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The Agency Dark Spot FormulaRX Ingredients Explained

Facial Treatment
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0
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Updated on October 15, 2023 Submitted by MTdmann

Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 25 ingredients that contains Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, brightening 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

The Agency is from United States. This product is used in 29 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.

Facial treatment with 25 ingredients that contains Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 25

Hydroquinone Stabilising
Good for Dark Spots IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
Good for Dark SpotsGood for Dark Spots Icon May worsen RosaceaMay worsen Rosacea Icon

Hydroquinone is used to treat hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and age spots.

Kojic Acid Antioxidant
Antioxidant IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 2 Benefits

Kojic acid comes from fungi and can also be from fermented foods. It helps even out skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation.

Azelaic Acid Buffering, Masking
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne Icon
5 Benefits

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid derived from grains. This ingredient is effective in treating acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions.

Hydrocortisone

Hydrocortisone is the name for the hormone cortisol when used in medication.

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.

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 ->
Polysorbate 60 Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polysorbate 60 is used to help stabilize products. It is a surfactant and emulsifier. These properties help keep ingredients together in a product. Surfactants help reduce surface tension between ingredients with different states, such as liquids and solids. Emulsifiers help prevent oils and waters from separating.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Isohexadecane Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Isohexadecane is added to enhance texture, emulsify, and to help cleanse. It is an isoparrafin. It is a component of petrolatum.

Isododecane Emollient, Solvent

Isododecane is a fragrance, emollient, and solvent.

Disliked Full details ->
C13-15 Alkane Solvent

C13-15 Alkane is a group of alkanes with 13 to 15 carbon atoms in the alkyl chain.

Unknown 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-75 Stearate
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-75 Stearate isn't fungal acne safe.

Unknown Full details ->
Polyacrylate-13

Polyacrylate-13 is a type of acrylate polymer. Acrylate polymers are commonly used as adhesives in cosmetics.

Disliked Full details ->
Polyisobutene

Polyisobutene is a synthetic polymer made from isobutene.

Disliked Full details ->
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 ->
Polyurethane-39

We don't have a description for Polyurethane-39.

Unknown Full details ->
Stearyl Behenate Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Stearyl Behenate isn't fungal acne safe.

Unknown Full details ->
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 ->
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.
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.

Sodium Bisulfite Antioxidant, Preservative
Antioxidant IconPreservative Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon PreservativePreservative Icon

Sodium Bisulfite is an antioxidant and is a preservative.

Unknown 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 ->
BHT Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

BHT is a synthetic antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it helps your body fight off free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

Very Disliked Full details ->
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.

Ingredient Ratings

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

6
3
11
5
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 25 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
Stabilising
Mixed

Hydroquinone is used to treat hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and age spots.

It works by decreasing the melanocytes in your skin. Melanocytes are cells that create melanin (the color pigment in skin).

Be sure to use this ingredient as prescribed by your doctor. Wearing sunscreen is also a must (you should be wearing sunscreen anyway!).

Most hydroquinone prescriptions are not to be used for longer than 3 months. Long term usage can cause ochronosis, or a condition in which the skin darkens more than before.

This ingredient is banned in the EU for being skin sensitizer. In the US, this ingredient is not allowed for over-the-counter sale.

However, it is still possible to get hydroquinone in the EU, US, Canada, Australia, and Japan from a doctor's prescription.

There is no known research backing this ingredient to be carcinogenic in humans.

Check out the European alternative to hydroquinone here.

Gentle reminder that all skin tones are beautiful!

Learn more about Hydroquinone
Antioxidant
Loved

Kojic acid comes from fungi and can also be from fermented foods. It helps even out skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation.

This ingredient works by blocking tyrosine, an enzyme that starts the process of skin darkening.

Kojic Acid is antifungal and often used to treat fungal infections. Additionally, it can help fight bacteria with its antimicrobrial properties. This can help treat acne as well.

A similar ingredient is arbutin.

Learn more about Kojic Acid
Buffering, Masking
Loved

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid derived from grains. This ingredient is effective in treating acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions.

It has been shown to reduce the growth of acne-causing bacteria and helps reduce inflammation. On top of that, it helps reduce the production of sebum and unclog pores.

Azelaic Acid also has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect our skin cells from free-radical damage.

One of the main benefits of azelaic acid is that it is gentle and well-tolerated by most people. It is also non-comedogenic, meaning that it will not clog pores.

Fun fact: The lab-created form of azelaic acid is typically used within cosmetic products for its shelf-stability.

Learn more about Azelaic Acid

Hydrocortisone is the name for the hormone cortisol when used in medication.

It is medication and not technically a cosmetic ingredient. Most countries allow topical creams to contain up between 0.05 - 2.5% (depending on the country) of hydrocortisone without a prescription. Higher amounts usually require a prescription from a professional.

Hydrocortisone can help relieve rashes, eczema, itching, and other inflammation induced skin conditions.

We recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient.

Learn more about Hydrocortisone
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
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
Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Polysorbate 60 is used to help stabilize products. It is a surfactant and emulsifier. These properties help keep ingredients together in a product. Surfactants help reduce surface tension between ingredients with different states, such as liquids and solids. Emulsifiers help prevent oils and waters from separating.

Polysorbate 60 is sorbitol-based and created from the ethoxylation of sorbitan. Ethoxylation is a chemical reaction used to add ethylene oxide. Sorbitan is a the dehydrated version of sorbitol, a sugar found in fruits.

In this case, the 60 comes from reacting 60 units of ethylene oxide with sorbitan.

Polysorbates are commonly used in medicine and foods.

Learn more about Polysorbate 60
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Mixed

Isohexadecane is added to enhance texture, emulsify, and to help cleanse. It is an isoparrafin. It is a component of petrolatum.

Due to its large size, Isohexadecane is not absorbed by the skin. Instead, it sits on top and acts as an emollient. Emollients help keep your skin soft and smooth by trapping moisture within.

Isohexadecane is often used in products designed to help oily skin. It is lightweight and non-greasy while helping to moisturize. When mixed with silicones, it gives a product a silky feel.

Learn more about Isohexadecane
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
Solvent

C13-15 Alkane is a group of alkanes with 13 to 15 carbon atoms in the alkyl chain.

It is a solvent and texture enhancer. Solvents are used to keep ingredients together in a product. They can help dissolve ingredients to stable bases or help evenly distribute ingredients throughout the product.

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

Peg-75 Stearate isn't fungal acne safe.

Disliked

Polyacrylate-13 is a type of acrylate polymer. Acrylate polymers are commonly used as adhesives in cosmetics.

Polyacrylate-13 creates a film to protect the skin. It is also used to thicken and stabilize a product. It works by making water a gel-like consistency. This gel consistency helps suspend particles.

Polyacrylate-13 is a copolymer of acrylic acid, acrylamide, sodium acrylate, sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate monomers

Learn more about Polyacrylate-13
Disliked

Polyisobutene is a synthetic polymer made from isobutene.

It is a film-forming agent and helps bind ingredients together.

Polyisobutene is not absorbed by the skin.

Learn more about Polyisobutene
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

We don't have a description for Polyurethane-39.

Emollient, Skin Conditioning

Stearyl Behenate isn't fungal acne safe.

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.

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
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
Antioxidant, Preservative

Sodium Bisulfite is an antioxidant and is a preservative.

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
BHT
Antioxidant, Masking
Very Disliked

BHT is a synthetic antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it helps your body fight off free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

BHT also helps stabilize products and prevent them from degrading. Many products are sensitive to air and light. BHT prevents them from breaking down when exposed.

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
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