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How are Active Ingredients Impactful for Skin Care?

It appears as if the beauty industry is always talking about the latest, unpronounceable, and even miraculous product every other week, which claims to be the only solution to all your skin problems. From Vitamin A to Vitamin C, Retinol, and Ceramides, we have done our research to provide you with the best of the active ingredients that can really work wonders on your skin.

Active ingredients are present in several skincare products. However, the prices of each skincare product differ based on several factors including the type of active, their concentration within the product and the if they are synthetic or plant-derived.

Let’s start with the definition of what an active ingredient is.

Active Ingredients

An active ingredient is meant to target whatever skin problem the skincare product is intended to solve. These ingredients are scientifically proven to have the desired effect, meaning that they will do what it claims. It does not necessarily mean that the other contents (inactive ones) present in the product play no role; they work by aiding the active ingredient in playing its part.

How Active Ingredients Target Skin Problems

Here is the list of a few active ingredients and how they work to solve skin problems.


AHAs are chemical exfoliants that gently exfoliate the skin. AHAs are commonly found in anti-aging products because the production of new skin cells slows down as we grow older. The most common type of naturally occurring AHAs is lactic acid (which comes from lactose) and glycolic acid (synthesized from sugar cane). They are the most common ones since they do not cause skin irritation. Because AHAs are water-soluble and do not penetrate deep into the skin surface, they can be used on every skin type.

Mode of Action
AHAs work by dissolving the bond between the surface skin cells, which causes the dead cells to be removed naturally and replaced by the new skin cells generated by the body.

Benefits of AHAs
They are proven to be beneficial for reducing acne, promoting healthier and smoother skin, and brightening skin tone.


Retinol is a potent derivative of Vitamin A, which is processed and converted into retinoic acid, an active form of Vitamin A. Ensure that you choose a product that carries the desired composition of retinol for your skin. If your product is high in retinol concentration, it can be too powerful and result in skin inflammation. It is particularly harmful to sensitive skin types and can cause considerable damage on sun exposure. Ensure to use retinol at night-time only or use it along with SPF in the daytime.

Mode of Action
Retinoic acid is absorbed by the skin and works by boosting the process of cell replacement.

Benefits of Retinol
It renews your skin and gives you healthier and brighter-looking skin and reduces skin pigmentation. It is also famous for its ability to fight acne, skin-brightening effect, and anti-aging properties.


Hyaluronic Acid, or HA, is is increasingly popular for its ability to moisturize and hydrate the skin. While hyaluronic acid is a compound produced naturally within our body; however, the production diminishes as we grow older. Hyaluronic Acid is most frequently found in anti-aging products and dermal fillers for providing youthful and wrinkle-free skin.

Mode of Action
It works by absorbing and retaining the skin moisture, which helps keep the skin soft and radiant.

Benefit of Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is famous for its ability to restore the youthful appearance of the face. It gives your skin a plumper and fresher look and reduces fine lines.


Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a type of powerful antioxidant. It is essential for the repair, growth, and development of skin tissues. Vitamin C is associated with several functions in your body, from wound healing to iron absorption, Vitamin C does it all.

Mode of Action
It works by stimulating elastin and collagen production resulting in younger-looking and smooth skin.

Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C shields the skin against environmental harshness and resists damages. It is also used for correcting skin tone, skin brightening, and reducing hyper-pigmentation. It reduces spots and scars while maintaining your natural skin pigmentation.


Vitamin E naturally exists in eight different forms. The most common types present in skincare products are tocopherol and tocopheryl acetate.

Mode of Action
It supports the skin’s health. As an antioxidant, it works by fighting the effect of food metabolism and the toxins in the environment.

Benefits of Vitamin E
It is a powerful antioxidant and protects the skin against environmental pollution. It prevents inflammation and has an extremely calming and soothing nature, helping to prevent skin from premature aging. Vitamin E is super hydrating and works as an effective moisturizer. Also, it is used to strengthen the skin’s barrier function. 


Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is widely known for its capability to prevent inflammation. Increasingly popular as an ingredient, it helps build skin cells while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins.

Mode of Action
It works by boosting the concentration of fatty acids in the skin resulting in plumper skin.

Benefits of Niacinamide
It is used to treat rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and acne, including reduction of skin irritation and redness. Besides its anti-inflammatory characteristics, it also promotes skin elasticity and strengthens the endodermal layer.


Peptides group together in long chains to form protein which is the building block of the skin. They can be easily absorbed into the body since they are smaller in size.

Mode of Action
They work by signaling the body to produce more collagen, responsible for strengthening skin cells and promoting hydration.

Benefits of Peptides
Peptides reduce breakouts, promote hydration and elasticity, and give you younger and firmer-looking skin.


Ceramides are fat molecules. They provide the skin with the smoothness and plumpness that one desires. Since the ceramide production gradually decreases over time, the skin barrier becomes weakened, so you must use them in the form of a cream or moisturizer.

Mode of Action
They are present on the epidermal layer and protect the skin from environmental extremities such as dry air, debris, and pollution.

Benefits of Ceramides
It restores the moisture and hydration of the skin and returns the younger look on the face. Since ceramide is a naturally occurring compound that acts as a skin barrier, it works for all skin types.

Whether you're a skincare fanatic or someone who just wants to have healthy skin, you must educate yourself in the domain of active ingredients as they are present in numerous products. It is important to ensure you're using products that include the actives you need for your specific skin concern. Otherwise not only will you not be addressing it, you're also wasting time and money waiting for the results that are not going to be for the concern you're hoping to take care of. There are certainly several ways in which these actives can benefit your skin. Spend some time to read the product labels and get to know which ingredients are more suitable for your skin and in what concentration. Bookmark this page so you can refer back to this list at any time to help make your decision.

Discover serums that contain only proven and plant-derived actives here.

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