Innoxa Glossary of Skincare Ingredients
We get it — reading through a huge list of skincare ingredients can be baffling at the best of times. That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate guide to skincare ingredients and what they do to help you pick only the Innoxa products that suit your needs.
We've broken down which ingredients to look for in skin care for your specific skin type (hello, people with dry, oily and sensitive skin!). We’ve also got a few suggestions for what to include in your routine to calm sensitive skin, as well as a few things that could cause a flare-up! If you’ve got any doubts about what’s in our products, use this cosmetic ingredients dictionary as your official skincare ingredient checker to make sure you’re on the right path.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the most popular skincare ingredients out there.
Quick links:Algae Extract | Aloe Vera | Arnica | Avocado Oil | Aquaxyl™ | Chamomile | Cucumber Extract | Dermaseal™ | Dermaxyl™ | Edelweiss | Elderflower | Ginkgo Biloba | Glycerin | Grape Seed Extract | Green Tea | Hyaluronic Acid | Illumiscin® | Jojoba Oil | Keratec ProSina | Liquorice Root Extract | Mango Seed Butter | Matrixyl 3000™ | Orange Peel Oil | Provitamin B5 | Retinol | Rosewater Oil | Shea Butter | Tyrostat™ 11 | Unimoist | Vitamin C | Vitamin E | Willow Bark Extract | Witch Hazel
What is algae extract?
Algae extract is an all-natural ingredient extracted from various species of seaweed — usually red, brown, blue-green and green algae — with each species producing slightly different skincare benefits. Algae extract is often used in skincare as an emollient (moisturising agent) and humectant (which draws moisture to the skin).
What does algae extract do?
Algae extract softens and brightens the complexion, improving skin elasticity and hydration. It also has acne-fighting benefits and is packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help fight free radicals and reduce the signs of ageing. As a humectant, it helps keep skin soft, hydrated and supple.
Try algae extract in our: Anti-Ageing Makeup Setting Spray
What is aloe vera?
Aloe vera is a calming, healing plant that was known in ancient Egypt as the plant of eternity. Its extract is a common ingredient in many sensitive skincare products.
What does aloe vera do?
Aloe vera is effective for soothing sensitive and dry skin. Aloe helps brighten, soften, soothe, hydrate and nourish the skin — maintaining the skin’s moisture balance and reducing inflammation.
What is arnica?
Known for its healing properties, arnica is a natural ingredient derived from the arnica montana plant. This plant has been used for its medical properties for centuries, taken both orally and used topically on the skin as a pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory. In modern times, the oil is extracted from its bright yellow flowers and is used as an active ingredient in sensitive skincare products.
What does arnica do?
Arnica can help speed up wound healing and reduce the puffiness of skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also beneficial in the treatment of acne and breakouts and soothes minor skin irritation, making it a great pick for a sensitive complexion.
Try arnica in our: Super Sensitive Skin Cleansing Milk
What is avocado oil?
Avocado oil is a non-fragrant oil extracted from the fruit of the avocado tree. A ripe, healthy avocado is comprised of as much as 60% oil.
What does avocado oil do?
Avocado helps hydrate dry skin and increases collagen metabolism. It is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B, D and E, protein, beta carotene and lecithin. Avocado oil is low in skin irritants and allergens, so it is often touted as one of the best ingredients for skin care if you have extremely sensitive skin.
Try avocado oil in our: Hydrating Primer.
What is Aquaxyl?
Aquaxyl is a combination of xylitol, xylitylglucoside and anhydroxylitol. These are a powerhouse trio of moisturising ingredients that promote the production of hydrating proteins and lipids.
What does Aquaxyl do?
Aquaxyl helps your complexion absorb and retain essential moisture — balancing and maintaining the skin’s hydration levels. It also helps smoothen complexion and boosts collagen production.
What is chamomile?
Chamomile is a daisy-like plant, with anti-inflammatory, anti-erythema and anti-pruritic properties. It is one of the oldest known ancient medicinal herbs and is still used in natural therapies (commonly consumed as tea) to this day.
What does chamomile do?
