Active Ingredient Breakdown: How Do Your Favorite Skincare Ingredients Actually Work?

We feel you… COSMEDIX has so many clean, clinical and luxurious skincare ingredients in our formulas that it can be hard to keep track! Today, we’re taking an insider’s look at some of your favorite age-defying skincare ingredients—what they are, their benefits and how they actually work on the skin—so that as you start to see results, you’ll understand not only the “what” behind your skincare products, but the “how.”

1. Retinoids

Overview: A true favorite of anyone after an age-defying complexion, Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A that help address skin concerns and encourage healthy skin renewal for a brighter, firmer-looking complexion. They vary in potency, from widely lauded Retinol, which is on the gentler side, to spa-exclusive, clinical-strength Retinoids that are designed to target more specific skin concerns.

Retinoids Help:

  • Minimize the appearance of common signs of aging
  • Brighten and balance the look of skin
  • Firm the appearance of skin for a youthful-looking complexion

How Retinoids Work: Retinoids absorb deep into the skin, helping to encourage healthy skin renewal. Retinoids help give skin a “plumping effect” for a reduced look of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging. This skin-boosting ingredient can help support the complexion for an overall healthier, firmer, more radiant appearance.

Find Retinoids in COSMEDIX products like Serum 16 Rapid Renewal Serum, Refine Refinishing Treatment and our spa-exclusive COSMEDIX Elite line. Visit our Spa Finder to discover Elite at a spa near you!

2. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

Overview: Often seen on an ingredient label as Lactic Acid or Glycolic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acids are a group of naturally occuring acids derived from fruit or plants that help exfoliate dead, dull skin for a smoother-looking complexion.

AHAs Help:

  • Exfoliate dull, dry skin to help visibly improve the look of skin tone and texture
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots
  • Draw out pore-clogging impurities

How AHAs work: These skin-loving exfoliators make it easier to buff away dull, dead skin and polish up the look of your complexion for a healthier, smoother appearance.

Find AHAs in COSMEDIX products like Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser, Pure Enzymes Cranberry Exfoliating Mask and Defy Triple Hydroxy Acid Age-Defying Treatment.

3. Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)

Overview: Helpful in exfoliating the skin’s surface and removing deep pore-clogging impurities, Beta Hydroxy Acids, commonly seen on labels as Salicylic Acid, help reduce the appearance of blemishes for a clearer-looking complexion.

BHAs Help:

  • Clarify the appearance of skin and help prevent future breakouts
  • Remove deep pore-clogging impurities and balance oil production, helping to minimize the look of enlarged pores
  • Exfoliate the surface of skin for a brighter, more even-looking complexion
  • Provide oily, combination and blemish-prone skin types with gentle, targeted treatment

How BHAs Work: BHAs are oil-soluble, meaning they’re able to gently exfoliate and draw out pore-clogging impurities like dirt and excess oil for a more balanced appearance of skin. They also share much of the same structure as AHAs, making them a great choice for surface exfoliation.

Find BHAs in Clarify Salicylic Acid Foaming Cleanser, Clarity Skin-Clarifying Serum & Correct Rapid Relief Acne Treatment.

4. Vitamin C

Overview: Vitamin C is a skincare superstar that helps visibly brighten and improve the look of skin tone and texture for a more vibrant-looking complexion.

Vitamin C Helps:

  • Visibly brighten and firm the appearance of skin
  • Even the look of skin tone and skin texture
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Protect skin from environmental stressors

How Vitamin C Works: Vitamin C plays a pivotal role in helping to protect the complexion from daily stressors and potential causes of premature aging.

Find Vitamin C in Pure C Vitamin C Mixing Crystals, Brilliancy Vitamin C Brightening Face Oil & Simply Brilliant  24/7 Brightening Serum.

Get Your Galentine’s Glow: Try This At-Home Facial Routine Next Girls’ Night In

Make this year’s Galentine’s Girls’ Night In something truly special with this luxurious COSMEDIX at-home facial routine. Whether you’re prepping for date night or just spending some quality time with your gal pals, show your skin some love this Valentine’s Day with this indulgent 8-step at-home facial skincare routine.

1. Purity Solution | Nourishing Deep Cleansing Oil

Start the Galentine’s festivities off with an ultra-hydrating double cleanse. Gently massage a quarter-sized amount of Purity Solution, a Nourishing Deep Cleansing Oil onto dry skin with dry hands. This two-in-one makeup remover and cleanser works to gently break down dirt, excess oil, long-wear makeup and sunscreen. As you emulsify with water and rinse clean, skin is left feeling soft and supple for a hydrated, healthy-looking glow.

