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Understanding Some of the Active Ingredients Used in Facial Creams

Have you read the ingredients of the facial creams you’ve bought and wondered what their roles are? Normally in the ingredient list found on the facial creams containers you’ll find both basic and active ingredients listed together. Most of the time, the top third of the list of ingredients include basic substances. Active substances are shown in the middle of the list. These are used when, in addition to general care, is intended to achieve certain special effects, such as removing wrinkles, soothe sensitive skin or prevent the appearance of pimples. Here is a brief summary of the most common active substances:


ingredients in facial creams

Aloe Vera

“In creams, this substance soothes skin irritations, has a moisturizing effect and supports the process of skin regeneration,” explains Elena Helfenbein cosmetic expert.

Alpha-lipoic acid

This coenzyme reinforces the effects of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Q10, which together support the regeneration of the skin.

Glycosaminoglycan hyaluronic acid

This substance is able to smooth the skin. Though used in topical facial creams, the most effective result using this substance is via injecting as a gel for several months


This substance protects the skin from external aggressions. On one hand, it protects the skin from losing moisture and, on the other harmful substances from penetrating.


It provides elasticity and softness to the skin.


Like elastin, it provides elasticity and softness to the skin. “The natural soluble collagen soothes irritated,” says Helfenbein.


They are the latest trend in cosmetic treatment of aging. “They cross the outer skin layer and reach the dermis, where collagen is produced,” says Birgit Huber, Industrial Association of Cosmetics and Detergents in Germany.


This is another important antioxidant that protects against free radicals. It is found in dairy products, carrots, apricots, peppers and fish oil. As a cosmetic product, it’s applied to the skin to protect it from environmental pollution.

Salicylic acid

Cleanses and enhances the effect of other substances. This active substance is also used as a chemical peel to smooth the skin of the face.

Zinc oxide

This substance supports healing of skin damages and wound.