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Cantabria Labs Biretix Tri-Active Gel Ingredients Explained

Facial Treatment
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Updated on August 25, 2023 Submitted by neka

Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 26 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA, niacinamide, peptides and retinoid

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Cantabria Labs is from Spain. This product is used in 10 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

Facial treatment with 26 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA, niacinamide, peptides and retinoid

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 26

Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Alcohol Denat. Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon 5 Concerns

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol with other additives.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Glycolic Acid Buffering
AHA IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 7 Benefits 2 Concerns

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with a ton of research to back up its benefits.

Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Propylene Glycol Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
0 / 0 May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Ammonium Hydroxide Buffering

We don't have a description for Ammonium Hydroxide.

Unknown Full details ->
Polyquaternium-10

Polyquaternium-10 is an ammonium salt of hydroxyethylcellulose. It is a white and granular powder used as a film-former and anti-static agent.

Disliked Full details ->
Retinol Skin Conditioning
Retinoid IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 8 Benefits 3 Concerns

Retinol is a gold-standard ingredient for anti-aging. It is a form of Vitamin A and belongs to the class of retinoids that also includes tretinoin.

Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate Skin Conditioning
Retinoid IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 7 Benefits 2 Concerns

This ingredient is a retinoid. It usually goes by a more common name: "Granactive".

Oligopeptide-10 Antimicrobial, Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Oligopeptide-10 is a peptide.

Unknown Full details ->
Oryza Sativa Bran Extract Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting

Oryza Sativa Bran Extract comes from the outer layer of a rice kernel. It is a byproduct of milling rice, or the operation to produce a whole grain rice product.

Boswellia Serrata Extract Skin Conditioning

Boswellia Serrata Extract is the extract of the whole plant, Boswellia serrata, Burseraceae.

Unknown Full details ->
Honey Extract Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Honey Extract.

Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

Tetrasodium EDTA

Tetrasodium EDTA is the salt formed from neutralizing ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid with sodium hydroxide. It is a chelating agent and used to prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This helps keep the product and ingredients stable.

Disliked Full details ->
Pentylene Glycol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer.

Unknown Full details ->
Dimethyl Isosorbide Solvent

Dimethyl Isosorbide is a solvent and helps deliver actives into your skin. It is created from sorbitol.

1,2-Hexanediol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

1,2-Hexanediol is a multi-tasker ingredient. It acts as a preservative to increase shelf-life and can aid other preservatives in preventing microbe growth. 1,2-Hexanediol also helps the skin retain moisture as a humectant.

Polysorbate 20 Emulsifying
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

Hydrogenated Lecithin Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning

Hydrogenated Lecithin is created from the hydrogenation of lecithin. Hydrogenation is a chemical reaction between molecule hydrogen and another element.

BHT Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

BHT is a synthetic antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it helps your body fight off free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

Very Disliked Full details ->
BHA Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

This BHA stands for butylated hydroxyanisole. If you are looking for the beta-hydroxy acid, aka as Salicylic Acid, click here.

Ingredient Ratings

Based on the number of likes and dislikes each ingredient has received.

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mixed
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Ingredients Explained

This product contains 26 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Very Disliked

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol with other additives.

This ingredient gets a bad rep because it is irritating and drying - mostly due to its astringent property. Astringents draw out natural oils in tissue, constricting pores and leaving your skin dried out.

However, alcohol denat. is not all that bad.

Due to its low molecular weight, alcohol denat. tends to evaporate quickly. One study on pig skin found half of applied alcohol evaporated in 10 seconds and less than 3% stayed on skin.

This also helps other ingredients become better absorbed upon application.

Studies are conflicted about whether this ingredient causes skin dehydration. One study from 2005 found adding emollients to propanol-based sanitizer decreased skin dryness and irritation. Another study found irritation only occurs if your skin is already damaged.

Small amounts of alcohol are generally tolerated by oily skin or people who live in humid environments.

The rule of thumb is if this alcohol is near the end of an ingredients list, it will probably not affect your skin much.

Also...

This ingredient has antimicrobial and solvent properties.

