What’s In Your Skincare Product? A Closer Look At Active & Inactive Ingredients

What’s In Your Skincare Product?

Are you looking to improve the look and feel of your skin? You’re not alone, but when it comes to skincare, there are hundreds of products available. How do you choose the best ones for your skin?

In order to choose a  product that’s right for you, take a closer look at the labels and ingredients of your skincare products. You’re likely to see terms such as “active ingredients” and “inactive ingredients,” but what do these terms really mean? What do you need to know about selecting skincare products? Find out the answers to these questions to help you make better skin care decisions.

What’s In Your Skincare Product?

Most of us have checked the label of a food item before, and skincare product labels can be just as informative — once you know what you’re looking for. Begin with the most important aspect of the label: the active ingredients and inactive ingredients.

An “active” means that those specific ingredients in the product have been tested and proven to perform a specific function for the skin. Some common active ingredients in skincare products include alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs (such as glycolic acid), which improve skin texture and tone; retinoids such as vitamin A, which can reduce signs of aging; benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which help clear acne; vitamin B3, which can help with inflammation; and hyaluronic acid, which can help improve hydration in the skin.

An “inactive” refers to all other ingredients in the product that are not active. However, this does not mean these ingredients are less important because they may be the vehicle that delivers the active ingredient to the skin. These ingredients can also have other skin-enhancing benefits, even if they haven’t been scientifically proven to have specific functions. Some common inactives include various plant oils, including jojoba oil, which acts as skin balancers; plant butters, like shea butter or cocoa butter, which help moisturize and provide a protective barrier for the skin; and aloe, which has numerous  skin benefits including moisturizing and cooling. Essential oils may also be included for natural scent.

It’s important to know that your skin may react to different active ingredients, so it’s smart to read the label on any product you try and follow the directions carefully. Overusing a product could cause more harm than good, specifically if you have sensitive skin.

Because everyone’s skin is different, if you have a negative reaction to certain products, read the label of any product carefully before trying it. Learn more about this topic by  checking out the accompanying resource by SeSpring.