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4 Skincare Essentials You Should Use Every Day, According to Dermatologists

While we all strive for that ever-glowing skin, every individual has their notion of how to get to this promised land. Upon a simple Google search, you get lots of conflicting information where the best skincare products are concerned.

Everyone wants that radiant skin, but we all have our opinions on how exactly to go about it

It is admittedly difficult to discern what’s true or not from Google, especially where our health is concerned. Health? Yes, because one wrong move on your choice of product and you may suffer endless skin conditions. And who wants skin flare-ups?

Luckily, we have dermatologists that can guide us on our choice of product. McLean Dermatology’s Dr. Lily Talakoub shares four ingredients whose positive effect on the skin has been proven, so let’s look at what she has to say, shall we?

Glycolic Acid

This ingredient falls into the class of chemicals known as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) and acts as a skin exfoliant. AHAs dissolve dead skin, and glycolic acid happens to be the best-performing AHA on this front because of its tiny molecules.

Dr. Talakoub says that using products with glycolic acid as an ingredient leaves your skin softer, radiant, and youthful. Other dermatologists agree with this, adding that glycolic acid also unclogs skin pores, potentially preventing acne breakouts.

To serve as an incentive, the dermatologist even admits to using the AHA herself for her daily routine. She, however, gives the disclaimer that glycolic acid makes your skin a little bit sensitive to sunlight, recommending that you use it in the evening.

Vitamin C

We may know of the importance of this vitamin in preventing scurvy (bleeding gums), but did you also know that it can work wonders for your skin? Dr. Talakoub says that Vit. C is one very effective antioxidant, working to scavenge radicals that otherwise leave your skin looking older than it really is.

Citrus fruits are the best source of vitamin C

Researchers in the UK have established that this vitamin prevents photo-aging, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation. If you happen to reside in a polluted area, vitamin C maintains your radiant complexion by protecting your skin.


If you were any good in Biology, you definitely know that retinol is a vitamin A derivative. Back in high school, they told us that it prevented night blindness, but Dr. Talakoub now says that it has an anti-aging effect on the skin. Cool, right?

Retinol is in a class of its own when it comes to anti-aging – when other products target the uppermost skin layer, retinol targets all the skin layers, improving their elasticity. Dr. Talakoub adds that it also helps in skin regeneration, leaving your skin looking fresh 24/7.


The skin naturally produces ceramides which are lipids that form its moisture barrier. Of course, synthetic versions of these lipids are available in creams and moisturizers, and they are manufactured to mimic the function of their naturally occurring counterparts.

Dr. Talakoub says that ceramides ensure that your skin remains well hydrated, explaining that these synthetic versions are particularly essential for people living with skin conditions such as acne, dandruff, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.

Ceramide creams are especially helpful for individuals with certain skin conditions

How so? Well, the dermatologist explains that people whose skin is healthy have more than 340 species of ceramide. Unfortunately, the number is much, much lower in people with certain skin conditions, hence the need to revamp their skin using synthetic ceramides.

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