I recently went to a panel talk with some pretty big hitters in the beauty industry who were talking about skincare ingredients to know and put on your radar. What sparked this conversation was consumers. You see, consumers these days are pretty smart. They are asking lots of questions about what kind of skincare ingredients are in their favourite face creams and are also are up-to-date with what the latest skincare trends are and what ingredients they should be looking for in their lotions and potions. It’s not always easy to navigate the choppy seas of ingredients in skincare but I’m here to break down 8 of them that you might have heard of floating around out there online. Think of it as skincare ingredients 101!
I recently saw a nutritionist who did a whole overview analysis of my diet. One thing I was told to add into my food routine were supplements, namely omegas. Omegas are great for both inside and outside of the body. There are different kinds of omegas – 3s, 6s, and 9s and the one I want to tell you about today is Oleic Acid.
The term oleic stems from the word oil– and olive oil is one of the most potent forms of oleic acid. Other sources of oleic acid include vegetable, sesame, sunflower, coconut, shea butter and canola oils. Definitely add it to your list of skincare ingredients to know.
And whilst you can find this in food you can also find this in some of your favourite skincare products and let me tell you why. Oleic acid is a degreaser for your skin which is simply quite amazing. One molecule attracts water and the other dirt and grime so you may find this ingredient in cleansers as well as mattifying primers.
Clary Sage Oil
Now I know this sounds like something that would go really well over pasta. Add some truffle and we’ve got a dreamy dish indeed. Well, the interesting thing about clary sage oil is that it’s been used in herbal remedies for centuries, making it a pretty powerful ingredient not for your pasta but for your skin. Clary sage oil is great for fighting skin infections and reducing the bacteria on the skin, making it great for acne-prone skin or those who suffer from blemishes. It can also tackle excess sebum on the skin so if you find that you suffer from excess oil, look for products that contain this ingredient.
Most people like chamomile tea, right? We all know how good chamomile is for the body so imagine how good it is for the skin when we extract the oil from the chamomile plant and apply it topically to the skin? Enter Bisabolol. Now who knew that this colourless, thick oil could work such a treat? Derived from the chamomile plant, it has been shown to reduce inflammation and sensitivity and also help aid the skin in the healing process.
Bisabolol also has some pretty amazing antioxidant properties. When our skin is being attacked from free radicals in the environment it helps to neutralise them so that we can minimise any damage caused by oxidative stress. It’s also naturally anti-microbial so it’s great for combatting bacteria on the skin.
Tocopherol (Vitamin E) | Tocopheryl Acetate
Vitamin E. I’m sure you have been told of the benefits of Vitamin E on the skin so this one’s a no-brainer and is definitely one of the skincare ingredients to know. Vitamin E is an amazing ingredient in skincare – it’s an antioxidant so that means it acts like a little soldier, disarming free radicals from the environment that want to attack our skin. Vitamin E takes no intruders, it’s here to help defend and protect the skin. Free radicals can come from all sorts of things – pollution, the food we eat (fried foods in particular) and UV light. Free radicals are not our friends, in fact, I would downright call them the enemy.
In terms of the ageing of the skin free radicals are the worst – they make our skin dull, lose elasticity and firmness and cause fine lines. So, when you look for skincare ingredients (especially for skincare that you are using during the daytime) you will definitely want to keep an eye out for Vitamin E.
If you love skincare then you must have heard about retinol, otherwise known as Vitamin A. There’s so much misinformation about retinols online. Essentially, they are a must-have ingredient if you want to get serious about your skincare. The work on every element under the sun – fine lines, pigmentation, large pores, acne, spots, blemishes, wrinkles – you name it, retinol targets it.
How retinol does this is that it kickstarts collagen production (we lose collagen over time) and it increases cell turnover so our skin starts behaving like it’s younger. When our cells turnover we get brighter, less pigmented skin and less fine lines. The great thing about retinol is that you can really see the difference when you start to use it.
The Bolt Beauty website explains skin ageing to a T here:
“Skin ageing comes in two forms – standard chronological ageing and photoageing, which is where we prematurely cause our skin to deteriorate due to lifestyle damage like sun exposure, cigarette smoke and pollution. Together, these ageing processes do a number of things: they reduce the amount of collagen (one of the skin’s fundamental building blocks) in our skin leaving it thinner and without the “plump”; they cause our skin to slow down the speed at which it regenerates itself (i.e. develops new skin cells); they cause our elastin (another of the skin’s key building blocks) to develop in irregular arrangements which undermines the skin’s ability to “bounce” back into shape; and, they disrupt the production and distribution of melanocytes (the cells in our skin which give us colour). Altogether, these can lead to fine lines, wrinkles, thin, limp-looking skin, and pigmentation.”
One thing to note when wearing retinol is that it’s something to add to your night-time skincare routine. It breaks down and degrades in UV light so no point in wearing it during the daytime.
Camellia Japonica Seed Oil
I actually love the name of this ingredient…something about it sounds so romantic. Now this is a key ingredient in so many Korean and Japanese beauty products and that’s where I first came across it. It’s now finding its way into Western skincare products and has been shown to stimulate collagen production and inhibit collagen deterioration. It’s amazing what plants can do actually. This is an oil so it helps protects your skin’s barrier function which means softer, more supple skin and also less moisture loss. And it’s high in antioxidants so it’s a great ingredient to look for in daytime skincare products when you will need all the antioxidant action you can get to fight all those free radicals.
Hydrogenated Castor Seed Oil
Now I was always told castor oil made your hair grow so to put it on my lashes and brows to make them longer and stronger. Hydrogenated caster seed oil is still made from caster seed oil, it’s just castor oil + hydrogen. It’s a great product to use in skincare because it helps trap in moisture which is why it’s so important to put into moisturising creams. Our serums need to reach the deeper layers of our skin and our moisturiser is there to protect the outer layer of the skin and prevent moisture from leaving it so that it stays hydrated.
Ginger Root Extract
Ginger root extract is pretty straightforward in that it’s found from the ginger plant. It’s been used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic remedies for hundreds of years so if that’s not a big enough accolade I’m not sure what is so definitely add it to your list of skincare ingredients to know. It’s full of antioxidants and has been show to increase collagen production, aid skin recovery and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
What are your favourite skincare ingredients? Are there any that you swear by?
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