Admit it—sometimes you overlook ingredients just because they’re too hard to pronounce. But behind all those syllables are some serious skincare benefits. Here, our shopping-obsessed sister site, BeautySage (which smartly vets their products to make sure they deliver on their claims), picks out five that are worth a double take—and a double dose. Says beauty chemist Ni’Kita Wilson, “These ingredients may not have a sexy story or an exotic name, but their results far outweigh the lack of pizzazz.”
Allantoin: “This ingredient is often overlooked,” says Wilson. “But it’s a dream ingredient with many different uses.” That’s because allantoin reinforces the skin’s natural protective barrier and improves moisture retention (hello, smoothness). It also helps rid your complexion of dry and damaged skin cells to boost radiance and has anti-irritant properties to protect skin from daily stressors. A dream, indeed!Find it in:NUXE Serum Creme Fraiche® De BeauteA 24-hour soothing and moisturizing serum.
Beta Hydroxy Acid:Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) sure does get a lot of antiaging attention—but beta hydroxy acid (BHA) deserves the anti-acne spotlight. The exfoliating ingredient kills blemish-causing bacteria and soothes inflammation. It’s also great for keeping oily skin and rosacea in check. Beta get some!Find it in:VMV Hypoallergenics Id Skin Buffing Pumice and Salicylic Facial CleanserA stimulating cleanser/exfoliator that unclogs pores and removes dull, dry skin.
Niacinamide: The question isn’t what does niacinamide (a component of Vitamin B3) do, the question is what doesn’t niacinamide do? According to Wilson, it’s proven to increase moisture levels, even out skintone (by slowing down the transfer of melanin into the skin cells), stimulates the production of collagen (farewell, fine lines) and reduce acne. All in favor of these benefits, say, “Ni!”Find it in:First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Restore CreamA rich, multi-tasking moisturizer that prevents and combats the signs of aging, moisturizes, nourishes and protects.
Caviar: OK, this one’s easy to pronounce. But this legendarily luxurious food is actually an ingredient that many don’t know has powerful skin benefits. Loaded with proteins and amino acids, caviar extract effectively smoothes out wrinkles and reduces skin sagging, increasing collagen density. It’s also known to reduce the look of dark circles and puffiness under the eyes by stimulating cell metabolism. So go ahead, indulge!Find it in:Natura Siberica ABSOLUTE Beluga Caviar Polycollagen Wrinkle FillerA wrinkle treatment that fills in the look of lines and creases.
Monolaurin: This coconut-derived monoglyceride keeps things clean in more ways than one. First, it acts as a surfactant, surrounding and lifting away dirt and oil to gently cleanse skin. Secondly, it helps kill dermal bacteria that lead to skin conditions (like acne), thanks to its antimicrobial and disinfectant powers. The ingredient is also super soothing and hypoallergenic, so it’s great for all skin types. Yet another reason to love monolaurin.Find it in:VMV Hypoallergenics Spring Fresh Oil-Free Nourisher SPF 15 for Oily SkinA lightweight, refreshing and oil-free hydrator with SPF 15 that softens and nourishes without adding shine or clogging pores.