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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Delune Bitter Orange & Neroli Facial Mist review

product review

Delune Paris is a London based brand that believes in the power of nature. The founder and creator Luigi Masi believes that skincare should be as organic as possible, and skincare ingredients should be as ethically sourced as possible. These were the driving forces that pushed him to create Delune Paris.

Both of these aforementioned issues in the skincare industry are issues that I feel need to be discussed. In particular the subject of skincare ingredients. Millennials have caused a shift in the way brands market their skincare and talk about ingredients – we are demanding. We want vegan friendly, cruelty free, ethically sourced and natural ingredients. As opposed to harsh chemicals that can accentuate skin conditions, or even cause them.

The more we educate ourselves about what we apply to our skin; the more the industry will be forced to change. That’s why I love innovative new brands like Delune Paris, they produce products that smell natural, feel natural and have natural derivatives. All the while, producing skincare that does not have a derogatory effect on the environment or other humans.

Delune Paris Bitter Neroli and Orange Facial Mist Review

I have been lucky enough to be sent this facial mist from Delune Paris; and I love it.

In my skincare routine I use a facial mist after cleansing to give a boost to skin. To give some gentle hydration that feels refreshing. The Bitter Neroli and Orange facial mist provides just that. Neroli is an antioxidant, providing the skin with a radiance boost. Orange adds Vitamin C to the mist which aids the skin against ageing.

It smells immense. The Orange provides a citrus undertone, whilst the Bitter Neroli smells holistic and healing. A real organic smell that relaxes the skin and the mind.

Hydration is especially important during the summer months. Skin can become lacklustre and dry due to sun exposure, and pollutants in the atmosphere. This facial mist can be carried in your handbag to provide an instant boost whenever it is necessary. I would highly recommend this to skin care enthusiasts everywhere. The brand ethics are enough to convince anyone to purchase – and the products live up to the reputation!

Delune Paris Bitter Neroli and Orange Facial Mist (100 ml) can be purchased online here, for £18. The facial mist comes in an array of various scents; each bottle is fresh and hand made to order.

La Mer: Crème De La Mer Moisturising Cream review

product review

La Mer is one of those luxury brands that I have forever admired from afar. One of the main reasons being that it’s pricey, the skincare range starts from £100+. I have always wondered whether the prices were justified, if you spend £220 on a cream does it make you look 10 years younger? Glow like a unicorn? Or just fit into a certain societal stereotype?

I’m a huge fan of budget skincare and make-up. Who doesn’t want a product that performs as well as a high end one for half the price? It’s just logic. But recently I’ve started to delve deeper, and it’s not always that simple. I started to compare ingredients used within skincare. And you will notice that high end products use the same ingredients as budget ones. Let’s use Vitamin C as an example, two products can contain the Vitamin. However, is there a difference in potency? The way the ingredients are formulated could differentiate? These are the questions we should be asking when buying skincare.

My best advice when purchasing skincare is to research ingredients. If you know what ingredients do for your skin, you are then making more informed choices when choosing skincare. In turn, your skin should reward you.

Crème De La Mer Moisturising Cream, £120 for 30ml – Review

When we read skincare reviews, it’s often important to remember that everyone has a different skin type. What works for one person, doesn’t always work for everyone. Crème De La Mer is a heavy Moisturising cream that is aimed at those with dry skin. It claims to minimise pores, reduce fine lines and give a natural glow.

In terms of ingredients, these aren’t mentioned explicitly on the La Mer website. I found this odd, as high end face creams often boast about their natural ingredients. I did some online searching and I found that the cream does contain some natural products; Seaweed Extract, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Mineral Oil & Sesame Seed Oil. All of these ingredients are known for their hydrating properties to skin. But, disappointingly the cream also contains Linalool (for Fragrance), preservatives and Alcohol – all of these ingredients aren’t great for those with sensitive skin, or or allergies (Quora, 2018).

I have only been using the cream for a few days but I do notice a huge difference. I have stubborn dry patches that are often irritated by creams, this one soothes it. As soon as you apply Crème De La Mer, your entire complexion is lit up. It’s like putting on a spotlight in a dark room. I can visually see from the difference in my own skin, why this has become a cult cream for many woman.

It’s very rich in texture and thick. You don’t need a lot of it. Before you apply to your face, you must rub it in your hands to warm the cream. As it becomes translucent you rub onto your skin. This is brilliant for those who want bare faced beauty, and a natural glow.

Worth £120 for 30ml?

I’d say this really comes down to personal preference. In a sense, yes it is worth it. Simply because it is a heavy cream, you only need apply a small amount. It will last you at least 6 months. It performs as it claims. It just comes down to how much you are willing to or can afford to invest in your skin!

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Glow Mask – Weekend pamper for skin

product review

Due to global warming we’ve had a prolonged Winter this year, and it’s been difficult to say the least. Battling through snow and sub zero degree weather in mid March, I’m sure, has taken its toll on us all. I certainly know it has taken a rather large toll on my skin. The harsh weather, and consistent ups and downs in temperature have left my skin battered. Dry and dull.

The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Glow Mask, at £17 is a bargain of a treatment. The Full Review

The Body Shop has a great reputation when it comes to skincare – and after using several of their products I can see why. As a brand, they pride themselves on being vegan friendly, animal cruelty free & are not exploitative with their prices. Could The Body Shop be the ultimate millennial skincare brand?

Their Himalayan Charcoal Glow Mask was a favourite with bloggers and beauty fanatics alike, since it launched. The Glow Mask does exactly as the name suggests – it gives skin a refreshing glow. A wonderfully pampering treatment; you apply the face mask, leave for 5 minutes to dry and then wash off.

The natural ingredients used such as, green tea leaves, tea tree oil and bamboo oil are great for consumers with sensitive skin, like myself. I have found some face masks too abrasive for my skin, they are ultimately dehydrating. Which, in fact, ends up being counter productive. However this mask leaves skin looking and feeling refreshed.

The Glow Mask is inspired by Ayurvedic traditions, and the tea tree oil used provides a holistic smell and relaxes body and mind whilst using the mask.

The Charcoal content is added for its purifying benefits. Charcoal is used to draw out impurities, and reduce excess oil in a natural way. The mask contains no Parabens, Silicone or Paraffin.

If you are hibernating until the weather improves, (I certainly am), add this to your pampering routine this weekend. It is a must have to bust winter skin blues.

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?!