Top 15 Beauty Ingredients of 2020

With so many new skincare brands and products on the market, it's hard to keep track of what ingredients are good for your skin and why. Here is a list of the top searched skincare ingredients of 2020 that are trending across the skincare world. How many do you have in your routine?


15) Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has long been associated with treating sunburn and skin irritation, but now it’s seeing a rise in popularity in general skincare. As well as its healing properties, the plant is known for keeping skin hydrated and clear. It’s rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. 


14) PHAs

AHAs (like Glycolic Acid) and BHAs (like Salicylic Acid) are well known chemical skin exfoliators that are great at exfoliating skin but can leave sensitive skin irritated. Meet PHAs, the new generation of AHAs. They work in much the same way, breaking down the ‘glue’ that binds dead skin cells to the skin’s surface, but they do this much more gently and provide more moisture to the skin.


13) Cica

Short for Centella Asiatica, Cica is an Asian medicinal herb that is used for treating damaged and irritated skin. Packed with amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, it helps to promote skin healing, calm inflammation and soothe skin. It can also help decrease skin sensitivity and the appearance of acne.


12) Peptides

Peptides are a type of amino acid that are the building blocks of proteins; the most commonly known proteins in the skin are Collagen, Elastin and Keratin. Peptides are used in skincare to help reinforce those proteins found in the skin, helping to maintain and improve skin’s texture and tone. There are many types of peptides that are used for different purposes such as minimising fine lines and wrinkles or increasing firmness and moisture. 


11) Resveratrol

A natural antioxidant, Resveratrol (also known as the ‘longevity molecule’) is found in grape skin, peanuts, berries, and even dark chocolate. Resveratrol is one of the the best antioxidants that helps improve skin's health and appearance in a number of ways by neutralising free radicals that cause cell damage.


10) Calamine

You may have heard of calamine lotion which is used to relieve itchiness from chicken pox, insect bites or to calm sunburn. However basic calamine powder (a mix of zinc and iron oxide) has been used for thousands of years for its skin nourishing, calming and soothing properties and is perfect in helping treat problem skin and breakouts without increasing sensitivity.


9) Grape Seed Oil

Rich in linoleic acid and antioxidants, Grapeseed oil leaves skin soft, supple and moisturised, without clogging pores. It also contains 50 times more powerful antioxidants than Vitamin C which help to reduce the signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles.


8) Ceramides

Ceramides are lipid molecules found naturally in your skin, that deplete as we age. Ceramides support our natural skin barrier against environmental aggressors like irritants, and pollution and keep skin firm and hydrated.


7) Niacinamide

Also known as Vitamin B3, Niacinamide can help treat blemishes and redness by reducing inflammation and minimising pore appearance. It also helps keep skin smooth, and can improve hydration, reduce the signs of ageing, and significantly lessen skin discolouration.


6) Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide works as an antiseptic to reduce the amount of acne causing bacteria on your face. It also removes excess sebum and dead skin cells. In the UK it is only available via prescription, but this hasn’t stopped it being one of the most talked about acne fighting ingredients this year.


5) Squalane

Squalane is derived from hydrogenation of Squalene because it is more stable. Squalene is found naturally in the skin and is used to provide moisture and soften skin. Though often derived from Shark Liver oil, there are vegan alternatives derived from Olive oil. Squalane keeps skin hydrated by pulling moisture from the air and trapping it on your skin long enough for your body to absorb it.


4) Hyaluronic Acid

One of the most searched ingredients this year, Hyaluronic Acid can hold up to 1000% its weight in water, meaning it can draw hydration into your skin so it looks soft, smooth, and more youthful.


3) Castor Oil

Argan and Coconut oil are well known for their benefits for hair and skin, but Castor oil is creeping up in popularity. It has been associated with speeding up hair growth which is why you may often see it in hair thickening shampoos and eye brow / eye lash serums. However it is also great for the skin, locking in moisture because of its high Vitamin E content. Castor Oil is made by cold-pressing castor plant beans while Jamaican Black Castor oil is made from roasted castor beans - this makes the oil more alkaline due to the ash and helps with absorption.


2) Retinol

This anti-ageing powerhouse is now well known in the beauty industry. It is famed for being one of the best ingredients for tackling fine lines and wrinkles, as well as smoothing the complexion and acne. Retinol (a Vitamin A derivative) stimulates cellular turnover and promotes collagen production, though it needs to be used carefully and other alternatives may be needed for sensitive skin.


1) Vitamin C

The most searched skincare ingredient and a bestseller to boot, it is a much loved ingredient that helps to bring radiance and glow to your skin. It also helps to smooth uneven skin tone, fine lines and improve general skin dullness.The most efficient type of Vitamin C is L-asorbic Acid and make sure to check the packaging is airtight and opaque to keep efficacy.