HomeBeauty12 Common Ingredients in Skincare Products you must Know

12 Common Ingredients in Skincare Products you must Know


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12 Common Ingredients in SkinCare Products you must Know

Today’s skincare ingredients are used for a variety of purposes. If you go to any supermarket or small-town store, you could be overwhelmed by the sheer number of skin care items on the shelf. Whether you’re new to skincare or an experienced pro, knowing what individual components do in your favorite products may be useful.

Ingredients useful in skincare

Knowing what’s in your skincare products might be useful if you’re seeking anything to help you with a specific skin ailment. Wilma Bergfeld, MD, a dermatologist, guides us through some of the most popular skincare products, explaining what they do and how they function.

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Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)

In recent years, over-the-counter skin care treatments containing alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHA (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids), have grown in popularity. Alpha-hydroxy acid creams and lotions may assist with fine lines and wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and age spots.

It may also aid in the reduction of enlarged pores. Alpha-hydroxy acids can cause minor discomfort and sun sensitivity.

“To avoid burning, wear sunscreen in the morning every day,” Dr. Bergfeld says.

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To avoid skin sensitivity, start with a product containing no more than 10% to 15% AHA. To enable your skin to adjust, apply the skin care product every other day at first, gradually increasing to daily application.

Glycolic acid (GA)

This AHA exfoliates your skin and increases collagen production (the protein that strengthens connective tissue). It can help moisturize your skin as well as unclog your pores and smooth fine wrinkles. Creams and lotions containing this component can aid with eczema, while cleansers containing this chemical can help with blackheads.

Lactic acid

This AHA is made by muscle and red blood cells. Products containing this component, like glycolic acid, can aid in exfoliating, while others can help hydrate your skin.

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Beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid)

Salicylic acid exfoliates dead skin while also improving the texture and color of sun-damaged skin. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicle openings and hence aids in acne treatment. Salicylic acid is found in a variety of skincare products. Some are available without a prescription, while others require one.

“In many circumstances, salicylic acid can be less irritating than alpha-hydroxy acid-containing skin care products,” notes Dr. Bergfeld. “However, they give comparable improvements in skin texture and color.”


Hydroquinone-containing skin care products are frequently referred to as “bleaching creams” or “lightning agents.” These skin care treatments are intended to lessen hyperpigmentation caused by pregnancy or hormone therapy, such as age spots and black spots (melasma or chloasma). Hydroquinone is included in over-the-counter skin care products such as AMBI® Fade Cream.

“If your skin doesn’t respond to over-the-counter therapies, your doctor can also prescribe a lotion with a stronger dosage of hydroquinone,” Dr. Bergfeld explains.

Because sun exposure induces hyperpigmentation of the skin, hydroquinone is sometimes used with sunscreen. Because some people are allergic to hydroquinone, it is preferable to test it in a small area. If you are sensitive to hydroquinone, you may benefit from using products containing kojic acid instead.

Kojic acid

Kojic acid can also be used to address pigment issues and age spots. Kojic acid, discovered in 1989, behaves similarly to hydroquinone. Kojic acid is generated from a fungus and has been demonstrated in trials to be effective as a lightning agent by inhibiting melanin synthesis (brown pigment). Kojic acid may make your skin more vulnerable to sunburn if used regularly.


Retinol can help with acne and acne scars, uneven pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, skin tone and color, and skin hydration.

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that is contained in many over-the-counter “anti-aging” skin care products. Tretinoin is a stronger form of retinol that is the active component in prescription Retin-A® and Renova® creams.

If your skin is too sensitive to use Retin-A, a good option is an over-the-counter retinol.

“Vitamin A has a molecular structure that is small enough to penetrate the lowest layers of your skin, where it discovers and promotes collagen and elastin, which is a protein that strengthens the elasticity of your skin,” adds Dr. Bergfeld.

L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

This is the only kind of vitamin C that should be included in skin care products.

“Many skin care products on the market now include vitamin C derivatives such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbyl palmitate,” adds Dr. Bergfeld. “However, the only effective form of vitamin C in skin care products is L-ascorbic acid.”

Collagen production in your skin declines with age and sun exposure, resulting in wrinkles. Vitamin C is the only antioxidant that has been shown to increase collagen formation, thereby reducing fine lines, scars, and wrinkles.

It may also help sun-damaged skin look better. The use of vitamin C-containing lotions may cause stinging or redness at first, but these adverse effects usually subside with regular usage.

The substance hyaluronic acid

This chemical is frequently utilized in skin care products in conjunction with vitamin C products to aid in efficient penetration. Hyaluronic acid (also known as a glycosaminoglycan) is marketed as having the power to “reverse” or “halt” aging. You may have heard about hyaluronic acid as the “secret to the fountain of youth” in news headlines.

This is due to the fact that the material exists naturally (and abundantly) in people and animals, where it may be found in juvenile skin, various tissues, and joint fluid.

“Hyaluronic acid is a component of your body’s connective tissues and is known to cushion and lubricate these tissues,” Dr. Bergfeld explains. “However, as you age, natural factors degrade hyaluronic acid.” “Poor nutrition and smoking can also have an effect on your body’s hyaluronic acid levels over time.”

Niacinamide (vitamin B3)

Niacinamide is a kind of vitamin B3 that aids in the formation of keratin and the maintenance of firm, healthy skin. It can aid in the retention of moisture and the prevention of skin flushing. Face masks containing this substance can help decrease redness and swelling if you have rosacea.


This silicone-derived component is the second most common in moisturizers. If you have dry skin, moisturizers containing this chemical might be therapeutic, especially in the winter. This non-toxic substance aids in scar tissue reduction and makes your skin feel very smooth.

It can also help preserve your hair from breaking and give your follicles a silky, smooth feel. This is why this chemical is included in hair treatments that help minimize frizz and broken ends. However, it is vital to know that it is heavy and quickly accumulates, sometimes blocking water from reaching your roots.

If you use a product containing dimethicone, you should use a clarifying shampoo once a week to assist remove any buildup.

The copper peptide

Despite the fact that it has only been on the market since 1997, copper peptide is widely regarded as the most efficient skin regeneration treatment.

This substance stimulates the development of collagen and elastin, works as an antioxidant, and stimulates the creation of glycosaminoglycans such as hyaluronic acid.

It also boosts the effectiveness of your body’s natural tissue-building processes by firming, smoothing, and softening skin—and it does it in less time than most other anti-aging skin care products.


This natural moisturizer aids in the restoration of dry or cracked skin. This may be found in a variety of lip balms and face creams. This is an excellent component for oily skin that can aid in the reduction of blackheads, pimples, and acne.

Because of its capacity to trap moisture, glycerin-containing products can be used at the end of the day to keep your skin hydrated overnight.

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