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Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol Ingredients Explained

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Updated July 18, 2023 Added by Hannibal

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Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 31 ingredients that contains hyaluronic acid, retinoid and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

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

Free From

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

Fun facts

Glossier is from United States. This product is used in 33 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.

Facial treatment with 31 ingredients that contains hyaluronic acid, retinoid and Vitamin E

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 31

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.

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.
Propanediol Solvent

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.

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate Emollient

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate comes from cetearyl alcohol and 2-ethylhexanoic acid.

C13-15 Alkane Solvent

C13-15 Alkane is a group of alkanes with 13 to 15 carbon atoms in the alkyl chain.

Unknown Full details ->
Cetyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 2 Fatty Alcohol Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon

Cetyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol. Fatty Alcohols are most often used as an emollient or to thicken a product.

2 Com. / 2 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Butyrospermum Parkii Butter Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon 2 Concerns

Butyrospermum Parkii Butter is a plant lipid from the fruit of the Shea Tree. It is an effective skin hydrator and emollient.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Cetearyl Olivate
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Cetearyl Olivate is an emulsifier and texture enhancer. It is derived from the fatty acids of olive oil and Cetearyl alcohol, and is biodegradable.

Disliked Full details ->
Coconut Alkanes Emollient, Solvent
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Coconut Alkanes is created from the fatty-acids of coconut oil. It is volatile, meaning it evaporates from the skin.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Sorbitan Olivate Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Sorbitan Olivate is created from the fatty acids in olive oil and sorbitol.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Potassium Cetyl Phosphate Emulsifying

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate is the potassium salt of a mixture. This mixture consists of the esters from phosphoricacid and cetyl alcohol.

Betaine Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
3 Benefits

Betaine is a common humectant (a substance that promotes retention of moisture). It's known to be gentle on the skin and can help balance hydration.

Retinyl Sunflowerseedate Skin Conditioning
Retinoid 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 fight Acne IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 7 Benefits 2 Concerns

Retinyl Sunflowerseedate is a form of retinoid. It can be good for be good for oily skin. It can help to improve skin texture, reduce large pores, reduce the effects of aging, reduce the visibility of dark spots, heal scars, and fight acne. It can be bad for dry skin and cause irritation.

Unknown Full details ->
Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract Masking

We don't have a description for Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract Skin Conditioning, Tonic

We don't have a description for Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract.

Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract Astringent, Skin Conditioning

Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract is the extract of the leaves of Camellia Oleifera, Theaceae.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
2 Benefits

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.

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.
Tocopherol Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 4 Benefits May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

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.

0-3 Com. / 0-3 Irr.
Coco-Caprylate/Caprate Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate is created from fatty coconut alcohol, caprylic acid, and capric acid.

Very 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.

Glycol Stearate Emollient, Emulsifying
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Glycol Stearate comes from stearic acid and ethylene glycol.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Glyceryl Stearate Emollient, Emulsifying
1 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Masking, Skin Conditioning

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Maltodextrin Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide. It is derived from starch such as rice, corn, wheat, or potato starch.

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 ->
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 ->
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.

Carbomer Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
1 / 0

Carbomer is a polymer of acrylic acid. Its main role is to create gel consistency within products.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer Emulsion Stabilising

This long ingredient is a copolymer of sodium acrylate and sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate monomers.

Disliked Full details ->
Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is used to help stabilize a product.

Ingredient Ratings

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

12
4
12
3
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 31 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, 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
Solvent
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
Emollient
Mixed

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate comes from cetearyl alcohol and 2-ethylhexanoic acid.

It is an emollient that adds a velvety feel to products when applied. Emollients help trap moisture into your skin, keeping your skin soft and hydrated.

Solvent

C13-15 Alkane is a group of alkanes with 13 to 15 carbon atoms in the alkyl chain.

It is a solvent and texture enhancer. Solvents are used to keep ingredients together in a product. They can help dissolve ingredients to stable bases or help evenly distribute ingredients throughout the product.

Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Very Disliked

Cetyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol. Fatty Alcohols are most often used as an emollient or to thicken a product.

Cetyl Alcohol is not related to SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, or ethyl alcohol. The FDA allows products labeled "alcohol-free" to have fatty alcohols.

Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Butyrospermum Parkii Butter is a plant lipid from the fruit of the Shea Tree. It is an effective skin hydrator and emollient.

Emollients help soothe and soften your skin. It does 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.

Shea butter is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals, or molecules that may harm the body. It is also full of fatty acids including stearic acid and linoleic acid. These acids help replenish the skin and keep skin moisturized.

While Shea Butter has an SPF rating of about 3-4, it is not a sunscreen replacement.

Shea butter may not be fungal acne safe. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Butyrospermum Parkii Butter
Disliked

Cetearyl Olivate is an emulsifier and texture enhancer. It is derived from the fatty acids of olive oil and Cetearyl alcohol, and is biodegradable.

As an emulsifier, it is used to prevent oils and waters from separating. It can also

Manufacturers use the name Olivem 1000. This ingredient has been found to preserve the natural microbiome of skin. Having a healthy microbiome helps keep our skin healthy and protects against harmful bacteria. This ingredient is grouped with Sorbitan Olivate under the name Olivem 1000.

