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Today I’m going to share something I can’t believe I haven’t already! These are the powerhouse skincare ingredients that have given me amazing results over the years...
We’ll kick things off with acid exfoliation. Glycolic acid is probably the most famous AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) of the bunch; a fruit-derived chemical exfoliator often found in leave-on products like toners and serums. This ingredient effectively breaks apart what ‘glues’ together dead cells on the skin’s surface so this layer is removed to reveal more radiant skin. Not only does it give an instant glow-boost but it also helps the appearance of scarring and uneven skin tone, as well as leaving your skin feeling softer and smoother. If you’d like to try this ingredient, I’d recommend starting with a concentration of below 1% and using your chosen glycolic acid around once a week. The maximum I’d go for as part of your regular routine would be a 5% concentration every other day. Alternatively, you may prefer to use a more concentrated treatment or mask once a week. Be sure to use sunscreen before leaving the house because this ingredient may increase sun sensitivity.
Products I love featuring this ingredient...Pixi Glow Tonic* | £18 | full review
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution | £6.25 | full review
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum* | £76 | full review
- SALICYLIC ACID -This is another chemical exfoliator, however as it's a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid), it's oil-soluble, making it perfect for oily and spot-prone skin. It can dissolve dead skin cells not only on the surface but those that are gathered in the pores. It can provide a deep cleanse and also help the appearance of acne scarring (however you can't use this ingredient if you're on accutane). It's definitely a strong active, and you probably won't see anything above a 2% concentration without a prescription. Smaller doses can be found in cleansers and moisturisers that are safe to use every day - I'd recommend this route if you have oily skin and get blemishes regularly. If your main concern is the occasional breakout I'd recommend using a treatment or mask as and when you need it. You should also follow it up with sunscreen.
Products I love featuring this ingredient...Farmacy Honeymoon Glow Resurfacing Serum | £55 | review coming soon
The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid Solution / Masque* | £4.20 / £9.90 | full review
Caudalie Vinopure Skin Purifying Toner* | £18 | full review
Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Pore Purifying Facial Masque* | £10 | full review (sponsored)
- CERAMIDES -These fatty acids keep your skin's natural barrier strong and healthy. Over time, our stores of them reduce, however using a product featuring ceramides can help lock in moisture and strengthen the skin against sensitivity. This makes them a great shout for dry and / or compromised skin. You will find ceramide products in opaque packaging to keep the formula stable from oxidisation (when a product formulated with ceramides has oxidised, it will go a dark yellow-orange colour). They're safe to use every day and suitable for all skin types.
Products I love featuring this ingredient...Dr Jart + Ceramidin Cream | £35 | full review
Pixi Rose Ceramide Cream* | £24 | full review
- HYALURONIC ACID -This is a well-known ingredient for a reason! It's included in many moisturisers and serums for its humectant properties. It attracts water into the skin and if you choose a formula with multiple molecule sizes, it will be more evenly distributed throughout the layers of your skin. It draws water from the environment, so I recommend using it on slightly damp skin. It's a lightweight life-saver for dehydrated skin of all types and is entirely non-irritating. I recommend everyone incorporates this ingredient into their routine.
Products I love featuring this ingredient...Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex* | £25 | full review
Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum* | $6 | full review
The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum | £5.99 | full review
- Q10 -This ingredient was seriously hyped-up in the 90s and early 00s by brands such as L'Oreal, however I was pleasantly surprised when I gave it a go during 2019! It's essentially a very powerful antioxidant, counteracting the effects of environmental factors such as pollution. It may also reduce signs of ageing, and give you plumper, brighter, firmer skin. Overall you should see healthier, more elastic skin over long-term use. It's generally slightly yellow in colour and is suitable for most skin types, but I personally recommend it specifically for people in their 20s, as a preventative measure against the signs of ageing.
Products I love featuring this ingredient...The Inkey List Q10 Serum | £4.99 | full review
Face Theory Lipade Q10 Oil Booster Serum | £18.99 | full review
- ROSEHIP OIL -This is an old favourite of mine! Not only is this seed-derived oil incredibly nourishing on dry skin days, but it can have healing properties and it's full of Vitamin A (from which retinol is derived). It's not only incredibly gentle on the skin and free from fragrant components, but it can help even out the skin's texture. It's pretty much a great all-rounder and I recommend it for any skin types besides very oily. I use it overnight so I don't have to worry about having a shiny face!
Products I love featuring this ingredient...Good Molecules Pure Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil* | $10 | review coming soon
Pai BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil* | £24 | full review
Trilogy 100% Certified Organic Rosehip Oil | £19.50 | full review
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Oil* | £9 | full review
- NIACINAMIDE -This ingredient (Vitamin B3) has been a revelation for me! I feel pretty much anyone could benefit from including it in their routine and it's a great all-rounder for overall skin health. It also combines well with some of the stronger actives out there, so you don't have to pick one or the other. It strengthens the skin's barrier, reduces redness and can even prevent water loss, along with protecting and repairing the skin. Not only that but it can help reduce the look of fine lines and enlarged pores, alongside regulating oil production in your skin.
Products I love featuring this ingredient...The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% | £5 | full review
Fourth Ray Beauty Remedy 10% Niacinamide Serum | $15 | full review
- COPPER PEPTIDES -Peptides aren't the cheapest skincare ingredient out there but I've personally seen some amazing results from using them! Copper peptides will often be blue in colour and housed in opaque packaging to keep the formula stable. Some skincare experts are coming out and saying they might not be quite as effective as skincare brand marketing would have you believe, however these amino acids help keep the skin firm and plump. They're effectively antioxidants that could help promote collagen and elastin production in the skin. This ingredient can have amazing restorative effects and possibly even boost the effectiveness of other skincare ingredients used after them.
Products I love featuring this ingredient...Niod Copper Amino Isolate Serum* | £38 | full review
- RETINOL -This is one of the most worshipped ingredients in the skincare world, and with good reason! It's proven to not only help the effects of acne scarring and uneven skin tone (again, give this a miss if you're on accutane) but it's one of the few scientifically-backed anti-ageing skincare ingredients out there. It can seriously smooth the skin and reduce the look of fine lines. However it's a very intense ingredient so I absolutely recommend starting with something around 0.01-0.05% concentration once a week and to build it up from there, to 3-4 times a week at most. You may experience some peeling when you first start using retinol, which should subside, however it should never burn your skin. I wouldn't recommend using retinol with Vitamin C or glycolic or salicylic acids and I'd always say to use it overnight and apply sunscreen the next day. Retinol should be in opaque, air-tight packaging.
Products I love featuring this ingredient...Beauty Pie Super Retinol Ceramide-Boost Anti-Ageing Face Serum | £8.86 | full review
Drunk Elephant A Passioni Retinol Cream* | £62 | full review
Wow You! Glow to Sleep Rosehip and Retinol Night Cream | £18 (15% off with code JASMINE15) | full review
- PYCNOGENOL -This pine bark extract is antioxidant-rich and can help soothe inflammation, improve hydration levels and increase the elasticity of the skin. It can also help reduce the level of damage caused by free radicals to the skin. I personally use this in an oil form that comes in an opaque bottle, adding a couple of drops to my skin as part of my evening routine every other day. I've seen some amazing results in terms of overall skin quality and health.
Products I love featuring this ingredient...The Ordinary Pycnogenol 5%* | £8.60 | full review
What are your top skincare ingredients?