Skincare today is significantly different from years ago. Today, you’ll see ingredients in products that used to only be prescribed by a dermatologist, but now, almost everything is accessible over-the-counter.
I can’t help but think that many may be left confused and overwhelmed by today’s skincare market. That’s why we’ve created this cheat sheet for you, simplifying active ingredients and what skin concerns they’re made for.
First, let’s define what “active ingredient” actually means.
Products that have active ingredients in them are biologically active and are scientifically proven to treat specific skin conditions. Some active ingredients may be more potent than others while some are on the soothing side. Ideally, you should be patch testing all of your skincare products to avoid serious reactions.
Now, here are the most common skin concerns and active ingredients that can help.
- Glycolic and Lactic Acid (AHAs): These active ingredients help peel away the top surface of the skin, removing unwanted gunk that are responsible for acne breakouts.
- Salicylic Acid (BHA): Unclogs the pores breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells as well as reduces excess oil production, preventing breakouts.
- Benzoyl Peroxide: Kills the bacteria underneath the skin, helps with dead skin cells shedding and controls excess oil production, increasing protection against inflamed acne breakouts.
- Retinol: This ingredient also helps in unclogging the pores as it exfoliates the skin removing dirt, bacteria, oil and dead skin cells. This also allows new layers of skin to come through, improving acne marks.
SIGNS OF AGING
- Ceramides: These are fatty acids that help promote cellular function, prevent permeability, protect against external stressors and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier by locking in moisture.
- Peptides: Peptides are amino acids that make up proteins that are needed by the skin. It also boosts collagen production which promotes firmer, youthful skin.
- Vitamin C: This is another ingredient that increases collagen production, it thickens the dermis (middle layer of the skin) promoting firmness and elasticity. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that fights against free radicals, further protecting your skin from premature aging.
HYPERPIGMENTATION/UNEVEN SKIN TONE
- Vitamin C: This ingredient impedes melanin production, preventing hyperpigmentations and can help improve discoloration.
- Glycolic Acid: With its exfoliating ability, this ingredient helps shed dead skin cells, promoting new layers of skin to come through. Gradually peeling off discoloured and pigmented skin.
- Retinol: Also an ingredient that helps shed dead skin cells, retinol can improve uneven skin tone through regular cell turnover.
- AHAs and BHAs (Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid): These are ingredients that help peel away the top surface of the skin, producing new cells that are evenly pigmented.
Allow 3 months of consistent use to see effects on the skin.
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