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DR's Secret Refining Serum 9 Ingredients Explained

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Published April 18, 2022 Added by kxy.jan

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Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 36 ingredients

Cool Features

It is 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 and dark spots

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

DR's Secret is from Singapore. 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 36 ingredients

Quick info

You should know

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 36

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.

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.
Castanea Sativa Shell Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Castanea Sativa Shell Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Emulsifying
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil comes from hydrogenated castor oil. It is a solubilizer and emulsifier.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract is from the Roman Chamomile flower.

Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Skin Conditioning

Cinnamomum Cassia Bark is also known as cinnamon. It contains a bit of iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Rhus Semialata Gall Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Rhus Semialata Gall Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

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

Carbomer Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
1 / 0

Carbomer is a polymer of acrylic acid. Its main role is to create gel consistency within products.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Triethanolamine Buffering, Emulsifying, Masking
2 / 0

Triethanolamine is an emulsifier and pH adjuster. It is created using ethylene oxide and ammonia. This gives Triethanolamine a nitrogen core and a similar scent to ammonia.

2 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Salix Alba Bark Extract Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Good for Oily Skin Icon
Good for Oily SkinGood for Oily Skin Icon

Salix Alba Bark Extract comes from the white willow tree, which is native to Europe and Central Asia.

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.

Allantoin Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0 Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
3 Benefits

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer

Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer (let's call it AAVC for short) is a synthetically created polymer. It's used as a film-forming agent and used to thicken the consistency of products.

Disliked Full details ->
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent
Antioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconHelps fight Acne Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 5 Benefits

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is derived from the leaves of the tea plant. Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are all harvested from this plant.

Yeast Ferment Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Yeast Ferment Extract.

Disliked Full details ->
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

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

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Dark Spots Icon
3 Benefits

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate comes from licorice root.

Mentha Haplocalix Extract Masking

We don't have a description for Mentha Haplocalix Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Menthyl Lactate Masking, Refreshing

We don't have a description for Menthyl Lactate.

Unknown Full details ->
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.
Hydrolyzed Albumen Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Hydrolyzed Albumen.

Unknown Full details ->
Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract Astringent, Humectant, Soothing
Good for Scar Healing Icon
Good for Scar HealingGood for Scar Healing Icon

Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract comes from the Baikal skullcap or Chinese skullcap plant. This plant is native to Northeast Asia and can be found in China, Mongolia, Korea, and Siberia.

Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract Skin Conditioning

Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract comes from the witch hazel plant.

Disliked Full details ->
Ethyl Hexanediol Solvent

Ethyl Hexanediol is an aliphatic alcohol. It is a solvent.

Beta-Glucan Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness Icon
Helps reduce Skin RednessHelps reduce Skin Redness Icon

Beta-Glucan is a polysaccharide. It can be derived from the cell walls of seaweed, oats, yeast, and fungi.

Benzyl Glycol Solvent

We don't have a description for Benzyl Glycol.

Cysteine Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Cysteine is an amino acid found in our bodies. It becomes an antioxidant when converted into gluthatione.

Cystine Masking

We don't have a description for Cystine.

Unknown Full details ->
Glutamic Acid Humectant

Glutamic Acid is an amino acid that is found in all living organisms. Our bodies use this to help nerve cells in the brain communicate with other cells.

Methionine Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Methionine.

Serine Masking, Skin Conditioning

Serine is an amino acid naturally found in our body. Our bodies use amino acids to create protein.

Valine Masking, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Valine.

Raspberry Ketone Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Raspberry Ketone is a fragrance.

Disliked Full details ->
Parfum Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give a scent to products.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->

Ingredient Ratings

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

14
6
10
6
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 36 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, 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

We don't have a description for Castanea Sativa Shell Extract.

Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil comes from hydrogenated castor oil. It is a solubilizer and emulsifier.

As a solubilizer, it helps dissolve ingredients into a water-based version. It is also an emulsifer. Emulsifier help prevent oils and water from separating. Both these properties help create evenly-spread and uniform products.

