Urban Skin Super C Brightening Serum Ingredients Explained

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Published on July 13, 2020.

Overview

What it is

Serum with 34 ingredients that contains BHA, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, fungal acne (malassezia) safe, 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, dark spots and better texture

Free From

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

Fun facts

Urban Skin is from United States. This product is used in 5 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot an error? 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

BHA
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Niacinamide
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating (2)
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing (3)
Reduces Irritation (2)
Skin Texture
Reduces Large Pores (2)
Anti-Aging (4)
Dark Spots (2)
Scar Healing (5)
Acne Fighting (3)
Brightening (5)

Concerns

Drying
Irritating (2)
Rosacea
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
Humectant, Solvent
0 / 0
3
Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
4
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
1 / 0
5
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
6
Preservative
Preservative Icon
7
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Oil Icon
8
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant
Antioxidant IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
9
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
10
Buffering, Emulsifying, Masking
2 / 0
11
Skin Conditioning
12
Skin Conditioning
13
Cleansing, Emulsifying
3 / 0
14
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent, Emollient, Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Antioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconHelps fight Acne Icon
15
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
16
Astringent, Skin Conditioning
17
Skin Conditioning
18
Skin Conditioning
19
Skin Conditioning
20
Astringent, Skin Conditioning
21
Skin Conditioning
22
Antioxidant, Preservative
Antioxidant IconPreservative Icon
23
Preservative
Preservative Icon
24
Bleaching, Skin Conditioning
25
Astringent, Humectant, Soothing
Good for Scar Healing Icon
26
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing, Tonic
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
27
28
Masking
29
Antioxidant, Bleaching, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
30
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Hyaluronic Acid Icon
31
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
32
Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Helps reduce irritation Icon
33
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
34
Buffering

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 34 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: Humectant, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Ethoxydiglycol is a synthetic solvent.

Solvents are used to keep ingredients together in a product. They can help dissolve ingredients to stable bases or help evenly distribute ingredients throughout the product.

Ethoxydiglycol also helps deliver other key ingredients into the skin.

Learn more about Ethoxydiglycol
3
What it does: Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Ascorbic Acid is is pure Vitamin C. Ascorbic Acid contains large amounts of antioxidants. It is the largest amount of vitamin C found naturally in our skin. Not only is Vitamin C great for your overall health and immune system, it also has plenty of benefits on your skin.

Vitamin C is best used for brightening skin, such as improving dark spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. This is because Vitamin C has been shown to block the process of skin darkening.

Your skin uses Vitamin C to build collagen. Collagen production plays a role in having a strong skin barrier and having plump skin.

Vitamin C is also a key component in helping your skin regulate collagen, thus making it effective in improving wrinkles and fine lines. As an antioxidant, it helps fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. These antioxidants also protect skin against UV damage.

Vitamin E helps stabilize and provide a boost in the benefits of ascorbic acid. It helps aid in UV protection but becomes unstable when exposed to UV and air.

Vitamin C does not replace sunscreen!

Ascorbic acid is generally compatible with other ingredients. However, using ascorbic acid with other active ingredients might cause irritation. Two ingredients: copper ions and benzoyl peroxide, will inactivate ascorbic acid completely.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Foods rich with vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and more. When consuming Vitamin C, your skin receives a portion of the nutrients.

Learn more about Ascorbic Acid
4
What it does: Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

5
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
6
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: 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.

7
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil is oil from the peel of an orange fruit.

Limonene and linalool make up the majority of oils from citrus peels. Limonene has a "citrus" fragrance. Citrus peels also contain flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

Citrus peel is also a rich source of flavonoids. Flavonoids are natural antioxidants and help protect your skin against damage. Flavonoids are a group of compounds naturally found in vegetables and fruits.

The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term. For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance.

Learn more about Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil
8
What it does: Antimicrobial, Antioxidant
Community Rating: Loved

Ferulic Acid is a plant based antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. Ferulic Acid can help reduce the formation of fine lines and hyperpigmentation.

When used with Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid has shown to prevent Vitamin C from breaking down. In other words, it acts as a stabilizer.

Ferulic Acid is sometimes used to preserve food. Foods containing Ferulic Acid include: oats, rice, eggplant, citrus.

In medicine, Ferulic Acid is being studied for helping with diabetes, Alzheimer's, and cardiovascular diseases.

Learn more about Ferulic Acid
9
What it does: Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
10
What it does: Buffering, Emulsifying, Masking
Community Rating: Disliked

Triethanolamine is an emulsifier and pH adjuster. It is created using ethylene oxide and ammonia. This gives Triethanolamine a nitrogen core and a similar scent to ammonia.

As an emulsifier, it prevents ingredients from separating and enhances texture by adding volume to a product.

PH adjusters are common in cosmetic products. The pH of a product can affect the effectiveness of other ingredients. A product with a high pH may also irritate the skin.

Learn more about Triethanolamine
11
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract.

12
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Vitis Vinifera Fruit Extract comes from grapes.

Grape extract has many skin benefits. It also contains many potent antioxidants such as Vitamin E , Vitamin C, proanthocyanidins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins. Proanthocyanidin has been shown to help even out skin tone.

Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules. Free-radical molecules are capable of damaging our cells and other genetic material. Antioxidants help stabilize free-radicals by donating extra electrons. Grape seed extract may help reduce the signs of aging.

Grape extract also helps soothe and hydrate your skin.

Learn more about Vitis Vinifera Fruit Extract
13
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Laureth-23 is created by reacting ethylene oxide with Lauryl Alcohol.

It is a cleansing ingredient. This means it helps lift oils and dirt so they may be rinsed away with water.

