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The buzz around active ingredients

The buzz around active ingredients

For many of us, a considerable amount of time and money is spent on choosing what we put on our faces, hands and feet, so we undoubtedly read labels to make sure that products contain effective active ingredients. But what are these active ingredients? Do they have a specific purpose and more importantly, do they really work?

Active ingredients are those that are considered to perform a specific function on the skin. Active ingredients are backed by research and clinical studies and often must adhere to specific government-mandated regulations. They may include sun filters, skin lightening agents, topical exfoliants, antioxidants, and retinoid, to name a few. In order to be effective, active ingredients must be present in adequate concentrations and, secondly, be able to penetrate through the skin’s barrier system.

Now let’s tackle the questions on everybody’s minds

What’s the difference between the synthetic and plant based active ingredients?

Natural ingredients are directly harvested from nature or naturally occurring substances extracted without modifying their chemical properties. These include ingredients such as plant extracts and fermentations, essential oils, and naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and clays.

Popular active ingredients like charcoal are the rage right now. But are they really beneficial?

Activated charcoal, which is carbon that's been treated to increase its absorbency, isn't new. It's been used in hospital emergency rooms for years to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses. It works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and absorbing them before the bloodstream can. The theory behind including activated charcoal in beauty and skin care products is similar: It'll act like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil. When grime in your pores come in contact with the carbon, they stick to it and then get washed away when you rinse. Since charcoal can absorb thousand times its own mass, it makes for quite the beauty and skin care routine.