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Pestle & Mortar Exfoliate Glycolic Acid Toner Ingredients Explained

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Published April 25, 2023 Added by SofiaGumanov_400

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Overview

What it is

Exfoliator with 16 ingredients that contains AHA and niacinamide

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, fragrances, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Pestle & Mortar is from Ireland. 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.

Exfoliator with 16 ingredients that contains AHA and niacinamide

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 16

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.

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.

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.
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.
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.

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.

Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract Skin Conditioning

Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract comes from the witch hazel plant.

Disliked 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.
Bellis Perennis Flower Extract Skin Conditioning

Daisy extract has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract Emollient, Skin Conditioning

Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract comes from the cucumber. Cucumis Sativus is native to South Asia and can now be found on every continent.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder Skin Conditioning

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder comes from the aloe plant.

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.

Salix Alba Bark Extract Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Good for Oily Skin Icon
Good for Oily SkinGood for Oily Skin Icon

Salix Alba Bark Extract comes from the white willow tree, which is native to Europe and Central Asia.

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 ->
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 ->
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.

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Ingredient Ratings

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

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Ingredients Explained

This product contains 16 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
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
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
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
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
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
Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract comes from the witch hazel plant.

Witch Hazel is an astringent, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial ingredient. The tannin in witch hazel has a drying effect when used on skin and constricts proteins. This helps minimize the look of large pores. The tannins present and the fragrance may be sensitizing. The catechins in witch hazel have anti-inflammatory properties while the gallic acid is antibacterial.

Indigenous groups have used witch hazel to help treat inflammation, which was then used by early settlers to North America.

Learn more about Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract
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
Liked

Daisy extract has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

A study from 2021 found this extract to protect the skin against UV-A damage. This should not replace your sunscreen!

Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract comes from the cucumber. Cucumis Sativus is native to South Asia and can now be found on every continent.

Cucumbers are mostly made up of water (95%), and the other 5% is composed of: vitamin C, caffeic acid, fatty acids, amino acids, and other minerals.

Cucumbers have anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties.

Vitamin C and Caffeic acid are potent antioxidants that may help with anti-aging. Antioxidants help neutralize free-radical molecules, or unstable molecules that may damage our skin cells and DNA.

Cucumbers contain shikimate dehydrigenase, an enzyme shown to help reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. The amino acids help nourish our skin's natural acid mantle. Our acid mantle is formed from the mixing of sebum and sweat. This slightly acidic film acts as a barrier to protect us from bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants.

Unless you have an allergy to cucumbers, it is generally a non-irritating ingredient.

Learn more about Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract
Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder comes from the aloe plant.

Aloe leaves have a variety of benefits. They are most commonly known for the ability to soothe sunburns. This is due to their anti-inflammation and cooling properties.

Aloe leaves also contain many vitamins, such as Vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins are all antioxidants that can reduce skin damage from free-radical molecules.

Aloe should not replace your sunscreen as it does not protect against UV.

Learn more about Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder
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
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Liked

Salix Alba Bark Extract comes from the white willow tree, which is native to Europe and Central Asia.

Salix Alba Bark Extract has often been described as salicylic acid's cousin. This is due to the salicin it contains. However, studies are limited showing salix alba bark to be an effective salicylic acid alternative.

Salicin does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has shown to decrease the formation of inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-Ξ± and nuclear factor-kappa B. Salicin also has a mildly exfoliating effect on the skin.

Several other components in salix alba bark extract also contain antioxidant properties, such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants may help with anti-aging as they neutralize harmful free-radical molecules.

Willow Bark extract has been used for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations used white willow to help treat pain and fevers.

Learn more about Salix Alba Bark Extract
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.

Preservative
Disliked

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.

Learn more about Potassium Sorbate
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

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