The Skin Care Ingredients You Should Know About
Iantha Yu is a beauty editor with a passion for writing, styling, presenting and digital strategy.
Most recently, she was the Acting Beauty Director of marie claire Australia and the Beauty Editor of BEAUTYcrew.
She has also worked within the beauty, lifestyle and fashion departments at a number of leading women’s magazines including Women's Health, Virgin Australia Voyeur, SHOP Til You Drop and SHOP 4 Kids.
When it comes to nailing your beauty game, you want products that carry ingredients which are proven to improve the quality of your skin. We’re talking about everything like improving moisture levels in skin, brightening a dull complexion, smoothing uneven texture or even addressing niggling signs of ageing such as age spots and fine lines. Here are the most commonly-found ingredients in skin care, and why you should reach for them.
Also known as retinol, vitamin A is an anti-ageing ingredient which has reached cult-status all thanks to its ability to encourage collagen production. You’ll usually find vitamin A in nighttime skin care products as it can increase your skin’s sensitivity to light and make it more susceptible to burn.
One of the most celebrated skin care ingredients in the industry is hyaluronic acid, which can famously hold 1000 times its weight in water. It’s a top choice for those who want to weightlessly boost hydration in skin and make it look really plump and juicy.
When it comes to reducing the size of your pores, you can’t go past niacinamide, which is also known as vitamin B3. This clever ingredient can also brighten your complexion and improve your skin’s barrier function and rate of healing, too.
Commonly found in a lot of skin care products, vitamin E is an antioxidant that is an absolute no-brainer if you’re looking to up your skin’s ability to heal and restore itself. It does so by fighting any free radical damage that your skin comes across on a daily basis.
Another highly-celebrated antioxidant in skin care is vitamin C, which is best-known to diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Besides this function, vitamin C can also address fine lines and wrinkles and firm up skin.
Whether you have normal, oil or combination skin, you can benefit from an application of clay (such as via a clay mask) to draw out impurities from your skin and degunk your pores. Kaolin, bentonite white, green and pink clay are the most commonly-used clays found in skin care.
Want to brighten your skin, address uneven texture and make your skin look more plump? You’ve come to the right place. Due to its small molecular size, glycolic acid can penetrate deep into your skin and improve collagen production as well as loosen the sticky bond between dead skin cells, making it one of the best exfoliating ingredients around.
Out of all the chemical exfoliating ingredients, lactic acid is the most gentle and suitable to use on all skin types. It won’t dry out your skin, and it’s great at addressing pigmentation such as age spots, and hyperpigmentation such as sun damage.
Blocked pores are in the firing line once malic acid is applied to the skin. Plus, it can also promote the turnover of cells, making your complexion look really fresh, smooth and bright after applying it.
Mandelic acid is commonly used in anti-ageing ingredients (especially for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin) as it can increase cell turnover, boost skin’s luminosity and smooth the surface.
Got oily or congested skin? Then you’ve most likely come across salicylic acid, which is the only BHA - or beta hydroxy acid - that exists. The reason why it’s such a great ingredient to use is because of its ability to break down dead skin cells and therefore can clear congestion and prevent breakouts with ease.