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Revolution Beauty Targeted Blemish Serum 2% Salicylic Acid Ingredients Explained

Exfoliator
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Published on February 15, 2021 Submitted by EmmaYasmijn

Overview

What it is

Exfoliator with 24 ingredients that contains BHA

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, dry skin, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores and scar healing

Free From

It doesn't contain any oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Revolution Beauty is from United Kingdom. This product is used in 44 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 24 ingredients that contains BHA

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 24

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.

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 ->
Hamamelis Virginiana Water Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Can worsen Dry Skin Icon
Can worsen Dry SkinCan worsen Dry Skin Icon

Hamamelis Virginiana Water is made used distilled parts of the witch hazel plant. The witch hazel plant is native to eastern North America.

Disliked Full details ->
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.
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.
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.

Alcohol Denat. Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon 5 Concerns

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol and other additives. It has a low molecular weight and will evaporate quickly. This helps other ingredients become better absorbed and dry once applied.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Cocamidopropyl Betaine Cleansing
May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

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 germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

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 aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, 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.

Very Disliked Full details ->
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 ->
Sodium Chloride Masking
Can worsen Dry Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
3 Concerns

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

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

Disodium EDTA

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

Disliked Full details ->
Alcohol Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon 5 Concerns

Alcohol comes in many different forms. Different types of alcohol will have different effects on skin. This ingredient is usually an astringent alcohol.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Butylphenyl Methylpropional Perfuming
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Butylphenyl Methylpropional is a synthetic fragrance. You might know it as "lilial". The scent of this ingredient is floral-like and similar to the scent of lily flowers.

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 ->
Hexyl Cinnamal Perfuming
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Hexyl Cinnamal is a fragrance ingredient with a similar scent to jasmine. It can be naturally found in chamomile essential oil.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Citronellol Perfuming
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Citronellol is used to add fragrance/parfum to a product. It is often derived from plants such as roses. In fact, it can be found in many essential oils including geranium, lavender, neroli, and more. The scent of Citronellol is often described as "fresh, grassy, and citrus-like".

Very Disliked Full details ->
Geraniol Perfuming, Tonic
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Geraniol is used to add fragrance/parfum to a product. It is the main component of citronellol. It is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone is a fragrance. It can be synthetically created or naturally occurring.

Unknown Full details ->
Hydroxycitronellal Perfuming
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Hydroxycitronellal is a fragrance created from citronellal. The smell of hydroxycitronellal is often described as "citrus-like" or "melon-like".

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

Eugenol is naturally found in cloves, basil, and bay leaves. It is an aromatic oil used to add fragrance to a product. The scent of eugenol is described as "clove-like". Eugenol is a known EU allergen, meaning it causes contact allergies.

Very Disliked Full details ->

Ingredient Ratings

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

4
2
17
1
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 24 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. Talk about multi-purpose! 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
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
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Disliked

Hamamelis Virginiana Water is made used distilled parts of the witch hazel plant. The witch hazel plant is native to eastern North America.

The name 'Hamamelis Virginiana Water' refers to the distillation while the name 'Witch Hazel' is used when it is an active drug ingredient. Unless it is specified to be non-alcohol, many types of witch hazel are distilled in denatured alcohol.

Witch Hazel water 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 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
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.

Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Liked

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
Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Very Disliked

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol and other additives. It has a low molecular weight and will evaporate quickly. This helps other ingredients become better absorbed and dry once applied.

Alcohol Denat. is volatile and may cause irritation. It helps draw out natural oils in skin and dry out your skin.

One study from 2005 found adding emollients to propanol-based sanitizer decreased irritation.

Alcohol is antibacterial by nature. This can help preserve products and increase their shelf life.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

Learn more about Alcohol Denat.
Cleansing
Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a surfactant and cleanser. It helps gather the dirt, pollutants, and other impurities in your skin to be washed away. It also helps thicken a product and make the texture more creamy.

Being created from coconut oil means Cocamidopropyl Betaine is hydrating for the skin.

While Cocamidopropyl Betaine was believed to be an allergen, a study from 2012 disproved this. It found two compounds in unpure Cocamidopropyl Betaine to be the irritants: aminoamide and 3-dimethylaminopropylamine. High-grade and pure Cocamidopropyl Betaine did not induce allergic reactions during this study.

Learn more about Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Preservative
Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and 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, Perfuming
Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, 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. One example is Calendula flower extract. Essential oil ingredients still impart a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, it can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Products use parfum often to give products a scent or cover up smells of different ingredients.

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
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
Masking
Very Disliked

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

This ingredient has many purposes in skincare: thickener, emulsifier, and exfoliator.

