Not sure what active ingredients in skincare refers to? Here are some of the most popular ones and how they can benefit your skin.

When shopping for skincare, many become overwhelmed by the different ingredients and miracle claims of each product. But understanding your skin’s needs and which molecules will benefit it best can make all the difference. This is why it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with some of the common active ingredients found in skincare.


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What are active ingredients?

As the name suggests, active ingredients are ones that have been tested and approved to target specific concerns. They do all the heavy lifting to deliver the promises made on the packaging!

Some of the most popular and widely-used active ingredients include:

  • Retinol, or vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Niacinamide
  • Ceramides
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids, such as salicylic acid
  • Beta Hydroxy Acids, such as glycolic acid

But how do you know when you should add them to your skincare routine? Here’s how to know when the time has come, based on your skincare concern:

Teenagers / acne / oily skin: AHAs + niacinamide

AHAs – such as salicylic acid – are able to penetrate into the pores to remove buildup and reduce breakouts. Niacinamide can calm the inflammation associated with acne and reduce pore size over time.

Dull, tired skin / uneven texture: BHAs + vitamin E

Having a poor skin cell turnover rate can lead to skin with a dull, bumpy appearance. Give it a wake-up call with nourishing antioxidant vitamin E and a BHA – such as glycolic acid – to sweep the dead cells away.

Dry skin / dehydrated skin: Hyaluronic acid + ceramides

Loved and trusted by many, hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture in the skin for long-lasting plumpness. Ceramides are the fats needed by your skin to keep its barrier strong.

Mature skin / fine lines / hyperpigmentation: Vitamin C + retinol

Retinol is one of the only proven topical treatments to delay the development of fine lines. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C, helps to reduce dark spots and protects your skin from sun damage.