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Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Wrinkle Resist Serum Ingredients Explained

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Updated June 26, 2024

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Overview

What it is

Serum with 56 ingredients that contains exfoliants, hyaluronic acid, peptides, retinoid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening 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 or parabens

Fun facts

Peter Thomas Roth is from United States. This product is used in 16 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 56 ingredients that contains exfoliants, hyaluronic acid, peptides, retinoid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 56

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.
Rosa Centifolia Flower Water Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting

We don't have a description for Rosa Centifolia Flower Water.

Isopropyl Myristate Emollient, Masking
3-5 / 3 May worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
3 Concerns

Isopropyl Myristate is an emollient, thickening agent, and texture enhancer. It is created from isopropyl alcohol and myristic acid.

3-5 Com. / 3 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Squalane Emollient, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Mannitol Humectant, Masking, Moisturising

Mannitol is a sugar alcohol. It is a humectant and moisturizes the skin. In vitro (not tested on a living organism), mannitol displays antioxidant properties.

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.
Natto Gum

Natto Gum is created by fermenting a soy protein using Bacillus natto (a bacteria). It is used as a texture enhancer.

Unknown Full details ->
Tripeptide-10 Citrulline Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Tripeptide-10 Citrulline is a peptide.

Acetyl Octapeptide-3 Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Acetyl Octapeptide-3 is a synthetic peptide. It is often called a botox alternative due to its ability to restrict the movement of muscles, and thus reduce the appearance of fine-lines.

Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 isn't fungal acne safe and is a peptide.

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-11 Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-11 is a peptide.

Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 is a peptide. A common name for this peptide is Argireline.

Acetyl Hexapeptide-1 Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Acetyl Hexapeptide-1 is a peptide.

Palmitoyl Oligopeptide Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Palmitoyl Oligopeptide is a form of peptide. It is created by blending peptides with palmitic acid. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9 Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9 is a peptide.

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2 Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2 is a peptide.

Tripeptide-1 Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Tripeptide-1 is a peptide.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 is a peptide. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

Hexapeptide-11 Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Hexapeptide-11 is a peptide.

Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate is a peptide.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 isn't fungal acne safe and is a peptide.

Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2 Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2 is a peptide.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a 3-amino acid peptide. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

Sodium Polyglutamate Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Sodium Polyglutamate.

Unknown Full details ->
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.
Tocopheryl Acetate Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Retinyl Palmitate Skin Conditioning
1-3 / 1-3 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 IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 7 Benefits 3 Concerns

Retinyl palmitate is a form of retinoid. Retinoids are the superstar class of anti-aging ingredients that include tretinoin and retinol.

1-3 Com. / 1-3 Irr.
Ascorbic Acid Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking
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

Ascorbic Acid is is pure Vitamin C. This form makes up the largest amount of vitamin C found naturally in our skin.

Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Humectant, Skin Conditioning

This ingredient is a vegetable-derived protein made to mimic hydrolyzed collagen. It is created from soy, or glycine soja.

Disliked Full details ->
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein.

Disliked Full details ->
Lecithin Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning

Lecithin is a term for a group of substances found in plants, animals, and humans. They are made up of mixture of fatty acids. These fatty acids usually are a mixture of phosphoric acid's choline ester connected to stearic, oleic, and palmitic acids. Most lecithins are created from plant ingredients scuh as sunflower.

Disliked Full details ->
Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract Humectant
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract isn't fungal acne safe.

Acrylates Copolymer

Acrylates Copolymer is used as a film-forming agent and texture enhancer.

Disliked Full details ->
Magnesium Chloride

We don't have a description for Magnesium Chloride.

Polysorbate 20 Emulsifying
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Dimethyl Isosorbide Solvent

Dimethyl Isosorbide is a solvent and helps deliver actives into your skin. It is created from sorbitol.

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer Emulsion Stabilising

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a synthetic polymer. It is used to thicken and improve the texture of products.

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).

Peg-8 Dimethicone Emulsifying
Silicon Icon
SiliconSilicon Icon

Peg-8 Dimethicone is a type of silicone.

Unknown Full details ->
Disodium Phosphate Buffering, Masking

We don't have a description for Disodium Phosphate.

Unknown Full details ->
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 ->
Dextran

We don't have a description for Dextran.

Unknown Full details ->
Sodium Lactate Buffering, Humectant

Sodium Lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid, an AHA. It is a humectant and used to adjust the pH of a product.

Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate.

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 ->
Triethanolamine Buffering, Emulsifying, Masking
2 / 0

Triethanolamine is an emulsifier and pH adjuster. It is created using ethylene oxide and ammonia. This gives Triethanolamine a nitrogen core and a similar scent to ammonia.

