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What are Active Ingredients?

If you've ever read the labels on any of your skincare or cosmetic products, you've definitely noticed that the ingredients list is usually divided into two sections: active and inactive ingredients. The latter ones are usually oil or water based substances that play a key role in delivering other elements of the product, usually active ingredients. A single product may have a number of active or inactive components.
So, what is the meaning of active ingredients in skin care? The active ingredients found in cosmetic products target a particular skin issue, such as UV damage, ageing, dryness, target fine lines and acne. Actives in skincare are the substances that could change chemically when creating a solution but still exist in the final product. Depending on the type of skin it is applied to, varying amounts of these raw ingredients are added. Cleansers, moisturisers, serums, face masks, and sunscreens all include active substances in varied dosage forms and potencies.

Popular Active Ingredients in Skin Care

Below is the list of the active ingredients frequently found in skincare products, along with the skin issues they solve:

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a highly effective substance that has attracted a lot of attention recently due to its potent moisturising and anti-ageing properties. It is safe for all skin types but it is especially helpful for dry, eczema-prone, and dehydrated skin. It is a crucial part of the formation of the skin because it is a naturally produced sugar in the body. Hyaluronic acid concentrations are also present in healthy tissues like joint fluids. But eventually levels of hyaluronic acid in the body starts to degrade over time. Not eating a proper diet and smoking are also the factors that contribute to the decrease of hyaluronic acid in your body. This will lead to loss of skin tone and its volume.
However, topical treatment helps to minimise the visual results of hyaluronic acid loss. It helps keep your skin balanced and moisturised due to its ability to retain water and maintain your skin's moisture levels. Additionally, hyaluronic acid enhances skin firmness. It also  helps the skin regain its fullness and volume which minimises the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines. Everyday use of a serum or moisturiser containing hyaluronic acid will assist your skin retain more moisture, resulting in skin that is nourished, silky, and smooth.
Kosmoderma Hydra Boost Gel contains hyaluronic acid, DL Panthenol and tocopherol (Vitamin E). The gel helps in holding cell moisture and restores the barrier of skin. It also has a soothing effect on dry skin by boosting the production of elastin and collagen. Regular application of Hydra Boost gel will fight the sign of ageing and helps to rejuvenate the skin.
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Kojic acid

Kojic acid is an ingredient made from fungal species. It is a skin lightening agent that is used in cosmetic products. The chemistry underlying how kojic acid works as a lightening agent involves its effect on melanin synthesis. The pigment melanin, which is produced naturally by the body, gives the colour to the skin, hair, and eyes. Tyrosine, an amino acid, is required to enable the synthesis of melanin. Kojic acid works by preventing tyrosine formation, which then stops the synthesis of melanin. Thus, making the skin brighter.
Apart from skin brightening, kojic acid has a lot of benefits for the skin. Kojic acid helps in reducing the appearance of scars, age spots and sun damage. products containing kojic acid should not be removed right away because of its slow rate of absorption. Although kojic acid is usually applied topically to the hands and face, it is safe to apply it to any non-sensitive area of the body.
Kosmoderma Dermabrite Cream is all in one cream for skin lightening and pigmentation. It is suitable for all skin types. The cream contains kojic acid, licorice and glutathione as the active ingredients that provide instant glow. Kojic acid in the cream treats hyperpigmentation and makes your skin overall brighter by diminishing blemishes.
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Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that aids to help build keratin and maintain a healthy, firm skin. Applying niacinamide topically can reduce the redness and irritation caused  by several skin disorders. It also improves ceramide efficacy, rebuilds the skin's natural protective barrier, and increases your skin's capacity to retain moisture. Due to its anti- inflammatory properties, vitamin B3 works well on acne too.
As it is a gentle active ingredient, it works effectively on all skin types leading to a healthy and supple skin. By maintaining skin tone and tightening pores, it aids in brightening the complexion. It will also lessen the sensitivity of your skin if it is too sensitive. Additionally, it improves skin hydration by reducing TEWL (Trans-Epidermal Water Loss) and promotes the development of natural emollients in the skin, all of which support skin elasticity and keep it looking healthy.
Kosmoderma Acne & Blemish Control Serum contains niacinamide, one of the active constituents that aids in treating breakouts, whiteheads and blackheads by improving overall skin texture. It also helps in regulating the amount of oil to treat severe acne. This serum increases collagen production by fading the dark spots and hydrates the skin more effectively.
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Lactic Acid

Lactic acid has gentle exfoliating properties that is used in cleansers for the face. It is an organic acid that is primarily made by red blood cells and muscle cells. Lactic acid formulations can be used topically to promote cell renewal and aid in the removal of accumulated layers of dead skin cells on the epidermis. It also imparts shine to the skin and aids in softening and retaining moisture. Lactic acid also helps in fading dark spots and hyperpigmentation. It lessens wrinkles and fine lines on the face. Lactic acid also assists in adjusting the pH of cosmetic products like shower gels, shampoos and other intimate hygiene items. It is a versatile ingredient present in serums, body scrubs, exfoliators and other facial toners.
Kosmoderma Ultra Moisture Blast is especially formulated with lactic acid as an active ingredient. It is used for lightening skin not only on the face but all over the body. It also reduces dryness and flakiness of the skin by acting as a natural moisturising agent. Other natural ingredients in the moisturiser soothes irritation caused by dryness by making the skin soft and supple.
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Ceramides are the lipids or fatty acids that are naturally found on the outer skin of epidermis. It is a crucial ingredient to keep moisture in the skin and improve the skin's barrier, which stops infections from entering the body. Your skin's protective barrier will be weakened and rendered ineffective if there is an imbalance in its ceramide ratio, resulting in dryness, irritation, and inflammation. Unfortunately, exposure to hot water, soap, certain chemicals, and other external conditions can rapidly lower your natural amounts of ceramides. Therefore, using products that contain ceramides can aid in rebuilding this barrier and avoiding additional harm.
Kosmoderma Moisture Boost Cream is enriched with ceramides and hyaluronic acid that refresh, moisturize the skin cells. It is a light gel face moisturiser that makes your skin soft and smooth. It prevents dryness by locking moisture in your skin. The cream provides instant hydration and improves the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
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Cocoyl Taurate

