Earlier this year, I wrote down my top 5 favorite skincare ingredients in an effort to avoid making impulsive purchases based on trendy new “it” products. It worked. I was able to stay laser focused on using the products I already had in my medicine cabinet, and not being tempted into blowing my budget on products that did fit my needs.

That said it’s time to re-evaluate my fab 5. Which ones stayed in and what ingredients are new?

  1. AHAs/BHA – The chemical exfoliants that singlehandedly saved my congested skin and continues to be an essential part of my maintenance. I’m currently getting this Krave’s Kalelaluyah AHA and Deciem The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid solution.
  2. Arbutin – Out of all the many brightening ingredients outthere, arbutin has worked best for me. I first got this in Deciem’s TO Alpha Arbutin serum, and now get it in Kikumasamune’s sake skin care lotion, which I plan to replace with the high moist version when I’m done.
  3. Vitamin A (Retinol) – The undisputed anti-aging champion. I get this from Deciem The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2%.
  4. Vitamin C – Vitamin C is not something I reach for often, since it is hard to find a texture I like, but I know it’s one of the most potent antioxidants out there for improving your skin and I need to be more dedicated in its application. I current get this in Rohto Melano CC Spot Treatment, and will try out more Deciem options (maybe their MAP light cream?) when that is done. Sunday Riley also has a C serum that is nice and creamy. Ole Henriksen has an interesting gel creme moisturizer with vitamin c as well.
  5. Green Tea – I don’t know why this works for my skin so much more so than other antioxidants but it does. Previously I got this from Innisfree’s Green Tea Seed Serum. Natural Pacific also makes a serum which has more anti-aging ingredients, and no alcohol, but it’s slightly pricier. I’m ok getting this in a serum in smaller quantities.

What’s out? Licorice and Centella Asiatica were previously on my top 5. I removed them as, even though they are fine, I added them without have prior personal experience that they were effective for me. I think they’re fine but for the sake of prioritization, my top choices should be things I know work for me or that have an extensive background of research supporting it.