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The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides Ingredients Explained

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Published on April 03, 2023 Submitted by Artyom_82

Overview

What it is

General moisturizer with 53 ingredients that contains hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, scar healing and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, parabens or silicones

Fun facts

The Ordinary is from Canada. This product is used in 100 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

Vitamin E
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating (6)
Redness Reducing (2)
Reduces Irritation (2)
Skin Texture
Anti-Aging
Scar Healing (2)
Brightening (2)

Concerns

May Worsen Oily Skin (4)
Acne Trigger (3)
Irritating
Rosacea (2)
Eczema

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
Masking, Skin Conditioning
3
Emollient
4
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
5
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
6
Solvent
7
Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
8
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
3 / 0
Oil IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
9
Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
10
Skin Conditioning
11
Stabilising
12
Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
13
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
14
Skin Conditioning
15
Cleansing, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
16
Emollient, Emulsifying
May worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
17
Emollient, Emulsifying
2 / 0
May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
18
Cleansing, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Masking
2-3 / 0
May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
19
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
20
Buffering, Skin Conditioning
21
Masking, Skin Conditioning
22
Masking, Skin Conditioning
23
Skin Conditioning
24
25
Humectant
26
Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
27
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
28
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
29
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
30
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
31
Humectant
32
Masking, Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
33
Humectant
34
Humectant, Moisturising
35
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
36
Humectant, Moisturising
37
Buffering, Humectant
38
Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
39
Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
40
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Hyaluronic Acid Icon
41
Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
42
Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
43
Solvent
44
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
45
Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
46
Skin Conditioning
47
Buffering, Masking
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
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49
Sulfate Icon
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Masking
Can worsen Dry Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
51
Buffering
52
Preservative
Preservative Icon
53
Antimicrobial, Preservative
Preservative Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 53 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
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What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Within a product, Caprylic Triglyceride can thicken the product and make spreadability easier by dissolving clumping compounds. An added benefit of Caprylic Triglyceride is its antioxidant properties.

Caprylic Triglyceride is made by combining glycerin with coconut oil, forming a clear liquid. Caprylic Triglyceride has not been found to be toxic for human use in concentrations under 50%.

While there is an assumption Caprylic Triglyceride can clog pores due to it being derived from coconut oil, there is no research supporting this.

Learn more about Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
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What it does: Emollient
Community Rating: Mixed

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate comes from cetearyl alcohol and 2-ethylhexanoic acid.

It is an emollient that adds a velvety feel to products when applied. Emollients help trap moisture into your skin, keeping your skin soft and hydrated.

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What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Isodecyl Neopentanoate.

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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
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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
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What it does: Emulsifying

Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate isn't fungal acne safe.

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What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil is created by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil in order to give it more stability. This process also raises the melting point of vegetable oil. In cosmetics, it is an emollient.

Emollients help soothe and soften the skin. They do this by creating a protective film on your skin. This barrier helps trap moisture and keeps your skin hydrated. Emollients may be effective at treating dry or itchy skin.

The term "Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil" is an umbrella term and can refer to a variety of vegetable oils and blends of: sunflower oil, soybean oil, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, and more.

Due to the differences in vegetables, the benefits may vary.

Learn more about Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
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What it does: Emulsifying

Polyglyceryl-2 Isostearate isn't fungal acne safe.

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What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Isosorbide Dicaprylate.

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What it does: Stabilising
Community Rating: Disliked

Disteardimonium Hectorite comes from the clay mineral named hectorite. It is used to add thickness to a product.

It can also help stabilize a product by helping to disperse other ingredients.

Hectorite is a rare, white clay mineral.

Learn more about Disteardimonium Hectorite
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What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Phytosteryl Canola Glycerides isn't fungal acne safe.

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What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Glycosphingolipids are naturally found in the cell membranes of organisms. In animals, they are the major glycolipids found.

Glyolipids help ensure the stability of cell membranes. They also help with cellular recognition, such as allowing cells to form tissues in skin.

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What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

We don't have a description for Glycolipids.

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What it does: Cleansing, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
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What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Oleic Acid is an Omega-9 fatty acid. It can be found in many plant oils such as avocado and marula oils.

