Know Your Ingredients

By Carole Tessier

It's what's inside that counts!

According to Dr. Leslie Baumann, director of cosmetic dermatology at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, there are actually 16 different skin types – each with distinctive needs of its own. Therefore it’s safe to say that no single skin care product is right for all.

All quality skin care products differ in the ingredients that have an effect on skin moisture, oil, exfoliation, smoothing of wrinkles and the delivery of a dazzling complexion. Becoming more familiar with cosmetic terminology and ingredients, and knowing what those ingredients do, is crucial when determining which products are right for you.

AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids)

Alpha-hydroxy acids are naturally occurring acids, derived from the sugars of specific plants. They are excellent exfoliants and help diminish fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.


Hyaluronic acid is a hydrophilic molecule, which means that it attracts water.  When applied to the skin it attracts and retains moisture, chases away free radicals, and helps maintain healthy collagen.


Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) has been touted as a “universal antioxidant” because it’s soluble in both water and oil. ALA plays a vital role in suppressing inflammation, has an effective anti-aging effect and reduces the appearance of enlarged pores, under-eye bags and puffiness.

SEAWEED (and marine extracts)

Seaweed is a primitive sea plant belonging to the algae family. It absorbs by osmosis all the elements from the sea that benefit the skin. It restores elasticity, encourages the regeneration of skin cells, remineralizes and purifies skin.

BISABOLOL (or alpha-bisabolol)

Bisabolol is the main active ingredient of the herbal medicinal plant German chamomile. It heals and protects skin against environmental factors while restoring smoothness and soothing irritated skin.

ANIMO ACIDS (and peptides)

Amino acids are proteins that are important building blocks of the skin tissue. Topical applications have shown to help in the production of collagen and elastin, restore skin moisture and decrease skin discoloration.


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