An Introduction To Active Ingredients Used In Cosmetics

A wide range of cosmetic products has become an integral part of day-to-day life. These are extensively used for promoting skincare and hair care. Cosmetic products are formulated for cleaning, improving, beautifying, boosting attractiveness, promoting skin and hair conditions, and altering the appearance.


Though cosmetics are used by different age groups irrespective of gender, the products are basically understood as makeup products and are extensively used by women. Demographics show women aged over 55 spend the highest on cosmetics. However, the younger generation is no way behind in spending on beauty, skincare, and hair care products.

How are cosmetic products made?
Cosmetics are formulated from different chemical compounds which get derived from either synthetically created sources or natural sources. The products are designed to serve different purposes like personal care, skincare, hair care, etc. There is a wide range of cosmetic products serving other purposes and the ingredients used for formulating those vary with each product. 
The active ingredient in a cosmetic product is designed for addressing skin concerns. The active ingredient makes the skincare product effective as the ingredient is backed by scientific data. The ingredient brings a specific change in the skin as per targets. It actively contributes to bringing an improvement to the surface it is applied.

Cosmetics Ingredients suppliers

Many active ingredients for specific concerns include acne, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines. Though cosmetic products include a wide range of ingredients, the actives play the most important role.

Here we bring the list of the most popular active ingredients used for formulating skincare products.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs):
Commonly used AHAs are lactic acid and glycolic acid which are derived from milk and fruit sugars respectively. These gentle chemical exfoliants remove the dead skin cells allowing the generation of new skin cells. These also address acne, brighten skin tone and improve skin texture.

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs):
BHAs are chemical exfoliants like AHAs, however, these have much deeper penetration. This feature makes it effective in treating blemishes and clearing out breakouts. These acids are oil soluble which makes them penetrable deep into the skin pores which helps in removing blackheads, excess sebum, and dirt.

cosmetic active ingredients

Hyaluronic Acid:
Hyaluronic acid has excellent hydrating and moisturizing properties. Such properties make it a popular active ingredient in different anti-aging products. With growing age, the body naturally produces sugar and the hyaluronic acid level begins decreasing. Applying this acid topically helps in restoring moisture and keeps skin hydrated. It also improves the resilience of the skin by restoring volume and reduces wrinkles and fine lines with its properties of water retention.

Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a staple ingredient of skincare products meant for enhancing the brightness and radiance of the skin. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C protect the skin from harmful UV rays and pollution. It also accelerates the production of elastin and collagen which helps skin to heal on its own. The effectiveness of this ingredient decreases the visible signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. The most notable benefit of this active ingredient is brightening dull skin and retreating discoloration.

active ingredients for cosmetics

Niacinamide is a star active ingredient that helps in combating inflammation. It also soothes irritated skin. Its anti-inflammatory property works excellently on the skin which is stressed due to acne or rosacea. This active ingredient is suitable for most skin types.

Retinol is a powerful active ingredient with a wide range of capabilities in brightening skin, treating acne, and battling aging signs. This active ingredient is a derivative of vitamin A and is an excellent anti-aging ingredient. When applied topically, this accelerates skin renewal and repairs skin damage. Apart from brightening skin, it also corrects skin pigmentation.