I want to throw a little disclaimer out there before we begin...I am not a skincare expert, this is just a little run down of a few ingredients I love and are know are very popular and I wanted to shed some light on the benefits they can give your skin. What works for me may not work for you so bare that in mind. The most important thing when it comes to buying skincare is to know your skin type then go from there.
| Glycolic acid |
Glycolic acid is a natural ingredient derived from sugar cane which falls into a set of molecules called Alpha Hydroxy Acids, along with lactic acid, citric acid, malice acid and tartaric acids. Glycolic is the most common and also a great one to start with if you're wanting to get into the world of acids.
Glycolic acid is a great, non manual, exfoliator, so it's fantastic for removing any dead skin, resulting in a brighter complexion. It's also great for lightening any discolouration on the skin, such as sun spots. It is an acid, so it can make your skin more sensitive and susceptible to sun burn so make sure you always apply an SPF if you're using a product which contains this.
SAVE: Pixi Glow Tonic £18.00. SPEND: Alpha H Liquid Gold £33.50. SPLURGE: Zelens Resurfacing Facial Pads £65.00
The most impressive aspect of this ingredient is it has the capacity to hold a lot a lot of water, which will give your skin a more hydrated and plumed look. One gram of of this stuff can actually hold up to six litres of water...pretty crazy.
As we age, the skin loses to ability to retain moisture so incorporating this acid into your routine early can be hugely beneficial, especially if you already suffer with dry and dehydrated skin. As well as hydrating it also helps the skin look and feel softer, smoother and more radiant. All the things we associate with youthful skin!
SAVE: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% £6.00. SPEND: Mabel + Meg Lumilixir Serum £29.00. SPLURGE: Sunday Riley Tidal Enzyme Water Cream £60.00
| Retinol |
Retinol is essentially Vitamin A. It's known for anti-againg, restoring the skin, smoothing fine lines, and firming. Although I'm not hooked on this ingredient yet as I'm still only 20, I know many of you out there may be on the look out for something to counteract the signs of ageing.
It's really important when looking for a retinal product that you take note what the packaging looks like. If it's a clear bottle or a container which could let in air, such as a jar, the ingredient isn't going to last and it'll be a waste of your dollar. Look for opaque, air restricting packaging!
SAVE: The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% £8.00. SPEND: REN Bio Retinoid Concentrate £44.00. SPLURGE: Sunday Riley Luna Oil £85.00
| Glycerin |
Glycerin is a skin restorative and replenishing ingredient and is naturally found in the skin. It helps to keep the skin looking healthy and deflects dryness. It's important to look for this ingredient within products such as moisturisers and oils.
It has been known to make your skin dryer by attracting water from lower layers of the skin and into the surface layer where it can then be easily lost. Using it within products to help soften the skin will ensure your skin will be kept hydrated and healthy. As your skin does already contain Glycerin, this is an ingredient great for those with dry/combination skin.
SAVE: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume Smoothing Repairing Balm £9.00. SPEND: Origins Pure Cream Cleanser £16.00. SPLURGE: Aesop Lucent Facial Concentrate £77.00
| Vitamin C |
Vitamin C is probably the most popular ingredient if you want a radiant, bright complexion. It's such a well researched ingredient and one of the most beneficial Vitamins out there for achieving healthy skin.
My top tip when finding a good quality Vitamin C is to give it a little sniff, and if it smells very strong and a bit weird and off, that's a good sign! You don't want a product which has been pumped with scent as oppose to a good dosage of the Vitamin itself. Using this in my morning routine has been great for my skin.
SAVE: The Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist £12.00. SPEND: REN Radiance Perfecting Serum £35.00. SPLURGE: Zelens Vitamin C Treatment Drops £125.00
I hope you found this post helpful and gave you a bit more of insight as to what goes into the skincare we know and love. If you want to dig a but deeper, I would highly recommend heading to Paula's Choice's website, she has a whole ingredient directory which is very helpful and tells you what's good and what to avoid.