The Key Ingredients for Your Skin Regimen

With the simple acronym G.B.P.E.A.R.S., you will have a guideline to ingredients and products you need for your skin regimen.

Applying a face scrub

With all the products out there in the market, it’s hard to decide what products you need. Many companies claim to have the next big product and ingredients to help achieve the youthful appearance you want. So how do you know which ones to choose? With the simple acronym G.B.P.E.A.R.S., you will have a guideline to ingredients and products you need for your skin regimen.

Growth Factors

Why it’s important: Growth factors are naturally occurring substances that have the capability to stimulate cellular growth, proliferation, and cellular differentiation. Thus, they directly affect the stimulation of collagen metabolism, improvement of fine lines and wrinkles.

How it works: Growth factors typically act as signaling molecules between cells. These factors bind to specific cell surface receptors, which simulate biochemical pathways that induce cellular proliferation and/or differentiation. These substances penetrate the epidermis when applied to the skin surface and play an important role for a variety of cellular processes that induce the synthesis of collagen.

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Bleaching Agents

Why it’s important and how it works: Bleaching agents even out skin tone by reducing melanin production. Skin color gets darker due to the stimulation of melanin. Hyperpigmentation or uneven distribution of melanin can be caused by scars, hormone changes, or sun exposure. One popular skin bleaching agent is hydroquinone. Ingredients like hydroquinone work by suppressing the melanocytes in the skin that leads to discoloration.

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Why it’s important and how it works: Peptides increase the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid by mimicking broken down collagen. Collagen gives your skin support and thickness. As we age, our skin gets thin and wrinkly because the amount of collagen in our skin has decreased as we lose elastin. When our skin has been damaged and collagen has been broken down, a signal is initiated to produce more collagen. Applying peptides to your skin can aid in reversing signs of aging.

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Why it’s important and how it works: Exfoliants help remove the top layer of skin, also known as the stratum corneum, so that products can penetrate your skin deeper and therefore be more effective.

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Why it’s important and how it works: Antioxidants are chemicals that are necessary to combat free radicals due to internal and external factors. Healthy cells are damaged by free radicals caused from exposure of environmental factors that includes pollution, sun, smoking, and poor diet. This damage can cause skin damage and premature aging. Antioxidants protect cells by neutralizing these factors. Common antioxidants include Vitamins A, C, E, green tea, coenzyme Q-10, and beta carotene.

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Why it’s important and how it works: Retin-A (tretinoin), Renova and Retinol are all Vitamin A derivatives. Retinoids are highly effective in helping with fine lines and wrinkles, acne, and increasing cell turnover stimulating collagen. Vitamin A derivatives have molecular structures that help improve skin texture.

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Why it’s important: Sunscreens along with SPF protective clothing can protect skin from UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays by preventing skin cancer. These harmful rays contribute to fine lines, wrinkles and induce signs of aging in your skin.

How it works: Sunscreens prevent DNA damage. The pyrimidine dimer formation caused by DNA damage are thought to create the carcinogenic effects of UV rays over time. Sunscreens can have either or both physical and chemical blockers. Chemical blockers like avobenzone and oxybenzone soak into the skin and break down harmful rays by absorbing them. Physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sit on top of the skin’s surface and reflect the sun’s rays. It is important to find a sunscreen with both physical and chemical properties.

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author avatar
Dr. Timothy Jochen Medical Director, Contour Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Center
Dr. Jochen specializes in Mohs Surgery for skin cancer removal, facial rejuvenation including cosmetic laser technology, Botox® and facial fillers, soft tissue augmentation, leg and facial vein treatment, tumescent liposuction and hair restoration/transplants.

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