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5 natural ingredients to choose for healthier skin

The cosmetic industry has an insatiable need for the latest wonder product or unearthing ‘new’ ingredients. However, we are increasingly seeing manufacturers creating skin-restoring and skin-replenishing formulations that mimic our natural skin composition, with compounds found naturally in your skin. This is what we have created in our best-selling GF2 Miracle Mist, which replicates hypochlorous acid – our body’s own immune molecule (more about that later!).

Skin replenishing ingredients are like ‘mortar’ to the ‘bricks’ of the skin's surface. When we’re young, our skin has an abundance of these ingredients. Over time, ageing, sensitive skin, certain skin conditions and environmental factors (pollution, sun exposure) weaken and deplete these components. The good news? If you eat/drink the correct wholesome foods and concentrate on some of these powerful ingredients, you can support your skin’s return to good health. In order words, skin that’s able to function normally, with a healthy barrier function.

We look at five of our favourite skin-identical ingredients.

1 Collagen

The number one skin hero is of course collagen – a major component of skin. Together with elastin, it plays a key role in the strengthening of your skin and has major benefits for skin elasticity and hydration. As you age, your body produces less collagen. Plus, as we mentioned above, many factors cause the breakdown of collagen and elastin. For example, inflammageing results in ‘thinner’ (wrinkled) skin, while consuming too much sugar results in glycation (read more about that here) that leads to collagen and fat breakdown. Smoking, stress, too much sun exposure – all these usual culprits are the enemies of collagen-rich skin.

Collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen may help slow the ageing of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness. We recommend that you try to get collagen from healthy foods like fish, chicken, egg whites and any red or yellow vegetables.

2 Hypochlorous acid (HOCl)

Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is our body’s own immune molecule and the most powerful disinfectant against disease-forming microorganisms. After decades of research, Thoclor Labs managed to produce an exceptionally pure and stable form of HOCl at a predetermined, medical-grade, safe concentration and pH of 5.80. We’ve captured this in our everyday moisture mist, as well as our post-treatment aftercare spray.

HOCl is a wonder ingredient for skin, proven to control and reverse the two consequences of inflammageing: aged skin as well as chronic inflammatory conditions such as acne and rosacea (it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory).

Studies have shown that HOCl has many skin rejuvenation effects. Firstly, epidermal thinning is reduced and epidermal cell turnover rate is slowed with a reduction in DNA repair protein (which is normally elevated with ageing). Next, overall skin cell function is normalised and skin becomes healthier and more resilient with improved texture and tone. Perfect whether you need to retain your peaches&cream complexion, restore your skin's health or rejuvenate ageing skin - read more of what our HOCl can do for you here.

3 Hyaluronic acid

One of the most talked-about cosmetic ingredients in recent years, hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring carbohydrate that is the main hydration molecule of the skin. One gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water (1 litre), which means it can replenish a lot of moisture. It helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and creates a plumping effect in the skin. When the skin is hydrated, skin cell production is also increased.

Besides skincare products, look for Hyaluronic acid in soy-based foods, leafy greens and root veggies (turnips, carrots, potatoes, onions, etc). Including bone broth in your diet is one of the best ways to get your dose of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid.

4 Ceramides

The ‘glue’ between our cells is called the extracellular matrix and consists mainly of lipids (fats). Ceramides make up almost 50% of those lipids (the rest is made up of 25% cholesterol and 15% fatty acids). Their role is to form a protective layer that limits moisture loss and protects against visible damage from pollution and other environmental stressors, making them true anti-ageing powerhouse ingredients. Research shows that ceramides play an important role in keeping skin hydrated and the skin barrier healthy.

You can boost your intake of ceramides by adding soybeans, dairy, eggs, sweet potatoes, wheat germ, corn and brown rice to your diet.

5 Glycerol

Also called glycerine, glycerol is a humectant (water-attracting substance) that’s present in all lipids (fats) from natural sources, whether animal or vegetable. Glycerol is derived from natural substances by hydrolysis of fats and by fermentation of sugars, or it can be synthetically manufactured (e.g. for skincare products). Glycerol defends against dryness by keeping the lipids between our skin cells in a healthy state and by helping to restore the barrier function.

Never use undiluted glycerin on the skin as it can cause water loss. Rather add more glycerin to your diet by eating pasta, rolled oats, breakfast cereals, rice, rice products and baked goods.

Would you like more advice on ageing well or tips on controlling the ageing process of your skin? Read some advice from beauty industry experts here.

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