Here’s an interesting fact: When the pandemic hit, there was a drastic upsurge in curiosity and demand for skin care. Maybe you found yourself Googling ingredients and ordering new products?  (Confession: I sure did!) You weren’t alone. Across the globe, people had so much time on their hands and this extra time drove them to educate and inform themselves about what ingredients might be most beneficial for their skin. In 2020 alone, there were more than one million searches for “Vitamin C”, a 204% increase over the previous year!

The huge rise in searches and sales has not slowed down. We’re still thirsty for knowledge and want to know what ingredients do what—and how they can benefit our skin. To that end, here’s my list of ingredients you should look for in your skin care and why they can help you look radiant!

1. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient in moisturizers, cleansers, and serums. As a humectant—meaning it naturally attracts and retains water—it can hold more than 1000 times its weight in water. HA benefits all types of skin but especially dehydrated skin.

Our bodies naturally produce hyaluronic acid but that production decreases as we age which causes the skin to lose some of its volume, hydration, and plumpness. By using HA in your skin care routine, you can plump up the skin and reduce the signs of aging. 

In general, HA is safe and effective for all skin types and can be used daily.

Find HA  in: PCA Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum, PCA Hyaluronic Acid Lip Booster, Alastin HA Immerse Serum, PCA Hyaluronic Acid Overnight Mask

2. Retinol

You could say that retinol is a multitasking ingredient. 

It’s very popular because it has desirable results. Retinol can:

  • Stimulate collagen which can lessen the look of wrinkles)
  • Speed up cell turnover which means smoother skin
  • Decreases melanin production which results in less discolouration 
  • Keeps the pores clear which diminishes the incidence of breakouts

Retinol is a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A that can be found in many over-the-counter, professional and prescription products. It comes in a variety of strengths and if you’ve never used them before, you’ll want to start with a 0.25 to 0.5 strength and use it two to three times a week. You should also know that you might experience redness, irritation, and other reactions at first. You can read more about this “retinization period” HERE

Find Retinol  in: PCA Intensive Age Redefining Treatment, Alastin Renewal Retinol 0.5

3. Vitamin C

Perfect for all skin types, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from free radicals, those unstable atoms that can damage cells and speed up the signs of aging. Clinical studies have also shown that it can improve the appearance of fine and coarse wrinkles in the face and neck, increase the overall texture and appearance of the skin, and can also boost the protection levels of broad-spectrum sunscreen. 

If you choose a product with Vitamin C to use in your daily routine, keep this in mind:

  1. It doesn’t always combine well with some actives like retinol or exfoliating acids so avoid layering them together. 
  2. Store it in a cool, dark place to maintain its potency and efficacy. 

Find Vitamin C  in: PCA C-Quench Antioxidant Serum, PCA C&E Advanced with Hexylresorcinol 

4. Ceramides 

Ceramides are lipids in the outermost layer of your skin. Dermatologists call them the glue that holds the cells together, in essence creating a healthy barrier that prevents water loss, locks in moisture and seals out harmful environmental elements. 

As ceramide levels decrease with aging, fine lines and wrinkles can appear. Skin care products with ceramides in them can help nourish the skin which makes it more supple, smooth, and resilient.

Twice a day, after cleansing and toning your skin, apply a ceramide-rich product. To optimize its outcomes, layer it with other hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane. 

Find Ceramides in: PCA Hyaluronic Acid boosting serum,  Alastin Restorative Skin Complex  

5. Salicylic Acid 

Also known as BHA (beta hydroxy acid), salicylic acid is great for oily and acne-prone skin types. This exfoliating acid penetrates deep into the skin to soften and dissolves keratin, a naturally occurring protein that can contribute to skin cells sticking together and blocking your pores. 

In addition to helping keep your skin clear, salicylic acid can also help with cell turnover which will give your face a brighter and tighter appearance. 

Because it has the potential to irritate and dry out your skin, it’s not for everyone. Start by using it once or twice per week at most and evaluate how your skin reacts. Depending on how sensitive your skin is and what other products you are using, you may be able to increase the frequency.

Find Salicylic Acid In:  Pore Cleansing Gel, PCA Intensive Clarify Solution, PCA Blemish Control Bar 

If you’d like to learn more about the contents of your skin care products, stay tuned to our Facebook page where Denise, our Beauty Expert, shares more information on beneficial ingredients in her featured post: Skin Care Confidential.

Need more information on how to best treat and take care of your skin? Reach out to us anytime.

We’re here to help you feel beautiful.