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Whether it’s a chilly winter or a sizzling summer, a healthy, well-balanced skin care routine is a MUST! Beautiful, nurtured skin goes with every look in every season. But what ingredients are packed away in your arsenal? Get to know the top five ingredients you need in your skin care and anti-aging collection.

Known as the “gold-standard” skin care ingredient, retinol (also referred to as vitamin A), is recommended by dermatologists the world over for its ability to improve the appearance of dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone and even acne. Retinol speeds up the skin’s natural turnover (which slows with aging), helping to even out skin tone and texture. Use it at night to get the best results.

While it may not treat any damage that’s already been done, sunscreen is a skin care essential. Since the sun is the leading cause of premature aging, wear a minimum SPF 30 sunscreen every day, even in winter.

Ingredients such as vitamins C and E, and resveratrol are crucial to your daily skin care regimen, as they not only fight free radical damage which may lead to wrinkles and aging, but they also help your sunscreen work better. Find them in serums and creams and apply them in the morning, under your sun protection.

Sometimes referred to as amino acids, peptides help stimulate the skin to produce collagen, one of the key building blocks of our skin which helps keep it looking smooth and plump. Since natural-occurring collagen dwindles in supply with aging, peptides may help give it a boost.

Not an ingredient per se, exfoliation should be a fundamental part of your skin care routine past the age of 30 and beyond. Chemical exfoliators such as salicylic or glycolic acid and mechanical ones such as mildly abrasive scrubs and cleansing brushes whisk away dead skin cells, helping to reveal fresher skin, while also helping active skin care ingredients to penetrate better.