Learn more about Cetearyl Olivate
Emollient, Solvent
Very Disliked

Coconut Alkanes is created from the fatty-acids of coconut oil. It is volatile, meaning it evaporates from the skin.

Coconut Alkanes is an emollient and solvent. As an emollient, it helps keep skin soft and hydrated. Solvents help distribute and mix other ingredients. This ensures a more even consistency.

Coconut Alkanes may not be fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about Coconut Alkanes
Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Sorbitan Olivate is created from the fatty acids in olive oil and sorbitol.

Sorbitan Olivate is an oil in water emulsifier. It helps stabilize a product by preventing oils and waters from separating. Sorbitan Olivate also helps hydrate the skin.

Manufacturers sell sorbitan olivate under the name OliveM 1000. OliveM 1000 a multifunctional ingredient. It is self-emulsifying. According to a manufacturer, OliveM 1000 does not disrupt natural skin biome.

Learn more about Sorbitan Olivate
Emulsifying
Liked

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate is the potassium salt of a mixture. This mixture consists of the esters from phosphoricacid and cetyl alcohol.

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate is an emulsifier and cleansing agent. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

As a cleansing agent, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate helps gather oils, dirts, and pollutants from your skin. This makes it easier to rinse them away with water.

Learn more about Potassium Cetyl Phosphate
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Betaine is a common humectant (a substance that promotes retention of moisture). It's known to be gentle on the skin and can help balance hydration.

Betaine is best for improving hydration and soothing irritated skin. Studies show betaine may help with uneven skin tones.

Betaine is naturally created in the skin and body. The form found within cosmetic products can be either plant-dervied or synthetic.

Learn more about Betaine
Skin Conditioning

Retinyl Sunflowerseedate is a form of retinoid. It can be good for be good for oily skin. It can help to improve skin texture, reduce large pores, reduce the effects of aging, reduce the visibility of dark spots, heal scars, and fight acne. It can be bad for dry skin and cause irritation.

We don't have a description for Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract.

Skin Conditioning, Tonic
Loved

We don't have a description for Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract.

Astringent, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract is the extract of the leaves of Camellia Oleifera, Theaceae.

Camellia Oleifera Leaf is a green tea plant native to China. It is closely related to Camellia sinensis. Both plants have very similar properties.

Camellia Oleifera Leaf is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules. Free-radical molecules are capable of damaging our cells and other genetic material. Antioxidants help stabilize free-radicals. Antioxidants may help reduce the signs of aging.

Camellia Oleifera Leaf also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

Learn more about Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract
Skin Conditioning
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
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
Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
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
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate is created from fatty coconut alcohol, caprylic acid, and capric acid.

It is a lightweight emollient. Emollients create a thin barrier on the skin to trap moisture in. This helps keep your skin hydrated and soft.

Once applied, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate is absorbed quickly and leaves a silky feel.

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Coco-Caprylate/Caprate
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, Emulsifying
Disliked

Glycol Stearate comes from stearic acid and ethylene glycol.

It is a creamy wax used to stabilize ingredients as an emulsifier. Glycol stearate also contains emollient properties. Emollients sit on top of the skin to prevent moisture from escaping.

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

Learn more about Glycol Stearate
Emollient, Emulsifying
Disliked

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

Glyceryl Stearate is used to stabilize the mixing of water and oil ingredients. By preventing these ingredients from separating, it can help elongate shelf life. It can also help thicken the product's texture.

As an emollient, it helps soften skin and supports barrier-replenishing ingredients.

In cosmetics, Glyceryl Stearate is often made from vegetable oils or synthetically produced. The human body also creates Glyceryl Stearate naturally.

Learn more about Glyceryl Stearate
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Within a product, Caprylic Triglyceride can thicken the product and make spreadability easier by dissolving clumping compounds. An added benefit of Caprylic Triglyceride is its antioxidant properties.

Caprylic Triglyceride is made by combining glycerin with coconut oil, forming a clear liquid. Caprylic Triglyceride has not been found to be toxic for human use in concentrations under 50%.

While there is an assumption Caprylic Triglyceride can clog pores due to it being derived from coconut oil, there is no research supporting this.

Learn more about Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide. It is derived from starch such as rice, corn, wheat, or potato starch.

In food, Maltodextrin is used to improve the texture and thicken a product. Due to its structure, it can help create a gel texture. As an emulsion stabilizer, it helps keep the ingredients in a product together.

As a polysaccharide, Maltodextrin has moisturizing properties. Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate. The top layer of skin uses polysaccharides to retain water, keeping the skin hydrated.

Maltodextrin is water soluble and has a sweet taste.

Learn more about Maltodextrin
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
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
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
Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
Disliked

Carbomer is a polymer of acrylic acid. Its main role is to create gel consistency within products.

Carbomer is commonly found in many types of cosmetics products. It is found to be safe in concentrations up to 15%. However, a high amount of carbomer can cause pilling or balling up of products. Most products contain 1% of less of carbomer.

This long ingredient is a copolymer of sodium acrylate and sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate monomers.

It is used to help stabilize other ingredients and create a thicker gel-like texture.

Emulsifiers prevent oils and waters from separating.

Learn more about Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is used to help stabilize a product.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it helps prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This prevents unwanted reactions in products. Metal ions can come into a product via the water ingredient. They are found in trace amounts and are not known to be harmful.

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