Explore Routine Login

The Ordinary Soothing & Barrier Support Serum Ingredients Explained

Serum
4.1   (8 ratings)
24
7
40
2

Updated on June 13, 2024 Submitted by Clover

Save
00% Your Match

Overview

What it is

Serum with 45 ingredients that contains AHA, niacinamide and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and 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 and dark spots

Free From

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

Fun facts

The Ordinary is from Canada. This product is used in 550 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.

Serum with 45 ingredients that contains AHA, niacinamide and Vitamin E

Quick info

ph level
5.75

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 45

Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Propanediol Solvent

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Isodecyl Neopentanoate Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Isodecyl Neopentanoate.

Unknown 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.

Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Hexyldecanol Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Hexyldecanol.

Unknown Full details ->
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 ->
Xylitylglucoside Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Xylitylglucoside is created from xylitol and glucose, two humectants.

Ceteth-20 Phosphate Cleansing

We don't have a description for Ceteth-20 Phosphate.

Unknown Full details ->
Anhydroxylitol Humectant, Skin Conditioning

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

Ethyl Linoleate Emollient, Perfuming
Fragrance IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Ethyl Linoleate is a fragrance and isn't fungal acne safe.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Asiaticoside Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Asiaticoside comes from the super popular skin-soothing ingredient, Centella asiatica. It is one of four active compounds found in the extract of Centella Asiatica.

Asiatic Acid Skin Conditioning, Stabilising

Asiatic Acid is a major component of Centella Asiatica Extract. It has wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

Madecassic Acid Skin Conditioning

Madecassic Acid is a major component of Centella Asiatica Extract. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Naringenin Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Naringenin.

Unknown Full details ->
Cyanocobalamin Skin Conditioning

Cyanocobalamin is the manufactured version of vitamin B12. Our bodies use B12 for cell production.

Panthenyl Triacetate

We don't have a description for Panthenyl Triacetate.

Unknown Full details ->
4-T-Butylcyclohexanol Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

4-T-Butylcyclohexanol is a fragrance.

Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid.

Unknown Full details ->
Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide.

Unknown Full details ->
Bisabolol Masking, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Bisabolol is pimarily used to add fragrance to a product. However, it is also famous for helping soothe skin.

Brassica Campestris Sterols Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Brassica Campestris Sterols isn't fungal acne safe.

Disliked Full details ->
Sphingolipids Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting

We don't have a description for Sphingolipids.

Phospholipids Skin Conditioning

Phospholipids are naturally found in our skin as they are the main component of cell membranes. Phospholipids have humectant, emollient, antioxidant properties.

Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside is an antioxidant.

Gallyl Glucoside Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Gallyl Glucoside is an antioxidant.

Propyl Gallate Antioxidant, Perfuming
Antioxidant IconFragrance Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon FragranceFragrance Icon

Propyl Gallate is an antioxidant and is a fragrance.

Xylitol Humectant, Skin Conditioning

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

Zingiber Officinale Root Extract Masking, Skin Conditioning, Tonic

Zingiber Officinale is more commonly known as ginger.

Stearic Acid Cleansing, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2-3 / 0 May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
2 Concerns

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

2-3 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Dicetyl Phosphate Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Dicetyl Phosphate.

Unknown Full details ->
Isoceteth-20 Emulsifying
May cause irritation Icon
May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Isoceteth-20 comes from Isocetyl Alcohol. It is an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is used to help stabilize a product.

Tocopherol Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 4 Benefits May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

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.

0-3 Com. / 0-3 Irr.
Dehydroacetic Acid Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

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

P-Anisic Acid Masking

We don't have a description for P-Anisic Acid.

Unknown Full details ->
Phytic Acid
AHA IconHelps brighten skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon May worsen RosaceaMay worsen Rosacea Icon

Phytic Acid is a gentle AHA and antioxidant. The chemical makeup makes it classified as an AHA, such as lactic acid.

Sodium Phytate

Sodium Phytate is the synthetic salt form of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antioxidant and can be found in plant seeds.

Sodium Citrate Buffering, Masking

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

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.

Benzyl Alcohol 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
AlcoholAlcohol Icon FragranceFragrance Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 6 Concerns

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.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

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

Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Chlorphenesin Antimicrobial, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

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.

Disliked Full details ->

Ingredient Ratings

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

21
6
9
9
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 45 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
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
Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Isodecyl Neopentanoate.

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
Smoothing
Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Hexyldecanol.

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
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
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

We don't have a description for Ceteth-20 Phosphate.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

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
Emollient, Perfuming
Very Disliked

Ethyl Linoleate is a fragrance and isn't fungal acne safe.

Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Asiaticoside comes from the super popular skin-soothing ingredient, Centella asiatica. It is one of four active compounds found in the extract of Centella Asiatica.

Asiaticoside is an antioxidant and helps with wound healing. It has been shown to increase antioxidant activity during the wound healing process.

Skin Conditioning, Stabilising
Loved

Asiatic Acid is a major component of Centella Asiatica Extract. It has wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

Studies show Asiatic Acid is able to block the pathway for skin inflammation receptors, helping to soothe skin.

As an antioxidant, asiatic acid helps protect our skin against damaging environmental factors.

Learn more about Asiatic Acid
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Madecassic Acid is a major component of Centella Asiatica Extract. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

It is a triterpenoid, meaning it naturally acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect your skin against damage from environmental factors such as pollution and UV.

Studies show Madecassic Acid helps soothe the skin due to its ability to block inflammation pathways.

Learn more about Madecassic Acid
Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Naringenin.

Skin Conditioning
Loved

Cyanocobalamin is the manufactured version of vitamin B12. Our bodies use B12 for cell production.

