Skincare Ingredients You Never Knew You Needed

With so many ingredients and products available to us, it can be a little confusing working out what we should be using in our daily skincare regime for that flawless, glowing complexion. But fear not, Belle About Town has done the hard work for you, and here’s our tips and advice on key ingredients to look out for and effective skin perfecting treatments that will give real results.

Charcoal

Activated charcoal powder is often added to soaps, to enhance the soap’s ability to draw out impurities and toxins as it cleanses. Bean & Boy‘s handmade charcoal soap (£4.95 from Etsy) is a personal favourite of ours. It also contains vitamin-rich avocado oil, moisturising shea butter, cleansing castor oil and vitamin-rich olive oil. The fragrance-free bar has a neutral scent and, contrary to our initial suspicions, doesn’t leave any black residue after washing! Charcoal soap is the perfect blend of beautiful cleansing and soapmaking magic, putting a luxurious and contemporary spin on African Black Soap.

Pomegranate

While pomegranate is a delicious and healthy snack it also has incredible benefits when used in a skin care regime too. The fruit is a very powerful antioxidant which works as a natural anti-ageing remedy. As it is loaded with Vitamin C it plays a key role in the formation of collagen, which all contributes to healthier and stronger skin. This super fruit can be found in the The Jojoba Company Hydrating Day Cream, £22.95 for 50ml, from Holland & Barrett. This daily moisturiser is long acting and works to restore the skins natural suppleness while also protecting against dehydrating environmental effects too.

Marshmallow

Seriously, marshmallow. Those crazy folk at Murad have created the MattEffect Blotting Perfector (£32)  – a first of its kind skincare cushion compact, with a liquid blotting formula that contains Marshmallow Powder. The powder selectively absorbs oil from the skin, but not water, thus preventing skin dehydration. Who knew marshmallow could be so clever?! It instantly mattifies the skin, controls shine and helps to minimise pores. This new skin perfector is also great for post work out. The Antimicrobial applicator works to lower the skin temperature and reduce redness, promoting post work-out recovery. The internal configuration of the sponge allows ‘air’ to flow through during application and gives off a cooling effect while the water-based product evaporates on skin to further intensify the sensation.

Pine Tree

The iXXi range uses pine tree extract as its secret ingredient

More famous for its fresh scent found hanging off rear view mirrors after a trip to the car wash, the humble pine tree has emerged as possessing unexpected anti-ageing properties! Used as the base for a range of products created by French brand iXXi, the pine tree extract OPC PIN is used as an antioxidant and skin restorer, stimulating the synthesis of collagen while inhibiting enzymes which break down collagen fibres. The range consists of a variety of lotions, including a soothing facial cleanser and luxurious body creme. We’ve tried various products from the range and all come out top, or very near it, when compared to most high street brands. Prices start at around £20.

Green Tea

Many of us enjoy it as a drink and know that the health benefits of Green Tea are endless; however, besides putting it in a brew, it’s time to start using Green Tea in our skincare. This powerful green goodness will improve your complexion and its antioxidants will help to reduce puffy eyes and dark circles too. The super leaf can be found in The Jojoba Company intense overnight renewal cream, £34.99 from Holland & Barrett, a luxurious cream that works while you sleep and is packed with powerful natural ingredients that encourage skin renewal. The added Green Tea protects the face from feeling dry whilst protecting it from harmful environmental factors such as pollution.

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is a natural source of Vitamin A and has been used for generations, the natural fatty acids will help to nourish and rehydrate dry and cracked skin. This pure oil works to eliminate the appearance of stretch marks as the nourishing properties helps to speed up the healing process of scars. Rosehip oil is found in another The Jojoba Company product – their 100% Natural Jojoba and Rosehip Oil, £29.95 from Holland & Barrett. This 100% natural product combines the carrying benefits of 100% Natural Jojoba with Rosehip Oil to deliver nutrients to the deeper layers of skin where Rosehip Oil is unable to go by itself. Essentially, it makes Rosehip Oil work even better.

Carrots

Having had the benefits of eating our carrots ingrained in our psyche since school days, it’s no surprise that these vitamin rich veggies can be used to benefit our skin as well as our sight (although we’re still not sure they really do give us magic eyes in the dark…). The Chambers & Co Carrot Tissue Foot balm , £8 online, is formulated to restore, soften and moisturise tired and sore feet. Apparently, Carrot Tissue Oil is rich in B-carotene which improves skin’s barrier functions and increases cell proliferation. Who knew?! This oil also offers skin softening and moisturising benefits and has anti-inflammatory properties, and added Hemp Seed Oil gives it antibacterial and antifungal as well as skin restorative properties.

Gotu Kola & Pink Pepper

When it comes to quirky ingredients used for maximum effect, Lipotherapeia has the monopoly on that one. Using pine bark, horse chestnut, gotu kola (an Indian plant used as salad in India and Madagascar), Chinese pink pepper, and resveratrol (black grapes) amongst other exotic ingredients, they create anti-cellulite creams that help boost circulation and keep the dreaded orange peel skin at bay. Prices start at £45 for 100ml for this self-proclaimed best cellulite treatment in the world, and a course of two stages is recommended for lasting effect.

Glycolic Acid

And finally, don’t be afraid of using a little light acid in your skincare regime! Glycolic Acid can work wonders on your skin and is harmless if used in reputable products. This powerful skincare ingredient which is derived from cane sugar is found in lots of creams and serums but how can it help your skin? Firstly, the light acid will help to penetrate skin deeply – making it an effective ingredient for treating fine lines. Glycolic is sometimes even prescribed to treat major skin problems related to dryness, firmness and texture. Products that contain acid help to remove the top, often dull layer of skin which in turn promotes the production of collagen and helps to boost elastin. Using Transformulas Miracle Daily Glycol Priming Cleanser, £19.95 from www.transformulas.com, is a simple step which will incorporate this wonder acid into your daily skincare regime to help restore a healthier, silkier and more youthful looking complexion.

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!

 

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