2 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Phosphate Buffering

We don't have a description for Sodium Phosphate.

Unknown Full details ->
Octyldodecanol Emollient, Masking

Octyldodecanol is a fatty alcohol. It is primarily used to enhance the texture of products.

Disliked Full details ->
Silica Abrasive, Absorbent
Exfoliant IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
ExfoliantExfoliant Icon 2 Concerns

Silica is a mineral naturally found in our skin. It helps to thicken and smooth the texture of a product. It also acts as an agent for other ingredients by increasing the absorption of other ingredients into the skin.

Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica
Sulfate Icon
SulfateSulfate Icon

Sodium Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica is a type of sulfate.

Unknown 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.

Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

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

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.

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 ->

Ingredient Ratings

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

27
7
15
7
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 56 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
Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

We don't have a description for Rosa Centifolia Flower Water.

Emollient, Masking
Very Disliked

Isopropyl Myristate is an emollient, thickening agent, and texture enhancer. It is created from isopropyl alcohol and myristic acid.

It is used to help other ingredients be better absorbed. It is also an emollient and may help soften and hydrate the skin.

The comedogenic rating of this ingredient depends on the concentration. Lower amounts results in a lower rating.

Isopropyl Myristate may not be fungal acne safe. It can potentially worsen acne prone skin.

Learn more about Isopropyl Myristate
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

Because squalane boosts hydration in the skin, it also comes with plenty of benefits: it is an antioxidant and can help fight free radicals and skin damage. Squalane is also found to have a detoxifying effect when applied.

Squalane comes from squalene, which occurs naturally within the sebum of our skin. It is one of the oils our skin produces to keep itself hydrated. Squalane is the hydrogenated version of squalene and has a longer shelf life.

Research shows that squalane is non-irritating (even at 100% concentration).

In general, it's a fantastic ingredient. It does a great job at hydrating the skin, and it's suitable for those with sensitive skin.

The source of squalane may impact malassezia / fungal acne. This is because olive oil derived squalane can contain impurities such as fatty acids and plant waxes. Sugarcane derived squalane is recommended for anyone with malassezia concerns.

Is squalane vegan?

This depends on the source. Squalane can be derived from both plants and animals. Most squalane used in skincare comes from plants.

Please note: the source of squalane is only known if disclosed by the brand. We recommend reaching out to the brand if you have any questions about their squalane.

Read more about squalene with an "e".

Learn more about Squalane
Humectant, Masking, Moisturising
Liked

Mannitol is a sugar alcohol. It is a humectant and moisturizes the skin. In vitro (not tested on a living organism), mannitol displays antioxidant properties.

When found in aqueous solutions, mannitol tends to become acidic. This is because it loses a hydrogen ion. This is why mannitol can often be found with pH adjusting ingredients, such as sodium bicarbonate.

Fun fact: Mannitol can be found in foods as a sweetener. It can be naturally found in mushrooms, algae, fruits, and veggies.

Learn more about Mannitol
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.

Natto Gum is created by fermenting a soy protein using Bacillus natto (a bacteria). It is used as a texture enhancer.

Natto gum contains nattokinase, an enzyme. It is currently being studied for its ability to improve blood circulation.

Studies also show fermented soy-based ingredients help boost antioxidant activity.

Learn more about Natto Gum
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Tripeptide-10 Citrulline is a peptide.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Acetyl Octapeptide-3 is a synthetic peptide. It is often called a botox alternative due to its ability to restrict the movement of muscles, and thus reduce the appearance of fine-lines.

While this peptide can help reduce wrinkles and fine-lines, the research is lacking in it being as effective as botox.

All current studies for this ingredient are either from manufacturers or look at amounts far greater than in actual products.

Learn more about Acetyl Octapeptide-3
Skin Conditioning
Liked

Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 isn't fungal acne safe and is a peptide.

Skin Conditioning
Loved

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-11 is a peptide.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 is a peptide. A common name for this peptide is Argireline.

Argireline has a similar function to botox. It prevents muscle movement and contractions. By preventing muscles from moving, Argireline also prohibits the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. However, research is lacking in proving this ingredient to be as effective as botox.

Argireline tells our body to create more collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes connective tissue. Boosting collagen production leads to a healthier skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier means having firm and hydrated skin.

Read more about other common types of peptides here:

Learn more about Acetyl Hexapeptide-8
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Acetyl Hexapeptide-1 is a peptide.

Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Palmitoyl Oligopeptide is a form of peptide. It is created by blending peptides with palmitic acid. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

Due to the palmitic acid base, it may not be malassezia folliculitis safe.

This ingredients tells our body to create more collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes connective tissue. Boosting collagen production leads to a healthier skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier means having firm and hydrated skin.