The antimicrobial property helps preserve products and increase their shelf life. As a solvent, it helps dissolve other ingredients.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

Learn more about Alcohol Denat.
Buffering
Loved

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with a ton of research to back up its benefits.

Its main role is to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, allowing newer skin cells to emerge.

Specifically, AHAs work by breaking down the structural "glue" holding the old skin cells in place. Getting rid of the old skin cells allows skin to regenerate newer skin cells in its place. A build up of dead skin cells can lead to tired and dull looking skin.

Due to this, glycolic acid helps with:

Fun fact: Glycolic acid increases skin hydration by playing a role in creating molecules that create hyaluronic acid naturally.

When starting glycolic Acid, it is normal to feel slight stinging.

The pH value and concentration of glycolic acid play a role in the effectiveness of the product. Concentrations between 5-20% glycolic acid have been shown to be effective in clinical studies.

Recent studies have shown Glycolic Acid may protect the skin against UV damage. However, you should always wear SPF, especially when using exfoliants.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Glycolic Acid
Smoothing
Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Disliked

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

Another role of this ingredient is preventing a product from melting or freezing. Propylene glycol also adds antimicrobrial properties to a product, elongating product lifespan.

This ingredient is considered an organic alcohol and commonly added into both cosmetics and foods.

Those with sensitive skin or conditions may deliver a rash when using this ingredient.

Learn more about Propylene Glycol
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid
Buffering

We don't have a description for Ammonium Hydroxide.

Polyquaternium-10 is an ammonium salt of hydroxyethylcellulose. It is a white and granular powder used as a film-former and anti-static agent.

This ingredient is commonly found in hair conditioning products. According to a manufacturer, its positive charge makes it great for absorbing hair proteins. The manufacturer also states this ingredient helps with curl retention.

For haircare friends: this ingredient is not a silicone.

Learn more about Polyquaternium-10
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Retinol is a gold-standard ingredient for anti-aging. It is a form of Vitamin A and belongs to the class of retinoids that also includes tretinoin.

Why is retinol famous?

It has the most scientific studies backing up its skin benefits out of all the non-prescription ingredients.

Retinol is proven to:

This is why retinol is effective at removing wrinkles, fading dark spots, treating acne, and reducing the appearance of pores.

Studies show retinol is less effective when exposed to UV. Be sure to look for appropriate packaging to keep your retinol potent (similar to Vitamin C).

Using retinol or any retinoids will increase sun-sensitivity in the first few months. Though studies show retinoids increase your skin's natural SPF with continuous use, it is best to always wear sunscreen and sun-protection.

We recommend speaking with a medical professional about using this ingredient during pregnancy.

Retinol may cause irritation in some people, so be sure to patch test. Experts recommend 'ramping up' retinol use: start using this ingredient once a week and work up to using it daily.

Read about Tretinoin

Learn more about Retinol
Skin Conditioning
Loved

This ingredient is a retinoid. It usually goes by a more common name: "Granactive".

Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR) belongs to the class of retinoids that also includes retinol and tretinoin.

Retinoids have been proven to:

So what is the difference between all the retinoids? Most retinoids need to go through a conversion line to become effective on skin. The ending product is retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is AKA tretinoin.

HPR is an ester of tretinoin. Emerging studies suggest HPR to have an added benefit that other retinoids don't have: Low irritation.

A study from 2021 found HPR to have the greatest stability when exposed to light and temperature out of all the commercial retinoids.

A note about naming: The name "Granactive" is the trade name and the name most commonly used on packages.

Granactive is the name of the mixture - about 90% solvent and 10% HPR. A product with 5% granactive has 0.5% HPR.

Learn more about Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate
Antimicrobial, Skin Conditioning

Oligopeptide-10 is a peptide.

Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

Oryza Sativa Bran Extract comes from the outer layer of a rice kernel. It is a byproduct of milling rice, or the operation to produce a whole grain rice product.

Oryza Sativa Bran Extract is moisturizing. This is due to its components of polysaccharides and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains calcium, selenium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.

