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e.l.f. cosmetics SuperBrighten Peel Pads Ingredients Explained

Exfoliator
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Published on December 19, 2021 Submitted by Maritake_N

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Overview

What it is

Exfoliator with 23 ingredients that contains AHA

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

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

Free From

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

Fun facts

e.l.f. cosmetics is from United States. This product is used in 3 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.

Exfoliator with 23 ingredients that contains AHA

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 23

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.
Pentylene Glycol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

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

Sodium PCA Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0

Sodium PCA is the sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid and is naturally occurring on human skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
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.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Hamamelis Virginiana Extract Antiseborrhoeic, Astringent, Skin Conditioning
Can worsen Dry Skin Icon
Can worsen Dry SkinCan worsen Dry Skin Icon

Hamamelis Virginiana Extract comes from the witch hazel plant.

Disliked Full details ->
Carica Papaya Leaf Extract Tonic

We don't have a description for Carica Papaya Leaf Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Acer Saccharum Extract Skin Conditioning

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

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.

Very Disliked Full details ->
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 ->
Saccharum Officinarum Extract Moisturising, Skin Conditioning

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

Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract Astringent, Refreshing, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Zinc Gluconate Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Zinc Gluconate.

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.

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

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

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.

Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

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

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.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Ppg-26-Buteth-26 Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Ppg-26-Buteth-26.

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 ->
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 ->
Disodium EDTA

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

Disliked Full details ->
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.

Ingredient Ratings

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

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2
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mixed
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not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 23 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, Solvent
Mixed

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about Pentylene Glycol
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Sodium PCA is the sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid and is naturally occurring on human skin.

The PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, a natural amino acid derivative.

Sodium PCA is a has conditioning, anti-inflammatory, and humectant properties. Humectants help hydrate your skin by drawing moisture from the air. This helps keep your skin moisturized.

Learn more about Sodium PCA
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
Antiseborrhoeic, Astringent, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Hamamelis Virginiana Extract comes from the witch hazel plant.

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

Witch Hazel has astringent, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties.

The tannin content of witch hazel constrict the appearance of pores by drying out proteins. Witch hazel water gets anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties from its catechin and gallic acid content.

However, witch hazel may be skin-sensitizing due to the tannin and fragrance compounds.

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

Learn more about Hamamelis Virginiana Extract

We don't have a description for Carica Papaya Leaf Extract.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

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

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
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
Astringent, Refreshing, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract.

Skin Conditioning
Loved

We don't have a description for Zinc Gluconate.

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
Buffering
Loved

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

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

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

Due to this, glycolic acid helps with:

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

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

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

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

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Glycolic Acid
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
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.

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
Skin Conditioning
Disliked

We don't have a description for Ppg-26-Buteth-26.

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.

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
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
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

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