What Are Active Ingredients & Why Does My Skin Need Them?
Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Looking through the list of ingredients in your skincare products can be confusing, what more with tongue-twisting names that you have absolutely no idea what the stuff is all about. And now there’s not just a list of ingredients but active ingredients as well. Are they any different than the usual stuff that you see on the list? The short answer is, yes.
Basically, active ingredients are the materials/elements that work to address the skin issues that you want to target in a more intensive manner - and it’s proven in the research that it does work for the skin (in fact FDA regulates the effectiveness of such ingredients to ensure the authenticity). And from there, each skin concern has it's own active ingredient (s) that you can use to treat it for good.
The thing with active ingredients, they work more than the usual ones (known as inactive) listed in the products as the formula is much more concentrated and higher quality to work well with the skin. But of course, they are also beneficial in their own way, particularly to deliver the actives for your skin to use.
And today, there are different types of active ingredients to choose according to the skin issues that you want to deal with. Each ingredient works in their own way to be used by the skin to the benefits as intended.
The list of well-known active ingredients
If you think your face scrub is not doing a good job anymore, a dose of alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA) might be good for your skin. The chemical exfoliator works to loosen and purge out dead skin cells effectively with no scrubbing needed. Different AHA works the same but have their own distinct benefits and are certainly recommended for certain skin types, such as lactic acid is the gentlest AHA for the skin.
Keep in mind, that this type of acid is quite abrasive (more than what you see in St.Ives scrub) even if you’re using lactic acid so it’s best to consult with your dermatologist beforehand.
Yes, Vitamin C is also considered as an active ingredient and suffice to say it’s one of the most popular ingredients to look for in our skincare routine. The vitamin powerhouse is an antioxidant that kills bacteria, repairs the cells (especially the ones damaged by UV rays) as well as encouraging collagen production for youthful and supple skin. Consider this ingredient as your starting point to use actives in your skincare products.
The Holy Grail of anti-aging skincare, retinol is the staple for youthful skin and proven with countless research that it does work for your skin. Not just intended for wrinkles and spots, retinol also deals with acne breakouts, unclogs pores, and smoothing out skin, making it a versatile active ingredient that you can use.
Despite being considered as an abrasive ingredient, retinol is suitable even for sensitive skin types as long as you use it gradually to allow the skin some time to adapt.
For dry skin, hyaluronic acid is the key. The naturally occurring sugar molecule that able to hold up water 1,000 times its weight, the acid is powerful to deliver intense hydration to the skin. As our skin began to produce less of the acid and leading to dry and dull skin, adding more of the acid from your skincare products is the right way to keep your skin smooth and supple.
In conclusion, active ingredients are vital for our skin health & form an integral part of any home care regimen. We know that no two skin types are the same & each skin concern requires a carefully prescribed treatment plan. Our biggest advice is to consult with a professional who will assess, treat & prescribe according to your individual skin needs & goals.
Want more information or a chat about your skin goals..? We’d love to hear from you - simply send us a message via our ‘Contact’ page found on our website or via any of our social media links.
the rokk team