Allantoin is a natural substance which is found in comfrey (Symphytum Officinale), maple, wheat germ and black salsify, for example, and is considered to be very well tolerated. In dermatology, it has proven its worth above all in the treatment of wounds. Allantoin accelerates the regeneration of the skin, has anti-inflammatory effects as well as healing, soothing and slightly hydrating effects. It is therefore often used in cosmetics for the care of oily, impure skin and in anti-aging products. In addition, it is also used for scar care and wound treatment as well as against various skin diseases. Due to its calming and caring effect it is included in many different products such as shower gels, sun creams, aftershave lotions and toothpastes.
Aloe vera extract is obtained from the leaves of the aloe plant and contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. In cosmetics, the good skin compatibility, anti-inflammatory, balancing and calming properties are particularly appreciated. It makes the skin supple and moisturizes the skin down to the horny layer. These positive effects are due to the composition of aloe vera. The polysaccharides it contains lay a protective film over irritated skin areas and can reduce the settlement of pathogens and germs, which is particularly helpful in the case of acne. In addition, growth factors activate cell division and ensure faster replacement of dead cells and new tissue formation. This stimulation of the skin’s cell growth helps the skin to renew itself from within.
Due to its calming and moisturizing effects, it has proven very effective after all types of hair removal and after sunburn. The stressed skin areas are quickly soothed and cared for.
Avocadin consists mainly of avocado oil as well as unsaponifiable phytosterols and olive oil. It has excellent properties for dry skin with a disturbed barrier function. It has a strong regenerating effect and supports the hydration and elasticity of the skin. Avocadin is an excellent active ingredient for anti-age creams because it reduces the skin’s moisture loss, improves absorption and supports the regeneration of cracked, horny and very dry skin. Avocadin can also be used in hair care products (conditioners and cures); it has a slightly refatting effect and makes the hair supple.
α-Bisabolol is the main active ingredient of chamomile. Bisabolol has an anti-inflammatory and healing effect and is therefore used for the care of sensitive and irritation-prone skin. The active ingredient is less allergenic than the whole extract from chamomile, which can lead to allergies in sensitized people.
The natural, anhydrous caffeine is obtained during the decaffeination of green coffee beans. It increases lipolysis and has a dehydrating effect. This can be used against cellulite to reduce and dehydrate fatty tissue. The skin is tightened and smoothed. The dehydrating effect can also be used for swollen eyes. Caffeine is also popular in shampoos. Recent studies show that caffeine stimulates the activity of hair follicle cells, which can help against hair loss.
Calendula (marigold) has disinfectant, anti-inflammatory effects and promotes wound healing. Its ingredients include triterpene saponins, flavonoids and essential oil. Together these have a medically recognised wound healing and anti-inflammatory effects. It is therefore often used externally for inflammatory changes in the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat and for poorly healing wounds. When using it externally, one thing should be keept in mind: The active ingredient should not be used on deep wounds. It causes the uppermost layers to heal more quickly, while deeper areas may still be infected. Puss or even an abscess can form in these areas.
Probably the best known representative of carotenoids is beta-carotene, or provitamin A. In the body it is converted to vitamin A. It has a protective effect against UV radiation. Due to its antioxidant properties, beta-carotene is also frequently used in sunscreens and anti-aging products. It is said to prevent the slackening of the skin and promote its blood circulation. Since beta-carotene is fat-soluble, it is easily absorbed by the complexion. Astaxanthin is also a valuable carotenoid. Like beta-carotene it strengthens the skin’s own UV protection, has anti-inflammatory effects and provides moisture. It is also an even more effective antioxidant than beta-carotene, also surpassing tocopherol (vitamin E). Astaxanthin is considered to be an effective anti-wrinkle agent, as it prevents oxidation processes and protects the collagen proteins.
Glycerine retains the moisture in the care product itself and thus prevents a shower gel or toothpaste from drying out. In addition, it has good hydrating effects on the skin and is said to maintain/enhance the elasticity of the skin and protect it from drying out. Glycerine protects the skin from the surfactants contained in shampoo or shower gel and reduces their drying effects.