Basically, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil helps hold ingredients together.

Learn more about Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract is from the Roman Chamomile flower.

Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract helps soothe the skin and contains antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells

Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Cinnamomum Cassia Bark is also known as cinnamon. It contains a bit of iron, calcium, and magnesium.

No studies support the use of cinnamon in skincare. In fact, it is considered a skin irritant and allergen.

Cinnamon bark contains Cinnamal, a known allergen and skin irritant.

Studies do show using cinnamon can induce:

The bottom line: Avoid topical cinnamon (but eating it can provide health benefits!)

Learn more about Cinnamomum Cassia Bark
Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Rhus Semialata Gall Extract.

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
Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
Disliked

Carbomer is a polymer of acrylic acid. Its main role is to create gel consistency within products.

Carbomer is commonly found in many types of cosmetics products. It is found to be safe in concentrations up to 15%. However, a high amount of carbomer can cause pilling or balling up of products. Most products contain 1% of less of carbomer.

Buffering, Emulsifying, Masking
Very Disliked

Triethanolamine is an emulsifier and pH adjuster. It is created using ethylene oxide and ammonia. This gives Triethanolamine a nitrogen core and a similar scent to ammonia.

As an emulsifier, it prevents ingredients from separating and enhances texture by adding volume to a product.

PH adjusters are common in cosmetic products. The pH of a product can affect the effectiveness of other ingredients. A product with a high pH may also irritate the skin.

Learn more about Triethanolamine
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Liked

Salix Alba Bark Extract comes from the white willow tree, which is native to Europe and Central Asia.

Salix Alba Bark Extract has often been described as salicylic acid's cousin. This is due to the salicin it contains. However, studies are limited showing salix alba bark to be an effective salicylic acid alternative.

Salicin does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has shown to decrease the formation of inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-ฮฑ and nuclear factor-kappa B. Salicin also has a mildly exfoliating effect on the skin.

Several other components in salix alba bark extract also contain antioxidant properties, such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants may help with anti-aging as they neutralize harmful free-radical molecules.

Willow Bark extract has been used for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations used white willow to help treat pain and fevers.

Learn more about Salix Alba Bark Extract
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.

Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
Loved

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

Some studies have shown this ingredient can promote wound healing with higher concentrations.

Allantoin is derived from the comfrey plant but produced synthetically for cosmetic products to ensure purity.

Learn more about Allantoin

Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer (let's call it AAVC for short) is a synthetically created polymer. It's used as a film-forming agent and used to thicken the consistency of products.

AAVC is able to increase the consistency and viscosity of products due to its large molecule size. It also prevents ingredients from separating.

Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent
Loved

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is derived from the leaves of the tea plant. Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are all harvested from this plant.

This ingredient has many skin benefits:

This ingredient contains polyphenols, a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight off molecules that damage skin cells.

On top of that, the antioxidants in green tea neutralize free-radicals from the sun. This gives the skin some extra UV protection, but should not replace sunscreen.

Many components of tea have anti-inflammatory properties.

Polyphenols and L-theanine help soothe the skin and reduce irritation. The caffeine in Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract helps calm inflamed blood vessels.

Other compounds found in tea include: Vitamin Bs, linoleic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Research has shown both drinking Camellia Sinensis Leaf Tea and applying it to the skin can help boost skin elasticity and hydration. Studies also show using tea extract may reduce sebum, or oil, production.

Learn more about Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
Skin Conditioning
Disliked

We don't have a description for Yeast Ferment Extract.

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.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate comes from licorice root.

Extracts of licorice have demonstrated to have antibacterial, antiโ€inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant properties.

One component, glabridin, has extra potent antioxidant and soothing properties. It has also been found to block pigmentation from UVB rays in guinea pigs.

Licorice Root also contains a flavonoid. Flavonoids are a natural substance from in plants. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties.

Another component, glycyrrhizin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. This may make licorice root extract effective at treating acne. However, more research is needed to support this.

