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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Hormonal skin / acne defense kit

product review

You know only too well those dreaded feelings. Irritable, on edge, mentally imagining hurting people for saying the wrong thing. Craving everything in the world that is bad for you, chocolate, crisps, chips. I’ll have all the calories at once please. Just to add insult to injury, your skin is also plying havoc with you. Lovely great red bumps appearing in cute little mountains all over your face. Yep, you are about to menstruate. And it’s not fun.

For those of us suffering with acne (I only just realised I am now classified as an actual adult, skin condition has evolved into ‘adult acne’), or annoying breakouts right before our period; it can cause stress and lower self esteem. Because as if your devilish hormones didn’t make you feel bad enough, your skin also has to suffer for you being part of the female gender.

I have compiled a kit which helps eradicate the breakouts and keep spots at bay, whilst also targeting other skin concerns. I personally have acne, and severe dry patches of skin (possibly eczema). It can be difficult to find products which can cater for two contradicting issues. Hopefully this kit can be utilised by anyone with differentiating skin types, as I seem to have developed all of them at once!

Here is the ultimate skincare line up of all line ups:

1. What Skin Needs Skin Balm, £9.99

I have mentioned this miracle cream in previous posts, and it continues to amaze me. Containing exotic Aussie natural ingredients, the Balm promises to treat a number of dry skin conditions. This moisturiser will help renew hydration in the skin, which can be lost using stringent cleansing agents – especially when treating acne / spot breakouts.

2. Primark Cucumber & Aloe Hydrating Mist, £2.00 (Available in store)

Just to reiterate, it is mandatory to restore the moisture in your skin. I use this hydrating mist after cleansing my face, however it can also be spritzed on after make up application. Use throughout the day to enjoy a fresh burst of moisture. This is an unbelievably cheap dupe for Mario Badescus facial spray.

3. Vitamin E Dual Phase Cleansing Oil, £2.99

A great everyday cleanser which is gentle to skin. Although it may not assist with breakouts, it will help restore any damage caused by harsh acne treatments. My usual routine is to use a face mask once a week, and cleansing oil for the rest of the duration of the week. It’s easy to over cleanse when trying to eliminate spots and oily skin, counteract this with a cleansing oil.

4. Avon Anew Reversalist Night Treatment Cream, £20.00

This cream is aimed at ageing skin; however if you have been subjected to taking any type of oral acne treatment, or other medicinally prescribed treatments for conditions such as eczema; they often contain ingredients like steroids which can strip layers of skin and cause premature ageing. Not to mention all the chemicals which are features in drugstore ‘acne’ treatments which can also harm the skin over prolonged usage. I feel at 25, this is a great time to start targeting the early signs of wrinkles. This Avon dual treatment is scientifically proven to target wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. It works by rotation, you use the night treatments for one week at a time and alternate between the two. It contains a super retinol which boosts collagen and reduces wrinkles.

5. Dr Organic Rose Otto Face Mask, £7.99

I find this face mask is brilliant at calming down stressed skin; especially during or in the midst of a breakout. It contains natural China Clay, which draws out oils and impurities without being harsh on skin.

6. The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%, £8.00

I use this intermittently when not using the Avon treatment (this product advises against using with other retinoid treatments). As standard with The Ordinary skincare range, I find this more of a treatment rather than an everyday product. On the day where you feel your skin has broken out – or is just about to. This is the perfect time to reach for this emulsion. Although this also contains super retinoids to target uneven skin tone and ageing. I find this also dries out spots, I use it after Cleansing and before moisturiser as a toner. It doubles up as a wrinkle treatment. Killing two birds with one stone!

With this kit your skin should be armed to face anything. The world can be falling apart around you, at least your skin will be flawless.

The Ordinary cont. Serum Foundation & Silicone Primer review 

product review

Continuing on from my last post, (no I promise I’m not being paid to promote the Deciem brand), I wanted to write about The Ordinary’s serum foundation and silicone primer. 


The search for a perfect foundation is literally like trying to find a needle in a haystack; and believe me I have tried everything from Rimmel to Chanel. Before trying The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation I had given up. I was using a Dr Manuka BB cream which gives a light natural coverage, and I was rather content with that. But this foundation has completely changed the game. First of all it’s £5.70. It has an amazing amount of shades, catering for everyone. And the blend. Ahhhh the blend is something else. It doesn’t even look as if I’m wearing make up, it blends right into my skin. Any of the Deciem technicians can colour match you at their store (my shade is 1.2p with pink undertones for reference). It gives an absolutely flawless, natural finish. 

I have been using the High Adherence Silicone Primer (£3.90!) along with the foundation, and they work so well together. You can wear it alone, or under make up. I know some bloggers have said it was too dewy for their liking, but I really like it. Unlike some other primers that claim to be ‘matte’, and then completely dry your skin out like a sponge – it’s moisturising but gives a nice naturally smooth texture to the skin. 

Overall I would highly recommend these two products, they are stunning and amazingly cheap. Again, far from Ordinary. 

Deciem – far from Ordinary, AHA Peeling Solution review 

product review

The word ‘Deciem’ actually means ten in Latin, and that is exactly what the brand initially wanted – to own an umbrella of ten different companies. Deciem is the company behind The Ordinary skincare range, an award winning, yet humbly acclaimed ‘ordinary’ skincare range. 


After attending an event (an amazing event by all means) and talk between Deciem and CEO of http://www.reallyree.com, Anne Marie Lodge; I am now practically a brand ambassador. Let me take a brief moment to explain what The Ordinary is about. 


The brand has a strong focus on ingredients. They utilise seemingly ‘normal’ ingredients which have been established as popular for use within skincare. Hyaluronic acid for example, a firm favourite for skincare brands for improving elasticity. However Deciem doesn’t believe in exploiting its customers, here’s where they are different. An ingredient like hyaluronic acid is pretty bog standard nowadays, and not particularly expensive to produce. Moreover, a similar product which would contain the ingredient produced by a high end brand would probably be three times (if not more) the price. The Ordinary range is all amazingly affordable, aesthetically pleasing – and in my eyes, anything other than Ordinary. 

After attending the talk I decided to use and review the peeling solution facial peel, which is £6.30. Now, it is beetroot in colour and the same consistency as blood. But don’t let that put you off! 

The peel used a lot of free acids, and so it an be abrasive for sensitive skin. It is advisable to leave on for 5 mins if you have sensitive skin, 10 if your hardcore. (See the scientific listing of ingredients below). 

The peel promises to peel off dead skin in order to reveal newer fresh skin underneath. And it does just that. Admittedly it is very acidic and astringent, but if you don’t leave it on too long and use a good moisturiser afterwards, you should achieve amazing results. My skin is glowing from within after just one use. Considering the product is under £7, it feels like a high end spa treatment. How you could call this Ordinary, I can’t imagine! 

I was fortunate enough to receive an entire goodie bag full of the skincare range. And I have a sneaking suspicion that upon use my skin is going to be healthier, and positively glowing. ✨✨✨