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Carbon Theory Re-Surfacing Day Serum Ingredients Explained

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Updated September 15, 2023 Added by achilleasspit

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Overview

What it is

Serum with 58 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA, exfoliants, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and PHA

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

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

Free From

It doesn't contain any parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Carbon Theory is from United Kingdom. This product is used in 1 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.

Serum with 58 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA, exfoliants, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and PHA

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 58

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.

Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
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.

Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-2 / 0 Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Carthamus tinctorius seed oil comes from safflower, one of humanity's oldest crops.

0-2 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Propanediol Solvent

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Succinic Acid Buffering, Masking

Succinic acid is an odorless white powder. It is naturally found in our bodies but can also be derived from living organisms.

Sodium Lactate Buffering, Humectant

Sodium Lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid, an AHA. It is a humectant and used to adjust the pH of a product.

Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

Glyceryl Oleate Citrate Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Glyceryl Oleate Citrate isn't fungal acne safe.

Unknown Full details ->
Gluconolactone Skin Conditioning
PHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
PHAPHA Icon 2 Benefits

Gluconolactone is a PHA. PHAs are a great gentle alternative to traditional AHAs.

Benzyl Alcohol Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Alcohol IconFragrance IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon FragranceFragrance Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 6 Concerns

Benzyl Alcohol is most commonly used as a preservative. It also has a subtle, sweet smell. Small amounts of Benzyl Alcohol is not irritating and safe to use in skincare products. Most Benzyl Alcohol is derived from fruits such as apricots.

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Cetearyl Isononanoate Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Cetearyl Isononanoate.

Unknown Full details ->
Mannitol Humectant, Masking, Moisturising

Mannitol is a sugar alcohol. It is a humectant and moisturizes the skin. In vitro (not tested on a living organism), mannitol displays antioxidant properties.

Corn Starch Modified Absorbent, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Corn Starch Modified.

Unknown Full details ->
Ceteareth-20 Cleansing, Emulsifying
2 / 3 May worsen Oily Skin Icon
May worsen Oily SkinMay worsen Oily Skin Icon

Ceteareth-20 is an emulsifier and cleansing agent. It is derived from cetearyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol.

2 Com. / 3 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Cetearyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1 Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon 3 Concerns

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

2 Com. / 1 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Acacia Senegal Gum Masking

We don't have a description for Acacia Senegal Gum.

Disliked Full details ->
Citrus Limon Peel Powder Absorbent

We don't have a description for Citrus Limon Peel Powder.

Unknown Full details ->
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Masking, Skin Conditioning

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

Disliked Full details ->
Microcrystalline Cellulose Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising

Microcrystalline Cellulose is another name for refined wood pulp. It is used as an emulsifier and mattifying ingredient. As an emulsifier, it helps keep ingredients together.

Sclerotium Gum Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning

Sclerotium Gum is a polysaccharide gum made by the fungus, Sclerotium rolfssii. It is similar to xanthan gum.

Disliked Full details ->
Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract Skin Conditioning

Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract comes from the bilberry plant. This plant is native to Eurasia.

Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
Hydroxyacetophenone Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Hydroxyacetophenone is antioxidant and helps with skin conditioning.

Glyceryl Stearate Emollient, Emulsifying
1 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil Antioxidant, Perfuming
Antioxidant IconFragrance IconOil IconGood for Oily Skin Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon Good for Oily SkinGood for Oily Skin Icon

This tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Tea Tree plant. Tea tree oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Saccharum Officinarum Extract Moisturising, Skin Conditioning

This ingredient is also called sugarcane extract. It is a moisturizing humectant and has skin soothing properties.

Bisabolol Masking, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Bisabolol is pimarily used to add fragrance to a product. However, it is also famous for helping soothe skin.

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.

Sodium Phytate

Sodium Phytate is the synthetic salt form of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antioxidant and can be found in plant seeds.

Limonene Perfuming, Solvent
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Limonene is a fragrance that adds scent and taste to a formulation.

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Ceteareth-12 Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Ceteareth-12.

Disliked Full details ->
Cetyl PCA Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Cetyl PCA.

Unknown Full details ->
Sorbitan Palmitate Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Sorbitan Palmitate is an emulsifier.

