Popular Active Ingredients in Serums [Infographic]

ingredients in serums

Twenty-One Of The Best Ingredients in Serums

Are you confused about all the different ingredients in serums and not sure which ones are best for your skin? There are so many different ingredients in a host of different facial serums that it can all become very confusing! To help you decide which ingredients are most likely to improve your complexion, here are twenty-one of the most popular ingredients in serums! Whilst every serum is unlikely to have all of the following ingredients, we have covered the most common ingredients here.

Active Ingredients in youth serums

1. Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

The benefits of Hyaluronic Acid are due to its super absorbent properties – it can penetrate your skin deeply and absorb more than 1000 times its own weight in water. Your body naturally produces Hyaluronic Acid and you start your life with an abundance of it, that’s one reason why a baby’s skin is so soft and velvety. The problem is that as you age, your production of Hyaluronic Acid rapidly diminishes leaving you with dry and rough textured skin that has lost its lustre, suppleness and youthful vitality (this loss usually starts in your late twenties).

Hyaluronic Acid is one of the most important ingredients in serums, because it delivers a powerful and intense pulse of hydration to your skin, returning a more youthful and radiant glow to your complexion. If not used correctly however, Hyaluronic Acid Serums can make your skin drier – find out how to use this serum correctly here: Is Your Hyaluronic Acid Serum Too Drying?

2. Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a super antioxidant that is essential in wound healing and cellular repair. It also helps to fight the signs of aging caused by UV exposure and promotes the production of collagen.  Serums that include Vitamin C help to rejuvenate your skin, reducing discolorations, such as age spots or sun spots, and giving you a smooth complexion that looks younger and more radiant than you have seen in years.

Vitamin C is a wonderful antioxidant, reversing the signs of aging in your skin by fighting the effects of free radicals that are formed from UV rays, pollutants in the air and in your diet. Left unchecked, these free radicals will reduce the elasticity of your skin, its resilience and suppleness, causing fine lines, wrinkles and a tired or aged appearance to your skin.

vitamin C - one of the ebst ingreients in serums

Vitamin C helps to prevent free radical damage by stopping the free radical molecules interacting with your skin’s cells and molecules. Free radicals lack an electron and so must combine with other molecules to steal one of their electrons. The problem is that in many cases, the molecules attacked by the free radicals becomes injured and the molecule’s DNA is damaged. This damage is what causes your skin cells to appear aged.

So the Antioxidants in Vitamin C prevents free radicals from stealing electrons from other molecules by donating one of their own electrons, and in the process, preventing untoward damage to your skin’s cells – whilst not becoming free radicals themselves (due to donating one of their electrons). The take home message here is that Vitamin C protects your skin from damage caused by the sun, reduces inflammation and dark spots on your skin and promotes the production of collagen.

3. Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another potent Antioxidant that helps to fight the signs of aging in your skin caused by free radicals. It’s also essential in cellar repair and helps to rejuvenate your skin. The problem is that as you age, your body’s production of Vitamin D slows and you lose the benefits of this fabulous antioxidant. That’s why skincare products that include Vitamin D are very popualr, because this vitamin is essential for keeping your skin looking young.

4. Benefits of Vitamin E

Long used in skincare products because of its moisturizing effects, Vitamin E is also a strong Antioxidant that helps to reverse the signs of aging in your skin caused by free radicals. Having both Vitamin C and Vitamin E as the main ingredients in serums, really gives your skin a big rejuvenative boost, helping to even out your skin tone and giving your skin that extra level of vibrancy seen in younger looking skin.

5. Benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps to promote the production of collagen in your skin and aids in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. This function is important, because as you age, the production of collagen reduces, leaving you with an aged and tired look. Vitamin A, since it helps to stimulate the production of collagen, rejuvenates your skin and gives your complexion a more youthful feel, plumpness and softness.

carrots - vitamin A for face - one of the popular ingredients in serums

Vitamin A also helps to even out your skin tone and reduce mild hyper-pigmentation. It also has an exfoliant property that encourages skin turnover, giving your skin a healthier and clearer appearance. This exfoliative property is also useful in acne prone skin, as it prevents pores becoming clogged with dead skin cells that can encourage breakouts.

Vitamin A is an all-rounder and one of the most popular ingredients in serums, particularly for people with mild acne (it’s also known as Retinol).

6. Benefits of MSM

MSM is a sulfur compound that aids other hydrating ingredients to penetrate deeply into your skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is essential in cellular repair, and has long been used to reduce the effects of acne on the skin. It’s also effective in reducing the effects of eczema and psoriasis and in reducing dark spots, aged spots and hyper-pigmentation in your skin. MSM is another of the fabulous ingredients in serums that are ideal for anyone suffering from skin blemishes or mild acne.

7. Benefits of Green Tea

Green Tea is an even stronger Antioxidant than Vitamin C and so the value of your Antioxidants is boosted by having both of these ingredients in your serum. Green Tea has a higher antioxidant value than either Vitamin C or E and helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots on your skin and even sun spots. Your complexion looks healthier, smoother and clearer and has a more youthful glow when you include Green Tea as one of the ingredients in your serum.

