Have you seen the back of your skin care product? If you have, I am sure the hard-to-understand ingredients stated often confuse you. It is important for you to know which ingredients you should look out for, and which you should avoid. Know what goes into your product to keep your skin healthy!

 

A:

Alcohol (SD Alcohol)

Alcohol enables other ingredients to penetrate into your skin. In toners and acne products, it can help dissolve oil and temporarily tighten pores. However, it breaks down skin barrier at the same time, destroying the very substances that keep your skin healthy.

Allatoin

Allatoin is a natural chemical compound that is found in botanical extracts. Chemically synthesized allatoin is identical to natural ones, so it is considered safe. It is known for its natural soothing and anti-irritant properties that increase the water content. It also smoothes skin by increasing cell turnover.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

AHA is an organic skin care ingredient from milk, fruit and sugar cane. It is best for normal to dry skin. It works only at the surface of the skin, loosening the molecular bonds and easing the removal of dead skin cells. It also helps to bind moisture and aid production of collagen and elastin, moisturizing, smoothening and brightening your skin.

However, it can cause sun sensitivity and skin irritation. The most common types of AHA are glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, mandelic acid, salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpho Lipoic Acid is the perfect anti-aging agent. It is an antioxidant that can prevent and repair damage by neutralizing free radicals. It is soluble in both water and oil that it reaches all body parts effectively. It diminishes fine lines and is capable of preserving other powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E.

Amino Acid

It is important in building the structure of the skin. It is responsible for proteins that make up collagen and elastin and contains skin-firming properties. It also helps in the penetration of your skincare products.

Avobenzone

This is a common sunscreen ingredient that offers protection against UVA rays. It absorbs UVA rays and converts them to less damaging infrared heat reducing photo-damage. However, it does not protect us from UVB rays.

 

B:

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is an effective acne medicine! It takes off the layer of dead skin cells and clears your pores. In addition, it also kills bacteria that trigger breakouts on your skin. However, it can cause irritation to your skin, so it is best to start from low concentration.

Bisabolol

Bisobolol is a thick oily liquid from chamomile plant. It is an anti-inflammatory extract that helps alleviate skin discomfort. It enhances absorption and reduces skin dehydration and damage. It also increases skin penetration, especially of skin antioxidants.

 

C:

Caffeine / Coffeeberry

Caffeine not only has the function to keep us awake, it is also beneficial to our skin. It reduces the appearance of cellulite and puffy eyes. It is also a powerful antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory properties and helps regulate oil glands.

Ceramides

Naturally occurring in skin’s oil, these fats act as ‘glue’ of the epidermis cells to reinforce the skin’s protective barrier. These barriers can reduce infections and holds moisture preventing wrinkles. Research has proven that people with eczema and sensitive skin have a lower level of ceramides. Many of the moisturizers off counters contain ceramides.

Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone)

I’m sure you have seen supplement pills with coenzyme Q10 advertised as the best anti-aging pills. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 in abbreviated form) is a vitamin-like, fat-soluble substance in charge of cell protection. It prevents the appearance of wrinkles, repairs sun damage and boosts collagen production, acting as a powerful antioxidant.

Collagen

Most of you would know collagen deals with skin elasticity, boosting a youthful look. It comprises 80% of skin and keeps skin firm and strong. Collagen, like CoQ10, breaks down over time.

 

D:

Dimethicone

This silicone based polymer works as a safe anti-foaming agent, skin protectant, and skin and hair conditioner. It is easily spreadable and creates a subtle gloss that feels smooth and silky to touch when applied. Besides these functions, it fills fine lines, giving even texture and tone. Lastly, it forms a membrane that keeps water from evaporating.

 

E:

Elastin

A protein named elastin is always mentioned when it comes to anti-ageing. Along with collagen, elastin supports the epidermis. It keeps skin flexible but tight and smooth. Hence, if the elastin breaks down, your skin cannot be supported and thus becomes saggy and wrinkly. It is vulnerable to sun damage, so always apply sunscreen!

Emollient

It is usually used as a synonym for moisturizer. Emollient keeps skin hydrated by restraining water evaporation. It also softens your skin by delivering moisture by itself!

Emulsifier

Emulsifiers refer to ingredients that create a stable mixture of different elements. They are used to bind non-mixing ingredients such as water and oil.

