3 Ingredients You Want to See in Your Skincare

When most of us shop for skincare products, we look for formulas that can accomplish multiple things at once: Will this hydrate my skin while protecting me from the sun? Can this fight fine lines and monthly breakouts?

For those of us who want to make the most of our beauty budget and experience amazing results from our home skincare regimens, we should seek moisturizers, toners, masks, peels, and serums with the below types of ingredients. Although these ingredients may be present in cleansers, you’re better off investing in products that stay on your skin for more than a few minutes.

Note: This list of ingredient types does not include SPF because we all know that’s a no brainer, right?

1. Antioxidants

Antioxidants are our best friend when it comes to protecting skin from environmental damage, including pollutants and the sun’s UV rays. They accomplish this by mitigating the oxidizing effects of free radicals and reducing inflammation within skin. Limiting inflammation is especially vital to keeping skin looking its best for a variety of reasons: Inflammation thins skin, slows wound healing, and wreaks havoc on collagen and elastin.

Reducing inflammation doesn’t just help us with anti-aging concerns, however. By helping calm skin, antioxidants may also lessen the severity of acne. It’s a win-win!

Antioxidants can either be sourced from nature or created synthetically, and they go by many names. The most common antioxidants in skincare products include Vitamins C and E as well as popular plant extracts like resveratrol (from red grapes), pomegranate, and green tea. High-quality plant oils may contain multiple, naturally occurring antioxidants; argan oil, for example, contains both vitamin E and squalene.

Make sure your antioxidant-rich products are packaged in tinted or opaque containers that protect them from the light. Bottles and tubes that have small openings are ideal since exposure to excess air can make antioxidants break down more quickly, minimizing their effectiveness on your skin.

For a lightweight antioxidant serum, try Tata Harper Rejuvenating Nutrient Complex. For something a little richer, opt for the line’s Beautifying Face Oil.

2. Skin-Identical Ingredients

Also known as “skin-repairing ingredients,” skin-identical ingredients refer to the substances existing between skin cells and responsible for keeping those cells connected. These support a healthy skin barrier. When we have a healthy skin barrier, skin looks smooth and feel soft. Also, skin heals itself more efficiently, meaning that red marks from breakouts don’t stick around for long.

Effective skin-identical ingredients include hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, and ceramides. Hyaluronic acid, in particular, is often the focus of beauty buzz. This ingredient is naturally present in skin and is partly responsible for helping skin retain moisture. As our skin ages and experiences environmental damage, we’re more likely to experience dry skin, and our skin barrier becomes more vulnerable. Fortunately, a 2012 study found that because hyaluronic acid helps prevent moisture loss while reducing inflammation, it can serve as a key player in any anti-aging regimen.

Proving that makeup can double as skincare, Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation includes hyaluronic acid to help keep skin looking supple.

3. Cell-Communicating Ingredients

A cell-communicating ingredient “talks” to cells (including skin cells) and directs them to behave in a healthier way.  

When skin ages and experiences sun damage, hormonal fluctuations, and/or acne, the genes involved in skin cell formation become damaged. When new skin cells are produced from a damaged foundation, they may be irregular, rough, or defective, leading to less-than-healthy looking skin. Cell-communicating ingredients help reverse this damage, allowing skin to produce healthier, more youthful cells. Retinol, for example, “communicates” with the genes involved in producing elastin and collagen. Other cell-communicating ingredients include niacinamide, synthetic peptides, lecithin, and adenosine triphosphate.

Try MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Serum, a clarifying and brightening serum formulated to help reverse the signs of aging.

What skincare products do you swear by?