Here’s a list of popular skin-care ingredients and processes you should familiarize yourself with to take the best care of your skin both at home and with a professional.
Activated charcoal—Traps and absorbs impurities on the skin and in pores; it’s usually used as a face mask.
Antioxidant—Protects the skin from environmental aggressors, such as UV rays and pollution.
Benzoyl peroxide—A topical antiseptic that can treat acne and other skin conditions.
Ceramides—Waxy lipid molecules found naturally in the skin that trap moisture and keep skin soft. Products with ceramides help replenish moisture to your skin.
Cleansing—A process where a gentle cleanser is applied and rinsed off to rid skin of excess dirt and oils.
Double cleansing—Thoroughly washing the face twice with two different types of cleansers—an oil-based cleanser and a water-based cleanser.
Essence—A water-based skin-care product, applied after toner and cleanser, that contains a high content of active ingredients to hydrate and protect the skin.
Exfoliating—Ridding the skin of dead skin cells by dermaplaning, scrubbing, or applying a peel with enzymes.
Extractions—Compacted or clogged pores are cleared by a professional using a tool or gentle pressure.
Humectant—A substance that helps the skin retain moisture. Common humectants include glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid.
Retinoids—The small molecules that make up retinoids go deep beneath the epidermis layer of your skin to the dermis layer to produce collagen, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Salicylic acid—Cleanses the skin and pores of excess oil and reduces overall oil production with daily use.
Toner—Removes any last traces of impurities after cleansing and balances the skin’s pH.
*Consult your dermatologist before introducing new ingredients to your skin.