Almost every day I hear of a revolutionary new ingredient that is going to “change the skincare game.” These innovative new ingredients always seem to promise fresh, healthy, more radiant-looking skin, and of course it piques my interest…
As a self-diagnosed “skincare junkie” and VP of Education in the beauty industry, I admit that I am one of the first to dash out and buy the newest skincare and beauty products to give them a try. I’m always curious to see whether these ingredients and formulas live up to all the hype.
In a market with thousands of products to choose from and new ones introduced every day, it can be daunting to predict which of these new and trendy ingredients will truly deliver the results they promise and which ones will fade as quickly as they arrived.
Over the past couple of years, I have seen ingredients like Niacinamide, Retinol, and Hyaluronic Acid gain quite a bit of attention and grow in popularity; there’s a reason for this! These star ingredients are here to stay as true pillars of the skincare industry. Regardless of gender, age, or skin type, these powerhouse ingredients deliver key benefits to the skin with, most importantly, measurable results.
Niacinamide is the newest ingredient to make a front-line appearance in skincare products. As a form of vitamin B-3, Niacinamide can help build keratin proteins in the skin and lock in moisture to prevent environmental damage (think: firmer, more hydrated, and protected skin).
If you suffer from acne, occasional breakouts, or “maskne,” which is most of us these days, Niacinamide can help with treating these conditions by regulating the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce. The result is less breakouts and smaller, more refined pores. Niacinamide also reduces inflammation, which may help ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Looking for anti-aging benefits? Niacinamide has you covered here, too!
New products on the market containing Niacinamide can boost the skin’s own collagen production, reduce hyperpigmentation, minimize fine lines, and improve wrinkles. But how? Niacinamide protects the skin from oxidative stress caused by sunlight, pollution, and toxins. You can certainly eat foods that are rich in vitamin B-3 like eggs, green vegetables, and legumes, but there’s no way to guarantee these nutrients are improving your overall skin health. Topical use of Niacinamide is the best way to ensure this vitamin targets your skin care concerns. To enhance this ingredient’s efficacy, you can pair it with Hyaluronic Acid, which ultimately increases product absorption and expedites results.
Hyaluronic Acid is another buzz worthy ingredient, and one of my personal favorites.
You can think of Hyaluronic Acid as a big glass of water for your skin. Hyaluronic Acid is naturally occurring in the body and can hold up to 1,000 times its molecular weight in water. This star ingredient penetrates the skin and binds water to skin cells infusing all layers of the skin with moisture and leaving the skin feeling immediately more hydrated, plump, and smooth.
Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant meaning that once it is applied to the skin, it will continue to draw in moisture from the surrounding environment for long-lasting hydration. Hyaluronic Acid also fortifies the skin’s natural lipid barrier to help lock in moisture for an even more dramatic hydrating effect. When the lipid barrier is further enhanced and protected by Hyaluronic Acid, the skin is better able to defend itself against environmental aging aggressors and pollutants. When the skin is not fighting against these environmental aging aggressors, the skin appears less wrinkled, brighter, and firmer.
This amazing ingredient is not just for those with dry skin! Even oily or acne prone skin needs hydration and can benefit from incorporating HA into their skincare routine. A lot of people with problematic skin use harsher ingredients that “strip” the skin of oil, which encourages the skin to produce more oil to refortify the weakened lipid barrier. Not exactly what an oily or acne prone customer is hoping for, right?
Higher Education Skincare’s DOUBLE MAJOR® Hyaluronic Acid Gel Moisturizer is the perfect product for those with oily or acne prone skin that want to incorporate Hyaluronic Acid into their skincare routine. This lightweight oil-free gel features Hyaluronix®, a multi-molecular Hyaluronic Acid that contains 3 different molecular weights of HA for ultimate penetration into the deepest layers of the epidermis. DOUBLE MAJOR® also features Niacinamide, the powerhouse ingredient that I discussed in the earlier section.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, I recommend GOAL DIGGER® Soothing Gel Crème. In addition to Hyaluronix® and Niacinamide, GOAL DIGGER® contains skin soothing ingredients like cucumber, turmeric, ginger and kale.
Last but certainly not least, let’s talk Retinol.
Dermatologists, industry veterans, skin-fluencers, and brand founders continue to feature and recommend Retinol, regardless of skin type or concern, due to its visible results.
Retinol is a form of vitamin A that is used to treat acne, reduce wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Rather than simply removing dead skin cells, as many other anti-aging and acne treatments do, the molecules that make up Retinol penetrate into the deeper layers of the epidermis where skin cells are “born”. Once in this part of the skin known as the basal cell layer, Retinol helps neutralize free radicals to boost the production of elastin and collagen. This creates a “plumping” effect that reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores.
At the same time, Retinol has an exfoliating effect on the skin’s surface that improves texture and tone by increasing cellular turnover. As a result of this exfoliating effect, Retinol is very effective in treating mild to severe acne, acne scarring (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), and regulating sebum production. Retinol has also been proven to balance skin’s hydration levels by removing dead skin cells that may lead to moisture loss.
A great product to try when incorporating Retinol into your skincare routine for the first time is MBA® Renewing 0.5% Retinol Serum. Our MBA® formula also contains Sodium Hyaluronate and Beta Glucan, which help the skin retain moisture and reduce redness and sensitivity sometimes caused by Retinol upon first application.
To achieve the best results from this product, start by using it three times a week, every other night, followed by a moisturizer. Retinol is a very active ingredient, so it is important that you allow your skin to build a tolerance. After your first week, increase your application to four times a week, then five, and so on and so forth until you are using it nightly.
My last, and most important piece of advice for Retinol use, is to ALWAYS apply sunscreen when using Retinol. Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more every day to reduce your chances of a sunburn due to an increase in sun sensitivity.
Now that you are armed with the facts behind these trendy and effective ingredients, I hope you feel more confident reading the ingredient labels on your skincare products and determining what ingredients will give you the best results.
Whether Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, or Retinol is best for your skin type, skin conditions, or skin goals, I hope you find that perfect “glow” you are looking for.