Disliked Full details ->
Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Fruit Extract Masking, Skin Conditioning

Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Fruit Extract is more commonly known as the bitter orange. Native to Southeast Asia, this extract is commonly found in both cosmetics and foods.

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Citrus Limon Fruit Extract Masking, Skin Conditioning
May cause irritation Icon
May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Citrus Limon Fruit Extract comes from lemons. While lemon extract is exfoliating and antimicrobial, it can also cause skin sensitivity.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Citrus Limon Peel Oil Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance IconOil IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Citrus Limon Peel Oil is created from the peels of the lemon. It is used to add a lemon-scent to products. Lemon peel oil also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. However, it may also cause phototoxicity and sensitize skin.

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Citrus Paradisi Peel Oil Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconOil Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon

Citrus Paradisi Peel Oil is the volatile oil expressed from the peel of the Grapefruit, Citrus paradisi, Rutaceae.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Hydroxypropylcellulose Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
1 / 0

Hydroxypropylcellulose comes from cellulose. As an emulsifier, it helps stabilize products by preventing ingredients from separating.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Unknown Full details ->
Methylcellulose Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising

We don't have a description for Methylcellulose.

Unknown Full details ->
Acer Saccharum Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Acer Saccharum Extract.

Vaccinium Macrocarpon Fruit Powder Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Vaccinium Macrocarpon Fruit Powder is created from cranberries. This species of cranberry is native to Eastern Canada.

Unknown Full details ->
Algin Masking
May worsen Oily Skin Icon
May worsen Oily SkinMay worsen Oily Skin Icon

Algin is brown algae. Algae is an informal term for a group of aquatic organisms that can photosynthesize. It is estimated there are at least 30,000 types of Algae.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Punica Granatum Extract Astringent, Masking, Tonic

Punica Granatum extract comes from the pomegranate fruit.

Rubus Idaeus Fruit Extract Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing

We don't have a description for Rubus Idaeus Fruit Extract.

Sodium Hyaluronate Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Hyaluronic Acid Icon
Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic Acid Icon

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Vaccinium Macrocarpon Seed Abrasive
Exfoliant Icon
ExfoliantExfoliant Icon

Vaccinium Macrocarpon Seed is also known as cranberry seed.

Unknown Full details ->
Actinidia Chinensis Fruit Extract Emollient, Skin Conditioning

Actinidia Chinensis is the extract from kiwi fruit. It contains antioxidants in the forms of Vitamin C and polyphenols.

Magnesium Hydroxide Absorbent, Buffering

We don't have a description for Magnesium Hydroxide.

Unknown Full details ->
Potassium Sorbate Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Potassium Sorbate is a preservative used to prevent yeast and mold in products. It is commonly found in both cosmetic and food products.

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Sodium Benzoate Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Disliked Full details ->
Zingiber Officinale Root Extract Masking, Skin Conditioning, Tonic

Zingiber Officinale is more commonly known as ginger.

Tricalcium Phosphate Abrasive, Masking
Exfoliant Icon
ExfoliantExfoliant Icon

Tricalcium Phosphate is an exfoliant.

Unknown Full details ->
Citral Perfuming
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Citral is a fragrance and used to add a lemon-like scent to products. It is both naturally found in plants and created synthetically. In plants, it is commonly occurring in lemon myrtle, lemongrass, lemon tea-tree, lemon verbena, and other citruses.

Unknown Full details ->
Linalool Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Geraniol Perfuming, Tonic
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Geraniol is used to add fragrance/parfum to a product. It is the main component of citronellol. It is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol.

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CI 77491 Cosmetic Colorant

Ci 77491 is also hydrated iron III oxide. It's sole purpose is to give a red/pink hue to products.

Ingredient Ratings

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

21
4
21
12
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 58 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
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
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
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Carthamus tinctorius seed oil comes from safflower, one of humanity's oldest crops.

Safflower seed oil contains a high percentage of linoleic acid and oleic acid. It also contains Vitamin E. These three components are effective moisturizers.

Vitamin E helps nourish your skin's lipid barrier. It is also a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules, or unstable molecules that may damage your skin cells.

Due to its high fatty acid content, this ingredient may not be malassezia folliculitis safe.

Thoughout history, safflower has been used for dying fabrics and in food as a saffron substitute.

Learn more about Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil
Solvent
Liked

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Propanediol is not likely to cause sensitivity and considered safe to use.

