The definitive list of Skincare Ingredients

skincare, top tips

Suffering from a myriad of skincare ailments during my 25 years of life thus far has given me a natural interest in skincare, and ingredients used within skincare products.

Over the years I have experimentally tried various homemade concoctions and shop bought products in the search for perfect skin; ranging from grinding green tea leaves with Manuka honey and smothering the sticky mixture onto my face in a clumpy manner, all the way to using a £130 Chanel face cream, and actually being naïve enough to believe it would make me look ten years younger. I believe I have researched, reviewed, tried and tested so many skincare products that I have now become somewhat of a skincare connoisseur. What I have reluctantly realised is that informing yourself on ingredients is paramount to choosing the right skincare for your skins needs. Below I have compiled a list of what I have found to be the most popular and effective ingredients presently being used in skincare.

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A – Amino Acids – Formed to build Creatine, Amino Acids will support natural skin functions. Cells are stimulated to produce more collagen and elastin. This helps to maintain younger looking skin.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

Vitamin A – Topical Vitamin A used in creams and serums is proven by dermatologists as anti-aging. UV Exposure and other environmental factors cause the production of collagen to slow down, consequently causing early signs of ageing. Vitamin A (and Retinol / Retinoid which are derivatives of Vitamin A) ‘’turn on cells’’ that are responsible for producing new collagen, actively fighting signs of ageing and blitzing fine lines (Canyon Ranch, 2018).

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types – Vitamin A can be drying, use sparingly on sensitive & dry skin types]

B – BHA – BHA is an acronym for Beta Hydroxy Acid. This is the structural name for Salicylic acid that can be used to fight signs of acne. Salicylic Acid gets through oil and helps to normalize pores, reducing the production of blackheads and spots. Don’t let the word ‘’acid’’ put you off (skincare acids are not the type that burn through your skin, thank goodness because that would be worrying!), BHA contains naturally calming and exfoliating properties, giving skin a rejuvenating glow.

[Recommended for Oily skin & Acne sufferers]

C – Caffeine – Being a stimulant, caffeine can offer anti-oxidant benefits to skin. It penetrates skin and is ultra-soothing.

[Recommended for those with non-sensitive skin as Caffeine can potentially be an irritant]

Collagen – Perhaps one of the ingredients we are more familiar with, but what does Collagen actually do for our skin? Collagen is a protein found throughout our body. It is produced naturally within our skin, and one of its fundamental functions is to provide elasticity. However, with factors such as stress, ageing, pollutants and UV damage affecting skin over time – collagen production can slow down. Using skincare products with added collagen will help to maintain the skins elasticity and firmness that we associate with youthful skin.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

D – Vitamin D – When we talk about Vitamin D we generally think about UV Rays, However, Vitamin D oils and serums can be hugely beneficial to skin. Vitamin D helps to minimise acne, retain skins elasticity and lessen fine lines. UV Rays from the sun help the body to naturally produce Vitamin D; moreover if you live in a northern climate it is possible to develop a deficiency. You can orally take Vitamin D supplements, or search for skincare that contains Vitamin D.

[Recommended for Oily / Combination skin]

G – Glycolic Acid – Glycolic Acid exfoliates the skin, it is often used in toners / toning solutions. It helps to shed dead skin, giving a natural glow and radiance.

[Recommended for Oily / Combination skin]

H – Hyaluronic Acid – Ah yes the wonder ingredient that is absolutely everywhere at the moment! Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that it is a moisture binding ingredient. It helps to keep skin plump, firm and younger looking. FYI – it is a naturally found compound in the body, which is also used (completely safely may I add) in lip fillers, hence the ‘’plumping’’ affect.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

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M – Marula Oil – Marula Oil is essentially made up of many fatty acids. Because of this it has the potential to deeply hydrate skin, healing skin and improving elasticity. If used regularly it can improve skin softness.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types / Particularly Dry Skin]

P – Peptides – When collagen breaks down, short segments of amino acids are formed. These are the tiny proteins and active molecules known as peptides. Peptides in skin care can provide significant anti-aging benefits (Mango Madness Skincare, 2018).

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

R – Retinol – Retinol is essentially a large dose of Vitamin A, used for anti-aging in skincare. Retinol, like Vitamin A, will boost collagen production – banishing fine lines and wrinkles. It is important to remember to only use one Retinol treatment at a time, and to use sun protection – Retinol can thin the skin layers by gently scrubbing away at dead skin cells. This can leave skin open to sun damage if you use Retinol daily for longer durations.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types – Vitamin A can be drying, use sparingly on sensitive & dry skin types /Also recommended for Acne & Hyperpigmentation]

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S – Squalane – Often named as the replacement for Argan and Coconut oil, Squalane oil offers many benefits for skin. It is derived from plants, and the same oil is naturally produced in our bodies. Using it topically helps to main Squalane oil levels as we age. It is also noncomedegenic, which means it is one of the oils least likely to clog pores (Popsugar, 2017).

