Cropped view of woman hand with skincare cream tube over plate

Have you ever stopped to wonder why some skin care products have soared in popularity while others have remained tucked away on store shelves? Well, it all boils down to one thing: active ingredients. If a product is formulated with the perfect combination of powerful actives, it'll leave your complexion glowing and grime-free! 

So, whether you're after a tried-and-true, existing ingredient or want something fresh and new, we've got your back. We'll be delving into the active ingredients that everyone's obsessed with right now *ones that are sure to give any skin care regimen a serious boost of awesome sauce!*

So if you're ready to get your glow on and find out what makes all these cool kids tick, then read on and discover which active ingredients can help bring out your best self – no matter what state your skin is currently in.

What are active ingredients?

Active ingredients are like the spice of life! These little things make the difference between a boring potion and an exciting product. To put it simply, active ingredients are substances that make a product work. Basically, active ingredients are those parts of a product that are meant to give it its purpose. Much like the host of a late-night talk show, they are the backbone and star attraction -without them, the product doesn't have much to offer. 

Skincare actives can be found in skincare products and cosmetics. These potent mixes of vitamins, minerals, and other naturally derived substances can have an incredibly positive impact on our skin health, delivering exactly what we need for maximum benefit.

The trendiest skincare actives

With the ever-changing beauty industry, it can be hard to keep up with the trendiest skincare actives. One minute, charcoal is all the rage, then next it's all about aloe vera. For the real skincare aficionados, here are the active ingredients you should look for: 

1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is like the holy grail of all antioxidants. It's the hero skincare routine all around the world desperately needs to fight off stubborn sunspots, wrinkles, and dullness. 

Vitamin C helps to boost collagen production, even out your skin tone, fight age-accelerating free radicals, and even reflect harmful UV rays away from your skin surface, so it really has you covered!  

Whether it's battling breakouts, brightening dark spots, or just giving you that sun-kissed glow, Vitamin C has the power to transform your complexion. Plus, this antioxidant is amazing for all skin types, even sensitive skin.  

Pro-tip: Include Vitamin C in your morning skincare routine in toners, serums, or moisturizers. 

Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Spot Tone up Cream - Asian Beauty Essentials
Moisturizer Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Spot Tone Up Cream
Sale price$30.00

2. Retinol

Retinol can have a seriously transformative effect on the skin, but don't take our word for it - ask its legions of devoted followers. It seems like everyone is trying out the wonders of this vitamin A derivative! 

It's able to reduce wrinkles, speed cell turnover, even out skin texture and tone, and reduce hyperpigmentation and inflammation - that's quite a list! 

So if you're looking for a way to turn back the clock on your skin's appearance, give Retinol a try - it just might be the secret weapon you need in your beauty arsenal!

Pro-tip: Retinol is a very strong irritant, so it’s best to stay away from it if you have sensitive skin. Plus, it can make your skin sensitive to the sun, so only use it in your nighttime skin care routine. 

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3. Niacinamide

Niacinamide is an absolute game-changer when it comes to taking care of our skin! It's a form of Vitamin B3, and it really does wonders for tackling inflammation and limiting the effects of environmental damage. 

And not only that, but when used consistently, niacinamide has been shown to help improve the appearance of pores, even out skin tone, reduce wrinkles, and limit oil production throughout the day. In short, there's no better way to take your skin from scaly-tired and wrinkly to smooth-radiant-glowing than with its superpowers!

4. Hyaluronic acid

If you're looking for an age-defying, moisture-boosting skincare ingredient, your best bet is to seek out the fountain of youth known as hyaluronic acid. This magical acid provides a ton of benefits to the skin, from diminishing dryness to reducing wrinkles and fine lines. 

Not only does it work wonders at locking in moisture and keeping skin hydrated throughout the day, but this incredible acid also has antioxidant properties that can help protect skin from environmental damage and premature aging.

Sheet Mask
Hydrium Triple Hyaluronic Water Wave Sheet Mask - Asian Beauty Essentials
Sheet Mask Hydrium Triple Hyaluronic Water Wave Sheet Mask
Sale price$6.00
Sheet Mask
Hyaluron Ampoule Face Mask - Asian Beauty Essentials
Sheet Mask Hyaluron Ampoule Face Mask
Sale price$2.50

But, the most amazing thing about this active ingredient is that this 'wonder molecule' is one of nature's most powerful humectants, able to bind up to 1000 times its weight in water molecules and deliver them to the areas where your skin needs it most. 

