#12DaysOfDrLaura Day 2 - Know your Actives

There are so many different products on the market now it can be hard to know what you should be using and why. To make it easy for you guys I’m going to talk about the most important actives I think you should know about and what ones are good for particular concerns. Throughout the #12DaysOfDrLaura I will be covering some specific concerns including #Acne and #PregnancySkin because there are always so many DMs about that.

Actives are ingredients that have been scientifically proven to change the structure of your skin at a cellular level. Some drug store beauty products will claim to have ‘actives’ but they won’t be in significant enough quantities, or in the right form or at the right pH. This is why it’s important to pick the right skincare products.

If I can give you one piece of advice it would be to stop buying loads of crap (and trust me we have all been there) and buy a few GOOD products that really work. It's important to spend money on some products to get ones that will actually make a difference to your skin. That is one of the reason I chose Skinceuticals as the first brand for my new clinic. Its products contain actives that actually work. They are formulated at the correct pH and in the right consistency that they work to change your skin at cellular level.

The most important actives are listed below.


Improves acne and acne scarring

Works on pigmentation

Reduces fine lines and wrinkles

Improves skin texture, tone and colour

Improves skin hydration levels

Basically the most important active you could have in your skincare.

Click on picture to buy from www.drlauragp.com

Vitamin C

The only form of Vitamin C you want in your skincare routine is L-ascorbic acid (at least 10% if not 15%)

Reduces fine lines and wrinkles

Increases the suppleness of the skin

Reduces visibility of sunspots

Hydrates skin cells

Strengthens skin cells to reduce the visibility of dark circles

This is definitely my second favourite active.

Click on picture to buy from www.drlauragp.com

Vitamin E (tocopherol)

Defense against UV

Important lipid antioxidant

High doses can be sticky or greasy - not the best for oily skin

Vitamin B3 - Niacinamide

Regulate sebum production

Improve skin barrier function

Brighten skin tone

Click on picture to pick up Resveratrol BE from www.drlauragp.com

AHAs - Glycolic acid & lactic acid most-studied

Promotes cell turnover (chemical exfoliation)

Holy grail for exfoliation revealing brighter, fresher skin

Improves overall skin health

Improve skin texture

Improve hyperpigmentation

Click on picture to buy Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight from www.drlauragp.com

BHA - Salicylic acid

Mainstay of OTC acne treatment

Oil soluble so penetrates into sebum-rich pores

Anti-inflammatory action

Visibly reduces the size of spots and blackheads

Click on the picture to buy one of my favourite cleansers on Look Fantastic (not affiliate)


Second and third generation AHAs - gluconolacctone most widely used

Same anti-ageing effects as older AHAs

Less photosensitivity compared to AHAs

Less irritation and suitable for patients with clinically sensitive skin (eg rosacea / atopic dermatitis)

Improves skin hydration

Clink on picture to buy the Bionic Fave Cream from Neostrata (not affiliate)

Hyaluronic acid

Less visible fine lines and wrinkles

Improves skin hydration and firmness

Skin feels more hydrated and plump

Click on the picture to buy my current favourite hyaluronic acid product from www.drlauragp.com

So what actives work for what concerns I hear you ask? I have the complete list below. I have also included some actives that are available from your GP for particular skin concerns such as azelaic acid, antibiotics, steroids, tacrolimus, tranexamic acid and hydroquinone. Some of these are available over the counter as well.

Signs of ageing: SPF, retinoids, vitamin C, vitamin E

Dryness: hyaluronic acid, vitamin E Pigmentation issues: AHAs, BHA, hydroquinone, vitamin C

Acne: retinoids, salicylic acid, BPO, azelaic acid

Rosacea: antibiotics, azelaic acid

Psoriasis: steroids, retinoids, vitamin D, salicylic acid, urea, lactic acid

Eczema: steroids, tacrolimus

Melasma / Pigmentation issues: tranexamic acid

I hope this helps explain the most important actives. In tomorrows post I'll be talking about how to build your skincare routine.

#DrLauraGP #DrLauraGPRecommends #12DaysOfDrLaura #12DaysOfChristmas #GlowingSkin #LoveYourSkin #SkincareTips

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