With so many products available in the market today, it may get overwhelming to decide what skincare ingredients suits our skin the most. And while the list of products is long, the list of ingredients in each of these products is even longer. We at Besties have always tried to simplify skincare for you so you can make the most out of it. As part of this post, we have tried to cover some of the trending skincare ingredients which if included in skin regime with proper knowledge can actually make a huge difference.
Also read: Essentials of Essential Oils – I
Skincare products should always be bought after going through the ingredients’ list. We may not know most of the listed ingredients but the way it works is the first 5 ingredients form most of the product and the percentage keeps on decreasing till the end of the list. So if you see a moisturizer marketed to have great aloe based properties while aloe vera itself comes at the bottom of the ingredients’ list, you know whether to pick the product or not!
So, lets dig into these skincare ingredients and see what skin concern they cater to, what are the precautions that need to be taken while using them and when to stop using them.
Once again, each of these ingredients come with their own set of usage instructions and precautions which in no way should be ignored.
Also read: Micellar Water: All you need to know
Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
AHAs are exfoliating ingredients that breakdown the glue that binds dead skin cells together. Regular use of AHA helps removing dead skin cells from the top layer. Due to this, AHA is know for its skin exfoliating and brightening effects. This is a way of chemically exfoliating skin as compared to old school scrubs which are physical exfoliators. The two most effective and popular forms of AHA are Glycolic Acid (naturally derived from sugarcane) and Lactic Acid (naturally derived from fruits like apples). Suits most skin types though can be drying for very dry skin
Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
While AHA work on top layer on skin, BHA are the exfoliants that penetrate deeper into the pores. Being oil soluble, they clean the pores and clear acne and blackheads therefore great for acne prone skin. Salicylic acid is the most popular and effective form of BHA present in skincare products.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
This skincare ingredient is naturally occurring component of skin tissue which is recreated synthetically. Although as part of our skin component, it has different job to perform, HA in skincare ingredients can increase the hydration levels to a considerable amount. HA has the capability of attracting water molecules to the surface of the skin making it look more beautiful and supple. It goes well with almost all types of skin.
Niacinamide is form of Vitamin B3(Niacin). As a skincare ingredient it has a huge list of benefits. Regular use of niacinamide has the ability to visibily improve enlarged pores, reduce appearance of signs of aging, uneven skin tone and broken/weakened skin barrier. Due to these properties, it also makes an amazing eye care ingredient. Suits most skin types with these concerns although a patch test is recommended.
Last and my favorite skincare ingredient is retinol. Retinol is the over the counter version of Vitamin A (retin-A). This skincare ingredient is a must have if you want to tackle signs of aging. It is a powerful antioxidant, smooths fine lines, lifts up skin and firms it.
Retinol can cause irritation, redness and peeling of skin and make it sensitive to sun so it is suggested to be used as part of night time routine. If you are using retinol for the first time, it is highly suggested to start with low percentage may be 0.2% or 0.5% max. With this concentration start with once or twice a week and see how your skin reacts to it and gradually increase the frequency of usage and strength of retinol. While retinol is stable compared to retin-A, newer version retinoid is much more safe and causes less or no irritation. Retinol suits most skin types if used in accordance with its conditions except sensitive skin who are better suited for retinoids. That being said, retinoid suits all skin types.
Apart from all the mentioned recommendations, Paula’s Choice and The Ordinary have one of the best boosters available. A big shout out to both of these amazing brands for formulating such simple and easy to use products. These boosters make it easy to include these ingredients in our skin routine without making a whole lot of changes. Their products are rather stable, less irritating and high performance based. Simply add few drops of these boosters in your serum or moisturizer and use as you would. Highly recommend them!
Below table summarizes the various aspect of each of these ingredients.
All these skincare ingredients are very effective but only if used with proper knowledge. Make sure you go through product instructions before you start using these products. It is a good idea to include these ingredients in products which are not washed off like cleansers and scrubs. Also, start with one at a time if planning for more than one.
We love these ingredients and hope they make a difference in your skin too.
Take good care of your skin!
A | XOXO
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