Beauty brands are upping the ante with a fresh wave of super skincare ingredients for 2023. From anti-inflammatory hero tranexamic acid and the barrier strengthening Japanese indigo to adaptogen-rich reishi mushrooms, Beauty Director Alessandra Steinherr reveals the hardworking actives set to buzz in the months ahead and the newly-launched, high-performance products where you’ll find them. Welcome to the future of skincare…
My Beauty Glossary
Skincare Ingredients 2023
Good for: reducing dark spots and scarring
Tranexamic acid is one of the most exciting super skincare ingredients for 2023. A derivative of an amino acid called lysine, it reduces the appearance of dark spots and acne scars without the risk of irritation – and it plays well with other ingredients. Royal Fern Purifying Solution (£120), is a new serum that gives brilliant results for oily skin, blending white willow bark, retinol and tranexamic acid to help fade post-inflammatory breakouts and refine pores.
Good for: brightening dullness
This is a plant-derived extract which works to visibly brighten the skin, making it great for dull, tired complexions or if you’ve got sun-induced hyperpigmentation, plus it also protects against free radicals. Allies of Skin Tranexamic & Arbutin Advanced Brightening Serum (£76.23) is a blend of arbutin, tranexamic acid, niacinamide and a mushroom complex, which work together to even out skin tone for radiance and luminosity.
Good for: soothing irritation
The distinctively coloured Japanese indigo is a botanical that was used as far back as the Edo period to help heal injuries. It is now harnessed in skincare for its power to regulate red, irritated skin, and support the skin’s natural barrier function. Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair (£80) is a serum-in-moisturiser, meaning it is very lightweight, with calming Japanese indigo and ceramides for firmness and suppleness.
Good for: hydration
Polysaccharides are a replenishing ingredient, responsible for the skin’s ability to retain water. The newly launched Augustinus Bader The Face Cream Mask (£165) is made up of a polysaccharide complex which, along with Swiss grape, helps to regenerate and plump the skin, while ginseng smooths and Vitamin C aids production of collagen. Leave on as a mask for ten minutes or overnight for a more intense hydration hit.
Good for: skin plumpness
Peptides are a fantastic anti-ageing ingredient and different ones address different issues, which is why having a multi peptide approach is optimal. Medik8 Liquid Peptides (£49) is a 30% peptide complex, containing a copper peptide which boosts collagen and elastin production, Matrixyl 3000 to soften lines and wrinkles, and carnosine, a peptide which blocks the natural ageing process. If you find retinoids too harsh, then this could be ideal.
Good for: boosting efficacy
Fermentation is a process that breaks down natural ingredients into smaller molecules; when it comes to skincare, this means that it unlocks their potential, amplifying potency and improving their ability to penetrate deeper into the dermis. Dior Capture Totale Le Serum (£72) is a new iteration of their hero product, containing fermented Longoza flower and Tuscan iris extract to boost cellular renewal for firmer, plumper skin.
Vegan lactic acid
Good for: uneven skin texture
Lactic acid is a water-soluble AHA that exfoliates skin and promotes skin renewal. As we all know, it comes from milk, but there is a vegan alternative. Mutha Power Exfoliating Serum ($95) is an exfoliator that’s formulated with the brand’s proprietary blend of bio-fermented actives and vegan lactic acid to smooth the complexion. Use it as a serum or, if you have sensitive skin, rinse off after ten minutes.
Good for: calming stressed skin
Inflamed skin is ageing skin and reishi mushrooms are a powerhouse when it comes to reducing redness and irritation, thanks to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as their ability to restore moisture loss. Youth to the People Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist (£37), available at Cult Beauty, is an ultra-fine mist that contains adaptogen-rich reishi and ashwagandha to soothe, calm and address stress.