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Serious Skincare Firm-A-Face XR Ingredients Explained

Facial Treatment
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Updated on April 29, 2024 Submitted by screamadelica

Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 26 ingredients that contains retinoid

Cool Features

It is 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

Serious Skincare is from United States.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

Facial treatment with 26 ingredients that contains retinoid

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 26

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.

Sodium Silicate Buffering

We don't have a description for Sodium Silicate.

Unknown Full details ->
Magnesium Aluminum Silicate Absorbent
0 / 0

Magnesium Aluminum Silicate is a type of silica. It comes from naturally occuring minerals such as silicate ores and clay.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Pentylene Glycol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

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

Calcium Hydroxymethionine Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Calcium Hydroxymethionine.

Unknown Full details ->
3-Aminopropane Sulfonic Acid

We don't have a description for 3-Aminopropane Sulfonic Acid.

Unknown Full details ->
Aminobutyric Acid

Aminobutyric Acid is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Unknown 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.
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 ->
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.
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.
Retinol Skin Conditioning
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 IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 8 Benefits 3 Concerns

Retinol is a gold-standard ingredient for anti-aging. It is a form of Vitamin A and belongs to the class of retinoids that also includes tretinoin.

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.
Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract Astringent, Skin Conditioning

Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract comes from the Goji Berry. Goji berries are native to China and can be found across Eurasia.

Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract Skin Conditioning

This ingredient comes from a brown kelp called Macrocystis pyrifera. It is rich in antioxidants and can help hydrate skin.

Centella Asiatica Extract Cleansing, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
2 Benefits

Centella Asiatica Extract (Centella) is derived from an herb native to Southeast Asia. It is famous for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

Caffeine Skin Conditioning

Caffeine is most associated with coffee, tea, and cacao. In skincare, it helps with calming inflammation and anti-aging.

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 ->
Hydroxyethylcellulose Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising

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

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 ->
Caramel Cosmetic Colorant, Masking

We don't have a description for Caramel.

Disodium EDTA

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

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 ->
Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

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

Hexylene Glycol Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
0-2 / 0-1

Hexylene Glycol is a surfactant. Glycols are a class of alcohols. Hexylene Glycol is a surfactant and emulsifier.

0-2 Com. / 0-1 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
CI 15985 Cosmetic Colorant

Ci 15985 is a dye made from petroleum. It is synthetically created and approved by the FDA for use in foods and cosmetics.

Unknown Full details ->

Ingredient Ratings

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

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6
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liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 26 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

We don't have a description for Sodium Silicate.

Absorbent
Disliked

Magnesium Aluminum Silicate is a type of silica. It comes from naturally occuring minerals such as silicate ores and clay.

Magnesium aluminum silicate is used for enhancing texture and as an absorbent. Due to its large molecular size, it is unable to be absorbed into the skin.

Like other types of silica, this ingredient can be used to thicken a product. As an absorbent, it may be used to absorb extra water or help prevent clumping.

Learn more about Magnesium Aluminum Silicate
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Mixed

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about Pentylene Glycol
Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Calcium Hydroxymethionine.

We don't have a description for 3-Aminopropane Sulfonic Acid.

Aminobutyric Acid is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Studies have shown Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid may reduce hyperpigmentation.

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
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
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
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
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Retinol is a gold-standard ingredient for anti-aging. It is a form of Vitamin A and belongs to the class of retinoids that also includes tretinoin.

Why is retinol famous?

It has the most scientific studies backing up its skin benefits out of all the non-prescription ingredients.

Retinol is proven to:

This is why retinol is effective at removing wrinkles, fading dark spots, treating acne, and reducing the appearance of pores.

Studies show retinol is less effective when exposed to UV. Be sure to look for appropriate packaging to keep your retinol potent (similar to Vitamin C).

Using retinol or any retinoids will increase sun-sensitivity in the first few months. Though studies show retinoids increase your skin's natural SPF with continuous use, it is best to always wear sunscreen and sun-protection.

We recommend speaking with a medical professional about using this ingredient during pregnancy.

Retinol may cause irritation in some people, so be sure to patch test. Experts recommend 'ramping up' retinol use: start using this ingredient once a week and work up to using it daily.

Read about Tretinoin

Learn more about Retinol
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.

Astringent, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract comes from the Goji Berry. Goji berries are native to China and can be found across Eurasia.

Goji berries contain polysaccharides, carotenoids and flavonoids. Antioxidants help your body fight off free-radical molecules. These molecules are unstable and may damage your skin. By making free-radicals more stable, antioxidants can help with anti-aging.

Polysaccharides help hydrate the top layer of skin due to its ability to mimic natural carbohydrates.

Learn more about Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract
Skin Conditioning
Mixed

This ingredient comes from a brown kelp called Macrocystis pyrifera. It is rich in antioxidants and can help hydrate skin.

Brown kelp are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and phlorotannins. Phlorotannins have been found to help with inhibiting melanin production and helping reduce the signs of aging due to their high antioxidant activity.

One study suggests phlorotannins may even have some sun protection factor due to their antioxidant activity. However, this ingredient should not replace your sunscreen.

Macrocystis pyrifera is made up of about: 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein, and 1.50% lipid content. The last 30% is kelp ash.

This kelp can be found in the southern hemisphere and north Pacific.

Learn more about Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing
Loved

Centella Asiatica Extract (Centella) is derived from an herb native to Southeast Asia. It is famous for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

Centella is rich in antioxidants and amino acids, such as Madecassic Acid and Asiaticoside.

Studies show the compounds in centella help with:

The combination of all these properties makes centella effective at soothing, hydrating, and protecting the skin.

Other great components of centella include Vitamin A, vitamin C, several B vitamins, and Asiatic Acid.

Fun fact: Centella has been used as a medicine and in food for many centuries. As a medicine, it is used to treat burns, scratches, and wounds.

Learn more about Centella Asiatica Extract
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Caffeine is most associated with coffee, tea, and cacao. In skincare, it helps with calming inflammation and anti-aging.

Caffeine is an antioxidants, which help with the signs of aging. This is because antioxidants help fight skin-damaging free radical molecules.

While caffeine is used to treat cellulite and and dark circles, further studies are needed to prove this. It has been believed to help with these skin conditions due to its ability to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow.

Some studies are looking into caffeine's ability to protect against UV rays.

Learn more about Caffeine
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
Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
Mixed

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

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

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

Learn more about Hydroxyethylcellulose
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
Cosmetic Colorant, Masking
Mixed

We don't have a description for Caramel.

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
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.

Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

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
Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Disliked

Hexylene Glycol is a surfactant. Glycols are a class of alcohols. Hexylene Glycol is a surfactant and emulsifier.

As a surfactant, Hexylene Glycol helps gather dirt and oil on your skin to be washed away.

As an emulsifier, Hexylene Glycol helps keep water and oil together. This prevents them from separating in a product. Hexylene Glycol also thins out the texture of a product by lessening viscosity.

Hexylene Glycol has a small molecular weight.

Learn more about Hexylene Glycol
Cosmetic Colorant

Ci 15985 is a dye made from petroleum. It is synthetically created and approved by the FDA for use in foods and cosmetics.

The color of this dye is orange/yellow.

This ingredient can be found in makeup, sun care, and skincare.

Learn more about CI 15985

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