CLA and retinols: How these ingredients fight aging
If skin care and health are priorities for you, you probably have heard of proven ingredients, such as retinol and alpha hydroxy acids.
From a wellness perspective, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which is found in safflower oil, has shown to help with overall health, from reducing body fat, decreasing cancer risk and preventing heart disease. Now CLA has been shown to work in skin care products to prevent signs of aging. Learn more about how the latest retinol and CLA technologies are skin care powerhouses that will improve smoothness, clarity, wrinkles and hydration with limited skin irritation.
Retinol comes from the retinoid family, a derivative of vitamin A. This powerful vitamin increases skin cell turnover and improves collagen production to improve wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and acne. Retinol comes in different strengths — from prescription strength (Retin-A, Tazorac, Renova) to professional skin care (for example, PCA Skin) and over-the-counter, such as RoC Deep Wrinkle Serum (drugstore.com, $22).
In the early days of retinols, redness, flakiness and skin sensitivity were often concerns. And while it's best to check with your dermatologist to determine the best formula for your face, some of the non-prescription formulas have improved and you can get great results without a prescription. If you do use a non-prescription retinol product, try to make sure that it's either a pure retinol or has a higher level of active retinol. Some products might only contain 0.1 percent retinol, which may not produce the results you are hoping to see (or even if they contain higher amounts of retinols, they may include buffers, which reduce their efficacy).
Nowadays, retinols are also combined with other skin care actives to work on multiple issues. For example, PCA Skin’s Intensive Clarity Treatment (dermstore.com, $106) infuses antioxidants and botanicals together with 0.5 percent pure retinol to help with inflammation due to acne breakouts and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation. In the over-the-counter world, formulas such as Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair (Neutrogena.com, $21) include a retinol serum that boosts moisture at the same time with hyaluronic acid.
Some key points to remember when using a retinol are to start slowly. Use the smallest amount possible. You can even alternate evenings when you do use it and build up from there as you get used to it. Retinols can also replace other anti-aging serums. If you combine the ingredient with other exfoliators (such as a glycolic acid cream), you run the risk of irritating your skin and causing damage.
Next, remember to use your retinol product on a regular basis and choose the right formula for your skin. Celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Gabriel Chiu of Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery says that one of the biggest mistakes women (and men) make in terms of skin care is not to be consistent in using their products. Or, they use the wrong product because they believe the marketing hype. Finally, always use a sunscreen when using a retinol product — your skin will be much more sensitive.
Another new technology in the skin care arena is the use of conjugated linoleic acid in actual skin care creams (vs. just using safflower oil as a topical moisturizer). So how exactly does this new power agent work? First of all, CLA helps skin retain moisture by boosting ceramide synthesis in skin cells; this fortifies the skin barrier and helps to retain moisture in the skin.
CLA is a natural ingredient that allows for skin renewal without harsh chemicals or treatments. It allows you to treat all three layers of the skin to create healthy skin from deep down.
One company doing remarkable work with CLA is Own Skin Care. The CLA in Own Skin Care works naturally, with your own body's chemistry, to activate skin renewing processes and rebuild those structures. One product to try is the Own Firming Silk Concentrate (ownproducts.com, $25). For women who want to focus on natural beauty technologies, CLA is an important compound to include in their anti-aging routines.