Green tea contains a wide range of active ingredients such as polyphenols, methylxyanthines, flavonols, amino acids and other ingredients. Green tea has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Already at an application concentration of 2 % it helps to intercept free radicals on the skin. Thanks to its antibacterial and calming effects it is well suited for demanding skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the dermis. It has a very high water-binding capacity and forms an elastic gel with water already at concentrations of 1 % and above. When applied externally to the skin, it forms a transparent film on the skin, which is water-binding and permeable to air and increases the skin’s hydration. This makes the skin appear firmer and smoother. Due to its high molecular mass, hyaluronic acid cannot penetrate the skin and its positive effects are only temporary. Therefore, the application must be carried out regularly. Due to its expensive price it is usually only used in very low concentrations in anti-wrinkle and moisturizing creams.
Hydrogen peroxide is a proven household remedy with many different uses. It can also be very helpful against skin problems. It is a natural antibacterial agent and is not harmful in small quantities. When it comes into contact with the skin, hydrogen peroxide breaks down again into its two components hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen prevents bacteria and germs from surviving in the treated area. It is therefore often used against pimples or to disinfect smaller wounds. It cleans the pores and allows inflammations to heal faster.
Lipodermin is a concentrate of unloaded liposomes. These are of high importance for cosmetic applications because they have a similar structure as skin cells. They are able to absorb active agents, vitamins or plant extracts and transport them into the deeper skin layers. The phosphatidylcholine contained in the lipodermine concentrate is considered to be a caring and moisturizing substance which supports the regeneration of the skin barrier layer. The lipodermine concentrate has also proven successful in the treatment of skin blemishes. It ensures that sebum can drain off more easily and reduces cornification. The concentrate can be applied pure on affected skin areas or worked into creams and gels.
Lactic acid is a gentle active ingredient that has pH-stabilizing properties. It belongs to the group of α hydroxy acids (AHA, alpha hydroxy acid) which are often used in skin care products due to their keratolytic (cornification dissolving) properties. In addition, lactic acid moisturizes the skin. It is a component of the water-soluble substances which form a hygroscopic film on the skin surface and ensure a good moisturizing of the skin (Natural Moisturizing Factor – NMF). Lactic acid is also a component of the skin’s own acid mantle and can thus regulate the physiological pH value. It thus serves as a buffer substance which regulates the pH value of the cosmetic product. Thus a skin physiological pH of 5 to 5.5 can be adjusted. With such a pH-value of the cosmetic preparation the skin’s own acid mantle is not disturbed but supported during the application of the product.
Sodium lactate is used on the one hand as a humectant and on the other hand as a buffer substance which keeps the pH value of cosmetic products stable. It is based on natural lactic acid, which is produced by the fermentation of bio-based carbohydrates. Just like lactic acid, it contributes to the Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) and plays a decisive role in optimizing skin moisture. It can be applied to all skin types and can be used in both rinse-off and leave-on preparations. In cosmetic products sodium lactate is mostly used in combination with lactic acid. Together they form a buffer substance which regulates the pH value of the cosmetic product.
Nicotinamide is also called niacinamide or vitamin B3 and is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the B vitamins. It supports the skin in the formation of ceramides and cholesterol, two essential components of the epidermis that help it bind water. Thus, the skin’s barrier function is strengthened and consequently protected against water loss. Especially dry skin benefits from the fact that niacinamide increases its ability to store moisture. At the same time, niacinamide promotes the formation of collagen and thus accelerates skin renewal. Fine wrinkles can thus be reduced. Nicotinamide is also effective for impure and oily skin. Studies show that on the one hand it helps to regulate the production of skin fat (sebum) (at a concentration of approx. 2%), on the other hand it also has an anti-inflammatory effect at a concentration of 4%. Niacinamide can also alleviate pigmentation disorders such as acne scars, sun damage or age spots. Studies have shown a significant improvement of skin texture, reddening of the skin and pigment shifts.
Panthenol is also called provitamin B5 or dexpanthenol and has moisture-preserving, anti-inflammatory and wound healing effects. Panthenol helps the skin to regenerate quickly in the case of wounds, because it promotes the production of skin cells. The two types of skin cells that are produced are fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Fibroblasts are located in the somewhat deeper skin layer and are responsible for collagen production. They therefore give our skin a structure. Keratinocytes are located in the upper layer of skin, the horny layer. Horn is important in the upper skin layers and is responsible for the protective function of the skin. The faster these skin cells are produced, the faster our wounds heal.
