The Skincare Ingredients You Need to Know About | Sponsored


Now that I've been blogging about beauty for a few years, I feel I've gained quite a bit of knowledge on skincare and there are certain ingredients that immediately grab my attention when I'm shopping around for products. I'm sharing those with you today in a way that I hope is helpful, regardless of whether you're a seasoned skincare pro or a complete newbie!


Virgin Coconut Oil

Why it's great
Coconut oil is now pretty well known for its benefits, however virgin coconut oil (which is its purest form) is extra-great! It's packed full of antioxidants that will soothe and soften the skin and Vitamin E, which is amazingly hydrating. At the same time its antibacterial properties make it great for keeping breakouts at bay. It's also very gentle so even the most sensitive skin types can enjoy the benefits. You can buy it in a solid form (which can be used for cooking, skincare, haircare and body care) or for something a little less fussy, it can be found primarily in cleansers, hair oils and body creams.

Who it's for
I honestly think this is for everyone. Even if you have shine-prone skin that often breaks out, don't be afraid of oils!

I recommend
Tropika Coconut Cleansing Oil* | £17.99 | I've been using this product for a good month now and really like it. I have previously used coconut oil in its solid form to cleanse and, whilst I definitely enjoyed it, I really can't be bothered with having to break off a piece and warm it up before application. This gives me all of the benefits without any of the hassle or mess. This a liquid oil (coconut mixed with olive) that feels incredibly lightweight on the skin. You can either use it as a first cleanser to remove makeup with ease or as a moisturising cleanser afterwards. This blend is amazingly effective at breaking down even the most stubborn black mascara without stinging my very sensitive eyes. You can mix it in with a bit of water or simply massage it in before using a warm, damp muslin cloth to remove it. Even just using this to remove makeup, I noticed my skin was soft and hydrated afterwards, plus this doesn't leave behind any greasy residue. I also like to use this after I've removed my makeup - it's amazing for a facial massage, which really gives me time to work this into my skin and for the virgin coconut oil to work its magic. 

Tea Tree Oil


Why it's great 
This is essentially an antiseptic, so when spot-applied to blemishes, it's amazing at healing them. I often use this overnight so that by morning any small blemishes are completely gone and any larger ones look a lot less noticeable. You can find this as an ingredient in cleansers or moisturisers, for daily spot-fighting, or you can buy it in its pure form to use occasionally on specific areas of the face.

Who it's for
This is more for those with combination or oily skin (particularly when it's in 'daily use'-type products), though pretty much any skin type could use the concentrated form on blemishes as and when they need to. 

I recommend
The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil | £8.50 | This is pure tea tree oil and I've purchased this a few times because it just always does the job! I take a cotton wool bud and just dab this oil directly onto any problem areas. It's fast-absorbing so can be used during the day, however I tend to opt for an overnight treatment so that my skin is clear (or near enough) by the next morning. It isn't something I'd reach for daily, as it is quite astringent but it's amazing on an 'as and when needed' basis.

Glycolic Acid

Why it's great
I actually did a big feature on AHAs and BHAs back in the day (check that out here) but in a nutshell it's an acid exfoliant, meaning that glycolic acid (found in sugar cane) removes dead skin cells without the need for manual scrubbing particles. You typically get this ingredient in cleansers, masks and other products that aren't going to be sat on your skin all day, however they're also commonly found in toners. They instantly make the skin look brighter and healthier and over long-term use help to fade scarring, such as from acne, and it also purportedly has anti-aging benefits. It can be quite a harsh product on the skin so I'd recommend starting with something around the 2-5% mark and gradually building up to higher percentages (generally the maximum you'll see in your skincare aisles is around 12%). You will also need to ensure you use sun protection, as AHAs can make the skin more susceptible to damage.

Who it's for
Anyone who suffers from dull skin, though I'd say it might not be for you if you have very sensitive skin.

I recommend
Pixi Glow Tonic | £18 | This 5% formula is pretty much the perfect starter product for those wanting to dip their toe into the world of glycolic acids. This also contains a blend of other ingredients including witch hazel and aloe vera, which is perhaps why it wasn't even remotely irritating when I first tried it. It's essentially a toner to be used after cleansing and it has a fruity scent and a distinctive orange colour. It gives my skin an immediate glow, which is often much-needed on a weekday morning, with minimal effort, whilst being very gentle.