Liquiritin is one of the flavone compounds found in licorice. It has been found to help lighten skin by preventing tyrosinase from reacting with tyrosine. When the two react, protein is converted to melanin. Melanin is the substance in your body that gives your features pigmentation.

Licorice root is native to Southern Europe and Asia. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to help with respiratory issues.

Learn more about Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate

We don't have a description for Mentha Haplocalix Extract.

Masking, Refreshing

We don't have a description for Menthyl Lactate.

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
Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Hydrolyzed Albumen.

Astringent, Humectant, Soothing
Loved

Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract comes from the Baikal skullcap or Chinese skullcap plant. This plant is native to Northeast Asia and can be found in China, Mongolia, Korea, and Siberia.

In cosmetics, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This is due to the flavonoid composition of Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract.

In Chinese traditional folk medicine, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract is used to help treat lung and hypertension.

Learn more about Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract
Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract comes from the witch hazel plant.

Witch Hazel is an astringent, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial ingredient. The tannin in witch hazel has a drying effect when used on skin and constricts proteins. This helps minimize the look of large pores. The tannins present and the fragrance may be sensitizing. The catechins in witch hazel have anti-inflammatory properties while the gallic acid is antibacterial.

Indigenous groups have used witch hazel to help treat inflammation, which was then used by early settlers to North America.

Learn more about Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract
Solvent
Mixed

Ethyl Hexanediol is an aliphatic alcohol. It is a solvent.

Solvents are used to keep ingredients together in a product. They can help dissolve ingredients to stable bases or help evenly distribute ingredients throughout the product.

Skin Conditioning
Loved

Beta-Glucan is a polysaccharide. It can be derived from the cell walls of seaweed, oats, yeast, and fungi.

Beta-Glucan is a humectant, meaning it can hold large amounts of water. This helps hydrate the skin. It also helps boost your skin's natural barrier.

Beta-Glucan has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Studies show Beta-Glucan may be an effective wrinkle reducer as it can deeply penetrate into skin. It has also been show to help with wound healing.

Learn more about Beta-Glucan
Solvent
Mixed

We don't have a description for Benzyl Glycol.

Antioxidant, Masking
Loved

Cysteine is an amino acid found in our bodies. It becomes an antioxidant when converted into gluthatione.

Once it becomes gluthatione, it prevents oxidative damage to parts of our cell. Gluthatione has also been shown to protect our skin from UV-B induced damage.

Masking

We don't have a description for Cystine.

Humectant
Loved

Glutamic Acid is an amino acid that is found in all living organisms. Our bodies use this to help nerve cells in the brain communicate with other cells.

In cosmetics, glutamic acid is a famous humectant. It draws water from the air to your skin, keeping your skin hydrated (like hyaluronic acid).

An in-vitro study from 2024 found glutamic acid to play a role in inhibiting inflammation and thus a potential skin-soothing ingredient.

Other studies show it to be have potential wound healing, skin barrier repair, and hair growth properties.

Glutamic acid has poor solubility in water and other solvents.

Learn more about Glutamic Acid
Skin Conditioning
Loved

We don't have a description for Methionine.

Masking, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Serine is an amino acid naturally found in our body. Our bodies use amino acids to create protein.

Amino-acids help give keep our skin hydrated. They play an important role in the skin barrier, which keeps the skin plump and firm.

Serine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning we don't need to obtain it from eating foods.

Learn more about Serine
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Loved

We don't have a description for Valine.

Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Raspberry Ketone is a fragrance.

Masking, Perfuming
Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give a scent to products.

Also called "fragrance", this ingredient can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

In the US, the alternative name for parfum is 'fragrance'.

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 by INCI standards.

One example is Calendula flower extract. Calendula is an essential oil that still imparts a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, the ingredients in the mixture can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Parfum can also be used to mask or cover an unpleasant scent.

The bottom line is: not all fragrances/parfum/ingredients are created equally. If you are worried about fragrances, we recommend taking a closer look at an ingredient. And of course, we always recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Parfum
Preservative
Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

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