Panthenol also helps to moisturize the skin and protects against premature skin aging. Absorbed by the skin, panthenol transforms into pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and stimulates lipid synthesis, which results in the production of more lipids. These ensure that our skin is moisturized and remains elastic. Panthenol is often used in anti-aging care for dry skin. Panthenol can also help with skin diseases caused by a disturbed lipid synthesis (e.g. neurodermatitis, rosacea and psoriasis).
The hair also benefits from the use of Panthenol. It wraps around the hair like a film and protects it from damaging influences. The hair becomes smoother and shinier.
This active substance mixture is a bee product and has been used in ancient times for wound care, because it inhibits the growth of various pathogens. Propolis covers the wound like a film, thus closing it and protecting it from bacteria and viruses. It also fights already existing germs and has an additional anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, propolis stimulates cell growth and thus promotes wound healing. Propolis can also be effective against skin diseases, because it inhibits the growth of many pathogens and thus fights the disease at its roots. The anti-inflammatory and wound healing effects additionally help the skin to recover from the disease.
Urea accounts for approx. 7% of the natural moisture retention factors of the horny layer of the skin. It attracts moisture from the air and holds it in, keeping the skin supple. If urea is missing on the skin, this leads to severe dehydration. In cosmetic products urea is valued above all for its moisturizing effects. It has water-binding effects, improves the skin’s ability to absorb moisture, is antimicrobial and reduces itching. The drier the skin, the higher the percentage of urea in skin care products should be. Due to its moisturizing effect, urea is one of the most effective substances in care products against dry skin. Especially for people with sensitive skin, the good tolerance of urea is also a great advantage. There are no known side effects.
A lack of vitamin A leads to cornification disorders of the skin. This makes the skin look wrinkled and flaky. In cosmetics, this active substance is used for anti-aging care. It makes the skin softer and smoothes it. It also stimulates the metabolism of the skin cells in deeper layers and reduces the depth of wrinkles. Vitamin A is therefore often used in the care of dry, scaly skin and against skin aging.
Vitamin C is involved in various enzymatic reactions; among other things, it promotes collagen synthesis and acts as a free radical scavenger. In cosmetics vitamin A is mainly used for its antioxidative effects. On the one hand it slows down the spoilage of oil-containing cosmetic preparations and on the other hand it protects the skin against oxidative stress. It is therefore used in cosmetic skin care as an active substance against skin aging and to reduce the formation of radicals in the uppermost skin layer. For the best effect vitamin C should be used in combination with another antioxidant like vitamin E. Without another antioxidant, a reaction between the iron contained in the skin and vitamin C may occur on the skin which may lead to a prooxidative instead of an antioxidant effect.
In cosmetics, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) ensures healthy growth of skin and hair. In principle, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) has an antiseborrhoeic effect, i.e. it reduces excessive fat deposits on the epidermis, regulates excessive sebum production and at the same time helps to accelerate the natural healing process. This is why dermatologists sometimes recommend brewer’s yeast for poor skin condition, as it contains vitamin B6. The tolerance of the vitamin is generally very good.
Vitamin E or tocopherols is a collective term for various vitamin E derivatives. It is used in cosmetics to protect oils from oxidation. In order to prevent oils from becoming rancid, the application concentration is 2 %. The research on the effects of tocopherol when applied externally on the skin is quite new. As the vitamin is fat-soluble, it can easily penetrate into the cornea. A high vitamin E content in the skin improves the hydration of the uppermost skin layer, smoothes the skin and thus eliminates minor wrinkles, weakens scarring, provides light protection and works against skin aging in deeper skin layers. Tocopherol is generally very well tolerated by all skin types, even in high doses.
Witch hazel extract is extracted from the Virginian witch hazel and is used in cosmetics for better wound healing and against inflammations. It has an anti-inflammatory and mild haemostatic effect on cracked skin. In addition, it has a soothing effect and promotes the healing of superficial skin irritations. The extract can be used pure or incorporated into creams and ointments. It is suitable for use on impure, inflammatory skin and in after-sun care products.