I’m a Beauty Editor, and These Are the 4 Skincare Ingredients I Won’t Be Without

As a part of my job as a beauty editor and journalist, I spend a big chunk of my day talking to skin experts, from aestheticians to consultant dermatologists. As a result, it’s safe to say that I have absorbed a whole lot of skincare know-how. And with that being said, I don’t believe in extensive skincare routines—partly because I’m lazy, but mostly because I have yet to find a medical expert who believes that applying more than four or five products to your face at any one time is better for your skin. In fact, over the years I have settled on just four ingredients that I know my skincare routine can’t be without.

As long as I have vitamins A (retinol), B (niacinamide) and C in my routine (topped off with a healthy layer of SPF in the morning), I’m good to go. And I know I’m on the right track because experts have taught me all that I know. Dr. Andrew Markey, world-renowned dermatologist and Beauty Pie’s consultant dermatologist in residence, says, “There are three skincare ingredients that work beautifully together to help slow down the ageing process, and conveniently, they just so happen to be called A, B and C. Once you add suncare to the ABC, you have the core of what you should be looking for in a great skincare routine.” (Dr Markey has a six-week ABC challenge that he swears by for great skin.)

You see, retinol promotes cell turnover, which helps keep my skin looking fresh and alive so that new, fresh skin comes to the surface more quickly. Niacinamide, on the other hand, keeps my pores in check and soothes any irritation, while vitamin C boosts glow and helps my skin fend off damage caused by environmental aggressors such as pollution and UV rays. Top that off with my number-one skincare must-have, SPF, which protects my skin against ageing and sun damage, and I have the perfect recipe for healthy skin.

The downside is that these powerful actives can be expensive. While single-ingredient serums might seem more affordable at first, quite often they aren’t formulated with all the hydrating ingredients that your skin also needs to maintain optimum health. Personally, I prefer my skincare products to be formulated to contain superstar ingredients that work in unison—and that’s why Beauty Pie is my go-to. 

Beauty Pie offers high-end skincare for a fraction of its typical price (you can sign up for a membership starting at £5 a month to access seriousdiscounts), which means I can give my skin everything it needs without breaking the bank. Keep scrolling to discover the dermatologist-approved Beauty Pie skincare buys I swear by.

All prices shown are members’ prices.

In order to keep vitamin C at its most stable and effective, it should be kept out of sunlight and as protected against oxygen exposure as possible. These little capsules combat that problem and leave skin glowing and plump.

I am a strong believer that you should wear a minimum of SPF30 every single day. This lightweight sun cream is perfect for everyday wear and sits beautifully under makeup.

When it comes to retinol, Beauty Pie really knows what it’s doing. This serum is formulated with barrier-strengthening ceramides to help prevent any potential dryness and irritation.

Typically, retinol products shouldn’t be applied near the eye area due to the skin’s delicate nature. However, this eye cream is pleasantly gentle. It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and offers immediate brightening.

If you’re already a seasoned retinol user, this supercharged formula delivers really impressive resurfacing results.

Niacinamide is probably my favourite skincare ingredient out there, and this serum is definitely one of the best around. It helps to minimise the appearance of pores, soothe irritated skin and prevent breakouts.

Some might call me over the top, but I feel quite passionately about treating my hands with the same level of attention as I treat my face. This hand treatment contains shea butter and retinol to moisturise and diminish fine lines.

I recommend this night cream to virtually everyone I know over the age of 25. It contains slow-release retinol as well as vitamin E and C for a hydrated, plump, glowing and more youthful appearance.

Okay, this face cream doesn’t contain retinol, niacinamide, vitamin C or SPF, but I think it’s important to note that a great moisturiser is also key when it comes to applying powerful actives. This cream contains moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid and a number of antioxidants to help keep skin looking its best. Next up, I’ve tried hundreds of beauty products—this brand gives the best value for money.