All-natural…vegan…clinically proven…there are hundreds of claims that skin care companies make about their products—some true, some just clever marketing spin. You want to be an educated consumer and be able to know for yourself by reading the ingredients whether or not a product will work for your skin type and do what the package says it will do.
Alcohol (SD). Not all alcohol is for drinking. SD (which stands for specially denatured) alcohol is commonly used as a delivery vehicle for other active ingredients. Alcohol is lipid-soluble, so it can penetrate pores, dissolve oil and allow other compounds that are bound to it to be delivered deeper into your skin. Alcohol is particularly effective for toners and other acne-fighting products.
Aloe Barbadensis. Aloe barbadensis is the Latin name for aloe vera, which has been used for natural moisturizing and healing for centuries. Aloe has the same pH as the skin, which makes it very soothing, particularly for sensitive skin and skin inflamed by conditions like psoriasis or sun overexposure (i.e. sunburn).
Caffeine. We usually associate caffeine with drinks like coffee, tea and soda that we reach for to fight of drowsiness. But in addition to the stimulating effect of caffeine, this drug is also a common vasoconstrictor—it causes blood vessels to constrict, limiting blood flow. Less blood flow beneath thin and delicate tissues means less redness and puffiness, making caffeine effective in under-eye creams and serums. Vasoconstriction also diminishes the appearance of cellulite.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Also known as its more scientific-sounding name Ubiquinone, CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant, which makes it a powerful ingredient in anti-aging skin care formulas. By neutralizing free radicals, CoQ10 preserves health skin cell function and youthful firm texture.
Jojoba Oil. Jojoba oil is similar in chemical structure to natural oils produced by your skin, so it is an effective moisturizer because it can penetrate without clogging pores. But jojoba oil is even more valuable as a skin care formula ingredient because it is incredibly stable—it does resists degradation when exposed to heat, so its properties remain intact after heat processing (or when stored on a shelf in a steamy bathroom).
Stay tuned for the next installment of common active ingredients and continue to build your skin care know how! If you have any questions about the active ingredients in any of our formulas, please contact us to ask. We are happy to provide you with more information and help you select the best products for your skin type and skin care goals.