Top five ingredients you need to know about in skincare products

Sands of Siwa, ingredients in skincare products

With so many different skincare brands and products on offer, it can be baffling to know which are the right products for you. As well as understanding your own skin type (which I’ll write about in another post) it is really important to understand exactly what you are putting on your skin and what effect it will have.

You can walk into a department store and have a beautifully-made-up sales person try to sell you expensive products, but will they actually work? They don’t know your skin as well as you do. Please make sure you’re knowledgeable about what your skin actually needs and which ingredients will work best for you before you go shopping.

In this post, I’ve listed the top five ingredients that are found in skincare products, along with an explanation of how they affect the skin. This will help you to choose your products wisely and to feel confident that you know what you’re spending your hard-earned money on.


Science has discovered that there is just one ingredient that can actually reduce the appearance of lines. This key ingredient is retinol, a form of Vitamin A. 

Retinol promotes skin renewal and enhances collagen production. Used regularly, it can lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and possibly improve areas of the skin which have been damaged by the sun.

When you need retinol

As collagen production starts to decline in your 30s, this is a good time to introduce retinol to your skincare regime.

If you like to be prepared and wish to start using retinol earlier, it can help to boost collagen production and delay the formation of lines and wrinkles. Prevention is always better than cure after all!

Retinol can also help with skin issues such as enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone and texture.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in your skin but from your early to mid-twenties, production of this slows down. 

It attracts and holds moisture in our skin, replenishing and boosting the look and feel of your skin. This gives your skin a healthy glow.

When you need hyaluronic acid

As you grow older and you have less hyaluronic acid, your skin can lose its firmness and plumpness. Hyaluronic acid in your skincare products can help to replenish moisture which makes your skin feel more supple, softer and smoother.

Vitamin C / L-ascorbic acid

Vitamin C is often written as l-ascorbic acid on skincare product labels. It’s crucial for the normal growth, development and repair of your body tissues.

The key thing to note here is that Vitamin C doesn’t need to just be in your moisturiser, it can be present in any of your skincare products and your skin will still benefit.

When you need Vitamin C

If you have a dull complexion, Vitamin C will brighten your skin and give your face a lovely glow and radiance.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a group of ingredients (natural and synthetic) that act as an exfoliant to the top layers of your skin. 

If you’re looking at the product label, AHAs can include glycol acid, lactic acid and citric acid, to name just a few. 

When you need AHAs

If you have dull skin, or an uneven skin texture, exfoliating the dead skin cells will help to improve the look and feel of your skin. Use products with AHAs to help reveal new, fresh skin underneath. 

You’ll find AHAs in anti-ageing products as well as products formulated to treat skin conditions such as acne. They are extremely effective in helping to clear congested skin.


Peptides are probably the most complex ingredient to understand. 

Proteins are the fundamental building blocks of your skin. Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids. When amino acids break down, you get tiny proteins and active molecules known as peptides.

Science has shown that using peptides in our skincare products can have anti-ageing benefits. 

When you need peptides

If fine lines and wrinkles are a key issue for you, make sure your product contains peptides to give your skin an anti-ageing boost.

I hope you’ve found this post useful. Next time you head into a shop for new skincare products, you can be confident that you know what you’re looking for. Happy shopping!

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