 

F:

Ferulic Acid

Ferulic Acid is one of the few powerful antioxidants from plants. It is often used with Vitamin C and E to facilitate stabilized combination and boost their functions. This is not all! It is a fabulous ingredient that maximizes photoprotective capacity for dry to normal skin.

Feverfew

Feverfew, a plant related to sunflower, has a huge soothing effect. Since one of constituents, parthenolides, may irritate or sensitize the skin, it has to be purified when used in cosmetics. Thanks to its calming effect, it reduces inflammation, minimizes redness by sunburn, and protects against free radicals making it suitable for treating acne, rosacea and irritated skin. However, it is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women and children under 2 years old.

Fragrance

Fragrance often indicates synthetic chemical compounds used to generate delightful scents, but it is also the number one factor that triggers allergic reactions. Don’t be fooled by their pleasant scent!

 

These are common ingredients that go into your daily skin care products. Check the ingredients before you buy the product and you will be able to select the most suitable ones for your skin!

Today, more and more people are interested in anti-aging. Being the outermost layer of our body, the skin often acts as an important sign of someone’s age. Therefore, it is better to know the causes of aging skin and prevent it.

There are two main causes of aging skin. One is intrinsic aging and the other is extrinsic aging – photoaging. Intrinsic aging occurs due to chronological changes and is an inherent, natural degenerative process which we cannot prevent. It is destined by genetic factors such as level of hormone secretion and thickness of the skin. On the other hand, extrinsic aging can be delayed with proper and continuous care. The accumulated effects of pollutants (dirt, cold, wind, smog and exposure to sun) is the culprit of extrinsic aging. Compared to intrinsic aging, extrinsic aging can appear at earlier periods in more severe degrees. Signs of extrinsic aging include dryness, wrinkles, rough skin and pigmentation.

What is photoaging?

Photoaging is the biggest external factor that makes our skin saggy and old. It is a combination of photo- which is ‘related to light’ and aging. As you can guess from the word itself, it is an aging effect due to light, specifically UV rays. Photoaging is classified into 4 phases from Mild to Severe.

Group Classification Typical Age Description Skin Characteristic
I Mild 28-35 No Wrinkles Early photo aging; mild pigment changese, no keratosis, minimal wrinkles, minimal or no makeup
II Moderate 35-50 Wrinkles in Motion Early to moderate photo aging; early brown spots visible, keratosis palpable but not visible, parallel smile lines begin to appear, wears some foundation
III Advanced 50-65 Wrinkles at Rest Advanced photo aging; obvious discoloration, visible capillaries, visible keratosis, wears heavier foundation
IV Severe 60 & up Only Wrinkles Severe photo aging; yellow/gray skin color, prior skin malignancies, wrinkles throughout – no normal skin, cannot wear make-up because it cracks and cakes

Major factor of photoaging – UV rays

UV rays are part of the light spectrum that reaches earth. UV rays have short wavelength so it is not visible to our eyes. There are 3 kinds of UV rays; UVA, UVB and UVC. Severity of UV rays can be measured by UV index.

1.       Categories of UV rays

  • UV A

UV A cannot be absorbed by ozone layer. It can penetrate through windows even during cloudy days. Among UV rays, it mostly damages our skin. It creates redness and it is responsible for premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.

  • UV B

UV B radiation is stronger than UVA. 90% of it is absorbed by ozone layer, but the rest still reaches earth’s surface. It is the most intense in summer from 10 am to 2 pm. It usually affects outer layer of skin, causing sunburn, premature aging of skin and skin cancer.

  • UV C

UV C is the most devastating and harmful to our skin. It has the strongest UV radiation. However, it can be absorbed by ozone layer.

2.       Effect of UV rays

When UV A and B work together the damage becomes a lot harsher. It will penetrate into our skin breaking down collagen and elastin. To make matters worse, it slows down production of collagen. Hence, repeated exposure to Sun will cause premature aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, freckles, discoloration, and dryness.

UV rays also interact with melanin. Melanin first absorbs UV rays in order to protect your skin from damaging. However, if it receives excessive UV rays, you will get sunburn. Other than that, it can modify DNA called p53, which is in charge of repairing damaged cells and discarding severely damaged cells.

