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The Hottest Skincare Ingredients to Know in 2023

Feature: Long Read
Words by Olivia de Courcy and Shannan Sterne

In recent years, we’ve seriously boffed up on our skincare ingredient knowledge: what we put on our skin has become just as important as what we put into it. With brands like The Ordinary exploding in popularity thanks to its no-fuss ‘does what is says on the tin’ approach, it’s clear that the skincare ingredient language 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 latest 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 will always be wonders), you’ll notice that there is a focus on gentle and skin-barrier-supporting ingredients that rebuilds and soothes 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). 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 2023.

You want it? We've got it. These are the #trending ingredients that everyone’s talking about for 2023.

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 the 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 the skin barrier.

Sensitive Skincare

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 on skin. Look to cooling, alcohol-free and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile and calendula to soothe your skin. Plus, bolster the barrier between your skin and environmental aggressors with hydrating hyaluronic acid and ceramides. 

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SARAH CHAPMAN  Overnight Facial Deluxe (30ml)


The only scientifically proven ingredient to reduce signs of ageing and, retinol is an antioxidant derived from vitamin A. 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. 

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Vitamin C
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.


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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 Serum, Dr Dennis Gross’ C+ Collagen line and Estée Lauder’s Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Transformative Energy Crème.


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Why Bio-Positive Beauty is the Future
Why Bio-Positive Beauty is the Future of Skincare


Stepping away from the beauty buzzwords, bio-positive brands are the leaders pioneering permanent environmental change. Consider this your beauty editor’s guide to shopping bio-positive beauty. 


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Bringing you a weekly dose of everything from pro-approved beauty buys to the season's must-try trends – at Harrods, it’s all about living your best life.

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