The Key Skincare Ingredients That I Have Been Befriending

key skincare ingredients

…And just like that, I’ve completed the first year in my 30s. We all know how well I took to transitioning into another decade so it’s fair to admit that my birthday was mostly spent in the company of my good friend vodka.

I must admit, however, I’ve had a pretty good year. I now understand why many believe that your 30s are the best years of your life. For however great my 20s were, I’ve never felt as confident and as certain of what I want in life as I do now (probably because I spent the majority of my 20s partying).

Along with new found confidence, my 30s brings along clarification that my body is changing. My skin, in particular, isn’t what it once was 10 years ago. I’ve recently dabbled in private dermatologist visits to really understand what my skin needs now that the years are rolling by. Drastic measures needed to be taken along with a few tweaks to my current skincare routine to ensure that my 40s isn’t spent picking my face up from the floor.

Here are the key ingredients that I have been incorporating into my skincare routine now that my 30s are in full swing:-

Hyaluronic Acid

As we grow older, the moisture levels in our body reduces significantly. Hyaluronic Acid, for as scary as it sounds, isn’t what we would typically associate with acids. Hyaluronic Acid is found naturally within human genetics and our ability to produce Hyaluronic Acid declines with age. So what is Hyaluronic Acid I hear you ask – to put it simply, it is a jelly-like substance which cushions and plumps our skin. As we grow older, the cushioning begins to reduce and we’re left with swallow, dry, sagging skin with pesky lines and wrinkles! It’s no wonder why skincare brands go crazy for Hyaluronic Acid as an integral ingredient to many of their anti-ageing products.

I’ve been dabbling in the thought of derma fillers for some time. Popular methods such as Juvéderm use HA rather than collagen for its long-lasting power. Although I’m preparing myself for the years to come, I don’t think I’m quite there yet for botox (I’m also afraid of needles) so for now I’ll stick to topical use and for that I use none other than Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair. Estée Lauder was the first brand to bring HA to the mainstream beauty market and their iconic Advanced Night Repair Serum awards HA as its core ingredient for combating ageing skin.


Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) sounds like something that you would never want to put on your face, but trust me when I say – you need it in your life if you have dry skin like mine!

AHAs, in simple terms, are dissolving agents for dead skin. Imagine a glue that bonds together debris and dead skin particles on the surface of your skin, exfoliation gets rid of them, but requires some vigorous rubbing to do so. AHAs are used as a gentle exfoliant to ‘eat’ the crap off of your skin without causing irritation. Sounds scary right? Not at all. If it’s done in a gentle way and with a small percentage, AHAs can be your skin’s best friend. The most common AHAs are Glycolic, Lactic, and Mandelic Acid. I won’t go into the science behind each one, but Glycolic Acid is my personal favourite as it has the smallest molecular structure therefore penetrating deeper into the skin.

My favourite favourite favourite product of all time is the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Concentrate; which uses 5%  of naturally derived Glycolic Acid to promote cell-renewal and skin resurfacing. Although I take care of my skin well, I suffer with uneven texture and pigmentation around my face. I’m a loyal exfoliator, but despite exfoliating my skin twice a week, I’ve never been able to rid myself of those pesky issues. That was, of course, until I started using Alpha-H Liquid Gold Concentrate; which has made skin appear brighter and more even-toned than ever before.


We’ve all heard of Retinoids, but many of us are unaware of what it really is. Retinoids are a class of compounds; which are derived from vitamin A. Hailed as the ‘cure-it-all’ skincare saviour, Retinoids have been in our skincare products since the 60s.

The first FDA-approved Retinoid was first discovered over 40 years ago as a miracle treatment for acne. In addition to this, Retinol is now also famous for its anti-ageing properties. When Retinol and other Retinoids come into contact with skin, enzymes in the body convert the Retinol into retinoic acid, the active form of the vitamin. This puts the skin cells into gear by increasing cell turnover, stimulating collagen and encouraging elastin production. This also helps to fade hyper-pigmentation as well as helping the skin to stay hydrated and glowing without irritation. Thanks to all this healthy turnover, Retinol can treat and prevent everything from stubborn cystic acne and eczema to sun-induced wrinkles and dark spots.

Retinoids should be approached with caution as many of them would be prescribed to you through a professional dermatologist. There are several over-the-counter products; which include the use of Retinol should you wish to test the waters without having to commit to expensive dermatology visits. Peter Thomas Roth’s Retional Fusion PM is a great alternative to medicated Retinoids and should be used as part of your nightly skincare routine. If you do chose to dabble in Retinoids, please please please remember that SPF must be worn during the day as Retinoids have a tendency to cause sun-sensitivity.

What are your favourite skincare ingredients? Comment below with suggestions of what I should try out next.