3.       Measure of UV

The amount reaching the Earth’s surface can be affected by several factors, for example weather, time of the day and year etc. Thus to help people understand intensity of UV rays, meteorologists came up with UV index. It is a global standard indicating the strength of the UV rays reaching the ground for an hour around noon. It is advisable to check before going out and prepare for potential sun damage. 1-3 means low exposure; 4-6 means medium; 7-9 means high; 10+ means extreme exposure. The higher the number, the greater the exposure to UV rays. Therefore there is a higher change of getting sun damage which ultimately leads to skin cancer.

Effective way to avoid photoaging

1.      Wear Sunscreen

To minimize aging caused by sun, reducing UV ray’s effect is the key. So wear sunscreen! Sunscreen acts as a protector which prohibits harmful UV rays from penetrating into our skin. It is recommended to wear it at least 15 minutes before going out and reapply as frequently as possible.

2.       Avoid peak sun hours

Most of sun rays reach the ground from 10 am to 2pm. Thus, staying inside during peak sun hours is a good way to delay photoaging.

3.       Wear sunglasses and hats

It is a good way to block sun ray from reaching our skin with accessories. Wearing those accessories not only makes you appear more fashionable, it also reduces intensity and amount of UV rays reaching our skin, preventing wrinkles and fine lines.

4.       Soothe your skin

After an entire day of outdoor activities, you have to soothe your skin. Cleanse properly and apply soothing products such as aloe vera gel. Slicing potato and putting it on your face will also moisturize and soothe sunburn skin.

Featured image taken from Faceworkshops

Cleopatra once said that aloe is ‘the very last present from God’, and Queen Nerfertiti, the most beautiful women in Ancient Egypt, was a huge fan of aloe vera gel. Today, we’ll tell you why, and you could look just as amazing as them!

Given that aloe is a desert plant. It absorbs and stores water extremely effectively, and can survive for 7 years with minimal water intake from its own leaves, making it an extremely effective hydrator. Besides its strong hydrating ability, it contains an extensive list of nutrients like Vitamin A, B, B1, B2, C, E, niacinamide, choline, 18 amino acid, copper, iron and etc. Now, if this is still not able to ‘wow’ you, we’d share with you the wondrous benefits that aloe brings to your skin.

  Benefits of Aloe

1.       Aloe Fights our Common Enemy –Acne

The culprit of acne is likely to be Androgen hormones. Androgens increase the rate of cell turnover, thickening the skin around the opening of the follicle. This increases blockages in this area. Androgens also increase the flow of sebum. When your skin’s pores are clogged and the sebum is not cleared properly, acne is formed.

This is when aloe comes in to ease our skin situation with two hormones called, Auxin and Gibberellin. These hormones heal wounds and reduce redness and inflammation. Gibberellin also stimulates cell growth. This is how aloe fights our common enemy, acne, by introducing Auxin and Gibberlin hormones, and deter the secretion of Androgens.

2.       Aloe Helps us Turn Back the Clock

Aloe has a lot of anti-ageing ingredients. It contains Vitamin C, E and beta-carotene which improve skin firmness and keep our skin hydrated. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen and is an antioxidant that helps to deal with skin damages caused by free radicals. Vitamin E and beta-carotene are also packed with antioxidants slowing down the ageing process. With these anti-ageing properties, aloe helps you turn back the clock and look youthful and rejuvenated once again!

 3.       Aloe Quenches our Skin

Aloe is a perfect hydrator for our skin because it is able to penetrate into the deepest layer of our skin, quenching it from deep within. It does not give a greasy feeling, making it suitable even for oily complexions.

 4.       Aloe Heals our Skin with its Amazing Healing Powers

Aloe’s healing properties, together with the ability to penetrate deep into our skin, helps to speed up the healing process. It forms a protective layer on top of the epidermis and replenishes our skin’s moisture level, enhancing the healing system. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal functions also stimulate our skin’s immune system, relieving tightness, redness and peeling.

Now, the amazing benefits of this Miracle plant can be optimized with the following tips.

Useful Aloe Tips

1.       Add oil

Aloe is mostly comprised of water. Thus, adding facial oil to aloe vera gel before application will balance water and oil better. Oil makes aloe vera gel a more effective moisturizer for dry skin.

