If you’ve ever wondered whether you need a moisturizer or how to get rid of acne, you’re certainly not alone. Millions of people take to Google every day to find answers to their beauty queries. However, what's interesting is that many people tend to ask very similar questions.
Granted, we can thank social media platforms for making a product or a beauty hack blow up, leading to increased interest from everyone who thinks they will somehow benefit from trying it out.
So from how to get rid of acne to what vitamin C does for your skin, here are the answers to the most Googled beauty questions in 2021.
"What Does Vitamin C Do for Your Skin?"
Vitamin C has many well-recognized effects on the skin and can help address various skin concerns and improve the skin's appearance.
First of all, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it protects skin cells from damaging free radicals caused by UV rays.
Additionally, vitamin C acts as a reducing agent at various oxidative steps of melanin formation to inhibit melanogenesis, which is the process by which the brown pigment melanin is produced by melanocyte cells in the deepest layer of the epidermis. This means that vitamin C can stop uneven melanin deposition and not only fade existing hyperpigmentation but also prevent darker patches and spots from forming in the first place.
Vitamin C not only fades existing hyperpigmentation but also prevents darker patches from forming.
Furthermore, vitamin C is believed to accelerate collagen and elastin production, and while the data that confirms this is weak, it has been noted that vitamin C does, however, improve texture by softening the outermost layers of the skin and making rough areas appear smoother.
Lastly, vitamin C can boost the body’s production of ceramides and other lipids essential for our skin’s health, resulting in softer, suppler skin and a strengthened skin barrier.
To incorporate this fantastic ingredient into your skincare routine, try using a vitamin C serum in the mornings – after cleansing but before applying moisturizer and SPF. Serums are more effective than vitamin C creams due to their ability to penetrate the skin more efficiently.
Product to try: Vivant Skincare Pure C + E ($85)
"What Does Toner Do for Your Face?"
There’s a lot of confusion about toners. They’re often misunderstood, and many people wonder if they need to use one or not.
Following your facial cleanser, a toner is a quick-absorbing liquid that helps remove any lingering dirt, traces of oil, or makeup and bring the pH of your skin back to normal.
Therefore, a toner is usually a simple solution containing hydrating ingredients such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid and skin-soothing extracts such as green tea (which is one of the most popular ingredients to formulate with).
Using a toner isn't an essential part of a daily skincare routine; however, toners do come with some benefits, such as hydrating your skin and making it look fresh, smooth, radiant, and healthy.
It's an extra step in your skincare routine that's good to have, but you can skip it if you want to.
Product to try: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner ($24)
"What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do?"
Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient found in many skincare products, from cleansers to moisturizers and even sunscreens; however, it works best when in a serum form.
It belongs to a group of compounds known as glycosaminoglycans, and it also forms part of the skin’s framework. It's essentially a very large sugar molecule with a gel-like consistency to keep the skin soft, plump, and hydrated.
Hyaluronic acid minimizes the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Besides maintaining skin hydration, hyaluronic acid can also minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles and make them less prominent.
Product to try: Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($30)
"Is Niacinamide Worth It?"
Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is an ingredient that has been used in skincare products for decades.
Like vitamin C, it's a multitasking component that helps address several skin concerns and improve skin health in many ways. Niacinamide effectively reduces hyperpigmentation, but it’s also an incredible anti-inflammatory and anti-acne agent.
It can help reduce, or completely prevent acne in some cases, by inhibiting lipids in our oil glands that contribute to acne formation while at the same time increasing ceramides which help the skin maintain optimal hydration levels. This action will also improve epidermal barrier function and increase the skin’s resistance to pathogens.
And once your skin barrier is strengthened, not only will your skin have an easier time dealing with other issues such as redness and sensitivity, but it will also be more resistant to irritation and inflammatory conditions such as acne and rosacea.
Therefore, niacinamide is definitely an ingredient worth trying, especially if you’re already dealing with some of the skin concerns mentioned above.
Product to try: Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster ($44)
"How To Get Rid of Acne?"
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition caused by several different factors, including overproduction of skin oil, abnormal shedding of skin cells, microbial imbalance, and inflammation.