Chamomile provides antioxidant and moisturising properties to soothe and calm skin; boosts the healing of damaged skin cells, and stimulates cell turnover. Chamomile extract is one of the best skincare ingredients for dry skin conditions.
What is cucumber extract?
Cucumber extract is derived from the juice of cucumbers. Not just a delicious, water-filled vegetable in a fresh salad, cucumbers are rich in beneficial vitamin C, minerals like silica and natural antioxidants like caffeic acid.
What does cucumber extract do?
With antioxidant properties and high concentrations of lactic acid, cucumber extract is effective for softening and brightening the complexion and helps gently slough away dead surface skin.
What is Dermaseal™?
Dermaseal™ is a brand name for zinc oxide – a powdery mineral found in many skincare and cosmetic products. It is often used in sunscreens, baby lotion, bath soap and other personal care products.
What does Dermaseal™do?
Dermaseal helps soothe and protect sensitive, irritated skin by forming an invisible barrier that guards against environmental irritants and allergens. It can also improve the skin’s texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Try Dermaseal™ in our: Super Sensitive Day Night Cream
What is Dermaxyl™?
Dermaxyl™ is an anti-ageing ingredient and anti-wrinkle complex with skin-barrier repairing properties. Dermaxyl™ uses matrikines (the skin’s natural messengers) to regulate skin cell activity.
What does Dermaxyl™ do?
Dermaxyl™ stimulates communication between skin cells to repair age-related skin damage. By stimulating skin repair, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Clinical tests show a reduction in the volume of main wrinkles of up to 36% after 56 days.
Try Dermaxyl™ in our: Anti-Wrinkle Firm Night Cream
What is edelweiss?
Edelweiss refers to a potent plant extract from the flow of the Leontopodium Alpinum plant. It has been used as folk medicine in Europe for centuries, often brewed into tea. Today, it is an increasingly popular sensitive skincare product and is applied topically for its powerful antioxidant and anti-aging benefits.
What does edelweiss do?
Edelweiss soothes, calms and protects the skin thanks to its antioxidant properties. It also contains leontopodic acid, which can strengthen the skin’s natural barriers against irritants. It can help treat acne and skin irritation, reduce inflammation and redness, and combat dryness by moisturising deeper layers of the skin.
Try edelweiss in our: Super Sensitive Day Night Cream
What is elderflower?
Elderflower is extracted from the flower of the elder tree. It has many applications and has been used as an ingredient in traditional folk medicine, as well as a flavouring ingredient in food and drinks, for centuries. Elderflower extract is becoming a popular ingredient in sensitive skincare products for its skin softening and smoothing benefits.
What does elderflower do?
Elderflower is rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E and flavonoids (powerful antioxidants). Its anti-inflammatory qualities help to fight free radicals, boosts skin firmness, and combats lines, wrinkles and other signs of ageing. With antibacterial properties, elderflower can also help treat acne and skin irritation and can help address uneven skin tone.
Try elderflower in our: Super Sensitive Cleansing Milk
What is ginkgo biloba?
Ginkgo biloba is an ancient tree native to China, Japan and Korea. Ginkgo biloba extract is derived from the leaves of the tree and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries — usually taken orally to improve circulation and brain performance.
What does ginkgo biloba do?
In traditional medicines, ginkgo is taken to battle cognitive decline and dementia — however, modern Western medicine does not necessarily back up all traditional uses. In skincare, ginkgo biloba is applied topically for its plethora of skin benefits. Ginkgo contains powerful antioxidants, along with anti-inflammatory properties — plus, it can increase blood flow to the skin, and stimulate the formation of collagen for a healthy, glowing, youthful complexion.
Try ginkgo biloba in our: Anti-Wrinkle Firming Facial Serum
What is glycerin?
A hygroscopic (i.e. water-loving) moisturising agent that occurs naturally in the skin. It is also known as glycerine or glycerol.
What does glycerin do?
Glycerin is a humectant ingredient, meaning it draws water to the skin. It is effective in restoring your skin’s moisture levels and helping maintain the skin’s outer barrier, preventing dryness. Glycerin is found in many products and when combined with emollients (i.e. lubricating agents) is one of the most common moisturising ingredients.