Oleic Acid is used to enhance the texture of products. It is also a cleansing agent. As an emollient, it can help hydrate and soften the skin.

Oleic Acid isn't fungal acne safe. It can be bad for oily skin and be bad for acne prone skin.

We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any questions or concerns.

Learn more about Oleic Acid
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What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Palmitic Acid is a fatty acid found in our skin. In cosmetics, it is usually derived from palm oil. It is a cleanser, emollient, and emulsifier.

As an emollient, it helps hydrate the skin. The emulsifying properties keep ingredients together in a product.

Palmitic Acid may not be fungal-acne safe. It can worsen oily skin and cause breakouts due to its emollient nature.

Learn more about Palmitic Acid
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What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Stearic Acid is a fatty acid. It is an emollient, emulsifier, and texture enhancer.

As an emollient, stearic acid helps soften skin. It aids the skin's protective barrier by preventing water loss. It also provides a gentle cleansing effect without stripping away natural oils.

Stearic acid may also be used to enhance the texture of products. It can add volume and stabilize ingredients such as water and oil. This can help water and oil ingredients from separating.

Sources of stearic acid include animal or vegetable fats/oils such as coconut or shea. It can be naturally found in butter, cocoa butter, shea butter, vegetable fats, and animal tallow.

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

Learn more about Stearic Acid
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What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Arginine is an amino acid that is important for human development. Your body uses is it to produce hair keratin and skin collagen.

As a cosmetic ingredient, Arginine has antioxidant properties and can also help repair damaged skin. This ingredient is derived either synthetically or from animals.

Arginine isn't fungal acne safe when used in the presence of other lipids (fats, fatty acids, oils, esters, etc). Oils and fats occur naturally within the skin, so take caution when using Arginine if you're prone to fungal acne.

Learn more about Arginine
20
What it does: Buffering, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Glycine is an amino acid that helps build proteins. It is already present in our skin as our bodies produce them naturally.

Glycine helps keep skin hydrated and reduce signs of aging. Amino acids help transport moisture throughout our skin; glycine already plays a role in helping keep our skin moisturized.

As collagen is made up of glycine and other amino acids, it is believed Glycine may help our skin produce more collagen. Collagen helps keep skin plump and firm.

Learn more about Glycine
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What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Alanine is an amino acid and is already found in the human body.

Alanine has antioxidant properties and can help with anti-aging.

Alanine is used by fibrous proteins such as collagen, elastin, and keratin. These three help make a strong skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier leads to more plump and youthful skin.

Learn more about Alanine
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What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Serine is an amino acid naturally found in our body. Our bodies use amino acids to create protein.

Amino-acids help give keep our skin hydrated. They play an important role in the skin barrier, which keeps the skin plump and firm.

Serine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning we don't need to obtain it from eating foods.

Learn more about Serine
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What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Proline is an amino-acid. It helps moisturize the skin and plays an important role in creating proteins.

Proline is one of the building blocks for producing collagen. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen. Collagen helps the skin look plump and firm.

In medicine, proline is used as an osmoprotectant. This means it helps prevent oxidative degradation in other drugs.

Our bodies are able to produce proline naturally, but certain conditions may inhibit this production. In that case, proline can be obtained from eating egg whites, soy protein, dairy products, asparagus, mushrooms, and seaweed.

Learn more about Proline
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What it does:
Community Rating: Loved

Threonine is an amino-acid. It helps hydrate the skin and has antioxidant benefits.

Threonine is vital for creating collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin support youthful and firm skin. Our bodies decrease collagen production naturally with age.

Humans are not able to create threonine and must get it through eating foods such as fish, lentils, poultry, sesame seeds, and more.

Learn more about Threonine
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What it does: Humectant
Community Rating: Loved

Glutamic Acid is an amino acid that is found in all living organisms. Our bodies use this to help nerve cells in the brain communicate with other cells.

In cosmetics, glutamic acid is a famous humectant. It draws water from the air to your skin, keeping your skin hydrated (like hyaluronic acid).

