The ultimate skincare A to Z
Let’s talk skin sense with this skin-savvy guide
Get to know your glycolic acid from your ylang ylang and become a skin-tellectual with our skincare ingredients cheat sheet.
A is for AHA
Alpha Hydroxy Acids can help exfoliate, promote collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Just remember to stay out of direct sunlight and use sun protection!
Try Garnier Fresh-Mix Tissue Mask
B is for Bakuchiol
Bakuchiol is a natural alternative to retinol. It packs all the anti-ageing punch of retinol by helping to improve skin’s firmness and elasticity, but it’s kinder to more sensitive skin.
D is for Dimethicone
This acts as an emulsifier to help bind other ingredients in your skincare together. It can also help create a matte finish, making it a popular choice for products designed for oily skin.
E is for vitamin E
Vitamin E is found in plenty of skincare products, and it’s easy to see why. It helps prevent moisture loss and can also help protect skin against pollutants.
F is for Ferulic Acid
A potent ingredient that helps fight against damage caused by free radicals. It can also help vitamins C and E work their magic by helping to prevent oxidation.
G is for Glycolic Acid
Known for helping reduce the appearance of skin discolouration, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as helping to plump the appearance of skin by removing dead skin cells.
H is for Hyaluronic Acid
Best known for its ability to attract and hold large amounts of moisture, leaving skin feeling softer, smoother and more hydrated.
K is for Kaolin
This clever clay acts as an absorbing agent to help reduce shine and absorb moisture, leaving you with a radiant, healthy-looking complexion.
Try Youth Lab Cleansing Radiance Mask
L is for Lactic Acid
This Alpha Hydroxy Acid is derived from milk and has exfoliating and skin-conditioning properties, as well as helping skin retain moisture. It can make your skin sensitive to the sun, so remember to apply your SPF and stay out of direct sunlight.
M is for Matrixyl
A firm favourite in No7’s iconic anti-ageing skincare line-up, Matrixyl is designed to target collagen production and help skin produce more collagen and elastin.
N is for Niacinamide
Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide works with your skin to help regulate oil production, reduce the appearance of pores and build keratin to help keep skin feeling firm.
O is for Oatmeal
Used in skincare to help protect skin, thanks to starches contained within it which can bind with water and create a barrier on top of the skin.
Try St Ives Gentle Smoothing Oatmeal Scrub & Mask
P is for Polyglutamic Acid
The perfect base for make-up application, this powerful hydrating ingredient can hold up to four times more moisture than Hyaluronic Acid.
Try The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid
Q is for Q10
Designed to help stimulate collagen and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as helping neutralise free radicals.
Try Eucerin Q10 Active Night Cream
S is for Salicylic Acid
Often used in skincare designed for oily and blemish-prone skin, thanks to its soothing properties that can help calm aggravated skin.
T is for Tea Tree
Another popular choice in skincare for blemish-prone skin, tea tree is used to help calm aggravated skin.
Try Boots Tea Trea & Witch Hazel Foaming Face Wash
U is for UV protection
It’s super important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, even on less sunny days. Choose skincare with added SPF to help protect against premature ageing.
Try Clinique Super City Block SPF40
V is for Vitamin C
Often a key ingredient in anti-ageing skincare, vitamin C can help stimulate new collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Z is for Zinc
Commonly used in skincare to help support the skin's natural healing process.
Try Eau Thermale Avène Cleanance Mat Mattifying Emulsion
Now you’ve got your key skin-gredients sussed, put your knowledge to the test and stock up on smart skincare.