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FaceTheory BHA Exfoliating Serum S3 Ingredients Explained

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Published on March 12, 2021 Submitted by GERGO

Overview

What it is

Exfoliator with 19 ingredients that contains BHA, hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is vegan and cruelty-free

Suited For

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

Free From

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

Fun facts

FaceTheory is from United Kingdom. This product is used in 12 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

BHA
Vitamin E
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating (2)
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing (3)
Reduces Irritation (3)
Reduces Large Pores (2)
Anti-Aging (2)
Scar Healing (2)
Acne Fighting (2)
Brightening (3)

Concerns

Drying
Irritating (2)
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
Solvent
3
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Non-Reef-Safe Icon
4
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
5
Emollient
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
6
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
7
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
8
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
9
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent, Emollient, Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Antioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconHelps fight Acne Icon
10
Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
11
Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
12
Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
13
Emulsion Stabilising
14
Emollient, Emulsifying
15
Antimicrobial
16
Skin Conditioning
17
Emulsion Stabilising
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
18
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
19
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Hyaluronic Acid Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 19 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: Solvent
Community Rating: Liked

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Propanediol is not likely to cause sensitivity and considered safe to use.

It is derived from corn or petroleum with a clear color and no scent.

Learn more about Propanediol
3
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Disliked

Butyloctyl Salicylate is a photostabilizer, emollient and solvent. Its main purpose is to evenly spread out ingredients.

This ingredient is a common sunscreen ingredient carrier and photostabilizer. According to a manufacturer, it is suitable for carrying micro Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, and pigments.

Photostabilizers help stabilize UV-filters and prevents them from degrading quickly.

According to EU regulation, this ingredient can cause harmful effects to aquatic life.

Learn more about Butyloctyl Salicylate
4
What it does: Cleansing, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Carnitine.

5
What it does: Emollient
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Polyglyceryl-6 Stearate isn't fungal acne safe.

6
What it does: Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid
7
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
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What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract comes from the Chamomile flower.

Chamomile is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Several compounds found in chamomile help with soothing, such as bisbolol.

Antioxidant components in chamomile make it an effective ingredient to help slow the signs of aging. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules, or molecules that may damage your skin.

Essential oils from chamomile have been found to improve wound healing due to its antimicrobial properties.

Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used Chamomile to treat skin redness and dryness. Chamomile has also been used to help treat stomach issues.

Learn more about Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract
9
What it does: Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent, Emollient, Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Community Rating: 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.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract has many benefits. It contains polyphenols, a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight off free-radical molecules that damage skin cells. 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. L-theanine is an amino acid that makes up most of the amino acids found in tea leaves. The caffeine in Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract helps calm inflamed blood vessels.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract also contains Vitamin Bs, linoleic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract also has antimicrobial properties.

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
10
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice comes from leaves of the aloe plant. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice is best known for helping to soothe sunburns. It is also anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, antiseptic, and can help heal wounds.

Aloe is packed with good stuff including Vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins are antioxidants, which help fight free-radicals and the damage they may cause. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice also contains sugars. These sugars come in the form of monosaccharides and polysaccharides, folic acid, and choline. These sugars are able to help bind moisture to skin.

It also contains minerals such as calcium, 12 anthraquinones, fatty acids, amino acids, and Vitamin B12.

Learn more about Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
11
What it does: Emulsifying

Polyglyceryl-4 Oleate isn't fungal acne safe.

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What it does: Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

Vitamin E also helps keep your natural skin lipids healthy. Your lipid skin barrier naturally consists of lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. Vitamin E offers extra protection for your skin’s lipid barrier, keeping your skin healthy and nourished.

Another benefit is a bit of UV protection. Vitamin E helps reduce the damage caused by UVB rays. (It should not replace your sunscreen). Combining it with Vitamin C can decrease sunburned cells and hyperpigmentation after UV exposure.

You might have noticed Vitamin E + C often paired together. This is because it is great at stabilizing Vitamin C. Using the two together helps increase the effectiveness of both ingredients.

There are often claims that Vitamin E can reduce/prevent scarring, but these claims haven't been confirmed by scientific research.

Learn more about Tocopherol
13
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising

We don't have a description for Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose.

14
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Mixed

Glyceryl Caprylate comes from glycerin and caprylic acid, a fatty acid from coconut.

Glyceryl Caprylate is used for its emollient and emulsifier properties.

As an emollient, it helps hydrate your skin. Emollients work by creating a barrier on your skin to trap moisture in, helping to keep your skin soft and smooth.

Glyceryl Caprylate helps keep the ingredients such as oil and water together as an emulsifier.

Learn more about Glyceryl Caprylate
15
What it does: Antimicrobial

Sodium Anisate comes from fennel. It is used as a preservative and to add flavoring.

Sodium Anisate has antimicrobial properties.

16
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Sodium levulinate is the a sodium salt of Levulinic Acid. If dissolved in an aqueous solution, the two ingredients become identical.

It is a skin conditioning agent, meaning it helps soften and hydrate your skin.

According to Cosmetic Ingredient Review, the highest amounts of sodium levulinate are found in mouthwashes at 0.62%.

Learn more about Sodium Levulinate
17
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising

Polyglyceryl-6 Behenate isn't fungal acne safe.

18
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
19
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
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 19 ingredients in this product ✨

53% are loved or liked
5% have mixed ratings
16% are disliked or very disliked
26% have no rating yet

When to use

Here's some more info on how this product is used by our community.

Directions

Apply a few drops to clean, damp skin, concentrating on blemishes, fine lines, dark spots and areas of hyperpigmentation. Follow with your moisturiser. This product contains a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and particularly the...

Apply a few drops to clean, damp skin, concentrating on blemishes, fine lines, dark spots and areas of hyperpigmentation. Follow with your moisturiser. This product contains a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use a sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards. Test on a small area first. After your first full application, wait a day or two before starting regular use. Discontinue if irritation occurs. Do not use simultaneously with retinol products until you have seen how your skin responds to BHA. Do not use this product if you are allergic to aspirin. Do not use if under the age of 18 or if pregnant. Seek advice from your doctor.

When to use

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