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5 Common Ingredients Used in Skincare that You Should Know

by Melanie Peterson

When it comes to skincare, understanding the ingredients is key to choosing the right products and treatments for your skin and its conditions. Although there are now many different types of products available in the skincare industry, the ingredients they use have largely remained the same.

Keep reading to learn five of the most common ingredients used in skincare and their potential effects on your skin so that you can choose the right products and treatments for you.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA)

AHAs are exfoliating ingredients that are either manufactured chemically or derived from natural fruits and sugars, or milk. They help to break down the glue that holds your dead skin cells together so that you can remove them while also brightening up your complexion. AHAs may also help with removing fine lines and wrinkles on the skin, and correcting irregular pigmentation.

The most commonly used AHAs in skincare are lactic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid and glycolic acid. As AHAs can be quite strong (especially due to their harmful side effects on increasing sunlight sensitivity), it is recommended that beginners start with skincare products containing 10-15% of AHAs.


Hydroquinone is used most often in bleaching skincare products such as creams or lightening agents. Due to its strong effects, it is mostly used in products targeted at individuals experiencing hyperpigmentation as a result of age spots, or dark spots related to hormone therapy or due to pregnancy. Hydroquinone can sometimes be combined with sunscreen to further protect the skin from pigmentation caused by sunlight.


Retinoids is a common ingredient used in skincare for sensitive and acne prone skin. It helps with improving the condition of acne, removing acne scarring, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles and brightening the skin.

Some examples of retinoids used in skincare products and treatments are retinol, retinal aldehyde and retinyl esters. Ingredients like retinol contain vitamin A and as such, are also found commonly in anti-aging skincare products and treatments.


Polydioxanone is a type of absorbable polymer which is made of flexible and durable polymer. It is most commonly used in structuring skincare treatments such as thread lifts. Matrix PDO mono threads are an example of a skincare treatment which contains polydioxanone. The polydioxanone in PDO threads can help to tighten up the skin and smooth out fine lines.

The effects of polydioxanone can last anywhere between six to twelve months, while also inducing natural collagen production in the body. This will also help produce the tightening effect of thread lift treatments.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a substance which occurs naturally in humans and animals, and is a component of our body’s connective tissues. It helps to cushion and lubricate tissues, causing a smoothing out effect. However, as we grow old, our body produces less and less hyaluronic acid. As a result, many skincare products contain hyaluronic acid to replenish the skin with the helpful substance. 

Skincare products and treatments containing hyaluronic acid are mostly used to treat wrinkles and to hydrate and firm out the skin.

As seen above, there are many important ingredients used in skincare. To make sure that you use the right skincare products and treatments, read up on the common ingredients used in the industry, such as those covered above.

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