The Best Skin Soothing Ingredients

Whether we’re braving the chilly winds of winter, or baking in summer’s scorching rays, stocking an arsenal of potent, skin-soothing ingredients is an all-season must. But with so many to choose from (in so many combinations!), we wanted to know: what skincare ingredients are the most effective at nourishing and calming our complexion?

Here’s a roundup of 8 top skin soothers, straight from board certified dermatologist, Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper).

A woman with peeling skin that could benefit from the best skin soothing ingredients

#1 Rosa canina fruit extract

Commonly known as rose hip extract, this ingredient is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, including C, A and E.

Primary benefits:

  • Moisturizes
  • Reduces the signs of aging
  • Relieves redness and inflammation

Skincare to try:

#2 Allantoin

This naturally-derived conditioner is often included in skincare to offset potent ingredients that can cause dryness or irritation.

Primary benefits:

  • Moisturizes
  • Relieves redness and inflammation
  • Soothes itchiness
  • Aids in healing

Skincare to try:

Body Seal by SLMD Skincare

    #3 Avena sativa

    Oat extract is rich in antioxidant compounds like avenanthramides and saponins, and the ground powder (colloidal oatmeal) is ideal for soothing chronic conditions like eczema.

    Primary benefits:

    • Relieves redness and inflammation
    • Soothes itchiness
    • Absorbs dirt and bacteria
    • Exfoliates dead skin cells

    Skincare to try:

    #4 Lactobacillus ferment

    This lab-created ingredient is derived from the probiotic microorganism Lactobacillus.

    Primary benefits:

    • Strengthens the skin barrier
    • Relieves redness and inflammation
    • Demonstrates antimicrobial properties
    • Improves skin tone

    Skincare to try:

    #5 Green Tea Extract

    Rich in polyphenols, catechins, and caffeine, this natural ingredient is known for its antimicrobial and astringent properties.

    Primary benefits:

    • Moisturizes
    • Demonstrates antimicrobial properties
    • Improves skin tone
    • Exfoliates dead skin cells

    Skincare to try:

    #6 Salicylic acid

    Typically well known for its extraordinary exfoliating capabilities, this potent pore purifier has numerous other benefits.

    Primary benefits:

    • Exfoliates dead skin cells
    • Eliminates excess oil and dirt buildup
    • Relieves redness and inflammation
    • Demonstrates antimicrobial properties

    Skincare to try:

    Hyaluronic Acid Serum by SLMD Skincare

      #7 Hyaluronic acid

      This ingredient is favored by dermatologists for its powerful hydrating qualities, as well as its ability to temper the effects of strong actives like retinol.

      Primary benefits:

      • Hydrates
      • Relieves redness and inflammation
      • Aids in healing
      • Reduces the signs of aging

      Skincare to try:

      #8 Squalane

      This extraordinary moisturizer, commonly derived from olive plants, is very similar to squalene, a compound found in skin’s natural lipids.

      Primary benefits:

      • Moisturizes
      • Supports the skin barrier
      • Relieves redness and inflammation
      • Reduces the signs of aging

      Skincare to try:

      Dr. Lee’s last word

      There are a handful of ingredients that really work to keep your skin nourished and balanced. Some of them draw water into the skin (those are called humectants) and some of them help lock in moisture (known as emollients). A few of my favorites include hyaluronic acid, allantoin, and squalane. Look for these actives in cleansers, serums and moisturizers to keep your skin glowing, and to temper more potent treatments like retinol.

      —Dr. Sandra Lee

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