Skin care is a growing industry, with many different types of products on the market to address the wide variety of skin concerns people deal with. Here’s a list of the top 8 most common skin care problems and some of the best skin care solutions for them:
Acne is one of the most pervasive skin issues out there. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases estimates that 80 percent of people between ages 11 and 30 experience acne outbreaks at some point. Acne has several causes, including excess oil production, dead skin buildup, bacterial buildup, and hormonal changes. Read more about what causes acne here. Acne symptoms include raised blemishes, redness, and oily skin. Furthermore, for many, acne can lead to red scarring and sunken scars. The best skin care ingredients for acne are:
Salicylic Acid – A commonly used and long-trusted ingredient for treating acne, salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid derived from willow tree bark. Salicylic acid helps skin to slough off dead cells, and also helps to reduce redness and inflammation.
Aloe Vera – Extracted from the Aloe Vera plant, this ingredient is usually found in gel form, and is a great soothing treatment for inflammation and burns.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) has been seen to reduce the severity of breakouts when applied topically in a serum or gel
form, and can also decrease hyperpigmentation and redness, helping to fade the visibility of acne scars.
Vitamin E – Vitamin E is an excellent anti-inflammatory, making it a must for treating inflammation and redness from breakouts and scarring.
Kojic Acid – Found in several types of Japanese mushrooms and as a byproduct of rice fermentation, kojic acid is a powerful skin-brightening ingredient, helping to reduce redness and discoloration.
Razor burn is denoted by raised bumps on the skin and an overall redness and irritation of areas that have just been shaved. While this is most common in men, it can also happen to women after shaving their legs, armpits, and bikini line areas. Redness can be caused by applying too much pressure with your razor or dry shaving, while bumps are often caused by ingrown hairs that can occur due to shaving against the direction that your hair grows in.
There are some practical ways to prevent razor burn, including not dry shaving, not shaving against the grain, and changing blades regularly, typically after 5 uses. You can also help to free ingrown hairs from the skin using a hot compress. If you still have razor burn, however, here are some of the best skin care ingredients for treating it:
Aloe Vera – Aloe has already shown up on this list and will appear again, simply because it’s a naturally soothing ingredient with a lot of applications, especially for irritated or inflamed skin.
Witch Hazel – Witch hazel is a natural antiseptic that includes tannins, also commonly found in tea, that may help reduce swelling and fight bacteria.
Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial, as well as a natural astringent. It should always be diluted before being applied to the skin, as it is very strong.
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is moisturizing, non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), good for sensitive skin, and can be applied before shaving for a smoother shave that’s less likely to cause razor burn.
Note: some areas are too sensitive for some to avoid causing irritation, such as the bikini line, so if the irritation is severe enough, not shaving these areas is also a viable option.
Dark circles around the eyes are an extremely common sign of aging and can make people look tired. Inadequate sleep is one of the main causes of dark circles, but they’re also caused by aging, dehydration, allergies, and a poor diet.
One way to reduce dark circles is to use the right concealer for your dark circles. Purple-toned concealers work great for bluish circles, yellow-toned concealers are perfect for concealing dark circles with a purple tone, and green-toned concealers are ideal for covering reddish discoloration.
But you don’t just have to settle for covering up your dark circles; there are skin care ingredients that are useful in fading dark circles and discoloration around the eyes, too. They include:
Vitamin K – Vitamin K can help to reduce blood flow to the surface of the skin, reducing dark circles.
Vitamin E – As mentioned before, vitamin E has great anti-inflammatory properties, and has long been trusted to fade discoloration.
Retinol – Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is another good ingredient for reducing pigmentation issues and it also builds collagen, helping to plump up the thin skin around the eyes.
Caffeine – Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it constricts blood vessels, further reducing discoloration due to excess blood flow around the eyes.
We’ve detailed at length before the photoaging dangers of sun damage on the skin, but one of the most obvious and immediate effects of UV damage on the skin is sunburn. This occurs when the sun damage is so great that it literally burns the skin, causing redness, irritation, and peeling. While the best course of action is to apply sunscreen to avoid getting burned in the first place, nobody’s perfect, so here are some of the best ingredients for treating sunburns:
Aloe Vera – Once again, Aloe Vera shows up. Sunburns may be the most common-use cases for aloe, to the point where it is often sold alongside sunscreen in the drug store. The compounds found in aloe are renowned for soothing and healing inflamed skin.
Green Tea – Green tea contains tannins and polyphenols that help to neutralize the damage generated from UV exposure.
Vitamin E – Since it’s an effective treatment for other types of burns, it makes sense that vitamin E is also great for treating sunburns. It helps to soothe the skin and relieve redness.
Note: Avoid petroleum products like Vaseline, as they can trap heat onto the surface of the skin and further irritate sunburns.
Dry skin is a common condition that doesn’t just affect the way your skin feels, but can also affect your skin’s overall health and make it more sensitive. Dry skin is more prone to cracking and becoming damaged, worsens the look of wrinkles, and causes you to have to deal with peeling skin.
