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The Biggest Skincare Ingredients to Know in 2024

Feature: Long Read
Words by Amelia Bell, Shannan Sterne & Olivia de Courcy

In recent years, we’ve seriously increased our skincare ingredient knowledge. With brands like The Ordinary exploding in popularity thanks to its no-fuss, ‘does what it says on the tin’ approach and science-backed names like Orveda and Cellcosmet bringing clinical ingredients straight to our bathroom cabinets, it’s clear that the skincare lexicon once reserved for laboratories and those in-the-know is now firmly part of our everyday routines.

But, with so much information out there, it can feel overwhelming when choosing the right skincare ingredients for your routine. And deciphering between TikTok’s buzziest beauty trends as a fad or a game-changing investment can make the process even more complex. Thankfully, we’ve curated an essential handbook on the ingredients to know. As well as the usual suspects (vitamin C, retinol, and collagen), you’ll notice that there is a focus on skin-barrier-supporting ingredients that can help rebuild and soothe sensitive skin. Plus, we’ll be turning to mother nature for botanicals that help heal and calm skin (mushrooms and witch hazel taking centre stage). Not forgetting, of course, the biggest ingredients taking over the skincare world this year (exosomes and peptides, looking at you). Whatever your skincare needs, we’re sure you’ll find the right hero for you in our guide to the hottest skincare ingredients to know in 2024.

You want it? We’ve got it. These are the trending ingredients that everyone is talking about for 2024.  

  • Exosomes

    Exosomes have been making its way into the latest (and tech-savvy) skincare launches. Though formally reserved for aesthetic treatments to support downtime and reduce any inflammation, brands such as Dr. Barbara Sturm are using exosomes to help slow down skin’s ageing process. These cell signallers work to help increase collagen production, improve inflammation and skin texture, as well as boost your skin’s ability to repair itself.

    Shop Dr. Barbara Sturm Exoso-Metic Face Serum
  • Peptides

    Peptides – the building blocks of proteins – have been getting a lot of attention in the skincare world lately. That’s because, when it comes to your complexion, these short chains of amino acids yield results. Stars such as Lancôme’s Rénergie H.P.N. 300-Peptide Face Cream are fantastic for your skin as it helps skin cells to perform at its best, boosting collagen and elastin production while strengthening your skin barrier.

    Shop Lancôme Rénergie H.P.N. 300-Peptide Face Cream
  • Mushrooms

    More specifically, tremella mushrooms, which are having a moment. The superfood operates in a similar way to hyaluronic acid, drawing additional moisture beneath your skin’s surface for plumping and rejuvenating results. Favourites such as Origins’ Dr. Andrew Weil Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Advanced Face Serum is favoured for its ability to hydrate skin but also calm any redness and soothe your complexion.

    Shop Origins Dr. Andrew Weil Mega-Mushroom Fortifying Emulsion

The Acid Alphabet

We have AHAs, BHAs and PHAs, then there is hyaluronic acid, glycolic, lactic, mandelic and polyglutamic … yes, there are a lot of acids in the skincare ingredient world, all with very important roles to play to give you the best skin of your life. Being the parents of the group, AHAs, BHAs and PHAs come in handy to help resurface and brighten skin. Loosening dead skin cells (AHAs), de-clogging pores (BHAs) and gently exfoliating (PHAs) – they are key in revealing new, healthy skin underneath. Within these ingredient families we have exciting new formulas that are brightening, blemish-busting and fortifying for your skin barrier.

Sustainable Heroes


Want to know what the experts and those in the know call upon as part of their daily skincare routine? From the under-the-radar ingredients to those clinically-proven staples, here’s what you’ll find in the skincare bags of the most clued up skintellectuals. 


An antioxidant derived from vitamin A, retinol is the only ingredient scientifically proven to reduce signs of ageing. For those new on the retinol journey, start with a low percentage and work your way up – as it can cause irritation, including sun sensitivity, so it’s best used in the PM and followed up with a sunscreen the next day. If you’re a retinol regular, opt for retinal, it’s 11 times stronger than retinol, and will boost your complexion’s reparative process much faster. Consider La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil or Murad’s Retinal ReSculpt Overnight Treatment.


Shop Retinol
Vitamin C

Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant, meaning it protects your skin from free radical damage that can lead to early signs of ageing (therefore it’s best used in the AM), but it can also boost collagen production and reduce pigmentation. Try a vitamin C serum for maximum potency. Newbies to the vitamin C crew of note include Dr Barbara Sturm’s The Good C and Kylie Skin by Kylie Jenner's Vitamin C Face Serum.


Shop Vitamin C Skincare

Collagen is what keeps our skin supple, bouncy and ‘plump’, making up 75% of its structure, but depletes at a rather rapid pace as we age – hence wrinkles and ‘sagging’ occur. Keep those levels high (a trend known as ‘collagen banking’) by supplementing regularly and including it in your routine – you’ll find it in lots of skincare including Murad’s Rapid Collagen Infusion SerumDr Dennis Gross’ C+ Collagen line and Estée Lauder’s Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Transformative Energy Crème.


Shop Collagen Skincare

Sensitive Skin Solutions

Skin sensitivity is on the rise and the cause is down to myriad factors. Genetic differences in the skin’s protective barrier can mean that your skin is more likely to react to a whole range of influences such as over-exfoliation, environmental aggressors and even the change in temperatures can disrupt the balance of your skin’s microbiome. This means that you may experience unwarranted breakouts, dry and flaky skin, redness and inflammation.

If you’re looking for advice, you can speak to our world-class experts in The Pharmacy and The Wellness Clinic for tailored-to-you guidance. You can also streamline your skincare shelf with products that have a calming effect. Look to cooling, alcohol-free and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile and calendula to soothe your skin. Plus, bolster your barrier between your skin and environmental aggressors with hydrating hyaluronic acid and ceramides.

Shop Skincare

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