Look for these ingredients to target your specific skin care concerns.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
Skin Care Decoder with Identification
Credit: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Mary Beth Wetzel

1. Retinol

Consider retinol (vitamin A) the antiaging MVP. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles by resurfacing skin. Encapsulated formulas provide a gentler process that’s ideal for sensitive skin.

Try It: CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum, $20; ulta.com

2. Glycolic Acid

The tiniest of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), glycolic acid is a go-to for even exfoliation. It boosts cell turnover, resulting in improved tone and texture as well as more radiant skin.

Try It: SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser, $38; dermstore.com

3. Ceramides

The waxy molecules found naturally in the skin’s outermost layer are a power player for soothing irritation and dryness by rebuilding and strengthening the lipid barrier.

Try It: Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream, $60; sephora.com

4. Vitamin C

Fight back against dullness with a complexion-brightening antioxidant that works double time to shield against current UV damage and also minimize issues from the past.

Try It: Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal Serum, from $48; dillards.com

5. Hyaluronic Acid

This hydrator, which is actually a sugar that’s naturally produced by our bodies, can hold more than 1,000 times its weight in water. Products that employ its thirst-quenching skills are formulated to sit on top of skin, providing a blanket of hydration.

Try It: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, $25; ulta.com

6. Salicylic Acid

When applied to oily and acne-prone skin, the most commonly used beta hydroxy acid (BHA) works to lightly exfoliate, reduce breakouts, help smooth bumpy skin, and unclog pores.

Try It: Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, $30; dermstore.com