INGREDIENT CHECK LIST
Vitamin A Speeds up skin cell regeneration to prevent further clogging and reveal newer, clearer skin, while preventing clogging in the first place. Consider it the gold standard. These are key forms: Retinol – from 0.15%-1% depending on skin tolerance. Retinaldehyde – or retinal, vitamin A aldehyde – from 0.015%. Adapalene – more stable to light and oxygen compared to tretinoin (and available over the counter). Isotretinoin – a good option for severe acne. Tretinoin – the strongest, prescription-strength vitamin A.
Acids These are the expert exfoliators – great for getting out the gunk before it causes any upset. ‘The percentage of acids depends on whether the products contain one type of acid or a combination. The rule of thumb is single acids should be from 10-15%,’ recommends Dr Williams. Look out for: Azelaic acid – with antiinflammatory benefits. Salicylic – speedy at penetrating pores (avoid during pregnancy). Glycolic acid – shrinks pores while improving scarring. Lactic acid – less irritating and great for sensitive skin types. Mandelic acid – ideal for brightening skin.
Vitamin B Inflamed skin needs some soothing TLC to get it back on track. Consider adding calming vitamin B3 and B5 into your routine with a savvy serum like Skinceuticals Hydrating B5, £65, or Drunk Elephant B-hydra Intensive Hydration Gel, £52.
Avoid: harmful stabilisers, mineral oils or heavy metals and opt for non-comedogenic (non-pore-blocking) make-up.