Are you after smooth, glowing, Instagram ready summer skin? It’s so easy to be lured by pretty packaging and advertising with all kinds of promises… but how do you know whether a product will work for your skin or not? You can read the label!
Here’s a rundown of some common skincare problems and the different cosmetic ingredients that you should look for to provide the best solution.
Look for products that contain hyaluronic acid or glycerin. These ingredients attract water to, and plump up, the top layers of your skin. To lock in moisture choose products with squalane, cocoa and shea butter, and propylene glycol.
Acne prone skin
Exfoliation is vital if you’re prone to breakouts, to reduce the build-up of dead skin cells that can make acne worse. The best exfoliating skincare ingredients are beta hydroxy acids, and the most commonly used is salicylic acid.
You should also look out for antibacterial ingredients. Although products that have an antibacterial function can irritate the skin a little, they are useful for clearing up breakouts. You’ll need to use them with a good moisturiser to minimise irritation. Benzoyl peroxide is an effective and common antibacterial ingredient.
For clearer skin, products containing retinoids help to make your skin renew itself more quickly. Popular ingredients include retinyl palmitate and retinaldehyde.
Dull, uneven skin tone
Antioxidants are great for brightening your skin tone, repairing damage and promoting healing. Vitamin C is the best antioxidant. It might be called ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate or tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate on the product label.
Dark marks and scars
Fading marks on your face need exfoliation – just like with acne. However, a different type of exfoliating ingredient is required. Use products that contain alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid, citric acid and lactic acid.
If you have severe pigmentation issues, look for products that contain hydroquinone. This ingredient helps to stop the skin from producing too much melanin (the hormone that causes dark skin).
Don’t forget sunscreen!
Whatever your skincare routine, sunscreen is a must. Wearing sunscreen protects your skin from sun damage, keeps it healthy, and can prevent skin cancer. Choose a moisturiser that contains oxybenzone, avobenzone oroctinoxate – these are chemical sunscreens that absorb UV radiation, instead of just creating a barrier that can be washed or sweated off.