Your guide to younger-looking skin: 10 ingredients that really work!

In the world of skincare, trendy new anti-ageing ingredients come and go but when it comes to tried and true actives that actually work - it’s a pretty finite list. Each of the ingredients listed below is sure to offer your skin a youthful boost in their own unique way depending on your age and skin type. Find out more about their benefits and where to find products that contain them.

1. Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

It’s a fact that sun exposure is one of the primary causes of all the signs of ageing so adequate, daily sun protection a MUST. A broad-spectrum sunscreen is the ultimate anti-ageing must-have because it blocks both UVA rays which cause ageing and UVB rays which cause burning. The recommended daily value is SPF 30, and it’s important to remember that reapplication throughout the day is also essential. You can find both mineral and chemical broad-spectrum sunscreens; the former work by sitting on top of the skin and deflecting the sun’s rays, the latter absorbs into the skin to prevent the rays from damaging the cells. It’s a matter of personal preference, though mineral options are less likely to irritate sensitive skin. Find it in Dr Grandel UVA 30 or Skin Affair SPF 15 Moisturiser with Blue Light Blockers

2. Ceramides

The outermost layer of your skin is known as the skin barrier, and its primary role is keeping hydration in and all the irritants away. Ceramides are lipids that keep this barrier strong and healthy, sealing moisture into the skin. In terms of anti-ageing, the more hydrated your skin is, the more youthful it will look. They’re an effective ingredient for any skin type including eczema-prone skin types. Find ceramides in Dr Grandel Beautygen Renew Caps.

3. Collagen

Collagen is one of the most important proteins in your skin, the foundation for keeping it strong and firm so it makes sense that collagen would be a great anti-ageing ingredient. Topically, it’s not an activity that can make a big difference, largely due to the fact that it’s a big molecule that is challenging to get into the skin. For best results try Gold Collagen which is ingestible liquid collagen which is 10x more effective than pills.

4. Glycolic Acid

Part of a group of acids known as alpha-hydroxy acids, this one is distinct in having the smallest molecular size, so it can penetrate deepest into the skin. Glycolic acid features the traditional exfoliating benefits of any AHA, gently dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells to improve skin texture, tone, and pore size. Find it in the QMS Active Exfoliant.

5. Lactic Acid

Another type of AHA, this is usually derived from milk and is generally gentler and less irritating than glycolic acid, says Linkner. It’s a common anti-ageing ingredient in both mild in-office peels and many at-home exfoliating products, helping to leave skin more even and radiant. Plus, unlike many other exfoliating ingredients, which can be drying if not used properly, “lactic acid has been shown to increase the natural moisturizing factors in the skin,” says Carqueville. Just keep in mind that it will make your skin more sensitive to the sun, warns Linkner, so you want to be extra diligent and on top of your sunscreen game when lactic acid is a part of your anti-ageing arsenal. Find it in the QMS Active Exfoliant Resurfacing Fluid.

6. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is a fan-favourite in the hydrating ingredient world. It acts like a sponge, drawing water in and trapping it in the skin, so it not only moisturises but helps to plump up your skin and fill in fine lines. HA is a naturally occurring sugar in our body which we produce on our own up until we reach the age of around 20. It can hold up to a thousand times its own weight in water so just remember that in order for this anti-ageing ingredient to work most effectively, there needs to be moisture present. Be sure to apply it on either slightly damp skin, or to layer it with another moisturiser. Try Dr Grandel Hyaluron Ampoules or Hyaluron Balancer.

7. Jojoba Oil

As popular as face oils have become, the concept can still be off-putting to some. But jojoba oil is one of the best skincare oils of the bunch. Derived from a nut-like pod of a plant, jojoba oil is biomimetic, meaning it acts as the oil naturally found in the skin. It’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores and it’s ultra-moisturising and soothing to dry, irritated, skin. Jojoba oil contains vitamin E too, which means it may have some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Find Jojoba in Dr Grande Oxygen Moisturiser and Skin Affair’s Organic Glow Serum.

8. Retinol

Retinol, which is also known as vitamin A, is one of the most effective skin-transforming ingredients which targets fine lines, blemishes and sun damage. Retinol often gets a bad rep, only because it can cause redness or flaking skin however you can help minimize these unsightly side effects by working it into your routine gradually Because it’s rendered inactive when exposed to sunlight, be sure to save retinol for bedtime use only. Find it in Dr Grandel Timeless Retinol Balm.

9. Vitamin C

The vitamin you take in order to boost your immune system also offers a trio of benefits for your skin. It is a great antioxidant, helping to neutralise the skin-damaging free radicals caused by exposure to environmental factors such as sun and pollution. It also interferes with the production of excess pigment in the skin, helping to fade spots and discolouration. And lastly, it helps to stimulate collagen production. We recommend Dr Grandel Protect Cell Vital C.

10. Squalane

Squalene is a fatty molecule found in the skin that is highly versatile. Squalane is a plant-based alternative which comes from renewable sugarcane. It maintains skin's moisture barrier and hydration and is also an antioxidant that has anti-ageing properties for neutralising environmental damage. Find it in Skin Affair’s Organic Nourishing Cream Mask or Organic Light Moisturiser.

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