Skincare Expert Shares 6 Buzzy Ingredients That Actually Work

The celebrity esthetician recently shared her top “must use” ingredients. Photo credit: Getty Images Plus

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Throughout her 30 years of experience in the skincare industry, renowned esthetician Renée Rouleau has watched many a trendy skincare ingredient rise and fall. However, there are a few key ingredients that have secured their spot Rouleau’s arsenal—tried-and-true favorites that actually work:

  1. Hyaluronic Acid – This famous ingredient is found naturally in the skin’s dermis and can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, effectively helping retain moisture and providing tone and contour to the skin. Over time and with continued use, fine lines and wrinkles can decrease in appearance. Although it is target toward providing hydration, hyaluronic acid can provide benefits to all skin types.
  2. BHA (Salicylic Acid) – A keratolytic beta hydroxy acid, this ingredient has the ability to reduce acne-causing bacteria, prevent blemishes, and fade discoloration. Salicylic acid penetrates pores to clear out impurities, leading to smoother, more even-toned skin, especially for those who are oily and acne-prone.
  3. Retinol – Retinol is the purest form of vitamin A and a cell-communicating antioxidant that encourages faster cell turnover by stimulating collagen and activating cellular metabolism. Famous for its incredible anti-aging results, the ingredient rapidly fades brown spots and discoloration and has a firming effect.
  4. AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) – Alpha hydroxy acids—which include glycolic, lactic, and fruit acids—chemically exfoliate away dead surface cells, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, age spots, and enlarged pores to create younger-looking skin.
  5. Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate – Vitamin C is known for its efficacy in lightening brown sunspots, preventing blackheads, evening out skin tone, encouraging collagen production, preventing environmental damage, and reducing both hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. It is also infamously unstable and can cause stinging. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, however, is a stable, no-sting form of vitamin C that retains all of its beneficial qualities while eschewing its less desirable ones.
  6. Zinc Oxide – Zinc oxide is an ingredient found commonly in mineral sunscreens, which tend to be the safest , least irritating, and most effective protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc forms a physical barrier on the skin and reflects them rather than absorbing them like chemical sunscreens.