Let’s admit it — the skincare craze has taken over our lives. Many of us are guilty of spending hours online looking for the perfect product to add to our increasingly complicated regimens. And with seemingly countless creams, foams, scrubs, and serums out there, things can get more than a little overwhelming.
So, let’s take a step back from the how-to guides and celebrity endorsements, and zoom in to the specific substances that make products good for our skin. Here, we’ve rounded up the top skincare ingredients you should know and incorporate into your routine.
If you’re looking for the fountain of youth packaged in a bottle, then retinol is the ingredient for you. Vijay Diwakar previously wrote about how this Vitamin A-derived antioxidant is filled with skin rejuvenating properties that decrease fine lines and wrinkles, nourish skin tissues, and promote cell growth. Aside from smoothening the skin’s texture and enhancing its firmness, retinol also diminishes the presence of pores by decreasing oil production. Not only does this result in less noticeable pores, but it will also help your skin look clearer and younger.
However, it’s almost important to note that some people react sensitively to retinol at the start. Diwakar addresses these concerns, explaining, “A bit of redness, sensitivity or peeling can happen with prescription retinol products, but correct usage (dose and timing) can mitigate these initial effects.”
Another skincare ingredient that has been making waves in the industry is niacinamide, and it’s definitely worth paying attention to. Truly a powerhouse of an ingredient, this form of Vitamin B3 is chock full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help you achieve clear and glowing skin. In her review of The Ordinary’s Niacinamide Serum on Glamour Magazine, Jade Moscrop points out that this popular item is able to address excess oiliness on the face. She also noted that her skin became much smoother and healthier after using the serum.
Moreover, niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory components can reduce redness caused by skin conditions like rosacea and cystic acne. It has also been found to counter the effects of aging by minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and clearing out cases of hyperpigmentation. Lastly, it can also repair and maintain the strength of our skin barrier.
3. Vitamin C
This is an essential vitamin that we usually take in the form of supplements for our body’s overall health, but did you know that it’s great for your skin as well? Vitamin C has an impressive list of skincare benefits. First, it boosts collagen production, which is a vital process in fighting the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps you achieve that natural-looking glow, since it evens out the skin tone and brightens the complexion. And more importantly, Vitamin C also acts as a shield against damaging free radicals, such as air pollutants and various chemicals.
This multipurpose use of Vitamin C can do miracles for our skin. However, Allure shares that our skin only receives a small amount of it when ingested. This is why a topical Vitamin C serum like Sunday Riley CEO Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil can be the better option for you to experience the full force of this wonder vitamin.
4. Kojic Acid
Who would’ve thought that the byproduct of a Japanese fermentation process can become a crucial component of our skincare products? Meet the antioxidant kojic acid, which is an extremely effective tool for healing visible damage on our skin. Kojic acid can easily lighten dark spots, age spots, and scars, thanks to its potent lightening properties. By having fair and even-toned skin, anyone can have a youthful radiance around them wherever they go.
Indeed, studies have found that kojic acid has antimicrobial and antifungal properties that can treat acne caused by bacteria and fungal infections, respectively. Moreover, in her review of the Asian favorite Kojic Acid Soap on Pretty Me, beauty writer Sheena Dizon notes that this ingredient can also help eliminate blackheads and whiteheads. That’s because it thoroughly cleanses our skin and clears clogged pores. All of these advantages show us why we should add kojic acid to our skincare arsenal as soon as possible.
5. Hyaluronic Acid
Unlike the aforementioned antioxidant ingredients that go deep into our skin, hyaluronic acid is a natural humectant whose main function is to moisturize our skin’s surface. In fact, it’s so great at skin hydration that it can hold up to 1,000 times of its own weight in water. And when your skin is properly hydrated, it’ll look so fresh and healthy that wrinkles won’t stand a chance at ruining your look.
What really sets hyaluronic acid apart from other moisturizing ingredients is its lightweight and quick-absorbing formula. However, we must keep in mind that not all hyaluronic acid products are constructed the same, as the most efficient ones contain many forms at multiple molecular weights. In this regard, Cosmpolitan points out that the Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex has 15 forms of this substance, making it a valuable serum for our skin.