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Garnier Pure Active Intensive Anti-Blackhead Charcoal Cleansing Gel Ingredients Explained

Face Cleanser
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Published on July 19, 2021 Submitted by EllieMaiaCH

Overview

What it is

Face cleanser with 30 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA and exfoliants

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free and reef safe

Suited For

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

Free From

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

Fun facts

Garnier is from France. This product is used in 6 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.

Face cleanser with 30 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA and exfoliants

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 30

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.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate Cleansing, Emulsifying, Foaming
Sulfate IconCan worsen Dry Skin Icon
SulfateSulfate Icon Can worsen Dry SkinCan worsen Dry Skin Icon

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is a foaming, cleansing, and emulsifying ingredient. It is created from palm kernel oil or coconut oil. SLES is not the same as sodium lauryl sulfate. It is much milder and less likely to irritate.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Decyl Glucoside Cleansing, Emulsion Stabilising

Decyl Glucoside is a glucose-based surfactant. Surfactants help clean the skin by trapping oil, sebum, and dirt to be washed away.

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.
Sodium Chloride Masking
Can worsen Dry Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
3 Concerns

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Coco-Betaine Cleansing, Skin Conditioning

Coco-Betaine is the natural version of Cocamidopropyl Betaine. It is often derived from coconuts.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

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.

Capryloyl Salicylic Acid Skin Conditioning

Capryloyl Salicylic Acid comes from salicylic acid, the famous acne-fighting BHA.

Charcoal Powder Abrasive, Absorbent
Exfoliant Icon
ExfoliantExfoliant Icon

Charcoal Powder is an exfoliant.

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 ->
Copper PCA Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Copper PCA.

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 ->
Menthol Masking, Refreshing
May cause irritation IconEU Allergen IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
3 Concerns

Menthol is a compound found in mint plants, such as peppermint. In its pure form, it is a clear crystalline substance.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate isn't fungal acne safe.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides Emulsifying

This ingredient is derived from caprylic and capric acids. It is an emulsifier with emollient properties.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Pentasodium Ethylenediamine Tetramethylene Phosphonate

We don't have a description for Pentasodium Ethylenediamine Tetramethylene Phosphonate.

Unknown Full details ->
Perlite Absorbent

We don't have a description for Perlite.

Polyglycerin-10 Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Polyglycerin-10.

Unknown Full details ->
Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate isn't fungal acne safe.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate is a skin conditioner with emollient and emulsifier properties.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Polyquaternium-47 Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Polyquaternium-47.

Unknown Full details ->
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 ->
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 ->
Sodium Dehydroacetate Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

This ingredient is a preservative with antimicrobial properties. It is the sodium salt of dehydroacetic acid.

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.

Sorbitol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol. It is a hydrating and moisturizing agent created from the reduction process of glucose.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Tetrasodium EDTA

Tetrasodium EDTA is the salt formed from neutralizing ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid with sodium hydroxide. It is a chelating agent and used to prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This helps keep the product and ingredients stable.

Disliked Full details ->
Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract Skin Conditioning

Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract comes from the bilberry plant. This plant is native to Eurasia.

Zinc Gluconate Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Zinc Gluconate.

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 a scent to products.

Very Disliked Full details ->

Ingredient Ratings

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

10
3
14
3
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 30 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
Cleansing, Emulsifying, Foaming
Very Disliked

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is a foaming, cleansing, and emulsifying ingredient. It is created from palm kernel oil or coconut oil. SLES is not the same as sodium lauryl sulfate. It is much milder and less likely to irritate.

SLES helps create foam in personal products. It also prevents ingredients from separating, helping to elongate the shelf life.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a type of sulfate. It can be drying. We recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient if you have concerns.

Learn more about Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Cleansing, Emulsion Stabilising
Mixed

Decyl Glucoside is a glucose-based surfactant. Surfactants help clean the skin by trapping oil, sebum, and dirt to be washed away.

It is created by reacting glucose with the fatty acids from plants.

Decyl Glucoside also helps stabilize the ingredients in a product by preventing them from separating.

This ingredient is biodegradable and non-toxic. This ingredient is commonly found in baby shampoos.

Decyl Glucoside is sometimes used to stabilize the UV filter Tinosorb.

Learn more about Decyl Glucoside
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
Masking
Very Disliked

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

This ingredient has many purposes in skincare: thickener, emulsifier, and exfoliator.

You'll most likely find this ingredient in cleansers where it is used to create a gel-like texture. As an emulsifier, it also prevents ingredients from separating.

There is much debate on whether this ingredient is comedogenic. The short answer - comedogenic ratings don't tell the whole story. Learn more about comegodenic ratings here.

The concensus about this ingredient causing acne seems to be divided. Research is needed to understand if this ingredient does cause acne.

