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A few newer skincare ingredients have had a lot of buzz recently, so I thought I'd do a roundup talking through their potential benefits, the products I've tried featuring them and if I think they're worth the hype. Will you be throwing out your hyaluronic acids, retinols and rosehip oils? Let's find out...

- CBD -

This is probably the most gimmicky-feeling product on my list, however does it have legs as a skincare ingredient? CBD is not the same as hemp, so be aware that products might be marketed as containing CBD when they actually don't - look out for 'cannabidiol' in the ingredients list. CBD (if you weren't aware!) is the non-intoxicating part of cannabis and only recently got approved for sale in the UK. Despite the cringe-worthy cannabis-themed marketing many brands are going for with their CBD products, there is evidence that the ingredient can sooth inflammation as well as acting as an antioxidant to protect the skin. 

I've only tried one product with CBD in it but I have to say; it's seriously impressed me! It's the Bybi Beauty CBD Booster | £12. This is an oil that can be mixed in with your moisturiser for extra nourishment or used alone, which is what I tend to do, as the last step of my evening skincare routine. It's amazing at smoothing, softening and nourishing my skin. I've also been experiencing some redness and itchiness around my mouth this winter and this has been amazing for soothing it. Two thumbs up from me!


Polyglutamic acid has been attention-grabbing-ly touted as capable of holding ten times more water than hyaluronic acid. Both of these ingredients are humectants, meaning they draw water into the skin. Whilst hyaluronic acid can penetrate deeply into the skin, polyglutamic operates more at a surface level, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. But is it a marketing gimmick? I honestly really struggled to find much information out there on this ingredient that backs up the claims made about it. That's not to say it's not good, it just means that you should take the marketing of it with a pinch of salt.

I tried the Inkey List's Polyglutamic Acid | £12.99. This is a clear gel serum; I personally think this has a very nice texture, absorbing easily into the skin without any tackiness or that awful filmy feeling I've sometimes get with hyaluronic acid serums. From my personal experience, it definitely helps hydrate, plump and smooth my skin, which is a bit dehydrated and lacklustre at this time of year. It gives me a great 'healthy skin' look. Is it incredibly better than hyaluronic acid? From my experience; I don't think so and feel I've had similar effects. It doesn't mean this isn't a great serum though!


Bakuchiol is often called the natural alternative to retinol, however it's definitely a different ingredient. The comparison comes from the fact that bakuchiol is plant-derived and could be an option for those who find retinol doesn't agree with them. Retinol also isn't always vegan, so if you follow a vegan lifestyle, this could also be a way for you to experience similar effects. Retinol is definitely in the skincare hall of fame; it has proven anti-ageing properties and can help with acne scarring and uneven skin tone. Bakuchiol can brighten and even out the skin, as well as possibly providing some anti-ageing benefits. It's also full of nourishing fatty acids and protective antioxidants.

I've tried three products with bakuchiol, at various price-points, so I'll briefly run through each. The cheapest is the Inkey List's Bakuchiol | £9.99 | full review. This comes in a cream, which is hydrating but nothing too smothering. I personally was a little disappointed when I first tried this product because I was expecting results as dramatic as with retinol, however that's just not realistic, and since doing more research I've come to appreciate the nice smoothing effect this has on my skin. I've also used the Bybi Bakuchiol Booster | £12. This comes in an oil formula, so you can either add a drop or two to your night cream or do what I do, which is use it as the last step in an evening skincare routine. I really do like this formula, not only is is nourishing but it smooths out my skin and helps it look better in overall quality and texture. This has really impressed me! Finally, I've also used the Omorovicza Miracle Face Oil* | £82. As lovely as it is (nourishing, softening and smoothing my skin), I find the Bybi oil to provide similar skin benefits, so I really don't think there's much need to spend so much to find a good bakuchiol oil. 

- CICA -

Cica is an ingredient largely targeted at sensitive and rosacea-prone that's had a lot of hype recently. This plant-derived skincare ingredient is often nicknamed 'tiger grass' and has been used in Asian medicine for centuries. Cica has antibacterial, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to overall skin health. It's something I've been particularly into during the winter months, as my skin can react to the cold.

Probably the most well-known collection featuring cica is Dr Jart's Cicaplast line. I have here the Dr Jart Strong Cica Set | £12 | featuring the serum and the correcting treatment. The serum is amazing for soothing irritated skin, which I often get around my mouth in the cold. It can be really itchy and uncomfortable, but this serum has really helped calm things down with pretty immediate results. The treatment is more for covering up the associated redness, with its neutralising green tone. I don't get severe redness, but this has helped mask the appearance of it around my mouth when used under makeup. I've also really been liking the Liz Earle Cica Restore Skin Paste* | £29. For most of winter, I've been using this a couple of times a week as an overnight treatment. The cream itself is nice and nourishing with glycerin to draw water into the skin and sunflower oil to lock in moisture. My only slight negative is that this contains rosemary extract, which can irritate some people's skin (I warn you because cica-themed products are aimed towards those with sensitivity, by and large). However it's helped not only moisturise my skin but keep it comfortable when it's up against the elements.


Caviar Lime is a difficult ingredient to find much out about that hasn't been created by those trying to sell it to you! So, given the lack of studies backing up its claims, take it's potential benefits and any big claims with a pinch of salt, and I'll discuss my personal experience with the products I've tried. Caviar Lime is a fruit packed full of Vitamin C and is also touted as having similar effects to AHAs. So, they're kind of promising us the world with this one, but did it deliver...

I've been using both the Too Cool for School Caviar Lime Hydra Moist Cream* | £28 | and the Hydra Vita Drop Essence Gel* | £29.99. The cream is a gel-water moisturiser that I personally think will be more suitable for my skin during the warmer month, when I want something fresher and more weightless on my skin. For winter, it's probably not enough for me, and I don't think it will be for dry skin types, but I think if you're on the combination-oily side it's perfect. I definitely wouldn't go so far as to say it's Vitamin C and AHAs all in one, however it does hydrate the skin (helped along with the hyaluronic acid in there, no doubt) and makes it look fresh and healthy. The essence gel is a bit more of a concentrated hit of the ingredient and I do notice a brightening effect after use. I do think the claims are a bit overstated, but if you want something gentle that will give your skin a glow-boost, this new range from Too Cool for School is well worth a look.

Have you tried any of the ingredients I talked about? Did they work for you?

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