Written by Madiy Warner
2020 has been the year of learning about ingredients and becoming more educated on what we are putting on our skin.
Yet it can be hard to know where to start if you are new to the idea of using different ingredients to achieve different results within your skincare routine.
Probably the most talked about ingredient of the moment is Hyaluronic acid, but what is it and how can you use it?
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, this means, an ingredient used to help with moisture loss. It can hold up to ten times its own weight in moisture which simply means it helps with hydration. It is also found naturally in our skin and tissue.
It has become such a popular product because it can work for everyone. Unlike oil based products that can feel too heavy on the skin for those with more combination, or acne prone skin, it can be used in really lightweight formulations such as The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 which is an oil-free formula.
So, how do you use it? That’s simple really. It can be used morning and night as it will not make skin more sensitive to the sun. It also needs to be in a leave-on product such as a serum or moisturiser because there is no benefit to having it in a cleanser that only stays on your skin for minutes at a time.
Then, there is Retinol. The anti-aging gift from the gods, or so it sounds from the way people talk about it!
Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A that boosts the amount of collagen your body makes and plumps out skin, cutting down fine lines and wrinkles. It also improves skin tone and colour (WebMD). Plenty of clinical trials have been done and notable improvement of the skin has been seen.
As with Hyaluronic acid, Retinol is best applied as a leave-on treatment, however it is important to apply it in the evening as it can make skin more sensitive to the sunlight.
It is also recommended to start with a low percentage, such as La Roche-Posay Retinol 0.3% + Vitamin B3 Serum. Applying twice a week to begin with is the final application tip as it is a strong ingredient so it can be beneficial to start slowly and build up usage once skin has begun to tolerate it.
Finally, there is Glycolic acid. This is a type of Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid (or AHA) that is derived from sugar cane and is used as a chemical exfoliant on the skin so it is great if you are suffering from acne, pigmentation or a build up of dead skin and dullness.
This is an ingredient that can also be beneficial if used in a wash-off product such as Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Foaming Cleanser which is particularly good for those with more sensitive skin as acids can be more irritating. So starting with a wash-off treatment is the perfect way to get your skin used to the ingredients without causing irritation or damage to the skin.
With so many ingredients and skincare products on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start so hopefully this guide will help!