An in-vitro study from 2024 found glutamic acid to play a role in inhibiting inflammation and thus a potential skin-soothing ingredient.

Other studies show it to be have potential wound healing, skin barrier repair, and hair growth properties.

Glutamic acid has poor solubility in water and other solvents.

Learn more about Glutamic Acid
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What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Lysine HCl is an alpha amino acid salt.

Our skin uses amino acids as a precursor for building protein, and therefore keratins, collagen and elastin.

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

Betaine is a common humectant (a substance that promotes retention of moisture). It's known to be gentle on the skin and can help balance hydration.

Betaine is best for improving hydration and soothing irritated skin. Studies show betaine may help with uneven skin tones.

Betaine is naturally created in the skin and body. The form found within cosmetic products can be either plant-dervied or synthetic.

Learn more about Betaine
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What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Xylitylglucoside is created from xylitol and glucose, two humectants.

Not surprisingly, this ingredient is also a humectant. It attracts and holds water in your skin, helping to maintain hydration.

This ingredient is most commonly found in a popular trio called Aquaxyl. Aquaxyl is made up of anhydroxylitol(24 - 34%), xylitylglucoside (35 - 50%), and xylitol (5 - 15%).

According to a manufacturer, Aquaxyl is known for a 3-D hydration concept and an anti-dehydration shield to reinforce the outer layer of skin.

Learn more about Xylitylglucoside
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What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

This ingredient is created from dehydrating xylitol in acidic conditions. Xylitol is a famous sugar and humectant.

Much like its predecessor, anhydroxylitol is a humectant. Humectants attract and hold water to moisturize the skin.

This ingredient is most commonly found in a popular trio called Aquaxyl. Aquaxyl is made up of anhydroxylitol (24 - 34%), xylitylglucoside (35 - 50%), and xylitol (5 - 15%).

According to a manufacturer, Aquaxyl is known for a 3-D hydration concept and an anti-dehydration shield to reinforce the outer layer of skin.

This ingredient is often derived from plants such as wood and sugarcane.

Learn more about Anhydroxylitol
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What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Xylitol is a humectant and prebiotic. It can help with dry skin.

In studies, xylitol has been shown to improve dry skin. It decreased transepidermal water loss, or when water passes through the skin and evaporates. Xylitol also showed to help improve the biomechanical properties of the skin barrier.

The prebiotic property of xylitol may also help reinforce our skin's natural microbiome. Having a healthy microbiome prevents infection by bad bacteria and helps with hydration.

As a humectant, Xylitol helps draw moisture from both the air and from deeper skin layers. This helps keep skin hydrated.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and commonly used as a sugar substitute. It is naturally occurring in plants such as strawberries and pumpkin.

Learn more about Xylitol
31
What it does: Humectant
Community Rating: Loved

Glucose is a simple sugar and is the most important source of energy in all organisms. In skincare, glucose is used to hydrate the skin. It also acts as a prebiotic for our natural biome.

As a humectant, glucose draws moisture from the air and from deeper levels in the skin. This helps hydrate skin.

Our skin's natural microbiome contains many saccharides that act as prebiotics. These prebiotics help strengthen our skin's microbiome. Having a healthy microbiome helps protect our skin from harmful bacteria and other contaminants.

Studies show glucose may help with fading discoloration and pigmentation. This is because our skin metabolizes glucose into lactic acid. Lactic acid is an AHA that helps exfoliate the top layer of skin.

Plants and algae make glucose during the process of photosynthesis. It is then used to make cellulose, the building blocks of cell walls.

Learn more about Glucose
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What it does: Masking, Moisturising, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Maltose.

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What it does: Humectant
Community Rating: Liked

Fructose is fruit/plant sugar. It can be found in apples, figs, and honey.

This ingredient is a humectant. Humectants help draw moisture from the air to your skin, keeping your skin hydrated.

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What it does: Humectant, Moisturising
Community Rating: Loved

Trehalose is a disaccharide made of two glucose molecules (glucose is sugar!). Trehalose is used to help moisturize skin. It also has antioxidant properties.

As a humectant, trehalose helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This helps keep your skin hydrated.