Lactic Acid

Why it's great
This is very similar to glycolic acid, as it's also an AHA, however (as the name sort of suggests) this instead derives from sour milk. It's great at sorting out uneven texture on the skin and many find it has anti-aging properties. Again, it's going to be great at evening out any hyper-pigmentation in the skin like sunspots or old blemish scars. People with dry skin often prefer lactic acid over glycolic acid as it's a bit more gentle and hydrating on the skin, however I'd still recommend starting with a lower concentration. 

Who it's for
Primarily normal and dry skin types.

I recommend
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask | £32 | Ok, so this is a blend of glycolic and lactic acids but together the two AHAs really are game-changing. This does have a bit of a smell to it, however the gel-like formula is very easy to apply. You only have to leave this on for 10 minutes and rinse to see amazing effects. I've honestly not tried any other product that's given such amazing, instant results - my skin is immediately refreshed and glowing when I use this product. It's what I reach for whenever I have a special occasion or a bit of a rubbish skin day. 

Salicylic Acid

Why it's great
This is a BHA, so it's in the same sort of family as the two ingredients I've just discussed, however it's molecular structure means it's able to penetrate more deeply into pores. This makes it an amazing option for oilier skin. I personally don't find it to be overly harsh but a bit of redness is normal on first use - as always you shouldn't start with a strong concentration if your skin isn't yet used to this type of product. It can be found in low concentrations in moisturisers targeted at oily skin or in masks and treatments. I personally prefer the latter because I tend to only reach for BHAs when my skin really needs it.

Who it's for
I'd definitely say this is for oily and occasionally combination skin. Some acne sufferers also find it helps, though you should speak to your doctor before using products containing this.

I recommend
Una Brennan Superfacialist Salicylic Acid Clay Mask | £9.99 | This is an oldie but a goodie! It's a clay mask so it does harden on the skin and you may feel a very slight sensation when using it. I'd recommend leaving it on for no longer than 10 minutes, which is plenty of time for it to work its magic. Immediately after rinsing, my skin looks both brighter and fresher but in addition to that, within 24 hours my skin is considerably clearer. Any of those pesky annoying whiteheads are cleared up and my pores look smaller. This is a must-have if you have oily or spot-prone skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

Why it's great
This is probably the most well-known skincare wonder-ingredient because it's famed for its ability to replenish moisture and hold several times its weight in water. This means it's a powerful anti-aging ingredient, as well as being amazing for dry or dehydrated skin types. It's gentle, and won't irritate even sensitive skin. It's generally found in products that stay on the skin throughout the day, such as serums and moisturisers. It acts as a quick fix to smooth and plump the skin. 

Who it's for
Any skin type can use this, however of course if you're dehydrated, you will see the greatest benefit.

I recommend
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 | £6 | This is not only affordable but it does the job with minimal fuss. It's essentially a serum, so I use it before moisturising. It's clear in colour and has a lightweight texture, though leaves a very slight tackiness on the skin. It ensures my skin looks healthy, taking care of any dehydration lines, and also leaves it soft and smooth in texture. Overall my skin looks much healthier and is more hydrated. 

Retinol

Why its great
Colloquially a 'retinoid' is prescription-strength and 'retinol' is found in skincare aisles, though the two terms are more or less interchangeable and indicate Vitamin A. This is a really interesting ingredient because it has both anti-acne and anti-aging properties. It's proven to prevent and minimise dark spots, lines and sagging skin. At the same time it can unclog pores of any dead skin cells and reduce breakouts and redness. It's often found in treatment products as it is quite intensive. I strongly recommend starting with a low concentration and slowly building up to something stronger. You may also experience peeling when you first use retinol products, this can be normal but could also be a sign that you're using a concentration that's too harsh for your skin. Most retinol products come in a dark or opaque container because Vitamin A can break down on contact with light or air. 

Who it's for
This is one of those rare ingredients that can work for oily through to dry skin, though if you're on acne medication such as accutane, you shouldn't use retinols.