It is derived from corn or petroleum with a clear color and no scent.

Learn more about Propanediol
Buffering, Masking
Loved

Succinic acid is an odorless white powder. It is naturally found in our bodies but can also be derived from living organisms.

Succinic acid is water-soluble. The pH level of this ingredient is between 4.2 and 5.6.

While succinic acid posesses antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, these properties have not been studied in skincare products.

Fun fact: Succinic acid was known as the 'spirit of amber' in the past. This is because it used to be derived from distilling amber.

Learn more about Succinic Acid
Buffering, Humectant
Liked

Sodium Lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid, an AHA. It is a humectant and used to adjust the pH of a product.

Sodium Lactate is part of our skin's NMF, or natural moisturizing factor. Our NMF is essential for the hydration of our top skin layers and plasticity of skin.

It also influences our skin's natural acid mantle and pH, which protects our skin from harmful bacteria.

Our NMF is formed from amino acids, lactic acid, sugars, minerals, peptides, and electrolytes. As we age, our NMF naturally depletes. Other sources of NMF depletion include harsh and drying ingredients such as denatured alcohol. Sodium lactate can help replenish our NMF, leading to more hydrated and plump skin.

High percentages of Sodium Lactate can have an exfoliating effect.

Sodium Lactate is produced from fermented sugar.

Learn more about Sodium Lactate
Buffering
Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide

Glyceryl Oleate Citrate isn't fungal acne safe.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

Gluconolactone is a PHA. PHAs are a great gentle alternative to traditional AHAs.

When applied, Gluconolactone has the same affect on skin as AHAs such as lactic acid. It helps dissolve the dead skin cells in the top layer of your skin. This improves texture and brightens the skin.

PHAs are more gentle than AHAs due to their larger structure. They do not penetrate as deeply as AHAs and take a longer time to dissolve dead cells. Studies show PHAs do not cause as much irritation.

Gluconolactone has some interesting properties:

In a 2004 study, Gluconolactone was found to prevent UV damage in mouse skin cells. Gluconolactone has not been found to increase sun sensivity. However, we still recommend wearing SPF daily.

This ingredient is is an created by reacting gluconic acid with an alcohol.

Learn more about Gluconolactone
Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Very Disliked

Benzyl Alcohol is most commonly used as a preservative. It also has a subtle, sweet smell. Small amounts of Benzyl Alcohol is not irritating and safe to use in skincare products. Most Benzyl Alcohol is derived from fruits such as apricots.

Benzyl Alcohol has both antibacterial and antioxidant properties. These properties help lengthen the shelf life of products. Benzyl Alcohol is a solvent and helps dissolve other ingredients. It can also improve the texture and spreadability.

Alcohol comes in many different forms. Different types of alcohol will have different effects on skin. This ingredient is an astringent alcohol.

Using high concentrations of these alcohols are drying on the skin. They may strip away your skin's natural oils and even damage your skin barrier. Astringent alcohols may also irritate skin.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

According to the National Rosacea Society based in the US, you should be mindful of products with these alcohols in the top half of ingredients.

Any type of sanitizing product will have high amounts of alcohol to help kill bacteria and viruses.

Learn more about Benzyl Alcohol
Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Cetearyl Isononanoate.

Humectant, Masking, Moisturising
Liked

Mannitol is a sugar alcohol. It is a humectant and moisturizes the skin. In vitro (not tested on a living organism), mannitol displays antioxidant properties.

When found in aqueous solutions, mannitol tends to become acidic. This is because it loses a hydrogen ion. This is why mannitol can often be found with pH adjusting ingredients, such as sodium bicarbonate.

Fun fact: Mannitol can be found in foods as a sweetener. It can be naturally found in mushrooms, algae, fruits, and veggies.

Learn more about Mannitol
Absorbent, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Corn Starch Modified.

Cleansing, Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Ceteareth-20 is an emulsifier and cleansing agent. It is derived from cetearyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol.

As an emulsifier, Ceteareth-20 prevents oil and water from separating. It is also a surfactant. Surfactants help gather oil, pollution, and dirt to be washed away.

Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Very Disliked

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

Cetearyl alcohol is an emollient. Emollients help soothe and hydrate the skin by trapping moisture.

