Explore Routine Login

Proactiv Skin Smoothing Exfoliator Ingredients Explained

0
1
0
0

Published December 1, 2020 Added by KatieCurtis_387

Save

Overview

What it is

Face cleanser with 28 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA and hyaluronic acid

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, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Proactiv is from United States. This product is used in 8 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.

Face cleanser with 28 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA and hyaluronic acid

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 28

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.
Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Cetearyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1 Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon 3 Concerns

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

2 Com. / 1 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate.

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 ->
Paraffin Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Paraffin is a solid created from petroleum. The term 'paraffin' can also refer to either petroleum jelly or mineral oil.

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

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Peg-100 Stearate
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-100 Stearate is an emollient and emulsifier. PEGS are a hydrophilic polyether compound . There are 100 ethylene oxide monomers in Peg-100 Stearate. Peg-100 Stearate is polyethylene glycol ester of stearic acid.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Vitis Vinifera Fruit Extract Skin Conditioning

Vitis Vinifera Fruit Extract comes from grapes.

Morus Alba Bark Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Morus Alba Bark Extract.

Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract Astringent, Humectant, Soothing
Good for Scar Healing Icon
Good for Scar HealingGood for Scar Healing Icon

Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract comes from the Baikal skullcap or Chinese skullcap plant. This plant is native to Northeast Asia and can be found in China, Mongolia, Korea, and Siberia.

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.
Linoleic Acid Cleansing, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon 3 Concerns

Linoleic Acid is Vitamin F and a fatty acid. It is an emollient and helps thicken texture. Linoleic acid helps with hydrating skin and nourishing the skin's barrier. The top layer of skin, or epidermis, contains high amounts of linoleic acid naturally.

Linolenic Acid Cleansing, Emollient, Perfuming
Fragrance IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Linolenic Acid is a fatty acid. Our bodies need to consume this to use it. Linolenic Acid helps condition and restore skin. It is also used to treat inflammation and hyperpigmentation.

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.
Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

Disliked Full details ->
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.

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 ->
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.

Cetyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 2 Fatty Alcohol Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon

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

2 Com. / 2 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Isododecane Emollient, Solvent

Isododecane is a fragrance, emollient, and solvent.

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 ->
Chlorphenesin Antimicrobial, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Chlorphenesin is a synthetic preservative. It helps protect a product against bacteria in order to extend shelf life. In most cases, Chlorphenesin is paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol.

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 ->
Sorbic Acid Preservative
Preservative IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Sorbic Acid is a preservative. It is the most commonly used food preservative in the world.

Very 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 ->

Ingredient Ratings

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

9
4
14
1
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 28 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
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid
Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Very Disliked

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

Cetearyl alcohol is an emollient. Emollients help soothe and hydrate the skin by trapping moisture.

Studies show Cetearyl alcohol is non-toxic and non-irritating. The FDA allows products labeled "alcohol-free" to have fatty alcohols.

This ingredient is usually derived from plant oils such as palm, vegetable, or coconut oils. There is debate on whether this ingredient will cause acne.

Due to the fatty acid base, this ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis safe.

Learn more about Cetearyl Alcohol
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Liked

We don't have a description for Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate.

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
Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Paraffin is a solid created from petroleum. The term 'paraffin' can also refer to either petroleum jelly or mineral oil.

It has natural occlusive properties which can worsen oily skin. Due to its petrolatum base, this ingredient is not fungal-acne safe.

Emollient, Emulsifying
Disliked

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

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

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

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

Learn more about Glyceryl Stearate
Very Disliked

Peg-100 Stearate is an emollient and emulsifier. PEGS are a hydrophilic polyether compound . There are 100 ethylene oxide monomers in Peg-100 Stearate. Peg-100 Stearate is polyethylene glycol ester of stearic acid.

Peg-100 Stearate helps keep skin soft by trapping moisture in. It helps prevent oil and water from separating in a product. By binding oil and water, it helps remove dirt and oil to be rinsed away.

Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

Vitis Vinifera Fruit Extract comes from grapes.

