Clearing the Confusion on Skin Care Products

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With so many skincare products crowding the shelves of drug stores and department stores, it can be downright confusing on what your skin really needs. Big advertisers tell us we need this or that for acne or wrinkles or sagging or sunspots, but why? What’s the secret ingredient in the latest hocus pocus magic potion lotion? We attempt to clear the confusion on a few must-have ingredients below:


Only recently have peptides grown in importance in skin rejuvenation. Essentially a chain of proteins, peptides produce collagen and elastin and can help to produce subtle tightening and reduction of sagging skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

Found naturally within our bodies, it helps to bind water and to lubricate joints and muscles. Babies have a lot of hyaluronic acid in their little bodies and it’s evident in their plump skin. Hyaluronic acid in skincare products provides moisturization when applied topically. Hyaluronic acid has also replaced collagen for injecting into wrinkles to “fill” them and for injecting into the lips for augmentation.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is also present in skincare products as a retinoid, retinol or Retin A (most are Rx only). This powerful ingredient can dry the skin and cause exfoliation. For this reason, it helps to unplug pores, even out skin discoloration, restore vibrancy to the complexion, reduce oiliness, treat acne and improve the depth of fine wrinkles.

Vitamin E

The free-radical avenger. Antioxidants are key in fighting the environmental pollutants that break down our skin. Vitamin E helps fend off the damage to our skin caused by smoking, pollution and other nasties in the air.


This ingredient literally slows down the production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the culprit behind age spots, brown spots, and melasma. Most over-the-counter formulations contain less than 4% of this ingredient, so prescription strength may be recommended if you have a great deal of uneven pigmentation. Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa offers Changes Lighten & Renew which contains 7% hydroquinone and requires an office visit for prescribing.

Salicylic Acid

You’ll find this ingredient in many acne treatments for its ability to exfoliate inside the pores as well as the skin’s surface. It is effective for reducing blemishes, including whiteheads and blackheads. Our Changes Rejuvenating Cleanser contains salicylic acid and is recommended for all skin types.

We’ve touched on a few of the most effective skincare ingredients for simplification. There are many other ingredients you’ll find listed on your product labels. Fragrance, coloring, and preservatives comprise the longest list on the label. Be sure to read the labels carefully and verify that the key active ingredient is at or near the top of the list.

For more information on skincare or to shop the Changes Skin Care line please visit or call us at 858-720-1440.

Copyright 2014 Jill Darrah for Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa


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