Cocoyl Taurate is made from the amide of N-methyltaurine found in coconut fatty acids. It is a valued gentle foaming surfactant and is a soft white paste. This ingredient makes water and oil combine easily, which makes the final mixture an effective cleaning solution. Although it removes pollutants, it does not alter the pH of your skin, leaving it soft and smooth even after a wash.
It is widely used in a variety of personal hygiene products, including face cleansers, shampoos, face masks, body washes , scrubs, and anti-acne formulations, because of its mild foaming properties.
Kosmoderma Daily Gentle Skin Cleanser is the first part of any skincare routine. It is a soap- free face cleanser that protects and hydrates the skin. Cleanser contains cocoyl taurate as an active ingredient that smooths the skin without drying. Other components help in promoting production of collagen and strengthen the barrier of skin. It also helps in improving skin complexion and soothes the skin.
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Caffeine is used as a cosmetic ingredient to reduce the blood flow of skin by making the blood vessels tight. This will make skin brighter. It has anti-oxidant properties that reduce the amount of free radicals produced by your body, which in turn results in less formation of wrinkles and fine lines. The anti-inflammatory effects of caffeine in skin care help reduce skin damage brought on by sun exposure and reduce redness.


Glutathione is produced by a variety of living things, such as bacteria, fungi, plants, and mammals. It is a powerful antioxidant that possesses the ability to neutralise free radicals that cause skin damage when exposed to UV radiation or other environmental toxins. Otherwise, these free radicals might trigger the excess production of melanin and damage skin tissues. This results in wrinkles, inflammation, and other skin problems. This ingredient is also known for its skin whitening and anti-ageing properties.
Kosmoderma Skin Brite Booster Capsules is a dietary supplement that is especially formulated for Indian skin tone. It contains glutathione as an active ingredient that helps in removing tan and improves the overall complexion of the skin. Glutathione is made up of amino acids like cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid. These capsules give a glowing skin.
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Peptides are amino acids that make proteins needed by the skin. Collagen in the skin is made of polypeptide chains. Adding peptides in the routine will stimulate your skin to make collagen.  Due to this, peptides are now a common active component in many cosmetic products all over the world. It has anti-aging properties and can assist with wrinkles & fine lines. Peptides have antimicrobial properties that keep acne causing bacteria away from your skin. They also ease inflammation and make the skin smooth and firm.

Ascorbic acid

Ascorbic acid is also known as vitamin C, is a key ingredient in most of the skin care products. It eliminates the harmful free radicals and assists in preventing premature ageing on your face by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. This substance also has the ability to brighten your skin and lighten any discolouration by decreasing production of melanin. Ascorbic acid also plays an important role against harmful UV radiation by forming an impenetrable skin barrier.
Kosmoderma C-Brite Vitamin C Serum is made up of powerful active ingredients like ascorbic acid and ferulic acid. The former fights off free radicals caused by environmental stresses such as pollution, and extreme weather. Ferulic acid combines with vitamin C to fight age spots and wrinkles by making skin firmer. It also has anti- inflammatory properties that help to prevent and treat acne. Kosmoderma Photo Protect Sunscreen Gel also contains ascorbic acid that protects the skin from sun damage and accumulates sunscreen on the surface of skin. It also offers protection against blue light and UVA/UVB rays.
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Amino Acids

Proteins and peptides are composed of amino acids as their building blocks. Each amino acid performs a distinct function in skin care. These amino acids also help moisture go through the skin more easily. Some of the amino acids that provide benefit to the skin are:
  • Arginine: aids in repairing skin damage
  • Histidine: contains antioxidants that soothe the skin
  • Methionine: shields the skin from environmental stressors 
  • Lysine: strengthens the outer layer of the skin
  • Proline, leucine, and glycine: reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol acts as a humectant that helps to lock moisture when the skin is dry and flaky. It also helps in slowing down the signs of ageing. Propylene glycol works as an emollient and results in healthy looking skin. This active ingredient is also safe for acne prone skin and fades away the dark spots.

How to Choose the Right Active Ingredient

It is crucial to be careful when choosing the active ingredients and products as each one has a distinct application. While choosing the right active ingredient one has to do the following things:
  • Identify your skin type: This will help you choose the ingredients that suit your skin type. You should choose and apply new products to your skin gradually and one at a time so you can look for negative reactions and impacts on your skin. 
  • Layering active ingredients: While two products may work effectively on their own, layering them on your skin basically mixes the components that may have unfavourable side effects. Always make sure to apply oil based ingredients after the water soluble ones. Also, the most acidic products need to be applied first. 
  • Patch test: Before introducing any new active ingredient in your skin care routine, always look for a patch test. This will let you know if there are any allergic reactions on your skin.
  • Use SPF: In sunlight, sometimes your skin becomes sensitive when active ingredients are applied. So, make sure to apply sunscreen before applying any product.
  • Concentration: Using the right concentration of active ingredients on your skin is very essential. Always look for the label of the product before applying. Once your skin is adjusted towards that ingredient, you can increase the concentration.


Understanding active ingredients in the skin care products is very crucial. Actives play an important role in resolving specific skin issues. So it is essential to choose the right mix of actives and integrate the same to your day-to-day skincare regime.

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