Try glycerin in our: One-And-All Anti-Age SPF 15 Hand Cream,
Grape Seed Extract
What is grape seed extract?
High in antioxidants, grape seed extract is made from the ground-up seeds of red wine grapes.
What does grape seed extract do?
Grape seed extract increases cell turnover and collagen synthesis — bringing fresh, springy skin cells to the surface to maintain the skin’s elasticity and help even out skin tone. Thanks to its antioxidant and microbial properties, grape seed extract may help treat acne outbreaks.
Try grape seed extract in our: Anti-Redness Foundation.
What is green tea?
A potent powerhouse of antioxidants made from camellia sinensis leaves.
What does green tea do?
Filled with antioxidants like catechin and polyphenol, green tea helps fight free radicals, repairs the effects of ageing, and helps skin recover from environmental damage. With high levels of vitamin K, green tea is also effective for reducing the appearance of dark undereye circles.
The natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea can also help reduce inflammation associated with acne, rosacea and psoriasis. Green tea is one of the top ingredients to look for in skin care for sensitive skin.
Try green tea in our: Anti-Wrinkle Firming Facial Serum.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body and is one of the main components of skin structure. It is an essential water-binding acid found in your skin, hair, eyes and joints.
What does hyaluronic acid do?
Hyaluronic acid can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water, making it an intense super-hydrator for thirsty skin. It is used in skincare to boost skin elasticity and radiance.
Try hyaluronic acid in our: Thirsty Skin Day & Night Cream, Anti-Wrinkle Firm Night Cream, Hydrating Primer, Healthy Radiance Foundation, Dark Circles Under Eye Concealer, Anti-Ageing Tinted CC Cream.
What is Illumiscin®?
Illumiscin® is a superpowered combination of oleuropein (a compound found in green olive skin, flesh, seeds and leaves), zinc PCA (a trace element beneficial in treating breakouts) and vitamin C.
What does Illumiscin® do?
The trio of ingredients in Illumiscin® work together to reduce the appearance of age spots and pigmentation, even out skin tone and boost the skin’s radiance. It does this by targeting melanin and lipofuscin — two pigments that are responsible for age spots.
Try Illumiscin® in our: Anti-Ageing Tinted CC Cream
What is jojoba oil?
This oil, extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant, is one of the earliest forms of natural skincare. Jojoba oil is native to southern Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Mexico and is believed by some groups of Native Americans to have healing powers.
What does jojoba oil do?
Jojoba oil moisturises, nourishes and revitalises the complexion. It enhances the skin’s natural protection barrier, and is effective for dry skin in particular.
Try jojoba oil in our: Tinted Lip Serum.
What is Keratec ProSina?
A man-made form of hydrolysed keratin derived from wool, Keratec ProSina is a potent antioxidant peptide rich in the ingredients required to build and strengthen hair, skin and nails.
What does Keratec ProSina do?
Keratec ProSina Increases skin's water-holding capacity, hydration and elasticity, which helps fight the signs of ageing and restores skin elasticity. It is also effective in strengthening nails.
Try Keratec ProSina in our: All-And-One Anti Age Hand Cream SPF 15,
Liquorice Root Extract
What is liquorice root extract?
Broadly considered one of the world’s oldest natural medicinal plants, liquorice root extract is derived from the root of the liquorice plant (glycyrrhiza glabra). It has been consumed since ancient times in teas, as well as applied topically to the skin.
What does liquorice root extract do?
Liquorice root has natural antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it suitable for reducing irritating sources of infection to the skin. It also has soothing anti-inflammatory properties that help to calm redness, while antioxidant benefits help brighten the complexion.
It also blocks melanin production, reducing the appearance of dark spots and discolouration and helping to even out rough or uneven skin tone. Liquorice root is effective for reducing hyperpigmentation, as well as redness associated with conditions such as rosacea and eczema.
Mango Seed Butter
What is mango seed butter?
Also called mango butter, this semi-solid fat is made from the seed of the mango fruit. Light but rich, it is deeply moisturising without being greasy.
What does mango seed butter do?