I recommend
Avene Triacneal Expert | £23 | This is the perfect 'starter' product if you're new to retinol (if you're a long-time fan then try something of a higher percentage like The Ordinary's 2% Advanced Retinoid). It's an overnight cream that contains a more gentle derivative of Vitamin A. It didn't cause any peeling with my skin personally, nor did I feel any type of irritation or sensation. The formula of the cream is actually quite moisturising and the effects are fairly immediate. Even from the first use I noticed my skin looked much smoother in texture. Over time I can definitely say the tone of my skin looks more even and this is what I reach for when I'm breaking out because it's so calming on angry skin.

Manuka Honey

Why it's great
This is one of those amazingly gentle ingredients that both clears up blemishes and gives the skin some serious nourishment. Honey has both a moisturising texture and anti-bacterial properties, helping to calm redness and get rid of any spots. Whilst it's not what I reach for when my skin is in meltdown, it's great for just maintaining clear, smooth, hydrated skin. It also contains amino acids that have anti-aging properties. It can be found primarily in cleansers and face masks but occasionally in moisturisers too. 

Who it's for
Any skin type can benefit from using manuka honey.

I recommend
Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask | £24.99 | I actually managed to miss this out of my photo (d'oh!) but still wanted to give it a mention. It's what I reach for when my skin needs an all-round pick me up; it's looking a bit tired, a bit spotty and a bit bleugh! This is a honey-consistency mask that acts as an amazing all-rounder. It's one of those ones that 'sinks' into the skin during the time you leave it on to provide deep hydration. Any sensitivity or irritation is soothed and little breakouts are cleared up pretty quickly.


What are your must-have skincare ingredients?


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Disclosure - this post is in partnership with Tropika and products marked * were sent to me for consideration, however all opinions remain my own.

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43 comments

  1. Such a helpful post Jasmine! As much as I love skincare I'm still at the stage of starting to understand all of the different ingredients, and finding out exactly what combos work best for my skin. I think I would benefit from adding some retinol into my routine x

    jodiemelissa.com

    jodiemelissa.com

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  2. Great post, Jasmine! I love the sound of the liquid coconut cleansing oil - I personally hate the feeling of coconut oil under my nails when I have to scoop some of the solid form out.

    I've used most of the products you've recommended but still need to get the Antipodes mask xx

    Beautylymin| LuxurySkincareGiveaway

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  3. This is such a helpful post and will definitely keep this in mind when I'm purchasing new skin care!

    I've just launched my blog at https://makeupbychal.com

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  4. So many of my favourite skincare ingredients here! I always like to have some tea tree around and my skin can't get enough glycolic acid!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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    Replies
    1. It makes such an amazing, instant difference, doesn't it? xx

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  5. Wow this is one of the most helpful posts I have ever read Jasmine. Coconut oil is a miracle product and can be used in so many situations. I am using The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 too and it's great for my skin!

    Yiota
    pinkdaisyloves.blogspot.com

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  6. Pretty much any you have mentioned here. And while I agree on not being afraid of oils when you have oily skin, coconut oil is not the best example. Its molecules are pretty big and can indeed cause breakouts in sensitive people. Jojoba oil, very similar to natural oils, is a better choice for acne prone skins.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    Replies
    1. Those are all fab for products that actually sit on your skin however as you rinse off cleansers I don't think you need to worry about breaking out xx

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  7. This is such a great post, I love your recs too, I think rosehip oil is fantastic for any skin type. I have oily skin and only use coconut oil to remove mascara and condition my lashes. Great post xxx


    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

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  8. i loveeee coconut oil!! i always use it for cooking it just makes it taste so goooood xx


    cristynottingham.blogspot.co.uk

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  9. This is really informative!!! Always wondered what all these ingredients where for

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

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  10. So many acids!! It really is hard to wrap your head around what everything does, but once you do it's great to gradually start adding them into your routine!

    http://thedianaedition.com

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    Replies
    1. Yeah it definitely took me a while to start wrapping my head around it all haha xx

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  11. This is such a good post! I love some of your recommendations, definitely need to try some of these out! x

    Abi | abistreetx

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  12. Loved this post, so helpful! I'm desperate to start using hyaluronic acid properly, of course it features in some of my skincare already but I ordered The Ordinary one to come and counting down the days until it arrives!

