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Kerstin Florian Clarifying Probiotic Refining Serum Ingredients Explained

Serum
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Updated on March 11, 2024 Submitted by starstellastar_407

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Overview

What it is

Serum with 48 ingredients that contains AHA

Cool Features

It is 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 parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Kerstin Florian is from Sweden. This product is used in 1 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 48 ingredients that contains AHA

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 48

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.

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.

Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate.

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.
Pentylene Glycol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

Rosa Canina Fruit Extract Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Tonic
Good for Scar Healing Icon
Good for Scar HealingGood for Scar Healing Icon

Rosa Canina Fruit Extract is from Rosehip. Rosehips are a fruit from a wild rose bush native to Eurasia and Africa.

Chlorella Vulgaris Extract Skin Conditioning

Chlorella Vulgaris Extract comes from the microalga, Chlorella vulgaris. It is hydrating and contains antioxidants. Studies also show Chlorella Vulgaris may help in rebuilding collagen and elastin.

Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment can be good for be good for sensitive skin.

Ulva Lactuca Extract Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting

We don't have a description for Ulva Lactuca Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Terminalia Bellerica Fruit Extract Antimicrobial, Astringent, Emollient

We don't have a description for Terminalia Bellerica Fruit Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Terminalia Chebula Fruit Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Terminalia Chebula Fruit Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Spirulina Platensis Extract Skin Protecting

Spirulina Platensis Extract comes from the alga called Spirulina platensis. It has wound-healing, antioxidant, and soothing properties.

Oryza Sativa Extract Absorbent, Skin Conditioning
Helps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots Icon
2 Benefits

Oryza Sativa Extract comes from the rice grain, Oryza sativa. Rice extract has wound healing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties.

Disliked Full details ->
Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate Antimicrobial, Skin Conditioning

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is created from fermenting leuconostoc, a microorganism.

Superoxide Dismutase Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Superoxide Dismutase is found in all living cells. This ingredient is AKA as 'SOD'.

Soybean Peroxidase Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Soybean Peroxidase is an antioxidant.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Heptyl Glucoside

We don't have a description for Heptyl Glucoside.

Unknown Full details ->
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.
Manganese Gluconate Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Manganese Gluconate.

Unknown Full details ->
Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract Skin Conditioning

Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract is from brown seaweed that grows in the northern Atlantic Ocean. It is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight off free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage our skin cells.

Disliked Full details ->
Zinc PCA Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Good for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne Icon
2 Benefits

Zinc PCA (or "zinc salt") differs slightly from zinc itself. PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid. However, Zinc PCA comes from zinc.

Copper Gluconate Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting

We don't have a description for Copper Gluconate.

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.

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.

Sodium Magnesium Silicate

We don't have a description for Sodium Magnesium Silicate.

Unknown Full details ->
Sodium Phytate

Sodium Phytate is the synthetic salt form of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antioxidant and can be found in plant seeds.

Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 Emulsion Stabilising

Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 is a texture enhancer and pH adjuster.

Disliked Full details ->
Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate Antimicrobial

Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate is a natural preservative. It comes from fermenting radish roots with a bacteria called leuconostoc. Leuconostoc comes from lactic acid. This bacteria is used to make the traditional Korean side-dish, kimchi. It is also used to make sourdough bread (both incredibly yummy foods).

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 ->
Hydroxyethylcellulose Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising

Hydroxyethylcellulose is used to improve the texture of products. It is created from a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide and alkali-cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar found in plant cell walls and help give plants structure.

Sodium Citrate Buffering, Masking

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Biotin Antiseborrhoeic, Skin Conditioning

Biotin is a B vitamin that is naturally produced by our bodies. It is also called Vitamin H.

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.
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 ->
Potassium Hydroxide Buffering

Potassium hydroxide is commonly known as caustic potash. It is used to fix the pH of a product or as a cleaning agent in soap. In cleansers, it is used for the saponification of oils.

