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5 Essential Skincare Ingredients You Need to Have (or Avoid)

To determine which skincare ingredients to add, you need to understand your skin.

Teresa Miguez

November 20, 2020

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Figuring out your skincare routine is a challenge. Keep reading to see which skincare ingredients you need to add to your routine and which to avoid!


Know Your Skin and Identify Your Skin Concerns


To determine which skincare ingredients to add, you need to understand your skin. Ingredients that are good for dry skin will not be ideal for oily skin. To better understand if you have oily, dry, or combination skin, take this quick Skin Type Quiz.


After knowing what type of skin you have, figure out your skin concerns. Do you want to manage your acne? Reduce wrinkles? Tackle dry skin?


Now you can determine which ingredients to add and which ingredients to avoid in skincare products. Note: Always do a patch test before applying new ingredients to your whole face!


1. Lactic Acid: A Jack of All Trades in Skincare


Lactic acid is part of a family of acids called alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs are good for exfoliating skin, treating acne, reducing fine lines, and evening skin tone. Compared to other AHAs, lactic acid is gentler and more effective.1,2 Adding lactic acid to my routine changed my skincare game. This acid is my staple for treating hormonal breakouts. Use a gentle exfoliator regularly to remove dead skin.


Warning: if you use any acid in skincare, you must use sunscreen. Acids make your skin more sensitive to sun damage.3


Good for all skin types. Use with caution if you have sensitive skin. Look for lactic acid in cleansers or moisturizers.


2. Hyaluronic Acid: Skincare Ingredients for Hydration


Despite its name, hyaluronic acid is not like the AHAs you just read about. Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that retains water.4 This acid is very effective at improving skin hydration. Hyaluronic acid is also effective at reducing wrinkles and improving skin firmness and elasticity.5. If you have dry skin, this one is for you!


Good for all skin types. Look for hyaluronic acid in moisturizers.


3. Witch hazel: Natural Ingredients to Manage Oily Skin


Witch hazel in skincare targets excess oil and impurities missed by your cleanser. Witch hazel treats acne, inflammation, and irritation.6 


Witch hazel is also very drying. If you have dry skin, this is one of those ingredients to avoid in skincare products. My cheeks used to be so dry the skin was always flaking. After I stopped using witch hazel, this was no longer an issue.


Best for oily skin. Look for witch hazel in toners or use it alone as a toner.


4. Oils for Skin: The Best Homemade Natural Ingredients for Skincare


If you want to maintain a natural skincare routine, find your staple oil. Oils add hydration and offer a wide range of benefits depending on the oil. For example, argan oil has antioxidant properties. Rosehip seed oil reduces dark spots. Contrary to what you may think, oils make your skin less oily by reducing sebum production.7


Many oils are useful for skincare: argan, jojoba, olive, coconut, marula, and rosemary, to name a few. The best way to find out which oils work best for your skin is to experiment. I went through several different oils before I came across my holy grail (jojoba oil). Alternatively, coconut oil made my skin break out bad, so it's on my list of ingredients to avoid in skincare products.


Good for all skin types. Look for oils in cleansers and moisturizers, or use them alone as a moisturizer.


5. Sugar: Nature's Best Exfoliator


When you think sugar, you don't think of skincare. But if you're looking for homemade natural ingredients for skincare, don't skip over sugar. Sugar is an excellent exfoliator and is gentle enough to use on the face. You can even use sugar to exfoliate your lips. Plus, sugar tastes delicious.


Good for all skin types. Look for sugar in exfoliators. To use as a homemade exfoliator, use alone or add to honey to make application easier.



Feeling Good in Your Skin


An effective skincare routine helps you feel good in your skin. I hope you feel more confident, putting together a routine that meets your needs. Remember always to use patch tests and to have fun!


Share your skin type in the Warriors group chat to get recommendations on products. Or share your best homemade skincare recipe!


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