4 Essential Skin-Care Ingredients for 2015

Out with the old, in with the new: The New Year always brings about the next big things in beauty, and in no arena is that as evident as the world of skin-care ingredients. But, before you swap out your half-empty bottles for “something better,” here are four ingredient innovations that have us intrigued:

Bemotrizinol

Look for the entire active sunscreen ingredients spectrum to go through some changes during the first half of 2015, thanks to President Obama’s signing of the Sunscreen Innovation Act at the end of last year. Under the Act, the FDA and Congress are required to do a review (and potential OK) of all of the sunscreen actives that are waiting in the queue for approval—which specifically includes eight sunscreen applications that have been in this “backlog limbo” for 12-plus years. (The FDA has not approved a new over-the-counter sunscreen ingredient since the 1990s!) One of the ingredients that we are the most excited about: Bemotrizinol, a chemical sunscreen that absorbs both UVA and UVB rays and has the added bonus of being more photostable than similar ingredients in its category (it’s currently approved for use in Europe and Australia, and, if it's OK’d, it could be popping up in U.S. products as early as the summer months).

Chia Seed Oil

The chia seed craze looks like it’s going to go even more gangbusters this year, as it rises from its place as an add-on in your smoothie and gains popularity in the skin-care world—especially in the organic and natural sector. While the ingredient is not exactly brand-new, the fatty acid–rich oil looks like it will be a serious contender for top billing with the other big botanicals (argan and grape seed, for starters), as news from manufacturer, MayaChia, reports some promising benefits behind it: It offers 30 percent more antioxidant power than blueberries, is packed with the highest concentration of fatty acids from any plant source and is superrich in essential minerals. “It is also terrific for hydration and stretch marks,” says Hollywood, FL, dermatologist Gary Goldfaden, MD, who adds that, in his opinion, the oil trend, in general, will continue to pick up speed this coming year. 

Skullcap

Continuing with the botanical boom comes skullcap, a skin-protecting root extract that is a flowering part of the mint family—and a key Eastern medicinal herb. “Skullcap possesses well-documented anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,” explains Redding, CA, dermatologist Craig Kraffert, MD and president of Amarte skin care, a brand that is utilizing the ingredient. In addition, skullcap has brightening effects, and, according to Dr. Kaffert, may have potential anticancer effects as well.

Fulvic Acid

Popular in Australia and China, look for fulvic acid hitting more U.S.-available products this year. An uber-potent antioxidant, the ingredient boasts of a bevy of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids. In addition, some studies suggest it possesses anti-aging properties and may have some implications for helping with hydration, and even eczema. 

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