Very Disliked Full details ->
T-Butyl Alcohol Perfuming, Solvent
Alcohol IconFragrance Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon FragranceFragrance Icon

T-Butyl Alcohol it is most commonly used as a solvent.

Very 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 ->
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very 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 ->
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 ->
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 ->
Limonene Perfuming, Solvent
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Limonene is a fragrance that adds scent and taste to a formulation.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Linalool Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil Masking
Oil Icon
OilOil Icon

Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil is an oil.

Unknown Full details ->
Citrus Limon Peel Oil Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance IconOil IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Citrus Limon Peel Oil is created from the peels of the lemon. It is used to add a lemon-scent to products. Lemon peel oil also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. However, it may also cause phototoxicity and sensitize skin.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Lavandula Hybrida Oil Emollient
Oil Icon
OilOil Icon

Lavandula Hybrida Oil is an oil.

Unknown Full details ->
Mentha Piperita Oil Masking, Perfuming, Refreshing
Fragrance IconOil IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Mentha Piperita Oil is the volatile oil obtained from the whole plant of the Peppermint plant.

Very Disliked Full details ->

Ingredient Ratings

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

17
5
17
9
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 48 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
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
Skin Conditioning
Liked

We don't have a description for Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate.

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.

Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Mixed

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

The hydrophilic trait of Pentylene Glycol makes it a humectant. As a humectant, Pentylene Glycol helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This can help keep your skin hydrated.

This property also makes Pentylene Glycol a great texture enhancer. It can help thicken or emulsify a product. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

Pentylene Glycol also acts as a mild preservative and helps to keep a product microbe-free.

Some people may experience mild eye and skin irritation from Pentylene Glycol. We always recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient in your routine.

Pentylene Glycol has a low molecular weight and is part of the 1,2-glycol family.

Learn more about Pentylene Glycol
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Tonic
Liked

Rosa Canina Fruit Extract is from Rosehip. Rosehips are a fruit from a wild rose bush native to Eurasia and Africa.

Rosehip contains Vitamin C, Vitamin E, fatty acids and linolenic acids. These nourish your skin barrier. Having hydrated skin helps reduce the appearance of fine-lines and wrinkles.

Vitamins C and E are potent antioxidants and may help with anti-aging. The fatty acids are emollients that help soften and hydrate your skin.

Another potent vitamin found in rosehip is Vitamin A, or retinol. Retinol encourages collagen production in the skin.

Rosehip extract may help with brightening the skin. Several components, such as beta-carotene, are able to reduce pigmentation caused by sun damage.

Learn more about Rosa Canina Fruit Extract
Skin Conditioning
Liked

Chlorella Vulgaris Extract comes from the microalga, Chlorella vulgaris. It is hydrating and contains antioxidants. Studies also show Chlorella Vulgaris may help in rebuilding collagen and elastin.

Antioxidants help with the signs of aging by neutralizing free-radical molecules. Free-radical molecules, if left unchecked, may damage skin cells and DNA. On top of that, Chlorella Vulgaris helps condition and hydrate the skin.

Chlorella Vulgaris is made up of lipids, carbohydrates, and chlorophyll.

This ingredient is commonly used as food additive in Japan.

Learn more about Chlorella Vulgaris Extract
Skin Conditioning
Liked

Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment can be good for be good for sensitive skin.

Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting

We don't have a description for Ulva Lactuca Extract.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract.

Antimicrobial, Astringent, Emollient

We don't have a description for Terminalia Bellerica Fruit Extract.

We don't have a description for Terminalia Chebula Fruit Extract.

Skin Protecting
Mixed

Spirulina Platensis Extract comes from the alga called Spirulina platensis. It has wound-healing, antioxidant, and soothing properties.

Antioxidants help protect the skin against free-radical molecules. These molecules may originate from UV rays or pollution. Spirulina Platensis is rich in beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant.

Spirulina Platensis also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and proteins.

