Superpower Skin Care Ingredients That We're Calling MVPs

Look for these ingredients to target your specific skin care concerns.

Skin Care Decoder with Identification
Photo: 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;

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;

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;

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;

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;

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;

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