Not sure which order to use your products in? See our illustrated guide below! A rough rule of thumb is to always apply products in order of ‘thickness’/viscosity, and to apply actives as close as possible to your bare skin. Note that we are not recommending that you use all of the products in this guide at once!
An acronym for Alpha Hydroxy Acids, AHAs are derived from various plants that gently removes dead skin cells by breaking down the bonds between the cells and the fresh new skin underneath. AHAs commonly used in skincare formulations include glycolic, lactic and mandelic acids. AHAs, unlike BHAs, are humectant which means that they attract moisture to the skin and will exfoliate without drying. As AHAs reveal the delicate new skin to the surface, sensitivity to sun exposure is substantially increased so sun protection should always be applied when using any product with AHAs and for at least a week after the last application.
AHAs are primarily used for improving signs of fine lines, dry skin and an uneven skin tones.
Any substance that helps to reduce free-radical damage which causes cells to break down or destroys their ability to function normally, thereby destroying collagen and other components which are vital to healthy skin. Many vitamins have antioxidant properties, including vitamins A, C, and E.
Retinols are forms of Vitamin A which are used in skincare. They work to rejuvenate the skin, speeding up the natural exfoliation cycle and signaling new cells to the skin’s surface. Retinol also promotes collagen production which naturally starts to decline from around the age of 30. Retinol has the ability to improve the overall quality and appearance of the skin including evening skin tone, smoothing wrinkles and refining the appearance of pores. Retinol does have the potential to cause irritation, however, so should be introduced into a skincare routine slowly, building up to nightly use over a few weeks. As it has an exfoliating effect by speeding cell turnover, retinol does increase photosensitivity so sun protection should always be worn when using any Vitamin A products.
BHAs are a group of chemical exfoliants that are anti-inflammatory and oil-attracting. They cut through pore-clogging oils and clear blackheads, minimize large pores, and calm the skin. Salicylic acid and betaine salicylate are popular BHAs used to treat acne because they are anti-inflammatory and help to minimize wrinkles and brighten the skin. BHAs are recommended for those who have acne-prone sensitive skin as they are preferable to physical scrubs which may create small, invisible cuts to the skin’s surface and increase irritation.
Ceramides are naturally occurring skin lipids (fats) which are major components of the skin’s outer structure. Ceramides are the building blocks of the skin’s protective barrier and help to keep it healthy. They also boost the cells’ abilities to maintain hydration which is essential for supple skin and keeping wrinkles at bay.
Collagen is a component of the dermis layer of the skin that provides support and structure. Collagen is naturally broken down by an enzyme called collagenase and regenerates itself on a regular basis. However, sun exposure and ageing can cause this rate of breakdown to surpass the rate of renewal. A loss of collagen will appear on the skin as wrinkles, sagging and enlarged pores. Certain forms of Vitamin A can stimulate collagen production to combat these signs of ageing.
Copper peptides have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can rejuvenate the cells in aging skin tissue, boosting the production of collagen and elastin. Unfortunately our skin’s levels of natural copper peptides naturally decline with ageing. Although copper peptides are generally promoted as anti-ageing ingredients, they also encourage healing and generally improve the condition and health of the skin.
A ‘free radical’ is a highly charged, unpaired electron that travels through the body in search of an electron to bind with, causing significant tissue damage in the process. Free radical damage is the main cause of degenerative conditions in the skin, such as wrinkles and skin discoloration. Free-radical damage is promoted by sun exposure, cigarette smoke, herbicides, pesticides, pollution, and solvents.
Glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) which is a chemical exfoliant that helps to slough off dead skin cells to renew the skin’s surface. Primarily used to improve the exfoliation process, glycolic acid helps to reduce the appearance of aging, pore size, and hyperpigmentation to reveal a more even and brighter complexion.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring hydrating agent which works to restore the skin’s moisture content and defend it against moisture loss. Holding up to 1,000 times its weight in moisture, the application of hyaluronic acid has a plumping effect on the skin. As a loss of moisture leads to early signs of aging and loss of elasticity, hyaluronic acid helps to replenish the skin and protect it against ageing.
Niacinamide, a form of niacin also known as Vitamin B3, is an essential nutrient which works to visibly reduce the appearance of large pores, regulate oil production, resurface and brighten the skin’s surface, and combat early signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier against environmental damage, reducing redness and irritation.
Peptides are short chains of amino acids that make up proteins and have an effect on skin function, such as stimulating collagen production for example.
Snail secretion filtrate —also known as snail mucin—is a super ingredient that works in a variety of ways to improve the condition of the skin. It helps to firm and tighten the skin, increase collagen production, fade acne scars and hyperpigmentation in addition to increasing hydration. It also has anti-microbial properties which help to fight against acne-causing bacteria.
Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid which is a form of vitamin C, is one of the most powerful antioxidants in skincare. Vitamin C is known for its firming and brightening benefits and its ability to reduce the appearance of age spots and sun-damage related hyperpigmentation. This incredible vitamin also helps to protect the skin from environmental stressors and sun damage.
Vitamin E, which you will often find in ingredients lists as Tocopherol, in is a naturally occurring lipid-soluble vitamin that is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E inhibits collagen breakdown and other signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles and loss of hydration. Your body can’t produce this vitamin naturally, so your skin will benefit from topical application.