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Ingredients in cosmetics make huge promise, few deliver on it

by Gabriel Rosoga on 9 February 2015
Beauty & Skin care, Health, Lifestyle     |      botanical extracts,  retinoids,  sunscreen,  vitamin b,  vitamin C

vitamins skin
Many beauty products promise “miracle” ingredients, such as caffeine, Vitamin C, and collagen, which should lift, tone and reverse signs of aging.

Dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt said that while it is difficult to find products that give results similar to dermal fillers, Botox, lasers, or cosmetic surgery, some ingredients seem to work better than others.

The Goods

Sunscreen SPF 30

Sunscreen SPF 30 or above will provide the best anti-aging cream available, says Dr Baxt.

“It prevents skin cancer as well as UVA rays that cause loss of collagen and wrinkles in the skin. A favorite powder sunblock is Colorescience, a favorite base sunscreens have titanium or zinc oxide in them as active ingredients.”


Reducing fine lines and wrinkles, retinoids help stimulate collagen production, explains Dr Baxt.

“Over the counter retinols are good, Neutrogena makes a good one, or prescriptions such as Retin- A,” she added.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is also helpful in reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and improve the pigmentary damage from the sun.

“Often, patients alternate nights with retinoid and glycolic,” says Dr Baxt.


A type of lipid found in the membrane of cells, Dr Baxt explains that they help hold skin cells together, forming a protective layer that plumps the skin and retains moisture.

“Ceramide levels decrease as we age which leads to loss of hydration, less skin turnover and dryer, more damaged skin. Replenishing the skin’s ceramide levels will help restore moisture and fortify the skin’s natural barrier, helping skin look and feel younger.”

She suggests using a moisturizer containing ceramide for your whole body daily.

The Myths

B Vitamins

Many forms of Vitamin B (like B12) can only be absorbed in the small intestine, so no matter how much is loaded into your moisturizer or serum, it’s not going to make a difference.

“Vitamins like niacin can have an effect on the skin’s texture and color, but your skin can’t absorb them,” Dr Baxt clarifies.

If you really want to use the power of vitamin B as a means of improving your skin’s glow and appearance, stay with eating leafy greens like spinach, asparagus, beans, and peas.

Botanical extracts 

Ingredients extracted from plants for use in skin care can help everything from healing blemishes to reducing fine wrinkles.

They have been used for centuries and have anecdotal purposes in many cultures, but the problem with botanical extracts is the need to remain on your skin in order to work.

“In cleansers, there is simply not enough contact time on your skin for any true anti-aging benefit to take place,” says Dr Baxt.

Ingredients in cosmetics make huge promise, few deliver on it

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