Three important nourishing ingredients you need to “feed your skin,” according to New York-based beauty expert Jennifer Walsh, are a powerful trinity of vitamin C, vitamin A and a broad-spectrum sunscreen with zinc oxide: “You need to read your labels and research your products to know exactly what you are getting.”

1. Vitamin C

Not any vitamin C does the trick. L-Ascorbic Acid, found in the body, is the only vitamin C able to penetrate skin and promote collagen production, protect from environmental damage and brighten hyperpigmentation.

2. Vitamin A

A derivative of vitamin A called retinal is well known for its prowess in fighting acne, but also its ability to boost collagen and elastin production—to prevent the appearance of fine lines. Nighttime rituals should include a good retinal cream, advises Dr. David A. Bank, founder and director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic, and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY.

3. Zinc oxide

Once only associated with white-nosed lifeguards, zinc oxide is now the “go-to” ingredient for age defense and protection from UVA and UVB rays. A good broad-spectrum sun block with zinc oxide does double duty as a protector and a camouflage, adds Bank.

The quest for formulas that are good for you is gaining traction. An online survey showed that of 1,000 women ages 18 to 65, 54 percent responded it’s important their skin care purchases are natural or void of harsh chemicals.

“The efficacy of natural has improved exponentially,” says Walsh. “People know they can get formulas that feel safe but also get results.”