However, even though this sounds very straightforward, getting rid of acne can be a long and complicated process and usually involves action that goes deeper than the skin, such as balancing your hormones, paying attention to your gut health, and even changing the lifestyle habits that could be contributing to your skin issue.
But besides that, the products you’re applying to your skin can also play a role and can either help clear up acne and maintain healthy skin or totally wreck your skin and cause it to break out even more severely.
Therefore, if you want to get rid of acne, you need to stay away from using products such as facial oils, waxes, and thick creams, as these could potentially contribute to more clogging and more breakouts.
Stick to lightweight, gel-like formulas and products that are labeled "non-comedogenic."
Instead, stick to lightweight, gel-like formulas and look into products that are labeled "non-comedogenic." It's important to note that "non-comedogenic" isn't a guarantee the product won't break you out because not every skin has the same tolerance to various ingredients, but it’s a good place to start.
Additionally, you should look into products that contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, mandelic acid, benzoyl peroxide, niacinamide, and vitamin A (retinol), as these will help clear the pores from clogging gunk, calm inflammation, and prevent future breakouts.
"Can I Exfoliate Daily?"
Exfoliation is the process of removing the buildup of dead skin cells on the skin's surface, and it's a common step in a good skincare routine.
Regular exfoliation can refine skin texture, even out skin tone, get rid of dark spots and discoloration, clear out pores, and prevent acne.
However, daily exfoliation isn't a good idea because even though the skin cells on the skin's surface are technically considered "dead," they still have an important function in maintaining healthy skin, such as preventing moisture from evaporating and leaving the skin dry and uncomfortable.
Therefore, while exfoliation can help target many skin issues, it’s definitely a step that should only be done 2 or 3 times a week.
Product to try: Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($30)
"Do I Need a Moisturizer?"
The purpose of a moisturizer is to prevent the loss of water in the outermost layer of your skin and to act as a protective barrier that shields the skin from environmental damage.
Moisturizers can vary in thickness and potency. If the dominant ingredient is water, it will be classified as a “light” moisturizer. If it has a high protein concentration, it’s labeled a “moderate moisturizer.” If the lipids, or fatty substances, are the dominant ingredient, these are called “heavy moisturizers.”
Moisturizers seem to be a hit and a miss for many simply because most people probably aren't using the right one for their skin type and skin concerns. As a rule of thumb, lightweight, oil-free moisturizers are well-suited for acne-prone skin, while thicker formulas with emollients and lipids are better for dry skin.
Moisturizers act as a protective barrier that shields the skin from environmental damage.
But using a moisturizer daily is necessary to protect your skin's moisture barrier, and this is especially important if you’re using other skincare (or makeup) products.
If you’re cleansing your skin (even if you’re only using soap), you definitely need a moisturizer to replenish some of that protective layer you’re removing from your skin with each cleanse.
"How To Permanently Get Rid of Blackheads?"
Blackheads are actually non-inflammatory acne. They form when a pore gets clogged from oil that doesn't push its way to the skin's surface but instead remains inside and hardens, becoming a plug. The plug's external part or head then oxidizes and becomes black because this is just the chemical reaction when hardened sebum is exposed to oxygen.
What determines whether a blackhead turns into an inflamed pimple is our immune system that fights the clog. Basically, our body sometimes removes blackheads on its own or gets used to them, but other times, our immune system fights a clog by turning it into a pimple so that it can be purged.
Therefore, while you have skin oil, you will get blackheads in the oilier areas of the face and body. And while you can't technically get rid of blackheads permanently, you can prevent them from showing up by keeping your pores clear through regular exfoliation with ingredients such as salicylic acid or products that speed up cellular turnover and get rid of clogs such as retinoids.
Even though Google is an easy-to-use tool that provides you with quick information, it's also worth noting that you shouldn't always take everything you read online as gospel.
While it's good to educate yourself on many topics, it's also important to look after yourself. Sometimes this involves seeking professional help and seeing an esthetician or a dermatologist who will help you identify your skin concerns and recommend an adequate treatment for your needs.
With that said, which one of these questions did you Google in the past year?
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