20 Words You Need to Know Before Buying Skin Care Products

Skin care products are full of beneficial ingredients, but how do you know what they really are, what they do, and why they’re good for your skin? Here’s a start. Keep an eye out for these 20 watchwords the next time you pick out something new for your skin care routine.


Injectables pertain to any non-surgical procedures that involve the injection of substances such as Botox, Juvederm, and Restylane into the face. An injectable can fill in spaces, add volume, or dissolve fat.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

AHAs are chemicals that help to eliminate dead skin cells by loosening the fluid that causes them to stick to the skin cells on the surface of your skin. It stimulates the process of cell turnover and reveals softer, smoother, younger-looking skin in the process.

Beta Hydroxy Acids

Look for BHAs on your skin care products if you want to smooth away fine lines and wrinkles, penetrate your pores, and bring balance to your skin tone. They are chemical exfoliants that can easily banish dead skin cells, sebum, and other residues.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a well-known BHA that’s particularly good at cleaning out pores and balancing pigmentation.



Antioxidants are practically magic. Many products contain antioxidants in their ingredients list. An antioxidant can be a vitamin, a botanical, or a chemical. They reduce and even block the skin damage caused by free radicals.

Free Radicals

Free radicals have a disastrous effect on the skin. These molecules are incredibly unstable. Certain environmental factors, such as cigarettes, sunlight, and other types of pollution, create free radicals in your body, where they cause damage to the cells. That leads to sagging skin, a rough texture, and wrinkles.

Amino Acids

Remember your high school biology classes? You might have heard of amino acids there. Amino acids are responsible for building the essential proteins that form both collagen and elastin. Skin care with amino acids can provide your skin with more support.


Collagen is an essential protein that helps your skin to maintain its elasticity. The breakdown of collagen that occurs as you age can result in saggy skin and wrinkles. There is such thing as too much collagen, so learn how much collagen to take daily and make sure to stay within the recommended intake. Collagen injections can also help restore lost collagen, resulting in a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.


Even more flexible than collagen, elastin helps maintain your skin’s ability to bounce back.

Glycolic Acid

This is an AHA that comes from sugarcane. It’s a popular ingredient in personalized skin care products because of its ability to exfoliate and smooth the texture of your skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide

For skin care products that aim to clear your skin, clean out your pores, and eliminate the bacteria that causes acne, benzoyl peroxide is a powerhouse ingredient.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally existing molecule in your skin. When added to your skin care routine, it moisturizes and staves off dehydration and dry skin by preventing the loss of water.

Aloe Barbadensis

The pH in Aloe Barbadensis is identical to the pH of your skin, making it a soothing ingredient in your skin care products.


These small fragments of protein can enhance the growth of collagen. Peptides can also repair your skin, resulting in a smoother complexion and more youthful appearance.

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Beta Carotene

Better eat your carrots. This powerful pigment eventually turns into vitamin A, which is an essential antioxidant that enhances skin cell turnover and overall growth.

Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C is another name for ascorbic acid, which is a powerful antioxidant that increases the production of collagen in your body. It also keeps your skin tone balanced and even.

Citric Acid

The appearance of citric acid in a skin care product means that the product can balance oily skin thanks to its astringent properties.

Jojoba Seed Oil


Jojoba seed oil, or jojoba oil, mimics the oil that already exists in your skin. Applied to your skin, it hydrates and moisturizes without filling your pores with extra oil or pollutants.

Vitamin E

An all-star ingredient in the skin care industry, vitamin E not only moisturizes your skin but also protects it from damage caused by free radicals.

Argan Oil

Argan oil extract is ideal for skin and hair. Packed full of vitamin E, it absorbs into the skin quickly and moisturizes in an instant, smoothing out fine lines as it does, but it won’t clog your pores or leave your skin with an oily residue.

Are there any ingredients that you watch out for when choosing new skin care products? Let us know what you look for and what you avoid.

Article by Tess DiNapoli

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