There is limited research on how Cyanocobalamin affects your skin.

We don't have a description for Panthenyl Triacetate.

Masking, Perfuming
Mixed

4-T-Butylcyclohexanol is a fragrance.

We don't have a description for Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid.

We don't have a description for Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide.

Masking, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Loved

Bisabolol is pimarily used to add fragrance to a product. However, it is also famous for helping soothe skin.

Bisabolol comes from German chamomile essential oil. Synthetic Bisabolol has been shown to be less effective.

Bisabolol helps soothe skin. It does this by blocking the inflammatory signals, helping to reduce your body's reaction to irritation.

Bisabolol also interferes with the process of hyperpigmentation. This can help with reducing dark spots and uneven tone.

Bisabolol is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. By fighting these free-radicals, Bisabolol may slow down signs of aging.

Studies have shown Bisabolol to have antimicrobial properties and may be a fungicide. These properties help preserve a product's shelf life.

Bisabolol also helps the absorption of other ingredients.

Learn more about Bisabolol
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Brassica Campestris Sterols isn't fungal acne safe.

Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

We don't have a description for Sphingolipids.

Skin Conditioning
Loved

Phospholipids are naturally found in our skin as they are the main component of cell membranes. Phospholipids have humectant, emollient, antioxidant properties.

The phospholipids in our skin can be naturally depleted. Replenishing the phospholipids in our skin can help hydrate your skin. Due to their hygroscopic nature, they act as humectants and emollients. Humectants draw moisture from the air to your skin, while emollients help trap moisture in. This ingredient is non-occlusive.

Studies show phospholipids display antioxidant activity and may help with reducing the signs of aging.

Phospholipids are complex lipids that contain glycerin, two fatty acids, and a phosphate group. Some foods that contain phospholipids include soybeans and milk. The phospholipids found in soy come from Lecithin. This ingredient can also be synthetically created.

Some types of phospholipids:

Learn more about Phospholipids
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside is an antioxidant.

Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Gallyl Glucoside is an antioxidant.

Antioxidant, Perfuming
Mixed

Propyl Gallate is an antioxidant and is a fragrance.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning
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
Masking, Skin Conditioning, Tonic
Liked

Zingiber Officinale is more commonly known as ginger.

Ginger root has antioxidant, anti-inflammation, and antimicrobial properties.

The antioxidant properties help protect your body from free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. As a result, ginger may help slow down signs of aging such as hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.

Studies show ginger inhibits the enzyme that breaks down collagen. It also helps with:

Ginger has no negative side-effects and is safe to use for all skin types. (Be sure to patch test just in case you have a ginger allergy!)

Ginger originates from Southeast Asia but has spread throughout the world. It is now a common spice used in many cultures.

Learn more about Zingiber Officinale Root Extract
Cleansing, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
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
Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Dicetyl Phosphate.

Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Isoceteth-20 comes from Isocetyl Alcohol. It is an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

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

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.

Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
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
Preservative
Liked

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.

Masking

We don't have a description for P-Anisic Acid.

Liked

Phytic Acid is a gentle AHA and antioxidant. The chemical makeup makes it classified as an AHA, such as lactic acid.

AHAs are chemical exfoliants that help remove dead skin cells. Phytic Acid has a slight exfoliating effect. Phytic Acid has been shown to help calm irritation. In some cases, it is a chelating agent. Chelating agents help prevent metals from binding to water, helping to stabilize the ingredients in a product.

As an antioxidant, phytic acid may help with the signs of aging. Antioxidants help neutralize free-radical molecules. These molecules may damage your skin cells.

An interesting fact about phytic acid is that it is considered an antinutrient. People do not have the enzyme needed to properly breakdown and digest phytic acid. When ingested, phytic acid binds to minerals and prevents them from being absorbed.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Phytic Acid

Sodium Phytate is the synthetic salt form of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antioxidant and can be found in plant seeds.

Sodium Phytate is a chelating agent. Chelating agents help prevent metals from binding to water. This helps stabilize the ingredients and the product.

Buffering, Masking
Mixed

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Citrate helps maintain the pH of a product. Normal pH level of skin is slightly acidic (~4.75-5.5). The acidity of our skin is maintained by our glands and skin biome. Being slightly acidic allows our skin to create an "acid mantle". This acid mantle is a thin barrier that protects our skin from bacteria and contaminants.

Sodium Citrate is a chelating agent. It neutralizes metal ions from water and prevents them from binding to other ingredients. This ensures the other ingredients will not be altered.

Learn more about Sodium Citrate
Buffering
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
Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
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
Skin Conditioning
Mixed

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

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

Preservative
Very Disliked

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

Antimicrobial, Preservative
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

Reviews

4.1
from 8 ratings
Broke Me Out (1) Great Value (1) Hydrating (1)
mikkoflam's avatar

mikkoflam

7 months ago · Combination Skin
Review

unfortunately broke me out really badly after 1 week use.

JaxC's avatar

JaxC

1 month ago · Sensitive Skin
Review

After using this for a few weeks I was amazed at how well it improved my skin’s texture. I have to take corticosteroids for life, which has thinned...

After using this for a few weeks I was amazed at how well it improved my skin’s texture. I have to take corticosteroids for life, which has thinned my skin substantially, which in turn has made my skin very susceptible to eczema and scarring from even the smallest acne spot. This has made my skin plump and healthy looking once again and made it so when a spot shows up, the scaring is almost nonexistent. My eczema has improved greatly as well. I couldn’t say enough good things about this product to be honest!

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.

Read more about us