There’s a wide spectrum of active ingredients. Anything from stem cells to carrot extract can be used to enhance the skin, and new ones are introduced each year. To give you an overview of active ingredients, we’ve divided them into three main groups: antioxidants, natural moisturising factors (NMF) and cell signalling substances.
Antioxidants are molecules that protect the body from free radicals (ROS) and oxidation. The body is constantly exposed to highly reactive particles, such as reactive oxygentive species (ROS). These particles trigger oxidation in your body and your skin, and is one of the main causes of extrinsic ageing. You need a combination of several different antioxidants for full protection. Some well-known antioxidants are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10.
Natural moisturising factors
Natural moisturising factors (NMF) absorb moisture from the surrounding air and lock it in the outer layers of the skin. The moisture then makes your skin’s structure (mainly its proteins) more agile, which leads to younger looking skin. The locked in moisture is also important for your skin’s natural exfoliation process (desquamation). Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are two recognized moisturizing factors.
As we grow older the natural skin rejuvenating processes slows down. Cell-communicating substances speed up these processes again, so the skin behaves as young skin despite age. Their effectiveness depends on how far these active ingredients penetrate the skin. Some are very large molecules and will have difficulty reaching the lower layers of the skin. Also the overall formulation will affect its efficiency. Retinol, peptides, linolinic acid and linoleid acid are widely used in the industry for this purpose.