Cosmetic Ingredients

What are skin-replenishing ingredients?

Skincare science

For healthy, bouncy, plump skin, your skincare routine needs skin-replenishing ingredients. The good news is chances are you probably already have a few products in your lineup that fit the bill. What are skin-replenishing ingredients? How do they benefit the skin?

What do skin-replenishing ingredients do?

As their name suggests, they replenish the skin. They help restore and protect the moisture barrier, hydrate the skin, and prevent Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL). It leads to dehydration and can, in some cases, cause dryness and irritation. Skin replenishing ingredients keep the skin soft, hydrated, and plump. They keep the skin firm and help minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

What are some of the most popular skin-replenishing ingredients?

Ceramides

Ceramides are skin-identical ingredients that we all need, regardless of our skin type. They are lipids that make up over 50% of the Stratum Corneum (the uppermost layer of skin). Ceramides help maintain the moisture barrier and protect us from pollution, UV light, and other environmental stressors. As we get older, the ceramide levels in the skin deplete.
Ceramides prevent moisture loss but also stimulate the skin to produce more lipids. Likewise, if your moisture barrier is impaired, products with ceramides will soothe any irritation and help repair the moisture barrier.

Omega Fatty Acids

Omega Fatty Acids are an essential component of our bodies. Their primary function is to produce and repair the cell membranes. Likewise, they also ensure cells function as they should and get the nutrition they need.

Omega Fatty Acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids, and there are 11 of them.
Omega 9 is derived from Oleic acid and classified as non-essential since our bodies can produce it.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are classified as essential since our bodies can’t produce them. Food is the primary source of Omega 3 and Omega 6.

Together with sebum and Ceramides, Omega Fatty Acids are another vital component of the Stratum Corneum with several notable benefits for the skin. Omega Fatty Acids prevent moisture loss, improve the skin’s elasticity, and regulate sebum production. They help repair and protect the moisture barrier. Likewise, research suggests they can photoprotect the skin against UV light and prevent photoaging.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are a part of protein production and, as such, essential for our bodies. They are also a part of the chemical reactions and metabolic processes in our bodies.
Amino acids are divided into essential and non-essential. The essential amino acids we ingest with food because our bodies can’t produce them. Our bodies can produce non-essential amino acids.
Several amino acids belong to Natural Moisturising Factors (NMF) and are a part of the process that hydrates the skin and helps water retention. They ensure our moisture barrier functions as it should.
Amino acids also promote cell repair, healing, and prevent new damage to the skin. The beauty of amino acids is they work well in tandem with other skin-replenishing ingredients and boost their efficacy.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide that occurs in the body. It is a humectant which means it draws water to the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient since it has numerous benefits for the skin including keeping it hydrated and smooth. It acts as an antioxidant and prevents free radical damage. Hyaluronic acid also boosts collagen production and improves the skin’s elasticity.
Regardless of your skin type, Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient we all need since its levels deplete with age.

Glycerin

Glycerin is another skin-replenishing ingredient present in numerous skincare products. Like Hyaluronic acid, it is a humectant that binds and attracts water molecules to the skin. They draw the moisture from the dermis to the epidermis and from the environment. Humectants are also an essential part of the desquamation process (a process in which dead skin cells are shed).
Humectants are divided into natural and synthetic. The main difference between the two is natural humectants bind and attract moisture to the skin. They also replenish the skin and boost the water content. Synthetic humectants do not offer these additional benefits.
Glycerin can be derived from both natural and synthetic sources.

What skin-replenishing ingredients do you use in your skincare routine?

About the author

Roberta Striga

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