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Must-have skincare ingredients for healthy skin

Must-have skincare ingredients for healthy skin

With so many skincare ingredients to choose from, how do you know which ones are imperative for optimizing your skin’s health? Fortunately, Dr. Boakye has done the homework for you.

Your first skincare priority should be making sure your skin barrier gets the support it needs by avoiding harsh products that irritate your skin and strip it of its essential hydration. Ceramides are essential for replenishing and reinforcing the so it can stay strong and stave off any negative impact caused by your environment or lifestyle.

Simply put, antioxidants are compounds that help prevent free radicals from damaging every type of cell in your body. If you’re skin savvy, you likely know that UV rays, pollution and other external environmental factors generate free radicals, but these unstable molecules are also a byproduct of natural cellular activity within your body as well. 

There are many skincare ingredients that possess superior antioxidant powers. They include vitamin C, vitamin E, niacinamide and even botanically-derived extracts of cocoa, green tea, rosemary and more. And remember, antioxidants work better in the presence of other antioxidants. Approach these ingredients in the same way that you approach your diet. The more antioxidants in your skincare the merrier!

Retinol and retinoids
Good luck finding a dermatologist who does not recommend using retinol or a retinoid. These vitamin A derivatives help stimulate the skin’s natural turnover process, in turn improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration—and prevent pores from becoming clogged, which goes a long way for acne-prone skin. Studies have also shown that retinoids promote the skin’s natural collagen production to maintain a youthful-looking complexion.

Regardless of your skin type, supplementing your skin with moisture is non-negotiable—and you can rely on several ingredients to do this. From shea butter, aloe vera and glycerin to hyaluronic acid and natural botanically-derived oils, these ingredients should be a skincare priority. Just make sure that the products you choose are appropriate for your skin type, especially if you’re sensitive or acne-prone. (If acne is a concern, look for “non-comedogenic” on your product labels.)

Target your unique skin concerns
Once you have the basics covered, add products with ingredients that can help address and improve the skin issues that you see first when you look in the mirror. If dark spots or discoloration bother you, look for products with kojic acid, licorice extract or niacinamide. If acne is an ongoing concern, look for salicylic acid or its naturally-derived cousin, willow bark extract. For anti-aging, you can add peptides to your already retinol/retinoid-infused regimen. 

Don’t forget the sunscreen
Seriously, the number-one defense against visible signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and loss of elasticity is sunscreen—but you have to use it 365 days a year to reap its benefits. Daily sunscreen use is key for all skin types, and is especially important if you’re using any exfoliating products or ingredients to minimize the appearance of dark spots or the development of acne.