Q: Now that I know my routine what ingredients should I be looking for (or watching out for) in skincare?
A: There are certain key ingredients that have been clinically proven to help the skin. There are also some to watch out for, especially for certain skin types. By law, ingredients have to be listed in the order of highest concentration to least. Thus, when looking at an ingredient label it is important to consider the order that the ingredients appear in. Here is the run down:
- Aloe Leaf water/oil: Often used instead of water as a base for skincare products, aloe vera has long known to calm and restore the skin. This powerful ingredient is excellent for all skin types because it can heal and provide a ton of moisture.
- Vitamin E (tocopherol): Added to a lot of skincare because it an antioxidant. This means that it will help neutralize free radicals, which cause aging.
- Rosehip seed oil: This is an essential oil, which can cause a reaction in sensitive skin. However, for most other skin types rosehip seed oil can be amazing because it is extremely high in essential fatty acids, antioxidants and other vitamins. It also has both moisturizing and anti-aging properties.
- Glycerin: This is a very common ingredient found in moisturizers. Glycerin is produced by the human body naturally and therefore is an excellent ingredient to moisturize and replenish the skin. Glycerin is a humectant which means is draws water from what is surrounding it. It is also good for all skin types.
- Shea butter: This is another moisturizer for the skin. It is an emollient and has a rich texture. Excellent for drier skin types, should be avoided by oiler skin as it may clog pores (but in small amounts should be fine).
- “Alcohol”: Alcohol comes in many forms in skincare, most often as a stabilizer/preservative. Products with a high amount of alcohol should be avoided by those with a dry skin type as alcohol can dry the skin out.
- Sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid): Hyaluronic acid is arguably one of the best ingredients found in skincare right now. It is a hydrator for all skin types. Like glycerin, it is produced by the body and its brilliance lies in its powerful water retention properties. It can make the skin more hydrated, smoother, and more youthful looking. Who wouldn’t want that?
- Glycolic acid: This is the most common form of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s), or acid exfoliant. Acid might sound scary but it just means that it has a lower pH than the skin, which helps to activate and penetrate the layers of skin. This action helps to shed dead skin, giving the skin smoother texture and improving skin tone.
- Salicylic acid: This another acid, which most people are familiar with because it is one the main ingredients that treats acne and other blemishes like blackheads. It is an exfoliant that can help clear congested pores because it is able to penetrate oil.
- Vitamin C (and all its derivatives): Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It is helps with reversing signs of aging, sun spots and other sun damage and brightening the skin.