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What are the best ingredients for skincare?

Like this article? We’ve got more! Check out the rest of our articles on skincare innovation, skin health, and combatting environmental stressors.


We know that what goes into skincare is important. But how do you wade through the “clean beauty” labels to identify what’s really worth the hype?

At Sundaily, our mission is to help you do just that. We use only evidence-based botanical ingredients in our own skincare gummies. With the help of our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Emilia Javorsky, we’re dedicated to cutting through the noise and pointing you toward the best complementary ingredients.

Here are the ingredients we love.


Antioxidants are a direct line of defense against free radicals, unstable molecules that cause cellular damage when left unchecked.

sundaily the base layer gummies pouring out of bottle

The natural wear and tear created by environmental stressors like smog, smoke, and sunlight creates what are called reactive oxidative species (ROS), also known as free radicals. These cause some major damage in the structures of our cells including DNA, proteins, and lipids.

To fight this damage, our body creates antioxidants. They react with free radicals to neutralize them so they can’t damage the chemistry of our cells. Often, we can’t create enough antioxidants on our own (or don’t get enough from our typical diet). That’s why products containing antioxidants like The Base Layer and The Back Up are so important!

Read more here: How do antioxidants for skincare work, anyway?

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency affects an estimated 1 billion people worldwide, and Americans in particular don’t seem to get enough. That’s a problem because Vitamin D benefits bone health, immune system health, calcium absorption, and more.

The National Institutes for Health suggests a daily Vitamin D intake of 600-800 IU/day for adults. That’s the amount we’ve included in Sundaily’s original The Base Layer gummy!

Read more here: Vitamin D: Solving the Problem of "Darkness at Noon"

best ingredients for skincare woman in bath


Retinol is a superstar in the anti-aging skincare family. The retinoid family of molecules is made up of Vitamin A derivatives, and retinol is an ingredient in the retinoid family.

Retinoids work to improve skin on several levels. These products work by causing skin cells to turn over and die. This increase in skin cell turnover helps our pores stay clear, which is why retinol is such a great acne-fighting ingredient. It can even help with acne scarring.

But skin that more readily turns over also looks better in terms of tone and texture, a couple of the physical markers we associate with aging. Retinoids also increase collagen production, which in turn helps our skin look plump and young. This decreases wrinkles by thickening the skin from the inside out.

Read more here: How do retinol creams work, anyway?

retinol cream best ingredients for skincareMoisturizers

Moisturizers are a crucial part of our simple skincare routine. In general, all moisturizers work by providing hydration to the skin and trapping it there. We can understand moisturizers a bit more by dividing them into three classes: humectants (which attract water, usually by drawing it out of the air), occlusives (which trap water in the skin) and emollients (which provide hydration themselves).

Read more here: How hydration helps dry winter skin

Vitamin C

woman with blonde hair and orangesVitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning our bodies can’t just make it but need it to function optimally. Vitamin C is often listed on labels as L-ascorbic acid.

Researchers now know that Vitamin C is critical for our skin health because it works on two fronts:

First, it’s an antioxidant, fighting off damage from sunlight, smog, and stress. Those stressors can cause early aging in skin, and antioxidants like Vitamin C help reduce that damage. Vitamin C is especially effective when paired with Vitamin E, which is why you’ll often find them together on ingredient labels. Second, it also plays a key role in maintaining our existing collagen and helps us make more of the good stuff.

Read more here: How does Vitamin C work, anyway?

Vitamin E

sunflower against blue skyVitamin E is actually a collection of fat-soluble vitamins with any of 8 different chemical forms.

We need 15 mg of Vitamin E in our diet every day, and naturally-occurring sources include sunflower seeds, wheat germ oil, and almonds. In addition to the Vitamin E we eat, we find it in topical formulations, too. When you see “Vitamin E” on an ingredient label, it’s usually listed in its chemical form, alpha-tocopherol.

One of Vitamin E’s most important roles (and what makes it really helpful for our skin) is as a powerful antioxidant. It also helps with healthy immune function and blood clotting.

Read more here: How does Vitamin E work, anyway?


hand with wrinklesCollagen refers to the family of proteins that provide structural support in our body. The various types of collage form connective tissues like ligaments, tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, and skin. Collagen is the main component in our extracellular matrix, the network that supports our cells.

Collagen is a major player in skin health, too. It helps skin heal and repair and maintains a strong barrier. Plus, the more collagen we have, the less wrinkled our skin looks.

Read more here: How does collagen work, anyway?

Sunscreenwoman shielding her eyes sunscreen

Sunscreen is an essential part of our daily skincare routine. That’s because the environmental stress caused by UV light is a year-round problem. In fact, it’s responsible for 90% of the visible signs of skin aging.

We recommend protecting your skin with a mineral-based sunscreen, moisturizer, primer, or foundation.

Read more here: Sundaily Myth Busters: The Real Deal on All Things Sunscreen and The best SPF foundations for sun protection


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