2.       Face Mask

Put refrigerated aloe vera gel on a dry mask sheet and apply the mask on your skin. Gently remove the aloe facial mask after 15 minutes. It will hydrate and soothe your skin immediately and create a protective layer of moisture preventing fine wrinkles from appearing. It also whitens overall skin and reduces dark spots. Owing it to anti-bacterial effect, this mask also helps to treat pimples.

If you like, you can add other ingredients such as honey, sugar, egg etc. to make a facemask suited to your skincare needs.

3.       Eye Mask

The eye area is the most sensitive area on our face and gets dry and irritated easily. Aloe, being a mild and natural ingredient, is capable of hydrating and treating even the most vulnerable areas and most sensitive skins. Put aloe vera gel on a cotton pad and place it on your eyelids. Remove the pad after 10 minutes. It will reduce dark circles and the appearance of fine lines.

4.       Hair Essence

Enzymes and nutrients in aloe vera promote hair growth and destroy excessive dead skin cells. Its moisturizing properties also help condition your scalp and hair, reducing the appearance of dandruff. Simply apply aloe vera gel to your hair and scalp, and feel the difference!

5.       Aloe Vera & Oatmeal Exfoliation

Exfoliation is an important step in your skincare regime. It removes dead skin cells, which will lead to better absorption of your toner and moisturizer.

  • Ingredients: Aloe vera gel 2 tsps, Oatmeal 2 tsps, Brown sugar 2 tsps, Lemon juice 1 tsp

Steps:

  • Grind oatmeal and mix all ingredients together.
  • Wet your skin with warm water and put on the mixture.
  • Massage your face for a while and wash it off.
  • Oatmeal is a natural exfoliator that does not dry your skin, while aloe will soothe and hydrate your skin.

The Stabilization Process

In order for aloe to be utilized as an ingredient for cosmetic products, it must undergo a stabilization process. Like all other vegetables and fruits, oxidation process occurs from 30 minutes after aloe harvest. Therefore, stabilization ensures the quality and preservation of aloe gel.

Aloe Vera: The Last Present from God

Aloe Vera: The Last Present from God

 

Porcelain’s Soothe, Aloe Recovery Gel, A Summer Must – Have

Made up of 99% stabilized Aloe Vera, Porcelain Aloe Recovery Gel is a feathery light, ultra soothing gel that heals and hydrates the skin. Perfect for skin suffering from sensitivity due to acne and dermatological procedures, it eases skin irritation, reduces inflammation and works quickly to repair delicate skin.

During the summer climate, after staying under the scorching heat for a few hours, it is common to suffer from a sunburn or skin irritation. Aloe Recovery Gel calms stressed skin and shields it from environmental aggressors, making it a summer must-have!

 

Time passes fast and summer is here. The weather is getting hotter and we are more inclined to stay indoors with air-conditioner on. Our skin, being the outermost layer, is the first to be affected by our external environment and temperature changes. In fact, high temperatures have a huge adverse effect on our skin. Collagen and elastin, in charge of maintaining elastic and resilient skin, are destroyed due to high temperatures, resulting in a skin appearance that is dry and lusterless. The damaged collagen can no longer support our skin, causing us to wrinkle like scraped paper! To make matters worse, the use of air-conditioner also dries our skin, causing it to age.

This is why a facial mist will come in handy during summer. It is an effective skincare product that gives an instant cooling effect for skin that is affected by intense heat.  It also moisturizes our skin immediately.

 

Benefits of Facial Mist

A facial mist provides hydration needed for exhausted skin. When sprayed onto our skin, tiny particles of water penetrate into our inner skin, supplementing the moist required. It also forms a thin layer of protective moisture, giving us fresh and moist-full skin. 

Apart from that, a facial mist helps to calm sun-damages skin. It lowers the skin surface temperature, soothing delicate skin. By maintaining this moderate temperature for a while, it delays the skin premature aging process.

A facial mist also freshens us up and lightens our mood. We will be refreshed and revitalized by the pleasant and calming fragrance. An instant glow will be created by the little water particles, making us look more youthful.

 

Proper use of Facial Mist

Many people complain that use of facial mist actually steals the moisture from our skin, resulting in even drier skin than before application. In actual fact, this problem stems from the incorrect usage of a facial mist. Today, we will teach you the correct usage of a facial mist so you can reap the amazing benefits and achieve youthful looking skin.

How to use Facial Mist Properly?

Before applying, be sure to use a tissue to clean off a film of dirt, oil and other pollutants so that the mist can be better absorbed.

