Category: vitamin a

  • Keratosis Pilaris

    Have you ever noticed a bumpy red rash on the back of someone’s arms? Or even worse, you decided to check out your derrière in the mirror only to be startled, when you realized it is covered in red pimply, “chicken skin” like bumps? Chances are you know someone who has this skin issue, or you have it yourself!
    This common skin condition is called Keratosis Pilaris (commonly referred to as KP). The signature red bumps are formed when keratin (a protein) hardens within the hair follicle. Most of these bumps contain a coiled ingrown hair, which has been encapsulated by the keratin pug; this prevents it from exiting the follicle and growing naturally above the skin’s surface. Most commonly, KP appears on the upper arms, legs and buttocks and is usually accompanied by dry skin. Almost half the world’s population has KP and this skin disorder is more common among women, than men. While there is no health risks associated with KP it can be unsightly, embarrassing and a cosmetic issue.
    There are a few ways to treat KP:
    1. Chemical Keratolytic treatments: This treatment will help cellular turnover, breaking down the hardened keratin plug. Product ingredients, which aids in this process include: topical retinoids (vitamin A), Alpha Hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic acids) and Beta Hydroxy acid (salicylic acid).
    2. PhysicalExfoliants: will help with the rough bumpy texture of the skin. If your “red goose bumps” are accompanied by whiteheads however, avoid scrubs as they can rupture and spread bacteria across the surface of the skin.
    3. Moisturizing: When moisture levels are balanced and the skin is healthy, the skin’s natural shedding process occurs at a normal rate. Lotions and moisturizer help soften the hardened Keratin plugs. Urea is a great skincare ingredient to look for when choosing a KP appropriate moisturizer. Urea is a humectant, meaning it helps draw water into the surface of the skin.
    Cold, dry winter air and dry indoor heat often worsen symptoms, so start treating your “red goose bumps” now before they worsen. Check out askderm’s extensiveproducts containing the KP fighting ingredients listed above and share with us your regiment for treating Keratosis Pilaris.

    Blog Written by askderm’s in house Esthetician 
    Chantal Monique is a NYS licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist. She has 7 years experience in skin care and makeup artistry. With the unique combination of her education as well as the desire to help people feel beautiful, Chantal provides expert skin care knowledge for our customers.

  • Best Anti-Aging Ingredients

    Everyone is in search of the “fountain of youth” these days. There may be no such thing, but here are the top 5 ingredients you should make sure are in your “treatment” products that are putting in the effort to keep your skin looking young. Keep in mind not just 1 product will have all of these ingredients and you can layer/treat both AM & PM.

    1. Retinoids:
    Retinoic acid (Tretinoin): By prescription – Scientifically proven to improve the appearance of the signs of aging by promoting growth of new, healthy skin cells and restoring the collagen damaged over the years. It can also lighten brown spots and stimulated hyaluronic acid production.

    Retinol: When applied to the skin, retinol converts to retinoic acid. It is less potent than tretinoin, but its continued use can improve the appearance of aging skin signs.

    2. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHA)
    AHA: Alpha Hydroxy Acids, such as glycolic acid, add radiance, smooth lines, help fade blotches, and allow other anti-aging ingredients to penetrate faster and work more effectively.

    PHA: Ingredients such as gluconolactone and lactobionic acid are types of Poly Hydroxy Acid (PHA). They are similar to AHA, but less irritant due to their larger molecular structure, which makes them more suitable than AHA for individuals with sensitive skin.

    3. Antioxidants:
    Vitamins: Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is the topical antioxidant par excellence. When applied topically, vitamin C has been proven to increase collagen production, which is significant in the fight against wrinkles. Vitamin C reduces skin discoloration and helps skin better withstand exposure to sunlight. Vitamin E or alpha tocopherol works in several different ways to protect cell membranes from oxidative damage. It also works in powerful synergy with vitamin C increasing its stability. It is very important to use a serum formulation packaged in a dark bottle to prevent light exposure. The combination of these vitamins with other botanical antioxidants such as ferulic acid or phloretin may potentiate their action preventing and correcting signs of photo aging.

    Resveratrol: Is a potent polyphenolic antioxidant, found in, red wine, red grapes nuts, and fruits such as blueberries and cranberries. When applied topically, it protects against sun damage, improves collagen production, and reduces cell damage. Its continued use has shown improvement of aging skin signs.

    Green tea: The key compound in green tea that provides potent antioxidant protection is epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) that, when used topically, can prevent collagen breakdown and reduce sun damage.

    4. Growth factors: 
    Growth factors are proteins that regulate cellular growth, proliferation and differentiation under controlled conditions. They play an important part in maintaining healthy skin structure and function. Most of the growth factors used in cosmetics are from plants.

      Results from multiple controlled clinical studies have shown that the application of skin creams containing growth factors: reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as a result of new collagen synthesis, improves the appearance of age spots and evens out pigmentation, reduces skin roughness, improves skin texture and elasticity and improves skin smoothness and tightness.

    5. Peptides: 
    Peptides are a string of amino acids that are held together by bonds of nitrogen and carbon. Short chain peptides are able to penetrate the epidermis and send signals to cells, informing them how to function.

    There are different types of peptides that help to reduce the signs of photo aging. They are effective in repairing damaged and aging skin, but their results are visible only after being used between 6 to 12 weeks and must be continuously utilized. Once the peptides are discontinued, the results may fade.

    Examples of peptides are: Collagen/Elastin Building Peptides, Argireline, Matrixyl, Dermaxyl, Acetyl Glutamyl Octapeptide-3, and several more.

    Always remember that you can use all the right products with the best anti-aging ingredients out there but if you neglect to use sunscreen- you will not see the benefits.  Sunscreen is an important step when trying to achieve that youthful glow. When sunscreen is used year-round with the 5 ingredients listed above- you are on the right track to younger, healthier skin. 

    Get on track, with our top anti-aging products, today!