Unravelling beauty jargon
These days we are inundated with new terms, skin care regime musts, new taboos, and generally long words which unless you are a scientist don’t make a lot of sense but we feel we have to have in our products.
So in order to simplify things a bit, here is the short list of keywords which are bandied around a lot, what they actually mean, and why they are relevant to you.
Collagen, we know we want it, we know it keeps our skin looking younger, but what exactly is it and how can we promote its production?
In the most simple terms (you may remember some of these words from biology class) Collagen is a protein composed of amino-acids. The cell renewing properties of collagen is what keeps skin firm and supple, helps the skin to retain moisture, it is also what gives skin it elasticity.
Why are anti-ageing products always talking about collagen? As we age the collagen cell production slows, meaning that we do not renew those cells as often. This causes sagging of the skin and lost elasticity.
Unfortunately there is not simple fix for the slowing down of collagen production. Collagen itself cannot be absorbed effectively directly through the skin.
What we need to do is keep encouraging the production of collagen, the best way to do this is to supply the body with the components it needs to produce collagen: a balanced diet. Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, also food rich in amino acids can help the production of collagen (carrots, celery, cauliflower, spinach, almonds, grapes, beetroot to name a few). These components can aslo be delivered directly to cells by using vitamin rich skin care products. The slowing down of the production of collagen will cause your skin to dry out – keep moisturised at all times.
2. Fatty Acids
Fatty Acids are, essentially, the good fats that are produced when fat is broken down. Fatty acids play an important role in the body – they help to ensure the flow of oxygen through the blood stream. Oxygen is a key component for keeping skin cells looking young and healthy. Whilst Fatty Acid Omega-9 is produced by the body we need to ensure that we supply our bodies with Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Fatty Acids help regulate blood pressure as well as calm inflammation and fight infection, making Fatty Acids a key component for a competent skin care range. They are also known to boost the immune system.
3 & 4. Free Radicals & Antioxidants
Oxygen is a highly reactive element. This means that it can react with many other substances, often this can lead to positive and beneficial results, but when it reacts with harmful molecules it can form ‘free radicals’. Although Free Radicals are not necessarily always harmful to us, they can attack healthy cells. This can lead to cell damage or can escalate to cause us serious harm. The damage caused to our cells by Free Radicals has been linked to heart disease, cancers, and increased immune deficiency.
Consuming, internally and externally (skincare), Antioxidants can neutralise the danger of Free Radicals before they have the chance to damage cells. Both Vitamin C and E are antioxidants, which is why they are essential in skincare.
Green tea, and a good variety of fruit and green vegetables is also essential to keep your antioxidant levels up.
Tocopherol is really a fancy way of talking about the Vitamin E family. Found most commonly in fish, leafy green vegetables and nuts they are an essential part of a healthy diet.
Tocopherols prevent the oxidisation of molecules which in turn prevent them becoming Free Radicals. They boost the immune system and help ensure cell growth. The Antioxidant effects of Tocopherols prevent Free Radicals from damaging your skin cells, helping to slow the ageing process. Tocopherols can be absorbed by the skin and you can also ensure that your diet is supplemented with them. Foods rich in Tocopherols are: broccoli, spinach, and mangos to name a few.
6. Non-toxic Beauty / Clean Beauty
There are actually social terms rather than scientific ones.
They have been developed and spread by brands to share an 'ethos' rather than a specific definition, so when you see or hear these, its always best to check if the company is certified organic or natural to ensure what they are claiming is true.
And there you have it, the 6 most talked about words and phrases in simple to understand langauge!