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Skincare Ingredients

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Pupsiecola Tue 18-Oct-16 16:08:15

Following on from the skincare routines post, what ingredients do you make sure you include in your products, for example, Vit C, Vit E, Hyaluronic acid?


burnishedsilver Tue 18-Oct-16 17:15:00

Retinol, Glycolic acid

botemp Tue 18-Oct-16 19:43:15

The percentage of active ingredients and pH (especially cleansers) is pretty much what helps me determine what products to buy/consider.

Vitamin A (aka Retinol) at decent strength unfortunately manufacturers aren't always that transparent about it.
Vitamin C between 10-20% and low pH
Vitamin E (only one I don't particularly seek out as it's usually in something)

Niacinamide at 4-5%
AHA (I prefer lactic over glycolic as it's gentler) also low pH, % dependant on mix of acids and type.
BHA 2% again low pH
For hyaluronic I always look for a mix of molecular weights that actually absorb rather than sit on skin and actually end up pulling hydration from your other products instead.

I think that's all of them but I may have forgotten someone, will add if that's the case.

botemp Tue 18-Oct-16 20:04:15

Remembered now.

Chemical UV filters in SPF I tend to look out for, Tinosorb S, Tinosorb M, and Unival A Plus. Preferably in a formulation with a physical UV filter.

Pupsiecola Tue 18-Oct-16 23:27:10

Would you share your favourites botemp?

botemp Wed 19-Oct-16 09:33:00

Most of them are covered in that other thread, though it is specific to my skin needs but not labelled by ingredient so I've listed below plus some alternatives. Apologies, these things always turn into a novel since I'm not all that happy giving universal advice/recommendations purely on the back of my personal experience, especially considering my very specific skin likes and dislikes.

Vit A- I use Verso that has the unique Retinol 8 patent which is supposedly 8 times more effective than standard OTC Retinol and especially suited for sensitive skin. I think it's great (shea butter based though so not for everyone) but wouldn't be able to tell you if it's 8x better. I will be trying the Ordinary 2% Retinol simply for the possibility of being able to spend significantly less on the facial serum but there is little that will pry me away from the Verso Retinol Eye Serum as it's bloody brilliant and surprisingly affordable for the amount you get (30ml as opposed to the standard 15ml) and lasts forever.

I'm not really an advocate for eye creams unless, like me, you're especially sensitive to other products in that area or want to target it specifically with a proven active with an appropriate formulation (Retin-A and strong acids should not be used in that area as skin is generally too delicate, some can use Retin-A in the area but really should be done under supervision of a medical practitioner). Alternative retinols to consider are by The Ordinary (2%), Paula's Choice, and SkinCeuticals (1%). Sunday Riley's Luna Oil gets very mixed reviews, Pestle & Mortar's retinoil is also worth considering though relatively new. Pay no mind to the percentages though, they indicate very little. You have to take in consideration pH followed by some difficult maths to understand the effective % of actives on the skin (unlike Retin-A where the percentage is indicative of actual strength as required by law with all prescription medication).

Vit C- I use a Japanese one currently (Melano CC) that is effective but % unknown unfortunately cheap though. I've used Kiehl's Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate at 10.5% in the past which is a good gentle daily option to get started with (the higher concentrations really more of interest to those with sun damage and PIH) but I wasn't a fan of the use of silicones in it (gives false indication of the condition of your skin, masks a lot of unknowns). I'll be trying one of The Ordinary's one next. The gold standard is Skinceuticals Ferulic C+E that has a patent on the best pH for the formulation and a price to match. NuFountain c20+Ferulic is a good alternative price wise (from not uk) with a very similar formulation and is made fresh to order. The Ordinary's one is bargainous and initial reviews appear positive. All these are L-AA based, the Vit C form with the most scientific backing but is unfortunately very difficult to stabilise (it's recommended to keep most in the fridge to delay oxidation).

Vit E- as mentioned is usually high in something (currently my Rice Bran Oil) and one can easily purchase Vit E oil for v. little if desired. It's just not much of a star ingredient as the others but it's a solid hard worker.

Niacinamide- it's in both Verso's formulations (though % unknown) and at a high concentration in my Naruko Magnolia Gelly, the entire Naruko Magnolia line (from Taiwan) is high in Niacinamide 3-5%. Alternatives are Cerave PM lotion (4-5%), or the Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc to use either buffered in as a booster or on its own. The Olay products are rumoured to hold high % of niacinamide but I don't know if they've ever published them.