Studies show Cetearyl alcohol is non-toxic and non-irritating. The FDA allows products labeled "alcohol-free" to have fatty alcohols.

This ingredient is usually derived from plant oils such as palm, vegetable, or coconut oils. There is debate on whether this ingredient will cause acne.

Due to the fatty acid base, this ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis safe.

Learn more about Cetearyl Alcohol
Masking
Disliked

We don't have a description for Acacia Senegal Gum.

We don't have a description for Citrus Limon Peel Powder.

Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Within a product, Caprylic Triglyceride can thicken the product and make spreadability easier by dissolving clumping compounds. An added benefit of Caprylic Triglyceride is its antioxidant properties.

Caprylic Triglyceride is made by combining glycerin with coconut oil, forming a clear liquid. Caprylic Triglyceride has not been found to be toxic for human use in concentrations under 50%.

While there is an assumption Caprylic Triglyceride can clog pores due to it being derived from coconut oil, there is no research supporting this.

Learn more about Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
Buffering, Masking
Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and even out skin tone.

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
Loved

Microcrystalline Cellulose is another name for refined wood pulp. It is used as an emulsifier and mattifying ingredient. As an emulsifier, it helps keep ingredients together.

Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Sclerotium Gum is a polysaccharide gum made by the fungus, Sclerotium rolfssii. It is similar to xanthan gum.

In cosmetics, Sclerotium Gum is used to thicken the texture and to help stabilize other ingredients.

As an emulsifier, Sclerotium Gum helps prevent ingredients from separating, such as water and oil.

Learn more about Sclerotium Gum
Skin Conditioning
Liked

Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract comes from the bilberry plant. This plant is native to Eurasia.

Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract contains antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. Fighting off these molecules can help reduce signs of aging.

Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract also helps reduce irritation.

Learn more about Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
Antioxidant
Liked

Hydroxyacetophenone is antioxidant and helps with skin conditioning.

Antioxidants help fight off free-radical molecules. These unstable molecules may damage your skin cells. By helping stabilize free-radicals, antioxidants may help in anti-aging.

Hydroxyacetophenone boosts the efficiency of other preservatives.

Learn more about Hydroxyacetophenone
Emollient, Emulsifying
Disliked

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

Glyceryl Stearate is used to stabilize the mixing of water and oil ingredients. By preventing these ingredients from separating, it can help elongate shelf life. It can also help thicken the product's texture.

As an emollient, it helps soften skin and supports barrier-replenishing ingredients.

In cosmetics, Glyceryl Stearate is often made from vegetable oils or synthetically produced. The human body also creates Glyceryl Stearate naturally.

Learn more about Glyceryl Stearate
Antioxidant, Perfuming
Mixed

This tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Tea Tree plant. Tea tree oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

According to the book Journal of Profiles of Drug Substances, tea tree helps in reducing acne-causing bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes. This is due to the Terpinen components of tea tree oil.

Tea tree may cause sensitivity and irritation for some people. This oil naturally contains fragrance such as linalool and limonene.

However, research shows irritation usually occurs when using pure tea tree oil and not in cosmetic products.

Tea tree oil was found to help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis in one study.

Tea tree oil is toxic when ingested. Another study showed it to caused damage to the nervous system of dogs and cats when applied to their skin or given orally.

Learn more about Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil
Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
Liked

This ingredient is also called sugarcane extract. It is a moisturizing humectant and has skin soothing properties.

Similar to hyaluronic acid, sugarcane can attract moisture to your skin.

Glycolic acid is a derivative of sugarcane. While glycolic acid is an AHA with exfoliating properties, sugarcane is not an AHA.

A study from 2021 found the compounds in sugarcane extract to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory activity. The study also suggests these compounds can inhibit skin ageing enzymes and promote collagen synthesis.

Learn more about Saccharum Officinarum Extract
Masking, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Loved

Bisabolol is pimarily used to add fragrance to a product. However, it is also famous for helping soothe skin.

Bisabolol comes from German chamomile essential oil. Synthetic Bisabolol has been shown to be less effective.

Bisabolol helps soothe skin. It does this by blocking the inflammatory signals, helping to reduce your body's reaction to irritation.

Bisabolol also interferes with the process of hyperpigmentation. This can help with reducing dark spots and uneven tone.

