When you look at the back of a skincare product, you will probably see a bunch of different ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Many of these ingredients are listed using their chemical names, instead of the colloquial terms that most of us know.
For example, you might see beta-hydroxy acid on a label and be intimidated by the sound of it. Beta-hydroxy acid is another name for salicylic acid, which most of us know is a beneficial ingredient for our skin.
By knowing what names to look out for on the ingredient’s labels, you can ensure that you are buying the best products for your skin. There are certain compounds that you should always look out for in your products, whether you’re getting an SPF cream, rosewater toner, or exfoliating cleanser.
By searching for products that contain a number of beneficial ingredients, you can maintain a healthy glow, minimize fine lines, and reduce the severity of certain skin conditions.
Here is a list of the key ingredients to look out for when you’re searching for new products for your skincare routine.
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Most skin care products contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). You might see AHAs called citric acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid on labels.
AHAs are known to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also a chemical exfoliator that can help to remove dead cells and dirt from the surface of your skin, which improves your skin’s smoothness and complexion.
If you have dark spots or areas of hyperpigmentation on your skin, using a product that contains AHAs may minimize their appearance by lightening the skin. Start with a product that has an AHA concentration of between 10 and 15%.
Also known as salicylic acid, beta-hydroxy acid acts as an exfoliant to remove dead or damaged skin cells. It can also improve the color, texture, and tone of the skin.
Beta-hydroxy acid can also fight against acne by helping oil glands to open up, which is why salicylic acid is found in many over-the-counter acne medications.
Skincare products that claim to lighten the skin usually contain an ingredient called hydroquinone. If you have hyperpigmentation on your skin, you might use a bleaching or lightening cream to reduce the appearance of any dark spots.
Hydroquinone is found in many over-the-counter medications that are prescribed by doctors. It’s often combined with sunscreen to reduce the darkening effects of the sun’s UV rays.
Retinoids are a group of compounds that are derived from vitamin A, including retinol, retinal aldehyde, and retinal esters. These compounds are often promoted as anti-aging compounds.
Retinoids are essential for your skin’s health and hydration. They increase the production of collagen and small blood vessels in the skin, which can minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and improves the tone and texture of your skin.