Want an anti-ageing boost? Look no further than the latest products containing the super-hydrating hyaluronic acid, says Victoria Hall
Hyaluronic acid is one of those ingredients that is bandied about the beauty industry like its going out of fashion. It’s not. In fact, it’s just had an upgrade and your going to be seeing a lot more of it.
For those who are not entirely au fait with the skin-quenching wonder ingredient, it isn’t a traditional ‘acid’ and won’t leave you tingling or red. In fact, hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that can retain between 500 and 1,000 times its own weight in water and your body naturally produces it. However, like most things, this slows down as we age.
Hyaluronic acid keeps your skin hydrated, plump and firm, which is why it’s used in serums and face creams. Unfortunately, the molecules used by some brands are too big to get through the skin’s layers and stay on the surface, offering only a temporary fix.
Some serums, such as The Ordinary’s, contain different sized molecules, which can provide a higher level of hydration. But until recently the only way to get the ingredient deep into your skin was by injecting it.
A new range has suddenly made superluxe ingredients affordable, says Lesley Thomas
Zillions of products cross my path yet there are very few that I feel I absolutely have to tell you about. Particularly in the youth-enhancing areas. This is because most of the products that are really effective are also really expensive. For Example, I am using an extraordinary moisturiser from Colbert MD called Retensify Firming Cream. When I put it on with the Stimulate serum from the same brand, I feel as if I’ve had a mini facelift. But will I tell everyone to go out and buy it? No, because it’s £175 and for most people that is too much (although it is at Space NK if you are oligarch or just feeling flush; the serum is £135).
Also, it’s the cheap, effective products that I find most thrilling of all. And have I got news for you: I’ve been trying out a new range called The Ordinary that seems almost too good to be true. It is brought to us by the creators of brilliant NIOD, which you’ve only heard about if you are a cosmetic nerd and you spend above-average amounts on your skincare.
This latest brand is a line-up of hi-tech serums and treatments that you normally only find in the fanciest beauty halls. Many of the products cost around a fiver. There’s a small catch and it’s that you need a fair amount of knowledge about your skin’s needs to work out which ten potions would be right for you. The names of the products are simply the key ingredients and are quite baffling. But there’s are the ones to know: for all skin over 30, effective in securing moisture and volume in ageing skin. I found little difference between this and products that are five times the price.
If you are battling acne or the blemishes it has left behind, the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (£5) is excellent for treating and fading.
There’s a retinol product (a usually pricey anti-ageing ingredient) called Retinol 1% (£5.80). Retinol boosts cell production on the top layer of the skin (sometimes that slows as you age) and this is a high concentration of it for an over-the-counter product. Two weeks of use and your skin will be smoother. I have used something similar in the past for around £70.
A helpful fact sheet on victoriahealth.com explains the products and when to use them. If you can’t be bothered with that, there’s a brilliant do-it-all serum, which tackles wrinkles, pigmentation, dehydration and sagging, called Buffet (£12.70), to be used morning and night.
The new kid on the beauty block aims to bring youthful results without bankrupting you. Applied Morning and night before your moisturiser, the impressive oil-free treatment combines low, medium, and high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid to ensure deeper penetration within the skin, as well as next-generation slow-release technology.
What does this mean for your skin? Well, hyaluronic acid is what’s known as a cushioning agent, so expect a youthful plumpness to be restored to your face and fine lines caused by dehydration to vanish. Oh, and the vitamin B5 acts like a vacuum, sucking up and then holding on to the moisture – boosting skin softness and elasticity in the process.
Most of us, at some point in our lives, will probably experience the mild symptoms of seeing tiny spots floating around in our vision. These tiny spots are called floaters and are defined as small specks or clouds that drift in the field of vision. Floaters can be any shape including tiny dots, circles, cobwebs or clouds and are generally harmless.
To understand what causes floaters, we need to look at the structure of the eye. The eye is filled with a gel-like liquid called the vitreous humour, which is made primarily of hyaluronic acid. During youth, the vitreous humour has a gel-like consistency, but as we begin to age, it becomes more watery, especially around the middle of the eye, whilst the outer parts begin to get more solid. Read More…
Every spring, readers ask how to solve skin problems before the start of summer revelries. So I asked leading facialist Sarah Chapman and clinical pharmacist Shabir Daya, who has a special interest in skin, to suggest simple ways to get the glow back. Often, you will see a difference within days but skin cell turnover takes about four weeks so keep on with the TLC. In fact, make it a daily habit: look after your skin and it will reward you bountifully.
Problem: Breakouts, oily or combination skin Solution: Focus on deep cleansing and decongesting
Use gentle exfoliants or peeling pads to reveal a fresher, brighter complexion. Avoid products containing benzoyl peroxide or mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum), which will clog pores, dry skin, then send it into oily overdrive.
Twice a week, steam your face over a bowl of very hot water with a towel over your head to draw out toxins.
Massage breakout-prone areas daily, working out towards the lymph nodes and down the sides of the face – use fingertips or a facial massager.
Apply a clay-based mask twice weekly to help draw out blockages and blackheads and absorb excess oil production. Read More…
The ageing of skin is a multi-faceted process which is impacted by lifestyle, dietary choices and genetics. The cells of our bodies are programmed to have a finite lifespan. Each time a cell divides, some genetic material is lost so that on average, thirty to forty cell divisions is usually the maximum and after this the cell is considered to be aged. Obviously, external factors play a role in this process by damaging the genetic material, diets which enhance free radical production halt the regenerative process and the decline in the uptake of nutrients by the cells themselves results in the inability of the cells to regenerate due to lack of energy.
How your Skin Ages
Skin is like any other organ in the body and it ages over a period of time. Unlike the liver, kidneys and other organs, skin actually ages more rapidly because it is not only exposed to internal aggressions and toxins but it also has to cope with the external pollutants, radiation and other aggressions.
In order to understand the ageing of skin, we need to look at the outermost layer called the stratum corneum and what becomes of it over time. The stratum corneum is composed of flattened, hard, dead skin cells that resemble overlapping bricks, which start as living cells in the lower skin layers. As they are pushed closer to the surface, they flatten out and die, resulting in a thin but very tough barrier. Read More…