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There is a lot of scientific jargon that goes along with skincare products, so even people with no prior knowledge of cosmetics would struggle with reading the ingredients label. That’s why it’s important to use a skincare product that contains only natural, tested ingredients. If you look at the labels on skincare products, you’ll see that the majority of them don’t contain anything except mineral oil, alcohols, paraffin waxes, fragrances, and dioxane. This dermatologist-backed guide for selecting your ideal skincare products is easy to follow and cut down on the guessing. Unless you have a degree in chemical engineering or a background in Latin, reading the ingredients list on skincare products can be pretty much like reading a foreign language.

What’s all this talk about ingredients? According to cosmetic manufacturers, the best way to promote skin health and reduce wrinkles is to put on their line of skincare products containing the latest, greatest combinations of antioxidants and wrinkle reducers. The Dr. David of skin care fame even says that antioxidants are the most powerful force for good in your body. You may have heard that word before from an asthmatic doctor, but what does antioxidant really mean? Here’s what the Dr. David’s ingredients list should really tell you:

Vitamin A is an antioxidant found in many skincare products, both over the counter and those that need to be prescribed by a dermatologist. Some common vitamin A derivatives are ascorbic acid (found in most facial cleansers) and beta carotene (found in carrots, cantaloupe and some fruits). It is an accepted for inclusion in any quality eye and hand cream or lotion. As a side note, make sure you check the labels on eye creams and lotions to see what they claim as their effective ingredients. The Dr. David of skincare products did not disclose which products contained which compounds when stating that their serum contains “essential fatty acids.”

Antioxidants work by neutralizing “free radicals” – molecules that are harmful because they are unstable and do not always die a natural death when exposed to oxygen. They also attack living cells, such as those found in the skin. Free radicals are thought to be a primary cause of wrinkle formation and other age-related conditions. To avoid these complications, it is important to have antioxidant protection, whether applied topically or internally through food intake. The Dr. David’s list of ingredients should serve as a guide, not a medical prescription, when it comes to choosing beauty care products.

Some of the other ingredients found in the Dr. David’s list of effective skincare products include Alpha Hydroxy, Squalane, Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Neem Oil, Licorice Root, Aloe Vera, Grape Seed Extract, and Maracuja. All of these ingredients were deemed effective by the dermatologist and anti-aging specialist. There are other natural anti-aging compounds included in some of the products listed. However, all of them are derived from plant sources and most (if not all) of them are already known to have safe and effective anti-aging activity.

Other ingredients that the dermatologist recommends for use in skincare products include Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Zinc. Of course, when choosing skincare products, one should keep in mind the individual needs of his or her skin type. Different types require different ingredients, and so too will a woman’s skin type. The Dr. David’s list is just one way of choosing skincare products, and indeed, this is probably one of the best ways to find one.

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