What are active skincare ingredients?

They’re the ingredients found in skincare products that are designed to address and deliver benefits for a particular skin concern that the product is meant to target. These are the ingredients that have been scientifically proven to act the way it claims to and ultimately have the desired effect. Similarly, Biomedika Skincare products focus not only on treating the skin on the outside, but also within, acting as a skin therapy that also treats the causes rather than just the symptoms. We use nano technology to allow intracellular penetration.

In essence, they do what they say they will. 

Below is a list of some of the most widely used active ingredients you may or may not be familiar with and what they can do for your skin.


Retinol is perhaps one of the most well-known active skincare ingredients on the market. Its ability to boost the production of collagen and elastin as well as have an exfoliating effect to improve texture and tone have made it a must-have in many women’s skincare regimens.

How it works

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, converted to the active form of vitamin A that your body needs once absorbed by the skin, called retinoic acid. We use Retinol in a nanotechnology form where its encapsulated in a liposomal ester to allow slow time releasing ability to allow full strength to penetrate. Topical retinol improves cell turnover, which aids in skin renewal and leaves you with a healthier, brighter skin while also correcting skin pigmentation.

What it’s used for

  • Wrinkles
  • Fine lines
  • Melasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation
  • Uneven skin texture
  • Sun spots and sun damage, also known as photoageing

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Vitamin C is one of the most amazing ingredients when it comes to fighting free radicals, its also one of the strongest besides Rooibos and a top anti-oxidant ingredient that can stable unbalanced atoms in the skin to create harmony between cells. We use 20% SAP in our vitamin c serum.

How it works

The SAP ingredient is encapsulated in an liposomal ester to penetrate the dermis without being oxidized, as vitamin C is one of the most unstable molecule so we have it protected to penetrate into the deep layers of the skin.

What it’s used for

  • Even out skin tone
  • Anti-Acne Benefits
  • Reduce Redness
  • Fights Free Radicals
  • Boost Collagen Production


Alpha-hydroxy acids or AHAs are derived from natural origins and are commonly found in products with anti-ageing effects. That’s because AHAs help to exfoliate and keep your skin looking silky smooth. Product formulations that contain hydroxy acids (HAs) have been popular in clinical practice to treat a variety of skin conditions. The most prominent being glycolic acid and lactic acid.

How it works

Common AHA’s like glycolic, lactic, and citric acids are useful in helping to break down the protein on the top layers of skin that holds everything together. Think of it as melting away the glue so that dead skin cells can be removed effortlessly. Additionally, AHAs have specific hydrating agents to add a little more hydration to your skincare routine.

What it’s used for

  • Even out skin tone
  • Gentle exfoliation
  • Decreasing skin inflammation
  • Moisturising
  • Rejuvenation


BHA is also known as beta-hydroxy acid. This popular anti-acne ingredient is derived from willow tree or sweet birch bark. BHAs are a skin-calming acid known for its exfoliating and bacteria-fighting properties. AHAs and BHAs are usually spoken of in the same breath because they share similar properties, but there are key differences that set them apart.

How it works

BHA’s are oil soluble organic acids that work both on the skin’s surface and deep inside the pore. As a result, BHA’s offer a deeper cleansing and can be highly effective in treating acne and clearing breakouts. Due to the molecule size of BHAs being large, they require a lower concentration which promotes a gentle cleanse.

What it’s used for

  • Deep cleanse into pores
  • Calm redness and inflammation
  • Reduce breakouts

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is responsible for keeping the skin adequately hydrated due to its unique water-binding properties. So much so that 50% of the body’s stock of hyaluronic acid is found on the skin. However, as people age, the levels of hyaluronic acid in the body decreases significantly, which leads to dehydrated skin.

How it works

Hyaluronic acid is a group of sugar molecules (polysaccharides) that can be found naturally in your skin, joints and eyes. Its main job is to keep water inside tissue cells, lubricating joints and keeping your skin and eyes lubricated. Because hyaluronic acid binds water to molecules, it helps keep skin hydrated, supple and reduce the signs of ageing.

What it’s used for

  • Hydrates for healthier, more supple skin
  • Plumps skin
  • Controls inflammation
  • Assists with the repair of the skin barrier


Pronouncing niacinamide can be difficult, but you know what else is difficult? Dealing with inflammation. Luckily, this active ingredient does all the right things to treat redness and irritation from inflammation as well as acne, and hyperpigmentation. Above this, niacinamide improves skin elasticity by strengthening upper layers of the skin and boosting fatty acids.

How it works

Niacinamide is a derivative of vitamin B3, an essential nutrient for the skin. Above reducing inflammation and assisting to keep skin hydrated with a lipid barrier, niacinamide also helps build keratin, a protein that promotes healthy, firm skin. Niacinamide also protects against oxidative stress from the environment like pollution, sunlight, poor diet, and other toxins.

What it’s used for

  • Minimises redness and blotchiness
  • Protects against sun damage
  • Regulates oil
  • Minimises fine lines and wrinkles


In the world of skincare, ceramides have a good track record and have proven to be a key player in its ability to rejuvenate the skin’s appearance. Ceramides are fat molecules (lipids) that are naturally found concentrated in the uppermost layers of the skin. It acts as a barrier, protecting skin from environmental stress like dry air, pollution and debris.

How it works

Ceramides make up 50% of skin’s composition and work like glue, keeping your skin cells together by forming a layer of protection that protects against damage and limits moisture loss. Perhaps most impressively, ceramides rank above retinol and niacinamide as one of the anti-ageing powerhouses that support skin’s dynamic shape.

What it’s used for

  • Firmer-feeling skin
  • Reducing visible lines and wrinkles
  • Restores hydration
  • Protects against environmental stressors

Alpha Arbutin

Alpha-arbutin is a plant-derived or synthetic ingredient that helps to brighten, fade discolorations, protect skin from oxidative stress and promote a more even skin tone. It is made from hydroquinone and the alpha form of the sugar molecule, glucose.

How it works

Research has shown that alpha-arbutin works synergistically with other proven ingredients to visibly reduce hyperpigmentation, including tranexamic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide, and retinaldehyde (retinal).

What it’s used for

  • Proven ability to fade melanin-fueled skin discolorations
  • Considered more effective than beta-arbutin and kojic acid
  • May be plant-derived, bio-fermented or synthetic.
  • Derived from gold standard hyperpigmentation ingredient hydroquinone

Growth Factors

This open access review examines what is known of the role of fibroblast growth factors in mechanisms relevant to skin aging, such as loss of collagen and elastin from the extracellular matrix. This type of paper always makes for an interesting read, and fully mapping the cellular metabolism of aging is the right goal from a fundamental science perspective.

Fibroblast is the most active cell producing collagen and elastin and therefore is stimulated by a chain reaction of growth factors.

How it works

Among the existing growth factors, we highlight the fibroblast growth factor (FGF), which induces the synthesis of type 1 collagen and therefore presents a relevant role in the process of skin aging control. Collagen is the protein responsible for the structure, elasticity, and firmness of the skin and it is produced by cells called fibroblasts.

What it’s used for

  • Stimulate new collagen and elastin
  • Strengthen skin structure & reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Prevent ageing

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The Science of Skincare Ingredients | PRO DICTIONARY