The 23 refers to the number of repeating ethylene oxides in the molecule.

Learn more about Laureth-23
14
What it does: Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent, Emollient, Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Community Rating: Loved

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is from the oil in tea tree leaves. The kind of tea you can drink also comes from this tree.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract has many benefits. It contains polyphenols, a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight off free-radical molecules that damage skin cells. The antioxidants in green tea neutralize free-radicals from the sun. This gives the skin some extra UV protection, but should not replace sunscreen.

Many components of tea have anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenols and L-theanine help soothe the skin and reduce irritation. L-theanine is an amino acid that makes up most of the amino acids found in tea leaves. The caffeine in Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract helps calm inflamed blood vessels.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract also contains Vitamin Bs, linoleic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract also has antimicrobial properties.

Research has shown both drinking Camellia Sinensis Leaf Tea and applying it to the skin can help boost skin elasticity and hydration. Studies also show using tea extract may reduce sebum, or oil, production.

Learn more about Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
15
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 skinโ€™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
16
What it does: Astringent, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Alchemilla Vulgaris Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract.

17
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Malva Sylvestris Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract.

18
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Mentha Piperita Leaf Extract is extract from peppermint leaves.

Studies show peppermint extract have antimicrobial properties against some bacteria and fungi.

In large percentages, peppermint extract may sensitize the skin.

Learn more about Mentha Piperita Leaf Extract
19
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Primula Veris Flower Extract.

20
What it does: Astringent, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Veronica Officinalis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract.

21
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract.

22
What it does: Antioxidant, Preservative

Sodium Metabisulfite is an antioxidant and is a preservative.

23
What it does: Preservative

Sodium Sulfite is a preservative. Preservatives help prevent mold and bacteria from growing in cosmetics.

This ingredient has been shown to break the bonds in hair, acting as a natural straightener.

It is commonly used in food. It should be noted sodium sulfite degrades both vitamins B1 and E.

Fun fact: Sulfites are naturally occuring in wine.

Learn more about Sodium Sulfite
24
What it does: Bleaching, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Morus Alba Root Extract.

25
What it does: Astringent, Humectant, Soothing
Community Rating: Loved

Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract comes from the Baikal skullcap or Chinese skullcap plant. This plant is native to Northeast Asia and can be found in China, Mongolia, Korea, and Siberia.

In cosmetics, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This is due to the flavonoid composition of Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract.

In Chinese traditional folk medicine, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract is used to help treat lung and hypertension.

Learn more about Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract
26
What it does: Cleansing, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing, Tonic
Community Rating: Loved

Centella Asiatica Extract is derived from an herb plant native to Southeast Asia. It is rich in antioxidants and amino acids. In skincare products, Centella Asiatica Extract is used for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

Many active components found in Centella Asiatica Extract, such as Madecassic Acid and Asiaticoside, encourage the skin to naturally produce hyaluronic acid. This helps keep our skin hydrated. Many of these components also show antioxidant activity and may help reduce the signs of aging.

Research shows Centella Asiatica can help increase Type I collagen production by increasing fibroblast production. Fibroblast helps form connective tissue.

The combination of all these properties makes Centella Asiatica Extract effective at soothing the skin.

Other components of Centella Asiatic Extract include Vitamin A, vitamin C, several B vitamins, and Asiatic Acid.

Recent studies found madecassoside may help prevent damage from UV rays by preventing UV-induced inflammation. Further research is needed.

This plant has been used as a medicine and in food for many centuries. As a medicine, it is used to treat burns, scratches, and wounds.

Learn more about Centella Asiatica Extract
27
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
28

We don't have a description for Achillea Millefolium Flower Water.

29
What it does: Antioxidant, Bleaching, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Alpha-Arbutin is made from hydroquinone and glucose. It may be derived from the fermentation of soybeans.

Alpha-Arbutin is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Alpha-Arbutin has also been shown to improve hyperpigmentation and fade discoloration.

Alpha-Arbutin may be used with other ingredients that help with hyperpigmentation. These ingredients include retinol, Vitamin C, niacinamide, and tranexamic acid.

Learn more about Alpha-Arbutin
30
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid is a form of hyaluronic acid. It is created by the hydrolysis of hyaluronic acid with a high molecular weight. Once created, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid has a low molecular weight.

Low molecular weight HA has been shown to hydrate and increase elasticity of the skin. Increasing elasticity is also associated with reduction of wrinkle depth.

One study found topical low molecular weight hyaluronic acid may be considered for the treatment of rosacea in the adult population. However, we always recommend speaking with a professional about your skin concerns.

Hyaluronic acids are a humectant. This means they draw moisture from the air. Hyaluronic acids help moisturize, soothe, and protect the skin.

Read more about other common forms of hyaluronic acid:

Learn more about Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid
31
What it does: Smoothing
Community Rating: 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
32
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Panthenol (also referred to as pro-vitamin B5) is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin.

lt is a humectant, meaning that it helps the skin attract and retain moisture.

Another benefit is the anti-inflammatory abilities. This means that it's great for sensitive, irritation-prone skin.

Once oxidized, panthenol converts to pantothenic acid. Panthothenic acid is found in all living cells.

Learn more about Panthenol
33
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
34
What it does: Buffering

We don't have a description for Ethanolamine.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 34 ingredients in this product โœจ

44% are loved or liked
6% have mixed ratings
18% are disliked or very disliked
32% have no rating yet

When to use

Here's some more info on how this product is used by our community.

Directions

1 After cleansing or toning apply 6-10 drops.

2 Smooth over face and neck, avoiding eye area.

3 Apply before other moisturizers and thicker serums.

4 Can be used once or twice daily. Use in the morning for optimal results!

When to use

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