    The Makeup Directory

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  13. Love this post! It was very informative for someone just beginning to get into skincare! x

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  14. Tea Tree Oil is something I have to try soon!

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

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  15. I love tea tree oil! So god for so many things!! x

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  16. Great informative post. I love most of the products you've suggested here. I would recommend you try Bravura Lactic Acid Peel which I use as a leave on serum. The results are lovely xxxx
    UmmBabyBeauty

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    Replies
    1. Ah thanks Salma - I'll check it out! xx

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  17. Fantastic post, Jasmine, very informative! AHAs and BHA, Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid have become my favourite skincare ingredients as they've transformed my skin. x

    Mummy's Beauty Corner

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  18. Manuka Honey is so good! Also I need to try the Pixi Glow Tonic now - just bite the bullet and pay the dollar!

    www.upyourvlog.com

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  19. I love using coconut oil and tea tree oil and looking forward to try Pixi glow tonic. This is an informative post.
    Glamupgirls

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  20. Great Post Jasmine. I see some of my faves here. Absolutely love The Bodyshop Tea Tree oil. I have the one that used to come in old packaging. Super facialists masks are amazing. Love this Salicylic acid one. LOve love love Pixi beauty glow tonic. I need to use my Ren glycolactic radiance renewal mask more. Loved the post!

    Ash | www.mstantrum.com

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    Replies
    1. Ah it's so good! Definitely do :) xx

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  21. This is such a useful post. As someone who knows next to nothing about skincare and is too lazy to look into it properly, posts that break down the main good ingredients like that are perfect. I need to start using virgin coconut oil, as it does wonders for the skin and hair, and I'm tempted to try the Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid too, as it would make my skin look healthy and replenished - that sounds just perfect to me!

    Julia x
    Last Post: A Holiday in Rome, Italy | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/roman-holiday-pt1.html

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  22. This is a brilliant post, Jasmine! I use Retinol, AHAs, BHAs and most of my products have Glycolic Acid in the ingredients too as I have dry, mature skin. I do need to repurchase coconut oil, it makes the best makeup remover!

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    Replies
    1. I love using it - so glad I've found a liquid form, it's way more convenient! xx

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  23. This is such a helpful & informative post! I'm pretty guilty of not looking into skincare ingredients, but that'll have to change!

    Nicole | The Glam Surge

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  24. Wow there are so many ingredients which I wasn't really sure of what they did! Thank you for this post.

    Lauren x Huggled

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  25. The last year or so I have been studying ingredients and find them so interesting. This post was really helpful. I'm a big fan of tea tree oil (The Body Shop's one is on my forever repurchase list) and recently purchased The Ordinary's Hyaluronic acid and have really liked it. I have heard a lot about Pixi's Glow tonic and now I definitely need to get my hands on it!

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  26. Very helpful post as I am getting into skin care products too. I am from Birmingham too by the way.

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  27. I love the Retinoid from the ordinary and Glycolic acids which have proven to work great on my ageing skin. I highly recommend squalane (the one derived from olives) for combination or oily skin, (although it can be used on any skin type), and what makes it so great for oilier skins is the skin is able to drink this far more effectively than other oils. Plus, it doesn't leave that greasy after feel either. Very helpful post Jasmine. X


    Toni | sheergloss



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    1. Ooh that sounds amazing - I'll check it out :) xx

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  28. This is so so helpful! I love teatree oil and have rekindled my relationship with it recently since I've had so many breakouts. Nothing seems to work better!
    a life of a charlotte
    x

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  29. Love, love, love this round-up! So easy to read and I think this is a great article for skincare beginners. Great job & product recommendations!

    Naya // www.partyparrotblog.com

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  30. Thank you for your comments - I really hope this was helpful :) xx

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  31. I legit did not know about half of these products, but I bet that there are so many product that I use which contain them! Tea tree is one which I am really familiar with and works well with my skin. Thanks for the informative post! xx

    Jasmine || http://www.blogsallbeautyy.blogspot.co.uk

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  32. Hey, I love the Pixi Glow Tonic! Check my skincare post. https://www.bloglovin.com/@distortedlove/6-products-night-time-skincare-routine

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