|Ingredient name||what-it-does||irr., com.||ID-Rating|
|Tretinoin (0.05%)||cell-communicating ingredient||superstar|
|Stearic Acid||emollient, viscosity controlling||0, 2-3|
|Isopropyl Myristate||emollient||3, 3-5|
|Polyoxyl 40 Stearate||emulsifying, surfactant/cleansing|
|Stearyl Alcohol||emollient, viscosity controlling||2, 2|
|Xanthan Gum||viscosity controlling|
|Butylated Hydroxytoluene||antioxidant, preservative|
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Retin-A (Tretinoin)Ingredients explained
- Tretinoin (a metabolite of vitamin A) is the gold standard anti-aging ingredient that is also FDA-approved (and it's the only one so far!)
- It's an all around skin issue fixer as it works at the skin cell level and makes your skin cells behave in a healthy and normal way
- It makes the skin less wrinkled, firmer, smoother and tighter, everything you could want from an anti-aging ingredient
- It's also an effective acne treatment. It normalizes keratinization and makes the pores produce less sebum
- It's also a skin lightener though not as effective as gold-standard hydroquinone.
- Side effects with tretinoin are very common. Irritation, skin flaking, redness, and drier skin are usual
- Do not use tretinoin (or any form of retinoids) while pregnant
- To minimize side effects introduce tretinoin slowly into your routine (see more how to use tips in geeky details)
A common multi-tasker fatty acid. It makes your skin feel nice and smooth (emollient), gives body to cream type products and helps to stabilize water and oil mixes (aka emulsions).
A clear, colorless oil-like liquid that makes the skin feel smooth and nice (aka emollient) and it does so without it being greasy.
What's more, it can even reduce the heavy, greasy feel in products with high oil content. It's also fast-spreading meaning that it gives the formula a good, nice slip. It absorbs quickly into the skin and helps other ingredients to penetrate quicker and deeper.
Thanks to all this, it's one of the most commonly used emollients out there. There is just one little drawback: it has a high comedogenic index (5 out of 5...), so it might clog pores if you're prone to it.
A common water-loving surfactant and emulsifier that helps to keep water and oil mixed nicely together.
A handy multi-tasker, white to light yellowish oil-loving wax that works very well in oil-in-water emulsions. It makes your skin feel nice and smooth (emollient), stabilizes oil-water mixes and gives body to them.
Oh, and one more thing: it's a so-called fatty alcohol - the good, emollient type of alcohol that is non-drying and non-irritating. It is often mixed with fellow fatty alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, and the mixture is called Cetearyl Alcohol in the ingredient list.
It's one of the most commonly used thickeners and emulsion stabilizers. If the product is too runny, a little xanthan gum will make it more gel-like. Used alone, it can make the formula sticky and it is a good team player so it is usually combined with other thickeners and so-called rheology modifiers (helper ingredients that adjust the flow and thus the feel of the formula). The typical use level of Xantha Gum is below 1%, it is usually in the 0.1-0.5% range.
Btw, Xanthan gum is all natural, a chain of sugar molecules (polysaccharide) produced from individual sugar molecules (glucose and sucrose) via fermentation. It’s approved by Ecocert and also used in the food industry (E415).
It's the acronym for Butylated Hydroxy Toluene. It's a common synthetic antioxidant that's used as a preservative.
There is some controversy around BHT. It's not a new ingredient, it has been used both as a food and cosmetics additive since the 1970s. Plenty of studies tried to examine if it's a carcinogen or not. This Truth in Aging article details the situation and also writes that all these studies examine BHT when taken orally.
As for cosmetics, the CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) concluded that the amount of BHT used in cosmetic products is low (usually around 0.01-0.1%), it does not penetrate skin far enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream and it is safe to use in cosmetics.
Good old water, aka H2O. The most common skincare ingredient of all. You can usually find it right in the very first spot of the ingredient list, meaning it’s the biggest thing out of all the stuff that makes up the product.
It’s mainly a solvent for ingredients that do not like to dissolve in oils but rather in water.
Once inside the skin, it hydrates, but not from the outside - putting pure water on the skin (hello long baths!) is drying.
One more thing: the water used in cosmetics is purified and deionized (it means that almost all of the mineral ions inside it is removed). Like this, the products can stay more stable over time.
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|what‑it‑does||emollient | viscosity controlling|
|irritancy, com.||0, 2-3|
|irritancy, com.||3, 3-5|
|what‑it‑does||emulsifying | surfactant/cleansing|
|what‑it‑does||emollient | viscosity controlling|
|irritancy, com.||2, 2|
|what‑it‑does||antioxidant | preservative|