Bisabolol is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. By fighting these free-radicals, Bisabolol may slow down signs of aging.

Studies have shown Bisabolol to have antimicrobial properties and may be a fungicide. These properties help preserve a product's shelf life.

Bisabolol also helps the absorption of other ingredients.

Learn more about Bisabolol
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

Sodium Phytate is the synthetic salt form of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antioxidant and can be found in plant seeds.

Sodium Phytate is a chelating agent. Chelating agents help prevent metals from binding to water. This helps stabilize the ingredients and the product.

Perfuming, Solvent
Very Disliked

Limonene is a fragrance that adds scent and taste to a formulation.

It's found in the peel oil of citrus fruits and other plants such as lavender and eucalyptus. The scent of limonene is generally described as "sweet citrus".

Limonene acts as an antioxidant, meaning it helps neutralize free radicals.

When exposed to air, oxidized limonene may sensitize the skin. Because of this, limonene is often avoided by people with sensitive skin.

The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term. For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance.

Learn more about Limonene
Emulsifying
Disliked

We don't have a description for Ceteareth-12.

Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Cetyl PCA.

Emulsifying
Disliked

Sorbitan Palmitate is an emulsifier.

It is created by reacting sorbitol with palmitic acid.

Masking, Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Fruit Extract is more commonly known as the bitter orange. Native to Southeast Asia, this extract is commonly found in both cosmetics and foods.

The bitter orange possesses antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

It can also be mildly exfoliating due to the citric acid, an AHA.

Citrus fruits are rich in flavonoids, alkaloids, and vitamin C.

Learn more about Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Fruit Extract
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Citrus Limon Fruit Extract comes from lemons. While lemon extract is exfoliating and antimicrobial, it can also cause skin sensitivity.

Lemons contains antioxidants, which may help with anti-aging. They are also rich in citric acid, an AHA.

And of course, lemons are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps with skin-brightening and increasing collagen production.

The acidity of lemons may work as an astringent for acne.

However, lemons can also cause skin sensitivity due to its limonene content. It can also increase photosensitivity, or sensitivity to the sun.

This ingredient is also used to add a lemon scent to products.

Learn more about Citrus Limon Fruit Extract
Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Citrus Limon Peel Oil is created from the peels of the lemon. It is used to add a lemon-scent to products. Lemon peel oil also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. However, it may also cause phototoxicity and sensitize skin.

Lemon peel oil contains limonene, a skin sensitizing ingredient. Another component is furanocoumarin, which induces phototoxicity in skin.

Furanocoumarins bind and destabilize your DNA to increase the rate of sunburn.

Most reputable companies will remove furanocoumarins from their formulations.

Learn more about Citrus Limon Peel Oil
Masking, Perfuming
Very Disliked

Citrus Paradisi Peel Oil is the volatile oil expressed from the peel of the Grapefruit, Citrus paradisi, Rutaceae.

The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term. For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance.

Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising

Hydroxypropylcellulose comes from cellulose. As an emulsifier, it helps stabilize products by preventing ingredients from separating.

Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising

We don't have a description for Methylcellulose.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

We don't have a description for Acer Saccharum Extract.

Vaccinium Macrocarpon Fruit Powder is created from cranberries. This species of cranberry is native to Eastern Canada.

As an antioxidant, cranberry powder may help reduce the signs of aging.

Masking
Very Disliked

Algin is brown algae. Algae is an informal term for a group of aquatic organisms that can photosynthesize. It is estimated there are at least 30,000 types of Algae.

Algae contains antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Astringent, Masking, Tonic
Liked

Punica Granatum extract comes from the pomegranate fruit.

Pomegranates are rich in fatty acids, including an unsaturated fatty acid by the name of Punicic acid. Other components of pomegranates include Vitamin E, and Vitamin C.

As an astringent, Punica Granatum Extract shrinks tissue by drawing water out of your skin. This leads to a tightening effect in the skin.

Learn more about Punica Granatum Extract
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing
Liked

We don't have a description for Rubus Idaeus Fruit Extract.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

Like hyaluronic acid, it is great at holding water and acts as a humectant. This makes it a great skin hydrating ingredient.

Sodium Hyaluronate is naturally occurring in our bodies and is mostly found in eye fluid and joints.