Learn more about Spirulina Platensis Extract
Absorbent, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Oryza Sativa Extract comes from the rice grain, Oryza sativa. Rice extract has wound healing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties.

Rice grains contain numerous antioxidants which may help with anti-aging, such as vitamin E. Antioxidants help stabilize free-radical molecules. Unstable free-radical molecules may damage your skin cells and accelerate signs of aging.

A study from 2002 found rice to help increase the rate of wound healing. The same study found an improvement of skin barrier function in the patients after taking rice baths.

Numerous in-vitro studies have found rice water to help decrease sun damage by increasing collagen production and inhibiting the process of tyrosinase.

Long story short- tyrosinase is an enzyme that controls melanin production. Our bodies start producing melanin (AKA tanning) when exposed to UV radiation to protect against damage. Rice water is found to partially block this process.

Though more research is needed on rice's ability to help with UV protection, recent studies seem promising.

Wondering why rice is hydrating? The protein in rice have emollient properties. Emollients create a barrier on the skin to trap moisture in, keeping your skin moisturized.

Some rice extract may have mildly-exfoliating properties. These are mainly limited to Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran and Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Powder.

This rice was first cultivated in China over 10,000 years ago. Many cultures throughout Asia have used rice water on skin and hair for centuries.

Learn more about Oryza Sativa Extract
Antimicrobial, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is created from fermenting leuconostoc, a microorganism.

It is a type of lactic acid bacteria.

Fun fact: Leuconostoc is used to ferment vegetables all around the world, including sauerkraut and kimchi.

Learn more about Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Superoxide Dismutase is found in all living cells. This ingredient is AKA as 'SOD'.

SOD is a strong antioxidant. It protects living cells against oxidative damage by breaking down radical molecules into regular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide.

Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules that may damage your skin's DNA. This may help with the signs of aging. Due to its antioxidant property, it is used to help treat chronic inflammation.

In cosmetics, SOD is usually obtained from marine phytoplankton, bovine liver, horseradish, cantaloupe, and certain bacteria.

The three major families of SOD include: Copper/Zinc, Iron/Manganese, and Nickel.

When eating SOD-rich foods, our bodies break it down into amino acids before absorption. Foods that contain SOD include: melons, citrus, spinach, broccoli, kale, almonds, sunflower seeds, and blue-green algae.

Learn more about Superoxide Dismutase
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Soybean Peroxidase is an antioxidant.

We don't have a description for Heptyl Glucoside.

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
Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Manganese Gluconate.

Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract is from brown seaweed that grows in the northern Atlantic Ocean. It is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight off free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage our skin cells.

Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract is also used to enhance the texture of products.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Zinc PCA (or "zinc salt") differs slightly from zinc itself. PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid. However, Zinc PCA comes from zinc.

It can help reduce redness, regulate sebum, and promote the general healing process of the skin.

Zinc PCA tends to be especially useful for those with oily, acne-prone skin. It's certainly an ingredient worth trying out!

Learn more about Zinc PCA
Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

We don't have a description for Copper Gluconate.

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
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

We don't have a description for Sodium Magnesium Silicate.

Sodium Phytate is the synthetic salt form of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antioxidant and can be found in plant seeds.

Sodium Phytate is a chelating agent. Chelating agents help prevent metals from binding to water. This helps stabilize the ingredients and the product.

Emulsion Stabilising
Disliked

Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 is a texture enhancer and pH adjuster.

It is be used to thicken water-based products and create a gel-texture with a velvet feel.

One manufacturer claims this ingredient to have a pH range of 2-8 and to be biodegradable.

Learn more about Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6

Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate is a natural preservative. It comes from fermenting radish roots with a bacteria called leuconostoc. Leuconostoc comes from lactic acid. This bacteria is used to make the traditional Korean side-dish, kimchi. It is also used to make sourdough bread (both incredibly yummy foods).

Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate has antimicrobial properties and helps prevent the growth of bacteria in a product.

