With the wide range of products in the market that use a variety of different ingredients, it may be hard to tell what ingredients are the best for different situations. Some ingredients have scientific names that don’t tell what they do, and some ingredients have yet to be tested. Between the “acids” and the “extracts,” however, there are some great options for treating many different skin-related problems.
Green Tea Extract – Green tea extract, when applied topically, can protect against sun damage and skin cancer. Putting a layer underneath sunscreen can add protection when going outside. Green tea extract also can reduce aging signs, sagging skin, and wrinkles when used in creams and lotions.
Retinol – Retinol is used in many weaker creams that are sold over the counter. Retinol can smooth out wrinkles and improve the color of your skin. However, it can also dry out your skin in large doses, so make sure to use moisturizer as well.
Caffeine – This isn’t your morning cup of coffee; caffeine in skin creams is shown to reduce fine lines on the face, especially crow’s feet.
Vitamin C – Besides helping against the common cold, when applied topically, vitamin C can help remove scars, as well as soften fine lines and wrinkles.
Alpha-hydroxy Acids – Alpha-hydroxy acids, commonly referred to as “AHAs”, are multiple acids that you can use to exfoliate your skin. Lactic and citric acid are two that are easily recognizable, but be sure to look for others, including glycolic acid and mandelic acid. Be careful, though, as these acids in creams or lotions can increase sensitivity to the sun. If you begin using a product with an AHA, be sure to use sunscreen or moisturizer for protection.
Salicylic Acid – Salicylic acid is the most common ingredient in acne creams. Products with this acid can remove acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and also exfoliate the pores. However, consult a doctor before using any product with salicylic acid if you are pregnant or nursing.
When shopping for skincare products, be sure to keep an eye out for these ingredients. Knowing what they do and where to find them will make it easier to tailor a skincare routine that’s perfect for you. Many products may mention these ingredients on the front label as an eye catcher, but even if they don’t, you can check the ingredients list, or check the company’s website for information about the ingredients listed.