What do all the ingredients do?
If you’ve ever wondered what the active ingredients in cosmetic products do for your skin, you’re not alone. Vitamin A vs. Vitamin E or C or peptides. What are they all for exactly?!?!?!
I’ve assembled a quick to read skin care and cosmetics ingredients dictionary with links to my sources in the event you want to delve in a bit more. As always, consult your doctor if you’re unsure about allergies or reactions.
Almond Oil: Treats rashes, acne, and dryness of the skin. Anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
Aloe Vera: Helps heal sunburns, bacteria fighter, reduces inflammation, redness and itching. Burn and wound healer. Used to fight psoriasis and cold sores. Has over 75 potentially active ingredients that include salicylic acid, fatty acids, enzymes, lignin, vitamins, and mineral. Anti-fungal.
Alpha-hydroxy acids: Includes glycol, lactic, tartaric and citric acids. Primary function is to help with fine lines, age spots and irregular pigmentation. Sides effects may include mild irritation and sun sensitivity
Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Gives skin a healthy glow, diminishes the look of fine lines. Boosts levels of other antioxidants like Vitamin C. Super anti-aging. Fights skin damage and helps to repair past damage.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Kills bacteria and other pathogens to clear skin issues related to gut issues. Cleanses the skin to help stop acne. Used for treating skin sores.
Argon Oil: Moisturizes skin. Rick in Vitamin A, E, omega06 fatty acids and linoleic acid, antioxidant.
Avocado: Boosts collagen production, treats age spots, reduces inflammation. Oils found in topical creams.
Beta-hydroxy acid (Salicylic acid): To improve the texture and color of sun damaged skin. Acne treatment. Less irritating than Alpha-Hydroxy acids.
Castor Oil: Used in lash growth serums. Can be drying so if used as a face cleanser for skin so it should be cut with almond or coconut oil.
Copper Peptide: Helps to firm, smooth and soften skin quickly. Peptides promote collagen and elastin production and production of glycosaminoglycans (hyaluronic acid). Removes damaged collagen and elastin from the skin and scar tissue.
DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol): Reduces fine lines and wrinkles. DMAE occurs naturally in the brain and anchovies, salmon and sardines.
Hyaluronic Acid: For wrinkle treatment. Used to reverse the aging process. HA occurs naturally in humans and animals. Found in joint fluid, tissues, and young skin. Over time the hyaluronic acid in the body is destroyed, and topical application can help with that.
Hydroquinone: To lighten hyperpigmentation like age spots and dark spots related to pregnancy or hormone therapy. Often called bleaching or lightening creams. Also used to improve discoloration from sun damage.
Jojoba Oil: Treats acne, psoriasis, sunburn and chapped skin. Can also help heal burns, sores, scars, dermatitis. Wrinkle-fighter. Reduces balding by encouraging hair regrowth.
Kojic Acid: Derived from a fungus and works similarly to hydroquinone. May slow down the production of melanin (brown pigment)
L-Ascorbic Acid: Vitamin C. The only antioxidant that’s proven to minimize fine lines, scars, and wrinkles by stimulating the synthesis of collagen. The only form of Vitamin C you need and want in your face products. Other derivatives of vitamin C are not useful for anything.
Lemon Oil: Diminish acne due to bacteria in pores, fades scars and age spots, exfoliates, brightens and lightens skin tone, fights wrinkles.
Manuka raw honey: Encourages wound healing, reduces scarring and fights rashes. Suitable as a dressing for wounds and burns. Can help heal bacterial infections, dandruff, diaper dermatitis and psoriasis.
Retinol: Derivative of Vitamin A also known as Retinal. Use Retinal to improve mottled pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, texture, tons and color of skin. To be used if Retinal (Retin-A, Renova from the dermatologist) is too potent and causes irritation. Retinol and Retinal penetrate deeply to collagen and elastin layers. Retinol is found in department store brands. Be careful of which are cruelty-free because most are not. The best source of Retinal that’s the closest thing to prescription, but without irritation, is R and F.
Sea Salts: Anti-inflammatory to soothe skin, calm breakouts, remove dead skin cells, irritation, oil production balance and helps the skin retain moisture levels. Used in toners, masks, and scrubs.
Shea Butter: Moisturizer and reduces flaking, redness, and peeling.
Tea Tree Oil: Fights breakouts, redness, and inflammation. A natural unit-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal essential oil.