This guest post is courtesy of one of our favorite skincare brands — Hero Cosmetics. You’ve probably heard of their Mighty Patch, which is much loved by beauty editors and thousands of Amazon reviewers. Just like we’re all about caring for your lady parts with ingredients that are clean and cruelty free, Hero is committed to using clean and conscious ingredients in all of their products. Here, they lend their expertise to tell us about some clean — yet effective — ingredients to look for in your next skincare purchase.
The importance of taking care of our health and bodies — and watching everything we put in and on them — has definitely taken center stage over the past year. But even before that, clean beauty was becoming a big thing. In fact, natural skincare, personal care and beauty products generated more than $1.5 billion in U.S. sales in 2017, and is expected to reach nearly $25 billion by 2025.
Despite all the well-deserved hype about clean beauty, the term itself doesn’t have an official or regulated definition. We (and most brands) consider clean beauty to be products that are formulated without ingredients that have been proven (or are suspected) to cause harmful health effects. Clean products aren’t necessarily all-natural or preservative-free. Man-made skincare ingredients can be considered clean as long as they’re safe and nontoxic.
If you haven’t yet boarded the clean beauty train, what’s holding you back? For many people, it’s the expense or the concern that clean ingredients don’t provide as many skincare benefits. Well, we’ve got good news for you on both fronts. As more and more consumers show an interest in clean beauty, a growing number of brands and retailers have begun to offer products at lower price points. Target currently stocks dozens of clean beauty brands, more than half of which offer products under $15. And many clean beauty ingredients work just as well as their traditional popular ingredient counterparts — if not better. Here’s the skinny on seven safe ingredients you can trust on your quest to clear, healthy, glowy skin.
Originally used for medical bandages, hydrocolloid is made of gel-forming agents (like pectin or gelatin) that create a moist environment for wound healing. In acne patches, it works by drawing the pus or gunk out of a whitehead. Hydrocolloid pimple patches are a mild, gentle and effective alternative to the harsh zit creams of the past. Avoid hydrocolloid patches made with pectin if you are looking for a vegan-friendly option. The premium medical-grade hydrocolloid in Mighty Patch Original is 100% pectin-free.
The sodium salt form of hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate is more stable and less likely to oxidize. As a smaller molecule, it can more easily penetrate the skin than hyaluronic acid. That’s why you’ll sometimes see it as one of the common ingredients in microneedle acne patches, such as Micropoint for Blemishes. Basically, hyaluronic acid works at the surface level to smooth and intensely hydrate skin, and sodium hyaluronate does the same thing, just on a deeper level.
One of the best ingredients for skin that’s red and irritated, panthenol is the alcohol form of vitamin B5. Since it’s a provitamin, your body converts panthenol into vitamin B5 as soon as it’s applied topically. Because it reaches the lower layers of skin, panthenol is able to permeate cells with water and hold moisture deep within the tissue. This keeps your skin looking fresh, dewy and youthful. And its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce the size of pimples and revitalize post-pimple skin, which is why it’s a key ingredient in our Rescue Balm.
Hydrating, anti-aging and soothing, beta-glucan is polysaccharide sugar derived from oats or yeast. With a structure similar to sodium hyaluronate, beta-glucans penetrate the top layers of skin to provide deep, lightweight, lasting hydration. It’s also one of the best skincare ingredients for strengthening the skin barrier and neutralizing free radicals, AKA stress from pollution and UV exposure.
A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide has long been used to treat skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis. The ingredient’s more recent buzz, however, is around its brightening power. Niacinamide can help prevent pigment transfer within the skin and boost collagen production, both of which lighten hyperpigmentation when used in products like our Micropoint for Dark Spots patch.
More than just a candy flavor, licorice root can help disperse the melanin (AKA pigment) in the skin to fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. In Lightning Wand, licorice root is the perfect natural complement to powerhouse brighteners like niacinamide and vitamin C. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it can help with skin conditions like acne and eczema.
A spice that comes from the leafy Curcuma longa plant, turmeric doesn’t just brighten your favorite curry dish, but also your skin. Whether used as part of a DIY yogurt-honey mask or a featured ingredient in your newest serum, turmeric can help to lighten post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, slow visible signs of aging, and heal wounds or ailments.
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