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These skincare ingredients are trending, here's why

Everything you need to know about the latest on-trend skincare actives, plus what products to try according to an expert

Like fashion, skincare ingredients are constantly evolving, which massively contributes to the fact that this sector is currently the fastest growing segment of the beauty market, which according to, is worth around £2.41 billion in the UK. That’s an 8.4% increase on the previous year.

However, as our collective attention span becomes increasingly fickle, the most successful skincare brands recognise the power of steady innovation. “Over the last decade we’ve seen a major shift towards more naturally derived ingredients with a gentler approach,” says Balsam Alabassi, EV expert and founder of DermRefine Skin Clinic, Mayfair London.

“But like all trends, not every skincare craze is made to last. So, before you splash out on the latest new thing, it’s always a good idea to seek information and advice from a qualified skin specialist,” adds Alabassi. Here she dissects the latest skincare ingredients worth having on your radar…

What’s new in skincare right now? 

Plankton – for plumper, firmer, younger looking skin

Plankton is used in many marine based skincare products. It is the collective term for microscopic plant like organisms, including blue and green algae that live on and beneath oceans, seas, rivers and lakes. It is rich in nutrients, including vitamins A, C and E, minerals such as selenium and magnesium and antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage and oxidative stress caused by pollution and UV radiation. It has hydrating properties, plumps up the skin and can help to increase cellular turnover, leading to a smoother complexion. It also contains amino acids and peptides (needed to make collagen) to keep skin firm.

Try: Beauty Kitchen Seahorse Really Radiant Moisturiser – a micro-algae blend to keep skin plump and hydrated.

Kombucha – to calm inflammation, balance skin microbiome and act as a gentle exfoliator

Most of us are familiar with kombucha as the slightly fizzy, fermented, probiotic, tea drink. Yet, it also has many skincare benefits. Kombucha is high in alpha-hydroxy acids and enzymes that remove dead skin cells, act as a gentle exfoliator and can help to reduce pigmentation. It also contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants and polyphenols to soothe irritated skin, and probiotics to keep the skin microbiome balanced.

Try: Fresh Kombucha Antioxidant Facial Treatment Essence – a gentle, quickly absorbed liquid formulation to calm and smooth your complexion.

Japanese Indigo – calms and soothes the skin

Japanese indigo is a flowering plant that has been used for centuries in Japan, as a dye and also in skincare. It is renowned for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, calming and skin soothing properties. The Samurai wore indigo clothing to prevent wound infection, and Geishas used it in skincare to keep their complexions flawless. It’s key active ingredients include triptranthrin, a plant alkaloid with anti-inflammatory properties, and indirubin, a powerful antioxidant. Japanese indigo is now being included in Western skincare preparations to calm and soothe the skin.

Try: Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair – a fragrance free serum-in-moisturiser formulated to calm and soothe irritated skin and strengthen your skin’s barrier.

Linoleic Acid – moisturises and hydrates 

Linoleic acid, also known as vitamin F, is an omega-6 fatty acid. The body can’t make it, so it needs to be sourced by way of what you eat, think - nuts, almond, egg yolks, plant oils. You can also get your daily dose via your skincare. Applied topically, linoleic acid boosts the skin’s ability to retain water, to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – and leave skin well hydrated, smooth, and plump. It’s suitable for all skin types, including very dry, sensitive skin as well as oily varieties, which can appear greasy, yet still be dehydrated. Not only that, it’s non-comedogenic so those with acne can partake in this hydrating powerhouse too.

Try: Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Water Facial – a deeply moisturising mask that can be worn overnight for maximum hydration.

Colostrum – for improved skin elasticity and rejuvenation

Colostrum is the first milk that is produced by mammals, including cows and humans, and contains vital immune-boosting nutrients. In skincare, this ingredient is extracted from cows due to its rich components of proteins (immunoglobulins and lactoferrin) known for their immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, epidermal and epithelial growth factors that support skin repair and rejuvenation. It is high in fatty acids, vitamins and minerals which help to maintain a healthy skin barrier. Colostrum has also been shown to improve skin elasticity and may be beneficial for sensitive and eczema prone skins.

Try: Environ Vita-Enriched Colostrum Gel – contains bovine colostrum, green tea, vitamin C and E.

Tranexamic Acid – to help reduce hyperpigmentation 

Tranexamic Acid is a derivative of the amino acid, lysine, and studies have shown it can help to even out skin tone by reducing hyperpigmentation. It does this by regulating melanin production to stop overproduction which can lead to an uneven skin tone. Tranexamic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties to quell redness and reduce environmental damage to cells.

Try: ZO Skin Health Brightalive Skin Brightener – contains tranexamic acid, papain and niacinamide to even skin tone.

Balsam Alabassi, Owner and Founder of Dermrefine Skin Clinic

I am an Independent Prescriber and hold level 7 in Aesthetic Medicine. I adopt a personalised approach to provide you...

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