2. Purity Clean | Exfoliating Cleanser

After surface impurities like makeup, excess oil and dirt are rinsed away, your second cleanser, Purity Clean, will help provide a deeper cleanse, exfoliating dead skin and pore-clogging impurities with the help of Lactic Acid. To apply, dampen your hands and face, then dispense a dime-sized amount of this Exfoliating Cleanser into hands and work into lather. Formulated with Tea Tree Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil, Purity Clean helps balance, clarify and refresh the look of skin for a more radiant-looking complexion.

3. PHA Hydration Peel | Refining Exfoliator

There’s nothing better than an über-gentle, rinse-off at-home peel with the girls. Now that your skin is clean, apply a thin layer of PHA Hydration Peel all over, avoiding the eyes and lips. Allow this Refining Exfoliator to rest for up to 10 minutes, then rinse. This age-defying skincare cocktail will help soften, smooth and brighten the appearance of skin for a more even-looking complexion. Formulated with super gentle exfoliants like PHA, Lactobionic Acid and Phytic Acid, PHA Hydration Peel helps exfoliate and condition skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

4. Micro | Defense Microbiome Sheet Mask

No girls’ night is complete without a skin care face mask. And with microbiome boosting properties to help strengthen the skin’s natural defense, Micro is sure to be an ultra-hydrating hit. Leave this Defense Microbiome Sheet Mask on for 15 minutes and allow it to deeply condition the skin with Sodium Hyaluronate, Almond and Coconut Oils and a powerhouse prebiotic for a healthier, rejuvenated appearance. “The Miracle Sheet,” as some COSMEDIX users call it, this 5-piece sheet mask set helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and protect skin from environmental stressors.

5. Surge | Hyaluronic Acid Booster

Keep the hydration party going with Surge. Just a dime-sized amount of this Hyaluronic Acid Booster deeply moisturizes the complexion with Niacinamide, Kiwi Fruit Water, and a specialized blend of its namesake, Hyaluronic Acid, to deliver hydration deep into the skin. This luxe serum helps soften the look of skin, improve texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a complexion that appears hydrated, luminous and glowing.

6. Harmonize | Microbiome Boosting Moisturizer

Follow up with Harmonize Microbiome Boosting Moisturizer for lavish, lasting hydration. Formulated with an age-defying skincare blend of fruit and plant extracts, along with a skin-conditioning probiotic, Harmonize helps strengthen skin’s natural moisture barrier and helps protect the complexion from environmental stressors. The lightweight lotion texture helps leave all skin types—even blemish-prone skin, looking hydrated and more vibrantly renewed.

7. Opti Crystal | Liquid Crystal Eye Serum

Round out your age-defying at-home facial with Opti Crystal, our #1 best selling Liquid Crystal Eye Serum. Lovingly referred to as “Unicorn Tears” thanks to its iridescent rainbow color, Opti Crystal is specially formulated with powerhouse ingredients to help radically reduce the look of dark circles and improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging around the eyes. A pin-sized drop is all you need!

8. Lumi Crystal | Liquid Crystal Lip Hydrator

Pamper your pout just in time for Valentine’s Day with Lumi Crystal, a Liquid Crystal Lip Hydrator. Powered by the same Liquid Crystal Technology as Opti Crystal, Lumi Crystal instantly transforms the look of lips and deeply conditions for a rejuvenated, softer-looking pout. Also featuring a plumping peptide, this indulgent Liquid Crystal Lip Hydrator delivers a burst of hydration to dry, dull lips, sealing in long-lasting moisture with a prismatic, high-shine finish.

COSMEDIX HQ: Indulgent Skincare Pairs We Can’t Live Without

When you work at a beauty company—and are surrounded by the clean, clinical and luxurious skincare line of COSMEDIX all day long, it’s nearly impossible not to fall in love with more than a few products. From indulgent at-home peel treatments and an invigorating scalp scrub to all the AM/PM must-have staples, there is so much skincare to go around. But which skin care product pairs have our team fallen for this Valentine’s Day? We sat down with COSMEDIX HQ to get the inside scoop on all the latest and greatest COSMEDIX skincare products our team can’t live without.

