The Ingredients You Want to Find in Your Skincare Products

These days, deciphering the ingredient label on your beauty products can be tricky. Luckily, Deborah Burnes, founder of Sumbody, and Rachel Winard, founder of Soapwalla, are here to help us navigate them.

“‘You are what you eat’ should be modernized to say ‘you are what you put on your skin,’” Burnes says. “I suggest using products that have fewer ingredients, ones that you can recognize and pronounce,” she says. “When choosing skin care you want the perfect marriage of science and nature.”

So rather than looking for the “hot” ingredient of the moment, why not choose a product that is proven to work? Here are some ingredients to look for.

Pure butters

Especially when it comes to body care products, Burnes recommends looking for pure butters like shea, coconut and mango. “Pure butters are all wonderfully moisturizing and great for your body from the neck down,” Burnes says. Try these butters on dry cuticles, elbows or on dry, cracked feet.

Buy it now: Skin Savior Multi-Tasking Wonder Balm from One Love Organics, $49


Gone are the days when people believed oils were harmful to the skin. “I’m a huge proponent of oils on the face and body,” Winard says. “They naturally protect the skin, can penetrate and deeply moisturize, help repair the skin’s natural barrier, and are chock full of vitamins and minerals that support skin systems.” She recommends looking for formulas that have a variety of different weights and textures.

Burnes has a plethora of oils she recommends for the skin. There are so many she enjoys working with, such as carrot seed, cranberry seed, chia seed, jojoba, argan and primrose oil. Winard agrees, especially when it comes to jojoba oil. “Because of its chemical makeup, jojoba soaks effortlessly into the skin, won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin, blends with other oils well and is highly moisturizing,” she says.

Buy it now: Restorative Face Serum from Soapwalla, $56


Vitamins are important internally and topically. Vitamins like A, C and E all have proven skincare benefits including collagen production and increased cell turnover. Vitamin A was popularized back in the day by dermatologists prescribing Retin-A, but now other vitamins are getting their time to shine due to their proven skincare benefits. These vitamins are usually found in highly potent face serums that you would wear under a moisturizer to penetrate the skin.   

Buy it now: Vitamins C+E+Ferulic Serum from Marie Veronique, $90

Essential fatty acids

Burnes feels essential fatty acids are crucial in skincare, particularly from a natural source such as avocado oil. Essential fatty acids will help keep the skin plump and moisturized, as well as help maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier. Our skin is our largest organ, and it’s meant to protect us from the outside elements. Essential fatty acids help it do just that.   

Buy it now: Norm/Dry Face Formula from Sumbody, $45


Lisa Bensley is the founder of BeautyByBenz, a health and beauty blog that is really just an excuse to buy too much makeup. When she is not writing, she's probably boxing, obsessing over her Dachshund, Stanley, reading, or binge-watching Law & Order: SVU. Follow her (and Stanley's) antics on Instagram.