Everyone talks about wanting younger, firmer skin. But it’s what skin is made of, amino acids, that is the most crucial aspect of getting younger, firmer skin!
Putting collagen on your skin is like trying to put a coat of paint on a building before it’s built. Instead, amino acids are like bricks. Consider simple bricks, which the body takes and strings together to make proteins, like collagen and elastin. It is this collagen and elastin that creates younger, firmer skin!
Instead of thinking about building beautiful skin from the foundation up, many people try to achieve younger, firmer skin with chemicals, powders, and petrolatum-based products that rob you of the younger, radiant appearance you once had! Here, we discuss five of the biggest culprits:
1.) Harsh Chemicals
Would you take a blow torch to your skin? Well, that’s exactly what you do when you use harsh chemicals that actually burn your skin.
Let me ask you a question: If one of your major organs was malfunctioning, would you begin drinking or taking harsh chemicals? No! This would intentionally injure them further. But that’s exactly what you do when you use harsh chemicals on your skin.
What you need to do is nourish your skin, instead of injuring it!
2.) Cosmetic Powders
Many people use powders on their body and face. However, this can actually destroy the delicate balance of the natural moisturizing factors in your skin, severely drying and depleting your skin!
Natural moisturizing factors and lipids keep skin from losing water, maintaining skin’s younger, radiant appearance.Natural NMFs maintain moisture in the skin, even under low humidity, and provide an optimal environment for enzymatic functions (Baumann). In fact, a 2000 study by Sakai et. al cited found that a decrease in the lipid and natural moisturizing factor content of the skin leads to surface roughness, flaking, fine lines, and a tight, uncomfortable feeling. Within the skin, biologically-formed natural moisturizing factors are made of amino acids and their metabolites.
When you put drying ingredients like talc on your skin, what do you do? You deplete the natural moisture, and hence natural moisturizing factors, on your skin! Your skin either responds by drying out, or by decreasing the production of natural moisturizing factors. It is best to avoid these drying cosmetic powders!
3.) Other Cosmetic Products
It’s a harsh truth: The foundation you wear to look more beautiful can contain substances that dry and deplete your skin, similar to powders.
But there’s another danger with cosmetic products: You think you’re getting more sun protection than you are from cosmetics! Any powder product requires about 14 times the amount of normal powder application to receive the SPF listed on the package. This is because scientists test facial powders to determine SPF assuming that a thick layer of 2mg of product will be used per cm2 of skin. The average face is about 600cm2, meaning that a person needs to apply about 1.2g of facial powder to get the SPF stated on the product’s label. However, most women only apply about 0.085g of powder at a time – fourteen times less than you need to get the SPF listed on the package!
So don’t deplete any more of your beauty with these cosmetic facial products. Invest in skin care, not cosmetics.
4.) Harsh Tap Water
It is widely believed that drinking more water can help to improve your skin, but this isn’t true if you drink tap water. Studies show that tap water may contain synthetic organic chemicals, bacteria, and arsenic in amounts that exceed allowable limits under either state or bottled water industry standards or guidelines (NRDC).
Chlorine is a disinfectant that is allowed to be added to tap water in the United States. Chlorine in and of itself is drying to the skin, whether ingested or used to wash the skin.
One study found that drinking 500 mL of water will increase the blood flow and circulation to the skin. In theory, this would allow your skin to have a plumper, more youthful look. But the downside of this study is that researchers only looked at the skin samples 30 minutes after drinking the water, so it’s not clear how long this effect would last (Wound Repair and Regeneration).
Other studies demonstrated water plumps the skin for several hours, but only if it is mineral water. Tap water had no effect! An initial study published in 2006 found that increased intake of mineral water would correspond to increased skin hydration, as measured by skin surface hydration, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin color, thickness, and micro-relief on the forearms of eighty subjects with a median age of 56. Subjects “perceived” improvements in the softness, smoothness, and moisture levels of their skin (Skin Research and Technology). Unfortunately, tap water was shown in the study not to do much for skin hydration.
5.) Petrolatum-Based Products
What would you do with a house plant that looked a little wilted? Would you cover it with a bunch of petrolatum so it looked a little better? No!
Alternatively, would you give the plant what it needs — water, sunlight, and essential nutrients like amino acids? YES!
Petrolatum simply fills in the gaps in the surface of your skin. But this is of no value to your skin. In fact, it may smother it, causing more problems instead of helping.
Let’s go back to the natural moisturizing factors. This unseen, tiny layer of ambient moisture hovering on the surface of your skin is EXTREMELY important to the function of your skin. If you block or seal off the surface of your skin, you actually hinder your skin from working properly! The natural moisturizing factor cannot bind to moisture from the environment as it needs, so your skin goes into a never-ending battle of damage, repair, and recovery.
Stop the madness!
The bad news is, your skin continues to age everyday of your life. But the good news is, you can stop accelerating the process with harsh chemicals, clogging powders, thick layers of petrolatum, toxic tap water, and cosmetic products that do more damage than good.
Of all the ingredients known to man, none of them are better than what nature has made. Of those, what could be better than the very building blocks of life itself?! Amino acids! It does not matter if your skin is dry, oily, or a combination of both. It does not matter whether your skin is light, dark, or somewhere in-between. Your skin needs amino acids for a young, vibrant appearance!