The Top 10 Ingredients I look for in Skin Care

I've learned that if you want to create a powerful skin care regimen, you have to be a little geeky with it and go a bit deeper by getting to know ingredients better. Getting to know what goes into your skin care products is knowing what works, what will potentially cause allergies, at least to your skin, and which products to combine to come up with a set that works.

In this post, I'm going to share with you the top ingredients that I always look for in skin care. For reference, I have combination oily/normal skin, gets hormonal acne (though mild to moderate), and non- sensitive. Read on and discover the skin care ingredients I swear by!

Photo Credits: beenaturals.com


- Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 is a precious ingredient and even skin scientists and researchers I've talked with agree on this. Niacinamide is "battery" for the cells as it boosts its activity, making skin more receptive to skin care products.

Photo Credit: wikipedia.org


- Glycerin is what keeps your skin moisturized and hydrated throughout the day because it gathers moisture molecules present in the air and keeps it locked in your skin. The result is fresh, hydrated- looking skin the whole day!

Photo Credit: wikipedia.org


- Panthenol is a very good moisturizer and lubricant, and is a common ingredient in hair conditioners. It is also known as Vitamin B5 and has a low toxicity rating.

When Panthenol is applied to the skin, it is converted into Pantothenic Acid, making it more powerful as it finally has the capacity to penetrate deep into the skin and provide hydration to skin tissues. If you're looking for moisture that penetrates skin, for realz, go for skin care with Panthenol.

Photo Credit: echa.com


- An SPF ingredient I swear by not only because it is categorized as natural sunscreen and great for sensitive skin, but also it's good for the environment! Titanium Dioxide is a mild type of sunscreen that even 'for baby' sunscreen products use this as the active SPF ingredient. Another environment- friendly SPF ingredient is Zinc Oxide.

Photo credit: chemistry.com


- There's only one Beta Hydroxy Acid (or BHA) and that is Salicylic Acid. Salicylic Acid is an effective anti- acne ingredient and exfoliant that aids skin in the shedding process of dead skin cells. There's also another acid family and that's Alpha Hydroxy Acid (or AHA) and these are mainly fruit and plant derived (e.g. Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, and other fruit acids), but I prefer BHA more because it's fat and water soluble while AHA is water- soluble only; our skin is a combination of sebum and water, and given this, BHA can withstand its composition and penetrate skin better.

Photo Credit: medicalnewstoday.com


- Zinc is often an overlooked ingredient in anti- acne skin care regimens, but I'm here to tell you that Zinc is just as powerful in keeping those zits at bay! Zinc is a great anti- inflammatory and anti- bacterial mineral, plus it also helps boost overall skin health, making it more resistant to breakouts.

Photo Credit: wikipedia.org


- Also known as Hyaluronan, Hyaluronic Acid can also attract moisture present in the air similar to Glycerin, but it's also known to hold a huge capacity of moisture, which makes it great for dry skin types and for night time skin care regimens. Aside from keeping skin hydrated, Hyaluronic Acid also has the ability to replenish moisture in the skin.

Here's a quick differentiation between HA and Glycerin: Hyaluronic Acid replenishes moisture, Glycerin locks in moisture.

Photo Credits: thebestproductsinfo.com


- I like the presence of antioxidants like Vitamin E and Vitamin C (the fat- soluble type) in my skin care because it makes me feel that my skin is protected on the outside as well, plus they're great, gentle anti- aging ingredients.

Photo Credit: cosmetoscope.com


- Our skin has NMF or Natural Moisturizing Factors; these are components of human skin that help regulate moisture; we can also think of it as 'workers' that help utilize moisturizing and hydrating ingredients that you put on your skin. Urea is what is excreted by the liver and it makes up 7% of NMF; as we age, Urea decreases and this results to dry, aged skin. Having Urea in skin care helps keep skin hydrated and prevents it from looking dry and wrinkly.

Urea in skin care is called Hydroxyethyl Urea; it is not to be confused with Urea that is used for industrial purposes.

Best of all, I can combine most of these ingredients in one regimen with minimal to no breakout and side effects. Of course, if you have sensitive skin, that's a different story; consult with a dermatologist first prior to using any of these ingredients heavily, most especially if you have compromised or sensitive skin.

Hope you learned something new today!

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22 Lovely Thoughts

  1. I enjoyed reading this post it somewhat brings me back to my chemistry class. I'm great at the subject but, poor on application to real life that's why zits stays with me.

  2. Totoo naman lahat na needed tlga Yan ng skin natin lalo na different skin types pa naman tayo, we wanted an ingredient na di naman basta2. Our face skin is delicate naman tlga so sana we make sure and check ang mga ilalagay natin sa mukha natin!

  3. When buying skincare products, i usually scan the ingredients list first. I usually go for products with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid especially for serums and moisturizers. I also like products that contain zinc and vitamin c, as they are proven to enhance wound healing. I also take note which ingredients should not be used together at the same time, so that i get the optimal benefit from each of my products. I agree that you have be geeky with skincare. You have to know your own skin and which ingredients work best for you, and not just buy whatever is uso.

