How many times have you looked at the label and wondered what is the difference between active and inactive ingredients? Whether it’s a skin care product or a household cleaner the definition of active and inactive ingredients is the same.
Active ingredients have an effect and carry out an action, for example glycolic acid is a powerful exfoliant with cell renewal properties. Inactive ingredients deliver the active ingredients, act as a preservative and make the product appealing to the eye.
One of the keys to keep your skin youthful is to make sure all the active ingredients are absorbed by your skin. Have you noticed that during your facial treatment your esthetician massages and steams your skin? Those steps are necessary to stimulate and heat the tissue for maximum absorption.
To illustrate active and inactive ingredients in action let’s look at our Simple Treatment. It’s a customized cleansing facial that includes essential steps to aid in maintenance of healthy skin with relaxing massage of the face, neck and shoulders that will rejuvenate you. This facial treatment consists of:
A. Pumpkin Enzyme Scrub that removes dead skin cell build up and stimulates cell regeneration with granules and enyzmes that exfoliate without stress or irritation to the skin. List of active ingredients includes: Date Seeds & Jojoba Beads that provide natural, gentle physical exfoliation without stress to the skin; Rice Extract is an exfoliant that is moisturizing, conditioning, and soothing; Sphingolipids are fatty molecules that help protect cell surfaces against harmful environmental factors. List of inactive ingredients includes: Stearic Acid that helps water and oils mix; Cetyl Alcohol that makes product foam, Xanthan Gum helps with consistency.
B. Depending on your skin type soothing gel mask or refining mask is final step in the treatment:
Soothing Gel Mask cools and calms sensitive or irritated skin with a soothing complex of antioxidants and vitamins. List of active ingredients includes: Calendula Extract a flower extract rich in antioxidants, also soothing and calming; Wild Yam Extract is an antioxidant with anti-wrinkle proporties; Vitamin E is an antioxidant that heals and repairs. List of inactive ingredients include: Glycerin is a syrup-like ingredient that improves skin elasticity and protects skin against irritation; Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B3, that improves circulation in the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles; Retinyl Palmitate increases skin’s collagen production.
Refining Mask is a oil-absorbing clay mask that purifies skin and calms irritation while proven blemish fighting ingredients reduce the appearance of pores and refine skin’s texture. List of active ingredients includes: Sulfur used for acneic skin due to its healing, antibacterial and oil balancing properties with cell-regenerating functions; Zinc is an antibacterial that used to boost the immune system at the cellular level and accelerate healing of wounds; Tea Tree is essential oil antimicrobial and anti-bacteria properties that helps fight acne. List of inactive ingredients includes: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride that derived from coconut oil, it keeps skin hydrated and gives products liquid feel so they can glide on skin more gently; Bentonite is a type of absorbent clay, ideal for people with oily skin; Dimethicone is a silicone that locks moisture into skin and prevents bacteria from entering skin.
The professional products we use at Skin Care Studio by Irina in Brookline have a higher percentage of active ingredients that deliver desired results faster, while products sold at drug stores may have the same active ingredients but only half of the amount thus they work slower.