Green tea ingredient in hyaluronic acid serum - one of the best ingredients in serums

It has anti-inflammatory properties that helps to reduce the damage caused  by free radicals and helps rejuvenate your skin by exfoliating the dead cells allowing them to be replaced by new healthy cells – giving you a more radiant glow and a more youthful texture to your skin.

8. Benefits of Aloe Vera

Described as the plant of immortality by the ancient Egyptians, Aloe Vera is well-known as a powerful healing agent for burnt or sunburnt skin and it’s just as effective when used directly from the plant as when used as a gel. Aloe Vera is also of great benefit in treating flaky or dry skin, and it’s said to help relive the itchiness of psoriasis. It also helps in the treatment of acne, reduces skin inflammation and since it contains many Antioxidants, such as vitamin A, C and E, fights free radical damage – so it’s an all-round great benefit to your skin.

9. Benefits of Witch Hazel

Long recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties, Witch Hazel helps to heal rashes and insect bites, as well as bruises and cuts. It’s also used effectively to treat eczema, prevents moisture loss from your skin, and aids in the healing of sunburn and dry, flaking skin. As a natural astringent, Witch Hazel also helps to reduce oil in your skin, which is fabulous for anyone suffering from mild acne.

10. Benefits of Lavender Oil

There is nothing quite like the fabulous smell of Lavender! It’s been popular for so long that it was actually used by the Romans – they used to add Lavender Oil to their bath water to soften their skin.

hyaluronic acid serum ingredients - Lavender open in the spring

Lavender Oil also helps to reduce inflammation in your skin, so it’s great for treating redness, burns and eczema, and inhibits the growth of bacteria (so it’s useful to treat mild acne).

11. Benefits of L-Arginine

L-Arginine has been shown to have anti-aging properties and assists in wound healing and collagen production. Since it also contains anti-bacterial compounds and Antioxidants, it helps to repair damage caused by photoaging due to free radicals.

12. Benefits of Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil contains wax esters, which as you age are lost from your skin. Wax esters help to keep your skin highly moisturized and supple – a sign of youthful skin – the problem is that as the production of these esters in your skin diminishes over time, the ability to retain moisture in your skin is also lost. Not only does Jojoba Oil contain essential wax esters, but it also contains Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, as well as Vitamins A, D and E. So you have the added benefit of additional Antioxidants that help to fight the signs of aging and give you back a more youthful looking skin.

13. Benefits of Peptides

Peptides are chains of amino acids and are the building blocks of proteins. In skin care products, peptides help your skin to retain moisture, repair itself and produce collagen. All of these results lead to a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and a softer look and feel to your skin.

14. Benefits of Ferulic Acid

Ferulic Acid is one of the most potent Antioxidants and is made from Rice Bran Oil  – it actually makes other Antioxidants work better. A 2008 study found that Ferulic Acid, in combination with Vitamins C and E, reduced free radical damage caused by sun exposure, reduced fine lines and increased firmness, texture and the smoothness of the skin after 24 weeks and when used twice a day. So adding Ferulic Acid as one of the ingredients in your serums will give all the other Antioxidants a big boost!

15. Benefits of Organic Rosehip Oil

Rosehip Oil is full of Antioxidants, Omega 3, 6 and 9 and Vitamin A. This oil is a rich amber color which comes from lycopene, a strong Antioxidant that helps to fight the signs of free radical damage in your skin. The essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9) aid in cellular repair and rejuvenation and help to reverse the signs of sun damage, dry skin and minor wrinkles.


Rosehip Oil is a very old remedy, used by the Aztecs for its super healing properties and the fact that it nourishes and moisturizes the skin so well.

16. Benefits of Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola (also known as Pennywort) is well-known in Chinese Mediciene for its healing and anti-aging properties. It’s full of Vitamin A, fatty acids and amino acids, and helps to boost the production of collagen, boosts the circulation of blood and speeds up the skin’s healing processes. It’s ideal for anyone with acne prone skin, mild surface veins or a lack of firmness in their skin. 

17. Benefits of Horsetail

This is another old world remedy that contains lots of Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates the production of collagen, improves the skin’s elasticity and smooths the tone of your skin. It’s also useful for healing rashes, burns and wounds, due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. 

18. Benefits of Geranium

The astringent properties of Geranium reduce the oiliness in your skin and its antibacterial properties assist in reducing breakouts. It’s a great ingredient for anyone who suffers from mild acne.

19. Benefits of Licorice

With anti-inflammatory properties, Licorice aids in healing acne, eczema and psoriasis and its Antioxidants help to reduce dark spots, age spots and sun spot -, reversing the signs of aging and clearing away mild acne.

20. Benefits of Thyme

Full of Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium and Selenium, Folic Acid, and Vitamins A, B, C, D and E, Thyme is a power house of nutrients for your skin. It’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help to prevent breakouts, it boosts the production of collagen, aids in cellular healing and reduces mild hyper-pigmentation.

21. Benefits of Chamomile

With anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, Chamomile was used by the Egyptians during the embalming process! It helps to heal dry or irritated skin conditions, such as acne and eczema and is a popular ingredient in serums. FYI: Some people are allergic to Chamomile.

chamomile flowers in vitamin c serum

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