A Beauty Lover's Guide To Everything You *Actually* Need In Your Skincare Routine
BeautyAcne

A Beauty Lover’s Guide To Everything You *Actually* Need In Your Skincare Routine

If you make frequent trips to Sephora and Ulta, you know that many skincare brands come up with new products every month with the promise to transform your skin from bleh to wow.

And if you are at all like me, you will not hesitate to spend money on products that ‘guarantee’ perfect skin because investing in skincare is smart—wink!

I used to think that wrinkles were the only signs of aging but thanks to Dr. Shereene Idriss (LOVE HER!) of Union Square Lazer Dermatology in New York, I learned that lines, volume loss, the color of your skin, elasticity, and your bone structure all show signs of aging.

Before I swipe my credit card for any new face mask that might plump all the fine lines in my face I do my research. And after years of reading and trying products, I can tell you that there are five ingredients that everyone should have in their skincare routine. There are many options so you can pick the product that is in your budget.

Here is that list and what they do for your beautiful skin.

1. Retinol To Fight Wrinkles And Treat Acne

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A and is well-known for its wrinkle-fighting and complexion clearing powers. Many studies have shown that retinol can decrease fine lines, improve skin texture, build collagen, and treat acne.

Prescription grade retinol (retinoic acid) is the priciest and can work the quickest but it can really dry your skin. It is best to ease in to retinol and when you do make sure to moisturize a lot, use it only at night and make sure to wear extra sunscreen during the day since retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

A few recommended options…

Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3

Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Filler

2. Vitamin C For The Glow

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that stimulates collagen production, evens out spots, and gives your skin that boost of glow. You should pick a higher concentration of Vitamin C for best results for sunspots, dullness and discoloration, which is inevitable as you age. It’s the best brightening agent for your skin.

A few recommended options…

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Drops

3. Hyaluronic Acid For The Most Moisture

The main function of hyaluronic acid is to retain water and keep your cells lubricated and moist. It keeps your skin plump because it is one of the world’s tiniest elements that attracts and retains water. It keeps your skin hydrated and is great for all skin types. Who doesn’t want hydrated skin? The more you moisturize your skin the more hydrated it will be and the younger it will look.

A few recommended options…

STACKEDSKINCARE Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum with Champaca Essence

L’Oreal’s Revitalift Derm Intensive Hyaluronic Acid Serum

4. Peptides For The Firming Action

Peptides are strings of amino acids that help make up all the proteins in our body like our hair and skin. Studies show that peptides can boost collagen production and you should start using them in your late 20s or early 30s when your skin doesn’t feel as taut as it did in your early 20s. There is no harm in adding this to your skincare routine sooner. It makes your skin firm and smooth.

A few recommended options…

Drunk Elephant Protini™ Polypeptide Moisturizer

Derma E Advanced Peptides & Collagen Moisturizer

5. Alpha Hydroxy Acids For Silky Smooth Skin

What I love the most about Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) is that they are a great exfoliator which helps with clearing sun damage, hyperpigmentation, acne, and fine lines. Glycolic acid is one of the most popular AHAs which promotes new skin cell production. Another popular AHA is lactic acid that is less harsh but still chemically exfoliates your skin like magic. AHAs tend to make your skin more sensitive to the sun so use them at night and alternate them with your retinol.

A few recommended options…

Sunday Riley’s Good Genes All-In-One-Lactic Acid Treatment

Pixi By Petra Glow Tonic


Now you are ready to be the responsible adult who loves and takes care of your skin, and trust me, it will show.

Bonuses for more beautiful skin but I am sure you know them all:

a.   I cannot stress this enough but wash your face as soon as you get home or before bed with a gentle cleanser to get rid of all the dirt, impurities, and makeup.

b.   Moisturize your skin—both day and night. Do not forget your neck, chest, and the back of your hands as well.

c.   Wear SPF every day whether or not you leave your house unless you live in a cave.

d.   Add some cardio to your life because it will increase your blood flow and help nourish the skin cells.

e.   Drink tons of water. It hydrates your whole body.

f.    Get decent sleep because your body repairs and renews itself as you sleep.

Do all that and you will look like the best version of yourself. You may still have the skin you were born with but now onward, you have the skin you deserve. Stay beautiful and take care!

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Mainers and Chicagoans call me 'AnjyRajy' <3 Follow Anjana on Instagram or read more articles from Anjana on Thought Catalog.

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