Read more about other common types of peptides here:

Learn more about Palmitoyl Oligopeptide
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9 is a peptide.

Skin Conditioning
Loved

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2 is a peptide.

Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

Tripeptide-1 is a peptide.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 is a peptide. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

This ingredient consists of four amino acids and palmitic acid. These amino acids are arginine, proline, glutamine, and glycine.

This ingredient has many benefits. These benefits include boosting collagen production, fighting inflammation, and reversing UV damage.

By preventing our bodies from producing interleukins, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 helps fight inflammation. An interleukin is a chemical that signals to the body to produce an inflammatory response. Interleukin production is accelerated by UV radiation.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 tells our body to create more collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes connective tissue. Boosting collagen production leads to a healthier skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier means having firm and hydrated skin.

Read more about other common types of peptides here:

Learn more about Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Hexapeptide-11 is a peptide.

Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate is a peptide.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 isn't fungal acne safe and is a peptide.

Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Liked

Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2 is a peptide.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a 3-amino acid peptide. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a signal peptide. This means it tells our skin to create collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes connective tissue. Boosting collagen production leads to a healthier skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier means having firm and hydrated skin.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 can help reduce wrinkles and make the skin look more youthful.

Read more about other common types of peptides here:

Learn more about Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1
Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Sodium Polyglutamate.

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, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

One study found using Tocopheryl Acetate with Vitamin C decreased the number of sunburned cells.

Tocopheryl Acetate is commonly found in both skincare and dietary supplements.

Learn more about Tocopheryl Acetate
Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Retinyl palmitate is a form of retinoid. Retinoids are the superstar class of anti-aging ingredients that include tretinoin and retinol.

This particular ingredient has had a bumpy year with its rise and fall in popularity.

First, Retinyl palmitate is created from palmitic acid and retinol. It is a retinol ester and considered one of the weaker forms of retinoid.

This is because all retinoids have to be converted to Tretinoin, AKA retinoic acid. Retinyl Palmitate is pretty far down the line and has to go through multiple conversions before its effects are seen.

Due to this long and ineffective conversion line, the benefits of Retinyl Palmitate are debated.

Studies show Retinyl Palmitate to help:

Dermatologists say this ingredient is ineffective because it isn't used in high enough concentrations in cosmetics.

This ingredient used to be found in sunscreens to boost the efficacy of sunscreen filters.

The downfall of Retinyl Palmitate was due to released reports about the ingredient being correlated to sun damage and skin tumors.

While there is a study showing this ingredient to cause DNA damage when exposed to UV-A, there is no concrete proof of it being linked to skin cancer. It is safe to use when used correctly.

All retinoids increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun in the first few months of usage. Be especially careful with reapplying sunscreen when using any form of retinoid.

Currently, this ingredient is still allowed in cosmetics all over the world. In Canada, cosmetics must have a warning label stating the product to contain Retinyl Palmitate

Fun fact: This ingredient is often added to low-fat milk to increase the levels of Vitamin A.

Learn more about Retinyl Palmitate
Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking
Loved

Ascorbic Acid is is pure Vitamin C. This form makes up the largest amount of vitamin C found naturally in our skin.

Not only is vitamin C great for your overall health and immune system, it also has plenty of benefits on your skin.

Vitamin C is best used for brightening skin. It improves dark spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. This is because it blocks the process of skin darkening when exposed to UV.

Remember: Vitamin C should not replace sunscreen!

Your skin uses vitamin C to build collagen. Collagen is one key component in having a strong skin barrier and plump skin. Vitamin C also plays a role in regulating collagen, thus making it effective in improving wrinkles and fine lines.

Ascorbic acid shows potent antioxidant activity. As an antioxidant, it helps fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. These antioxidants also protect skin against UV damage.

The best formulations include Vitamin E and/or ferulic acid. These two ingredients help stabilize and provide a boost in the benefits of ascorbic acid. This is because ascorbic acid becomes unstable when exposed to UV and air. In fact, you can tell your ascorbic acid has oxidized when it turns an orange-yellow color.

Ascorbic acid is generally compatible with other ingredients. However, using ascorbic acid with other active ingredients might cause irritation. Two ingredients: copper ions and benzoyl peroxide, will inactivate ascorbic acid completely.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Foods rich with vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and more. When consuming Vitamin C, your skin receives a portion of the nutrients.

Learn more about Ascorbic Acid
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

This ingredient is a vegetable-derived protein made to mimic hydrolyzed collagen. It is created from soy, or glycine soja.

This ingredient is a humectant, meaning it helps hydrate the skin by binding to water. According to a manufacturer, it is also a great hair conditioner.

