Category Online Features
Understanding the Different Ingredients in Skin-Care Products
With so many different skin-care products on the market today, choosing the right one can be difficult. Manufacturers need to buy peptides and several other ingredients to create skin-care products for different skin types. Deciphering the different types of ingredients, some of which sound downright frightening, can be especially intimidating. To help you sort through the options and to ease your fears, we’ve put together a dictionary of the most common skin-care ingredients on the market today. The next time you’re in doubt, consult dermatologists or go back to this list to understand the different ingredients in skin-care products.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are critical to healthy skin, as they contribute to the formation of collagen and elastin. Skin-care products with amino acids combat aging, exposure to damaging UV rays, and exposure to environmental toxins. Individuals living in or visiting particularly sunny climates or big cities would benefit from this ingredient.


To properly understand the different ingredients in skin-care products, it’s important to know which ingredients pose a risk for more harm than good. Take fragrance, for example. Pick up any skin-care product, and you’re likely to see this ingredient somewhere on the packaging. Fragrances are made from natural or artificial compounds—and that’s the extent of what we know about their makeup. Often, the label doesn’t state the exact ingredients used to formulate a fragrance. This ingredient may pose a problem for individuals with sensitive skin or allergies.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA)

This exfoliating ingredient brightens the skin by sloughing away dead skin cells. AHA is produced from artificial compounds or sugars from milk and fruit.


Antioxidants are ingredients we see in a lot of things, from fruit juices to moisturizers. Antioxidants are powerful substances that shield the skin from harmful free radicals. The most common antioxidants in skin-care products include vitamin E, vitamin C, and green tea.


A potent skin-care ingredient, retinol is present in many products. Retinol and other retinoids (such as retinal aldehyde and retinyl esters) support the skin by reducing acne and acne scarring, smoothing skin texture, balancing skin tone, restoring hydration, and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Because this is such a powerful ingredient, it’s worth researching how to use retinol in your skin-care routine before using it.

Activated Charcoal

An increasingly popular product in skin-care solutions, activated charcoal increases a product’s absorbency. This is especially beneficial in masks and cleansers, as the charcoal helps the product soak up dirt, oil, and other debris.

L-Ascorbic Acid

The only useful form of vitamin C found in skin-care products, L-ascorbic acid works wonders in combating aging, sun damage, and fine lines and wrinkles. It also minimizes the appearance of scars and improves the appearance of photodamaged skin.

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