We’ve never met two women with the exact same skin type and skin problems. That’s because your skin is super unique to multiple contributing factors. If you’re starting out on your skincare journey, you’re probably riddled with questions. You’re probably asking – What does a skincare routine even look like? How much time am I expected to invest (do I need alarms?) How long before I actually get visibly glowing skin like Zendaya?
In this all-you-need-to-know skincare bible, we’ve rounded up a glossary with some common ingredients to be on the lookout for. No matter what your skin type is or what concerns you want to tackle, there’s a bit of something for everyone here!
Don’t you just love it when one ingredient can do more than one thing for your skin? This one ingredient is also multifaceted. It works down at the roots to get rid of acne-causing bacteria. No dark spots, no dead skin cells AND no acne? Count me in!
Looking to combat redness, acne, and scarring? Here’s a super gentle and resourceful component that goes right into your skincare routine! It’s an exfoliating ingredient that works its magic by reducing hyperpigmentation.
Ps. You may want to start slow and ease your skin with this ingredient because it can also act as a drying agent.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA)
So many women hesitate to try products when they hear the word “chemicals” associated with them. Chemicals are complex, and that’s why they’re helpful in a skincare routine; a tiny drop can go a long way! BHA’s are chemical exfoliants that plunge right in to give you smooth and even skin. They penetrate your skin’s topmost layer to remove sebum and dead skin and tackle fine lines, and pigmentation. Salicylic acid in the form of face washes or creams is a great topical treatment that contains BHA.
Collagen is the magic protein that constitutes 80% of your skin’s composition. It basically keeps your skin looking supple, radiant, and youthful. Looking for this ingredient in your products will help you stimulate collagen production in your skin. Retinols, Retinoids, or Peptides ‘create’ collagen. That means you’ll be pulling off a ‘Benjamin Button’ on your skin’s appearance, even if that’s for a glowing bit.
Hydrating? Yes. Protective? Yes. Gets rid of dry and flaky skin once and for all? Also YES! Dimethicone is an emollient (new word? Check out what it means below ↓) that has become almost synonymous with what a velvety smooth texture looks like. You can often find this non-comedogenic ingredient in oil-free moisturizers, which are known to lock in moisture and are meant to be hydrating.
Heard of the epidermis? It’s a derm-term that just means the topmost layer of your skin. Where do emollients come in? They’re the secret to getting rid of dry skin. Emollients are ingredients that increase the water levels in the epidermis, by fighting their way into the spaces between skin cells and giving you plump-looking hydrated skin.
Ferulic Acid makes its entry as the first anti-oxidant on our list. This one is derived from plants AND works wonders, especially when combined with Vitamin C and E. It increases the potency and stability of your skincare formula. If you’re looking for something that decreases the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of premature ageing, this one’s for you.
Did you know glycolic acid is a derivative of sugarcane? We already spoke about chemical exfoliants. But Glycolic acid is an exfoliant from the more common Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHAs) family that gives you smoother and brighter skin from day one. You’d be thankful to know that it dissolves the glue-like substance that holds skin cells together to cleanse and improve skin texture. Bid farewell to a plethora of concerns like enlarged pores, acne scars, pigmentation and dull skin.
Do use it in combination with an SPF though, because this acid increases skin sensitivity under sunlight.
It’s a hydrating, plumping sugar molecule that your skin will love and thank you for! What does it do? Hyaluronic Acid ups the moisture content and prevents water loss. This topical wonder will have you in awe with its power to hold one-thousandth of its weight in water! You’d be fascinated to know that HA also has properties that help speed up the healing of wounds.
Beauty comes from the inside, both metaphorically and quite literally! Ingestibles are oral beauty aids. Pop ‘em, mix ‘em, or drink them and they’ll work wonders for your body and skin. While topical ingredients give you more instant results, ingestibles can help you tackle prominent concerns in the longer run. P.s. remember to consult your dermatologist if you’re susceptible to allergies!
Here’s a natural ingredient that mimics your skin’s natural oils, without ever clogging it! Extracted from the jojoba plant, this oil has a lightweight texture and a nourishing formula that leaves your skin feeling soft. With all the benefits of anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties in this one, jojoba oil helps you tackle wrinkles, fine lines and more importantly, inflamed skin.
Fighting dry skin? Look for products that have jojoba oil as a primary ingredient.
If you identify with an oily skin type, Kaolin will be a game changer for you. The absorbent, drying agent removes excess sebum and impurities AND mattifies your skin.
Pro-tip: Use it in combination with soothing ingredients such as chamomile, and avoid combinations with ingredients that come with drying properties, this one is strong enough all on its own!
No more breakouts and fine lines! Lactic Acid (it’s derived from milk!) has all the yummy benefits you need for firmer, thicker skin. You can pair it with moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid for that extra dose of freshness.
Doses of freshness! A multipurpose skin care product that’s made from purified water, moisturisers such as glycerin, and mild surfactants, which are cleansing compounds. Micellar water is not only gentle, but it is also extremely effective at removing dirt, makeup, and oil from your pores. Furthermore, it is alcohol-free and may aid in skin hydration while reducing irritation and inflammation, keeping your skin soft, supple, and smooth.
The right ingredients are the holy grail when it comes to finalising a skincare routine. While most of it takes a whole lot of invested time, you gotta be looking out for the right ingredients. You know it’s FUN-damental!
P.S. You’ve got to stay tuned in for all the juice (read Part 2 of the Skincare Z-lossary)!