Every year it seems like there's some beauty ingredient that promises a perfect complexion. When it comes down to it, however, which product components are actually good, and which ones should we be avoiding? "The majority of over-the-counter products are all pretty safe," explains celebrity dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer. "It's just a matter of how they are used. If a product is misused, that's a different story." But there are a few ingredients, when used correctly, of course, Dr. Lancer puts on his must-have list. Find out more when you keep reading.
The Must Haves:
- Vitamin C: "No matter what, you need to have some sort of vitamin C component," explains Dr. Lancer. The reasoning? Vitamin C encourages the growth of collagen, the elastic tissue that gives skin its healthy-looking, plumped appearance.
- Retinol: Retinol is a synthetic form of vitamin A. But its purpose? "It's used to improve the skin cell repair cycle," Dr. Lancer explains, "and vitamin A is required for the skin to repair itself."
- Hyaluronic acid: "Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it brings moisture to the skin and allows it to remain there." Think of it as a dehydrating preventative that gives skin its bounce.
- Glycolic acid: Dr. Lancer also recommends a glycolic acid, or some sort of fruit acid, which assists in the sloughing off of dead skin cells.
- "As far as the not-haves, some ingredients are exotic and therefore expensive, and for some people it might have added value, but it's not cost effective," he states. So remember: just because the price tag is high, doesn't mean the benefits are equally as elevated.