Each year we have trending ingredients in the industry, which can be very confusing for us. Do we choose products after ingredients or should we pick prodcuts based on their performance? Well in all honesty, you can not always rely on product performance, as many of the acclaimed results are just marketing tactics. As mentioned in the Clean Beauty Masterclass, the beauty industry is not very well regulated, meaning you can basically claim whatever you want on your packaging. So if you don’t know how to read the ingredient label, you don’t know what you are getting.
To make it easier for you, here is a list of ingredients you should look out for when purchasing a new favourite beauty product. Why? Because they work, and you will see immediate results.
Let’s just call this the hero ingredient, because it basically does it all. Got wrinkles, use retinoids. Got acne, use retinoids. Got uneven skin tone, use retinoids. Got grey and dull skin, use retinoids. Got dark spots or hyperpigmentation, use retinoids. Got large pores and rough skin texture, use retinoids. Want to prevent skin ageing, use retinoids. To sum up, by using retinoids on a regular basis, you can improve skin texture, sun damage, wrinkles, enlarged pores, black- and whiteheads, acne, as well as getting overall healthier looking skin.
So what is retinoids? Retinoids is a form of Vitamin A and is known for its amazing effect to remove dead skin cells, and increase cell turnover. With increased cell turnover, your skin works better overall as your collagen and elastin is stimulated.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: When using any form of Vitamin A your skin becomes very sun sensitive, its a must to invest in a high SPF protection when you start using your retinoids.
Another hero ingredient you will see a lot, but here you have to be really careful. Vitamin C is extremely effective in the right formulation, in the wrong formulation it can actually cause damage to your skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical damage and environmental stress. It is also highly effective in boosting skin collagen and skin brightening, especially if you have dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: Vitamin C is very unstable and therefore the formulation is key here. Look for vitamin C in powder forms or an airtight bottle so you are not wasting your money.
This is your skin hydration. If you are using a moisturiser or a hydrating serum that does not contain Hyaluronic Acid, its basically useless. Hyaluronic Acid is a sugar molecule that we have in our skin, known for its ability to retain water up to 1000 times its weight. This is basically the ingredient that makes your skin look subtle, flawless and hydrated, and like with everything else, we have less of it as we age. This is the ingredient I would recommend everyone to start with, as early as in your 20´s, look for a simple 24h moisturiser with Hyaluronic Acid as key ingredient. As you get older you can move on to serums or concentrates to make sure your skin always looks its best.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: Don´t be fooled by the word acid here. It´s not in the same family as AHA or BHA and actually has nothing to do with acid. This is a very gentle ingredient, and suitable for every skin.
ALPA HYDROXY ACIDS
Alpa Hydroxy Acids (AHA´s) are powerful acids that slush away dead skin cells. The most effective ones or Glycolic and Lactic acids. You want these bad boys in your skincare routine at lease 2-3 times a week. Why? Because they exfoliate your skin, revealing, fresh and healthy skin underneath. It is key to exfoliate your skin and keep it fresh for other skincare products to penetrate and not to mention to avoid build up of dead skin cells that can lead to black and whiteheads that can turn into pimples. Let’s just try to avoid that, shall we. Another reason why you want these acids in your skincare routine is that they are also anti-aging and can brigthen your skin tone, so a favourite for post acne scars.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: AHA can make you skin sensitive, it is ok to feel a bit of tingling effect, but your skin should not feel like its burning. You should always use SPF when using acids in your routine.
Meet your best friend if you have acne. Salisylic Acid is a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) which is also an exfoliating ingredient but incredible effective for treating acne. The main difference between AHA and BHA is that they are oil-soluble so they can penetrate into your pores thus targeting your acne much better than AHAs. If you are looking for a miracle ingredient for your blemishes this is the one to look for.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: You can use salicylic products as a spot treatment directly on the effected area, no need to rub this all over your face.
You can actually get a pretty solid skincare routine by using only these ingredients. And yes, I’m guilty, all of them are in my skincare routine on repeat! The only thing you have to know is that you can not mix acids together with retinoids. That’s a big NO NO. I like to switch it up so I can get the most out of my products, this means that every other night I use retinoids and then I switch it up with acids the other nights. It is also important to remember that when you use acids or retinoids your skin becomes sensitive to the sun, as you are basically peeling of layers of dead skin cells, your skin should be fresh as baby skin, meaning it is super sensitive to the sun. Besides the obvious reasons why you should use SPF (see a master class on SPF right here) you MUST use SPF 30+ the following day after you treat your skin with either of those two ingredients. I would recommend to use the acids and retinoids in the evening and save your Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid for daytime, as you want to have more hydration during the day time, and Vitamin C tends to give instant brightening effect which you don’t need while you sleep.