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The 7 best active ingredients in skin care you have to know about

Shiny packaging, cute graphics, pastel colors, and juicy promises of a clearer, younger looking skin. With so many options around, it’s hard for consumers to know which skincare brands really deserve their attention. But you know what really gives it away, design aside? The ingredients’ list. That one never lies. So, as a skincare brand, you should pick only the best active ingredients for your skin care line.


“Active ingredients” also known as “actives” have become the newest buzzword in town, when it comes to skin care.

And considering just how much there is to know about skin care formulations and ingredients in general, as cosmetic private label manufacturers ourselves, we wanted to take the time to talk about what active ingredients are and why a skin care brand should include active ingredients in its skin care line.




What are the best active ingredients in the skin care industry?

Consumers are starting to educate themselves more and more about which active ingredients are best in order to treat their skin concern effectively. 

Therefore, as a skin care brand, you have to pick the best active ingredients for your skin care formulas, because let me tell you: your consumers are going to be looking out for them.


Here are the most commonly used active ingredients in the skin care world:


Also known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids, these chemical exfoliants are usually added to cleansers, toners, masks and creams in order to loosen dead skin cells and smooth skin, without any mechanical scrubbing. Glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids are common AHAs.


Unlike AHAs, BHAs - also known as Beta Hydroxy Acids - can get even deeper into the pores to remove dead skin cells and sebum. Salicylic acid, a well known acne-treating ingredient, is part of the BHAs family and, when it comes to treating breakouts, salicylic acid works wonders.

Vitamin C

Amongst active ingredients in skin care, this is probably the strongest most powerful antioxidant of them all: it protects the skin from UV damage, preventing early signs of aging; it helps exfoliate the skin, improving tone and texture; it helps with pigmentation; it stimulates collagen production and helps improve fine lines. A true superhero!



The #1 anti-aging ingredient: a vitamin A derivative that boosts skin cell turnover, smooths skin, unclogs pores, lightens age spots, and refines skin texture. A true magical ingredient for its ability to treat wrinkles effectively.

Hyaluronic acid

Amongst active ingredients in skin care, this one is a true godsend for all dry skin types: this natural humectant can absorb and retain moisture, holding up to 1.000 times its weight in water.


Especially now with face masks, inflammation and irritation can be a real pain. Fortunately, niacinamide - a derivative of vitamin B3 - has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that successfully fight environmental aggressors such as pollution and stress.


Amongst the best active ingredients in skin care, this one is definitely the greatest at providing and maintaining a strong and healthy skin barrier. It helps the skin keep out the bad stuff, and keep in the good.



What are active ingredients and why are they important in a skin care formula?

Active ingredients are chemicals that actively target a specific skin concern - such as acne, dryness, pigmentation, redness, wrinkles - fostering a true physical change in the skin’s texture and complexion.

Active ingredients are a fundamental asset of the skin care world because they are scientifically proven to be effective in treating skin concerns. With active ingredients, we have guaranteed, concrete proof of a physical change in the skin, for the better. 



What about inactive ingredients?

Hold on a sec: let’s not forget about inactive ingredients! They are also just as important in skin care formulas. Metaphorically speaking: think about a leading actor without his supporting actor and entire cast and crew. Without them, he’s nothing. Same goes for active and inactive ingredients! Get it?

Inactive ingredients boost the effectiveness of active ingredients in skin care products, impacting how well the active ingredients are absorbed into the skin and how potent they remain over time.

If you’re looking for a private label partner to help you select the best active ingredients for your brand’s skin care line, we’d be happy to help!


best active ingredients skin care