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Face Reality Skincare 8% L-Mandelic Serum Ingredients Explained

Serum
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Published on April 05, 2023 Submitted by ChristyTran_997

Overview

What it is

Serum with 19 ingredients that contains AHA, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free, fungal acne (malassezia) safe, and reef safe

Suited For

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

Free From

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

Fun facts

Face Reality Skincare is from United States. This product is used in 27 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 19 ingredients that contains AHA, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 19

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.

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 ->
Mandelic Acid Antimicrobial
AHA IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 2 Benefits 2 Concerns

Mandelic Acid helps exfoliate skin. It also contains antioxidant properties.

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.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Lactic Acid Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
AHA 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 Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 6 Benefits 3 Concerns

Lactic Acid is an AHA that is derived from fermenting lactose, a carbohydrate from milk. It removes the top layer of old and dead skin cells and helps increase cell turnover.

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.
Ppg-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate Emollient, Solvent, UV Absorber

We don't have a description for Ppg-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate.

Unknown Full details ->
Alcohol Denat. 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 Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol with other additives.

Very Disliked Full details ->
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.

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.

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 ->
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.
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.
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.

Phenethyl Alcohol Masking

Phenethyl Alcohol is a colorless and aromatic alohol. It is naturally occuring in essential oils.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

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

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.

Disliked Full details ->
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 ->
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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Ingredients Explained

This product contains 19 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
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
Antimicrobial
Liked

Mandelic Acid helps exfoliate skin. It also contains antioxidant properties.

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

Mandelic Acid may be an alternative to Glycolic Acid for those with sensitive skin.

Mandelic Acid may help reduce wrinkles, acne, and hyperpigmentation.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Mandelic Acid
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
Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Lactic Acid is an AHA that is derived from fermenting lactose, a carbohydrate from milk. It removes the top layer of old and dead skin cells and helps increase cell turnover.

Benefits of Lactic Acid are that it can help to reduce large pores and reduce the effects of aging. Some potential downsides are that it can be bad for dry skin, cause irritation, worsen eczema, and worsen rosacea.

Not only does it help exfoliate the skin, it helps strengthen the skin's barrier. When applied, lactic acid helps the skin create ceramides.

Lactic acid is an over-the-counter chemical exfoliant that comes from the fermentation of lactose β€” a carbohydrate found in milk.

Legend has it that Cleopatra used to bathe in sour milk to help reduce wrinkles.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Lactic Acid
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.

Emollient, Solvent, UV Absorber

We don't have a description for Ppg-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate.

Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Very Disliked

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol with other additives.

This ingredient gets a bad rep because it is irritating and drying - mostly due to its astringent property. Astringents draw out natural oils in tissue, constricting pores and leaving your skin dried out.

However, alcohol denat. is not all that bad.

Due to its low molecular weight, alcohol denat. tends to evaporate quickly. One study on pig skin found half of applied alcohol evaporated in 10 seconds and less than 3% stayed on skin.

This also helps other ingredients become better absorbed upon application.

Studies are conflicted about whether this ingredient causes skin dehydration. One study from 2005 found adding emollients to propanol-based sanitizer decreased skin dryness and irritation. Another study found irritation only occurs if your skin is already damaged.

Small amounts of alcohol are generally tolerated by oily skin or people who live in humid environments.

The rule of thumb is if this alcohol is near the end of an ingredients list, it will probably not affect your skin much.

Also...

This ingredient has antimicrobial and solvent properties.

The antimicrobial property helps preserve products and increase their shelf life. As a solvent, it helps dissolve other ingredients.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

Learn more about Alcohol Denat.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Masking
Very Disliked

Phenethyl Alcohol is a colorless and aromatic alohol. It is naturally occuring in essential oils.

The scent of this ingredient is floral and often compared to rose.

Like other alcohols, this ingredient helps prevent the growth of bacteria. However, its main purpose is to impact a fragrance.

Learn more about Phenethyl Alcohol
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
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
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
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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