One of the most frequently asked questions I get when it comes to skincare is what key ingredient should I be looking for? And what are the benefits? Here’s my list of what I consider to be the best skin savior’s.

AHA’s

Alpha Hydroxy Acids smooth fine lines and surface wrinkles, improve skin texture and tone, unblock and cleanse pores. AHA’s also improve oily skin or acne, and improve skin condition in general. They’re not new to skin care but they have been refined so they don’t cause redness or irritation. However they are best used in moderation.

The Wrinkle Smoother – Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Gel, $45USD

Retinol 

Retinol is a skin-pros favourite. Also known as vitamin A this wonder ingredient is perfect for evening-out sun damage, stimulating collagen (meaning plumper younger looking skin) and brightening the complexion by speeding up cell turn over.  Because of its super-strength it’s best to apply in the evening as skin repairs itself while you sleep. You may notice skin appear red and flaking due to a natural exfoliation process. It is highly recommended that you wear a high SPF at all times when using Retinol.

The Youth Restorer – Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution, $85USD

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is normally produced by the body. Hyaluronic acid is what gives skin its volume and fullness.  A topical version of this formulated with sodium hyaluronate holds around a 1000 times its own molecular weight in water making the surface of skin feel and look youthful, plump and well hydrated. It’s important to drink plenty of water as Hyaluronic acid draws water from the lower levels of the skin to the surface.

The Volume Booster – Dermadoctor Wrinkle Revenge Lift + Replenish Serum, $68USD

Anti-Oxidants

Antioxidants in skin care are a critical component to any anti-aging routine.  By including antioxidants in your rejuvenation program the skin’s ability to protect and heal increases significantly.  Topical applications of antioxidants are also important to give the skin cells ample protection against the destructiveness of free radicals.  Free radical activity creates skin damage evident by the formation of wrinkles, age spots, loss of elasticity and other assorted aging skin care issues including the potential for skin cancer.

The Generator – Kate Somerville Total Vitamin Antioxidant Face Serum, $65USD

Peptides

There is a new generation of active peptides such as, Palmitoyl Tetra peptides, a combo of amino acids. These amino acids (building blocks of protein) help slow down the ageing process and the development of wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Then there’s Oligopeptide 68 that helps skin look lighter and brighter. It acts as a skin tone equalizer, brightening the skin for a more uniform complexion and visible reduction of hyper pigmentation and photo ageing.

The Youth Restorer – Perricone MD Acyl-Glutathione, $175USD

Stem Cells

Skin care companies are creating products with specialised plant stem cells which, when applied topically on the surface, help protect the human skin stem cells from damage and deterioration whilst stimulating the skin’s own stem cells.

The Protector – Strivectin-SD Power Serum for Wrinkles, $99USD

Niacinamide

Significantly decreases age spots as well as reducing blemishes and fading of scars. The consensus also seems to be that niacinamide performs all of these skin care miracles without leaving the common drying and irritation of most skin-lightening products.

The Skin Brightener – Lancôme Dream Tone Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector, $98USD

Photography David Gubert.

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