AHA- Biologique Recherche Lotion P50(W), there's a reason people love this and it has a cult following. 'Fetus skin in a bottle' is not too far off of a description. There's many other glycolic based alternatives but I tend not to get on with them well. Pixi glow tonic at an ineffective pH for any proper exfoliation brought me very close to the brink of rosacea (never had it before or after) after only a few uses with a careful approach, for others it's a miracle worker. Alpha-H Liquid Gold is an alternative as are the Nip+Fab (all glycolic). Clarins (Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner) and the Ordinary do Lactic Acid versions.

BHA- Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid, there's very little that comes close in all honesty. I have the travel size as I don't need to use it all that often. COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid from Korea is a decent alternative albeit much gentler and less strong (also 2% but it uses a different form of BHA).

Hyaluronic Acid- Kohaku Hada Lotion from Japan because it's cheap, you get quite a lot (220ml vs. 30ml) and unlike Hada Labo is paraben free (they're not as dangerous as the internet likes to think, I just happen to not get on with them well, among many other types of preservatives). The Japanese lotions (somewhat in between a serum/toner in consistency) are formulated well with not just any old hyaluronic acid in it. They're also the original pioneers of HA. The premium version from HL is a godsend to very dry/dehydrated types but may be too rich for some. Hyalamide is an alternative or the NIOD version if you want some added anti-ageing ingredient in there with it. Supposedly the Kohaku Hada Lotion has anti-ageing amber extracts in it, there's no science to back that up.

SPF- Japanese all the way. They're formulated to the highest standards with extreme cosmetic elegance and the newest and most effective UV filters. Ideal for year round use rather than the occasional holiday. I use Kose Sekkisei Sun Protection Essence Milk but it's quite an expensive one (due to added beneficial ingredients, but also my specific needs). The Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen is the #1 seller in Japan for a reason and a firm favourite under western users too (wouldn't recommend for a sun destination holiday though, it's an 'indoor sunscreen', not sweat and water resistant). French pharmacy ones like LRP Anthelios or Bioderma are good seconds and better suited for outdoor use, especially as they boast higher PPD (UVA protection as opposed to UVB which relates to the SPF number) ratings but break me out like nobody's business.

Pupsiecola Wed 19-Oct-16 10:05:27

Wow. Thanks for writing such a comprehensive reply bo. I've started using some new products and they've given me an itchy rash on my neck but nothing on my face which is really odd. I find it hard to isolate which product/ingredient is doing it. I guess I need to go back to cleanser and moisturiser that I know doesn't do this and work from there.

Pupsiecola Wed 19-Oct-16 10:05:55

PS I took my Pixi Glow Tonic back to M&S for a refund as I know that irritated me.

Eliema Wed 19-Oct-16 10:10:23

Thanks a lot for these information. This would be helpful to a lot of people.

botemp Wed 19-Oct-16 10:22:55

Yeah, skincare really is one product at a time process with lots of waiting (2 weeks minimum, 6 to truly evaluate any results though any sign of irritation is an indication to stop, exceptions are purging with acids).

I've had irritation in the neck too, it's quite odd but it usually meant it took a bit longer to develop on my face and was irritating, just not as visibly.

I personally don't get on well with most moisturisers since they're so packed full of possible irritants (for me) as everyone tries to cram so much in there (including a rather useless SPF) to claim ten thousand things it will not do, even the non-comedogenic ones. They're sort of the gateway product of skincare so they have their use in the market but least interesting in the bunch to me. French pharmacy brands (LRP, SVR Sensifine) do a few stripped back ones that just moisturise which is basically what I want from a moisturiser, then I'll add whatever high % actives in thin layers preceding it. That works best for me but requires a bit of trial and error before finding the right balance at the right price. Still working on the price bit.

Pupsiecola Wed 19-Oct-16 11:22:04

It's funny you say that bo because I'm confused. My facial skin looks better than it has before, I think. I've used Neostrata Bio-Hydrating Cream for a few years now (recommended by my dermatologist) so thought I would try other products in the range. I used to use LRP and Eucerin. I've defo added more stages (a serum for example) and I've been trying the Neostrata acid toner pads, once every 2 to 3 days. Perhaps the latter is just too harsh.

I confess I've not heard of many of the brands/products in your post. I feel like I've opened up a can of worms lol, spending time trying to up my game skincare wise over the last month or so. There is soooo much out there, and so much to irritate sensitive skin.

Pupsiecola Wed 19-Oct-16 11:24:46

I think I need to stop following these bloggers/vloggers who have a hundred products and interchange them on a daily basis. They clearly have far more robust skin than me!

