As health and wellness came into focus amid the global pandemic, 2021 saw a rise in the skinification of beauty. It was no longer enough to rely on primers and highlighters for a healthy glow. We wanted hardworking actives and hero ingredients to rejuvenate our skin at a more meaningful level. But what does this year have in store for us? According to our dermatologist, these skincare ingredients have made their way in the trend predictions for 2023.
1. Polyhydroxy acid (PHA)
What exactly are PHAs?
Polyhydroxy acid is a gentle chemical exfoliant. The most common PHAs are gluconolactone, galactosen and lactobionic acid. PHAs exfoliate dead skin cells from the surface, which helps skin be smoother and more even. PHAs can be considered a second generation of AHAs. The main difference is the size of the molecule. PHAs have a larger molecule and therefore don’t penetrate as deeply as an AHA when applied to the skin. Therefore, it is less irritating and better for sensitive skin.
How Does PHA Benefit the Skin?
With regular use, PHAs can lead to brighter, smoother, more hydrated skin and an overall enhanced glow. Polyhydroxy acids can work wonders because they are something you can use at home regularly to chemically exfoliate the skin without undergoing any major procedures. They are low-cost and offer anti-aging benefits.
Who should use PHAs?
Anyone can use PHAs, but those with sensitive skin may get the most benefit from, since they likely won't cause irritation like other chemical exfoliants, or face peels might. They also have a hydrating quality, so in addition to exfoliating, they will help with hydration which is especially important with sensitive skin.
What Is Idebenone?
Idebenone is a synthetic analog for Coenzyme Q10 that is used in skincare formulations to help reduce the visible signs of aging. Idebenone is used for its comparable abilities to Coenzyme Q10, which may help to improve the appearance of aging skin through its antioxidant effects, protecting the skin from damage.
Idebenone is considered a natural identical or an ingredient that is formulated to be identical with the naturally occurring ingredient. This means that the benefits are often the same. In terms of benefits, Idebenone seems to produce the same antioxidant effects as Coenzyme Q10, with the only difference being that it has lower water solubility and slightly higher affinity for lipids.
How Does Idebenone Benefit the Skin?
Idebenone is mainly used for the potential anti-aging benefits to the skin. As an analog to the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10, it is believed to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles through. Antioxidants work by reducing the imbalance of free radicals in the skin. Free radicals are molecules that damage the skin, collagen, and reduce elasticity. Free radicals are produced during a process called oxidative stress, a natural process in the body that occurs when the skin is exposed to UV rays, pollution, and other environmental factors. An imbalance in the level of free radicals in the body is often associated with aging. Idebenone is designed to reduce the effects of free radicals on the skin.
Idebenone, through its antioxidant action, is likely to help reduce irritation and soothe the appearance of redness as it may help to reduce the stress load on the skin. This is why Idebenone can also be found in many formulations for sensitive skin types.
Who should use Idebenone?
Idebenone delivers a whole new level of skin rejuvenation that you cannot get from AHA, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, or other cosmeceuticals because of itsabsolutely unique mode of action. If you have reached a plateau with your current skincare regimen and want the highest level of skin rejuvenation, then Idebenone will be perfect for you.
3. Azelaic Acid
What is Azelaic Acid?
Azelaic acid is a dicarboxylic acid. It works on skin as a gentle leave-on exfoliant which helps unclog pores and refine skin's surface. Azelaic acid also significantly lessens factors in skin that lead to sensitivity and bumps and delivers antioxidant benefits. Much of the research on this ingredient has looked at prescription-only topical products with concentrations between 15% and 20%, but there are incredible benefits to be seen even at lower concentrations.
How Does Azelaic Acid Benefit the Skin?
Azelaic acid works by clearing your pores of bacteria that may be causing irritation or breakouts. It also helps to reduce inflammation, so acne becomes less visible, less red, and less irritated. Azelaic acid also gently encouraging cell turnover, so your skin heals more quickly, and scarring is minimized.
Some people use azelaic to treat acne scarring in addition to active outbreaks. Azelaic acid encourages cell turnover, which is a way to reduce how severe scarring appears. It also prevents what’s known as melanin synthesis, the ability of your skin to produce pigments that can vary your skin’s tone. If you’ve tried other topical medications to help with scarring or blemishes that’re slow to heal, azelaic acid might help. More research is needed to understand who this treatment works best for and how effective it can be.
After a breakout, inflammation can result in hyperpigmentation on some areas of your skin. Azelaic acid stops discoloured skin cells from populating. A pilot study from 2011 showed azelaic acid can treat acne while evening out hyperpigmentation triggered by acne. Further research on skin of color has also shown that azelaic acid is safe and beneficial for this use.
Who should use Azelaic acid?
While many people can benefit from using azelaic acid, it's especially good for those dealing with rosacea and pigmentation. It's also great for treating acne, particularly in those who have more sensitive skin that's unable to tolerate other zit-fighting active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or retinoids. Moreover, azelaic acid is considered safe to use even if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
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