When I was in my 20’s, I didn’t pay much attention to my skin. I used the cheap drugstore face creams and soaps, and never had any issues…. Until I hit 30!  Wow, um, lets just say it came really fast, and one day I woke up, and saw a full set of deep lines’s between my eyebrows!!!  The HORROR struck me like a bad dream. When in the world did these jerks decide to show up?  The worst part was when I realized that they were here to stay, and covering them in makeup was only making them look worse. That’s when I knew I had to start treating my skin with care.  Now, when I look for skin care products, I am concerned with what the active ingredients are and can do for me.  Here is a list of my top 5 skin care ingredients..

  1. SPF– Having protection from the sun is by far the most important thing you can do for your face. Without SPF, every other corrective ingredient is a waste!  Preventative measures are what matter most. Just as brushing and flossing help to prevent cavities, SPF 30 or more on your face everyday, will help to prevent new wrinkles, dryness, and melasma from forming. The sun causes most of the damage and imperfections to our skin in the first place, and all other ingredients are basically made to treat these effects.
  2. Retinol is actually just a form of Vitamin A. This ingredient is great because it renews skin cells and enhances collagen production. Since our collagen production begins to decline in our 30’s, retinol is a good addition to your everyday skin care routine. It helps to reduce fine lines and can reverse some of the effects of sun damage.
  3. Hyaluronic Acid, aka The Fountain of Youth, is naturally occurring. It acts as a cushioning and lubricating agent and is perfect for thirsty, dry skin. It holds 1000Xs its own weight in water, thus attracting water to the skin and holding it there. HA keeps skin well hydrated, while preventing wrinkles.
  4. Lactic Acid …Sounds like lactose right?  Yes, milk contains lactic acid.  Lactic acid is part of the group of active compounds called AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids).  AHA’s are acids derived from foods. These types of acids are safe to apply on our skin and work best for wrinkles and sun damage.  AHA’s improve skin’s texture through exfoliation. This gets rid of old skin cells, to rejuvinate the skin with new fresh cells. In concentrations of more than 5% lactic acid, it may also lighten your melasma or age spots.
  5. Glycolic Acid, another AHA, is made from sugar cane.  Yummy, I like it already!  Glycolic Acid also works as an exfoliant, but since it has the smallest molecules in the group of AHA’s, it can penetrate the skin easily and deeply.  This makes it the best for treating deep issues like scaring from acne, and also skin discolorations.

I have other favorites but this works well on my own skin.  You will find so many ingredients that work for your skin in our ‘shop’ so check them out.  Mature skin vs. Acne skin.

Written By Savana McGregor for ICUskin.