The average woman spends £570 a year on skincare. For that kind of money, there’s one thing we all expect: results. Whether it’s reducing the look of wrinkles, easing symptoms of eczema or treating acne, we all want our products to deliver. But if you’re not willing to leave your before and afters to chance there’s something you can do – layer! When the right ingredients collide skincare magic happens.
I’m sharing the ingredients you should mix and match to get the most out of your routine. And the best bit? You may have them lurking in your skincare stash already….
#1 Vitamin C and E
Best For: Dull/City Skin
External aggressors are one of the skin’s biggest enemies. Over time, things like cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes disrupt the skin’s collagen matrix and weaken the skin’s barrier (to name but a few). That’s why antioxidants are our best friend; they act as a shield, plus promote natural collagen production. Vitamin C is one of the most popular antioxidants and is best loved for its brightening abilities, but Vitamin E, adored for its nourishing abilities is a close second. I say, why settle for one when you could use them both.
When Vitamin C and E are used together, they work even harder to prevent photodamage from UVA rays (wrinkles, pigmentation). With both ingredients in your routine, you’ll have a double dose of antioxidant protection – free radicals and UV damage won’t have a chance!
Vitamin C’s antioxidant power is best applied in the day time to protect; vitamin E will help to repair, so use that in the night, or as a day cream over a vitamin C serum.
Vitamin C: EUCERIN Hyaluron-Filler 10% Pure Vitamin C Booster
With more vitamin C than 200 oranges, this serum means business when it comes to evening skin tone and improving radiance. The 7-day treatment is also highly tolerant so is suitable for sensitive skin, and contains low weight hyaluronic acid to moisturise, plump and smooth.
Vitamin E: Avene Les Essentiels Revitalising Nourishing Cream
Vitamin E is a hardworking antioxidant, but it also has significant moisturising benefits, which is why you’ll find it in creams like this one. Avene Les Essentiels is a day cream that pairs vitamin E with natural fruit-extract to speed-up cell renewal and improves the skin’s healthy, hydrated glow. It’s the perfect remedy for skin that’s feeling dehydrated and looking dull.
See our team’s radiant results after using the Vitamin C Booster for a week.
#2 Retinol and UV Filters
Best for: Anti-ageing
If you’re using retinol and don’t wear sun protection daily, you’re wasting your time, money and are potentially doing more harm than good. Retinoids are best-loved for their anti-ageing powers; they work wonders at reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. But, the sun causes 80% of skin ageing – so by not wearing sunscreen, you’re undoing all your hard work. If that’s not enough; retinol accelerates the formation of new cells, which makes the complexion sensitive and more prone to sunburn. The solution? Always wear sun protection. And, if you want to be even savvier, add vitamin C into the mix too; using vitamin C and SPF supercharges your protection against the sun thanks to vitamin C’s antioxidant powers.
Tip: Apply retinol at night – the sun can break down their formulas and make them ineffective. Follow with a broad spectrum SPF the next morning.
Retinol: La Roche-Posay Redermic Retinol Anti-Ageing Concentrate Intensive
Redermic R is one of the must-have retinol creams in French skincare. Loved for its wrinkle-smoothing abilities, it contains 0.3% retinol and soothing La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water which makes it suitable for even sensitive skin.
SPF: Clarins UV Plus HP Multi-Protection Day Screen SPF50
If you’re looking for no-nonsense suncare, this is it. The Clarins UV Plus offers high broad-spectrum chemical sun protection, so you’ll know you’re shielded from both UVA and UVB rays. Lightweight and oil-free, the formula glides over the skin to create a beautiful canvas for makeup.
#3 Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid
Best for: Acne and Pores
Salicylic acid, a BHA, and niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 are similar ingredients. Both have anti-acne/ageing abilities but work in very different ways. Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, so it’s able to penetrate deep down into pores, unclog them and reduce sebum production. Niacinamide, on the other hand, reduces sebum production by minimising glyceride and fatty acids of surface sebum, which in turn improves skin texture and reduces pore size. You may think it’s one or the other, but combining the two is a recipe for flawless skin, especially if pores are your concern.
Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide: Caudalie Vinopure Blemish Control Infusion Serum
If you’re not a fan of multiple skincare steps finding a single product with both ingredients is perfect. The Caudalie Vinopure Serum pairs salicylic acid and niacinamide with polyphenols to clarify, tighten, and smooth. The best bit is it can be used all over or as an on the spot treatment to banish pesky blemishes!
Read more about Caudalie’s acne-fighting Vinopure range in this review.
#4 Hyaluronic Acid and AHAs
Best For: Everyone
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) can be potent. They’re water-soluble acids made from sugary fruits that remove dead skin cells and excess sebum from the surface of the skin. Hyaluronic Acid, however, despite the ‘acid’ in its name isn’t. Also known as hyaluronan, it’s a sugar found naturally in our bodies and can hold 1000 times its weight in water. Thanks to its hydrating qualities, it acts as the perfect match for acids and helps to replenish, soothe and plump the skin.
Lactic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%
If you’re curious about peeling treatments but want to ease yourself in this is the ideal choice. The AHA and hyaluronic acid serum gives skin a mild exfoliation to help improve the look of blemishes, fine lines and dullness, while added hyaluronic acid helps soothe inflammation.