11.23.2021

5 Harmless Brightening Agents For A Healthier-Looking Skin

 


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Although it may be hard to admit, how our skin appears and feels can have a drastic effect on our self-esteem and confidence. Skin is the largest organ of the human body, and perhaps the first feature people notice when they meet us.

A theory developed by Didier Anzieu called ‘Skin-Ego’ theory describes the science and relation between skin and self-confidence in detail. The theory suggests our skin is a crucial part of our identity. Its health impacts our psyche and self-esteem. People who are comfortable in their skin view themselves and the world in a positive light, radiating a kind of energy that attracts people around them. In contrast, those who lack this self-confidence tend to shy away from social interactions and everyday tasks, fearing judgment and criticism. Thus, giving our skin the attention and care it deserves is necessary for our physical and mental well-being. 

The question remains, how does one devise a skincare routine to make them look and feel good? Especially nowadays when we have tons of skincare products available in the market promising unrealistic results. Not only do these cost a lot, but they also contain harmful ingredients any person would have a hard time pronouncing. To help you initiate your skincare journey on the right foot, we have compiled a list of all-natural and organic ingredients with known skincare benefits. These will undoubtedly give you radiant, healthy-looking skin in no time. 

  1. Glutathione

An ingredient that you should keep an eye out for is glutathione. Ranging from its antioxidant properties to its anti-melanogenic effects, the benefits of glutathione are endless. It helps reduce the production of melanin within the skin. Several scientific studies claim it is a wonder drug for skin lightening. Not only does it help combat wrinkles by increasing the skin’s elasticity, but it also reduces dark spots and prevents hyperpigmentation. Glutathione supplements are a wise choice for anyone concerned with skin health and well-being. Since you cannot ingest the chemical orally because of the action of intestinal enzymes, the most reliable way to administer glutathione is through IV supplementation. 

  1. Kojic acid 

Another antioxidant that has proven helpful in fighting discoloration and dark spots is a chelation agent derived from several species of fungi called kojic acid. This white crystalline powder is an all-natural and harmless substitute for hydroquinone, a controversial drug in skincare. Its anti-microbial properties allow it to fight off bacterial strains responsible for causing acne and rashes. At the same time, its anti-fungal properties are effective against yeast infections, candidiasis, and athlete’s foot disease caused by ringworm. Several over-the-counter topical creams are containing kojic acid are available in the market and can deliver visible results in a week or two. Doctors may recommend a glycolic acid treatment side by side if the scarring is too dark for better results. 

  1. Indian gooseberry

From skin burns to rashes, conventional chemical skin brighteners are known to have damaging effects on the skin in the long run. Research conducted by Dr. Zoe Draelos on extracts from a plant called Phyllanthus Emblica, or more commonly known as Indian Gooseberry, revealed the plant possessed healing properties. These properties were equivalent to or even better than those present in well-known and pricy skin brighteners. By helping the skin retain its natural moisture and protecting it against oxidative stress, Emblica allows the skin to age slowly and gracefully. Its high Vitamin C content combats fine lines and wrinkles by encouraging collagen and elastin production. Indian gooseberry is available in powdered form or as capsules as a dietary supplement. 

  1. Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 or niacinamide is a stable vitamin proven to be a valuable ingredient in fighting signs of aging. Vitamin B3 promotes the production of ceramides and elastin, both of which are essential components of the skin’s protective barrier. A strong protective shield allows the skin to defend itself against external irritants and acne-causing bacteria. While the detailed effect of niacinamide on the skin isn’t known, it is evident that it tames down the sebaceous glands in the skin. Thus, regulating oil production and minimizing pore appearance.

Moreover, a study conducted in 2015 showed regular intake of niacinamide could protect against non-melanoma skin cancers. When topically applied, niacinamide converts into NAD – Nicotinamide Adenine Linaclotide. With its free-radical fighting and antioxidant properties, NAD can reverse DNA damage caused by environmental pollution and UV radiation. For visible results, dermatologists recommend using leave-in products like serums, toners, moisturizers, and lotions containing this miraculous vitamin. 

  1. Licorice extract

A typical everyday ingredient with more skin benefits than you can imagine is licorice. Licorice root contains a chemical called glycyrrhizin that works miracles against skin inflammation. Not only can it combat redness and itchiness, but it is also effective against persisting skin problems like atopic dermatitis, rosacea, and psoriasis. Research has also proven licorice has antioxidant properties that guard your skin against sun damage and premature aging. While licorice can be taken as a dietary supplement, using skincare products with licorice root as an active ingredient provide more effective results. 

Conclusion

Mentioned above are a few of the many ingredients which promote healthy and nourished skin. Taking care of your skin and establishing a skincare routine doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated. The key to determining which ingredients and products will work best for you is to know your skin type. From oily and dry to combination and acne-prone skin, all have different requirements that need to be kept in mind. If you aren’t 100% sure, it is worth a quick trip to your local dermatologist. Once you know your skin in detail, you’ll know what ingredients to choose and what to avoid in your everyday regimen. With some consistency and patience, you will see visible results!


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