AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) are acids found in natural substances such as sugar cane, milk and citrus foods. In skincare, the acids are often listed as citric acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid. Apart from being a natural moisturising agent, AHAs mainly act as a chemical exfoliant to break down dead cells on the surface of your skin. Pores will then be unclogged, which in turn helps to fade pimple scars and prevent the formation of acne to reveal a smoother, softer and brighter complexion.
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, $51, Sephora
While AHA helps to remove dead skin cells, BHA (beta hydroxy acid), one of the most common is salicylic acid, 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 super hydrating, helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improves skin’s firmness.
Cosrx Natural BHA Skin Returning Emulsion, $27.90, Watsons
#3: Centella Asiatica
Centella asiatica extract is a plant-based ingredient found in many skincare products. It has been gaining popularity for its healing properties and other therapeutic benefits. The multi-tasking extract is rich in amino acids, beta-carotene, fatty acids and numerous phytochemicals which are said to help treat acne scarring, calm inflammation, promote collagen synthesis and even has anti-ageing properties.
Innisfree Bija Cica Balm, $35
Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream, $36.90, www.lazada.sg
#4: Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most popular ingredients to give you radiant, clear skin. Known for its brightening effects, it reduces the production of melanin to lighten acne scars, hyperpigmentation and dark spots. It also has exfoliating benefits (these gentle, brightening facial peels are great for brides!) to help remove dead skin cells so your skin will feel softer and smoother and can better absorb the rest of your skincare. One thing to note, it is always important to store your vitamin C products in a cool, shaded area (placing it in the refrigerator is recommended as well) to prevent it from getting oxidised, which can cause the product to lose its beneficial effects and may even irritate your skin.
Skin Inc Vitamin C Serum, $68
Alpha-H Vitamin C Serum, $112, Sephora
Clay isn’t just used in pottery, the calming ingredient is also found in many clarifying and acne treatments because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to soothe skin, shrink pores, absorb excess sebum and detoxify. Acne can form when skin overproduces sebum (We tried these sebum-reducing 5 facial cleansers so you don't have to), which then encourages the production of bacteria leading to clogged pores. Clay helps to absorb the excess oil and dirt while tightening enlarged pores to combat acne. Since it has anti-inflammatory properties, it also helps calm and soothe irritated skin and prevent acne from forming.
Laneige Mini Pore Waterclay Mask, $38
Dior Hydra Life Pores Away Pink Clay Mask, $92
This story was originally published in Female Singapore.