It is believed the preservation property comes from salicylic acid and ammonium salt, neither of which are involved in the fermentation process.

Learn more about Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate
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
Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
Mixed

Hydroxyethylcellulose is used to improve the texture of products. It is created from a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide and alkali-cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar found in plant cell walls and help give plants structure.

Hydroxyethylcellulose helps stabilize products by preventing ingredients from separating. It can also help thicken the texture of a product.

This ingredient can also be found in pill medicines to help our bodies digest other ingredients.

Learn more about Hydroxyethylcellulose
Buffering, Masking
Mixed

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Citrate helps maintain the pH 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.

Sodium Citrate is a chelating agent. It neutralizes metal ions from water and prevents them from binding to other ingredients. This ensures the other ingredients will not be altered.

Learn more about Sodium Citrate
Antiseborrhoeic, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Biotin is a B vitamin that is naturally produced by our bodies. It is also called Vitamin H.

Our bodies use biotin in the metabolism process. It also helps our bodies use enzymes and move nutrients around. A biotin deficiency can lead to brittle hair and nails.

More research is needed on applying biotin topically. However, taking biotin orally has been shown to help nourish the skin, hair, and nails. They play a role in forming skin-hydrating fatty acids.

Biotin is water-soluble. It can be found in foods such as fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and meat. Vitamin H stands for "haar" and "haut". These are the German words for hair and skin.

We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any questions or concerns about this ingredient.

Learn more about Biotin
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
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
Very Disliked

Potassium hydroxide is commonly known as caustic potash. It is used to fix the pH of a product or as a cleaning agent in soap. In cleansers, it is used for the saponification of oils.

Sapnification is the process of creating fatty acid metal salts from triglycerides and a strong base. During this process, Potassium Hydroxide is used up and is not present in the final product.

Using high concentrations of Potassium Hydroxide have shown to irritate the skin.

Learn more about Potassium Hydroxide
Perfuming, Solvent
Very Disliked

T-Butyl Alcohol it is most commonly used as a solvent.

At room temperature, T-Butyl Alcohol melts and has a similar smell to camphor.

This ingredient is derived from isobutane. It is the simplest form of a tertiary alcohol. Due to its chemical structure, it is more resistant to oxidation.

Learn more about T-Butyl Alcohol
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
Preservative
Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

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
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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.

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Masking, Perfuming
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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.

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Perfuming, Solvent
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Limonene is a fragrance that adds scent and taste to a formulation.

It's found in the peel oil of citrus fruits and other plants such as lavender and eucalyptus. The scent of limonene is generally described as "sweet citrus".

Limonene acts as an antioxidant, meaning it helps neutralize free radicals.

When exposed to air, oxidized limonene may sensitize the skin. Because of this, limonene is often avoided by people with sensitive skin.

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.

Learn more about Limonene
Perfuming
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Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Linalool has the same effect as Limonene when exposed to air. Oxidized linalool can cause allergies and skin sensitivity.

Linalool has a scent that is floral, spicy tropical, and citrus-like.

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Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil is an oil.

Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
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Citrus Limon Peel Oil is created from the peels of the lemon. It is used to add a lemon-scent to products. Lemon peel oil also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. However, it may also cause phototoxicity and sensitize skin.

Lemon peel oil contains limonene, a skin sensitizing ingredient. Another component is furanocoumarin, which induces phototoxicity in skin.

Furanocoumarins bind and destabilize your DNA to increase the rate of sunburn.

Most reputable companies will remove furanocoumarins from their formulations.

Learn more about Citrus Limon Peel Oil

Lavandula Hybrida Oil is an oil.

Masking, Perfuming, Refreshing
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Mentha Piperita Oil is the volatile oil obtained from the whole plant of the Peppermint plant.

It can be used to add a fresh scent to products.

Peppermint oil may cause skin sensitivity and redness due to its menthol content. Menthol also has a cooling effect (like your toothpaste).

Learn more about Mentha Piperita Oil

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