Skin care products have gone a long way in order to address our various complexion needs. Here are the top ingredients that manufacturers incorporate in their formulations as well as what they are used for.
Glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids form the AHA family. Many creams, lotions and cleansers include AHA among their ingredients as they are effective to combat fine lines, pigmentation and age spots. The downside of AHA is possible irritation and sun sensitivity. It is important to use sunscreen (at the very least SPF 40) in the morning when using this product. It is also crucial to start slowly when using a product with AHA.
BETA-HYDROXY (SALICYLIC ACID)
Salicylic acid has replaces benzoyl peroxide as the go-to acne buster. This acid exfoliates skin and in so doing, improves its texture and pigmentation. Less irritating than AHAs, salicylic acid is found in many creams and toners. Again, it is important to use a sunblock when using this product.
Hydroquinone is known as a bleaching or lightening agent, addressing hyperpigmentation such as sun and age spots. Hydroquinone has been known to cause dryness and itching in the skin. Some people have been known to have allergic reactions to this product. As with all bleaching products, sun protection is crucial. Always follow-up with a high SPF sunblock when using this product.
Derived from fungus (mushrooms), kojic acid is touted to be a safer alternative to hyroquinone, resulting in less irritation and adverse reactions. This ingredient is found in many soaps and creams.
A Vitamin A derivative, this ingredient may improve uneven pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. A stronger and more effective version of Retinol is Tretinoin. Tretinoin however has a higher rate of irritation among users.
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is effective in smoothing out fine lines and gives the skin a healthy glow. This ingredient (which is also made by the body) is commonly used as an oral supplement.