Collagen and retinol: Finding the right skincare ingredients for you
19th Apr 2021
With so many beauty trends, it can be hard to keep track of what's best. Here's how to find the right skincare ingredients for you.
Finding the right skincare ingredients is a lot like finding the right diet, what may work for others, may not work for you. This is because all of our bodies are different – a result of varied genetics and environmental factors. In the same way, we all have different skin types that react uniquely to common skincare ingredients.
For example, while salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide control excess sebum production in oily skin, they could strip dry skin of the moisture it needs. When choosing the best skincare ingredients for you, you are looking for the optimal formula to regulate oil production, hydrate, rejuvenate and promote a healthy, glowing complexion for your specific skin type.
And while skincare fads may come and go (much like diets), there are core ingredients like collagen and retinol that remain strong and effective in maintaining skin health and elasticity. That’s why it’s important to check the ingredients of each cleanser, cream and serum we buy, regardless of how trending it is, to make sure it contains the ingredients our skin needs most.
Here’s our handy how-to guide on finding which ingredients work best for you.
1. Determine your skin type
Most beauty products are designed for five major skin types: normal, oily, dry, combination and sensitive. While normal skin can sound unrealistic (do any of us feel like we have “normal” skin?), it doesn’t mean that your complexion is perfect. If you don’t struggle with oiliness or dry patches, then you probably have this skin type.
Oily skin tends to be synonymous with acne-prone skin and congestion, dry skin has you dealing with flakes and patchiness, and combination skin is a mixture of both. If you have redness, irritated or allergy-prone skin, then you’re most likely the sensitive skin type. You’ve probably figured out what your skin type is by now, but if not, a trip to your dermatologist is a great way to confirm this.
2. Test different ingredients
Salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid are a great combination for oily skin, helping regulate oil production while providing moisture to the areas that need it. For dry skin, ingredients that provide and retain moisture like shea butter and lactic acid are best. But if you’re not sure of your skin type or where to start, collagen and retinol are effective options for everyone.
Collagen is the skin’s main structural protein, responsible for shape, strength and elasticity. From the age of 20, our natural collagen production begins to decrease, leading to thinner and more fragile skin.
To boost production, the body requires dietary protein and while it can also be applied topically, the molecule itself is too big to penetrate skin. So it’s unsurprising that an Olay study found that 43% of those who try collagen products use them for one month or less, finding them too expensive, not seeing the benefits or simply wanting to try something new.
This is why it’s vital to use moisturisers that have collagen peptides, like Olay Collagen Peptide24 Day Cream. Olay’s unique formula uses collagen peptides (fragments of collagen molecules) and, thanks to their smaller size, they are proven to penetrate up to ten layers deep beneath the skin’s surface, helping firm skin, reducing wrinkles and brightening skin tone.
A potent form of vitamin A, retinol is an active anti-ageing ingredient. It’s been clinically proven to help minimise pores, even skin texture and reduce the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles, leading to smoother, glowing skin.
If it’s your first time using retinol, try a product geared towards sensitive skin like Olay Retinol24 Night Face Cream – it’s fragrance-free, reducing the risk of irrational and flare-ups.
Suitable for all skin types, Retinol24 also includes vitamin B3 as a primary ingredient, helping prevent water loss and retain skin’s moisture content. This duo effect allows the cream to work overnight, hydrating, plumping and smoothing skin for 24 hours.
3. Find your best routine
Once you’ve found the best ingredients for your skin, pick a few products that include them as a main element. (Pro tip: Most products list ingredients in order of highest to lowest concentration, so you’ll usually find what makes up most of the product in the first few ingredients listed).
An average skincare regime includes a gentle cleanser (and an exfoliant to use twice weekly), a daily moisturiser with SPF and a hydrating night cream or serum. Skin is most receptive at night, so most dermatologists advise using a potent product (like retinol) before bed. And SPF is a must for daytime use, especially if using sun-sensitive acne ingredients or retinol creams the night before.
For example, we recommend using Olay Collagen Peptide24 for days when you’re mostly indoors and Retinol24 for nights – both are fragrance-free and have been clinically proven to effectively improve skin health and appearance.
Other than that, finding the best routine for you is a process of trial-and-error and seeing what your skin responds well to and then sticking to it.
Olay is a worldwide leader in skincare and has been trusted by women for over 60 years. The brand continues to hold to the philosophy it was founded on: to maintain a deep understanding of women’s changing needs and to combine products that fit their needs with the latest advances in skincare technology. The end result is superior product performance, bringing healthy, beautiful skin to more than 80 million women on five continents. For more information, visit Olay online.