Skincare Actives 101

If you don’t want to feel left out when people talk about skincare terms that don’t just mean soap, consider this as your new skincare bible!

There’s nothing more crucial than formulating a comprehensive skincare regime that is best suited to your skin type. But what’s more important is going beyond the basic “Cleanse – Tone – Moisturise” three step process to include active ingredients. In this article we’ll help you familiarise yourself with the actives you need, how they’ll help transform your skin, and guide you as to how to incorporate them in your routine with ease.

First let's start with the basics and see what an active ingredient is and what role it plays in giving your skin the healthy, lit from within glow without layering on the makeup. In educating yourself with each ingredient and becoming a more informed consumer, you’ll be better equipped to drown out the marketing jargon and focus on achieving your skincare goals. Every single active ingredient on a skincare label plays a vital role in delivering the results claimed by the product.

Here is our take on the most notable, as well as effective active ingredients in the skincare world and a quick guide on how to make them a staple in your daily life.

AHAs and BHAs 

Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids are meant for exfoliating dead skin and evening out the skin tone by improving texture and reducing the appearance of pores. Skincare formulations use synthetic forms of these acids, however the Ilana Pro Barrier serum is carefully formulated using phyto derived actives which are much gentler on the skin . Most skincare products are marked as either AHA or BHA and have different benefits when used separately, but, using the two as a combination gives great results. While a simple cleanse is never sufficient to exfoliate, the use of physical scrubs causes micro cuts and abrasions in the skin that create the perfect doorway for bacteria. Hence, the most effective way to get rid of old, dead skin on your face without compromising your 

skin barrier, is using chemical exfoliants aka AHAs and BHAs. As a beginner, using a mild concentration of these actives is sufficient, working your way over time to stronger formulations.

Using an Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acid serum at night gives the skin time to absorb and heal itself while you sleep, while avoiding further irritation from sun exposure during the day. Keep in mind that the use of these acids’ warrants applying sunscreen the following day too. The Ilana Pro Barrier: Phyto AHA~BHA + Ceramide Restore Serum is basically a superfood for the skin, combining the acids with ceramides for a powerful formulation.

Ceramide Serum

Niacinamide

Derived from Vitamin B, Niacinamide is the newest and coolest kid on the block to take the skincare world by storm. It has slowly cemented its status as a holy grail ingredient for most skincare problems. Its collagen producing properties stall signs of ageing while brightening the skin and reducing hyperpigmentation. Since niacinamide is absorbed very easily by the skin, using it as a toner or serum reaps the most benefits. Not only does it react well with other actives, but it can also be applied to the skin multiple times a day and in tandem with other ingredients.

Using a low concentration of Niacinamide like in the Ilana Good Skin Serum, which is formulated with 3% Niacinamide and Phyto Probiotics is the perfect product for beginners, as a higher concentration can be irritating for sensitive skin. It prevents breakouts, redness and counteracts sun damage. It brightens the skin and reduces hyperpigmentation. It reduces the appearance of imperfections for the pore-less, airbrushed finish that doesn’t need an Instagram filter.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C serums are cult favourites for a reason – they yield results. Covering almost any skincare hassle, from fine lines, texture, acne, or dullness it is one of the most potent antioxidants known to mankind. Just as popping a Vitamin C tablet can help fight off infections, applying a serum on your skin helps fight off UV damage and triggers the skin to heal itself by producing collagen. It eliminates dark spots, gets rid of the pesky acne scars that refuse to vanish and helps even out the skin.

While this active is traditionally unstable in nature, its derivatives today are much easier on the skin. Using a low concentration of vitamin c in your routine as a beginner and gradually transitioning to stronger formulations is best if you have sensitive skin. The Ilana Mighty Mulberry Serum combines Vitamin c with Hyaluronic Acid, which helps to keep the skin hydrated, and blackberry extract that helps soothe the skin from any kind of irritation, making it a one stop shop for beginners looking to dive into the skincare game. This, when used in conjunction with the Might Mulberry Mask, which combines the active with other powerful antioxidants, yields even better results.

Ilana Mighty Mulberry Serum combines Vitamin c with Hyaluronic Acid, which helps to keep the skin hydrated, and blackberry extract that helps soothe the skin from any kind of irritation, making it a one stop shop for beginners looking to dive into the skincare game. This, when used in conjunction with the Might Mulberry Mask, which combines the active with other powerful antioxidants, yields even better results.

Retinol

This mystifying, almost intimidating ingredient has some of the most potent, revolutionary benefits when it comes to tightening the skin and boosting turnover of cells. A derivative of Vitamin A, many believe that the banner year to start acting on wrinkles appearing is in your mid-thirties. However, there is no real age at which the use of retinol should begin, as prevention is definitely better than cure in this case. Using this active can be slightly irritating to the skin and the best way to initiate the process is to start with an extremely mild retinoid used only once or twice a week at night. Getting past the early signs of aggravation reveals smooth, texture free skin.

 The most important aspect in forming a regime is to educate yourself on ingredients and pick the ones that have actual benefits in improving your skin. Formulas that are backed by natural ingredients, using probiotics, ceramide, hyaluronic acid and peptides in conjunction with these, tend to be the most result oriented. Indulging in a skincare regime is a form of self-care and if you’re ready to level up your daily skin care routine, the products mentioned above are a safe bet in transforming your skin.

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