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The 5 ingredients you should be using in your skincare routine

The 5 ingredients you should be using in your skincare routine
Team LF
Writer and expert6 years ago
View Team LF's profile

The contant stream of ever-changing 'must-have' skincare ingredients can be a little overwhelming. We've curated a list of carefully selected ingredients that we feel are essential in your regime and that we are confident will truly make a difference to your complexion.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic is the one ingredient we recommend to everyone we know. Truly, Hyaluronic Acid is a transformative ingredient in skincare. Whether your skin is severely dry and dehydrated or oily and a little lack lustre, Hyaluronic Acid can help to improve and renew your complexion.

Unusually, despite what its name suggests, Hyaluronic Acid is actually a polysaccharide – a large sugar molecule known to hold moisture in between our skin cells. By retaining moisture in the skin, Hyaluronic Acid promotes a plump, radiant complexion.

Each and every skin type could benefit from including Hyaluronic Acid in their routine as deeper hydration is essential for all skin. Those in their mid-twenties onwards will particularly benefit from regular use as natural Hyaluronic Acid levels in the skin begin to deplete as skin becomes more mature.

Our top pick: The La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum is perfect for all skin types and combines the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin B5 to re-plump and intensely hydrate the skin.

Vitamin C

A skincare classic. Vitamin C has been an essential in brightening, radiance-boosting skincare for years for good reason. It is pretty much agreed universally to be beneficial for all skin types.

If you long for even-toned, radiant skin, Vitamin C is the perfect ingredient to adopt into your routine. Known to fade and reduce the appearance of dark spots, Vitamin C brightens the skin and can completely transform your complexion.

A wonderful anti-ageing ingredient, Vitamin C protects your skin against free radical damages caused by environmental aggressors. Such damage can lead to skin sagging and the development of wrinkles meaning Vitamin C can help to slow the hands of time, revealing a brighter, youthful-looking complexion.

Our top pick: Enriched with 15% pure Vitamin C, the Vichy Liftactiv Vitamin C Skin Brightening Corrector revives dull, tired skin instantly leaving your complexion radiant and smooth.

Salicylic Acid

Particularly wonderful for those with break-out prone, problem skin, Salicylic Acid is another essential ingredient which can help to completely transform your skin with regular use.

As a BHA (Beta Hydroxyl Acid), Salicylic Acid clears deep under the surface of the skin, dissolving blackheads and clearing clogged pores. Penetrating deep into the pore lining, the acid exfoliates the inside walls of the cells for a truly effective, clarifying treatment.

Salicylic Acid also works to reduce sebum secretion on the skin to enhance the clarity of the complexion. Oily skin types would hugely benefit from this quality as a reduction in sebum production promotes balanced, refined skin.

Also an anti-inflammatory, Salicylic Acid also cares for your skin as it works. Unlike many other harsh acne-fighting ingredients, Salicylic Acid calms and soothes the skin.

Our top pick: Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid. Particularly wonderful for those with problem-skin, the solution works to deeply exfoliate and renew the skin for a fresh, clarified complexion.

Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (AHAs)

We all long for beautifully glowy, radiant skin. Alpha Hydroxyl Acids, commonly referred to as AHAs, are naturally occurring acids, derived from citrus fruits, milk and sugar which work to reveal a bright complexion.

Unlike physical exfoliators, AHAs work to gently lift away dead skin cells, removing build up on the surface of your skin to prevent blemishes and the early signs of ageing. By smoothing the complexion, AHAs minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,

Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid are the most common forms of AHAs found in skincare. If your skin a little more sensitive, Lactic Acid may be the perfect AHA for you. As our bodies naturally produce Lactic Acid, even the most delicate of skin types can be receptive to it. Glycolic Acid, on the other hand, is the most potent AHA and is best used as a night-time treatment.

Our top pick: The First Aid Beauty Skin Lab Resurfacing Liquid transforms dull, lack-lustre skin, promoting a healthy, lit-from-within glow. With a 10% concentration of four Alpha Hydroxyl Acids, the Resurfacing Liquid glides over the complexion, smoothing and improving the skin's texture.


Precious metals have made their way into skincare over the last couple of years but they have long been adored for their anti-ageing, reviving properties.

Copper, in particular, has been heralded the fountain of youth and the symbol of eternal life for hundreds of years – dating back to the ancient Egyptians.

Found naturally in our skin cells, Copper promotes the natural growth of proteins which are the building blocks of our complexion, vital to strong, healthy-looking skin.

Copper also deeply hydrates and repairs the skin to the minmise signs of ageing, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. By developing Collagen and Elastin, Copper works to maintain the strength of your skin and even promotes the production of complexion-plumping Hyaluronic Acid.

Our top pick: Copper Tripeptide is a key ingredient in the Alpha-H Vitamin B Concentrated Serum which works to promote a smoother, firmer, more youthful complexion. Skin is left plump and radiant with improved texture and tone.

Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.