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e.l.f. cosmetics Keep Your Balance Toner Ingredients Explained

Toner
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Published on July 13, 2020

Overview

What it is

Toner with 27 ingredients that contains hyaluronic acid

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for dry skin, brightening skin and better texture

Free From

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

Fun facts

e.l.f. cosmetics is from United States. This product is used in 34 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.

Toner with 27 ingredients that contains hyaluronic acid

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 27

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

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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.
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.
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 ->
Hamamelis Virginiana Water Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Can worsen Dry Skin Icon
Can worsen Dry SkinCan worsen Dry Skin Icon

Hamamelis Virginiana Water is made by distilling parts of the witch hazel plant. You can also call this ingredient "witch hazel water".

Disliked Full details ->
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.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract is an extract of the leaves of the aloe, Aloe barbadensis, Liliaceae.

Hexylene Glycol Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
0-2 / 0-1

Hexylene Glycol is a surfactant. Glycols are a class of alcohols. Hexylene Glycol is a surfactant and emulsifier.

0-2 Com. / 0-1 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Fructose Humectant

Fructose is fruit/plant sugar. It can be found in apples, figs, and honey.

Glucose Humectant

Glucose is a simple sugar and is the most important source of energy in all organisms.

Sucrose Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Soothing

Sucrose is a natural sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and nuts. It is the main constituent of white sugar.

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.

Aspartic Acid Masking, Skin Conditioning

Aspartic Acid is an amino acid that our bodies produce naturally. It is an antioxidant.

Hexyl Nicotinate Emollient

We don't have a description for Hexyl Nicotinate.

Unknown Full details ->
Alanine Masking, Skin Conditioning

Alanine is an amino acid and is already found in the human body.

Dextrin Absorbent

Dextrin is used to thicken a product and helps bind ingredients together. It is created from starch and glycogen.

Urea Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
2 Benefits 2 Concerns

Urea is also called carbamide and is the diamide of carbonic acid. In cosmetics, urea is used to hydrate the skin. It also provides exfoliation in higher concentrations.

Coceth-6 Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Coceth-6.

Unknown Full details ->
Ppg-1-Peg-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Ppg-1-Peg-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether.

Disliked Full details ->
Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Emulsifying
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is derived from castor oil and polyethylene glycol (PEG). It is used as a emollient and emulsifier.

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Sodium Citrate Buffering, Masking

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Disodium EDTA

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

Disliked Full details ->
Benzoic Acid Masking, Preservative
Preservative IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Benzoic Acid is used to preserve and adjust the pH of products.

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.

Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

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

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 aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, 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.

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Ingredient Ratings

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

12
4
9
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mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 27 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 comes in many different forms. Different types of alcohol will have different effects on skin. This ingredient is usually an astringent alcohol.

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.

Fatty alcohols come from plant oils such as coconut oil. These can help hydrate the skin and are non-irritating. Some fatty alcohols include cetyl and stearyl alcohol.

Learn more about Alcohol
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.

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
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
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Disliked

Hamamelis Virginiana Water is made by distilling parts of the witch hazel plant. You can also call this ingredient "witch hazel water".

The name 'Hamamelis Virginiana Water' refers to the distillation product used in cosmetics. On the other hand, 'Witch Hazel' refers to the active drug ingredient.

Unless it is specified to be non-alcohol, many types of witch hazel ingredients are distilled in denatured alcohol.

Witch Hazel water is an astringent, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial ingredient.

It contains tannins. Tannins have a drying effect when used on skin by constricting proteins. The constriction also minimizes the appearance of pores.

Both the tannins and fragrance found in witch hazel may be skin-sensitizing.

Witch hazel water gets anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties from its catechin and gallic acid content.

Indigenous groups have used witch hazel to help treat inflammation in North America for centuries.

Learn more about Hamamelis Virginiana Water
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
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract is an extract of the leaves of the aloe, Aloe barbadensis, Liliaceae.

You may know Aloe to be a good sunburn reliever and inflammation reducer. This is because it contains many components that are known to help reduce irritation and itchiness. These include vitamins, amino acids, polysaccharides, and more. The high water content of aloe also helps give a cooling effect.

Aloe contains the antioxidants Vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins neutralize free radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

The aloe plant is naturally abundant in polysaccharides, a carbohydrate made of sugar molecules. Polysaccharides help hydrate your skin by mimicking your skin's natural carbohydrates.

As it is easily absorbed by the skin, aloe is a great moisturizer. It is both a humectant and emollient. Emollients help trap moisture in your skin, keeping your skin soft. Humectants draw water from the air to your skin.

Other components of aloe include sugars such as monosaccharides and polysaccharides, folic acid, choline, many common minerals such as calcium, fatty acids, amino acids, and Vitamin B12.

Aloe does not protect against UV rays, despite it soothing sunburns.

There are over 420 species of aloe but Aloe Barbadensis is the most commonly used for topical products.

Learn more about Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract
Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Disliked

Hexylene Glycol is a surfactant. Glycols are a class of alcohols. Hexylene Glycol is a surfactant and emulsifier.

As a surfactant, Hexylene Glycol helps gather dirt and oil on your skin to be washed away.

As an emulsifier, Hexylene Glycol helps keep water and oil together. This prevents them from separating in a product. Hexylene Glycol also thins out the texture of a product by lessening viscosity.

Hexylene Glycol has a small molecular weight.

Learn more about Hexylene Glycol
Humectant
Liked

Fructose is fruit/plant sugar. It can be found in apples, figs, and honey.

