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e.l.f. cosmetics Holy Hydration! Face Cream Ingredients Explained

Region: US
1.5   from 1 ratings
13
8
15
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Updated on January 10, 2024

Overview

What it is

General moisturizer with 32 ingredients that contains exfoliants, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and peptides

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores and dark spots

Free From

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

Fun facts

e.l.f. cosmetics is from United States. This product is used in 256 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.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

Exfoliators (2)
Niacinamide
Hyaluronic Acid
Peptides (2)

Benefits

Hydrating (2)
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing
Reduces Irritation
Reduces Large Pores
Dark Spots
Acne Fighting
Brightening (2)

Concerns

May Worsen Oily Skin (4)
Acne Trigger (3)
Rosacea
Eczema

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
3
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
4 / 0
May worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin Icon
4
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
5
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
1 / 0
6
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
4-5 / 0
May worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
7
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
8
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
9
Humectant, Moisturising
10
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
11
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
1 / 0
Silicon Icon
12
Cleansing, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Masking
2-3 / 0
May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
13
Absorbent
14
Silicon Icon
15
Abrasive, Absorbent
Exfoliant IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
16
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Hyaluronic Acid Icon
17
Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
18
Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
19
Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Helps reduce irritation Icon
20
Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
21
Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1
Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
22
Emollient, Emulsifying
1 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
23
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
24
Abrasive
Exfoliant Icon
25
26
27
28
Emulsifying
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
29
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
30
Preservative
Preservative Icon
31
Skin Conditioning
32
Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
1 / 0

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 32 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: 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. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Isohexadecane is added to enhance texture, emulsify, and to help cleanse. It is an isoparrafin. It is a component of petrolatum.

Due to its large size, Isohexadecane is not absorbed by the skin. Instead, it sits on top and acts as an emollient. Emollients help keep your skin soft and smooth by trapping moisture within.

Isohexadecane is often used in products designed to help oily skin. It is lightweight and non-greasy while helping to moisturize. When mixed with silicones, it gives a product a silky feel.

Learn more about Isohexadecane
3
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning

Stearyl Heptanoate is a waxy compound derived from stearyl alcohol.

As an emollient, it helps hydrate the skin by trapping moisture. However, this can exacerbate acne and oily skin.

4
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: 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
5
What it does: Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: 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.

6
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Isopropyl isodecanoate is a lipid created from isopropyl alcohol and isostearic acid.

Isopropyl Isostearate is an emollient and leaves skin feeling soft. Emollients create a thin barrier that traps moisture underneath, hydrating the skin.

This ingredient may not be fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about Isopropyl Isostearate
7
What it does: Smoothing
Community Rating: 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
8
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Cetearyl Olivate is an emulsifier and texture enhancer. It is derived from the fatty acids of olive oil and Cetearyl alcohol, and is biodegradable.

As an emulsifier, it is used to prevent oils and waters from separating. It can also

Manufacturers use the name Olivem 1000. This ingredient has been found to preserve the natural microbiome of skin. Having a healthy microbiome helps keep our skin healthy and protects against harmful bacteria. This ingredient is grouped with Sorbitan Olivate under the name Olivem 1000.

Learn more about Cetearyl Olivate
9
What it does: Humectant, Moisturising
Community Rating: Loved

Trehalose is a disaccharide made of two glucose molecules (glucose is sugar!). Trehalose is used to help moisturize skin. It also has antioxidant properties.

As a humectant, trehalose helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This helps keep your skin hydrated.

Due to its antioxidant properties, trehalose may help with signs of aging. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules, unstable molecules that may damage your skin.

In medicine, trehalose and hyaluronic acid are used to help treat dry eyes.

Some animals, plants, and bacteria create trehalose as a source of energy to survive freeze or lack of water.

Learn more about Trehalose
10
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

Because squalane boosts hydration in the skin, it also comes with plenty of benefits: it is an antioxidant and can help fight free radicals and skin damage. Squalane is also found to have a detoxifying effect when applied.

Squalane comes from squalene, which occurs naturally within the sebum of our skin. It is one of the oils our skin produces to keep itself hydrated. Squalane is the hydrogenated version of squalene and has a longer shelf life.

Research shows that squalane is non-irritating (even at 100% concentration).

In general, it's a fantastic ingredient. It does a great job at hydrating the skin, and it's suitable for those with sensitive skin.

The source of squalane may impact malassezia / fungal acne. This is because olive oil derived squalane can contain impurities such as fatty acids and plant waxes. Sugarcane derived squalane is recommended for anyone with malassezia concerns.

Is squalane vegan? This depends on the source. Squalane can be derived from both plants and animals. Most squalane used in skincare comes from plants.

Please note: the source of squalane is only known if disclosed by the brand. We recommend reaching out to the brand if you have any questions about their squalane.

Read more about squalene with an "e".

Learn more about Squalane
11
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Dimethicone is a silicone used for making products smooth and silky. It also has the added benefit of sealing in hydration. The amount of dimethicone found in beauty products is considered safe and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores.

Dimethicone has been found increase absorption in skin, boosting the benefits of other ingredients. While there is concern for the safety of dimethicone, the levels used in skincare are safe for use.

12
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Stearic Acid is a fatty acid. It is an emollient, emulsifier, and texture enhancer.

As an emollient, stearic acid helps soften skin. It aids the skin's protective barrier by preventing water loss. It also provides a gentle cleansing effect without stripping away natural oils.

Stearic acid may also be used to enhance the texture of products. It can add volume and stabilize ingredients such as water and oil. This can help water and oil ingredients from separating.

Sources of stearic acid include animal or vegetable fats/oils such as coconut or shea. It can be naturally found in butter, cocoa butter, shea butter, vegetable fats, and animal tallow.

This ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis, or fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about Stearic Acid
13
What it does: Absorbent
Community Rating: Disliked

We don't have a description for Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate.

14
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Polymethylsilsesquioxane is a silicone used as a film forming agent.

When applied to the skin, this ingredient creates an invisible film on the surface. This film still allows oxygen to pass through, but prevents moisture from escaping. This can help condition and hydrate the skin. It also leaves a silky feel when applied.

Polymethylsilsesquioxane has not been shown to clog pores. It has been deemed safe to use up to 55%, but most cosmetics use much less.

If you have concerns about using this ingredient, we recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Polymethylsilsesquioxane
15
What it does: Abrasive, Absorbent
Community Rating: Disliked

Silica is a mineral naturally found in our skin. It helps to thicken and smooth the texture of a product. It also acts as an agent for other ingredients by increasing the absorption of other ingredients into the skin.

Silica is often used for absorption and can help reduce shine when products are applied. Silica occurs in naturally in materials like clay and sandstone, and it can also be produced synthetically.

Silica is present naturally within the skin during collagen production and when reducing inflammation.

Learn more about Silica
16
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
17
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a 3-amino acid peptide. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a signal peptide. This means it tells our skin to create collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes connective tissue. Boosting collagen production leads to a healthier skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier means having firm and hydrated skin.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 can help reduce wrinkles and make the skin look more youthful.

Read more about other common types of peptides here:

Learn more about Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1
18
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 is a peptide. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

This ingredient consists of four amino acids and palmitic acid. These amino acids are arginine, proline, glutamine, and glycine.

This ingredient has many benefits. These benefits include boosting collagen production, fighting inflammation, and reversing UV damage.

By preventing our bodies from producing interleukins, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 helps fight inflammation. An interleukin is a chemical that signals to the body to produce an inflammatory response. Interleukin production is accelerated by UV radiation.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 tells our body to create more collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes connective tissue. Boosting collagen production leads to a healthier skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier means having firm and hydrated skin.

Read more about other common types of peptides here:

Learn more about Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7
19
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Panthenol (also referred to as pro-vitamin B5) is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin.

lt is a humectant, meaning that it helps the skin attract and retain moisture.

Another benefit is the anti-inflammatory abilities. This means that it's great for sensitive, irritation-prone skin.

Once oxidized, panthenol converts to pantothenic acid. Panthothenic acid is found in all living cells.

Learn more about Panthenol
20
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Sorbitan Olivate is created from the fatty acids in olive oil and sorbitol.

Sorbitan Olivate is an oil in water emulsifier. It helps stabilize a product by preventing oils and waters from separating. Sorbitan Olivate also helps hydrate the skin.

Manufacturers sell sorbitan olivate under the name OliveM 1000. OliveM 1000 a multifunctional ingredient. It is self-emulsifying. According to a manufacturer, OliveM 1000 does not disrupt natural skin biome.

Learn more about Sorbitan Olivate
21
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: 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
22
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: 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
23
What it does:
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Peg-100 Stearate is an emollient and emulsifier. PEGS are a hydrophilic polyether compound . There are 100 ethylene oxide monomers in Peg-100 Stearate. Peg-100 Stearate is polyethylene glycol ester of stearic acid.

Peg-100 Stearate helps keep skin soft by trapping moisture in. It helps prevent oil and water from separating in a product. By binding oil and water, it helps remove dirt and oil to be rinsed away.

24
What it does: Abrasive
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Polyethylene is a synthetic ingredient that helps the skin retain moisture. It is a polymer.

Polyethylene is also typically used within product formulations to help bind solid ingredients together and thicken oil-based ingredients. When added to balms and emulsions, it helps increase the melting point temperature.

25
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
26
What it does:

Polyacrylate-13 is a type of acrylate polymer. Acrylate polymers are commonly used as adhesives in cosmetics.

Polyacrylate-13 creates a film to protect the skin. It is also used to thicken and stabilize a product. It works by making water a gel-like consistency. This gel consistency helps suspend particles.

Polyacrylate-13 is a copolymer of acrylic acid, acrylamide, sodium acrylate, sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate monomers

Learn more about Polyacrylate-13
27
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Polyisobutene is a synthetic polymer made from isobutene.

It is a film-forming agent and helps bind ingredients together.

Polyisobutene is not absorbed by the skin.

Learn more about Polyisobutene
28
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: 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
29
What it does: Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
30
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and 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.

31
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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.

32
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
Community Rating: 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.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 32 ingredients in this product ✨

31% are loved or liked
9% have mixed ratings
53% are disliked or very disliked
6% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use e.l.f. cosmetics Holy Hydration! Face Cream US. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Holy Hydration! Face Cream ->
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The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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Reviews

1.5 /5
from 1 rating
Doesn't Work (1) Pilling (1)
Aybab_207's avatar

Aybab_207

1 year ago · Combination Skin
Review

You‘ll get pimples if you have oily- combo skin
Every time when I used this, I got pimples the other day. Fragrance ist too strong and doesn’t...

You‘ll get pimples if you have oily- combo skin
Every time when I used this, I got pimples the other day. Fragrance ist too strong and doesn’t hydrate much. I don’t recommend it.

YiShin's avatar

YiShin

21 days ago · Combination Skin
Review

Did nothing for my skin (I have combo acne). It pills and does not help my acne or hydration. It lasts a long time for such a cheap price though....

Did nothing for my skin (I have combo acne). It pills and does not help my acne or hydration. It lasts a long time for such a cheap price though. Would NOT recommend or repurchase. The ingredients on skinsort show that the formula isn’t very good either.