With quarantine dragging on for an eternity, we've all tried new things. I, for one, have gotten hooked on skincare. From binging Hyram (@skincarebyhyram) to perusing through Target's skincare aisle, I've seemingly gotten more and more interested in any product that is related to the face.
So, what do we really know? Are hordes of products really necessary to have a clear face? How can one find the perfect product for their skin type?
If you've been wondering about any of the above questions, this article is made just for you. Snuggle in and read on to educate yourself on how to start taking care of your skin.
There are a lot of active ingredients that can be found in products that are proven to stimulate our skin to make it look its best. This article will focus on products not in the mainstream so that you can diverge off the mainstream market and find some hidden gems! Let's start by talking about some of the more popular ingredients (acids/exfoliants/chemicals).
1) Retinol: The anti-aging wonder
Pros: By producing collagen and increasing blood flow to the face, say goodbye to your wrinkles and fine lines with this ingredient! Consumers of all ages may use this product, not only the elderly! It may take around 12 weeks to see its full effects, but this time may depend on the product you use.
Cons: “Retinol Uglies” may occur during the first 2 to 4 weeks of use. These “uglies” include redness, dry skin, and peeling. Your skin may also become more sensitive when using retinol, so sunscreen is essential. If you have sensitive skin, your skin may sting when using this ingredient.
And now, let's head on over to my recommendations. For each ingredient, I will be listing 3 products based on their price range.
At around $50 to purchase, this serum is definitely on the pricey side. This serum will help your dull skin turn bright and glowing. It's a form of retinol called retinal and contains retinaldehyde, which is derived from vitamin A. It is believed to work much faster than traditional retinol, so it is definitely worth the money!
Here we have another great introduction to retinol! It rings in at around $21, which is really very reasonable considering the product's volume. Versed is another brand that can be found in Target, and is gaining fame for their ingredient-focused formulas!
Coming in at $18, this product is marketed as an eye cream and can be used on wrinkles and dark areas around the face. Its glowing reviews are a tell-tale sign of customer satisfaction. The product was created with wear in mind, so it will not leave a greasy feeling on the skin.
2) Salicylic Acid: The Anti-Acne Miracle
Pros: In addition to helping with acne, salicylic acid helps renew the superficial (outer) layer of the skin. It helps heal your skin, as well as exfoliate it, so you can achieve the silky smooth skin you've always desired!
Cons: This acid might be a little too strong for those with sensitive skin, so be careful when you use this acid. Keep in mind that it can be very easy for salicylic acid products to over-strip your skin and cause redness or soreness.
Now, this product is certainly above most people's price range, but its phenomenal formula and reviews are definitely worth taking a look into. With unique ingredients like Raspberry Extract, your skin is definitely going to be pleasantly surprised.
At a list price of $33, this cruelty-free product is simply one of a kind. The main issue with many cleansers is that they have a tendency to over-dry your skin barrier, but because of the perfect proportions of salicylic and glycolic acid, this acid will leave your skin looking healthy and smooth. As a bonus, vitamin C and E also make the ingredient list, taking this cleanser to the top.
At only $7 a pop, this face wash has been a staple in many teen's routines. The value per dollar is so great, that the affordability alone is worth giving this product a shot. The wash is made up of 2% salicylic acid, which is just the perfect amount for you to see results but not experience irritation. Its gentleness makes it usable for many skin types.
3) Niacinamide: The Key to Healthy Skin
Pros: Now this ingredient is special. It suits all skin types and helps resurface your skin and minimize the size of pores. It can also help reduce sebum (oil) production with minimal irritation. It's a recommended ingredient to combat rosacea (redness).
Cons: In very rare cases, niacinamide has been known to cause upset stomachs, and if you use too much of it, (like any other ingredient) irritation will occur. It is also possible that your skin is allergic to niacinamide, so make sure to do a test patch (like you should be doing for all ingredients) before using regularly.
From the website, this serum is $44 for 0.67 ounces. In addition to niacinamide, it contains two types of vitamin B and the amazing reviews for this product simply don't stop! One user claims, “I can't live without this in my skincare.” The results speak for themselves, and I can't wait to try this product out.
Coming in at $16, this next product is another serum. It's a versatile product that contains zinc, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. This product can be applied during the morning or evening, and is certain to tend to any of your skincare needs.
Now, this product has been trending on the net for quite some time. TikTok has popularized this product to such an extent that it was sold out for a long period of time! With that said, it is rightfully in the spotlight. At $5.90, it has an incredible formula and has given many customers poreless and smooth skin.
4) Vitamin C: Nature's Sunscreen
Pros: Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins out there for one reason—it protects your skin from any external pollutants like sunlight and dirt. In addition, it can help with hyperpigmentation (darker spots) and evens your overall skin tone.
Cons: If you have extremely sensitive skin, vitamin C may irritate it, especially if other products in your routine are either abrasive or acidic. Also, be careful not to mix this ingredient with Benzoyl peroxide, retinol, AHA's/BHA's, or niacinamide.
Not only does this product contain 3 different forms of vitamin C, but it is also known for its moisturizing properties. Its main purpose is to firm skin, leaving it dewy and renewed. Definitely try this product if you are looking for a cream form of vitamin C to add to your routine, as opposed to a more generic serum form.
Found at many stores such as Target and Walmart, this product is a vitamin C serum that aims to restore the skin barrier and leave it refreshed. This product works well in a routine, can be layered, and leaves a smooth, non-greasy finish.
Starting at $5.80, this product's value was too incredible to ignore. Thus, I can't help but include another Ordinary product on our list. It leaves skin looking aglow and fresh, and is awesome for an introduction to vitamin C. If you're worried by the high percentage of vitamin C, don't worry! The ingredients are formulated so that the vitamin is preserved in lasting materials while still maintaining all the benefits of vitamin C.
5) Polypeptides: The Finishing Touch
Pros: Polypeptides can be used to stimulate collagen production, reduce the appearance of wrinkles/fine lines, and decrease sebum production. This ingredient can also be used by all people as it does not cause irritation.
Cons: Make sure not to use this ingredient with AHA's. This ingredient is also relatively expensive compared to retinol as it is in the initial stages of research/experimentation.
This product's main goals are to repair skin that has been damaged—whether through over-exfoliation or overuse of certain products—leaving it healthy and firm. This product is a double-whammy—containing vitamin C and peptides—and there are many happy customers who can attest its worth!
This product has been a staple in my house (my mom swears by it!). After looking into it, I completely understand why it's loved by many. It contains Amino-Peptide Complex II, a phenomenal ingredient for removing wrinkles and fine lines.
At $15, this product is very reasonably priced. Given the formula, very little of this product needs to be used to see the results you're looking for. Try this product out if you're looking for a serum that will make your skin's life return!