Skincare is a science. Amid the endless skincare options, it can be difficult to know what specific skincare products work for your skin. Understanding ingredients and formulations can help educate you on how to improve the health of your skin.

Your skin is your largest and arguably most important organ, as it provides a protective barrier against external elements. Skincare works to enhance this barrier, while also addressing specific issues, such as acne, pigmentation, aging, or skin conditions.

Let’s take a look at the common ingredients found in skincare

Antioxidants: Antioxidants work to neutralize harmful free radicals caused by oxidative stressors such as pollution or UV rays. Some common antioxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Selenium which all protect your skin from aging and cell damage.

Retinoids: A form of vitamin A, retinoids stimulate collagen production and encourage cell turnover to reduce fine lines, improve skin texture, and even skin tone. Lower concentrations of retinoids are recommended when starting out to avoid skin irritation.

Hyaluronic Acid: For drier skin, hyaluronic acid is an excellent product that works to hydrate the skin. This natural acid can hold extremely large amounts of water, moisturizing and plumping your skin to give you a youthful glow.

Ceramides: Ceramides are fats and lipids that comprise a large percentage of your outer skin layer. Products containing ceramides work to hydrate the skin and rebuild your protective barrier.

Peptides: Peptides are the building blocks of all the proteins in your skin. Skincare products with peptides promote collagen production and reduce fine lines to improve elasticity, firmness, and texture.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs): AHAs and BHAs are exfoliating agents that remove dead skin cells to smooth and brighten your skin. BHAs such as salicylic acid work deeper to unclog your pores, and often are recommended for acne-prone individuals.

Niacinamide: One of the most versatile ingredients, niacinamide works to improve several aspects of your skin. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 which reduces hyperpigmentation, diminishes fine lines, minimizes pores, tightens skin, and improves tone and texture.

Balancing these ingredients to create the perfect skincare formulas is a skill. Monitoring pH, delivering active ingredients safely, preventing harmful contaminants, and creating a pleasant texture are all aspects to consider when formulating the perfect skincare product. Depending on your skin type and skincare goals, different ingredients and formulations may work better for you than others.

Healthy skin is a top priority for Dr. Neda Mehr at the Pure Dermatology Cosmetic & Hair Center. Our mission is to keep you young, beautiful and healthy from the inside out!