Antioxidants Cosmeceuticals Retinoids Vitamin A Vitamin C Vitamin E

Aurae Skin believes in the importance of including a balance of natural and cosmeceutical grade ingredients in skincare for the best results.

A cosmeceutical is the name given to scientific skincare and represents the nexus between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Cosmeceuticals have bioactive ingredients that work to achieve a medicinal-like benefit to the skin.

The word bioactive describes the effects of a cosmeceutical on skin cell function.

Research suggests that cosmeceuticals pose a greater benefit to the skin beyond those of a traditional moisturiser.

Combining various cosmeceutical ingredients is believed to pose the greatest benefit than only focusing on one - attacking ageing from all angles.

Below is a list of cosmeceuticals to include in your skincare and what it is that they do.


Lots of external factors including UV radiation (from the sun), pollution and smoking, in addition to internal factors including normal cellular metabolism, can generate molecules known as free radicals which are damaging to the skin.

Antioxidants combat these free radicals which can reduce inflammation, protect the skin against these harmful factors and potentially help ward off skin cancers. In turn, antioxidants have been known to slow the signs of ageing through skin cell protection.

It is suggested by studies that combinations of antioxidants are more effective than single formulations.

Antioxidant examples:

  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid
  • Vitamin C (L-Asorbic Acid)
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
  • Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)
  • N-Acetyl-Glucosamine (NAG)
  • Ubiquinone (CoEnzyme Q10)

Hydroxy Acids

Hydroxy acids improve skin texture, reduce the signs of ageing, promote hydration within the skin, and eat up dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) - having a chemical exfoliant effect on the skin.

Hydroxy Acids are categorised into:

  • Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
    • Glycolic Acid
    • Lactic Acid
    • Citric Acid
    • Mandelic Acid
    • Malic Acid
    • Tartaric Acid
    • Lactobionic Acid
  • Poly-Hydroxy Acids (PHAs)
    • Gluconolactone Acid
    • Lactobionic Acid
  • Beta-Hydrpxy Acids (BHAs)
    • Salicylic Acid

The higher the percentage of the hydroxy acid in your skincare - the more intense the effect will be on your skin. A general rule of thumb is to start with a lower percentage (<5%) and gradually increase as required. Professional grade hydroxy acid starts at ~8%>.

Retinoids (Vitamin A)

  • Tretinoin
  • Retinoic Acid
  • Retinol
  • Retinaldehyde

Retinoids are natural or synthetic forms of Vitamin A that can partially reverse skin changes induced by sun exposure.

Acting as antioxidants, retinoids have the added edge of activating specific genes and proteins. Retinoids have been shown to improve the appearance of photo-damaged skin through the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, skin firming and texture as well as reducing pigmentation.

Skin Lightenting Agents

Skin lieghtening agents assist by inhibiting the production of melanin (pigment in the skin) - to reduce discolouration and pigmentation.

  • Hydroquinone
  • Asorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
  • Kojic Acid
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Licorice Extract (Glabridin)


Botanicals refer to plant extracts that can have an antioxidant, anti-inflammatroy and/or skin soothing properties.

  • Soy
  • Curcumin
  • Silymarin
  • Pycnogenol
  • Ginkgo Bilboa
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Aloe Vera
  • Witch Hazel
  • Allantoin
  • Ferulic Acid


Peptides are made up of amino acids and are fragments of proteins on their own. Amino acids are purely building blocks for cells to help cells function and provide cells their structure.

When amino acids are combined in certain formations - they create specific peptides - and specific peptide formations create specific proteins.

Proteins are building blocks for skin. Without peptides, the skin is unable to remain intact and results in loss of firmness, promotes deteriorating changes in texture and promotes the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

There are 5 types of peptides used in skincare:

  1. Signalling peptides
  2. Carrier peptides
  3. Enzyme-inhibiting peptides
  4. Neurotransmitter-inhibiting peptides
  5. Antimicrobial peptides

Growth Factors

Growth factors are proteins that help to control chemical signals between and within cells. These growth factors are known to be important in wound healing and repair of damaged tissue - which may assist to repair skin damage from sun exposure.


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