Let’s face it, skincare can quickly become confusing when you try to find a balance that works for you and your skin. There are so many factors that go into curating the perfect routine – your skin type, targeted concerns, budget and finding what ingredients will work for you. Trying to demystify the specific terms and ingredients is overwhelming, but we’re here to help. Here’s a brief introduction to some of the most popular ingredients in skincare and what they can be used for.
Hyaluronic Acid is a substance that is produced naturally throughout the body in our joints and connective tissues. Hyaluronic acid gives structure and hydration to our skin while helping to maintain its elasticity – it even provides the body with wound healing properties! As we age, our bodies begin producing less hyaluronic acid, meaning we need to make up for this loss through skincare products. Hyaluronic acid is most commonly used to treat dry skin and wrinkles by restoring hydration. It can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, meaning it’s able to hold onto necessary hydrative molecules that keep our skin moisturized.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that can be found in certain vegetables, fruits and plants. This ingredient is commonly found in cleansers, spot treatments and serums to treat acne and prevent breakouts. Salicylic acid is highly effective at unblocking clogged pores, removing buildup from the face and decreasing the skin’s production of sebum. It helps to soften the skin by loosening dry and textured patches, allowing dead skin cells to shed more effectively.
Vitamin C is often considered a miracle ingredient in skincare – it is highly effective in evening skin tone and texture, reducing signs of aging and keeping the skin hydrated. Vitamin C is a naturally occurring antioxidant that can be consumed in fruits and vegetables, however topical treatments are far more effective when seeking visible results. Antioxidants help to fight against free radicals by neutralizing them at the cellular level, keeping our skin and cells healthy. Vitamin C is an acidic product, meaning that our skin reacts to it by increasing collagen production in an attempt to heal itself. Collagen is what keeps our skin looking healthy, plump and youthful. This process treats skin discoloration, helps to even texture and tone and reverse signs of aging.
Ceramides are essentially lipids (organic compounds that are insoluble in water) that make up the majority of the skin’s outer layer. They bind our skin together and act as a natural moisturizer, creating a barrier that keeps moisture in and harmful bacteria and environmental pollutants out. A decrease in lipids can cause increased sensitivity and dryness in the skin. Products with ceramides will help to restore essential lipids and keep the skin looking and feeling healthy by sealing in moisture. Ceramides are a wonderful ingredient for all skin types as they are not prone to causing irritation or upsetting the skin’s balance.
We hope this guide to common skincare ingredients is helpful in understanding your routine and how to target specific skin needs!