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More Ingredients Your Skin Is Craving

With the collective focusing more on self care than ever, more and more research is being done on skin care and the ingredients being used. You don't have to be a licensed esthetician or skin care enthusiast to care about or know what ingredients are in the products that we use. In fact, the skin care industry had an increase of 16% since the pandemic started. That means while people were adjusting to working from home, they were also sitting at their stations with sheet masks and eye gels.

As a licensed esthetician and licensed esthiology educator, this just so happens to be one of my favorite classes to teach my students, so why not bring this knowledge to my global classroom and educate you guys on some amazing ingredients that you'll love too.


According to Dr. Alexis Stephens, a board certified dermatologist, niacinamide (ni a sin a myde) is "one of those ingredients that plays well with most of the kids in the sandbox." Whether your skin is oily/acne-prone, or you're looking for an anti-aging solution, when applied to the skin, niacinamide provides amazing benefits. The vitamin B derived ingredient helps build proteins in the skin, locks in skin's moisture by strengthening skin's barriers, and even minimizes the look of pores. My recommendation would be Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% by The Ordinary. Zinc is known to treat smaller breakouts, so when used together, this products helps to reduce the signs of congestion and visible sebum activity. Simply put, it helps to lower the amount of oil produced on the skin. It's also a great alternative to Vitamin C for acne prone skin.


Squalane, not to be confused with squal(e)ne, is naturally derived from olives. It can be both an occlusive and emollient ingredient, depending on the amount of ingredient being used in the product. Squalane as a main ingredient helps to lock in moisture that has been absorbed into the skin. It also helps to replenish skin's natural moisture barrier. Squalane also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties reducing redness and swelling, aids in collagen and elastin production, and travels across the skin with ease, but doesn't clog pores. Why use squalane? Well, as a dry skin baddie that is almost, always doing something to irritate my skin, squalane helps to calm irritation, soothe my skin and overall, seal in any hydrating ingredients that I've applied to my skin. I recommend the 100% Naturally Derived Squalane by The Ordinary.

Photo by Jene Yeo on Unsplash


Resveratrol is an antioxidant powerhouse! It is derived from the skin of red grapes, and has a number of amazing benefits that include anti-aging, brightening, and boosts collagen production. Resveratrol works well with other antioxidants like ferulic acid and niacinamide. Why use resveratrol? It helps to slow the signs of aging and improves cellular functions. I'd recommend using Wine Down Overnight Super Antioxidant Serum by Farmhouse Fresh. It'll leave your skin refreshed, intensely nourished, and with continued use your skin will glow as bright as a summer day in Napa Valley.

Alpha Arbutin

Arbutin is a powerful antioxidant and tyronaise inhibitor that slows the production of melanin in the skin. It is derived from the bearberry plant and leaves skin looking brighter and healthier. It's a great ingredient if you have hyperpigmentation conditions like melasma, freckles (so cute), age spots, and post-inflammatory hypergpigmentaiton. How it works? It slows the production of excessive melanin growth and helps to disperse pigment in areas that it's needed the most. I'd recommend the Discoloration Correcting Serum by Good Molecules. It's packed with skin loving vitamins and antioxidants that help brighten your skin.

AHAs and BHAs

Alpha-hydroxy Acids and Beta-hydroxy Acids are technically umbrella terms that hosts a few different ingredients. Knowing how to differentiate between the two and what percentage to use can be the difference between promoting cell turnover in the skin and having a chemical burn. Skin on is great, skin off is not so great. Some AHA ingredients include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid just to name a few. In a nutshell, AHAs boost cellular turnover (how often your skin renews itself), but they all have their own benefits as well. For example, lactic acid is a hydrating acid. My recommendation is the AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser by Murad. Let me know if you want to see a dedicated post to just AHA ingredients.

With all the types of AHA ingredients, it's hard to get confused on what they are and how they work. On the flip side, BHAs (or singular in the case) is just one ingredient: Salicylic acid. It's derived from willow bark. You think of salicylic acid like house-keeping at a hotel. It travels into the pores to clean out and prevent dirt, bacteria, and acne-causing bacteria from sticking to the pore lining. If you're looking for an amazing spot treatment, I recommend Super Spot Remover Acne Treatment Gel by Origins. Not all acids are made equal though. Be sure to do your research on the right formulations and percentage for your skin. Please don't play around with acids. You can cause serious damage to your skin by mixing too many actives into your skin routine. Seek a professional's assistance with choosing the correct products.

All of the ingredients that we've talked about today are great additions to any skin care regimen, but take it from a licensed professional, don't experiment with these types of things. Please see a licensed professional or dermatologist before using products and ingredients you've never used before. I don't need yall saying I told yall to mix all these active ingredients together. My content is created for educational and informational purposes only and and is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice such as diagnosis or treatment. The statements made about specific products or ingredients are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Let me know in the comments some must have ingredients you're using. Until next time...


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Phoenix Beauty 101 started as my name in my faux business plan when I was in cosmetology school. I needed a name to finish my project to graduate. It stuck! Fast forward and its been my social media persona since 2011...

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