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6 Active Ingredients to Look for in Skincare Products

6 Active Ingredients to Look for in Skincare Products

By Beverly Fischer on March 20, 2019

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common active ingredients in skincare products

Your skin is as unique as your personality, and you need to take care when developing a skin care regimen that will stave off sun damage, wrinkles, adult acne, and other woes, keeping your face looking fresh and vibrant throughout your life. While it’s true that certain ingredients are recommended to counteract common signs of aging as you graduate from one decade to the next, the truth is that you have to address issues particular to your skin if you want the best results.

With so many beauty products on the market these days, you could easily spend an arm and a leg trying to look your best, and you may not get the results you expect. For this reason, it’s important to understand the active ingredients most commonly found in skin care products so you can select the most potent and effective cleansers, moisturizers, serums, and so on for your pretty face.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

Alpha-hydroxy acids can help to reduce the signs of aging in a number of ways. Not only can they treat and prevent fine lines and wrinkles, but they’re also adept at addressing age spots and other irregular pigmentation. They can even help to reduce pore size.

The citric, glycolic, lactic, and tartaric acids that make up this category can have side effects like mild skin irritation and sensitivity to the sun. You should still start slow, applying products every other day to see how skin reacts, and always use sunscreen in conjunction with products containing alpha-hydroxy acids.

Copper Peptide

This is a relatively recent addition to the skin care market – it’s only been around for approximately 20 years. Nevertheless, it has earned a solid reputation as a powerhouse of regeneration, thanks to properties that promote the production of skin-firming and smoothing collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans. It also acts as an antioxidant, fighting harmful free radicals that can damage skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

Often paired with vitamin C to improve absorption, hyaluronic acid (or glycosaminoglycan) is sometimes cheekily referred to as the fountain of youth because of its penchant for stopping or even reversing common signs of aging, such as wrinkles.

L-Ascorbic Acid

It’s not unusual to see vitamin C touted as a prime ingredient in skin care products, but you want to look specifically for a form of vitamin C known as L-Ascorbic Acid. This antioxidant is instrumental in stimulating new collagen production, helping to minimize fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and sagging.


If you choose only one active ingredient to fight the signs of aging, make it retinol, a vitamin A derivative that is small enough to penetrate the lower layers of skin (where collagen and elastin are found). It delivers a laundry list of benefits, including improvements to fine lines and wrinkles, skin tone and texture, irregular pigmentation, and overall hydration. It can, however, irritate sensitive skin, so use sparingly to begin with.

Salicylic Acid

Also known as beta-hydroxy acid, this common ingredient is a renowned acne treatment that sloughs away dead skin cells that can clog pores, improving the color and texture of skin damaged by the sun in the process.

If you need help treating skin issues that undermine your confidence, contact the team at the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery today at 410-308-4700 or to schedule a nurse consultation to learn more about other facial rejuvenation treatments, such as Halo, Forever Young BBL, Chemical Peels and more!

Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery | (410) 308-4700 | Website | More posts

Dr. Beverly A. Fischer is passionate about her role as a leading female plastic and cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland and beyond. She believes that plastic surgery makes a positive, life-changing difference, whether you’re renewing your body, face, and skin or embarking on an entire gender transition.

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