By Isabelle Hahn
Like fashion, skincare has its classics and its trends. For every skincare ingredient that never goes out of style, there is a trend that claims to be the “next best thing." This article focuses on a handful of buzzworthy ingredients; some that have stood the test of time and some that have just started to pick up speed in the US.
In the order of “basic skin care” to “I’m putting snail slime on my face”; here is a list of skin care ingredients you either haven’t tried, or need to learn more about.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a group of compounds that includes retinol and retinoic acid. Retinol can be purchased over the counter, while retinoic acid is found in prescription creams. It stimulates collagen production and provides quick cell turnover, which gets rid of your skin’s dry or damaged surface cells. Vitamin A is also known to clear up acne because quick cell turnover slows oil production, clearing pores. Vitamin A is especially recommended for aging or oily skin. Retinoids can increase your skin’s UV sensitivity, so be sure to use sunscreen with this ingredient.
Caffeine has always been a part of my morning beauty routine, but I’ve become accustomed to adding sugar and almond milk. Turns out caffeine is extremely helpful for waking up your skin, too. Caffeine stimulates blood flow and can aid in collagen production. It is high in antioxidants and has the same pH as your skin, so it won’t damage or dry you out. You might already know that caffeine works especially well on dark under eye circles, but it's also great for redness because it constricts small blood vessels and boosts circulation, making the skin appear tighter. Milk Makeup’s Cooling Water ($24) primes skin while hydrating and de-puffing, making it the perfect first step in the morning.
3. Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid can be found in almost every chemical exfoliant on the market due to the fact that it's rejuvenating, moisturizing and great for anti-aging. As an alpha hydroxy acid (lactic acid also fits in this family, and is a bit milder if you have more sensitive skin), it reacts to the top layer of your skin, dissolving sebum and boosting collagen production. For daily use, it is recommended to use a lower percentage, as to avoid causing irritation. Peter Thomas Roth’s glycolic acid cleanser ($38) is a good stepping stool with 3 percent acid, and Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8 percent AHA Gel ($29) gets rave reviews. Another great option is the Earth Science papaya-glycolic radiant skin masque ($12 AND you can get it at Whole Foods).
4. Rosehip Oil
The facial oil fad is picking up in the United States. It's a good thing too, since classic moisturizers can contain a lot of synthetic chemicals and petroleum by-products. Incorporating rosehip oil into beauty regimens originated in Chile and has very recently grown in popularity in the United States thanks to celebrities like Miranda Kerr, who reportedly uses it every night. Harvested from the seeds of rose bushes, rosehip oil is full of essential fatty acids. It moisturises and brightens skin with its astringent properties and evens out the complexion. Rosehip oil is also lighter than coconut oil, so it won’t clog your pores as easily. Burt’s Bees Complete Nourishment Facial Oil ($18) is a mix of rosehip and jojoba oils that is light enough to put on in the morning or at night. If you want pure rosehip oil, try Ole Henriksen's Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil ($45).
5. Snail Mucin
This Korean beauty trend has turned mainstream because of anti-inflammatory and anti-wrinkle benefits. Nearly every Korean skin care brand offers at least one snail mucin product. If you can get over the ick factor, snail slime has some crazy cool skin benefits. Mucin contains elastin, anti-microbials, hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid. Elastin helps give the skin elasticity and bounce, anti-microbials kill any bad microorganisms on your skin’s surface, while the acids help exfoliate and bring moisture into the skin. Corsrx Advanced Snail Mucin is a serum I learned to live by in the winter (It’s $21 at Ulta, but $14 on Amazon— you’re welcome). It locks in moisture, and is great to layer with other products.