Everyone wants the quick and easy fix to their weight, age, and other aesthetic issues. While surgery and other cosmetic procedures are growing in popularity and acceptability, the large majority of people still try to avoid it in favor of less effective approaches. We, at TSLMS, can understand this – but we also know how few of these approaches work to the satisfaction of the patients. That said, some are better than others. And while we are in the business of procedures, we know that there are dermatologists and other beauty experts who have the low down on the best creams, lotions, tonics, and serums – not to mention diets and supplements.
Usually this is outside of the area that we focus on, but it is an area that almost all of our collective clients and patients have an interest in, so we feel it is worth educating ourselves. Even if the knowledge gained is only so that we can have informed conversations with our clients, it is a step in the right direction. For most of us, though, it is important so that we can understand the interaction that their skin will have with the procedures we are doing.
If you are already up to speed on all things beauty and cosmetic, then skip ahead. For the rest of us, here is the state of the world today.
The Best Beauty Products
You know when Town and Country Magazine has a list of the best skin care products of 2019, it is worth paying attention to. Here is what they have to say about the best anti-aging serums out there: “When it comes to anti-aging skincare, the best place you can invest a couple of extra dollars is a top notch serum. Thinner than a traditional moisturizer, serums are formulated to penetrate deeper into the skin barrier, and thusly, have the most advanced technology to allow for that. Our point: if you really want to see results, put a serum to the test. Depending on your anti-aging concern, whether it is lifting and tightening, dryness and dullness, or skin that is in dire need of a brightening boost, there is surely a delightful—and effective— emulsion out there for you.” Their list of favorite serums ranges from under $100 to several hundred a bottle. Each promises big results.
But why serums? If moisturization is the key, why not creams and lotions?
Technically speaking, according to the skincare maker Bare Alchemy, the biggest difference between a serum and a moisturizer is: “Moisturizers are primarily designed to hydrate the skin by adding to and sealing in the natural moisture of the body. Although moisturizers often contain ingredients to target specific issues like ageing or sun damage, their main role is to get hydration to the skin and keep it there. Serums, on the other hand, are formulated to penetrate deeply into the skin and address or even reverse the causes of ageing and skin damage at the cellular level. Serums are likely to contain more antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins that work to repair the structure of skin cells, increasing skin radiance, smoothness and suppleness.”
Moisturizers contain sealant agents that help to trap moisture in your skin, thereby keeping your skin hydrated and plump. They come in the form of creams, lotions and oils. These heavier products may include the same ingredients as a serum, but they cannot deliver what a serum does in only a drop.
Ingredients That Make a Difference To The Skin
There are a number of ingredients that have grown in popularity. One or more of these is found in virtually every serum on the market and loaded in many other skin products like lotions and creams. The list below includes not only the most common ingredients, but also a list of their attributes, as noted by FaceSerum.com. Each is verifiable through scientific studies:
Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid specializes in replenishing moisture to dry, parched skin. As we age, we naturally lose the ability to retain moisture in our skin. Moisture is needed for a supple and youthful look and feel. Without an adequate amount, our skin begins to lose plumpness and firmness. Hyaluronic Acid is super effective because it can absorb up to 1,000x its own weight in water. Since it’s so absorbent, it’s able to draw in water and lock in vital moisture. By rehydrating the skin, it smooths and plumps the surface, while dramatically reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Retinol (Vitamin A) is one of the most clinically proven anti-aging ingredients available today. It stimulates the production of collagen, which leads to firmer, plumper skin. Retinol has exfoliating properties that encourage cell turnover and helps shed dead skin cells. As we age, our skin’s natural exfoliating functions slow down and we produce less collagen. This results in dull, tired looking skin that can be dry and flakey. Retinol is also able to tighten pores and reduce hyperpigmentation by evening out skin tone. This vitamin leaves you with a fresh, vibrant glow and visibly softer, firmer skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are natural acids that are derived from fruits like lemons, grapefruit, and oranges. They work in numerous ways to greatly benefit your skin. These acids are chemical exfoliators that keep your complexion clear and vibrant by removing the buildup of dead and damaged skin cells. They also keep your pores from getting clogged and help prevent acne breakouts. By exfoliating the skin, they clear dead skin and debris to make your facial products work better and absorb more efficiently. AHAs lighten and brighten the skin by correcting discoloration and hyperpigmentation due to scarring, age spots, and sun damage. You’ll commonly find these natural acids listed as lactic acid, glycolic acid, sugar cane extract, triple fruit acid, and malic acid.
DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) is often referred to as a “facelift in a bottle”. This nutritional substance has been clinically shown to lift, firm, and tighten the skin. It works wonders for anti-aging and helps reverse drooping and sagging that naturally comes with time. DMAE minimizes both deep and fine lines and evens out the color and tone of your complexion. This powerful ingredient offers youth- inducing results and quickly!
Peptides play a crucial role in the strength and structure of skin. They consist of amino acid chains that are the building blocks of protein (namely collagen). Peptides encourage cellular repair of skin and increase collagen production. This bolsters and firms the skin and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.
Stem Cells are able to repair every type of cell in the body. They stimulate cellular renewal, proper cellular function, and increase the overall production of collagen. Stem cells completely rejuvenate and protect the skin. These cells are usually derived from plants such as lilac, grape seed, edelweiss, and swiss apple. However, sheep placenta extract (as crazy as it sounds) is also another beneficial form used in face serums.
Other super popular ingredients include Glycerin, Green Tea, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
Beauty Products As Part of the Routine
As much as we love to do procedures, we would also love to see people start paying attention to their bodies, faces, and the trends of the day to be healthier and happier. Many of those trends are rooted in the desire to maintain their youth. The truth is that these products can only help us better help our clients and patients. We recommend a solid skincare routine that involves cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing. Good skin care, on top of the surgery, laser or chemical treatment, or injection that we give, will be much better than either one alone.