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The Ultimate Skincare Ingredients Guide

Supercharge your ingredient know-how to look lit-from-within

In an ideal world, we’d get eight hours of beauty sleep, drink enough water and have a clear, radiant complexion. Let’s be real though, we’d consider ourselves lucky if we’re getting six hours of sleep or if we’re not breaking out during that time of the month.

Having bad lifestyle hab...

In an ideal world, we’d get eight hours of beauty sleep, drink enough water and have a clear, radiant complexion. Let’s be real though, we’d consider ourselves lucky if we’re getting six hours of sleep or if we’re not breaking out during that time of the month.

Having bad lifestyle habits results in fatigued skin that can take on a gray pallor or look sallow. With beauty now synonymous with wellness, what we put in our bodies is just as important as what we put on it. It’s all about high performing ingredients from science and nature that play well together to build an effective skincare routine.

Figuring out what your skin needs is key when putting together your ideal skincare routine. You want effective skincare that’s tailored to your most pressing skin concerns, whether it’s dry skin, acne, clogged pores, dull or sensitive skin. Look for products with these tried-and-tested ingredients and read on to find out how you can go from dull to glowy, plump skin:

Skincare Ingredients for Hydration

Skin quenchers are undeniably a must-have in all skincare routines. Given their versatility, hydrators can be easily integrated into the skincare regime whether they’re in the form of a cleanser, toner, moisturiser or mask. Well-hydrated skin looks plumper and smoother, and is more resilient to external aggressors. Apart from drinking lots of water, we ask that you keep your skin hydrated with the following ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a powerful humectant which naturally occurs within our skin. HA attracts and hold large amounts of moisture, keeping skin supple and hydrated. An ingredient that’s also found naturally in the human body, this little wonder reduces inflammation and helps maintain skin’s moisture and elasticity. A moisture magnet, hyaluronic acid can hold 1000 times its weight in water. It works as a lubricant (for joints) and encourages cell renewal. When used in skincare, hyaluronic acid works wonderfully as a moisturiser. It is an excellent humectant, which means it traps moisture and keeps skin hydrated for longer. Adding a hyaluronic acid product to your routine helps your skin regain suppleness, visibly improving the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Hydrated skin = healthy, glowing skin. Benefits: Creates a moisture barrier for softer skin, hydrates and smoothes, won't clog pores so it is suitable for all skin types.

  • Coconut is an amazing beauty multitasker. Think of coconut as nature’s isotonic drink for your skin. On top of being incredibly hydrating, it also has the ability to cool and calm skin while locking in moisture. The smell also transports you to a tropical beach getaway.

  • Honey is a natural antibacterial with moisturizing, soothing and antioxidant properties, making it ideal for treating acne or ageing skin concerns.

  • Rose calms and soothes skin irritations while also toning and hydrating skin. Rosewater has natural anti-inflammatory properties which makes it great for sensitive skin.

Skincare Ingredients for Brightening

These ingredients deserve a prime spot in your skincare routine. Brighten and get a more even skin tone to appear glowy and radiant. If you have sensitive skin, use the acids and vitamin C at different times of the days. Otherwise, layer them from the lightest to the heaviest for enhanced results.

  • Vitamin C gives your skin an antioxidant boost, even out skin tone, brightens the complexion and tackles signs of ageing like fine lines and dark spots. Commonly found in citrus fruits, Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant that stimulates collagen production to perk up dull complexions and slow the signs of ageing. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with multiple benefits. It encourages collagen production, regulates melanin production and protects against free radical damage. It’s best used in the morning, as it boosts the sun protection properties of your sunscreen. Benefits: Brightens and evens skin tone, stimulates collagen production for firmer-looking skin, protects skin from environmental damage.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHAs) such as lactic acid and glycolic acid help exfoliate the skin surface, leaving complexion softer and smoother. Glycolic acid is available in a variety of formulas and concentrations to exfoliate and brighten skin. Dead skin cell build-up on the surface of your skin...
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHAs) such as lactic acid and glycolic acid help exfoliate the skin surface, leaving complexion softer and smoother. Glycolic acid is available in a variety of formulas and concentrations to exfoliate and brighten skin. Dead skin cell build-up on the surface of your skin is what makes it look lackluster—exfoliate with a glycolic acid peel once a week. Glycolic acid helps encourage collagen production, thicken skin (our skin thins as we age!), even out skin tone and whisks pesky dry flakes away for an instant glow. Benefits: Helps treat pigmentation and dark spots, improves skin texture for a smoother look, minimises the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Skincare Ingredients for Treatment

For more specific skincare issues, treat concerns like signs of ageing or acne-prone skin with targeted ingredients.

  • Retinol targets ageing skin woes, helping to increase skin cell turnover and boost collagen production, tackling wrinkles, large pores and dark spots. The undisputed champion ingredient in anti-ageing skincare, retinol is a skin-friendly version of Vitamin A. Also known as Vitamin A, retinol helps increase skin cell turnover. This addresses multiple, skincare concerns like wrinkles, uneven skin tone, clogged pores and blemish marks. Retinols are best used at night as it increases sun sensitivity. Always remember to use a sunscreen in the morning! Benefits: Antioxidant that protects skin from environmental damage, stimulates skin cell turnover for softer, smoother-looking skin, helps improve look of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Salicylic Acid is great for acne or blemish-prone skin. It penetrates deep beneath the surface of your skin to clean out pores and reduce oiliness. Otherwise known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA), salicylic acid is a multi-functional exfoliating skin treatment. Benefits: Exfoliates and stimulates collagen production, antibacterial properties to treat and prevent acne, anti-irritant properties treat rosacea, acne and inflammation.

  • Charcoal works well for congested skin, as it helps detox and draw out dirt, excess oil, bacteria and other skin-clogging impurities which can trigger acne. If you struggle with clogged pores and breakouts, charcoal is an ingredient you’ll want in your skincare routine.

  • Green Tea is packed with antioxidants, and boasts soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. The soothing ingredient is also an astringent, which helps reduce sebum production, making it ideal for oily skin.

Other Skincare Ingredients

  • Peptides are made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Peptides are “building blocks” and are closely related to proteins. They encourage skin healing and elasticity by stimulating the skin. When used in skincare products, peptides can help with minimising wrinkles and redness. They also boost collagen production, which in turn keeps skin plump and healthy. Due to their small size, peptides can penetrate much deeper into the skin and "trick" the skin into thinking that it needs to produce more collagen. Finally, peptides in skincare also work as a delivery system, enhancing the impact of other ingredients. Benefits: Attracts moisture to help smooth and hydrate skin, plumps skin to improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles, stimulates skin cells.

  • Ceramides are lipid molecules that keep skin cells together, so that they can retain elasticity and moisture better. Ageing and other environmental factors can diminish skin's lipid levels, causing it to sag and form wrinkles. Skincare products with ceramides work by restoring the moisture balance and protecting the skin from damaging external factors.

  • Collagen is a protein commonly found in animal and marine life and is an excellent ingredient to protect skin from moisture loss. Benefits: Binds hydrating ingredients to increase moisture, plumps skin to appear firmer and smoother, gentle and non-irritating for all skin types.

  • Ferments are a cornerstone ingredient of K-beauty skincare routines and it includes a bounty of nutrients, including probiotics, vitamins, minerals, beneficial enzymes and more. Benefits: Brightens skin, helps fight fine lines and wrinkles, firms and tones skin.
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