Understanding Popular Skincare Ingredients

Hyaluronic acid, retinol, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are all common ingredients found in many popular skincare products.  Before purchasing any goods that include these ingredients, it’s important for consumers to understand what they are a buying and applying to their skin.

Here is a guide to some of the most common skincare ingredients to help you choose what’s best for you:

  • Hyaluronic Acid- is found naturally in our bodies, most commonly in the eyes, skin and in joint fluid. This substance helps with retaining water needed to keep joints and tissues well lubricated.   As we age, the production of hyaluronic acid decreases, resulting in our skin losing hydration, volume, and firmness.  Hyaluronic acid is added to skin care products to increase hydration, help skin feel more supple, and improve its texture.
  • Retinol- is a derivative of vitamin A. Products containing up to 2% retinol can be purchased over the counter, anything above this number may require a prescription.  Using retinol provides several benefits such as promoting cell turnover, reducing inflammation, treating acne, preventing the breakdown of collagen, and improving the appearance of skin texture and tone.
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)- are natural acids found in foods. There are several types of AHAs used in skincare products, these include glycolic acid (from sugar cane), tartaric acid (from grapes), citric acid (from citrus fruits), hydroxycaprylic acid (from animals), and lactic acid (from lactose or tomato juice). AHAs can help promote skin firmness, remove dead skin cells, improve the appearance of wrinkles and treat dry skin.

Reading the label on skincare products is very important. Pay attention to the ingredients and know their positive or negative effects. If you are unsure about how these ingredients may affect your skin, you should consult a dermatologist.

To schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call (718) 206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.