5. Ceramides

Ceramides are the skin's best friend, promoting its youth and beauty in a way no other molecule can. Ceramides are essential lipids (fatty acids) that keep skin cells well-hydrated, plump, and firm. If you think of your epidermis (the top layer of the skin) as a brick wall, then ceramides are the mortar that holds it all together. 

Ceramides help strengthen and protect against environmental aggressors like pollution and UV exposure. Plus, they help to prevent trans epidermal water loss, fight inflammation, minimize wrinkles, and replenish elasticity. 

Hair Treatment
Milky Piggy Collagen Coating Protein Ion Injection - Asian Beauty Essentials
Hair Treatment Milky Piggy Collagen Coating Protein Ion Injection
Sale price$14.00

6. Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid might just be the 'unicorn' of the skincare world for those with acne-prone or oily skin! This beta-hydroxy acid has the awesome power to penetrate deep into the skin’s layers and get rid of excess oil, dirt, and other gunk, leaving you with a sebum-free complexion *one of the main causes of acne*. Not only does it clear away yucky build-up, but it also helps to unclog pores for smoother, healthier skin. 

The best part is that salicylic acid is gentler on your skin than other acne fighters like benzoyl peroxide, so you can apply it freely without worrying about any unnecessary breakouts or chemical burns!

Facial Exfoliator
BHA Blackhead Power Liquid - Asian Beauty Essentials
Facial Exfoliator BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
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Facial Toner
One Step Original Clear Pad - Asian Beauty Essentials
Facial Toner One Step Original Clear Pad
Sale price$22.00

7. Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide has been hailed by those with acne-prone, oily, and combination skin as the best weapon against acne since it works to reduce inflammation and breakouts. This ingredient helps to treat acne by killing acne-causing bacteria. Plus, it works hard to soothe the skin from the irritation caused by acne. 

Pro-tip: benzoyl peroxide can cause your skin to peel if your skin is too sensitive to it. If you observe this reaction, stop using it and change to salicylic acid or any of the beta-hydroxy acids, like willow bark. 

8. Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid has been credited as a powerhouse skin saver for many people, and it's not hard to see why. It boasts the ability to speed up cell turnover, exfoliate away dead skin cells, decrease the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, minimize the size of visible pores, even out skin tone and texture, as well as dissolve pore-clogging oils. Plus, it’s amazing for all skin types! 

Facial Toner
AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
Facial Toner AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
Sale price$23.00

9. Lactic acid

Along with glycolic acid, lactic acid is one of the most famous alpha-hydroxy acids. This powerful ingredient helps to perk up dull complexions and works as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells. 

By promoting cell turnover, lactic acid reveals younger, healthier-looking skin while unclogging pores. It isn’t just great for treating acne either, it’s also very hydrating and can help improve the appearance of wrinkles over time.

Foot Care
Foot & Heel Peeling Mask - Asian Beauty Essentials
Foot Care Foot & Heel Peeling Mask
Sale price$7.00

10. Vitamin E

It's no joke how great vitamin E is for your skin. Vitamin E holds powerful antioxidants that not only help defend the skin barrier against environmental stressors like UV light and pollution, but also help nourish, revitalize, and even out uneven skin tone. 

You can find vitamin E in sunscreens and serums. Plus, it can be used by any skin type and you can mix it with vitamin C for an antioxidant powerhouse. 

Sheet Mask
I'm Real Lemon Mask Sheet - Asian Beauty Essentials
Sheet Mask I'm Real Lemon Mask Sheet
Sale price$4.00

Active ingredients vs. inactive ingredients

Going to the store and trying to make sense of the long list of mysterious ingredients on skincare products can be confusing. Reading the names like retinol or propylene glycol, can feel overwhelming and leave you wondering what their purpose is. 

To make it easier, ingredients are split into two major groups: active and inactive ingredients. The key difference? Active ingredients really get down to business. They’re the ones responsible for helping you get rid of all of your skin concerns. 

Whereas inactive ingredients are viewed more as spectators; they're responsible for keeping a product shelf-stable after manufacturing, bulking it up, changing smells, colors...basically helping their active counterparts look good!

Skincare products feature both active and inactive ingredients in their labels. 

Where to find products with the trendiest active ingredients

Now that you know all the active ingredients in skin care every celeb and beauty influencer is obsessed with, it’s time to shop, shop, shop! 

From hyaluronic acid to salicylic acid, in Asian Beauty Essentials you’ll find the best goodies to treat your skin concern, stimulate collagen production, encourage skin renewal, boost skin’s hydration, treat acne-prone skin, and more! 

No matter your skin type, visit our store and get all the products you need to kick your skincare game up a notch!

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