When Chemistry Rebuilds Nature in Our Skin Care Products

When we hear the words chemistry and cosmetics in the same sentence, we think the only link lies in deciphering the labels on our favourite skin care products. But there is so much more! Chemistry is not the enemy: we look at why

Whether it's a cream, gel, emulsion or oil, all cosmetics have the same basic structure: one or several active ingredients that ensure the product is effective, an excipient to transport these ingredients, and additives to perfume, preserve, and lather the product and stabilise its pH. These different ingredients might come from plants, animals, minerals or could even be synthetic. Yet, as we well know, nature's resources are not infinite. Chemistry comes to the rescue to protect natural resources and save the cosmetics industry! Chemistry is far from the bad guy of the story: it replaces natural ingredients by reproducing these molecules found in nature, either through chemical synthesis or biotechnology. But that is not all: chemistry also steps in as part of our cosmetics when our body can no longer produce enough of certain molecules, such as collagen or hyaluronic acid.

Retinol, parabens, peptides - All these ingredients that make up our cosmetic products come from chemistry. They are present in all our bathrooms and vanity cases, but here are the ones on the top of the podium:- hyaluronic acid: this super hydrating ingredient is present naturally in the epidermis, but its concentration decreases after the age of 20. Its blend of elements helps you to get back moisturised, supple skin -

• Pro-Xylane: this is a sugar extract from beech wood that stimulates collagen synthesis for a firmer, smoother epidermis. For example, the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser X3 Renewing Anti-Ageing Serum is enriched with Pro-Xylane as it instantly refines skin texture, boosts elasticity, and reverses the signs of ageing.

• Q10: this is naturally present in all our skin cells, but the amount of it decreases with age. The addition of Q10 to cosmetics gets rid of first wrinkles.

• Fibroxyl: this active ingredient that comes from green chemistry can stimulate the stretching of the fibroblasts responsible for collagen and elastin synthesis.

• Ceramide R: this is a synthetic ceramide that can strengthen capillary fibre and protect and smooth hair follicles.