ImYourWomanJonSnow Wed 19-Oct-16 11:35:04

botemp where do you buy Kohaku Hada Lotion?
And when in your routine do you use it?

yongnian Wed 19-Oct-16 14:46:10

Oo good follow-on pupsie and fascinating info botemps
I'm just delving into this topic too, so learning a lot.
So ingredients-wise, for me.. I've just taken delivery of the Ordinary's vit C which I'm using for my hyper-pigmented scars. (Too soon to see how effective but I was previously using a Tahe vit c serum with good results).
I use A313 (French pharmacy retin-a cream) vv sparingly on any spots and on my neck. I don't use it on my face due to being scared to aggravate my rosacea.
For similar reasons I haven't tried glycolic, lactic - would be happy to be told if I'm being over cautious.
I am thinking to go for some azelaic acid next for my rosacea (either from the Ordinary or from united pharmacy)
I also have started using the ordinaries HA, having previously liked the plumping effects of a Tahe HA cream. Might consider hylamide sub q tho for a better anti-ageing effect.
My acne is really under control now so haven't got involved with any BHA's AHA's. (What else might I need to use these for?)
I am really trying to go slowly with stuff, but am enjoying the self-care aspect of facial masssage etc and I can honestly say that my skin has never looked better (apart from the rosacea tho rosex has helped and hope azelaic will do more)
I use rice bran oil to cleanse too, so vit e covered as botemp said.
What's the difference between chemical and physical sunscreen and which is best if you are using retinol and which best for rosacea and or hyper pigmentation?
And is anyone else obsessed with 'Into the gloss' here?

yongnian Wed 19-Oct-16 14:48:58

Posted too soon - because 'into the gloss' is good for explaining ingredients I find, as well as other things

Pupsiecola Wed 19-Oct-16 16:52:36

The mark on my neck was angry this morning; it was like a burn. I slathered it with some LRP Cicplast B5 and within an hour it was completely gone!

I don't think the acid toner is aggravating my skin - I too was scared to try it. I was diagnosed with early rosacea a few years ago and I've not had a flare up since although I do flush easily and I do avoid triggers, but I don't have any lumps and bumps.

I don't have acne and never have really. My skin is in good condition I think but just a bit flat really.

I would love to understand what I need more. I'm trying the Indeed Hydraluron and I have ordered a serum from Darphin which is for red-prone skin. But I am going to try one new thing at a time, for at least 2 weeks. It can get very obsessive and I think I've lost sight of the fact that I am best with few products, and not switching around too much. But it's a good few years since I tried something new, so it's good to see what else is out there...

botemp Wed 19-Oct-16 19:40:28

Ebay, ImYourWomanJonSnow. I usually use it in place of serum in the AM, and after serum in the PM. It's pretty versatile, if you have Japanese cotton squares you can peel them apart and make yourself a sheet mask with it.

It is a bit of a can of worms, Pupsiecola, and there's definitely an "I want it all madness, get on my skin already!" frenzy that comes with it. The vloggers/bloggers really aren't a useful voice in that regard. I only ever consult them if I happen to be researching something and I know roughly what all their skincare philosophies are. They do indeed appear to have rhino skin as my poor skin reacts in horror at the mere sight of what they go through.

Despite my rather extensive routine I tend to believe less is better and that you try to get everything you use as well formulated and effective as possible. Skin should be self regulating, it's annoying when it isn't but theoretically we don't need all this amount of product I just find that with sensitive skin it's hard to take on all-in-one products without severe reactions and then left not knowing what caused it, added to that they will be nowhere near as effective as the standalone products. I tend to select products on their ingredients knowing what it will do for my skin rather than a promise of eg. anti-redness which is rather vague and can mean anything really but I know a high percentage of Niacinamide will help with redness and evening skin tone while being beneficial in other ways too.

I've never tried Neostrata, but looking at those pads' INCI quickly my concern would be the high percentage of alcohol in them. There's no actual evidence that this is bad for the skin (despite many claiming this with questionable research) but I do find sensitive skin is never much of a fan of alcohol, especially if normal/dry. I also find a lot of people with sensitive skin not getting on well with glycolic, some other AHAs seem to be okay. Sensitive skin is the most difficult to categorise though since it's a very wide definition.

yongnian, I always mix up Into the Gloss and Get the Gloss but have to say am not all that impressed by either. There's still a heavy lean towards cosmetic skincare and product with a light dabble into science now and then (granted haven't graced those websites in a long while, it may have changed). I find the reddits (Skincare Addiction and Asian Beauty) a bit hardcore and militant on what they consider 'good' skin care, but they are useful as resources. Despite hating Paula Begoun's way of marketing and reviewing any product that is not hers, I do find the Beautypedia website one of the most informative on skincare ingredients out there along with a few science based blogs that aren't that product based.

