I have a few standard ingredients I have in my skincare routine that I’ve found to make the most difference for my skin and figured I would share them with you today. Though so many of my favorite products have various formulations and active ingredients that make them so effective, I have three that are the most prevalent and important to my regimen. They are retinol, vitamin  C and glycolic acid.
1. Retinol – I first began experimenting with Retinol earlier this year (read that post here), and found it did wonders for my acne and regular breakouts. Though retinol is designed to help target anti-aging concerns by helping stimulate collagen production, tighten/tone skin and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, one of the additional side effects was that it helps reduce breakouts and acne. It helps remove dead skin cells which can contribute to clogged pores and blemishes. The entire Verso skincare line is formulated with a type of retinol called retinol-8, which is 8 times more effective than standard retinol, and I have been loving their Night Cream. Since it is such a strong form of retinol, I did begin with every other night or every third night to ease my skin into it. I find that when my skin is acting up or overly hormonal, this night cream helps to get it back into balance. It helps with breakouts, texture and overall tone of my skin – a true anti-aging powerhouse product!
2. Vitamin C -Vitamin C can act very similarly to Retinol in the way that it helps to target anti-aging concerns such as fine lines, dryness and wrinkles. In addition to the ways it helps reduce the signs of aging, it is also an antioxidant that can help to reduce skin damage and improve the overall tone, texture and appearance of the skin. I find that using Vitamin C in my routine helps with brightness, fading of dark spots and an overall healing of the skin. The Kate Somerville Dual Radiance Serum is formulated with both Vitamin C and omegas 3,6, 9 and 7, and is housed in two separate chambers to preserve the potency of the ingredients until it is released. Adding this into my skincare routine has made a significant difference in making my skin look very even toned – and helping to reduce any dark spot issues that often arise after a breakout subsides. It is quite a strong formula so I don’t use it every single night, but rather every other night or every third night. However when I do, I wake up the next morning and my skin is literally glowing. Project age backwards is now in full effect for 2015. 🙂
3. Glycolic Acid – As a member of the alpha-hydroxy acid family, the biggest benefit of glycolic acid is it’s ability to treat acne. It acts as an exfoliant to help break down the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, removing any of the debris that clogs pores. In addition to helping treat blemishes, glycolic acid can penetrate into the pores helping to eliminate and kill bacteria that can contribute to future breakouts, blackheads and whiteheads. Though glycolic acid is seen primarily as an acne fighting ingredient, it’s strong exfoliation properties make it perfect for helping to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. As with any of these three ingredients (Vit C, retinol and glycolic acid), using an SPF during the day is vital so be sure to add one into your routine ( I currently love this one and this one). One of my favorite ways to incorporate glycolic acid into my skincare routine is with a facial pad, such as the Radical Age Defying Exfoliating Pads. I use them after cleansing for a slight exfoliation, before continuing on to the rest of my routine. I find that not only do my subsequent serums and moisturizers work better, it helps me keep breakouts away, minimize the appearance of pores and deal with any congestion my skin may be suffering from at the time.

Shop more glycolic acid, retinol and Vitamin C options:

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