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Hero Cosmetics Lightning Swipe Dark Spot Brightening Pads Ingredients Explained

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Published January 31, 2023 Added by r2398

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Overview

What it is

Exfoliator with 29 ingredients that contains AHA, niacinamide and Vitamin C

Cool Features

It is vegan, 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, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

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

Fun facts

Hero Cosmetics is from United States. This product is used in 14 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 29 ingredients that contains AHA, niacinamide and Vitamin C

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 29

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.
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.

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.
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.

Tromethamine Buffering, Masking

Tromethamine is an aliphatic compound. An aliphatic compound is an organic compound with open-chained carbon atoms. It is synthetically created. Tromethamine is used to balance pH and improve texture.

Benzyl Glycol Solvent

We don't have a description for Benzyl Glycol.

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.

Allantoin Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0 Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
3 Benefits

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
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.

Tranexamic Acid Astringent, Skin Conditioning
Good for Dark Spots Icon
Good for Dark SpotsGood for Dark Spots Icon

Tranexamic Acid is best used for treating hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and melasma. It can also help build a stronger skin barrier.

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 ->
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.

Calcium Pantothenate

Calcium Pantothenate is calcium salt from Vitamin B5. It can be naturally found in plants and animals.

Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

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

Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

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

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate Antioxidant
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 6 Benefits

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a form of Vitamin C. It is the salt of ascorbic acid.

Houttuynia Cordata Extract Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness Icon
Helps reduce Skin RednessHelps reduce Skin Redness Icon

Houttuynia Cordata Extract is more commonly known as Heart Leaf, Fish Mint, or Chameleon plant.

Pyridoxine Hcl Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Pyridoxine Hcl.

Unknown Full details ->
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent
Antioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconHelps fight Acne Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 5 Benefits

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.

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.

Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract Astringent, Skin Conditioning

Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract comes from the Goji Berry. Goji berries are native to China and can be found across Eurasia.

Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate Humectant

Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate is created from fermenting Saccharomyces, a yeast also known as baker's yeast or brewer's yeast.

Illicium Verum Fruit Extract Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Illicium Verum Fruit Extract is a fragrance.

Hydroxyacetophenone Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Hydroxyacetophenone is antioxidant and helps with skin conditioning.

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 ->
Malic Acid Buffering
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

Malic Acid is an AHA derived from unripe fruit. The word "Malic" comes from the word "Malum". In Latin, "Malum" means apple.

Tartaric 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

Tartaric Acid is an AHA. It can help to improve skin texture, reduce large pores, heal scars, and brighten skin. It can cause irritation and worsen rosacea.

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.

Ingredient Ratings

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

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liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 29 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.

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
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
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, Masking
Liked

Tromethamine is an aliphatic compound. An aliphatic compound is an organic compound with open-chained carbon atoms. It is synthetically created. Tromethamine is used to balance pH and improve texture.

As an emulsifier, Tromethamine prevents oil and water ingredients from separating. This helps stabilize the product and elongate a product's shelf life. Tromethamine also makes a product thicker.

Tromethamine helps balance the pH level of a product. Normal pH level of skin is slightly acidic (~4.75-5.5). The acidity of our skin is maintained by our glands and skin biome. Being slightly acidic allows our skin to create an "acid mantle". This acid mantle is a thin barrier that protects our skin from bacteria and contaminants.

Oral Tromethanmine is an anti-inflammatory drug but plays the role of masking, adding fragrance, and/or balancing pH in skincare.

1,3-Propanediol, 2-amino-2-(hydroxymethyl)-

Learn more about Tromethamine
Solvent
Mixed

We don't have a description for Benzyl Glycol.

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, Skin Protecting, Soothing
Loved

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

Some studies have shown this ingredient can promote wound healing with higher concentrations.

Allantoin is derived from the comfrey plant but produced synthetically for cosmetic products to ensure purity.

Learn more about Allantoin
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
Astringent, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Tranexamic Acid is best used for treating hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and melasma. It can also help build a stronger skin barrier.

Once applied, Tranexamic Acid starts decreasing inflammation from UV exposure. Tranexamic Acid also prevents our skin cells from meeting the pigment production cells.

Fun fact: Tranexamic Acid is also a medication used to reduce heavy bleeding.

This acid is derived from lysine, an amino acid.

