Recipe for great skin

Even the most skin-savvy girl would agree that the sheer number of skincare products available can be overwhelming.

Then you start delving into their ingredients = mind blown. From antioxidants to retinol; peptides to AHAs; what do they do? Do they work? Are they right for your skin type?

We like to be helpful at The Barn so we’ve compiled a handy list of the most common skincare products ingredients.


Antioxidants protect your skin by defending it against pollution and environmental damage. You can’t see it happening but your skin takes a daily beating from pollution and environmental stressors, which can lead to sagging, wrinkles and dull skin tone.

Antioxidants in skincare products can do a lot for the health and appearance of your skin. They not only help combat the elements responsible for the visible signs of ageing, but can also calm skin, help reveal a more youthful appearance and revitalise dull-looking skin.

Just like your body needs a mix of healthy nutrients, so does your skin; it’s your largest organ after all.

Tip: Look for ingredients such as green tea, white tea, flaxseed oil - all super antioxidants!


Retinol is simply another name for vitamin A. It works to increase cell turnover, stimulate collagen and elastin production, fade hyperpigmentation, and help skin stay hydrated and glowing without irritation.

It helps even your skin tone, tighten your pores, plumps and smoothes the surface of the skin as well as fading fine lines.

Tip: Retinol is best best applied at nighttime because it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. This means it’s important to put an SPF on in the morning too!


Many AHAs are derived from organic sugars. They prevent the build up of dead skin cells, so they're great essentially as an exfoliant to smooth the skin’s surface. They also stop pores from being blocked and can help brighten your skin tone.

AHAs remove the need for harsh scrubs in those that prefer to avoid manual exfoliation. Particular ingredients to look for on product labelling are glycolic acid or salycic acid.

Tip: AHAs also increase photosensitivity so make sure you wear a sunscreen daily (see below).

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Peptides are the building blocks of proteins. The most commonly known proteins in the skin are collagen, elastin and keratin, which are responsible for our skin’s texture and tone; making the skin plumper, smoother and firmer.

Different types of peptides have different effects, from smoothing wrinkles or repairing barrier function to increasing firmness and hydration.

Tip: Peptides tend to be found in leave-on products, usually in the anti-ageing range.


Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the human body and is also produced synthetically for use in skincare.

Hyaluronic acid is renowned for its ability to retain moisture, making it a common ingredient in hydrating serums and moisturisers. Since it can absorb up to a thousand times its own weight in water, it has the ability to instantly plump skin and smooth wrinkles, as well as helping skin repair itself more quickly.

It’s a great everyday product for achieving smooth, plumped, hydrated skin.

Tip: Hyaluronic acid is a great way to hydrate oily skin without clogging pores, whilst it is gentle enough for sensitive skin types.


There's no question on how important sunscreen is. Being in the sun without the right protection, or long exposure to the sun, increases the risks of skin diseases and guarantees early skin ageing.

Tip: Choose a moisturiser that contains SPF as UV is present even on a cloudy day.


While you may be getting enough vitamins from your fruit and vegetables, or from supplements, you may not know the benefits of having these nutrients in your skincare regime.

Certain nutrients are essential for preventing and reversing many signs of skin ageing. For example, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with UV protective properties. It also helps to protect and repair the skin, boost collagen and reduce pigmentation.

Vitamin A is also a great multi-tasker - it boosts collagen, reduces inflammation, reduces pigmentation and helps to control oil production (sebum) and spots. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. Vitamin B is great for healing… we could go on.

Tip: You really are what you eat. Think of your food as part of your skincare routine for more radiant, youthful skin.

So Barnies, hopefully our guide will help you next time you are choosing skincare products. If you need any further advice or tips, ask one of our incredible skin therapists.

Kelly HooperComment