All Topics
Understanding and Recognizing Active Ingredients.

Understanding and Recognizing Active Ingredients.

Active ingredients are commonly referred to as the ingredients present in a cosmetic product that have specific properties, demonstrated by effectiveness tests, on the skin. Here are a few examples to help you better understand their actions.

What Is an Active Ingredient?

An active ingredient is an ingredient that has a specific activity that is responsible for the effectiveness and benefits of cosmetic products. It is therefore an asset for treating and solving skin problems. They can be of natural or synthetic origin. Active ingredients of natural origin generally come from plant extracts, essential oils and vegetable oils, whereas synthetic active ingredients are created in the laboratory. Thus, each active ingredient is assimilated to an action on the skin. It can be hydration, nutrition, radiance or sebum regulation. These properties are observed during in vivo and in vitro tests, which give objective rates representing the level of concentration necessary to be effective in a product. Active ingredients differ from inactive ingredients (excipients), which are added to formulas for conservation reasons or to stabilize a finished product. Other inactive ingredients can be part of the composition of a care product, such as aesthetic elements (perfumes, colorants, etc.) or neutral bases (water, alcohol).

Examples of Active Ingredients With Beneficial Effects on the Skin.

To help you associate active ingredients with their properties, here are examples of active ingredients that Typology uses to formulate its products:

  • Alpha-Arbutin Acid (I.N.C.I. Name: Alpha-Arbutin): A component known for its lightening functions, which helps diminish hyperpigmented spots and thus regain a more even skin tone.

  • Azelaic Acid (I.N.C.I. Name: Azelaic Acid): Acid known for its sebum regulating, anti-bacterial, antioxidant and purifying effects.

  • Ferulic Acid (I.N.C.I. Name: Ferulic Acid): Organic acid with antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Glycolic acid (I.N.C.I. name: Glycolic acid): A.H.A. particularly renowned for its exfoliating power, as well as for its astringent and cleansing virtues, thus allowing to reduce the presence of imperfections and to find a smoother and brighter skin texture. Glycolic acid also has a moisturizing effect by stimulating cell renewal and the synthesis of hyaluronic acid.

  • Hyaluronic acid (Name I.N.C.: Sodium hyaluronate): Natural molecule known for its highly moisturizing, toning, smoothing and plumping effects on the skin.

  • Lactic acid (I.N.C.I. name: Lactic Acid): A.H.A. known for its keratolytic action on the superficial layers of the epidermis and thus making the skin smoother, more radiant and uniform. It represents an excellent alternative to glycolic acid, due to its less irritating effect. Lactic acid also improves skin hydration.

  • Salicylic acid (I.N.C. Name: Salicylic Acid): B.H.A. of natural origin known as a powerful keratolytic agent, as well as for its anti-bacterial, regenerating, soothing, astringent and purifying properties, ideal for regulating oily skin and fighting against imperfections.

  • Bakuchiol (Name I.N.C.: Bakuchiol): Active recognized as the vegetable alternative to retinol, without irritating, photo-sensitizing and drying effect. Indeed, bakuchiol has antioxidant and regenerating properties, ideal to fight against the signs of skin aging. It also improves the condition of blemish-prone skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

  • Caffeine (I.N.C. Name: Caffeine): Cosmetic active known for its stimulating, energizing and toning effects on the skin, but it is also an ingredient of choice to reduce the appearance of cellulite thanks to its lipolytic properties.

  • Ceramides (Name I.N.C. : Ceramides): Emollient, lipid-replenishing and skin-protecting active ingredient, just right for dry skin.

  • Keratin (I.N.C.I. Name: Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein): A compound known as a film-forming agent and participates in the strength and growth of nails and hair. It is also known to be a humectant.

  • Niacinamide (I.N.C. Name: Niacinamide): A non-harmful multi-action active that helps calm redness, fade dark spots, tighten pores, prevent the formation of new blemishes, regulate sebum secretion, boost blood microcirculation and maintain skin barrier function.

  • Q10 (I.N.C. name: Ubiquinone): Molecule used in cosmetic products for its antioxidant power, thus allowing to slow down the appearance of the signs of premature skin aging.

  • Resveratrol (I.N.C. name: Resveratrol): Natural polyphenol known for its anti-free radical, soothing, repairing, unifying and restorative properties. It is especially considered as the ideal active ingredient to fight effectively against the signs of age (wrinkles, brown spots).

  • Retinol (Name I.N.C.: Retinol): Active ingredient of the retinoid family known as one of the most effective compounds in the treatment of signs of aging. Indeed, it favors the synthesis of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, restoring flexibility and firmness to the skin. In addition, this ingredient has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Retinol is also able to regulate the production of melanin and thus reduce the presence of brown spots.

  • Squalane (I.N.C. name: Squalane): Component of vegetable origin recognized for its nourishing and emollient properties. Thanks to its structure very close to the film of the sebum, the squalane has an excellent affinity with the skin. This contribution of lipids thus helps to reinforce the cutaneous lipidic barrier, to soften the skin, and to protect the skin from dehydration.

  • Vitamin C (Name I.N.C.I.: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate): Active ingredient known to brighten and even out skin tone, reduce and prevent pigmentation spots and neutralize free radicals responsible for premature skin aging. Vitamin C also helps to stimulate the renewal of fibroblasts, cells of the dermis, and the manufacture of collagen. This is one of the essential components of the skin's support tissue, the production of which decreases with age.

Thanks to a careful selection of ingredients, we have created LAB, a range of serums highly concentrated in powerful active ingredients.


Understand your skin
and its complex needs.