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Ingredients for Good Skin

Everyone has skin concerns — even my 2-year-old, who is prone to dryness and eczema. Depending on how proactive you are on in addressing those concerns, bear in mind we shed a full layer of skin every seven years, so it’s a good idea to re-evaluate how your skin has improved in some ways, and/or developed a different set of issues. Regardless of what skin maladies you are facing, here is a rundown of the standard ingredients that address specific conditions.

Salicylic Acid is the most common ingredient in acne-fighting products. It helps remove the bacteria and dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Over-the-counter products will contain about 2% of salicylic acid in their ingredients list for mild-to-moderate acne treatment. However, if you suffer from severe acne, consider seeing a dermatologist for a prescription with a stronger dose. Also, salicylic acid isn’t just for your face. You can also get body washes and creams for the rest of your skin if you require it.

Hyaluronic acid is extremely beneficial to dry skin. I know, it sounds odd, using acid for hydration, but this ingredient can hold up to 1000ml of water per gram and can adjust moisture retention based on the current climate. This ingredient comes in the form of a serum and has anti-aging properties, but you can also find it at the drugstore brands like CeraVe, which is what I use for my toddler. Again, an acid sounds like it would be harmful to younger skin, but it actually works to help retain the skin’s natural moisture.

For hyperpigmentation, aka dark spots, try Vitamin C. As one of nature’s most potent antioxidants, Vitamin C can reverse the sun damage that is usually the source of darker spots and freckles while protecting against further damage from UV rays. With consistent use of a Vitamin C enriched serum, you’ll see dark spots fade and lighten over time. To prevent hyperpigmentation in the first place, be sure to use sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher on a daily basis.

To combat signs of aging, use products with retinol. This ingredient combats visible fine lines and wrinkles by promoting quick cellular turnover to help skin appear plumper and more youthful in a relatively short period of time. Of course, you may have heard that retinol-based products can cause allergic reactions, which I found can happen when used in excess. So, if you are sensitive to retinol, do not make it part of your daily skincare regime. Instead, use it every other day, or two-to-three times a week, to take advantage of its benefits without irritating.

If you have a combination of common skin conditions, look for products that pair these basic ingredients. If you are dealing with acne and hyperpigmentation, search for a salicylic acid treatment with vitamin C. Dry and aging skin? Look for a serum that boasts both hyaluronic acid and retinol. You may have to experiment a bit to find the right combination or product line that works best, but by keeping these basics ingredients in mind, and how they work, will keep you on the right skincare track.

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