When it comes to your health and happiness, understanding the different products you use can be a huge breakthrough. Active agents are an essential part of skin care products as they are the primary ingredients, which deliver the proposed benefits. These agents are present in all types of skin care products. However, according to this review, they vary in concentration, which is based on whether you are using prescription products or over-the-counter (OTC) products.

The particular active agents are used based on the skin care product’s function. Moisturizers have petrolatum, glycerin and dimethicone whose primary function is to provide extra hydration to the skin by trapping water. Active agents in natural anti-aging products include alpha hydroxy acids and antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, which help in reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Common active ingredients in acne products include benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.

Major Active Agents in Skin Care Products

Following are the most common active ingredients used in skin care products.


This active ingredient is derived from the turmeric root, which is commonly used as a natural yellow food coloring. It is usually used in products, which claim to be all-natural. Since yellow color is usually related with oxidative spoilage, it is deemed undesirable in the preparation of cosmetics. Instead, a hydrogenated form of curcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin, is used not only because it is off-white in color, but also it is a very effective antioxidant and avoids lipids in the moisturizer from turning bad [1].


Soybeans are famous being a rich source of genistein and daidzein, which come under the category of isoflavones. This active ingredient is known for reducing the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases because the isoflavones present in it, when consumed orally, function as phytoestrogens.

Genistein is not only a great antioxidant, but is also excellent for protecting against lipid peroxidation and scavenging peroxyl radicals in vivo. It also enhances collagen stimulation in the skin cells. However, there are no published researches of this collagen gene expression in topical human trials. Some studies have shown that soy has great estrogenic effects on the skin, especially on women in their postmenopausal stage.

Read More