Oryza Sativa Bran Extract contains numerous antioxidants such as ferulic acid. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules. Free-radical molecules are capable of damaging our cells and other genetic material.

Learn more about Oryza Sativa Bran Extract
Skin Conditioning

Boswellia Serrata Extract is the extract of the whole plant, Boswellia serrata, Burseraceae.

AKA Indian Frankincense Extract

Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

We don't have a description for Honey Extract.

Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

Disliked

Tetrasodium EDTA is the salt formed from neutralizing ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid with sodium hydroxide. It is a chelating agent and used to prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This helps keep the product and ingredients stable.

Tetrasodium EDTA comes as a white solid and is soluble in water.

Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Mixed

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

The hydrophilic trait of Pentylene Glycol makes it a humectant. As a humectant, Pentylene Glycol helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This can help keep your skin hydrated.

This property also makes Pentylene Glycol a great texture enhancer. It can help thicken or emulsify a product. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

Pentylene Glycol also acts as a mild preservative and helps to keep a product microbe-free.

Some people may experience mild eye and skin irritation from Pentylene Glycol. We always recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient in your routine.

Pentylene Glycol has a low molecular weight and is part of the 1,2-glycol family.

Learn more about Pentylene Glycol

We don't have a description for Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer.

Solvent
Mixed

Dimethyl Isosorbide is a solvent and helps deliver actives into your skin. It is created from sorbitol.

As a solvent, dimethyl isosorbide helps dissolve other ingredients. This helps ensure even distribution of an ingredient. It may also be used to decrease the thickness of a product.

Studies show dimethyl isosorbide is able to penetrate skin to deliver other ingredients into the skin, making them more effective.

Learn more about Dimethyl Isosorbide
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Mixed

1,2-Hexanediol is a multi-tasker ingredient. It acts as a preservative to increase shelf-life and can aid other preservatives in preventing microbe growth. 1,2-Hexanediol also helps the skin retain moisture as a humectant.

In products that are water-based, this ingredient can help stabilize perfumes and fragrances. It can also help make the texture of products softer and more smooth.

Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

As a surfactant, it helps collect dirt and oils for washing. Emulsifiers prevent oils and water from separating.

Polysorbate 20 also adds scent to a product. Since it is made using sorbitol, it has a sweet scent. Sorbitol can also be found in fruits such as apples and peaches.

The lauric acid used to create Polysorbate 20 is often derived from coconuts.

Polysorbate 20 may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Polysorbate 20
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

It is a common ingredient in many products, especially those designed to hydrate skin. The primary benefits are retaining moisture, skin softening, and promoting a healthy skin barrier.

Though Caprylyl Glycol is an alcohol derived from fatty acids, it is not the kind that can dry out skin.

This ingredient is also used as a preservative to extend the life of products. It has slight antimicrobial properties.

Learn more about Caprylyl Glycol
Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Hydrogenated Lecithin is created from the hydrogenation of lecithin. Hydrogenation is a chemical reaction between molecule hydrogen and another element.

Hydrogenated Lecithin is an emollient and emulsifier. As an emollient, it helps soften skin by trapping moisture within.

The phospholipids in Hydrogenated Lecithin can produce liposomes. Liposomes help other ingredients get through the skin barrier to be better absorbed.

As an emulsifier, it prevents oil and water ingredients from separating.

Learn more about Hydrogenated Lecithin
BHT
Antioxidant, Masking
Very Disliked

BHT is a synthetic antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it helps your body fight off free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

BHT also helps stabilize products and prevent them from degrading. Many products are sensitive to air and light. BHT prevents them from breaking down when exposed.

BHA
Antioxidant, Masking
Liked

This BHA stands for butylated hydroxyanisole. If you are looking for the beta-hydroxy acid, aka as Salicylic Acid, click here.

In cosmetics, butylated hydroxyanisole is used as a perservative. It also has antioxidant properties. The concentrations usually used in skincare are low and do not penetrate through skin.

However, it is considered a carcinogen when ingested.

Butylated Hydroxyanisole is a synthetic and waxy petrochemical. It is used as a preservative in foods and cosmetics.

Learn more about BHA

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