Skincare decoded: Understanding active molecules

If there was a skincare ABC, then A would be for ‘active molecules’ – effective, proven ingredients with powerful benefits that can help support your skin’s needs.If your current skincare routine isn’t giving you the results you crave, it may be missing the key ingredients you need to tackle your specific concerns. But with a few simple tweaks, you should see a noticeable difference in how your complexion appears and feels.

Here we simplify the key active molecules that are proven to tackle the most common skin issues – from brightening vitamin C, to multi-tasking niacinamide, the skin-plumping active molecule hyaluronic acid, and smoothing retinol. Plus, we break down how to incorporate them into your routine, day and night. Read on to find your perfect skin prescription.

If you’ve noticed darker patches of skin and an uneven skin tone, you may be suffering from a skin concern called hyperpigmentation. This can be caused by factors such as UV damage, pollution, medication, and hormonal changes in the body, like those experienced during pregnancy.

So how can you help to even out your skin tone and prevent it from becoming more noticeable? The most effective way is via active molecules such as niacinamide that can help skin appear more even. La Roche-Posay’s Pure Niacinamide 10 serum has a highly concentrated formula that is proven to reduce the appearance of dark spots (90 per cent of 93 testers saw a reduction in dark spots*). It is also a multi-tasking molecule that brightens and evens the skin tone. Apply this after cleansing in the evening, before following with a gentle moisturiser such as La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Dermallergo Fluid for the day and its complementary night cream in the evening.

As dark spots and pigmentation are often caused and made worse by UV radiation, it’s vital that you finish your morning routine with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Pigment Correct is formulated with niacinamide, antioxidants and Procerad to help tackle hyperpigmentation and protect the skin from UV damage, pollution and infrared. This makes it an ideal final skincare step before you head out for the day.

Skin dryness and fine lines are two common concerns that usually go hand in hand. The drier and more dehydrated the skin, the more prominent fine lines and wrinkles can be – especially around the eyes. So how can you treat both concerns at once? With water-attracting skincare molecules such as hyaluronic acid, that can help skin look plumper.

La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 serum uses double molecule technology to retain moisture and instantly hydrate the skin. This means that it uses two different sized molecules of hyaluronic acid to boost the appearance of skin volume. The larger molecule tackles the appearance of surface-level wrinkles while the smaller molecule helps to give your complexion a plumper look.

Apply it after cleansing the skin before following with a gentle moisturiser such as La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermallergo Night Cream for Sensitive Skin and facial sunscreen such as La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Age Correct. This will protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays that can be responsible for causing premature ageing signs such as fine lines. This formula also contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to hydrate and even the appearance of the skin tone while brightening the look of the complexion with an ingredient called PHE-Resorcinol.

For extra hydration around the eyes, gently apply a small amount of La Roche-Posay’s new Hyalu B5 eye serum. “Skin around the eye is often an area of concern, because it is thin and delicate and underneath there is a complex network of blood vessels and other structures,” explains dermatologist Dr Emma Wedgeworth. “The Hyalu B5 eye serum is intelligently formulated to target and refine dehydration, puffiness and fine lines”.

Loss of radiance in the skin is a very common skincare concern that can be caused by everything from environmental factors, such as pollution and UV radiation – to stress and tiredness. The reason these external factors affect the skin is because they can cause free radicals (unstable molecules) to form. When these attach themselves to the skin, they can cause oxidative stress and accelerate skin concerns such as premature ageing.

So how do you combat this? One of the most effective ways of protecting the skin from oxidative stress is with an antioxidant serum that contains vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid). This hero ingredient helps to support the skin against these damaging free radicals, while giving skin a brighter look.

La Roche-Posay’s Pure Vitamin C10 serum  is ideal for every day with a formula containing hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and exfoliating salicylic acid. Together these ingredients help to promote the appearance of radiance in the skin while keeping it beautifully hydrated throughout the day.

Vitamin C serum should be applied first thing in the morning after cleansing, but if your skin is particularly dry or dehydrated, follow it with La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 serum, Hyalu B eye cream and a lightweight moisturiser such as Toleriane Sensitive Fluid Moisturiser. You should also always end your morning routine with a broad-spectrum sunscreen like La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Age Correct. This extra barrier will help to provide your skin with an effective daily defence against free radical damage from UV and pollution.

Whether your concern is dehydration, lack of radiance, fine lines or an uneven skin tone, there’s one addition to your evening skincare routine that can make a noticeable difference: Retinol, one of the most biologically active anti-ageing molecules.

Formulated for sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 serum gradually releases 0.3% retinol to the skin which can help stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines. It does this alongside Vitamin B3 which helps the complexion appear brighter and ensure the retinol is tolerated by sensitive skin.

Dr Emma Wedgeworth, Consultant Dermatologist for La Roche-Posay

Follow this with other hydrating products in your routine such as La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 or Niacinamide 10 serum – this will counteract any dryness that the retinol may create. Then end your night-time routine with La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 eye serum and Toleriane Sensitive Fluid Moisturiser.

*Self-assessment by 93 subjects

To find out more about the La Roche-Posay range, and find your perfect skin prescription click here

For a plumping, hydrated look and feel, opt for La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 serum

To give skin a brighter, more radiant look, use La Roche-Posay’s Pure Vitamin C10 serum


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