We want to make sure that you know exactly what ingredients are in your skincare products and how each “miracle ingredient” can help with your skin problems and concerns. Let’s decode your product labels now!
Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
What it is: An exfoliant naturally derived from various plants and milk, but 99% of the AHAs used in cosmetics are synthetic. AHAs are water soluble. They work by melting the intercellular glue that holds skin cells together, to help the skin’s natural shedding process.
AHAs include glycolic acid (sugar cane), lactic acid (milk), mandelic acid (bitter almonds), tartaric acid (grapes), malic acid (apples and pears), citric acid (citrus fruits).
Benefits: Helps diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, makes skin look and feel firmer, hydrates, improves dull skin and uneven skin tone, and smoothes out roughness.
Best for: Generally preferred for normal to dry, sun-damaged skin, and aging skin.
What it is: Also known as L-ascorbic acid is a form of Vitamin C. It is a potent antioxidant and skin-soothing agent that can improve the appearance of signs of aging.
Benefits: Helps to address dark spots, uneven skin tone, wrinkles, loss of firmness and dullness.
Best for: Dull and uneven skin texture, sun-damaged and aging skin.
Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
What it is: An oil soluble exfoliant naturally derived from plants. BHA is gentle enough for sensitive skin prone to redness and/or rosacea.
BHAs include salicylic acid (Willow Bark Tree and others) and citric acid(citrus fruits).
Benefits: Has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to get through the oil that clogs pores and helps to normalize the lining of the pore that contributes to acne, remove built-up layers of dead surface skin and allowing new skin to grow, correcting dark spots and improving skin's texture.
Best for: Most often preferred for oily, acne-prone skin and skin prone to bumps, clogs and enlarged pores.
Try these products: Anti-Trouble Bubble Cleanser
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What it is: It is part of the group of active compounds known as AHA's (alpha hydroxy acids). Derived from cane sugar–It has the smallest molecules in the group so is able to penetrate skin deeply and easily, making it the most effective for treating fine lines, acne, blackheads, dullness, oiliness etc. It is safe enough to use on sensitive skin type.
Benefits: May help to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, melasma and seborrheic keratosis, effective in removing the outermost layer of dead cells from the complexion. Also treats scarring, skin discoloration and signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. Assists with boosting collagen production, which is brilliant for plumping up the skin.
Best for: Normal to oily and acne-prone skin, fine line and wrinkles, aging skin, discoloured skin or uneven skin tone, and rough skin texture.
What it is: Also known as hyaluronan, hyaluronic acid is a natural glycosaminoglycan and can be derived from multiple resources, natural foods, supplements and HA powders.
Benefits: Has a unique ability to hold in moisture (1000 ml of water per gram of hyaluronic acid) in order for skin to absorb. Helps to boost the elasticity and hydration of the skin to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Also has the ability to improve skin's protective barrier and supports skin healing and repairing.
Best for: Dry to very dry skin type, aging and dehydrated skin, skin sensitive to harsh environments and sun exposure.
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What it is: Essentially Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid. An effective skin-restoring ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin.
Benefits: Has the ability to visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, dullness and a weakened skin surface.
Best for: Aging and dull skin, acne-prone skin, fine lines or wrinkles, dark spots or hyperpigmentations.
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What it is: One of the most potent antioxidants deriving from a plant compound found in the skin of grapes.
Benefits: Helps to prevent damage and repair the skin from environmental damage, improves skin elasticity, firmness, and radiance, fights against premature skin aging and inflammation, and prevents from UV rays.
Best for: Aging skin, fine lines and wrinkles.
What it is: Essentially Vitamin A, it is an ingredient that promotes skin renewal and enhances collagen production.
Benefits: Minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, increases the appearance of firmness, improves uneven skin tone, smooths and refines the surface of skin, and helps mitigate the effects of environmental stressors. Also helps acne-prone skin by soothing inflammation, removing dead skin cells, and has assisted in making pores appear smaller.
Best for: Fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots and pigmentations, acne-prone skin and acne scars.
What it is: Squalane is an antioxidant, is frequently used in cosmetics and we often call it out as a good moisturizer. Squalane is basically a more stable version of squalene and, therefore, it is squalane that usually shows up in skincare and beauty products.
Benefits: Prevents UV damage and the formation of age spots, promotes cell growth and is an antibacterial. Highly refined squalane from olive demonstrates the most notable squalane characteristic–its ability to completely and rapidly penetrate the skin.
Best for: Dry, very dry or dehydrated skin type.
Try these products: YADAH Anti-Trouble Red Zero Spot Cream
What it is: Essentially Vitamin E, an antioxidant that combats the damaging effects on your skin of free radicals, which come from various sources including pollution, UV radiation, poor nutrition, and as a result of aging.
Benefits: Helps to reverse the effects of aging on the skin. It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and also helps prevent the appearance of age spots. Vitamin E has also been shown to significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks on the skin and it can even help scars to gradually fade away.
Best for: Dark spots and hyperpigmentations, dry skin/hair/cuticles, fine line and wrinkles, stretch marks and scars.
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What it is: A natural ingredient (polysaccharide) used as a thickening agent, texture enhancer, and to stabilize emulsions. It is also used to create a gel-like consistency in cosmetics and can be added to certain foods, like salad dressing.
Benefits: May not be an active ingredient, but its use in skincare is significant for product texture and formulation. Not known to have any toxic or harmful side effects, can be appropriate for use in natural and organic skincare and is thought to have some hydrating benefits for the skin.
Best for: Increasing the viscosity of liquids for optimal texture, binding other skin ingredients together, as well as being used in oil-and-water emulsions to keep the two phases separate.
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