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  • Writer's pictureM.B

Skincare Ingredients 101

When it comes to skincare, it can be difficult to keep up with ingredient trends and knowing what’s what. There are a few bigger hard hitter ingredients that provide a variety of benefits and we’re breaking ‘em down for you in this blog post! 


You can expect to find this ingredient in serums and moisturizers. Hyaluronic acid is a group of molecules naturally found in the body’s connective tissue that work to cushion and lubricate. As you age and are exposed to environmental factors like smoke and pollution, you start to lose naturally occurring hyaluronic acid which causes premature signs of aging. Adding products with hyaluronic acid into your skincare regiment provides an extra dose of hydration for thirsty, dry skin! 


The most common AHA’s you’ll find in skincare products are glycolic acid and lactic acid. AHA’s are naturally derived from plants and animals and are mainly found in anti-aging products such as toners, moisturizers and serums. AHA’s are primarily used as an exfoliant and are found in treatments like chemical peels. Along with exfoliating, AHA’s are also used to help with many other skin concerns: preventing breakouts, correcting discolouration caused by aging, scars or sun damage, improving appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by promoting collagen and blood flow, and brightening overall complexion. 


Both AHA’s and BHA’s are used for the purpose of exfoliation. AHA’s are water soluble acids (made from sugary fruits) that peel away surface skin. BHA’s are oil soluble and can get deep down into pores to cleanse of excess oil and dead skin. BHA’s are typically found in products to help with acne and sun damage. 


Retinol is a member of the Retinoids family that are compounds derived from Vitamin A. Retinol promotes cell turnover so when it is applied topically, it not only aids in anti-aging but also has been used to treat acne. It also helps to clear out clogged pores, decrease hyperpigmentation, refine skin texture, increase collagen, and promote a healthy, bright, glowing complexion. 


Antioxidants are found in many skincare products as they protect the skin by limiting free radical production. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause oxidation (think of an apple or avocado turning brown). When the skin produces or is exposed to free radicals, a chain reaction occurs that causes damage to healthy skin cells. Applying products that contain antioxidants helps to prevent signs of aging, brighten overall complexion, and allows skin to repair itself by stimulating collagen production. 


This ingredient is derived from willow bark and is part of the AHA family. Salicylic acid penetrates pores deeply and is found in many skincare products for acne treatment. It not only provides a deep clean, it also acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps to heal blemishes faster. Salicylic acid is also an exfoliant as it breaks down skin cells. 


Caffeine is a strong antioxidant that when applied topically can reduce puffiness and dark under eyes. It provides many anti-aging benefits and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It works topically by constricting the blood vessels to tighten and brighten skin while reducing inflammation.


Ceramides are fatty acids called lipids that are naturally found in skin cells. Ceramides make up 50% of the epidermis but starts to diminish over time. When you apply ceramides topically, it creates a barrier that locks moisture into your skin while preventing dryness and irritation. Think of it as a protective layer that shields your skin from environmental factors that cause signs of aging. 


Glycerin is found in most moisturizers and is one of the most commonly used ingredients in cosmetic products. Glycerin is a naturally derived compound from vegetable oils, or animal fats. When applied topically, glycerin acts as a humectant that draws moisture from deep within the skin. It’s used as a moisturizing agent that helps skin draw in hydration and trap in that moisture.


Squalene is a hydrocarbon liquid that is found naturally in plants and animals as well as in human sebum. When applied topically in skincare, it acts as an effective emollient and antioxidant. It is typically found in moisturizers as it in incredibly hydrating. Using products with squalene over time has also been found to reduce appearance of scars, and even out skin pigmentation by reversing UV damage and lightening sunspots and freckles. 


Peptides (also known as polypeptides) are an amino acid naturally found in the skin. These amino acids make up certain proteins that the skin needs to thrive but as your skin ages, less of these peptides are naturally found. Applying products with peptides topically stimulates collagen production. Collagen plumps the skin and leads to firmer, younger looking skin. Products containing peptide also improves the skin barrier which protects against UV rays, bacteria, pollution, and other toxins that wreak havoc on the skin and cause premature signs or aging. 


Finding the right skincare products for your specific concerns can feel daunting. There are countless products on the market with fancy ingredients that claim to fix all ailments, but it’s intimidating trying to figure out what everything means by yourself. You’re not alone though, the skincare specialists at My Beautique Spa in Woodbridge, Ontario can help you find the perfect products suited for your skin! We hope this blog post gives you the basic ingredient 101 that you need moving forward finding the most beneficial skincare regiment and My Beautique, the best spa in Woodbridge has got you covered for everything you need! 

Follow us on Instagram @mybeautiqueinc for all things beauty from your trusted skin professionals at My Beautique salon in Woodbridge, Ontario. Here’s to amazing skin, My Beautique Inc.

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