Learn more about Tranexamic Acid
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
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.

Calcium Pantothenate is calcium salt from Vitamin B5. It can be naturally found in plants and animals.

Calcium Pantothenate is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules. Free-radical molecules are capable of damaging our cells and other genetic material. Antioxidants help stabilize free-radicals by donating extra electrons. This may help reduce the signs of aging.

Our bodies use Calcium Pantothenate for various metabolic functinos. These functions include metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fatty acids.

Learn more about Calcium Pantothenate
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
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.

Antioxidant
Liked

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a form of Vitamin C. It is the salt of ascorbic acid.

This ingredient is more gentle than ascorbic acid. It is also more stable when exposed to light and oxygen.

Vitamin C helps reduce redness, improve skin texture, reduce the effects of aging, reduce the visibility of dark spots, and brighten skin.

Your skin uses Vitamin C to produce collagen and collagen production plays a role in having a strong skin barrier and plump skin. As an antioxidant, this ingredient also helps reduce the signs of aging such as fine-lines and wrinkles.

VItamin C helps brighten skin by blocking the process of skin darkening.

In a 2011 study, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate was found to have antibacterial properties. This may help treat acne.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Learn more about Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Houttuynia Cordata Extract is more commonly known as Heart Leaf, Fish Mint, or Chameleon plant.

The components found in Heart Leaf give it antioxidant, hydrating, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Heart Leaf is rich in flavonoids such as quercetin, apigenin, and more. It also contains polysaccharides, the most common type of carbs in food.

Flavonoids have been shown to be effective antioxidants. They help neutralize free-radical molecules. Free-radical molecules are unstable molecules that may damage our skin cells and DNA. The flavonoids in Heart Leaf also help soothe the skin.

Polysaccharides are naturally found in our skin. They play a role in hydrating and repairing the top layer of skin. The polysaccharides in Heart Leaf help moisturize our skin.

Studies show decanoyl acetaldehyde, a component of Heart Leaf oil, is effective at killing bacteria.

The name 'Fish Mint' comes from the herb's natural fishy smell. Is is native to southeast Asia and used throughout the continent for traditional cooking and medicine.

Learn more about Houttuynia Cordata Extract
Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Pyridoxine Hcl.

Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent
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.

This ingredient has many skin benefits:

This ingredient contains polyphenols, a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight off molecules that damage skin cells.

On top of that, 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. The caffeine in Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract helps calm inflamed blood vessels.

Other compounds found in tea include: Vitamin Bs, linoleic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.

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
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
Astringent, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract comes from the Goji Berry. Goji berries are native to China and can be found across Eurasia.

Goji berries contain polysaccharides, carotenoids and flavonoids. Antioxidants help your body fight off free-radical molecules. These molecules are unstable and may damage your skin. By making free-radicals more stable, antioxidants can help with anti-aging.

Polysaccharides help hydrate the top layer of skin due to its ability to mimic natural carbohydrates.

Learn more about Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract

Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate is created from fermenting Saccharomyces, a yeast also known as baker's yeast or brewer's yeast.

As a humectant, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This helps keep your skin hydrated. This is due to its beta-glucan content.

Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Illicium Verum Fruit Extract is a fragrance.

Antioxidant
Liked

Hydroxyacetophenone is antioxidant and helps with skin conditioning.

Antioxidants help fight off free-radical molecules. These unstable molecules may damage your skin cells. By helping stabilize free-radicals, antioxidants may help in anti-aging.

Hydroxyacetophenone boosts the efficiency of other preservatives.

Learn more about Hydroxyacetophenone
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

Malic Acid is an AHA derived from unripe fruit. The word "Malic" comes from the word "Malum". In Latin, "Malum" means apple.

Malic Acid has both AHA and BHA properties, but is considered an AHA because its AHA properties are stronger. Like other AHAs, it removes the top layer of old and dead skin to reveal the newer layer underneath. It also helps with improving fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone, skin texture, and acne blemishes.

Due to its exfoliating properties, you should wear SPF when using Malic Acid.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Malic Acid
Buffering, Masking
Mixed

Tartaric Acid is an AHA. It can help to improve skin texture, reduce large pores, heal scars, and brighten skin. It can cause irritation and worsen rosacea.

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

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