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'Active ingredients' are commonly referred to as the ingredients present in a cosmetic care product. These ingredients have demonstrated properties that have been clinically proven by efficacy tests on the skin. On the other hand, inactive ingredients are added to formulas to preserve or stabilize the finished product. Other inactive ingredients for aesthetic elements (think perfumes and dyes) or as a neutral base for the product (like water or alcohol).
Active ingredients can be either of natural or synthetic origin. Natural active ingredients are generally extracted from plant extracts, essential oils, and botanical oils. Synthetic active ingredients, on the other hand, are created in a lab with the aim of specifically targetting certain skin problems.
Each active ingredient is assimilated to having a specific effect on the skin, whether it's hydration, nutrition, radiance, or sebum regulation. The properties of these ingredients are observed during in vivo and in vitro tests to offer objective expectations on the level of concentration necessary to be effective.
To find out if a cosmetic care product is highly concentrated in active ingredients, we recommend you read the list of ingredients on its packaging. The higher the active ingredients appear in the list, the higher their quantity is in the product's formula. For more information on how to read the INCI lists, check out our article: Understanding a list of ingredients (INCI list)
To help you associate the active ingredients with their properties, here are some examples:
- Hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 are active ingredients known for their moisturizing properties.
- Vitamin C works to improve dull complexion problems.
- Niacinamide, a non-harmful synthetic active ingredient, helps to reduce redness present on the skin.
- Squalane is known for its nourishing properties.
- Salicylic acid and zinc are active ingredients used to fight against blemishes thanks to their sebum-regulating action.
Thanks to a careful selection of ingredients, we have created Lab, a range of serums with a high concentration of active ingredients, which you can find here