Skincare ingredients for beginners

Discover how to match ingredients to your skin concern

SPF for beginners

Using a cocktail of ingredients in your routine is the key to ultimate skin health. However, there are a few ingredients that really shine when it comes to tackling specific concerns like rough texture, clogged pores and uneven tone.
It can be hard to recognise these superheroes and match them to your skin concerns when looking through ingredient labels, so we’re highlighting each one and how they help achieve your skin goals.
We’ll start by breaking down the results you’re likely to see from each ingredient so it’s easy to find the right pairing for you, but remember that every ingredient carries extra benefits too!

Rough texture – AHA (alpha hydroxy acid)

Comes in many different forms. We recommend: mandelic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid. AHA is a non-abrasive way to exfoliate the skin and it is leave-on so there’s no need to rinse it off. Much gentler for the skin than any scrub or brush would be. Works above the skin’s surface. Great option if you are looking for an ingredient to smooth and soften your skin surface.

Clogged pores – BHA (beta hydroxy acid)

You might also read it as salicylic acid, the form of BHA for cosmetic use. This is a non-abrasive way to exfoliate the skin just like AHA, but BHA works below the skin’s surface helping to remove debris from the pore lining. Because of this, it is the #1 ingredient for anyone prone to clogged pores.

Redness – Azelaic acid

Can be made from natural grains or lab-engineered, though the synthetic form is much more stable and effective. A real multi-tasker – azelaic acid soothes the skin and interrupts whatever may be causing your skin to act up. Perfect if you are struggling with redness from sensitive skin or left over from breakouts.

Not seeing your match yet? We’ll go a little deeper below with an extra ingredient before continuing the breakdown.

SPF for beginners

Uneven tone – Vitamin C

Comes in many forms, with ascorbic acid being considered the most effective. Make sure your vitamin C skincare isn't in a jar or transparent packaging, else it has difficulty staying effective. Because vitamin C has all the research to back up its brightening benefits, it is truly worth the hype if you want to balance out your skin tone. We do recommend applying in the morning so be sure to follow with a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher.

Wrinkles – Retinoids

Comes in many different forms. We recommend: retinol, retinaldehyde, retinyl propionate. If you have sensitive skin, look for lower percentages and if you are pregnant, avoid using retinoids altogether. With a proven track record of anti-ageing efficacy, retinoids are the ingredient of choice for anyone wanting to maintain their youthful glow. Simply remember to follow with an SPF 30+ for daytime use.

Enlarged pores – Niacinamide

This ingredient offers benefits from percentages as low as 0.2% and is safe to use all the way up to 20%. Effective for anyone, no matter your skin type or concern.
This makes it a great starter ingredient if you’re unsure what your skin needs but want to supplement your routine with a powerhouse antioxidant that helps with the appearance of pores.

Lack of firmness – Peptides

Comes in many different forms which all carry their own benefit, but keep in mind that synthetic peptides are made to be more stable for the skin. Again, avoid jars! Think of peptides like the fundamental building blocks of your skin, adding them to your routine helps restore your skin when it no longer bounces back like it once did.


Remember, your skin works best with a rich mix of antioxidants, restoring and replenishing ingredients. Simply incorporate your choice of the above into your routine for visible results.

Have you found a few that’ll work well for you but wondering if you can pair them in the same routine? We’re here to cut through the misinformation and tell you how to use ingredients like retinol and vitamin C at the same time.
Also consider the season, as some ingredients will really help support your skin during winter compared to summer.


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