Rich in vitamins A, C, B6 and E, mango seed butter moisturises the complexion and protects skin from free radical damage. It is a non-comedogenic hydrator — meaning it doesn’t clog pores and can even be a great option for those with breakout-prone skin. Mango also contains salicylic acid, making it both antibacterial and antimicrobial.
Try mango seed butter in our: Dark Circles Under Eye Concealer.
What is Matrixyl 3000™?
Matrixyl 3000™ is a powerful synthetic peptide based on matrikine technology that delivers anti-aging benefits.
What does Matrixyl 3000™ do?
Matrixyl 3000™ stimulates and signals cells to produce more collagen. This collagen production helps to promote firmer, smoother skin. It restructures the skin’s surface and deeper layers — drastically reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Try Matrixyl 3000™ in our: Anti-Wrinkle Firming Facial Serum
Orange Peel Oil
What is orange peel oil?
Orange peel oil (or simply ‘orange oil’) is derived from the skin of oranges, often via cold pressing. It contains the chemical limonene, which contributes to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
What does orange peel oil do?
Orange peel oil has many skin benefits. Its rich antioxidant properties help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fight free radicals, and boosts collagen production. It also helps to minimise pores, reduce dark spots and control oil. Its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties make it a wonder ingredient in the fight against breakouts.
Try orange peel oil in our: Anti-Ageing Tinted CC Cream.
What is provitamin B5?
Provitamin B5 is also known as panthenol. It is a deeply nourishing moisturising emollient ingredient. meaning it soothes and softens skin exposed to the elements. It is commonly found in anti-aging formulations due to its ability to reduce the signs of aging.
What does provitamin B5 do?
Provitamin B5 is a super-hydrator. It regenerates the skin and improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture and fight fine lines; delivering smooth, radiant skin and — with continued use — nixing inflammation.
What is retinol?
Retinol is a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A — a fat-soluble vitamin usually found in fatty animal products, as well as in vegetables like sweet potato, carrot, red capsicum, spinach and cos lettuce. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for normal cell function and growth. There are many derivatives of Vitamin A, which together make a class of compounds called ‘retinoids’.
What does retinol do?
The purpose of retinol in skincare is to exfoliate skin and stimulate new cell production, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots or hyperpigmentation, and remove acne scarring. Vitamin A is also useful for moisture retention; rejuvenating the skin’s outer layer, improving elasticity and repairing texture.
Try retinol/vitamin A in our: Anti-Wrinkle Firming Facial Serum.
What is rosewater oil?
Originating in modern-day Iran, rosewater is made by distilling rose petals with steam, or by steeping them in water. It has been used as a skincare ingredient and in food for thousands of years for its natural therapeutic benefits. In the modern day, it is a popular ingredient in sensitive skincare products.
What does rosewater do?
Containing powerful antioxidants, rosewater brightens and softens skin. It is also incredibly gentle, helping to soothe redness and irritation thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Rosewater oil may also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Try rosewater in our: Makeup Primer Spray.
What is shea butter?
This is a natural moisturising ingredient derived from the fat of the African shea nut tree. It is a popular ingredient in sensitive skin care products and has been used for its regenerative properties for centuries. It is a non-oily ingredient and absorbs into the skin to help your skin appear dewy without looking shiny.
What does shea butter do?
Shea butter is rich in vitamins A, D and E, as well as a host of antioxidants while also being low in skin irritants. This makes it a powerful moisturising ally for people with sensitive skin and helps to soothe sensitive skin that has become irritated.
Shea butter has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it is effective in reducing inflammation and irritation. It also helps has low-level UV-protective properties and can protect the skin from free radical damage, which helps in reducing the ageing effects of the elements.
Try shea butter in our: Dark Circles Under Eye Concealer,
What is Tyrostat™ 11?
Tyrostat™ 11 is a natural skin whitening agent that reduces skin’s melanin production to help promote a lighter, more uniform complexion.
What does Tyrostat™ 11 do?
Tyrostat™ 11 reduces skin pigmentation and redness, improving the appearance of uneven skin tone and boosting skin’s radiance.
Try Tyrostat™ 11 in our: One & All Anti-Age SPF15 Hand Cream
What is Unimoist?
Unimoist is a glycerin derivative often found in moisturising skincare and cosmetic products. It is very similar to the body’s natural moisturising factor (NMF).
