You cannot use all the serums (trust us, we’ve tried!). With all the noise in the clean beauty space, how can you choose which trending skincare ingredients are going to make the biggest impact on your skin?
We asked three of the most-trusted women in skincare to share which trending skincare ingredients are worth the hype, plus our time, money and effort! Here’s what made their shortlists…
Dr. Nancy Samolitis, MD, FAAD
Co-founder and medical director, facile + facile skincare
Niacinamide is vitamin B3 and has many skin benefits. It increases moisture content in skin by reducing evaporation and therefore strengthens the skin barrier. It has anti-inflammatory properties making it useful in acne or rosacea prone skin. It reduces transfer of melanin pigment into the top layers of skin preventing excess pigmentation. Finally, and most important, it reduces oxidative stress and DNA damage protecting the skin against pre-cancerous changes. Product to try: facile Super Serums.
Tranexamic acid has been found to be a revolutionary molecule for improvement of melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It works via a different mechanism than other skin brighteners making it excellent to use in combination with other melanin-reducing agents. It reduces the effect that the blood vessels have on increasing amounts of pigmentation by blocking the activation of plasminogen. It may have secondary benefits for reducing redness as well. Product to try: facile Brighten Serum.
Phytosphingosine is a phospholipid molecule that is present in all types of cells. It has been found to strengthen the skin barrier by acting as the “glue” that holds the cells together. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties making it a useful adjunct in treating and calming acne and eczema. It is incredibly gentle and tolerated by all skin types. Product to try: facile Destress Serum.
Celebrity Facialist, Founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skincare
Epidermal Growth Factor is the most forward-thinking ingredient in skincare. I love that modern medicine is now playing a role in the way we think about our skin.
EGF is a type of peptide or protein chain that was developed specifically to speed up wound healing at the cellular level. It’s perfect post-laser because laser creates wounds on the skin’s surface in order to stimulate collagen production. The combination of wound healing and collagen stimulation is a transformative process for the skin. My EGF is a vegetable source, so it’s clean, healthy and beneficial to any skin type.
Product to try: Joanna Vargas Twilight Face Mask.
Founder of Marie Veronique
Use retinol nightly. If you want to combat signs of aging — use retinol. If you have adult or teenage acne — use retinol.
We recommend starting retinol use in your early thirties, when your cell turnover rate begins to slow down. As you age, retinol will work to slow inflammaging (inflammaging is shorthand for the chronic inflammation that is the principle culprit in the aging process) by returning skin cells to previous levels of function, before cytokine-releasing senescent cells raise levels of inflammation from sporadic to chronic. Retinol is the only ingredient we know of that can actually reverse some signs of photodamage that have already occurred.
Of course, prevention is better than remedial action, so wear sunscreen starting at three and retinol starting at thirty and you’ll look great at ninety, without breaking a sweat.
Product to try: Marie Veronique Multi Retinol Night Emulsion.
Apply Vitamin C topically daily. Vitamin C helps protect your skin from photoaging by scavenging free radicals. It is also the rate-limiting step in collagen production in the dermis, which is why we say, ‘no Vitamin C, no collagen.’ Once applied, Vitamin C is still working three days later, so you can apply Vitamin C serum in the morning and retinol at night and still get all the antioxidant and collagen-building power your skin needs.
Product to try: Marie Veronique Vitamins C+E+Ferulic Serum.
Use niacinamide (Vitamin B3) daily. Niacinamide is the primary precursor of NAD+, a coenzyme central to proper cellular metabolism. NAD+ is particularly beneficial at the mitochondrial level, that is, inside the cell. Mitochondrial efficiency diminishes as we age, but NAD+ acts to limit the mitochondrial DNA damage which naturally occurs. It also provides UV protection, and studies show it helps inhibit hyperpigmentation as well. It can be applied either day or night. Product to try: Marie Veronique Soothing B3 Serum.