It's widely available in drugstores, ranging from 2. 5% to 10% concentrations. (To minimize irritation, start with the lowest. ) Try salicylic acid in an allover toner or cream to prevent breakouts, or on pimples if you have sensitive skin—it's gentler than benzoyl, explains Wechsler. "My patients love, love, love AHAs," says Downie, who explains that the powerful exfoliators are genius for clearing up sun damage, hyperpigmentation, acne, and fine lines.
In addition to being a terrific moisturizer, she says, it partners well with other active skin care ingredients (so you can layer it with retinol, for example, and use it daily). "The beauty of hyaluronic acid is that it doesn't have any fine print," says Hirsch. "It benefits any skin type, at any age.
If there's one ingredient lauded more than any other for its wrinkle-fighting, complexion-perfecting abilities, it's this derivative of vitamin A. "Here's the deal with retinol," explains Hirsch. "We were talking about it in 1975, and we're still talking about it now because it works. " In study after study, retinol has been shown to build collagen, decrease fine lines, improve skin's texture, and fight acne.
It's also great in an eye cream to help soften fine lines and spots. "Think of peptides as Legos—they're protein building blocks," says Hirsch of the skin strengtheners.
Okay, these are technically two ingredients—but the pair is name-dropped so frequently in the same acne-fighting sentence that it seems a shame to split them up. "Salicylic acid is a lipid-soluble acid, so it penetrates into oily pores to clean them out, and it's anti-inflammatory too," renowned dermatologist Fredric Brandt once told us. "Benzoyl is antibacterial, so together they work synergistically.
But at the end of the day, there are only a handful of ingredients that have stood the test of time and truly become essential. "In skin care, they're the holy grail," says Cambridge, Massachusetts, dermatologist Ranella Hirsch.
Whichever type you use, you'll want to ease into your retinol use slowly. "I start patients on the mildest version, one night a week at the onset," says New York City dermatologist Amy Wechsler.
What does that mean for skin? "Hyaluronic acid is awesome," says Wechsler.
Which one is right for you? https://t.co/b7nupeBDo1— Glamour (@glamourmag) June 6, 2019