Skin is the largest organ in the body and separates and protects the internal environment of the body from the external environment. Elements such as air pollution and sun radiation as well as the normal ageing process cause cumulative damage to the building blocks of skin; DNA, collagen and cell membranes.
Protecting and preserving the skin is essential to good health and cosmetics and skincare products are part of everyday grooming. But the use of beauty products will not cause the skin to change or heal; these products are just meant to cover and beautify.
However, phytocosmeceuticals are cosmetic products with medicinal plant extracts and are therefore able to affect the biological functioning of skin, thanks to the functional ingredients they contain. These are skincare products that go beyond colouring and adorning the skin; they improve the functioning and texture of the skin by encouraging collagen growth to combat the harmful effects of free radicals, thus maintaining a good condition of the keratin structure and making the skin healthier.
?My Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic phytocosmeceuticals skincare range contains ingredients such as vitamins A, C, D, E, selenium, lycopene, pycnogenol, zinc and copper to treat ageing skin, for a rejuvenating effect. Another external agent we use for the skin comprises an extract prepared from olive trees as a skin-beautifying component, in particular as an anti-ageing component for the skin.
Dry emollient preparation containing monounsaturated Jojoba esters are used in the Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic Jojoba Day Moisturiser. We also use plant extract of genus Chrysanthemum in a cosmetic composition for stimulating skin pigmentation. Novel cosmetic creams or gels with active ingredients and water-soluble barrier disruption agents such as vitamin beta carotene extract have been developed by me to improve deteriorated or aged skin.
??Regular use of an effective sunscreen is the single most important step to maintain healthy, youthful-looking skin. Mainly, it is the effect of ultraviolet light from the sun that causes most of the visible effects of ‘ageing’ skin.
Over the counter chemical sunscreens act primarily by binding to skin protein and absorbing UVB rays. Sun blocks act as barriers, which reflect or scatter radiation. Direct physical blockers include metal containing compounds such as iron, zinc, titanium and bismuth. ?
Moisturisers function to smooth out age lines, brighten and tone delicate skin. Moisturisers usually incorporate emollients to smoothen the skin?s surface by working their way into the non-living outer layers of the skin, filling spaces between the layers and lubricating, while humectants help skin cells absorb and retain moisture in these layers.
I have created moisturisers for menopausal women using ingredients that diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, lift the neck area and moisturise dry, sagging skin. Ingredients include black cohosh, soy extract, vitamin E and Greenlip extract. Augmenting the skin’s natural moisture balance are a nourishing complex containing hyaluronic acid and a revival complex containing green tea leaf extract and glutathione.
?The skin beneath the eyes lack subcutaneous fat and has virtually no oil glands. This delicate skin needs protection and plenty of moisture to replenish and repair, which helps to reduce the signs of premature ageing.
As the skin ages, it becomes thinner, drier and rougher. Over-exposure to the elements and to environmental pollution aggravates this condition. Many topical skin-soothing products intervene in this process, but products for this area need to be particularly gentle and specially formulated with ingredients that work from the inside out, by interacting with the cells under the skin’s surface – without irritating the eyes.