Not all beauty products are made equal and, with the addition of one of a handful of hard-working ingredients, you can take your regime from simple to SUPER. Naturally derivative or just highly effective, we showcase the uber-ingredients that are more than worth their salt.
A hard-working BHA – beta hydroxy acid – salicylic acid is a no-brainer for blemish-prone skin. This naturally-occurring acid clears dead cells from the skin’s surface, while reaching deep into pores to melt away excess oilthat can lead to breakouts. Combined with pore-tightening, antibacterial andanti-inflammatory properties, it can prevent acne when used regularly, and even correct dark spots.
Find it in Plenaire Violet Paste
Start slow. Salicylic acid can dry out the skin so be sure to follow with a good moisturiser
A plant-based alternative to a compound found naturally in skin, squalane promoteslasting moisturisation by restoring the skin’s barrier.It draws moisture from the air and is readily absorbed, helping treat eczema and dermatitis thanks to anti-inflammatory powers. Squalane also blocks free radicalsthat accelerate ageing and boosts collagen production for firmer, plumped skin.
Find it in Squalane
Particularly beneficial for sensitive skin, try it in oil form or opt for a squalene-enriched cream
Stimulating goodness with grit, coffee is the beauty ingredient that goes beyond your morning espresso. Active against fluid retention, it de-puffs undereye bags and reduces dark circles by dilating blood vessels under the skin. It also packs a powerful antioxidant punch to brighten, calm and reduce inflammation – great after sun exposure – and improve signs of ageing like sun spots and fine lines.
Find it in Montamonta Sage + Coffee Body Scrub
Naturally exfoliating, try a coffee-based scrub to minimise cellulite and leave skin glowing
A natural healing complex, try zinc for fast recovery of breakouts and skin irritation. Antimicrobial properties soothe and calm, helping to clean and tighten pores by lifting away oil that can lead to clogging. Antioxidant zinc is active against ageing too, breaking down the build-up of free radicals while boosting collagen and elastin production. An effective shield against UVA and UVB rays, look to it as a mineral sunscreen too.
Find it in Aesop Sage and Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream
Try a multi-tasking zinc moisturiser to protect, heal and target ageing
Feeling off-balance? Try probiotics to restore good bacteria back to stressed skin. Applied topically, they strengthen the skin’s barrier and defend against free radicals, delivering antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties to ease acne, rosacea and eczema. They can even slow signs of ageing by smoothing wrinkles, minimising age spots and stimulating cell renewal. Use a probiotic cleanser to replenish essential flora that would otherwise be stripped away.
Find it in Aurelia The Probiotic Concentrate
Living probiotics are delicate so check your skin care for storage tips and expiry
It’s not new to the scene but cannabis’ sober cousin is making its mark on the beauty world. Hemp seed oil’s omega-rich fatty acid profile deeply moisturises and boosts skin elasticity, while humectant properties suck moisture into the skin – and keep it there. It’s non-comedogenic, so won’t clog pores either. Hemp oil is the only plant source of vitamin D, and acts as an anti-inflammatory to target redness and even aid eczema.
Find it in Herbivore Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil
Use hemp-based oils as a hydrating pre-treat under moisturiser to retain plumped, dewy skin
Not just for Valentine’s Day, roses can work wonders on your skin. Whether as rose water or pure rose oil, this natural antioxidant protects skin cells from damage, enhancing hydration and delivering a nourishing vitamin hit. It soothes redness and calms skin irritation too, thanks to its built-in anti-inflammatory effects. A gentle antibacterial, it also helps to heal up acne and scars, while its anti-ageing powers can minimise fine lines.
Find it in Susanne Kaufmann Rose Water Mist
Carry a soothing rose water spritz to take on skin SOS moments throughout the day
First up, nature’s toxin magnet. Detoxifying charcoal attracts and absorbs impurities on contact, yet cannot be absorbed by the body, so stubborn toxins are flushed away with it. Extra points if it’s ‘activated’, i.e. heat-treated to increase its surface area and, in turn power of absorption. Look to charcoal to regulate oilier complexions; it soaks up sebum, exfoliates and prevents breakouts by clearing and tightening pores.
Find it in Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant
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Extended contact super-charges the effects: try a masque or tooth polish for maximum results.
There’s more to aloe than acne, psoriasis or eczema. Sebum production is reduced, banishing shine, while cell turnover is accelerated and moisture is locked in, leaving smooth, hydrated skin. What’s more, aloe packs a cocktail of antioxidants and boosts collagen production, making it a key player in natural anti-ageing.