Grape extract has many skin benefits. It also contains many potent antioxidants such as Vitamin E , Vitamin C, proanthocyanidins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins. Proanthocyanidin has been shown to help even out skin tone.

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. Grape seed extract may help reduce the signs of aging.

Grape extract also helps soothe and hydrate your skin.

Learn more about Vitis Vinifera Fruit Extract
Skin Conditioning
Loved

We don't have a description for Morus Alba Bark Extract.

Astringent, Humectant, Soothing
Loved

Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract comes from the Baikal skullcap or Chinese skullcap plant. This plant is native to Northeast Asia and can be found in China, Mongolia, Korea, and Siberia.

In cosmetics, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This is due to the flavonoid composition of Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract.

In Chinese traditional folk medicine, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract is used to help treat lung and hypertension.

Learn more about Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract
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.

Cleansing, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Linoleic Acid is Vitamin F and a fatty acid. It is an emollient and helps thicken texture. Linoleic acid helps with hydrating skin and nourishing the skin's barrier. The top layer of skin, or epidermis, contains high amounts of linoleic acid naturally.

Your body uses linoleic acid to build ceramides and prostaglandins. Ceramides keep your skin's barrier plump and firm. Prosaglandins help control inflammation and healing.

This makes linoleic acid effectives for reducing inflammation, hydrating skin, and firming skin. A side effect may include extra protection against UV damage and free radicals. This is due to linoleic acid strengthening the skin barrier.

Low levels of linoleic acid is also associated with acne-prone skin. By keeping sebum soft, it prevents pores from clogging.

Linoleic acid can is in common foods such as nuts, sunflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oil.

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

CHEM: 9,12-Octadecadienoic acid (9Z, 12Z)-

Learn more about Linoleic Acid
Cleansing, Emollient, Perfuming
Mixed

Linolenic Acid is a fatty acid. Our bodies need to consume this to use it. Linolenic Acid helps condition and restore skin. It is also used to treat inflammation and hyperpigmentation.

Linolenic Acid reduces hyperpigmentation by disrupting melanin production.

Linolenic Acid is in many oils, include argan, rosehip, and hemp seed.

Read about Linoleic Acid

Learn more about Linolenic Acid
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
Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
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
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
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, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Very Disliked

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

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

Emollient, Solvent
Disliked

Isododecane is a fragrance, emollient, and solvent.

As an emollient, it helps your skin stay soft and hydrated. Emollients help trap moisture into your skin.

Isododecane's role as a solvent makes it a great texture enhancer. It spreads smoothly on skin and does not leave a sticky feeling behind. Isododecane also helps prevent color transfer in makeup products.

Isododecane is not absorbed into skin.

Learn more about Isododecane
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.

Antimicrobial, Preservative
Disliked

Chlorphenesin is a synthetic preservative. It helps protect a product against bacteria in order to extend shelf life. In most cases, Chlorphenesin is paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol.

Chlorphenesin is a biocide. This means it is able to help fight the microorganisms on our skin. It is also able to fight odor-releasing bacteria.

Chlorphenesin is soluble in both water and glycerin.

Studies show Chlorphenesin is easily absorbed by our skin. You should speak with a skincare professional if you have concerns about using Chlorphenesin.

Learn more about Chlorphenesin
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

Sorbic Acid is a preservative. It is the most commonly used food preservative in the world.

Sorbic Acid is a natural antibiotic and highly effective at preventing the growth of fungus. It is less effective against bacteria.

Potassium Sorbate, another commonly-used preservative, is the potassium salt of Sorbic Acid.

Sorbic Acid may worsen eczema. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

Potassium sorbate and sorbic acid can be found in baked goods, cheeses, dried meats, dried fruit, ice cream, pickles, wine, yogurt, and more.

Learn more about Sorbic Acid
Masking, Perfuming
Very Disliked

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.

Learn more about Parfum

Reviews

Help out the community - be the first to rate this product.

Verified by SkinSort

We're dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date and science-backed ingredient info out there.

The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

Read more about us