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Vetted Dermlab R Retinoid Serum Ingredients Explained

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Updated February 5, 2024 Added by MaryAndersonSnell

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Overview

What it is

Serum with 15 ingredients that contains PHA and retinoid

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, dark spots and better texture

Free From

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

Fun facts

Vetted Dermlab is from United States.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

Serum with 15 ingredients that contains PHA and retinoid

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 15

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.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
2 Benefits

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice comes from leaves of the aloe plant. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice is best known for helping to soothe sunburns. It is also anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, antiseptic, and can help heal wounds.

Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
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 ->
Glyceryl Stearate Emollient, Emulsifying
1 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked 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 ->
Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate.

Unknown Full details ->
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.

Squalane Emollient, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Isoamyl Laurate Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Isoamyl Laurate is created from isoamyl alcohol and lauric acid. It is an emollient and traps moisture underneath.

Disliked Full details ->
Isoamyl Cocoate
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Isoamyl Cocoate isn't fungal acne safe.

Disliked Full details ->
Dimethyl Isosorbide Solvent

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

Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate 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 IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 7 Benefits 2 Concerns

This ingredient is a retinoid. It usually goes by a more common name: "Granactive".

Gluconolactone Skin Conditioning
PHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
PHAPHA Icon 2 Benefits

Gluconolactone is a PHA. PHAs are a great gentle alternative to traditional AHAs.

Lactobacillus Ferment Skin Conditioning

Lactobacillus Ferment is created by fermenting the Lactobacillus bacteria. It helps keep our skin's natural barrier and microbiome healthy.

Ingredient Ratings

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

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Ingredients Explained

This product contains 15 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
Skin Conditioning
Liked

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice comes from leaves of the aloe plant. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice is best known for helping to soothe sunburns. It is also anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, antiseptic, and can help heal wounds.

Aloe is packed with good stuff including Vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins are antioxidants, which help fight free-radicals and the damage they may cause. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice also contains sugars. These sugars come in the form of monosaccharides and polysaccharides, folic acid, and choline. These sugars are able to help bind moisture to skin.

It also contains minerals such as calcium, 12 anthraquinones, fatty acids, amino acids, and Vitamin B12.

Learn more about Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
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
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
Emollient, Emulsifying
Disliked

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

Glyceryl Stearate is used to stabilize the mixing of water and oil ingredients. By preventing these ingredients from separating, it can help elongate shelf life. It can also help thicken the product's texture.

As an emollient, it helps soften skin and supports barrier-replenishing ingredients.

In cosmetics, Glyceryl Stearate is often made from vegetable oils or synthetically produced. The human body also creates Glyceryl Stearate naturally.

Learn more about Glyceryl Stearate
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

We don't have a description for Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate.

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
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

Because squalane boosts hydration in the skin, it also comes with plenty of benefits: it is an antioxidant and can help fight free radicals and skin damage. Squalane is also found to have a detoxifying effect when applied.

Squalane comes from squalene, which occurs naturally within the sebum of our skin. It is one of the oils our skin produces to keep itself hydrated. Squalane is the hydrogenated version of squalene and has a longer shelf life.

Research shows that squalane is non-irritating (even at 100% concentration).

In general, it's a fantastic ingredient. It does a great job at hydrating the skin, and it's suitable for those with sensitive skin.

The source of squalane may impact malassezia / fungal acne. This is because olive oil derived squalane can contain impurities such as fatty acids and plant waxes. Sugarcane derived squalane is recommended for anyone with malassezia concerns.

Is squalane vegan?

This depends on the source. Squalane can be derived from both plants and animals. Most squalane used in skincare comes from plants.

Please note: the source of squalane is only known if disclosed by the brand. We recommend reaching out to the brand if you have any questions about their squalane.

Read more about squalene with an "e".

Learn more about Squalane
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Isoamyl Laurate is created from isoamyl alcohol and lauric acid. It is an emollient and traps moisture underneath.

This ingredient helps give products a silky feel and is considered a silicone alternative.

This ingredient may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Isoamyl Laurate
Disliked

Isoamyl Cocoate isn't fungal acne safe.

Solvent
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
Skin Conditioning
Loved

This ingredient is a retinoid. It usually goes by a more common name: "Granactive".

Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR) belongs to the class of retinoids that also includes retinol and tretinoin.

Retinoids have been proven to:

So what is the difference between all the retinoids? Most retinoids need to go through a conversion line to become effective on skin. The ending product is retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is AKA tretinoin.

HPR is an ester of tretinoin. Emerging studies suggest HPR to have an added benefit that other retinoids don't have: Low irritation.

A study from 2021 found HPR to have the greatest stability when exposed to light and temperature out of all the commercial retinoids.

A note about naming: The name "Granactive" is the trade name and the name most commonly used on packages.

Granactive is the name of the mixture - about 90% solvent and 10% HPR. A product with 5% granactive has 0.5% HPR.

Learn more about Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate
Skin Conditioning
Liked

Gluconolactone is a PHA. PHAs are a great gentle alternative to traditional AHAs.

When applied, Gluconolactone has the same affect on skin as AHAs such as lactic acid. It helps dissolve the dead skin cells in the top layer of your skin. This improves texture and brightens the skin.

PHAs are more gentle than AHAs due to their larger structure. They do not penetrate as deeply as AHAs and take a longer time to dissolve dead cells. Studies show PHAs do not cause as much irritation.

Gluconolactone has some interesting properties:

In a 2004 study, Gluconolactone was found to prevent UV damage in mouse skin cells. Gluconolactone has not been found to increase sun sensivity. However, we still recommend wearing SPF daily.

This ingredient is is an created by reacting gluconic acid with an alcohol.

Learn more about Gluconolactone
Skin Conditioning
Liked

Lactobacillus Ferment is created by fermenting the Lactobacillus bacteria. It helps keep our skin's natural barrier and microbiome healthy.

Studies show lactobacillus ferment to be effective at repairing the skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier helps keep your skin healthy and hydrated. It also protects against bad bacteria.

As a probiotic/prebiotic/postbiotic, Lactobacillus ferment can help regular our natural biome. In fact, one study found a lack of diversity in our natural skin biome can trigger acne.

Learn more about Lactobacillus Ferment

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