  4. Nose bleed po ako hahahaha. I remember competing way back in high school chemistry. I nailed balancing of elements then hahahahah. But as they said when you don't use it, you lose it. hahahaha

  5. I hurriedly get my skincare products and check if they have those ingredients 😂 It took awhile to finish reading as i go from each bottle and luckily most of my skin care products have those ingredients. I definitely learned something new about this ms martha. Thanks for letting us know more about the ingredients that our skin care has. 😘

  6. Hey your blog is very nice, such useful information you are sharing. I really like your blog the information is very accurate and if you want to know more about free ad posting service,www.helpadya.com there is another website with best information.

  7. Oh my gosh, I was about to search online for this topic on skin care, and luckily I found your blog post on this. Thanks for sharing Ms Martha. I have learned a lot from this post. Cheerio!

  8. Gosh! I hate science hahahaha! Im not interested though with the symbols and meanings. Nababaliw ako lalo na nung highschool. Halos di na ko nakikinig sa teacher koo! But well, Martha yan eh! Thank you for this now that I know some, I might read the ingrefients first before buying haha

  9. OMG! This is worth to read and share! Perfect guidelines for buying skin care product. Now I know kung bakit makinis at mabilis mawala pimple marks mo Ms. Martha. And napansin ko din na ang glooming mo. 😊😊 Ittake down notes ko toh para may reference ako bago bumili ng mga skin care products. 😊😊😊

  10. First time to read a post like this. Thanks for sharing po! Malaking tulong since halos same po tayo ng skin type. Kakainis lang minsan yung mga makeup na may titanium dioxide kasi may white cast pag flash photography haha. Pero for skin protection naman kaya keri na :)

  11. super informative! I love this post! thank you thank you thank you

  12. This is so informative and very well-written Ms.M. Ngayon ko lang naintindihan ng mabuti about BHA and AHA. Planning to buy COSRX products po kasi that's why I'm digging on some infos and this blog post of yours is very helpful. Thank you for sharing Ms.M! ❤

    1. Hi. BHA is one of the synthetic chemicals. According to this web page, https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Ingredients/ucm107943.htm:
      "...FDA advises that similar precautions be taken for the use of cosmetics containing AHAs and BHAs. These precautions are:

      Test any product that contains a BHA on a small area of skin before applying it to a large area. If you use cosmetics with BHAs and experience skin irritation or prolonged stinging, stop using the product and consult your physician.
      Follow the use instructions on the label. Do not exceed the recommended applications.
      Avoid using BHA-containing products on infants and children.
      Use sun protection if you use a BHA product.
      *From a chemist's perspective, salicylic acid is not a true BHA. However, cosmetic companies often refer to it as a BHA and, consequently, many consumers think of it as one."

    2. Hello, Meredel. Thanks for posting this insight.

      I have read that BHA is naturally- occurring in plants and the most known source (at least to consumers) is Willow Bark, the source of Salicylic Acid; it is used in ancient medical preparations for more than a century due to its anti-fungal properties.

      It is also true that BHA is being synthetically produced in laboratories due to cost- effectiveness.

      So there is natural and synthetic BHA.

  13. Woah. Felt like I was back in Chemistry class with this. I guess ine of the reasons why I am an avid follower because your posts are relatable, very informative and entertaining and we have the same skin type. It's just that I have a bit of sensitivity issue with other products -- like Korean skincare and makeup. Huhuhu. Japanese skincare suits me well though.

  14. Mahilig ka rin po pala sa skin care ms.martha! Me din po skin care first then makeup second! Anyway very nice yung ganito kasi para di maapektuhan yung face natin from harm ingredients ng mga makeup :)

  15. Wow! Magti-take note ako nito. This is sooo informative.. thank you martha! Love your works as always..

  16. I've been looking for a post like this for DECADES! I've always wanted to do further background check on the ingredients of the products that I buy. I now realize that it's truly a must since last time I bought a lot of products (w/o researching for the ingredients), it caused me to break out. Nadala na po ako huhu :( Thanks for this! I love the fact that you incorporated actual images of the chemical structure/ingredients. Makes it easier to memorize/remember. Looking forward to more skin-geeky/techy posts like this, Ms. Martha! :)

  17. Woooow I didn't even know most of these 😱 Thanks ate for sharing, will surely look for them too sa products na bibilhin ko for the skin or face. ❤ Ako naman, lagi kong chinecheck if may Paraben na ingredients yung products na bibilhin ko. Kasi if meron, it may cause more pimples na magparty sa face ko. This entry is so uselful ate lalo na sakin na tambayan ng pimples ang mukha :( haha

  18. OMG Ms. Martha medyo naalog ung brain ko ng beri beri light :) Too guilty because I am that kind of person minsan na bumibili lang but not checking the ingredients :) So this is a lesson for me Ms. Martha :) Thank you for sharing Ms. Martha! Super as in super informative po nito :)

  19. Waaaaaah I've never found a person like you who is so extra alwaaaaays! You even posted the structure of each element & chemicals needed by our skin! Sobrang informative po! Now ko lang narealize kung gaano ka important ang skin care! Thank you ate! Parang nagbago na ang perspective ko. Haha. More into skin care na ako rather than make up! Haha! #ChangeOfPlans 💕💕💕 ILY ate! mwa!

  20. Sis, relating to the article above. Which skincare products do you use or what regimen do you have that pretty much has all the above ingredients?


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