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This Woman’s Month, we’re looking out for your future self, or rather, your future skin. Here’s how to kickstart a solid preventative routine to protect and maintain healthy skin (with a little help from these six ingredients, aka your new skincare besties). You’re welcome, future self!

Keep reading for everything you need to know about looking after your skin right now.

1. aha’s and bha’s

Popular facial exfoliants AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) work by helping to dissolve the bonds between skin cells. This creates a wound-healing response that stimulates new collagen. Why is this so important for achieving glowing healthy skin? Studies show that the production of collagen - the main molecule in the skin that is responsible for its elasticity - slows every year, starting from your twenties. Now that we have your attention, which one should you be using on your skin? The biggest difference between the two comes down to how deeply they can penetrate your skin. AHAs are water-soluble, and only able to reach the top layer of skin, which is called the epidermis. BHAs, on the other hand, are oil-based, which means that they’re able to penetrate deeper into the dermis via the sebaceous glands. Basically, this all goes to say that AHAs are more helpful in treating superficial concerns, like fine lines and wrinkles, while BHAs are the preferred choice for getting rid of deeper, more pronounced pimples. BHAs also have skin-calming properties so they’re gentle enough for sensitive skin.

2. antioxidants

Antioxidants are the darlings of the skincare world, and for good reason: They protect your skin from free radicals that can make your skin look older much sooner. Vitamin C is our antioxidant of choice - or, more specifically, a lipid-soluble form of vitamin C called ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, which is more easily absorbed and unlikely to cause irritation. Its youth-boosting powers include: overall brightening, an improvement in the appearance of hyperpigmentation and sun damage, and UV protection. Vitamin C has an added benefit in helping to reduce pigmentation, stimulate collagen, and improve fine lines and wrinkles.

3. niacinamide

Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a star ingredient for restoring the skin barrier, improving uneven skin tone and texture, and softening fine lines and wrinkles. The best part is it works for many skin issues with no major side effects. Not only that, but it’s also soothing on skin that needs some extra TLC.

4. lipids

Since your skin barrier is made up of ceramides - aka lipids that help skin retain moisture - adding them to your skincare routine works to nourish that protective outer layer. That’s why these fatty acids are essential for adding plumpness back into the skin - which we lose as we age.

5. retinol

No anti-ageing routine is complete without retinol. Our serums are formulated with hydroxypinacolone retinoate, a less irritating form of retinol that still delivers all the anti-ageing benefits, like increased collagen production, improved appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fewer breakouts, and brighter complexions. Seriously, is there anything retinol can't do for your skin?

6. spf

And last but not least, a daily dose of sunscreen is non-negotiable, even when it's cloudy.

Dr Alek