- Ingredient-Led Skincare Brands
10 Ingredient-Led Skincare Brands You Will Love
The demand for ingredient-led skincare is booming right now, especially as shoppers start to swot up on what actually goes into their products.
Us ‘skintellectuals’, formerly known as the skin-savvy, are on an ongoing quest for healthy skin. With standout brands like The Ordinary proving that you can achieve real results with simple, science-backed formulas, and all for a pocket-friendly price, we’ve become passionate about stripping back our skincare routine and indulging in all that ingredient-led brands have to offer.
But what are they, exactly? Ingredient-led brands are, quite simply, skincare brands that create products based around one hero ingredient. Hero ingredients include the likes of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, retinol, vitamin C, squalane, collagen; the list goes on. When formulas are made with hero ingredients and hero ingredients only, they become a total powerhouse within your skincare routine.
Sounds good, right? Here's 10 of the best ingredient-led skincare brands that we know you'll love.
Since bursting onto the scene in 2016, The Ordinary continue to raise the bar with their result-driven formulas, wallet-friendly prices and no-nonsense approach. Their simple and straight-forward products make it super easy to incorporate the likes of retinols, acids and antioxidants into your skincare routine. The only slight bump in the road is that the sometimes-scientific product names and potency percentages can be a little daunting, but once you’ve mastered the jargon, you’ll be well on your way. Plus, you can always refer to our guide to The Ordinary when in doubt.
Shop the best The Ordinary products:
Coming for the crown is straight-talking skincare brand, The INKEY List. Just like The Ordinary, they pride themselves on the fact that their products are only ever powered by active ingredients - salicylic acid, niacinamide, retinol and vitamin C to name a few.
The brand is definitely having its spotlight moment, and who can blame them when they're affordable, efficient and backed by trusted ‘skinfluencers’ like Hyram. It’s definitely one to add to your wish list!
Shop the best The INKEY List products:
Revolution Skincare is often dubbed as a dupe for The Ordinary; just one quick glance over their line-up explains it all.
Their philosophy is that better skincare equals better makeup application (if you didn’t already know, Revolution Skincare is a spin-off from the cult-favourite Revolution makeup brand), and so they're passionate about supplying a bunch of ingredient-led products that tackle any and every skin concern.
Shop the best Revolution Skincare products:
If you’re looking for ingredient-led skincare that’s also Instagram-worthy, then allow us to introduce you to Herbivore. Behind the pretty packaging and rainbow-coloured formulas, this brand utilises cold-pressed oils, essential oils and natural ingredients to tackle problematic skin. From classic ingredients to the more unique powerhouses, such as bakuchiol and blue tansy, this is must-have for your collection.
Shop the best Herbivore products:
Okay, so Paula’s Choice isn’t solely a single ingredient-led brand but she does boast a variety of products that are too good to miss – if you’re on Tik Tok, you’ll know what’s coming next.
From the viral 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant to the selection of retinol, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid boosters, Paula’s Choice has plenty of ingredient-led products for all skin types and concerns.
Shop the best Paula's Choice products:
Whether you’re suffering with hormonal acne, skin irritation, redness or dryness, Allies of Skin can help you out. Bringing formulas back to basics, their selection of creams, lotions and mists are supercharged with skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C.
Shop the best Allies of Skin products:
If there’s any brand that cuts through all the noise to bring simple, straight-forward, ingredient-led skincare, it’s Drunk Elephant. Best known for banning the ‘suspicious six’ (essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrance/dye), their products only ever utilise good-for-you ingredients.
Shop the best Drunk Elephant products:
You know it’s a good trend when it inspires celebs to launch their own line. Bad Habit is the brainchild of YouTuber and media personality, Emma Chamberlain. The skincare collection serves up clean formulas, which are headlined by purposeful active ingredients in order to combat the ageing effects of a fast-paced lifestyle.
Shop the best Bad Habit products:
Skincare after a long, hard and busy day can be a chore. Medik8 is the brand that helps you to take shortcuts, whilst still guaranteeing real results. Their focused formulas are not only powered by simple, science-backed ingredients, but they are also free from nasties.
Shop the best Medik8 products:
Last, but by no means least, we have SkinCeuticals. Whilst this collection sits on the pricier end of the spectrum, it’s completely worth every penny. The advanced skincare line utilises only the best science-led ingredients so that you can reveal a younger, healthier and more radiant complexion.
Shop the best SkinCeuticals products:
Now that you’re up to date with our favourite ingredient-led skincare brands, you can tailor your routine to suit your skin’s every want and need. We can’t wait for you to see how the hero ingredients transform your skin quicker, and better, than ever before!
If you’re keen to explore professional skin care that little bit further, be sure to check out our roundup of the best Doctor-Developed Skincare Brands.
Written by Carly Cochrane
Carly is a beauty editor at Cosmetify and has been a part of our family for three years. She has over five years of experience in health, beauty and wellness writing.