Skin Care

Magic Ingredients That Lead To (Almost) Perfect Skin

Smiling woman with lavender on her face

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of serums, lotions, and creams on the market today. With so many options available, many women find themselves wondering which products do and don’t work. Surely you know by now never to judge a book by its cover, which is exactly why you should never judge a product (or its abilities) by its packaging, either. You can, however, assume a product’s abilities—or lack thereof—based on its ingredients. Read on to learn which ingredients dominate in skincare so you can choose the products that really will work.

Vitamin C
A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C shields the skin from free radicals and brightens dull skin, but that’s not all. It also encourages collagen production and increases skin cell production. Keep in mind that not all products are created equal; when choosing a Vitamin C product it’s best to go with a water or gel based serum which preserves the integrity of the Vitamin C. If, however, you opt for a lotion or cream that contains the powerful antioxidant, it’s a good idea to store the product in the refrigerator.

Retinol
A superhero in the beauty industry, retinol works wonders. This ingredient is derived from Vitamin A and has been found to boost collagen, minimize hyperpigmentation, combat wrinkles, and even calm overactive oil production.

Salicylic Acid
Thanks to its reputation for curing minor acne, salicylic acid is one of the first skincare ingredients used by teens. As a BHA (beta hydroxyl acid), it’s most effective when left on for an extended period. An anti-inflammatory, salicylic acid can calm breakouts, shrink enlarged pores, minimize the appearance of fine lines.

Woman admiring herself at mirror

Glycolic Acid
This exfoliating ingredient is both safe and effective for all skin types. Studies have shown that glycolic acid successfully minimizes fine lines and minor age spots. Experts warn that because the pH level of glycolic acid is sensitive to air, it is best to get products that are one-time use. Otherwise, the effectiveness of the ingredient isn’t guaranteed.

Benzoyl Peroxide
This ingredient works wonders for people with stubborn or cystic acne. Benzoyl peroxide works slightly different than other acne fighting ingredients; once the topical encounters the skin, it emits an oxygen molecule onto the skin’s surface.  Because acne-causing bacteria is inferior to oxygen, this implementation of the oxygen molecule kills and prevents acne that is usually hard to get rid of. Benzoyl peroxide is available both over the counter and by prescription, the difference being that the prescription solution is formulated with a topical antibiotic as well.

Caffeine
That’s right, this very ingredient that puts the pep in your step each morning also works wonders for your skin! Caffeine, a white crystalline alkaloid found in numerous seeds and plant leafs, is considered a stimulant. While there are many benefits of ingesting the ingredient, applying the ingredient topically also has its perks: anti-inflammatory properties reduce and prevent inflammation as well as reduce dark circles under the eyes, and minimize the appearance of cellulite courtesy of its dehydration properties.

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