1. Surge | Hyaluronic Acid Booster & Micro | Defense Microbiome Sheet Mask Set

Best for: Skin in need of deep hydration and recovery

What this duo does:

  • Surge is an ultra-dewy Hyaluronic Acid Booster that deeply moisturizes dry, dehydrated skin with a specialized blend of three forms of Hyaluronic Acid (1.5%), Niacinamide and Kiwi Fruit Water.
  • Micro Defense Microbiome Sheet Mask is a complexion-quenching peel off face mask that deeply hydrates the skin with a moisture-rich prebiotic serum that helps strengthen your skin’s natural defense for a softer, smoother, more supple-looking complexion.

Why we love it: “I love these two paired together and individually. They’re the perfect combo for that boost of hydration my skin needs/deserves in the winter and summer months! Cannot live without these!” —Kathryn C., Digital Marketing Manager

2. Enhance | Lip-Plumping Mask & Resync | Revitalizing Night Cream

Best for: Overnight hydration treatment

What this duo does:

  • Enhance is an ultra-conditioning Lip-Plumping Mask treatment that gently conditions lips for a smoother, softer, fuller-looking pout. This overnight hydrator delivers intense hydration and helps restore maximum moisture for lips that look more defined and pillowy soft.
  • Resync is a Revitalizing Night Cream with antioxidant-rich extracts—like Snow Mushroom and Kakadu Plum—that quench skin with long-lasting moisture to help restore radiance and revitalize the look of skin, all while you sleep.

Why we love it: “I constantly say that if I were stranded on an island, I would have to have these 2 products with me. I’m obsessed with Enhance. I wear it all day, every day. For me, it’s the perfect weight and keeps my lips plump and moisturized. Resync is everything – from the feel to the smell – I cannot get enough. It leaves my skin feeling so soft, buttery, and hydrated.” —Alexus G., Ecommerce Marketing Coordinator

3. Affirm | Antioxidant Firming Serum & Bakuchiol Complete | Plant-Based Retinol Alternative Serum

Best for: Helping firm, brighten and balance the look of your complexion

What this duo does:

  • Affirm is a bestselling, supercharged Antioxidant Firming Serum that helps improve the look of uneven skin tone and prevent signs of aging, often caused by environmental stressors.
  • Bakuchiol Complete is a deeply hydrating Plant Based Retinol Alternative Serum that helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while leaving skin hydrated and healthier-looking.

Why we love it: “I wear Affirm every single day, both morning and night, cocktailing it together with every serum combo I use. It smells so fresh and leaves my skin glowing after each use. Plus, it wears wonderfully under makeup, and I have noticed a difference in the firmness of my skin while using it! Since I started using Bakuchiol Complete at night, I wake up to super soft and clear skin. It has significantly helped lighten my acne scars and even my skin tone, as well as keep new acne formation at bay. I am obsessed!” —Kaitlyn C., Associate Marketing Director

4. Harmonize | Microbiome Boosting Moisturizer & Simply Brilliant | 24/7 Brightening Serum

Best for: Promoting a more even skin tone and soothing the look of your complexion

What this duo does:

  • Harmonize is a Microbiome Boosting Moisturizer that helps restore a healthy skin microbiome, leaving the complexion more balanced and smoother-looking with daily use.
  • Simply Brilliant is a 24/7 Brightening Serum formulated with 10 skin-specific brightening ingredients that help improve dull, discolored and uneven skin tone, as well as hyperpigmented and photodamaged skin, for a complexion that appears brighter and more radiant.

Why we love it: “As someone who deals with adult acne, I love how Harmonize hydrates my skin while also seeming to soothe inflammation and give my skin a nice, smooth complexion. Simply Brilliant fades the dark spots that my acne sometimes leaves behind!” —Christine J., Global VP of COSMEDIX

5. Surge | Hyaluronic Acid Booster & Eye Genius | Brilliant Eye Complex

Best for: Helping you showcase an age-defying complexion

What this duo does:

  • Surge is an ultra-dewy Hyaluronic Acid Booster that deeply moisturizes dry, dehydrated skin with a specialized blend of three forms of Hyaluronic Acid (1.5%), Niacinamide and Kiwi Fruit Water.
  • Eye Genius Brilliant Eye Complex is a multitasking eye treatment that revives the look of tired eyes by helping to reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, crow’s feet and wrinkles for a brighter, younger-looking under eye.

Why we love it: “Surge is my holy grail for keeping my skin bright and moisturized during any season. It mixes so well with other products if I want to cocktail them and also works great on its own! Eye Genius is my go-to eye cream—it’s worked wonders on the dark circles under my eyes and has really brought my under-eye area back to life!” —Holly W., Associate Brand Manager