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January 25, 2021
Many skincare brands use ‘high concentration of xxx ingredient’ as a gimmick to draw consumers in. However, did you know, high concentration does not necessarily equal higher efficacy; in fact, certain ingredients in high concentration can greatly irritate the skin. On the other hand, some ingredients do not need to be in high concentration at all for them to benefit the skin. At the end of the day, it all depends on the ingredient itself, and the overall formulation.
Let’s get to some of those ingredients today.
As we all know, hyaluronic acid, a humectant, can pull water from the environment to the surface of the skin thanks to its properties in holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water. However, studies have shown hydration tends to teeter off after 2%, and anything more than that can actually be drying to the skin. This is more so when applied to skin under dry conditions where humidity is low, as it will instead draw water from the deeper layers of the skin and bring it to the surface of the epidermis quicker than usual, leaving the skin drier than it was.
So, don’t go higher than 2%, and don’t go for nano or ultra low molecular weight sized hyaluronic acid, as they are inflammatory and can do more harm than good.
MARIE REYNOLDS LONDON
Hydr8 Misting Veil™ <- Click to shop
With a simple composition of Oat Silk, Aloe Vera, Allantoin, Vegetable Glycerin, and Sodium Hyaluronate that suits even the most sensitive skin, this hydrating mist soothes irritations, hydrates, locks in moisture, fights free radicals, calms inflammations, and speeds up the skin's natural healing process by stimulating cell regeneration.
Studies show that with continued use, Niacinamide, an active form of vitamin B3, brightens the skin and reduces hyperpigmentation, as well as increases collagen production in the dermis, normalizes collagen, and inhibits glycation, ultimately reducing and preventing fine lines and wrinkles! It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as the ability in restoring the skin’s barrier function, and regulating sebum, making it an excellent choice for inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea and eczema.
Studies have shown that 0.5% can give skin energy; 2% can improve the skin’s barrier function, control sebum, boost collagen and even skin tone; and at 4%-5%, it has been clinically proven to have significant brightening effects. However, anything higher than 5% may cause an allergic reaction such as irritation, redness, and swelling for people prone to skin allergies as it can increase histamine levels.
Ultra Revitalising Elixir <- Click to shop
With a base of rare distilled Mallow, Niacinamide and Panthenol, and ingredients including Saccharide Hydrolysate, Sodium PCA, Saccharide Isomerate, Allantoin, Rice Starch, as well as precious botanicals, this powerful yet gentle formula provides long-lasting hydration, soothes irritations, improves the skin's natural barrier and water retention function, reduces inflammations, fights free radicals, pollution and allergens, whilst brightening and repairing the skin.
Retinol is one of the few potent anti-aging ingredients that is widely recognized by both the dermatological and scientific communities. This star ingredient not only activates collagen and epidermal growth factor receptors, but also promotes cellular turnover, thereby reducing wrinkles and other signs of aging, acne, dullness, scarring, hyperpigmentation and rough skin texture.
Retinol at a percentage as low as 0.01% is proven to improve aforementioned skin issues. Currently, the highest pure retinol concentration allowed in any over-the-counter product is 2%. Anything over than that requires a prescription as it may cause irritations.
Also note that what ingredients the retinol are formulated with, the delivery system of the retinol, for instance, whether it is encapsulated or not, makes a huge difference in how it affects the skin. It is also recommended to slowly build up skin tolerance and start from a low concentration.
Stellar Restoration Corrective Complex <- Click to shop
Featuring star ingredient 1.8% Encapsulated Retinol, as well as Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Squalane, Vitamin E, Salicylic Acid, Licorice Root, Gotu Kola, Willow Bark, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate and MSM etc., the powerful yet gentle watery serum stimulates collagen synthesis and rejuvenates skin to effectively reduce wrinkles, acne and hyperpigmentation, smooth skin texture, slow aging, and minimize pores in a soothing, hydrating way.