This ingredient is a humectant. Humectants help draw moisture from the air to your skin, keeping your skin hydrated.

Humectant
Loved

Glucose is a simple sugar and is the most important source of energy in all organisms.

In skincare, glucose is used to hydrate the skin. It also acts as a prebiotic for our natural biome.

Glucose is hydrating due to its humectant property. As a humectant, glucose draws moisture from the air and from deeper levels in the skin.

Our skin contains many sugars that act as prebiotics and help strengthen our natural microbiome. Having a healthy microbiome helps protect our skin from harmful bacteria and other contaminants.

Studies show glucose may help with fading discoloration and pigmentation. This is because our skin metabolizes glucose into lactic acid. Lactic acid is an AHA that helps exfoliate the top layer of skin.

Learn more about Glucose
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Mixed

Sucrose is a natural sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and nuts. It is the main constituent of white sugar.

In skincare, sucrose is a humectant and can be a mild exfoliant.

Sucrose is hydrophilic, meaning it attracts water. This makes it an effective humectant and helps hydrate the skin.

Studies show sugars may worsen acne-prone skin due to it disrupting the skin's natural biome. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

In some products such as body scrubs, sucrose is used as an gentle exfoliant.

The term 'sucrose' comes from the french word for sugar, 'sucre'.

Learn more about Sucrose
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
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Aspartic Acid is an amino acid that our bodies produce naturally. It is an antioxidant.

Our body uses Aspartic Acid to help build collagen and elastin. It also plays a role in hydrating skin.

Antioxidants help mitigate damage from free-radical molecules. These are molecules that originate from external sources such as pollution, cigarette smoke, or the sun.

Learn more about Aspartic Acid
Emollient

We don't have a description for Hexyl Nicotinate.

Masking, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Alanine is an amino acid and is already found in the human body.

Alanine has antioxidant properties and can help with anti-aging.

Alanine is used by fibrous proteins such as collagen, elastin, and keratin. These three help make a strong skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier leads to more plump and youthful skin.

Learn more about Alanine
Absorbent
Liked

Dextrin is used to thicken a product and helps bind ingredients together. It is created from starch and glycogen.

As an emulsifier, dextrin prevents ingredients from separating. This helps elongate a product's shelf life.

Studies show coating UV filters with dextrin prevents these ingredients from being absorbed. This helps UV ingredients last longer on the skin.

Learn more about Dextrin
Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Urea is also called carbamide and is the diamide of carbonic acid. In cosmetics, urea is used to hydrate the skin. It also provides exfoliation in higher concentrations.

As a humectant, urea helps draw moisture from the air and from deep within the skin. This helps hydrate your skin. Studies show urea is an effective moisturizer for dry skin conditions. 40% urea is typical in medications for treating eczema and other skin conditions.

Urea has the strongest exfoliation effect in concentrations higher than 10%. It is a keratolytic agent, meaning it breaks down the keratin protein in the top layer of skin. This helps remove dead skin cells and flaking skin.

In medicine, urea has been shown to help increase the potency of other ingredients, such as fungal treatments.

Humans and animals use urea to metabolize nitrogen-containing compounds. Urea is highly soluble in water. Once dissolved, it is neither acidic nor alkaline.

Learn more about Urea
Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Coceth-6.

Emulsifying
Disliked

We don't have a description for Ppg-1-Peg-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether.

Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is derived from castor oil and polyethylene glycol (PEG). It is used as a emollient and emulsifier.

As an emulsifier, it helps prevent ingredients from separating. It also helps make the other ingredients more soluble; it is often used to solubilize fragrances. This increases spreadability and elongates shelf life in a product.

Emollients help soothe and soften the skin. They do this by creating a protective film on your skin. This barrier helps trap moisture and keeps your skin hydrated. Emollients may be effective at treating dry or itchy skin.

This ingredient may or may not be vegan, depending on the source.

Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil may not be fungal-acne safe. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any questions or concerns.

Learn more about Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Buffering, Masking
Mixed

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Citrate helps maintain the pH of a product. Normal pH level of skin is slightly acidic (~4.75-5.5). The acidity of our skin is maintained by our glands and skin biome. Being slightly acidic allows our skin to create an "acid mantle". This acid mantle is a thin barrier that protects our skin from bacteria and contaminants.

Sodium Citrate is a chelating agent. It neutralizes metal ions from water and prevents them from binding to other ingredients. This ensures the other ingredients will not be altered.

Learn more about Sodium Citrate
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
Masking, Preservative
Disliked

Benzoic Acid is used to preserve and adjust the pH of products.

The antimicrobial property of Benzoic Acid helps elongate a product's shelf life. Its main role is to reduce fungi growth and is not found to be effective at fighting bacteria. Therefore Benzoic Acid is always added along with other preservatives.

In its pure form, Benzoic Acid looks like a white crystalline solid. It has slight solubility in water.

The name of Benzoic Acid comes from gum benzoin, which used to be the sole source of deriving this ingredient. Benzoic Acid is the most simple aromatic carboxylic acid.

Benzoic Acid is naturally occuring in strawberries, mustard, cinnamon, and cloves. It has a slight scent but is not considered to be a fragrance.

Learn more about Benzoic Acid
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.

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
Masking, Perfuming
Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, 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. One example is Calendula flower extract. Essential oil ingredients still impart a scent or 'fragrance'.

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

Products use parfum often to give products a scent or cover up smells of different ingredients.

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

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