Photo: Instagram / valerie_wang

There are a hundred and one skincare woes and concerns out there. To protect your skin, you need these five essential ingredients, like a staple diet for great skin.


#1: Hyaluronic Acid

This is one of the main and most common ingredient used to replenish moisture to skin. I cannot stress the importance of hydration as it is the key to achieving soft, supple skin. It also regulates cell renewal and maintains skin’s moisture and elasticity. Hyaluronic acid is able to hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water, giving amazing benefits to dehydrated skin. Because it also plumps up skin, this helps to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. The result: a soft, smooth and healthier-looking complexion. Try: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches, $98, Sephora.


#2: Ceramides

Ceramides are lipids molecules that help to hold skin cells together, forming a protective layer on the outermost part of the epidermis to help plump skin and retain moisture (think of it as the cement that helps stick bricks together). It is also used to replenish the natural lipids in our skin that gets lost from exposure to harsh environmental factors (ugh, pollution) and during the ageing process. They restore moisture, strengthen skin’s natural barrier and help protect it against environmental stresses. Because the ceramide levels in our skin decline with age, it is crucial to use skincare products that contain ceramides to ensure skin is well protected and does not lose its elasticity. Try: Skin Inc Ceramide Serum, $68.


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Photo: Instagram / peterthomasroth


#3: Peptides

Think of peptides as the building blocks of your skin. Incorporating these amino acids into your skincare routine helps boost collagen for a plumper complexion, making it one of the go-to ingredients when choosing an anti-ager. They can do everything from keeping skin firm to fighting wrinkles. Not only does it help to stimulate collagen growth, peptides also delivers copper into skin to boost the healing process of wounds and scars. Try: Biotherm Blue Therapy Eye, $70.


#4: BHA (Beta hydroxy acid)

The best way to treat blackheads? By using products that contain BHA. One of the most common is salicylic acid, which penetrates into the deeper layers of your skin to remove dirt, oil, blackheads and whiteheads. It dissolves the blockages that cause pimples and has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Besides unclogging pores, BHAs also speed up the healing process of acne and scars. It is also hydrating, helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improves skin’s firmness. Try: Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, $31.90, Watsons.


#5: Niacinamide

More commonly known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a skin-restoring ingredient that helps to reduce enlarged pores, diminish signs of ageing and treat uneven skin tone. It also boosts the production of ceramides to ensure skin is plump, helps skin maintain an optimal moisture level and protect it from harmful environmental aggressors. Niacinamide also helps to regulate oil production so you don’t have to worry about excess shine. Try: Dr. Jart Cicapair Re-cover SPF 30PA++, $77, Sephora.


This article first appeared in Female.


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