When applying, place the facial mist 20cm away from your face and spray. If you spray it too close to your face, the mist forms dewy drops, which are too large for your skin to absorb entirely. Spraying it further away keeps the air around you moist, creating a better environment for your skin.

After applying, it is important to protect the moisture. It is a common mistake to skip this step, causing your skin to feel dry after a while. We recommend that you apply some moisturizer to lock in the moisture and keep your skin hydrated for longer periods.

Other Useful Tips

1.    Moisture saver
Spray the mist right after cleansing your face. Your skin usually feels dry after cleansing. This is because the cleanser removes the protective oil on your skin. By using a facial mist, you can preserve the moisture in your skin effectively. At the same time, the mist acts as a booster, allowing skincare products to penetrate into your skin easily.

2.    Reduce water retention
If you often worry about water retention, worry no more, because your facial mist can also be used for reducing water retention. Soak a cotton pad with mist and place it on your eyelids. We promise you will look and feel fresher after just 5 minutes.

3.    Water mask pack
Wet a sheet of dry mask with your facial mist and place it on your face for 10-15minutes. This is an inexpensive homemade mask pack that gives your skin instant hydration and revitalization.

 

 

Porcelain’s Soothe, Mist Toner

Porcelain’s Soothe, Mist Toner is perfect for summer weather. It is a lightweight moisture mist that tones, hydrates, whitens and revitalizes dull skin.

It is made from all natural ingredients such as Vitamins C and E, which fights against free radicals and prevents cellular damage, Rose Water, which is anti-inflammatory and suitable for soothing irritated skin, and Witch Hazel, which is recognized for this anti-inflammatory properties and helps eliminate water loss.

With an infusion of botanicals and vitamins, it is gentle and calming with a fresh floral scent. It works against free radicals and prevents environmental damage. It also hydrates the skin without over moisturizing it, keeping your skin hydrated and refreshed, even during summer climate.

How it works:

  • We will be posting daily challenges on our Facebook Page over a span of 3 weeks.
  • You need to complete daily challenges, which will earn you entry points.
  • There will be two winners each week – the participant with the highest total entry points and a ‘wild card’ winner!
  • Participant which accumulates the highest total entry points by the end of the week will win a Summer Staycation @ Wanderlust Hotel

 

Prizes:

  • Grand Prize
    •  Summer Staycation @ Wanderlust Hotel worth SGD400
  • Weekly Prizes
    • Week 1: Soothe, Mist Toner 100ml worth SGD 118
    • Week 2: Soothe, Aloe Recovery Gel 40ml worth SGD 108
    • Week 3: Flawless, Skin Perfecting Moisturizer with SPF 20 150ml worth SGD 165

 

Timeline:

  • 11th -16th June: Week 1 Challenge
  • 17th June: Week 1 Winners will be notified
  • 18th – 23rd June: Week 2 Challenge
  • 24th June: Week 2 Winners will be notified
  • 25th – 30th June: Week 3 Challenge
  • 1st July: Week 3 Winners will be notified
  • 2nd July: Winner of Summer Staycation @ Wanderlust will be notified


Judging Criteria:

  • Participant with the highest total entries’ score at the end of the week will win the week’s challenge.
  • A ‘wild card’ winner will also be randomly selected amongst the participants.
  • In case of tie, winner will be selected based on the quality of answers or via lucky draw. This will be based on the discretion of Porcelain’s Management.
  • For the weekly challenge, entry points cannot be brought over to the following week. (For instance, if your entry points for week 1 = 30 and your entry points for week 2 = 35, the entry points considered for week 2’s challenge is 35 instead of 30+35= 65)
  • However, for the grand prize, entry points will be accumulated, starting from week 1. (For instance, if your entry points for week 1 = 30, entry points for week 2 = 35 and entry points for week 3 = 40, then your total accumulated points = 105)
  • Invalid entries will not be counted towards the total entry points.

Terms & Conditions:

  • Porcelain Management reserves the right to remove any irrelevant/destructive content and disqualify a participant based on undesirable behaviour.
  • Selected dates for one night stay at Wanderlust Hotel is subject to availability.
  • Winner for weekly winner is not available to win another weekly prize. However, weekly prize winners can  win grand prize.

Do check out this space and our Facebook Page for more information and daily updates!