Putting together a skin-care routine can often make you feel like you’re playing cosmetic chemist in your bathroom. There are so many different ingredient options out there that it can be hard to suss out which ones deserve a spot in your regimen, which is why we tracked down an actual product formulator— Dr. Sumita Butani, SVP of Innovation at Rodan + Fields—to help make the job easier.
First things first: It’s important to know that there isn’t really a singular ingredient that can magically reverse a particular skin concern. “Instead, it’s a combination of ingredients in formulas that enhance their efficacy and create visibly transformative results,” says Dr. Butani. Because of this, she recommends including a number of tried-and-true, dermatologically-proven actives in your skincare routine. This multi-faceted approach, she says, will give you maximum results… as long as you’ve got the right formulas.
Ahead, nine ingredients Dr. Butani says are worth spending money on for the sake of smooth, plump, hydrated, and—most importantly—healthy-looking skin.
Rodan and Fields Redefine Intensive Renewal Serum — $120.00
“Retinoids are an important ingredient in any skin-care routine—it’s the OG when it comes to preventing and addressing the visible signs of aging,” says Dr. Butani. The ingredient works by stimulating cellular turnover to replace the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin with healthy new ones, helping with issues including acne, discoloration, and wrinkles.
If you have particularly dry or sensitive skin, it’s worth noting that the ingredient can be irritating, so you may want to opt for retinal, a gentle alternative that’s better tolerated and still effective. “Rodan + Fields has a proprietary technology called Retinal MD Technology, which is more effective than traditional retinol without the irritation that often comes with it,” says Dr. Butani.
2. Exfoliating acids
Photo: The Ordinary
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Exfoliating Peeling Solution — $7.00
If your goal is smooth, radiant skin, exfoliants are a must. “Exfoliating skin is a key to achieving an even-looking, smooth complexion, as exfoliants work to buff and remove dead surface skin cells,” explains Dr. Butani.
Rather than shopping for abrasive physical exfoliants, consider gentler exfoliating acids. Alpha hydroxy acids (including lactic, glycolic, and mandelic) work on the surface of your skin, while beta hydroxy acids (like salicylic) get way down deep into your pores to clear away dirt and debris from the inside out. This $7 serum from The Ordinary combines the best of both to leave you with a clear, healthy complexion.
3. Hyaluronic Acid
Photo: Glow Recipe
Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum — $65.00
Hyaluronic acid is known to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, so it not only hydrates the skin but plumps it, too. “For moisture, hyaluronic acid is a must, as it works to supercharge skin with moisture to alleviate any dryness,” says Dr. Butani. “Hyaluronic Acid also has anti-aging benefits, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” </…….