- Advertisement information: this post discusses items gifted to me with no obligation to share them (marked *). In addition I have / have had a brand relationship with Cult Beauty, Deciem / the Ordinary, Lixirskin, Beauty Pie and Beauty Bay (gifting) and Boots (paid advertorial content). My blog has Skimlinks and RewardStyle installed to automatically monetise purchases of products I link on my blog, therefore this post may contain affiliate links. All opinions remain my own and please refer to my Disclosure Page for further detail -
As much as active ingredients like retinol, Vitamin C and glycolic acids can work wonders for our skin, it's important to sometimes give it a break and focus on restoring and repairing the skin barrier. 'Lipid' is a catch-all term for the fats our body produces and in skincare they're vital for healthy, plump and hydrated skin. Today I'm talking through some of my top ingredients and products in this category (in a couple of weeks I'll share my go-to skin recovery routine in a bit more depth too)...
Squalane is a plant-derived alternative (often derived from olives) to squalene, which is a lipid naturally produced by the skin (very few products now contain squalene, which usually comes from sharks) but depletes as we age. Not only does it moisturise the top layer of skin (as an emollient) but it's important for keeping the skin's barrier intact. If you have oily skin, I'd maybe steer clear of squalane, as you're already over-producing those natural oils and adding even more could break you out. However, for normal-to-dry skin types (including those who are sensitive), this is a great way to replenish what your skin is lacking. Although I use products containing squalane during the day, I would use a pure squalane oil before bed as the final step in my routine, just because I don't want to look too shiny during the day, plus I like the idea of repairing and restoring the skin overnight, then using something like an antioxidant to protect it during the day. You can also use squalane on the hair and body to nourish yourself all over.
Squalane formulas I recommend
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser | £5.50 | full review - I absolutely love this cream-balm to oil-emulsion cleanser; it works to remove makeup or as a nourishing morning cleanse.
Embryolisse Filaderm Emulsion* | £22.99 - I'm a long-time fan of the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre as a nourishing cream with a whipped, non-greasy texture and this brings that similar vibe but with some extra lipid-based ingredients to help calm the skin and keep it healthy (so you can switch between the two depending on what your skin needs).
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane | £2.75 | full review - this is perfect for those who want something very lightweight (I also use this on my scalp overnight, before washing it out in the morning and it works wonders for my flaky scalp).
Biossance 100% Squalane Oil | £27 | full review - this is a pricier option, but I do love the formula, plus the pump packaging and larger size make it easy for me to use it on my body and hair too. This also means it's a great multi-tasker for travel.
Typology Dry Skin Serum 100% Squalane* | £11.80 | full review coming soon - this is my go-to squalane right now; it has a lovely light texture that doesn't feel heavy or greasy but still packs a punch in terms of nutrition.
- CERAMIDES -
I personally find ceramides in generally to be incredibly nourishing and I often slap them on after being exposed to harsh cold or after day in the sun, because (despite not having sensitive skin) my skin is quite reactive when it comes to extreme weather and these sorts of ingredients calm my skin down and reduce redness. Ceramides specifically will also help lock in moisture and prevent water loss in the skin.
Ceramide formulas I recommend
Kate Somerville Delikate Soothing Cleanser* | £32 - I've barely put this cleanser down these past few weeks; it's a lovely cocktail of gentle, skin-loving ingredients (including ceramides). It still cleans the skin but doesn't have that stripping or foaming quality; it's more of an moisturising, lightweight emulsion cleanser.
Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules Essential Ceramides + | £9.58 | full review - these concentrated serum capsules contain a huge hit of ceramides and other lipids; I find them incredibly nourishing and they leave my skin so soft.
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream* | £10.99 | full review - this eye cream is packed full of ceramides and other skin-loving ingredients to maintain a healthy barrier in this delicate area and, best of all, it comes in a non-greasy, easily-absorbed formulation.
Holika Holika Good Cera Super Ceramide Emulsion | £18.95 | full review - this is a great option for those who want all the benefits of ceramides without the rich formula a lot of moisturisers containing it come with. This is a lightweight moisturiser that the skin can easily absorb.
Dr. Jart + Ceramidin Cream | £35.50 | full review - this is my personal favourite ceramide cream, because it's so nourishing and leaves me with calm, soft skin after use.
BeautyBio the Quench Quadralipid Skin Recovery Cream* | £125 - this is seriously on the pricey side, but it does deliver those fantastic lipid benefits of calming and plumping the skin, whilst having a lovely, lightweight texture for those who don't need a rich formula.
Lixirskin Night Switch Essential Lipids | £24 | full review - this oil is perfect for locking in moisture overnight as the last step in my evening routine so my skin is repaired overnight. One thing to note, though, is that this does contain some fragrant ingredients so may not be for those with very sensitive or otherwise compromised skin.
- OMEGAS & AMINO ACIDS -
Omegas are fatty acids, either synthesised by the body or found in foods like salmon, and they are found in numerous forms. When it comes to skincare, they're 'natural moisturising factors' that help build that protective layer on the skin that helps with locking in moisture and improving elasticity. There's proof they can be absorbed into the skin from topical products, so if you're really suffering from dryness, using skincare featuring these sorts of ingredients could be a great shout.
Niod Modulating Glucosides* | £21 | full review - this milky serum is packed full of lipid goodness and has been a saviour for me in calming irritation following both sun exposure and exposure to very cold weather. It's formulated with omega-rich oat lipids, alongside ceramides.
Beauty Bay Thirst Trap Moisturiser | £7 | full review coming soon - I've really been enjoying this oat lipid moisturiser; it's nothing too thick and heavy but gives me soft, smooth skin, whilst also calming any redness or patches of irritation I occasionally get.
Sunday Riley Juno Oil | £27 | full review coming soon - I absolutely love this replenishing omega and antioxidant oil; it calms and deeply moisturises my skin overnight, so I wake up with my best skin without any actives.
Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial | £44 | full review - this is a great add-on as the final step in your evening skincare routine after your night cream. It's lightweight but provides intense hydration using various fatty acids.
Do you use any of these ingredients in your routine? What are your favourite products including them?