You'll most likely find this ingredient in cleansers where it is used to create a gel-like texture. As an emulsifier, it also prevents ingredients from separating.

There is much debate on whether this ingredient is comedogenic. The short answer - comedogenic ratings don't tell the whole story. Learn more about comegodenic ratings here.

The concensus about this ingredient causing acne seems to be divided. Research is needed to understand if this ingredient does cause acne.

Scrubs may use salt as the primary exfoliating ingredient.

Learn more about Sodium Chloride
Skin Conditioning
Mixed

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

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

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
Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Very Disliked

Alcohol comes in many different forms. Different types of alcohol will have different effects on skin. This ingredient is usually an astringent alcohol.

These alcohols are drying on the skin. They may strip away your skin's natural oils and even damage your skin barrier. Astringent alcohols may also irritate skin.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

According to the National Rosacea Society based in the US, you should be mindful of products with these alcohols in the top half of ingredients.

Any type of sanitizing product will have high amounts of alcohol to help kill bacteria and viruses.

Fatty alcohols come from plant oils such as coconut oil. These can help hydrate the skin and are non-irritating. Some fatty alcohols include cetyl and stearyl alcohol.

Learn more about Alcohol
Perfuming
Very Disliked

Butylphenyl Methylpropional is a synthetic fragrance. You might know it as "lilial". The scent of this ingredient is floral-like and similar to the scent of lily flowers.

In March of 2022, the EU banned this ingredient in both rinse-off and leave-on products. This is because research found Butylphenyl Methylpropional to disrupt fertility in rats.

This ingredient is also a known EU allergen, meaning it is likely to cause an allergic reaction. Irritated skin can be damaging.

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

Learn more about Butylphenyl Methylpropional
Perfuming
Very Disliked

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.

Learn more about Linalool
Perfuming
Very Disliked

Hexyl Cinnamal is a fragrance ingredient with a similar scent to jasmine. It can be naturally found in chamomile essential oil.

This ingredient is a known EU allergen and may sensitize the skin. The EU requires this ingredient to be listed separately on an ingredients list.

Hexyl Cinnamal is not water soluble but is soluble in oils.

Learn more about Hexyl Cinnamal
Perfuming
Very Disliked

Citronellol is used to add fragrance/parfum to a product. It is often derived from plants such as roses. In fact, it can be found in many essential oils including geranium, lavender, neroli, and more. The scent of Citronellol is often described as "fresh, grassy, and citrus-like".

Since the Citronellol molecule is already unstable, Citronellol becomes irritating on the skin when exposed to air.

Citronellol is a modified terpene. Terpenes are unsaturated hydrocarbons found in plants. They make up the primary part of essential oils.

Citronellol is not able to be absorbed into deeper layers of the skin. It has low permeability,

Citronellol is also a natural insect repellent.

Learn more about Citronellol
Perfuming, Tonic
Very Disliked

Geraniol is used to add fragrance/parfum to a product. It is the main component of citronellol. It is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol.

Monoterpenes are naturally found in many parts of different plants.

Geraniol can be found in many essential oils including Rose Oil and Citronella Oil. The scent of Geraniol is often described as "rose-like". Many foods also contain Geraniol for fruit flavoring.

Geraniol can irritate the skin when exposed to air. However, irritation depends on the ability of geraniol to penetrate into the skin. In general, geraniol is not able to penetrate skin easily.

Geraniol is colorless and has low water-solubility. However, it is soluble in common organic solvents.

Like citronellol, it is a natural insect repellent.

2,6-Octadien-1-ol, 3,7-dimethyl-, (2E)-

Learn more about Geraniol
Perfuming, Skin Conditioning

Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone is a fragrance. It can be synthetically created or naturally occurring.

The scent of Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone is described as "flowery" but can also be "woody".

Naturally occurring Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone may be found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or the yeast used to make wine and bread.

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 Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone
Perfuming
Very Disliked

Hydroxycitronellal is a fragrance created from citronellal. The smell of hydroxycitronellal is often described as "citrus-like" or "melon-like".

Hydroxycitronellal is a known EU allergen and may cause irritation when applied to the skin.

Perfuming, Tonic
Very Disliked

Eugenol is naturally found in cloves, basil, and bay leaves. It is an aromatic oil used to add fragrance to a product. The scent of eugenol is described as "clove-like". Eugenol is a known EU allergen, meaning it causes contact allergies.

Studies show eugenol possesses antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

Besides cosmetics, eugenol is also added as a flavor in teas and cakes.

Learn more about Eugenol
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