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Sodium Hyaluronate

Vaccinium Macrocarpon Seed is also known as cranberry seed.

As an exfoliant, it helps remove the top layer of skin.

We recommend wearing SPF after exfoliating.

Learn more about Vaccinium Macrocarpon Seed
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Actinidia Chinensis is the extract from kiwi fruit. It contains antioxidants in the forms of Vitamin C and polyphenols.

Antioxidants help protect your skin against free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin.

Absorbent, Buffering

We don't have a description for Magnesium Hydroxide.

Preservative
Disliked

Potassium Sorbate is a preservative used to prevent yeast and mold in products. It is commonly found in both cosmetic and food products.

This ingredient comes from potassium salt derived from sorbic acid. Sorbic acid is a natural antibiotic and effective against fungus.

Both potassium sorbate and sorbic acid can be found in baked goods, cheeses, dried meats, dried fruit, ice cream, pickles, wine, yogurt, and more.

You'll often find this ingredient used with other preservatives.

Learn more about Potassium Sorbate
Masking, Preservative
Disliked

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Both the US FDA and EU Health Committee have approved the use of sodium benzoate. In the US, levels of 0.1% (of the total product) are allowed.

Sodium benzoate works as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacteria inside of cells. It prevents the cell from fermenting a type of sugar using an enzyme called phosphofructokinase.

Sodium Benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid. Foods containing sodium benzoate include soda, salad dressings, condiments, fruit juices, wines, and snack foods.

Studies for using ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate in cosmetics are lacking, especially in skincare routines with multiple steps.

We always recommend speaking with a professional, such as a dermatologist, if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Sodium Benzoate
Masking, Skin Conditioning, Tonic
Liked

Zingiber Officinale is more commonly known as ginger.

Ginger root has antioxidant, anti-inflammation, and antimicrobial properties.

The antioxidant properties help protect your body from free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. As a result, ginger may help slow down signs of aging such as hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.

Studies show ginger inhibits the enzyme that breaks down collagen. It also helps with:

Ginger has no negative side-effects and is safe to use for all skin types. (Be sure to patch test just in case you have a ginger allergy!)

Ginger originates from Southeast Asia but has spread throughout the world. It is now a common spice used in many cultures.

Learn more about Zingiber Officinale Root Extract
Abrasive, Masking

Tricalcium Phosphate is an exfoliant.

Perfuming

Citral is a fragrance and used to add a lemon-like scent to products. It is both naturally found in plants and created synthetically. In plants, it is commonly occurring in lemon myrtle, lemongrass, lemon tea-tree, lemon verbena, and other citruses.

The EU mandates Citral be listed separately as a fragrance. It is a known allergen and may cause contact dermatitis. Citral can also used as a masking ingredient.

The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term. For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance.

The term 'citral' is a collective term for two geometric isomers: geranial/Citral A and neral/Citral B.

Learn more about Citral
Perfuming
Very Disliked

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Linalool has the same effect as Limonene when exposed to air. Oxidized linalool can cause allergies and skin sensitivity.

Linalool has a scent that is floral, spicy tropical, and citrus-like.

Learn more about Linalool
Perfuming, Tonic
Very Disliked

Geraniol is used to add fragrance/parfum to a product. It is the main component of citronellol. It is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol.

Monoterpenes are naturally found in many parts of different plants.

Geraniol can be found in many essential oils including Rose Oil and Citronella Oil. The scent of Geraniol is often described as "rose-like". Many foods also contain Geraniol for fruit flavoring.

Geraniol can irritate the skin when exposed to air. However, irritation depends on the ability of geraniol to penetrate into the skin. In general, geraniol is not able to penetrate skin easily.

Geraniol is colorless and has low water-solubility. However, it is soluble in common organic solvents.

Like citronellol, it is a natural insect repellent.

2,6-Octadien-1-ol, 3,7-dimethyl-, (2E)-

Learn more about Geraniol
Cosmetic Colorant
Mixed

Ci 77491 is also hydrated iron III oxide. It's sole purpose is to give a red/pink hue to products.

Iron III oxides are classified as inorganic chemicals for coloring.

Synthetically created Ci 77491 is considered safer than those naturally found. This is because the synthetically created version may contain less impurities. Iron oxides are generally non-toxic and non-allergenic.

Learn more about CI 77491

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