There’s a lot of controversy around skincare ingredients, with the wide of use parabens, synthetic compounds, artificial fragrance, one should be thinking twice before using skincare products, or at least read the complete list of ingredients before purchasing. However, there’s a misconception that all ingredients with chemical names are “harmful chemicals.” Even natural extracts like fruit and essential oils have different and chemical-sounding names than their popular versions. In this post, we list out best ingredients to have skin care products for healthy, glowing and radiant skin.
1. Hyaluronic Acid: A naturally-occurring substance in the human body that regulates cell renewal and maintains skin’s moisture and elasticity. When used topically, hyaluronic acid creates a moisture barrier on the skin; helping to make it smoother and softer.
2. Vitamin C Ester or L-Ascorbic acid: It’s a good ingredient to fight pigmentation, acne spots and fine lines. However, you should look at the potency of this ingredient, since it is very sensitive to air, so most of the products with this vitamin are not really that potent and thus not of any use. But a proper packaging (capsule, amber-coloured bottle etc) will do wonders to your skin, capable of giving you a flawless skin.
3. Ceramides: Ceramides are fats naturally found in the skin’s outer layer, and they are a major component of skin structure. Ceramides act as a moisture barrier for our skin protecting it from harmful pollutants and other environmental factors. Studies have shown that dry and damaged skin lacks ceramides. So, it clearly means that using ceramides will give a healthy boost to your skin.
4. Peptides: “Palmitoyl Pentapeptide” – this is one of the most common peptides found in our skin care products. Peptides help our skin develop collagen and increase the elasticity of our skin. This in turn to leads to healthy and supple skin. Also note that certain form of peptides is no good as they do not penetrate into the skin layers. Hence penta-peptide and copper peptide are the ingredients to look for 🙂
5. AHA/BHA: I love them! Both AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids- glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids) and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids-Salicylic Acid) are a great way to reveal fresh, glowing and clear skin. BHA is great for acne-prone skin and AHA is great for aging and pigmented skin. When applied topically, both improve skin texture, tone and sun damage.
6. Retinol: Retinol is a source of Vitamin A to your skin. Usually found in anti-aging products, retinol helps shed the dead and dull layers of your skin; revealing fresh and younger-looking skin. It has a few side effects like drying out the skin and making it sun sensitive, but when combined with proper moisturizers and composition, it’s a must-have ingredient in your skin care regimen.
7. Antioxidants: Antioxidants are a sure shot way to get healthy and glowing skin. In fact, the quote “the more the merrier” suits antioxidants perfectly! They help in fighting free radicals attacking the skin. Look for names like rosemary, red tea, green tea, coenzyme Q10, Lycopene, Alpha lipoic acid, pomegranate, and parsley (does this also give you an idea for a DIY? :P).
8. Kojic Acid: If you are allergic to hydroquinones, you may benefit from use of products containing kojic acid instead. Also used topically to lighten skin, it is a much safer bet if you do not have severe pigmentation.
9. Tocopherol or TCP: It is a form of Vitamin E that helps in moisturizing and conditioning the skin. It works well when used with Vitamin C/L-Ascorbic acid.
10. Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is a keratolytic or peeling agent. It is one of the most effective skin care ingredients that can effectively shed the outer layer of skin. It is used in the treatment of acne, dandruff, seborrhea, or psoriasis, and to remove corns, calluses, and warts.
11. Caffeine: It’s not just great for weight loss and to lift energy levels, caffeine can reduce puffiness of skin and increase blood circulation. Caffeine can also tighten and brighten skin.
12. Green Tea Extract: As we all know, green tea is rich in antioxidants and helps neutralize free radicals, keeping fine lines and wrinkles away.
13. Coenzyme Q10: The main functions of Coenzyme Q10 is to produce cellular energy, fight free radicals, and protect body cells and organs from damage. It cleans the body of harmful free radicals. As we age, the levels of CoQ10 levels fall considerably. When there’s a drop in CoQ10 levels, the collagen and elastin levels too fall. Collagen is the fiber that keeps skin firm and taut, and a depletion of collagen level, will make your skin loose and saggy. Also, with low CoQ10 levels, free radicals may not be neutralized well and as a result, fine lines and wrinkles may show.
14. Collagen: Collagen is one of the most vital elements, which is required by skin, in order to look refreshed and glowing. Using collagen on face, helps to give you wrinkle free face and makes it look refreshed and young. Therefore, if you feel your skin is looking dull and dry due to various factors, you should consider using this homemade collagen face packs.
15. Jojoba Oil: It’s a nourishing and hydrating oil which comes close to the skin’s natural oil and would not lead to clogged pores in any skin type, even acne prone one. It’s an extremely lightweight oil which moisturizes and hydrates skin well.
Some points to note:
- Please be aware that ingredients are listed from highest to lowest concentration on the labels, so the key ingredients are best found near the top.
- The first ingredient is always water, followed by a second ingredient which is the transport vehicle and texturizer (common ones include alkyl benzoate, glycerol and polyethylene glycol).
- Then, the active ingredients (such as above and antioxidants) will be listed.
- Preservatives in skin creams are listed last.
- Add sunscreen when using products having any of these above ingredients. Look for products with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and antioxidants.
- If you’re out in the sun during the day, reapply sunscreen every two hours. If you use makeup, try some mineral makeup which makes acts as an effective sunscreen.
Healthy and radiant skin can be really simple. Just watch what you are putting on the skin and always use a sunscreen. Don’t complicate your life and stick to basics 🙂