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The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG Ingredients Explained

2.5   from 13 ratings
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Updated on July 18, 2023 Submitted by greeenc

Overview

What it is

Serum with 26 ingredients that contains AHA and hyaluronic acid

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free, fungal acne (malassezia) safe, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

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

Fun facts

The Ordinary is from Canada. This product is used in 1558 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.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

AHA
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating (2)
Skin Texture (3)
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging (2)
Dark Spots
Scar Healing (2)
Brightening (3)

Concerns

Drying
May Worsen Oily Skin
Irritating (3)
Rosacea (3)
Eczema (3)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Skin Conditioning
3
Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning
4
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
5
Solvent
6
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
7
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
8
Humectant, Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
Hyaluronic Acid IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
9
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
10
Skin Protecting
11
Skin Conditioning
12
Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
13
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
14
Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
15
Emulsion Stabilising
16
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
17
Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
18
Preservative
Preservative Icon
19
20
Antioxidant, Perfuming
Antioxidant IconFragrance Icon
21
Solvent
22
Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Alcohol IconFragrance IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
23
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
24
Skin Conditioning
25
Preservative
Preservative Icon
26
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 26 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: 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
2
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
3
What it does: Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide. It is derived from starch such as rice, corn, wheat, or potato starch.

In food, Maltodextrin is used to improve the texture and thicken a product. Due to its structure, it can help create a gel texture. As an emulsion stabilizer, it helps keep the ingredients in a product together.

As a polysaccharide, Maltodextrin has moisturizing properties. Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate. The top layer of skin uses polysaccharides to retain water, keeping the skin hydrated.

Maltodextrin is water soluble and has a sweet taste.

Learn more about Maltodextrin
4
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: 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
5
What it does: Solvent
Community Rating: 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
6
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside is an antioxidant.

7
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Gallyl Glucoside is an antioxidant.

8
What it does: Humectant, Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in healthy skin. It is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture to your skin.

Hyaluronic Acid has the capacity to bind to large amounts of water. This ingredient helps hydrate, soothe, and protect the skin.

Fun fact: It is already naturally found in our bodies, such as the fluids of our eyes and our joints.

Studies find this ingredient to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. This can help speed up wound-healing,

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Hyaluronic Acid
9
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Oxidized Glutathione.

10
What it does: Skin Protecting

We don't have a description for Melanin.

11
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Glycine Soja Seed Extract comes from the seed of the wild soybean plant. Wild soybean extract contains fatty acids (linoleic, oleic, linolenic), vitamin E, and antioxidants.

The wild soybean contains soyasaponins, a bioactive compound. Soyasaponins have inflammatory, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial properties. Soyasaponin has also been found to inhibit the melanin-creation process.

Two powerful components found in the wild soybean include genistein and diadzein. These two isoflavones are potent antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Genistein in particular has been found to prevent redness caused by UV exposure.

One study from South Korea found wild soybean extract to help promote hair growth at the cellular level.

The wild soybean plant is a cousin to the famous soybean that gives us tofu, soy milk, and soy sauce.

Learn more about Glycine Soja Seed Extract
12
What it does: Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Urea is also called carbamide and is the diamide of carbonic acid. In cosmetics, urea is used to hydrate the skin. It also provides exfoliation in higher concentrations.

As a humectant, urea helps draw moisture from the air and from deep within the skin. This helps hydrate your skin. Studies show urea is an effective moisturizer for dry skin conditions. 40% urea is typical in medications for treating eczema and other skin conditions.

Urea has the strongest exfoliation effect in concentrations higher than 10%. It is a keratolytic agent, meaning it breaks down the keratin protein in the top layer of skin. This helps remove dead skin cells and flaking skin.

In medicine, urea has been shown to help increase the potency of other ingredients, such as fungal treatments.

Humans and animals use urea to metabolize nitrogen-containing compounds. Urea is highly soluble in water. Once dissolved, it is neither acidic nor alkaline.

Learn more about Urea
13
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: 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
14
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
Community Rating: 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
15
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Disliked

Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 is a texture enhancer and pH adjuster.

It is be used to thicken water-based products and create a gel-texture with a velvet feel.

One manufacturer claims this ingredient to have a pH range of 2-8 and to be biodegradable.

Learn more about Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6
16
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
17
What it does: Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Lactic Acid is an AHA that is derived from fermenting lactose, a carbohydrate from milk. It removes the top layer of old and dead skin cells and helps increase cell turnover.

Benefits of Lactic Acid are that it can help to reduce large pores and reduce the effects of aging. Some potential downsides are that it can be bad for dry skin, cause irritation, worsen eczema, and worsen rosacea.

Not only does it help exfoliate the skin, it helps strengthen the skin's barrier. When applied, lactic acid helps the skin create ceramides.

Lactic acid is an over-the-counter chemical exfoliant that comes from the fermentation of lactose β€” a carbohydrate found in milk.

Legend has it that Cleopatra used to bathe in sour milk to help reduce wrinkles.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Lactic Acid
18
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Loved

Dehydroacetic Acid is fungicide and bactericide. It is used as a preservative in cosmetics. Preservatives help elongate the shelf life of a product.

Dehydroacetic Acid is not soluble in water.

19
What it does:
Community Rating: Liked

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is used to help stabilize a product.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it helps prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This prevents unwanted reactions in products. Metal ions can come into a product via the water ingredient. They are found in trace amounts and are not known to be harmful.

20
What it does: Antioxidant, Perfuming
Community Rating: Disliked

Propyl Gallate is an antioxidant and is a fragrance.

21
What it does: Solvent
Community Rating: Disliked

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

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

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

Learn more about Dimethyl Isosorbide
22
What it does: Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Benzyl Alcohol is most commonly used as a preservative. It also has a subtle, sweet smell. Small amounts of Benzyl Alcohol is not irritating and safe to use in skincare products. Most Benzyl Alcohol is derived from fruits such as apricots.

Benzyl Alcohol has both antibacterial and antioxidant properties. These properties help lengthen the shelf life of products. Benzyl Alcohol is a solvent and helps dissolve other ingredients. It can also improve the texture and spreadability.

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

Using high concentrations of 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.

Learn more about Benzyl Alcohol
23
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

1,2-Hexanediol is a multi-tasker ingredient. It acts as a preservative to increase shelf-life and can aid other preservatives in preventing microbe growth. 1,2-Hexanediol also helps the skin retain moisture as a humectant.

In products that are water-based, this ingredient can help stabilize perfumes and fragrances. It can also help make the texture of products softer and more smooth.

24
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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.

25
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: 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.

26
What it does: Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 26 ingredients in this product ✨

50% are loved or liked
19% have mixed ratings
23% are disliked or very disliked
8% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG ->
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.

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Latest Reviews

View all 13
RyannCook's Avatar'
Apr 5, 2024

It worked okay for me, I think that there are probably better products out there for dark circles.

It worked okay for me, I think that there are probably better products out there for dark circles.

Oily
Doesn't Work
MamzelleMarie's Avatar'
Mar 13, 2024

Like pretty much every eye product I have tried. They all end up actually giving me the problems I was trying to prevent.

My mild dark circles got worse, dried my skin out and pretty much aged me.

Solution is the right...

Like pretty much every eye product I have tried. They all end up actually giving me the problems I was trying to prevent.

My mild dark circles got worse, dried my skin out and pretty much aged me.

Solution is the right description. This is very watery so I switched it over to a little bottle with a rollerball. Even with gentle patting it took too long to absorb. I need products that absorb well and fast because I like layering but always prioritize sleeping those extra five minutes πŸ˜†

Drying
Doesn't Work
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