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Trader Joe's Retinol Night Serum Ingredients Explained

Serum
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Published on August 26, 2022 Submitted by KChichester

Overview

What it is

Serum with 20 ingredients that contains BHA, hyaluronic acid, retinoid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free and reef safe

Suited For

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

Free From

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

Fun facts

Trader Joe's is from United States. This product is used in 22 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 20 ingredients that contains BHA, hyaluronic acid, retinoid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 20

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.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Masking, Skin Conditioning

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

Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Succinate
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Succinate isn't fungal acne safe.

Unknown Full details ->
Sorbitan Oleate Emulsifying
3 / 0 Bad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
2 Concerns

Sorbitan Oleate is created from compounds in oleic acid and sorbitol. It is used to stabilize a product by preventing ingredients from separating.

3 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Ascorbate Antioxidant
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 4 Benefits

Sodium Ascorbate is a form of Vitamin C. It is derived from the sodium salt of ascorbic acid.

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.
Sodium Hyaluronate Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Hyaluronic Acid Icon
Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic Acid Icon

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
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 ->
Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer

Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer (let's call it AAVC for short) is a synthetically created polymer. It's used as a film-forming agent and used to thicken the consistency of products.

Disliked Full details ->
Retinol Skin Conditioning
Retinoid IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 8 Benefits 3 Concerns

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

Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

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

Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

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

Disliked Full details ->
Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil is an oil and isn't fungal acne safe.

Disliked Full details ->
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.

Retinyl Palmitate Skin Conditioning
1-3 / 1-3 Retinoid IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 7 Benefits 3 Concerns

Retinyl palmitate is a form of retinoid. Retinoids are the superstar class of anti-aging ingredients that include tretinoin and retinol.

1-3 Com. / 1-3 Irr.
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.
Ascorbyl Palmitate Antioxidant, Masking
2 / 0 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 IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 6 Benefits Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Ascorbyl Palmitate is created by combining pure Vitamin C and palmitic acid. It is an antioxidant and helps reduce hyperpigmentation.

2 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

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 ->

Ingredient Ratings

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

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disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 20 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
Masking, Skin Conditioning
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

Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Succinate isn't fungal acne safe.

Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Sorbitan Oleate is created from compounds in oleic acid and sorbitol. It is used to stabilize a product by preventing ingredients from separating.

Emulsifiers help keep ingredients together, such as oils and water.

Sorbitan Oleate may not be fungal acne safe. It can also worsen oily skin.

Learn more about Sorbitan Oleate
Antioxidant
Mixed

Sodium Ascorbate is a form of Vitamin C. It is derived from the sodium salt of ascorbic acid.

As a Vitamin C, it is an antioxidant. It can help to reduce redness, improve skin texture, reduce the effects of aging, and reduce the visibility of dark spots.

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
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
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
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.

Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer (let's call it AAVC for short) is a synthetically created polymer. It's used as a film-forming agent and used to thicken the consistency of products.

AAVC is able to increase the consistency and viscosity of products due to its large molecule size. It also prevents ingredients from separating.

Skin Conditioning
Loved

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

Why is retinol famous?

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

Retinol is proven to:

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

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

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

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

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

Read about Tretinoin

Learn more about Retinol
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.

Buffering, Masking
Disliked

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

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 even out skin tone.

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.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil is an oil and isn't fungal acne safe.

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
Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Retinyl palmitate is a form of retinoid. Retinoids are the superstar class of anti-aging ingredients that include tretinoin and retinol.

This particular ingredient has had a bumpy year with its rise and fall in popularity.

First, Retinyl palmitate is created from palmitic acid and retinol. It is a retinol ester and considered one of the weaker forms of retinoid.

This is because all retinoids have to be converted to Tretinoin, AKA retinoic acid. Retinyl Palmitate is pretty far down the line and has to go through multiple conversions before its effects are seen.

Due to this long and ineffective conversion line, the benefits of Retinyl Palmitate are debated.

Studies show Retinyl Palmitate to help:

Dermatologists say this ingredient is ineffective because it isn't used in high enough concentrations in cosmetics.

This ingredient used to be found in sunscreens to boost the efficacy of sunscreen filters.

The downfall of Retinyl Palmitate was due to released reports about the ingredient being correlated to sun damage and skin tumors.

While there is a study showing this ingredient to cause DNA damage when exposed to UV-A, there is no concrete proof of it being linked to skin cancer. It is safe to use when used correctly.

All retinoids increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun in the first few months of usage. Be especially careful with reapplying sunscreen when using any form of retinoid.

Currently, this ingredient is still allowed in cosmetics all over the world. In Canada, cosmetics must have a warning label stating the product to contain Retinyl Palmitate

Fun fact: This ingredient is often added to low-fat milk to increase the levels of Vitamin A.

Learn more about Retinyl Palmitate
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, Masking
Disliked

Ascorbyl Palmitate is created by combining pure Vitamin C and palmitic acid. It is an antioxidant and helps reduce hyperpigmentation.

Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules, or molecules that may break down skin cells. Antioxdants help reduce signs of aging.

Ascorbyl Palmitate is a stable version of Vitamin C, meaning it does not disintegrate when exposed to sunlight. However, studies show it does not penetrate skin as well as pure Vitamin C.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Learn more about Ascorbyl Palmitate
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic 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

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