A Guide to Understanding the Best Skincare Ingredients for You

A Guide to Understanding the Best Skincare Ingredients for You

We get so many questions about how we choose the ingredients for each of our products that we could probably write an article on each one. Over the past 20 years, there has been an avalanche of data and information regarding skincare, and the industry has made many discoveries and improvements with regard to the ingredients we put in different products. If you’re curious about whether you’d benefit from a particular ingredient or combination of ingredients, this article is a good starting point. We’re going to take you through some of the most important ingredients for keeping your skin healthy, wrinkle-free, and youthful. 

Understanding the Basics of Skincare

Most of our readers know there is no single product that does it all. Like most major skincare product lines, our products are designed to serve different roles in your skincare regimen. Let’s review the purpose of each stage and discuss which ingredients are beneficial for which products. 

Makeup Remover 

While makeup can highlight our natural beauty, it can also clog pores and draw pollutants into the skin. If you’re wearing makeup, make sure you remove it before bed. When it comes to makeup remover, the two watchwords are “effective” and “gentle.” This is particularly important for eye makeup. Our Lash Bath & Conditioner not only effortlessly removes eye makeup and mascara, but it also contains lash-enhancing peptides that condition and optimize lash strength, length, and luster.


This is another essential step that removes the dirt and oil that your skin naturally accumulates. Cleansers need to be strong enough to remove dirt and clear pores but remain gentle on the skin. You should choose a cleanser that’s designed for your skin type. In addition to cleaning your skin, our cleansers are also designed to restore the pH balance. 

Our Serious C3 C Clean is a Vitamin C Ester Facial Cleanser. C Esters are fat-soluble, stable forms of Vitamin C that are encapsulated in Essential Fatty Acids. So, in addition to bathing the skin with gentle surfactants, the C Clean unleashes powerful antioxidants that can quench skin-aging free radicals right in their tracks. Lactic acid is another ingredient that is found in some of our cleansers, which is a gentle exfoliant that helps prepare the skin for serums and creams. 


Serums are designed to be rapidly absorbed by the skin, so it’s essential that the individual ingredients can help it maintain this property. Serums contain ingredients that hydrate the skin, boost collagen production, strengthen elastin, and eliminate free radicals. A hyaluronic acid serum can help bind essential hydration to the skin, which will help to smooth out wrinkles. 

Eye Creams

The skin around the eyes is among the thinnest and most sensitive parts of the human body. Eye cream ingredients must be gentle and easily absorbed. Eye creams often have hyaluronic acid to help the skin retain moisture, ceramides to strengthen the natural barrier of the skin, and glycerin, which draws water into the skin. Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that stimulates collagen production, helping to eliminate eye wrinkles and "crows feet."


Moisturizers are thicker, more viscous creams with a larger molecular weight. Moisturizers are designed to add and retain youth-boosting moisture in the skin, optimizing plumpness, and protecting against transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Premium face moisturizers often contain choice key ingredients to elicit a specific reaction, i.e., wrinkle reduction, elastin building, complexion illumination, etc.

So, now that we’ve reviewed some of the types of skincare products that every regimen should include, we should now discuss different individual ingredients and how they fit into all of these products. 

Exploring Ingredients for Moisture and Plumpness

Let’s start with ingredients that help your skin retain moisture. The more moisture and hydration your skin retains, the more resilient it will be. This plumpness reduces lines and wrinkles. We’ve mentioned a few of these above.

  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA) – This is a sugar molecule that happens to be an excellent humectant, which means that it helps to retain water. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It also helps your skin cells regenerate. 
  • Glycerin – Most people have seen the ingredient glycerin in at least one or two of their skincare products. Like HA, glycerin is also a humectant that draws water into the skin. 
  • Ceramides – These are lipids (fats) that provide a protective barrier over the skin. They work differently than humectants, which hold the water. Ceramides prevent water loss by reducing skin surface evaporation. 
  • Retinoids – These ingredients are derived from Vitamin A and can stimulate collagen production. The more collagen in your skin, the plumper it will be. 
  • Peptides – These are short chains of amino acids that can be used to increase collagen and elastin production. In other words, they make your skin appear thicker and tighter. 

