Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Decoding Skincare Ingredients – What They Really Mean January 12, 2012

I’ve already mentioned numerous times in this blog how understanding skincare ingredients makes you a better educated skincare consumer.  The more informed you are can help you both save money and buy the most effective products instead of just believing the marketing hype from cosmetic and skincare brands.

Luckily there are numerous great and easily accessible resources out there in order to understand skincare ingredients.  Here are some of my favorite sources:

  • The Beauty Brains – this website is written by cosmetic chemists and they have numerous posts that just analyze ingredients in skin, hair, and make-up products
  • Future Derm – the author of this site also analyzes ingredients in numerous skincare products
  • Use Paula Begoun’s online ingredient dictionary in order to analyze and understand skincare ingredients on your own

Recently I came across two articles that succinctly explain some of the more hyped skincare ingredients.  The first article is from Prevention magazine and it provides information about some widely promoted new skincare ingredients:

Epidermal Growth Factors: EGFs have the ability to promote cell growth and wound healing if used in the right amount, but they’re very hard to keep stable—and still extremely expensive.

Repair Enzymes: Inside your body, these types of proteins may facilitate skin renewal, but they’re difficult to stabilize in skin creams. Only time will tell whether they’re truly revolutionary.

Peptides: These proteins can improve skin’s appearance, and some companies claim they’ve found ones to fix damaged DNA. Experts say it’s possible in theory, but there’s no good proof it’s happened yet.

I also recently found a post from The Beauty Brains from back in 2008 that talks about well-known skincare ingredients.  While I don’t entirely agree with everything The Beauty Brains have to say about every ingredient (particularly their comments on antioxidants and Vitamin C) I do like the fact that they cut through a lot of the BS and marketing lies from cosmetic and skincare companies to deliver useful information to their readers.

The bottom line is this – keep educating yourself!  There will always be new skincare ingredients being hyped, but it is easy to stay on top of these things.


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