I write about skincare quite often. I think it’s the most important part of our beauty routines. We have to take care of the canvas first, before we dress it up. And although I try to be as diverse as possible in the skincare I test and write about, I understand that not everything that works for me will work for others. So, I decided to put together a quick guide on navigating skincare ingredients by your skin type and needs. That way, the next time you’re browsing the beauty aisle you’ll know before you purchase whether it’s right for you!
For oily skin, it’s first important to look for products labeled as ‘non-comedogenic’ which means they will not clog your pores.
Ingredient: Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
Benefits: BHA’s are water-soluble ingredients that help to exfoliate the skin, unclog pores, and can improve texture and color.
- Salicylic acid, a type of BHA is great for acne-prone skin as it can go deeper into the pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum. When shopping for products with Salicylic Acid, make sure they don’t have more than 2% or else it may cause some irritation.
- Citric acid, some formulations are classified as BHA’s and helps to dry out excess sebum to clean out dead skin cells that are found deep within your pores.
Ingredient: Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
Benefits: These gentle but mighty acids are helpful in retaining moisture for dry sensitive skin. They restore suppleness to the skin while diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Glycolic, Lactic, Mandelic, and Citric Acids are all considered AHAs, so if you see any of those, you’re good to go!
- Glycolic acid has great exfoliating properties, helps to treat acne and is found in a number of peels.
- Lactic acid is similar to Glycolic in that it also has exfoliating properties and has anti-aging properties.
- Citric acid formulated as an AHA helps to neutralize the skin’s pH levels to even out rough patches in the skin. It’s great as a serum or toner before moisturizer. And is often found in sunscreen to enhance its UV protection.
- Mandelic acid comes from almond extracts and helps in improve texture and pore size.
Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid
Benefits: Hyaluronic acid is actually naturally found in our bodies and helps encourage skin renewal. It is scientifically proven that it has substantial water retention properties. So it’s great at rehydrating the skin for a more radiant look and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also has great antioxidant properties.
Benefits: Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent that is used to lighten areas of darkened skin such as freckles, melasma, age spots, and acne scars. It is important to be mindful when using products with Hydroquinone as it may cause a temporary increase in redness or dryness, especially if you have sensitive skin. Also, don’t use it to “bleach” your skin.
Benefits: Retinol or Retinoids are helpful in reducing fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin color.
It’s important to keep in mind that this guide is simply a benchmark. If a product has ingredients for oily skin, but your skin is dry it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. These are just some of the products you should gravitate towards when looking to treat specific issues!