Chemical sunscreen provides protection by absorbing UV rays through a chemical reaction. A physical sunscreen provides a physical shield (usually in the form of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) by deflecting the sun's rays (think thick white sunblock, though more pleasant formulations are becoming more common). One isn't necessarily better than the other and you can get a combination of the two as well, a chemical sunscreen is more likely to cause irritation but is far more pleasant to wear. Chemical sunscreen takes about 20 mins to sink in whilst physical is immediately effective. If you are very prone to hyperpigmentation or melasma physical is recommended as there is less user error and is automatically broad spectrum (blocking both UVA and UVB) whilst chemical sunscreen hardly ever disclose their PPD ratings.

BHA's and AHA's are not exclusive to acne use. BHA (PC do a Clear 2% version) is oft recommended for rosacea because BHA has anti-irritant/anti-inflammatory properties. AHA's are usually used as a chemical exfoliant for glowy fresh skin but despite the benefits that may bring I'd steer clear with rosacea as it can make the redness worse.

yongnian Wed 19-Oct-16 21:39:17

Oo thanks botemp......hotfoots it over to beautypedia and writes bha on wish list... grin

Pupsiecola Wed 19-Oct-16 21:40:49

Thanks bo. I've ordered some LRP Toleraine Ultra because of the Niacinamide. I do get on with LRP very well, usually.

I know Caroline Hirons doesn't rate Paula's Choice but it seemed very popular on the skincare routines thread on here. I will look into it. I wish you could buy sample sizes of these products!

botemp Wed 19-Oct-16 21:50:31

I think CH rates PC's acids and retinol and has some issues with her way of reviewing only on the basis of ingredients but generally respects her just disagrees on certain things.

You can actually buy samples and travel size versions of most of the PC products from her the UK PC skincare site.

EBay sometimes has samples of more popular items available, and I can't remember if it was feelunique or lookfantastic but one of them started a sort of samples shop. I also quite like the net-a-porter beauty boxes (I think they come out every six months), found some great products through those.

Pupsiecola Wed 19-Oct-16 22:24:20

Thank you bo. I will look at the PC sample sizes, particularly the BHA. I'm not sure I will buy the Neostrata acid toner pads again; they're really expensive although not so bad if you use them a couple of times a week (hope they don't dry out!). I feel like they should irritate my skin but I don't think they are. I think it looks better.

I've not had a facial for years but have just found a Darphin salon near me so have booked one. Are you familiar with the brand? (Do you do this for fun, or for a living?!).

Pupsiecola Wed 19-Oct-16 22:33:22

This may be a daft question but what is the difference between PC's normal strength 2% BHA and the extra strength 2% BHA.

I see it can be used for Kerastosis Pilaris. My 13 year old son has had since being a toddler so I could try it on him.

botemp Wed 19-Oct-16 23:33:46

I think I had a Darphin moisturiser at some point (Ideal Resource? maybe) it wasn't bad but I feel it's a bit overpriced for what it is, especially outside of France, with a heavy emphasis on the sensorial. For a pampering facial it might be the thing you want though. I've always liked Dermalogica for facials (used to go every 6 weeks) but prefer to spend that money on the daily skincare instead.

All for fun btw, I had blemish free perfect skin till my mid twenties and then (due to a PCOS flare up) it went all over the place so I had to adjust and my skin has been through many phases though still minor in comparison to most, sensitivity really is my biggest challenge. It's very stable and 'normal' these days, I then upped the anti-ageing prevention when I turned 30.

The Clear ones right? Normal strength is for normal skin, extra strength for combo to oily, I suspect that one is formulated for targeting blemishes and will be slightly drying. The Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid is the one everyone raves about though. You can use it for KP though some react better to AHA or Urea instead. PC do special body lotions with AHA/BHA for KP but they're quite pricey for the amount (see also Ameliorate).

The body is usually where rejected skincare ends up on me as it can take higher doses of actives and isn't as sensitive, the Pixi glow tonic now helps prevent ingrown hairs on my legs, remnants of my lotion p50 on the cotton pad get wiped over elbows and knees to keep them from drying out, etc.

I haven't personally used LRP Toleriane Ultra myself but I know a fellow skincare nerd on here that speaks highly of it. I think it also has squalane up high in the INCI which is a great moisturising ingredient that looks to be the next 'buzz' ingredient. Like HA it's naturally present in our skin but levels of it decline quickly post 20s.

shereebobbins Wed 19-Oct-16 23:53:57

I had a ruddy complexion ever since I can remember.
What worked for me within two weeks was niacinamide serum.
I can't recommend one for you as I make my own but The Ordinary's looks promising.

Cockblocktopus Thu 20-Oct-16 03:17:21

OP thanks for stating this thread, I was thinking about one like this the other week!

Bo I live in west Aus where the sun is obviously incredibly strong so I need a sun cream that will properly protect. I've used biore water essence but agree it's only good indoor use. I'm using Obagi at the moment and really like it but I wonder if there was a product you would use daily if you lived and worked somewhere like Perth. Thanks!

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