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

V – Vitamin C – We all aware of the health benefits of Vitamin C, as it is often recommended to fight to common cold. But did you know this Vitamin is also a powerhouse for skincare? Due to its anti-oxidant properties Vitamin C helps skin to fight off any oxidative stress. Results show that over time Vitamin C will help your skin to enhance its natural defence system.  Vitamin C is also great for anti-aging.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types] 

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Murad Professional Eye Lift Firming Treatment review

product review

There is a certain element of trust when it comes to purchasing anti ageing skincare products. Naturally, you will not be able to view any results immediately. We place an immense amount of trust into products and brands, believing their creams and potions will be the fountain of youth.

Although I am only 25 (and I feel 19 let me tell you), I feel this is the appropriate age to start taking care of my skin. Beginning to ward off wrinkles.

My under eye area has always been a concern for me. I have severe dark circles, and so when applying make up I tend to over conceal them. I am aware that dragging this sensitive area may cause premature wrinkles. Furthermore, overloading the concealer draws attention to fine lines. I am caught in this vicious cycle of attempting to cover the dark circles; whilst potentially causing further damage and premature wrinkles. I have been scouring the shelves for a beauty product which can renew my under eye area.

And to my utter amazement, I have found an eye firming treatment that actually works.

Performance

Okay so the Murad Professional Eye Firming Treatment is not cheap, at £55 per 30ml – you may already be reconsidering.

However the results should convince you otherwise. The products works with the pads which are included with the treatment cream (as pictured).

You firstly apply a generous amount of the cream to your under eye area. Next you apply the pad which sticks to the cream, and pat on in a massaging motion. You leave the pad under your eyes for around 10-15 minutes.

The results are instantaneous. The under eye area feels tight and taut. I believe the effects of this cream are comparable to salon treatments and aesthetics that you would pay considerably more for.

Overall

The entire experience of using this product is enjoyable. It forces you to make time for yourself. To sit down, forget the world and focus on yourself. Whether it’s only 10 minutes or 20, setting time aside for yourself can be so beneficial to your overall happiness and mood.

In a world where social media rules, in a society where depression and anxiety is rife, it is mandatory to self heal. The Firming Eye treatment gives you a personalised spa treatment in the comfort of your home; the after results are amazing, so amazing you’ll forget that you are spending over £50! Do you need any more reasons to invest?!

Best of budget: Aldi’s caviar cream review 

product review

This little baby here, costing a mere £6.99 from popular budget supermarket Aldi is a real game changer. The caviar cream has already been compared as a dupe for La Prairies skin caviar luxe cream, which is a staggering £299.95 (prices may vary slightly depending on website retailer). 

How does the Aldi version perform? 

I have been using the cream daily for around 1 month. It has improved the radiance of my skin, and the moisturisation has longevity. 

Moreover, according to scientific studies the cream decreases the appearance of wrinkle depth by up to 35% and has a 24 hour moisturising effect. 

The cream has a luxuriant feel. It’s thick without being cloggy (think I just invented a word there, but it sounds great if you ask me?). It contains an spf, so you don’t need a seperately product to protect against sun damage. And the packaging also scream elegance and class. 

Let’s talk ingredients 

Surely if the La Prairie version is so much more expensive, it must contain exclusive ingredients right?! RIGHT? 

Actually, not really. Both the creams contain algae extract and caviar extract. 

The caviar extract is what gives skin an anti aging boost 

The algae extract is said to provide hydration 

The La Prairie cream does contain a few ingredients which the Aldi version does not. Gold extract, horsetail extract, and ginseng root extract. However gold extract is not scientifically proven to improve skins elasticity – so this could be just another marketing trick for the product to appeal more luxurious. And the horsetail extract is irritating to some skin types, so better left out. 

Overall the creams are completely on par which it comes to quality of ingredients. 

I have to ask myself, why is the skincare industry so behind with scientific ingredients? Why do brands like la prairie charge the earth for ingredients which can be found in a cream that costs £6.99? 

Before investing in luxury skincare, analyse the ingredients and the budget market. Because throwing away good money is pure idiocy! 

#StopTheFacade