Scrubs may use salt as the primary exfoliating ingredient.

Learn more about Sodium Chloride
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Coco-Betaine is the natural version of Cocamidopropyl Betaine. It is often derived from coconuts.

Coco-Betaine is a surfactant, meaning it helps remove dirt and oil from the skin.

Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
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
Skin Conditioning
Liked

Capryloyl Salicylic Acid comes from salicylic acid, the famous acne-fighting BHA.

It usually goes by a more common name of LHA, or lipohydroxy acid.

Like salicylic acid, this ingredient is a chemical exfoliant that can help break down the oil in your pores and reduce inflammation.

Though studies for LHA do show it to be less effective than salicylic acid. To be fair, salicylic acid is the reigning monarch of acne treatments.

However, a study from 2009 found LHA to be comparable to BPO, making it a good alternative for people with sensitive skin. Another study of 14 patients found a significant decrease in comedones after using LHA.

Another pro of LHA? It is less irritating than salicylic acid due to its large molecule size.

Large molecules cannot penetrate skin as well, so they are gentler on the skin. LHA is much less penetrative than salicylic acid.

An in-vitro study (not done on a living organism) found only 6% of LHA penetrated past the statum corneum compared to 58% of salicylic acid. An in-vivo (done on a living organism) analysis revealed ~17% of LHA was still present in the top layer of skin after 4 days, versus ~9% of salicylic acid.

Interestingly, a study from 2008 found LHA comparable to another famous acid, glycolic acid.

This study found about 10% of LHA is as effective as 20-50% of glycolic acid in treating hyperpigmentation and fine-lines.

Hydroxy acids have been found to stimulate skin protein, lipids, and thermal thickening. This may have anti-aging benefits.

Learn more about Capryloyl Salicylic Acid
Abrasive, Absorbent
Mixed

Charcoal Powder is an exfoliant.

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
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

We don't have a description for Copper PCA.

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
Masking, Refreshing
Very Disliked

Menthol is a compound found in mint plants, such as peppermint. In its pure form, it is a clear crystalline substance.

Menthol is known for its cooling sensation; however, the cooling is actually from your skin being sensitized. Menthol can worsen rosacea. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

Menthol also has antimicrobial properties.

Learn more about Menthol
Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate isn't fungal acne safe.

Emulsifying
Very Disliked

This ingredient is derived from caprylic and capric acids. It is an emulsifier with emollient properties.

According to the manufacturer, it is hydrophilic and soluble in aqueous solutions (water). They also state this ingredient is stable in a medium pH range (~5 - 8).

As an emulsifier, it helps make oils and oil-soluble ingredients more soluble in water.

Learn more about Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides

We don't have a description for Pentasodium Ethylenediamine Tetramethylene Phosphonate.

Absorbent
Liked

We don't have a description for Perlite.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Polyglycerin-10.

Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate isn't fungal acne safe.

Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate is a skin conditioner with emollient and emulsifier properties.

It is an esther of stearic acid and Polyglycerin-10.

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

Learn more about Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate
Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Polyquaternium-47.

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
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
Preservative
Loved

This ingredient is a preservative with antimicrobial properties. It is the sodium salt of dehydroacetic acid.

It is especially effective at preventing bacterial and fungal growth in low concentrations.

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
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol. It is a hydrating and moisturizing agent created from the reduction process of glucose.

Most sorbitol is usually made from potato starch. It is also found in fruits such as apples and pears.

As a humectant, Sorbitol helps draw water to the skin. This helps keep the skin hydrated. Sorbitol also helps create a thicker texture in products. You might find sorbitol in your toothpaste and other gels.

It is a non-irritating ingredient that is great for those with dry skin.

Sorbitol is a prebiotic. It helps promote the growth of healthy bacteria on your skin. The bacteria on your skin form a microbiome. This microbiome helps protect your skin from infection and harmful bacteria.

Learn more about Sorbitol
Disliked

Tetrasodium EDTA is the salt formed from neutralizing ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid with sodium hydroxide. It is a chelating agent and used to prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This helps keep the product and ingredients stable.

Tetrasodium EDTA comes as a white solid and is soluble in water.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract comes from the bilberry plant. This plant is native to Eurasia.

Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract contains antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. Fighting off these molecules can help reduce signs of aging.

Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract also helps reduce irritation.

Learn more about Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract
Skin Conditioning
Loved

We don't have a description for Zinc Gluconate.

Masking, Perfuming
Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give a scent to products.

Also called "fragrance", this ingredient 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 by INCI standards.

One example is Calendula flower extract. Calendula is an essential oil that still imparts a scent or 'fragrance'.

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

Parfum can also be used to mask or cover an unpleasant scent.

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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