Find it in Kiehl’s Soothing Hydration Masque
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Try aloe to minimise stretch marks: it heals from within and improves elasticity for visible results.
We all know vitamin C can transform your diet but have you tried adding it to your beauty regime? A potent antioxidant, this natural miracle can reverse sun damage by neutralising free radicals and evening out irregular pigmentation. This, combined with a boost to collagen production, effectively combats the signs of ageing; choose a vitamin C-enriched cream or serum for a brighter, tighter complexion with greater elasticity.
Find it in LIXIRSKIN Vitamin C Paste
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Look for vitamin C under its chemical names, ascorbic acid and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.
The beauty buzzword to get behind, hyaluronic acid delivers a skin boosting moisture-shot for intense hydration that lasts. This super-molecule holds humectant properties, pulling water from the environment to retain skin’s moistur levels and ensure a smooth, dewy complexion. Not just a hydrator, hyaluronic acid works as a fast-acting solution against visible signs of ageing, leaving skin plumped and firmed with fine lines erased.
Find it in Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum
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Use it post-cleansing, pre-moisturiser, to lock in moisture and create a smooth base for makeup.
AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, are the liquid exfoliators revolutionising skin renewal. Often naturally-derived – look for glycolic or lactic acid – these clever chemical solutions offer a gentle alternative to abrasive scrubs, dissolving the bonds between old and new cells so dead skin cells can be lifted away. Over time, expect AHAs to regulate skin texture, minimise acne and erase hyperpigmentation, leaving skin glowing, balanced and super smooth.
Find it in Malin & Goetz AHA Treatment Solution
Ease in by starting on a low concentration, until you find one that suits your skin‘s needs.
Lauded for its youth-restoring abilities, retinol is the vitamin A derivative that serves as a powerful force against skin ageing. By boosting cell turnover and collagen production, the dermatologist-approved ingredient works to reveal firmer, de-wrinkled, even-toned skin. While its at-times-fearful reputation needn’t be a deal-breaker, introducing retinol slowly is crucial for avoiding nasty side effects like flaking and redness that can accompany misuse.
Find it in Pixi Retinol Tonic
Retinol can sensitise skin to UV rays so reserve it for night-time and always use a daily SPF.
Once the preserve of healing spa therapies, mud is making its way into our bathrooms, thanks to its knack for drawing out impurities, absorbing excess oil and stocking the skin with vital nutrients. A naturally-rich melting pot of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients, it delivers a restorative boost that invigorates from within, deeply soothing and aiding relaxation. And, if getting dirty is the key to clearer, brighter skin, we’re here for it.
Find it in Omorovicza Ultramoor Mud Mask
Maximise on mud’s healing powers by giving it ample to time to penetrate as a mask or soak.
Algae & Seaweed
Primed as the next big thing in anti-ageing, algae could be nature’s key to younger-looking skin. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, think of algae-rich skin care as the spirulina of your regime, packing all its antioxidant benefits. The humectant properties that help algae maintain moisture keep skin soft, hydrated and saturated with nutrients, while amino acids and omega-3 boost detoxification for flawless skin that glows with health.
Find it in Seed to Skin The Awakening Marine Salt Scrub
Algae also encompasses seaweed so look out for products listing the marine miracle plant too.
Touted for its healing ability since the Ancient Egyptians, copper is the not-so-new substance staging a fight against skin ageing. Occurring naturally in skin, this powerful element promotes collagen production to tighten, reduce wrinkles and boost elasticity, while its antibacterial properties help to combat inflammation. Doubling as a potent antioxidant, it can even erase visible signs of stress and pollution, like hyperpigmentation.
Find it in Omorovicza Copper Skin Peel
Optimise absorption with a concentrated treatment, cream or serum that takes its time to sink in
Finally, an answer to stressed, sensitive skin. The next K-beauty-approved super ingredient is cica – or centella asiatica – an ancient wound-healing herb, rich in antioxidants and amino acids. Now, the power of cica has hit our skin solutions, used to combat dryness and soothe irritated, inflamed skin associated with eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. It even combats wrinkles, boosting collagen production and repairing the skin’s barrier for a smoothing effect over time.
Find it in Kiehl’s Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser
Switch to a cica-infused cleanser to wipe away redness and irritation along with the day’s makeup