For skin-barrier strengthening
Also known as linoleic acid, vitamin F - an essential fatty acid found in rosehip, sunflower, olive and flaxseed oils - is an unsung skincare hero. Its omega-rich structure helps to keep the skin's lipid barrier strong and to deliver a healthy-looking complexion.
TRY: Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, £24. Perricone MD Essential FX Deep Crease Serum, £129.
For brightening and hydrating
This wonder ingredient has grown in popularity thanks to its effectiveness at treating acne and breakouts by reducing oil production, as well as its ability to brighten, hydrate, enhance collagen production and help reduce hyperpigmentation.
TRY: It's Skin Power 10 VB Serum, £12 at Boots.com. Dr Sebagh Breakout Spot-on Blemish Corrector, £35. Olay Regenerist Overnight Miracle Firming Mask, £30.
For exfoliating sensitive skin
Meet the much-hyped new beast of the exfoliating-acid category. Derived from bitter almond extract, mandelic acid removes dead skin cells to leave the epidermis renewed - and its larger molecule size means it doesn't penetrate skin as deeply as other acids, making it ideal for sensitive types. It can also be used to treat pigmentation, scarring and acne.
TRY: DCL Multi-Action Penta Peel, £58. Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel, £81 for 30 sachets.
For dry, sallow skin
This lightweight oil is packed with antioxidants and omegas, and has four times more vitamin C than oranges. Great for even the most sensitive skins, it is anti-microbial, non-irritating and non-pore-clogging, so it can be used on all skin types, including oily. For winter, try swapping out your night cream for this and see the difference.
TRY: African Botanics Pure Marula Oil, £80. Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, £40.
For lacklustre skin
If silver is popular in skincare for its antibacterial properties, copper is its super-charged cousin that gives skin radiance. It has become more prevalent as studies have found copper peptides to be a brilliant anti-inflammatory antioxidant against pollution and stress. It also wards off DNA damage, making it a great anti-ageing ingredient.
TRY: Wildsmith Skin Active Repair Copper Peptide Cream, £130. Omorovicza Copper Peel, £95 for 16 tubes.
For supreme anti-ageing
OK, so retinol isn't new, but the latest formulas are. As an ingredient, it had a bad rep for causing dryness, but the next-generation offerings are formulated to be gentler. An anti-ageing pillar, it increases cell turnover and boosts collagen for a smoother complexion. Word to the wise: always use with an SPF.
TRY: Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules, £72. Votary Intense Night Oil, £135. Dr Michael Prager Urban Protect Night Oil with Retinol, £195.
For ultimate hydration
Ideal for sensitive and dry skin or for those who feel that traditional face oils break them out, plant-derived squalane - which normally comes from olives or sugarcane - is most loved because it is lightweight and non-greasy in texture but deeply hydrating. Its ability to regulate oil production makes this an ideal choice for those with oily skin too.
TRY: The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, £5.50. Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil, £14. The Inkey List Squalane Oil, £9.