Due to its antioxidant properties, trehalose may help with signs of aging. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules, unstable molecules that may damage your skin.

In medicine, trehalose and hyaluronic acid are used to help treat dry eyes.

Some animals, plants, and bacteria create trehalose as a source of energy to survive freeze or lack of water.

Learn more about Trehalose
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What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Sodium PCA is the sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid and is naturally occurring on human skin.

The PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, a natural amino acid derivative.

Sodium PCA is a has conditioning, anti-inflammatory, and humectant properties. Humectants help hydrate your skin by drawing moisture from the air. This helps keep your skin moisturized.

Learn more about Sodium PCA
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What it does: Humectant, Moisturising
Community Rating: Loved

PCA is derived from amino acids and is naturally found in our skin's barrier.

As a humectant, PCA helps draw and hold moisture to the skin. Studies show it is effective at helping the skin stay hydrated long-term.

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What it does: Buffering, Humectant
Community Rating: Liked

Sodium Lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid, an AHA. It is a humectant and used to adjust the pH of a product.

Sodium Lactate is part of our skin's NMF, or natural moisturizing factor. Our NMF is essential for the hydration of our top skin layers and plasticity of skin.

It also influences our skin's natural acid mantle and pH, which protects our skin from harmful bacteria.

Our NMF is formed from amino acids, lactic acid, sugars, minerals, peptides, and electrolytes. As we age, our NMF naturally depletes. Other sources of NMF depletion include harsh and drying ingredients such as denatured alcohol. Sodium lactate can help replenish our NMF, leading to more hydrated and plump skin.

High percentages of Sodium Lactate can have an exfoliating effect.

Sodium Lactate is produced from fermented sugar.

Learn more about Sodium Lactate
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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
39
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
Community Rating: Loved

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

Some studies have shown this ingredient can promote wound healing with higher concentrations.

Allantoin is derived from the comfrey plant but produced synthetically for cosmetic products to ensure purity.

Learn more about Allantoin
40
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
41
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
42
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Triolein isn't fungal acne safe.

43
What it does: Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

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
44
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
45
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

Vitamin E also helps keep your natural skin lipids healthy. Your lipid skin barrier naturally consists of lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. Vitamin E offers extra protection for your skin’s lipid barrier, keeping your skin healthy and nourished.

Another benefit is a bit of UV protection. Vitamin E helps reduce the damage caused by UVB rays. (It should not replace your sunscreen). Combining it with Vitamin C can decrease sunburned cells and hyperpigmentation after UV exposure.

You might have noticed Vitamin E + C often paired together. This is because it is great at stabilizing Vitamin C. Using the two together helps increase the effectiveness of both ingredients.

There are often claims that Vitamin E can reduce/prevent scarring, but these claims haven't been confirmed by scientific research.

Learn more about Tocopherol
46
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone is a synthetically created molecule made to mimic ginger extract.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to soothe skin.

According to one study, it is an HA booster, antioxidant, and anti-irritant.

In this study, this ingredient was able to stimulate higher hyaluronic acid levels of the dermal and epidermal layers on a skin-like model. Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant, which means it helps attract moisture to your skin. Humectants help keep skin hydrated.

As an antioxidant, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone is able to fight off damage from free-radical molecules.

Learn more about Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone
47
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
48
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.

49
What it does:
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Magnesium Sulfate is a salt. It can be naturally found in sea water or mineral deposits.

In cosmetics, Magnesium Sulfate is used to thicken a product or help dilute other solids. It is a non-reactive and non-irritating ingredient.

You might recognize Magnesium Sulfate as epsom salt, or the bath salt used to help relieve muscle aches.

One study shows magnesium deficiency may lead to inflammation of the skin. Applying magnesium topically may help reduce inflammation.

Learn more about Magnesium Sulfate
50
What it does: Masking
Community Rating: 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
51
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: 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
52
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.

53
What it does: Antimicrobial, Preservative
Community Rating: 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
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Here's what our community thinks of the 53 ingredients in this product ✨

53% are loved or liked
15% have mixed ratings
23% are disliked or very disliked
9% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides ->
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