To combat dry skin, it’s important to only wash once a day and moisturize with a moisturizer that contains moisturizing ingredients (emollients) and humectants (ingredients that lock in moisture that you can read more about here
), such as the following:
Coconut oil – Coconut oil is a rich, natural emollient that is unlikely to cause irritation to sensitive skin. The chemical compounds found in coconut oil are very similar to those found in sebum, our skin’s natural oil, making coconut oil one of the most natural choices for moisturizing your skin.
Hyaluronic Acid – Hyaluronic acid
has several excellent skin care properties, including stimulating collagen growth and boosting the absorption of other active ingredients, but it’s also a great humectant, helping to keep moisture bound to the surface of the skin. Because it is already naturally present in our skin, hyaluronic acid interacts well with the skin, comprising a natural ingredient.
Glycerin – Glycerin is a substance typically extracted from vegetables and functions as another wonderful, moisture-locking natural humectant.
As one of the most common signs of aging, wrinkles are something we all have to deal with eventually. There are a lot of ways to slow down their formation while you are younger, such as moisturizing adequately and protecting your skin from sun damage, but there are also a lot of ways to treat wrinkles and lessen their appearance after they form. Daily moisturization and weekly exfoliation can help improve their appearance because dead skin buildup and thin, dry skin can deepen the look of wrinkles. Some of the best skin care ingredients to address wrinkles are:
Hyaluronic Acid – In addition to being a powerful humectant, hyaluronic acid stimulates collagen production, helps to protect the skin from free radical damage, and can boost the absorption rate of other skin care ingredients into the skin, making it incredibly effective when paired with the next ingredient on our list.
Vitamin C – An essential building of block of elastin and collagen, Vitamin C helps to form these essential proteins for youthful-looking skin and stimulates additional production of them in the skin. In combination with its ability to help prevent and fade the visible effects of sun damage, this collagen- and elastin-boosting effect makes vitamin C one of the most powerful anti-aging skin care ingredients.
Argireline – As the most popular peptide on the skin care market, Argireline has firmly established itself as a trusted ingredient to diminish the appearance of wrinkles. Argireline is a fragment of Snap-25, the very same protein that Botox interacts with in the skin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Because of this, Argireline functions in a similar manner to Botox, inhibiting fine muscular contractions in the face that lead to the formation of wrinkles when you smile or frown.
Matrixyl 3000 – Matrixyl is made up of a pair of polypeptides (chains of peptides) that simulate the structure of broken down collagen, signaling the skin to produce more of it, and making the skin appear fuller and suppler.
Serums with all four of these ingredients, such as Advanced Skin Care’s Protoxyn-X5, are incredibly potent and effective at reducing the appearance and formation of wrinkles over time.
UV damage leads to photoaging, which includes the increased formation of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is excess pigmentation that manifests in spots and patches on the skin, usually showing itself in the form of sun spots, age spots, and freckles. The category of skin care known as skin lightening or skin brightening is aimed at addressing these issues with ingredients that help even out pigmentation in the skin and protect against UV damage. Some of the best of these ingredients are:
Glycolic Acid – Glycolic acid
is an Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid (AHA), an ingredient that helps to naturally exfoliate the skin by breaking down the adhesive-like bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface of the skin, revealing new skin beneath. Dead skin buildup can make hyperpigmentation stand out more and look darker, and uncovering new skin can help to diminish the appearance of dark spots over time, making exfoliation a great boon for treating hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C – As mentioned in the previous section, vitamin C has antioxidant properties that help neutralize the damage caused by free radicals on the skin, lightening dark spots and fighting against the appearance of new sun spots and age spots by protecting the skin from free radical damage.
Niacinamide – In addition to being useful for acne treatment, niacinamide is another powerful antioxidant, working in a similar fashion as vitamin C to reduce and protect against skin damage caused by free radicals.
Retinol – One of the most revered ingredients in modern skin care, retinol helps to fade hyperpigmentation through its ability to convert to retinoic acid and speed up the cellular turnover rate of the skin, causing new skin to come to the surface more quickly and helping to shed dead skin cells. It’s also a collagen-booster, making it a great all-around skin care ingredient.
Rosacea is a common skin care affliction, especially for those with acne-prone skin. When affected by rosacea, the skin takes on a rosy and often splotchy appearance, with patches of the skin appearing red and inflamed. Sometimes rosacea symptoms include visible broken blood vessels. Rosacea’s cause is still largely debated and unclear, but there are many treatment methods, including eliminating any skin care or makeup product containing ingredients that can irritate skin, such as strong preservatives and artificial fragrances.
Most of the ingredients that treat hyperpigmentation are also good at reducing the redness caused by rosacea, though there are other ingredients that are well suited to treat rosacea symptoms, such as:
Green tea extract – Green tea contains compounds known as polyphenols, particularly a subclass known as catechins, a class of antioxidants with strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Chamomile – Chamomile is a flower with calming properties that is often found in essential oils or herbal tea, which also has antiallergenic and oil-balancing properties, and can help to soothe irritated skin.
Aloe Vera – Aloe is very naturally calming and is ideal for treating any sort of inflammation, including sunburns, burns, and rosacea. Aloe is also antibacterial and contains polyphenols similar to those found in green tea.
Resveratrol – This rich antioxidant is extracted from the skin of red grapes and like all other antioxidants, resveratrol helps to limit sun damage, which can improve the appearance of rosacea.