Skincare 101: Best Skincare Ingredients

skincare ingredients

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When it comes to skincare products, it is important to know what ingredients the product contains and their benefits for your skin. Every skincare product will list the ingredients that have been included in the product. In most cases, brands will showcase the ingredients they believe will help to sell the product. For instance, if a moisturiser contains hyaluronic acid, this skincare ingredient will likely be used as advertisement aid.

Ensure that whatever ingredient included in your skincare product will benefit your skin and not cause harm. This post identifies and explains the top skincare ingredients you need to know about for virtually any skin type or any skin issue.

Related post: Skincare 101: How to build a skincare routine (Adding Extras)

These are known as alpha hydroxyl acids. They are a group of water-loving acid molecules (humectants) derived from plants and animals. AHAs are usually contained in serum, toner, moisturiser, facial peels etc. Due to their ability to attract water from the surroundings, skincare products that contain AHAs are particularly good for dry skin. Also, its products are used for combating fine lines, wrinkles spots, skin discolouration etc. Because they help in collagen promotion and brightening the skin.

The main AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid. Glycolic acid is an AHA that is derived from sugarcane which is used for targeting scarring, ageing etc. Meanwhile, lactic acids derived from carbohydrates and lactose is used in the treatment of hyperpigmentation, spots etc. There are other types of ingredients in the AHA group including citric acids derived from citrus fruits such as lemon, tartaric acid from grapes and malic acids from fruits in general.


These are known as beta hydroxy acids with its main ingredient being salicylic acid from willow bark tree. They can also be derived from citrus fruits although this is dependent on the formulation of the skincare product as citrus fruits can also be AHAs.


BHAs can be classified as the opposite of AHAs. Unlike AHA molecules which are water-loving molecules, BHA molecules, on the other hand, are oil-loving molecules. Based on this characteristic, its molecules can bypass clogged pores and dissolve sebum which leads to acne. Therefore, individuals with acne or acne-prone skin should consider having salicylic acid in their skincare product. They are also used to brighten the skin by removing dead skin. Hence, salicylic acid is a popular ingredient when it comes to treating acne/ acne scarring.


Antioxidants are vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B3 (niacinamide) vitamin E, green tea, ginkgo Biloba (which has a high concentration of antioxidants). These vitamins and/or minerals protect the skin from damage and skin issues relating to ageing, wrinkles, dark spots, pigmentation etc. They can do this by protecting the skin against free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable atoms that are constantly trying to become stable molecules. This causes them to remove atoms from other stable molecules in the body and turn to cause those stable molecules to become unstable. The cycle continues! This results in damage in the DNA of the skin which then leads to several skincare issues. However, antioxidants bind to the free radicals in the body causing them to become stable and in turn, helps to maintain healthy skin.

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Hyaluronic acid

This is a type of acid that is naturally occurring in the body and most especially in the younger skin. Like the AHA ingredients, hyaluronic acid is also a humectant and so is an important ingredient for individuals suffering from dry skin. Being a humectant allows for the hydration of the skin which gives a healthy, plump, youthful and healthy skin effect. Causing a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and other ageing signs. Hence, hyaluronic acid is branded as an ingredient that reduces ageing. Although hyaluronic acid is good for dry skin, it also works for all other skin types. It is important to note that hyaluronic acid can be destroyed by free radicals; this emphasises on the need for antioxidants in your skincare product.


Could be zinc oxide or titanium oxide. You might be wondering why on earth oxides are on this list. Well, they are used in the making of sunscreen which is a very important skincare product. Find out why here.

top skincare ingredients

Other ingredients 

This is a lightening agent. Used in the treatment of sun exposure and hyperpigmentation.

Flower water

Flower water is essentially the water for any flower, with the most popular one being rose water. They are used for toning the skin and for treating oil.

Azelaic acid

An acid used for treating inflammatory acne. It is also an effective ingredient for treating hyperpigmentation.


Reduces the appearance of wrinkles, promote skin cell generation.


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