The top ingredients, formats and trends to tap for effective anti-inflammatory skincare

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

© Jonathan Storey / Getty Images
© Jonathan Storey / Getty Images

Related tags Inflammation Skin Skin care

In the second part of this feature about skin inflammation, we asked Ebru Karpuzoglu, an expert in immunology and creator of anti-inflammation skincare line Ave-Seen, about the best approaches to developing and marketing products in this space.

Here, we touch on the preferred ingredients and product format to create truly effective products, as well as highlighting the key trends that can be tapped into in an effort to make these products really resonate with consumers.  

The best ingredients:

“My preferred anti-inflammatory ingredients are chosen based on scientific evidence of their efficacy and compatibility with various skin types,” ​said Karpuzoglu. “Here are some key ingredients and their benefits:”

  • Niacinamide: Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is a versatile anti-inflammatory ingredient. It helps restore the skin’s natural barrier, reduces redness, and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Niacinamide also has a soothing effect on sensitive skin
  • Chamomile Extract: Chamomile is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and calming properties. It contains compounds like chamazulene and bisabolol that soothe irritated skin and reduce redness. Chamomile is particularly suitable for sensitive and reactive skin.
  • Squalane: It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent with essential fatty acids and hydrating properties. It can alleviate skin irritation, promote healing, and soothe inflamed skin. It is suitable for all skin types, especially dry and sensitive skin.
  • Centella asiatica​ (Cica): Centella asiatica​ is rich in triterpenoids and is known for its wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help with skin calming and repair.
  • Licorice Root Extract: Licorice root extract contains compounds like glycyrrhizin and licochalcone A, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps brighten the skin, reduce redness, and calm sensitive skin.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: While not an anti-inflammatory ingredient per se, hyaluronic acid is excellent for hydration. Well-hydrated skin is less prone to inflammation and irritation, so it indirectly supports anti-inflammatory skincare.
  • Ceramides: Ceramides are essential components of the skin barrier. By supporting and strengthening the skin barrier, ceramides help reduce inflammation and prevent moisture loss.

“These ingredients have been extensively researched and have shown efficacy in addressing inflammation, making them valuable additions to skincare formulations,”​ said Karpuzoglu. “Their versatility allows them to be incorporated into various product formats to suit different skincare routines and preferences.”

The best product formats

Asked about the optimal formats for anti-inflammatory product lines, Karpuzoglu has some clear ideas on the best options to aim for.

“The ideal skincare product formats for anti-inflammatory claims can vary based on individual preferences and specific skin concerns. Anti-inflammatory claims can be effectively incorporated into a range of skincare product formats, each offering unique advantages:”

  • Serums: Serums are lightweight, fast-absorbing liquids that typically contain a higher concentration of active ingredients making them ideal for delivering a potent dose of anti- inflammatory ingredients. They are quickly absorbed into the skin, providing targeted relief from inflammation.
  • Moisturizers: Anti-inflammatory moisturizers are suitable for daily use and provide continuous hydration while calming and soothing the skin. They provide hydration along with anti-inflammatory benefits. The creamy texture is soothing and can help calm irritated skin offering a protective layer that locks in moisture. They can be applied in the morning and evening as part of a skincare routine.
  • Masks: Sheet masks or overnight masks infused with anti-inflammatory ingredients offer intensive treatment for irritated or sensitive skin. These masks allow for prolonged contact with the skin, enhancing ingredient absorption.
  • Cleansers: Gentle anti-inflammatory cleansers are effective for removing impurities without causing further irritation. They prepare the skin for subsequent skincare steps.
  • Sunscreens: Sunscreens with anti-inflammatory properties help protect the skin from UV- induced inflammation. They are essential for preventing premature aging and maintaining skin health.
  • Spot Treatments: For targeted relief, spot treatments containing anti-inflammatory ingredients can be applied directly to blemishes or areas of redness.

“Combining different formats within a skincare routine can provide comprehensive anti-inflammatory care, ensuring a balanced and healthy complexion,” ​Karpuzoglu said.

The key trends to tap into

When it comes to the key trends to tap into to make anti-inflammatory skincare resonate, Karpuzoglu says that “the future of anti-inflammatory claims in skincare appears promising and is likely to evolve in several ways:”

  • Advanced Formulations: Skincare brands will continue to innovate, formulating products with a focus on cutting-edge anti-inflammatory ingredients that are supported by scientific research.
  • Personalization: The industry will move toward more personalized skincare solutions, with formulations tailored to individual skin types and concerns, including inflammation.
  • Sustainability: There will be a growing emphasis on sustainability, with brands incorporating eco-friendly and ethically sourced anti-inflammatory ingredients.
  • Holistic Approaches: The skincare industry may explore holistic approaches that consider not only topical products but also lifestyle factors that influence skin health, such as nutrition and stress management.
  • Technology Integration: Technology-driven solutions, such as apps and devices for assessing skin inflammation, may become more common, allowing consumers to make informed product choices.

“As scientific understanding of skin inflammation advances, skincare brands will continue to adapt and refine their offerings, ultimately benefiting consumers by addressing a wide range of skin concerns associated with inflammation,”​ Karpuzoglu said.

To see part one of this article, please click HERE​.

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