Skinceuticals Logo

3 Under-The-Radar Hero Ingredients To Look For In Your Skincare

Most skincare aficionados are familiar with the classics of the active-ingredient world: retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. We know them, we use them, we love them. But some skincare ingredients, while just as impressive, are a little less well-known, working their magic diligently in the background and waiting for their moment in the sun.
Ferulic acid, coenzyme Q10 and azelaic acid are three of these powerful ingredients. To learn more about these less-lauded yet high-performing hero ingredients, we spoke to Dr Ceylan Yilmaz, a Melbourne-based GP with a background in aesthetic medicine. 

Ferulic Acid

Ferulic acid is a plant-based antioxidant and its superpower is fighting free radicals. If you’re unsure of what the term ‘free radicals’ means, when your skin is exposed to the elements, particles from UV rays and pollution can bind to the skin — which can damage cells and accelerate ageing.
"An antioxidant is considered an active ingredient as it neutralises oxidising agents, such as free radicals, in the body," explains Dr Yilmaz. “When applied to the skin, ferulic acid protects the skin from environmental stress by scavenging and neutralising harmful free radicals that damage skin cells. This prevents premature ageing and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles."
Ferulic acid also brings out the best in other products. According to Dr Yilmaz, it provides stability to fellow antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E, and further enhances their effects on your skin. A product like the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum harnesses this stabilising power by combining all three mighty ingredients.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10 to its friends) is another antioxidant, which our body produces to generate energy for healthy cellular function. However our levels of CoQ10 decrease as we age, and research has found that applying CoQ10 topically will assist in replenishing this skin-loving resource.
According to Dr Yilmaz, supplementing with CoQ10 (orally as well as topically) can improve the overall function of the skin by protecting it from harmful free radicals that are generated through external factors like UV damage, or internal factors like cellular damage. This in turn will delay ageing of the skin.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is an acidic compound produced by a yeast that’s naturally found on the skin. But what’s it good for? Studies have shown that the acid is effective in the management of breakouts. Dr Yilmaz often recommends it for patients with acne, rosacea and peri-oral dermatitis because of its antibacterial, antioxidant and keratolytic (the ability to soften and break down outer layers of skin) benefits.
Now that these three ingredients are on your radar, note that they’re best applied in serum form on clean skin. Serums tend to be more lightweight, so the targeted ingredients can penetrate more deeply into the skin. After the serum has sunk in, you can lock everything in with a thicker moisturiser followed by SPF.

More from Skin Care