Look for these groups of ingredients
Optics and social media aside, proper skin care is just good practice. The skin protects the body from harsh elements, sunlight and also retains moisture which is vital for the body's overall health. So finding a product with the best, high-quality ingredients is vital. Buzzwords like natural, anti-aging, clean beauty, and organic can distract from what's helpful for skin. To stay on the safe side, look for the following products:
- Humectants, ingredients that draw moisture to the top layer of skin.
- Emollients, ingredients that moisturize and rehydrate skin.
- Ceramides, fat molecules that restore and retain the skin's moisture.
- Retinoids, which increase cell turnover.
- Vitamins with antioxidant properties.
Each of these categories can be broken down into specific ingredients that should be standard in high-end beauty. Here are some of the best on the market.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant you can trust
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the skin and eyes that helps retain moisture. This is one of the best ingredients on the market to help keep skin smooth, supple, and moisturized. Hyaluronic acid also has some healing properties and is perfect for cracked skin. Higher-end products have up to 2% hyaluronic acid, so check the ingredient list carefully.
Grab some glycolic acid
Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid and another fantastic humectant. This humectant comes from sugar cane and helps shed dead skin cells, revealing smooth skin. Glycolic acid also increases collagen production and maximizes skin thickness. These benefits are great for acne, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. Products with glycolic acid include cleansers, toners, masks, and night serums.
Look for ceramides
Ceramides are naturally occurring fats located in the topmost layer of the skin. Dermatologists describe ceramides as the mortar that holds skin cells together. Ceramide levels lower with age, so beauty products with high concentrations are perfect. In addition, this high-quality ingredient has anti-aging properties, reduces moisture loss, and protects from external pollutants.
Retinol is an acne fighter
Retinol is a type of retinoid, which is a vitamin A derivative. Retinols happen to be the most studied beauty ingredient on the market. Dermatologists use prescription-strength retinol for cystic acne and acne scars. Retinol speeds up cell turnover, helping to produce fresh, new layers of skin. This unique quality means retinol is anti-aging, clears wrinkles, dark spots, and much more. High-end products will have higher concentrations. Because retinol is so potent, test a bit on one part of the skin first.
Emollients are a large category of moisturizers that include butters, oils, lotions, and creams. Oils like coconut and almond are some examples. Argan oil, in particular, has some great benefits. This emollient contains vitamin E, ferulic acid, carotenoids, oleic and linoleic acids. Argan oil also treats sun damage, supports skin healing, and moisturizes the skin. Serums, sunscreens, and hydrating oils are products that may contain argan oil.
Try vitamins C and E
The antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties of some vitamins are perfect for high-end beauty products. For example, vitamin C supports skin repair, reduces hyperpigmentation, and evens skin tone. Therefore, most high-end serums will contain high concentrations of vitamin C. Vitamin E is a group of oil-soluble antioxidants with hydrating, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties. These vitamins increase in effectiveness when paired together, so look for products with both ingredients.
Stick to simple but effective ingredients
With the thousands of high-end products on the market, finding the right one could be a challenge. Countless other ingredients on the market promise exceptional results. However, high-quality ingredients are the ones that stand the test of time. Make sure to read the ingredient list carefully, especially for expensive products. Beauty products with any of the properties mentioned can keep skin smooth, clear, and hydrated. When in doubt, speak with a board-certified dermatologist for more advice.