What does Unimoist do?
Unimoist helps maintain the skin’s moisture levels, improving skin’s suppleness and elasticity, and delivering long-lasting hydration.
Unimoist is a proprietary ingredient used in skincare products. Unimoist is formulated to address skin hydration and moisture retention. Here's a breakdown of what the statement implies:
- Maintaining Moisture Levels: Unimoist is designed to help the skin retain moisture. This is important for keeping the skin hydrated and preventing it from becoming dry and dehydrated. Adequate moisture levels in the skin are essential for maintaining its health and appearance.
- Improving Suppleness and Elasticity: Hydrated skin is often more supple and elastic. When the skin is well-hydrated, it tends to feel softer and more flexible. This can contribute to a youthful and healthy appearance.
- Delivering Long-Lasting Hydration: The statement suggests that Unimoist provides long-lasting hydration. This implies that the effects of the product are not just temporary, but that it continues to provide moisture to the skin over an extended period of time.
Overall, the intended benefits of Unimoist align with common goals in skincare, such as maintaining skin health, preventing dryness, and promoting a more youthful appearance. However, as with any skincare ingredient, individual experiences can vary, and it's important to consider your unique skin type and any potential sensitivities before incorporating products containing Unimoist or similar ingredients into your skincare routine. If you're unsure, consulting with a dermatologist or skincare professional can provide personalized guidance.
Try Unimoist in our: Anti-Wrinkle Ultra-Lifting Moisture Lotion
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C — also known as ascorbic acid — is an antioxidant micronutrient essential for the formation and maintenance of connective tissue in the body. It is found naturally in citrus fruits, capsicums, tomatoes and vegetables in the brassica genus (e.g. broccoli, broccolini, cabbage, kale, bok choy). Famously, vitamin c deficiency can cause scurvy — which affects the regenerative properties of skin, muscle and gums.
What does vitamin C do?
Vitamin C is essential for normal bodily function, so it is luckily safe for most people to use topically on their skin. It helps to fight free radicals, repairs sun and environmental damage, improves collagen production to improve elasticity, and may help treat the appearance of pigmentation, brightening and softening the complexion.
What is vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a group of naturally occurring, antioxidant, fat-soluble compounds. In skin care products, the most common form of vitamin e is tocopheryl acetate. Since it’s soluble in fat, it is often found in fatty seeds, grains, fruits and nuts like sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, wheat, mango, avocado and pumpkin. Vitamin e in the skin depletes with age and sun exposure.
What does vitamin E do?
Vitamin E is a bit of a powerhouse, supercharging other antioxidants, while also intensely hydrating and strengthening the skin’s natural barrier. It soothes and protects the skin against free radical damage, helps reduce inflammation and boost firmness, and prevents premature ageing.
Try vitamin E in our: Super Sensitive Day and Night Cream, Anti-Wrinkle Firming Facial Serum, Anti-Ageing Tinted CC Cream, Dark Circles Under Eye Concealer, Tinted Lip Serum ,Anti-Redness Primer, Radiance Foundation.
Willow Bark Extract
What is willow bark extract?
Willow bark extract is derived from the bark of the willow tree. It is a centuries-old remedy for irritated skin, and is rich in salicin (a natural counterpart to salicylic acid).
What does willow bark extract do?
Offering gentle exfoliation, willow bark extract helps control oil and unclog pores. Its natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help to both soothe irritated acne-prone skin, as well as help treat breakouts and blackheads. It can also reduce redness and oiliness and combat visible signs of ageing like fine lines.
Try willow bark extract in our: Makeup Primer Spray.
What is witch hazel?
Witch hazel is an astringent ingredient with powerful medicinal properties derived from the leaves and bark of the hamamelis virginiana plant.
What does witch hazel do?
Witch hazel has a huge array of skin-loving benefits, making it quite the powerhouse ingredient. Witch hazel is effective in maintaining skin moisture, reducing the appearance of pores, soothing irritated skin, and reducing inflammation. It is rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, and may even help minimise the appearance of scars. It can also be used to treat acne and is ideal for people with oily skin.
Try witch hazel in our: Makeup Primer Spray