ingredients to watch 2021

Skincare Ingredients to Watch in 2021

In case you're wondering where to spend your next paycheck.

If like us you’ve spent most of lockdown looking in the mirror and thus becoming obsessed with all things skin, you’ll be eager to know about the latest ingredients that are causing a buzz in the beauty world. 

Topping last year’s Most Searched Skincare Ingredients list, Vitamin C is the new babe on the block when it comes to skincare in 2021. Move over Retinol. Coming in hot on its heels was Squalane. And, not on the list but still fab is everyone’s fave vegetable, the mushroom! No, we’re not kidding, mushrooms really are as good for your skin as they are for your gut. 

So, what exactly are the benefits of these new beauty must-haves? 

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Vitamin C

Looking to turn back time? Vitamin C is praised for its anti-aging properties and can help to maintain skin’s smoothness while creating a glowy complexion. 

You’re probably thinking you already get plenty of Vitamin C from your food. But, it’s unlikely the benefits of this ingredient work their way directly to the skin. So, adding Vitamin C into your skincare routine means you can target that goodness exactly where it’s needed.

With its brightening and hydrating properties, Vitamin C will be your new best friend, not to mention it also works to reduce hyperpigmentation, reduce redness, and even out your skin tone. Speaking to Allure, certified dermatologist Patricia Wexler said, “because of its antioxidant properties, Vitamin C aids in your skin’s natural regeneration process, which helps your body repair damaged skin cells.”

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If you’re into skincare, you’ll have heard of squalene. But what about its sister squalane? Put simply, squalane is a hydrogenated version of squalene, which is a compound naturally produced by our sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands, if you don’t know, produce sebum which in turn protects and moisturizes the outer layer of our skin.

But if our skin already makes it, why add more? When used alone, squalane can make your face look and feel smoother by filling in all the spaces in your skin. “It’s great for skin barrier support, suppleness, hydration, and texture improvements,” said Dr. Charlene DeHaven M.D., the clinical director of iS Clinical, while speaking to Harper’s Bazaar. As well as that, by sealing in the outer layer of skin, squalane helps to lock in moisture. Bonus! 

And about those rumors. While it is true that squalane is found in shark livers, thankfully most big brands have stopped using shark-derived squalane in favor of plant-based sources like olive oil. Vegans rejoice!

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While this one might come as a bit of a surprise, mushrooms really are making moves in the skincare scene. Don’t be fooled into thinking they’re a new ingredient though, they’ve actually been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

Most mushrooms are adaptogenic, which means they help the body adapt to stress. So, when it comes to our skin, they work wonders. Speaking to Coveteur, Michael Ahmad, Herbivore Botanicals’ National Education Manager, said “[mushrooms] perform by targeting the body’s stress response, supporting the normalization of hormone levels, and reducing inflammation.”

“When applied topically” he added, “they offer localized benefits that help the skin resist environmental stressors and return to its peaceful baseline.” Wow, who knew mushrooms were so mighty?

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