Ingredients to Look for in Your Skincare Products

Ingredients to Look for in Your Skincare Products

17 June 2024


A skincare product is only as good as its ingredients. So it’s important to know which skincare ingredients to look for–and which ones to avoid.

If your complexion isn’t all it could be, it may be time to do a skincare ingredient check of the products in your routine. You may want to incorporate the following key actives into your a.m. or p.m routines to enhance your natural beauty.

● Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
These natural exfoliators gently yet effectively remove buildup from the surface of the skin, such as grime, debris, and dead skin cells. AHAs such as glycolic and lactic acid also supply moisture. Poly-hydroxy acids (PHAs), including gluconolactone, are another type of AHA used in skincare.

● Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)
BHAs such as salicylic acid and some citric acids can be stronger than AHAs, penetrating deeper into the skin. In addition to exfoliation, BHAs also can help unclog pores and remove excess oil.


● Aloe vera 
If you’ve ever used aloe vera to calm sunburned skin, you know how well it soothes redness and irritation. Aloe vera is also moisturizing and anti-inflammatory, so it works well with many different skin types.

● Retinol
This vitamin A derivative is a popular skincare ingredient in products designed to improve the signs of aging, such as fine lines, dark spots, and loss of elasticity. Retinol (also called retinyl palmitate) also helps unclog pores, so it’s a strong acne fighter, too. You can get retinol in prescription creams, lotions, and over-the-counter products.

● Vitamin C
The antioxidant properties of vitamin C help brighten the look of your complexion, and also help protect it from damage caused by environmental aggressors such as UV rays. Common types of vitamin C used in skincare include L-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and ascorbyl palmitate.

● Vitamin E
Also called tocopherol on ingredient labels, vitamin E is an antioxidant like vitamin C (and they’re often paired together in product formulations). Vitamin E is also renowned as an emollient skin softener.

● Hyaluronic acid
One of the most powerful hydrators in skincare, hyaluronic acid attracts and retains water for skin that appears plumper and firmer. 

● Niacinamide
Vitamin B3, as niacinamide is also called, does so much for your skin: alleviates the appearance of redness, makes pores look less visible, and diminishes the appearance of lines and wrinkles for a more luminous complexion.

● Peptides
Your skin needs peptides to support collagen and elastin production for soft and supple skin. There are many different types of these amino acids; just look for the word “peptide” as part of the name when you do your skincare ingredient check.

● Shea butter
Skin loves to soak up this emollient. Shea butter conditions your complexion to improve elasticity and smoothness. 

● Physical or mineral SPF
Sunscreen is an everyday essential for healthy-looking skin. Physical sunscreens such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sit on top of skin to deflect UV rays. These are broad-spectrum sunscreens, so they block UVA and UVB rays. Look for a minimum SPF 30.

This plant-derived humectant hydrates beautifully, retaining moisture for radiant-looking skin. 



Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare

While you’re reading product labels to ensure they list those beneficial ingredients, there are other types of ingredients you don’t want to see. Here are some red flags to steer clear of if you see them during your skincare ingredient check.

Skip perfumed products, no matter how enticing the scent–fragrances can cause irritation or allergic reactions that inflame the skin.

Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and other surfactants in the sulfate family may be used in cleansers as a lathering agent, but they can also dry skin by stripping away natural oils.

Parabens are commonly used as preservatives to prevent bacterial growth in skincare products. In recent years, however, there has been growing concern about parabens’ potential to cause allergic reactions and disruption to normal hormone function. 

Many people choose to avoid phthalates (also used as preservatives) because they can also act as hormone disruptors.



Skincare Ingredients to Avoid While Pregnant

In addition to the above ingredients, anyone who is pregnant should avoid the following ingredients to safeguard against any potential adverse effects:

● Retinol (Note: The Cream, with low levels of the vitamin A derivative retinyl palmitate, is classified as safe to use during pregnancy.)

● Salicylic acid

● Benzoyl peroxide

● Hydroquinone

● Chemical sunscreens such as oxybenzone



Best Skincare Ingredients

What are the best skin care ingredients for you? That depends in large part on your skin type. For instance, a BHA that works well for oily skin may be too much for someone with sensitive or dehydrated skin. 

Ideally, your skincare ingredients will also be as clean as possible, which is good for your skin and environment. And you’ll get the most out of your skincare when clean beauty is combined with clean science. 

Our facecare products are powered by TFC8®. This innovative technology–grounded in more than 30 years of scientific research–incorporates high-grade vitamins, natural amino acids, and synthesized molecules. TFC8 supports skin renewal for the long term, promoting a complexion that looks brighter, fresher, and younger.

Use products that have been developed with only the best skincare ingredients and you’ll see the difference in your complexion. Purchase one of our game-changing formulas in skincare, supplements and haircare.