Though it is said to be the vegan collagen, further studies are needed to show its effects on skin.

Read more about hydrolyzed collagen here.

Learn more about Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
Skin Conditioning
Disliked

We don't have a description for Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein.

Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Lecithin is a term for a group of substances found in plants, animals, and humans. They are made up of mixture of fatty acids. These fatty acids usually are a mixture of phosphoric acid's choline ester connected to stearic, oleic, and palmitic acids. Most lecithins are created from plant ingredients scuh as sunflower.

Lecithin is an emollient. Emollients help soften the skin and creates a barrier to keep moisture in.

As an emulsifier, it also helps prevent water and oil ingredients from separating. Lecithin can help ingredients be better absorbed by the skin. The phospholipids in Lecithin can produce liposomes. Liposomes help other ingredients get through the skin barrier.

Learn more about Lecithin

Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract isn't fungal acne safe.

Acrylates Copolymer is used as a film-forming agent and texture enhancer.

After applied, Acrylates Copolymer forms a thin film cover that helps skin feel more soft. It can help sunscreens become more water-resistant.

It is also used to make a product more thick.

Learn more about Acrylates Copolymer

We don't have a description for Magnesium Chloride.

Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

As a surfactant, it helps collect dirt and oils for washing. Emulsifiers prevent oils and water from separating.

Polysorbate 20 also adds scent to a product. Since it is made using sorbitol, it has a sweet scent. Sorbitol can also be found in fruits such as apples and peaches.

The lauric acid used to create Polysorbate 20 is often derived from coconuts.

Polysorbate 20 may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Polysorbate 20
Solvent
Mixed

Dimethyl Isosorbide is a solvent and helps deliver actives into your skin. It is created from sorbitol.

As a solvent, dimethyl isosorbide helps dissolve other ingredients. This helps ensure even distribution of an ingredient. It may also be used to decrease the thickness of a product.

Studies show dimethyl isosorbide is able to penetrate skin to deliver other ingredients into the skin, making them more effective.

Learn more about Dimethyl Isosorbide
Emulsion Stabilising
Disliked

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a synthetic polymer. It is used to thicken and improve the texture of products.

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is also an emulsifier. Due to its properties, it can prevent water and oil ingredients from separating.

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

Peg-8 Dimethicone is a type of silicone.

Buffering, Masking

We don't have a description for Disodium Phosphate.

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.

We don't have a description for Dextran.

Buffering, Humectant
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Sodium Lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid, an AHA. It is a humectant and used to adjust the pH of a product.

Sodium Lactate is part of our skin's NMF, or natural moisturizing factor. Our NMF is essential for the hydration of our top skin layers and plasticity of skin.

It also influences our skin's natural acid mantle and pH, which protects our skin from harmful bacteria.

Our NMF is formed from amino acids, lactic acid, sugars, minerals, peptides, and electrolytes. As we age, our NMF naturally depletes. Other sources of NMF depletion include harsh and drying ingredients such as denatured alcohol. Sodium lactate can help replenish our NMF, leading to more hydrated and plump skin.

High percentages of Sodium Lactate can have an exfoliating effect.

Sodium Lactate is produced from fermented sugar.

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We don't have a description for Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate.

Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
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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.

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Buffering, Emulsifying, Masking
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Triethanolamine is an emulsifier and pH adjuster. It is created using ethylene oxide and ammonia. This gives Triethanolamine a nitrogen core and a similar scent to ammonia.

As an emulsifier, it prevents ingredients from separating and enhances texture by adding volume to a product.

PH adjusters are common in cosmetic products. The pH of a product can affect the effectiveness of other ingredients. A product with a high pH may also irritate the skin.

Learn more about Triethanolamine
Buffering

We don't have a description for Sodium Phosphate.

Emollient, Masking
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Octyldodecanol is a fatty alcohol. It is primarily used to enhance the texture of products.

As an emulsifier, Octyldodecanol helps prevent the oils and waters from separating. It also prevents ingredients from creating foam when shaken.

Octyldodecanol is created by reducing fatty acid to an alcohol.

Due to its high molecular weight, it does not get absorbed into the skin.

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Abrasive, Absorbent
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Silica is a mineral naturally found in our skin. It helps to thicken and smooth the texture of a product. It also acts as an agent for other ingredients by increasing the absorption of other ingredients into the skin.

Silica is often used for absorption and can help reduce shine when products are applied. Silica occurs in naturally in materials like clay and sandstone, and it can also be produced synthetically.

Silica is present naturally within the skin during collagen production and when reducing inflammation.

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Sodium Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica is a type of sulfate.

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
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
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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
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, Preservative
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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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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.

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