How to Choose the Right Active Ingredient for Your Skin
Active ingredients — like vitamin C, exfoliating acids, and niacinamide — are the workhorses of your entire skin-care routine. They are the main ingredients that are responsible for the intended outcome, result, or effect within a product. Including active ingredients in your regimen can make a real difference in your skin. To get the most out of these ingredients, it is recommended to add them to your routine in face serum form. Face serums deliver high concentrations of actives that can easily penetrate your skin, providing faster results compared to other products. Choosing the right actives depends on your primary goals and complexion concerns. It is okay to layer serums, but be cautious not to combine too many or ones that are not meant to be used together. Combining too many intense actives can sensitize your skin, so alternate the timing when applying each one.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common active ingredients and what they do for your skin.
The Active Ingredient: Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids
What it does: Even out texture
Alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs) are chemical exfoliants that work by breaking down the cellular bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface of your complexion. They help improve skin tone and texture, combat dullness, and leave your skin brighter and more radiant. Look for products like the Strawberry Smooth AHA+BHA Salicylic Serum and the Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Blur Drops from Glow Recipe, which utilize these acids to clear skin, decongest pores, and provide a soft-focus finish.
The Active Ingredient: Vitamin C
What it does: Brighten and even skin tone
Vitamin C is a vital ingredient in your morning skincare routine. It brightens the skin, helps with discoloration, and serves as an antioxidant to fight against free radical damage. The Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum from Glow Recipe combines vitamin C with tranexamic acid and guava to provide brightening benefits.
The Active Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid
What it does: Hydrate and plump
Hyaluronic acid acts as a sponge, drawing moisture beneath the surface of your skin and locking it in. It hydrates the skin and helps plump the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Glow Recipe offers hyaluronic acid in products like the Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial and the Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum.
The Active Ingredient: Niacinamide
What it does: Reduce redness, irritation, and discoloration
Niacinamide is a versatile ingredient that soothes irritation, reduces redness, boosts moisture, strengthens the skin barrier, provides antioxidant protection, and evens out discoloration. It is particularly helpful for those with sensitive skin. The Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops from Glow Recipe combine niacinamide with mica-free luminizers for both instant and long-term brightening effects.
The Active Ingredient: Ceramides
What it does: Strengthen the skin barrier
Ceramides are essential for supporting the strength of your skin barrier. They help keep moisture in and external irritants out, making them particularly important for those with dry or sensitive skin. The Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum from Glow Recipe includes five kinds of ceramides to restore and protect the skin barrier.
The Active Ingredient: Retinol
What it does: Smooth and firm skin
Retinol is an MVP active ingredient known for speeding up skin cell turnover, smoothing texture, and stimulating collagen production. It’s important to note that retinol can be irritating, so use it wisely. The Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream from Glow Recipe contains an encapsulated form of retinol that minimizes the risk of irritation. Additionally, a moisturizer like the Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream can offset the effects of a prescription retinoid used on the whole face.
In conclusion, active ingredients play a crucial role in skincare routines, targeting various skin concerns. By incorporating the right actives into your routine, you can achieve brighter, more even-toned, and hydrated skin. Choose actives that suit your goals, avoid combining too many intense actives, and always listen to your skin’s needs. Remember to consult with a dermatologist if you’re unsure about which active ingredients are suitable for your skin type and concerns.
Read more about the best active ingredients:
- The Truth Behind Ingredient Percentages
- Why You Should Be Using Encapsulated Ingredients
- Why Fruit Extracts and Active Ingredients Are So Good for Skin
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