There are many other ingredients that can add moisture to your skin or help it retain moisture. However, the above-listed ingredients are some of the most prolific in science-based skincare products.

Anti-Aging Ingredients for Timeless Beauty

There are several factors that make skin appear more youthful. As we age our skin becomes thinner, less elastic, and shows signs of damage. To counter these aging effects, we incorporate ingredients that hydrate the skin, promote collagen and elastin production, and work to quench free radicals. Here are some of the anti-aging ingredients you can find in Serious Skincare products:

  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C reduces the oxidization of the skin by neutralizing free radicals.  Free radicals are elements with unpaired electrons that combine with oxygen atoms. If that’s a little too science-y for you, free radicals can damage the cells that produce collagen (fibroblasts). 
  • Retinoids – We covered these in the last section, but in addition to hydrating skin, retinoids can stimulate collagen production, making skin thicker and plumper. 
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – These can include glycolic and lactic acid. They gently exfoliate the skin, which clears the dead outer skin cells. 
  • Squalane – This is a lipid that is similar to the natural oils in your skin. It provides a protective barrier to help your skin retain moisture, similar to ceramides.

The ingredients we included in the previous section may also have properties that fight the skin’s aging process. In addition to the above ingredients, you should also include a product that blocks the ultraviolet rays of the sun. We recommend using a product with an SPF of 30 or higher. 

Ingredients for Sensitive and Irritated Skin

If you have sensitive skin, it’s important to use products with gentle ingredients designed for you. If any product irritates your skin, discontinue use immediately. Serious Skincare has multiple products for every stage of your skincare regimen. If one doesn’t work for you, chances are that we will have another that suits your needs. 

Here are some of the ingredients that work well with sensitive skin: 

  • Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) – This ingredient has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling and defuse redness. 
  • Green Tea Extract – This ingredient contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is also an anti-inflammatory. 
  • Chamomile – This plant also contains anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help to reduce irritation. 
  • Aloe Vera – This is particularly helpful for sunburns, as the glycoproteins found in the aloe vera plant reduce inflammation while the polysaccharides accelerate cellular growth and repair. 

Tips for Finding the Right Skincare Products for You

There are different skin types, so a product that might work well for your friend won’t necessarily be ideal for you. Here are a few tips to ensure that you find the products that will get you the best results. 

Know Your Skin Type 

Most skincare product manufacturers categorize skin as normal, dry, oily, or combination. If you’re not sure which type of skin you have, this might help:

  • Oily – is shiny even before you’ve applied products or makeup.
  • Dry – feels tight, flaky, or scaly. 
  • Combination – Your t-zone is shiny, but the rest of your face is either normal or dry. 
  • Normal – Your skin feels hydrated and comfortable.

Match Products to Your Skin Type 

Skincare products that are designed for oily, dry, or combination skin are almost always labeled that way. In the absence of a label, the product is probably designed for normal skin. Some products may be designed for all skin types, but never assume that this is the case. 

Establish a Morning and a Nighttime Skincare Regimen

Your skin has different needs in the morning (after you’ve been asleep) and at night (after you’ve been out in the environment). Develop a skincare regimen and follow it as closely as possible. 

Stick With a Brand

If you like a product from a specific brand, try others. For instance, if you enjoy the results of Serious Skincare's clear skin products, consider trying some of our other product categories, like A-Defiance, Serious C, or our Glycolic line. 

Know When to Drop a Product

A product may not work for you for numerous reasons. You may have an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients or it may just not be a good product for your skin. If you aren’t getting the results you’re looking for, discontinue use. Serious Skincare has a 30-day return policy where you can receive a refund for the unused portion of your product. 

We use high-quality ingredients to create our products. Discover the Serious Skincare difference today!


Back to blog