Have you ever wondered what ingredients are in that moisturizer that you’re using?  Or have you ever wondered what makes professional treatments so effective and why?  ASerenity has put together a list of some of the top most effective ingredients to look for when purchasing product to care for you skin and body.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the number one anti-aging product on the market. No matter how much you spend on your skin with facials, massage and product, if you don’t wear sunscreen everyday you have pretty much thrown your money down the drain. Sunscreen should be worn everyday. Wearing something with at least an SPF 15 is fine for everyday. If you plan on spending long periods of time outdoors bumping your SPF up to a 30 would be best. After SPF 30 the amount of protection you receive from any higher SPF is insignificant. Keep that in mind if you are paying a lot of money for an SPF over 30. The FDA has created a new rule where all new sunscreens that hit the market can’t be advertised as higher than a 30 because people automatically think that if they have an SPF 70 on they can stay outside all day without receiving damage. The truth is that all sunscreens breakdown after about 2-3 hours and need to be reapplied throughout the day. Some over-the-counter companies that already have an “SPF 55” are allowed to keep it on the shelves. With the amount of skin cancer incidences growing and the amount of sun damage and premature aging being seen frequently in younger generations, the sun is something to be taken seriously.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants come in many different forms. You can eat them, drink them, and apply them to your skin. They help reverse free radical damage. Free radical damage is something that our bodies encounter on a daily basis due to pollution, stress and UV damage from the sun as well as computer screens and fluorescent lights. Free radicals cause inflammation in our skin cells, which destroys our collagen and elastin, promotes lines and wrinkles, causes hyperpigmentation and gives the skin a dull appearance. Along with damage to our skin, inflammation also affects the overall health of our bodies and is linked to disease. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which is why they are so important. By eating, drinking and nourishing the skin with antioxidants we can preserve the health and beauty of our skin and body.

Acai Berry

Studies have shown that this little berry is one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world! Acai (ah-sigh-ee) is the high-energy berry of an Amazon palm tree. Harvested in the rain forests of Brazil, Acai tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and chocolate. Acai is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Although Acai may not be available in your local supermarket, you can find it in several health food and gourmet stores (Henry’s and Whole Foods). A new product featuring the unsweetened pulp is now also available, and is highly recommended due to its exceptional concentration of antioxidants that help combat premature aging, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the antioxidants than red wine. Full of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols, acai helps promote cardiovascular and digestive health and is vital for proper muscle contraction and regeneration.

*Acai Berry Age Defying Skin Balancing Water

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for good health and wellness of the skin and body. It is vital in the creation of collagen, a protein your body uses to create skin, scar tissue, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. Unfortunately, the skin’s ability to replace damaged collagen diminishes with age, and by eating a diet containing sugar and high glycemic carbs. Sun damage, free radicals, some age-related hormonal changes, stress and smoking can also contribute to the damage.

As the collagen begins to degrade, lines and wrinkles form.  Vitamin C can help counteract this problem, enabling the skin to grow new collagen-producing cells.  Vitamin C is key in maintaining a youthful face and body because more than a third of the body’s protein is collagen.  Collagen also makes up 75 percent of our skin.

What few people realize is that there are two forms of vitamin C—water-soluble and fat-soluble—each with distinctly different properties:

Water-soluble vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

This is the form of vitamin C found in standard vitamin supplements. Although it is beneficial, ascorbic acid has some drawbacks. It cannot protect cell membranes, and becomes unstable when we experience oxidative stress, either from internal sources such as poor diet and stress, or from external sources such as sunlight. It can also be slightly irritating to skin and unstable when used in topical formulations.

Fat-soluble vitamin C (ester c, c ester, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate)

Fat-soluble vitamin C displays greater anti-oxidant activity in our cells than ascorbic acid does. In fact, compared with ascorbic acid, fat-soluble vitamin C delivers eight times higher levels of vitamin C activity. Fat-soluble vitamin C also possesses the ability to stimulate growth of the cells (fibroblasts) that help produce collagen as well as elastin: the strands of tissue that give the skin its strength and flexibility.

Topical Vitamin C

Fat-soluble vitamin C is more stable in topical solutions than its water-soluble form, ascorbic acid.  This stability allows it to maintain its efficacy while it delivers its anti-aging, antioxidant benefits.

Benefits:

Provides a readily available form of Vitamin C to the skin

Can be used by those with sensitive skin

Helps to protect skin from the damage caused by free radicals and inflammation

Continued use will diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Dramatic improvement in appearance of skin tone, and texture

Gives the skin a radiant, healthy glow

*Oxy C Facial and Image Skincare Vital C Line

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

These acids help to exfoliate the skin. Exfoliation helps to smooth lines and wrinkles, fade skin discolorations, clear up breakouts and give the skin a healthy, radiant glow. There are 5 types of AHAs: Lactic (comes from milk and is the most gentle), glycolic (comes from sugar), citric (comes from citrus fruits), tartaric (comes from grapes) and malic (comes from apples). You can find alpha hydroxy acids in facial cleansers, toners, masks, serums and moisturizers. AHAs are used in exclusively higher concentrations in professional peels.

*Image Skincare Ageless Line

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)

There is only one beta hydroxy acid and it is called salicylic acid. Salicylic acid works by going into the pore and unclogging it. It also helps to regulate oil production. It is sold in as high of a concentration as 2% over the counter, but estheticians and dermatologists can give professional peels of a higher percentage. This ingredient is a great choice for those concerned with blackheads and large pores.

*Skin Medica AHA/BHA moisturizer – Image Skincare Clear Cell Line

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its own weight in water. This solution helps to attract water into the skin and keep it there. Hyaluronic acid absorbs quickly without leaving any kind of residue. This is a great choice for dehydrated skin, especially for skin that is prone to breakouts or oily. Even an oily skin can be dehydrated and the skin and body need water to function properly.

*4 Layer Facelift

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