AHAs work by dissolving the bond between the dead, unwanted skin cells sitting on the skin surface so that they can be shred off much easier and quicker, thereby revealing smooth skin, whilst allowing skincare ingredients to penetrate better. With continued use, acids actually help thicken the dermis, as they increase the amount of collagen deposition and synthesis, as well as hyaluronic acid production within the dermis, so the skin will appear more plumped, smooth and bouncy.
Studies have shown that AHAs produce visible skin effects at a concentration of 8 to 10%, and anything over 15% run the risks of irritating and damaging the skin barrier, or even burning the skin.
acid(wash) Lactic Acid Brightening Cleanser <- Click to shop
Infused with premium organic ingredients, such as Peony Root Extract, Lavender Flower Water and Oil, Aloe Vera, as well as Lactic Acid, this gentle cleanser removes daily grime, soothes inflammation, and gently exfoliates to brighten dull skin, refine texture and pores, reduce hyperpigmentation, and reduce blackheads and acne yet without any irritation, leaving skin silky, supple, and youthful.
Essential oils are essences from plants that have a variety of skin benefits. However, their volatile nature also means that they must be used sparingly, and a little goes a long way, otherwise they can cause irritations, damaged skin barrier, and sensitized skin.
The maximum concentrations that should be used on the skin differ between essential oils, for example, 0.02% for Rose and Ylang Ylang essential oil, 0.5% for Blue Tansy, 0.7% for Jasmine and Lemongrass. Whilst, as a general guide, the total concentration of essential oils in a facial skincare product should not exceed 1%. If you have extra sensitive skin, then it may be best to refrain from using products with any essential oils or fragrance (both natural and synthetic).
Serum Bioluminelle™ <- Click to shop
Combining Carrot Seed Oil, Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Green Coffee Oil and Black Seed Oil, which are known to have superior anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties, as well as Ursolic Acid, Beta-Glucan, Elastin Protein, Ginseng, Reishi, and Turmeric etc., it promotes collagen and elastin synthesis, improves wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, hydrates, soothes, reduces acne, fights free radicals and slows aging.
Antioxidants help fight and neutralize free radicals to prevent and protect against premature cell aging, but for comprehensive protection, different forms of antioxidants are needed as there are many forms of ROS and RNS. The good news is, many antioxidants are actually extremely powerful in very small percentages. For example, Astaxanthin, found in KLUR Symmetry Fluid, is clinically tested to be effective at just 0.035%, and is 10 times stronger in free radical protection than beta carotene and 500 times more than vitamin E!
Which means, rather than opting for high concentration of a single ingredient, choose a product that contains several antioxidant ingredients for better antioxidant effects.
Symmetry Fluid <- Click to shop
Rich in rare ingredients Astaxanthin and Fulvic Acid, as well as resveratrol-rich Cranberry, Green Tea, White Tea Extract, Red Algae, Dandelion, Gotu Kola and Ginkgo, etc., Symmetry Fluid fights off inflammations and free radicals, detoxifies, removes heavy metals in the skin, brightens, reduces acne, promotes skin cell regeneration, strengthens and repairs the skin, and increases skin elasticity, whilst creating a breathable barrier on the skin surface.
Peptides are small amino acid chains found in the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin that act as the messengers between skin cells. They help regulate hormonal activity, stimulate wound healing, and have been shown to relax wrinkles, increase collagen production, and stop collagen degradation.
The concentration for them to generate significant skincare effects depends on the type of peptide. Clinical study has shown that a 2% concentration of Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 applied twice daily for five days increased type I collagen by 105%, type III collagen by 104% and type IV collagen by 42%, while other peptides’ recommended use levels can range from 0.5% to 10%.
MARIE REYNOLDS LONDON
Skin Quencher <- Click to shop
Enriched with 16% olive-derived Squalane, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, as well as Aloe Vera, this serum / lightweight moisturizer hydrates, soothes inflammations, and calms, whilst sending signals to cells to produce more collagen, plump skin, and smooth wrinkles, thus restoring and maintaining the skin’s youthful appearance.
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