicals, nasty unpaired oxygen electrons that can wreak havoc on healthy cells. Free radicals are to the skin what termites are to the framework of a house. They burrow beneath the surface, destroying the collagen scaffolding; discombobulating pig-mentation and causing age spots; and vandalizing cellular DNA, sometimes triggering precancerous lesions.
Here’s where antioxidants come in. Skin creams laced with vitamins A, C, or similar substances send these wonder-workers deep below the skin’s surface to hunt free radicals. Unlike regular moisturizers, which contain smaller amounts of these ingredients, the products identify themselves as “anti-aging creams”—and justifiably so. Used daily, antioxidants build up in the skin and stay on alert, snatching free radicals as they whiz by. Also, specific antioxidants zero in on specific free radicals, so there’s a way to neutralize just about every skin-wrecking villain out there.
The catch is that successfully blending antioxidants into skin care products isn’t so easy. For starters, antioxidants are naturally unstable; keeping them kicking until they get into your skin is like keeping a candle lit in a windstorm. And they favor the gaudy side of the color wheel. (Nice for a fruit bowl but not so appealing on your face.) Finally, antioxidant levels must be high enough that their molecules can elbow their way past the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, and down to the site of the main action in the dermis.
All of this basically means that some products are much better than others, so it’s important to choose wisely. Here’s what you need to know about the individual in...
Author: Catherine Guthrie
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