A great resource: www.cosmetic-ingredients.net
Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and enzymes (proteins inside your body) that can help to prevent and repair damage to your body’s tissue. Antioxidants do this by slowing or preventing the effect of free radicals, which start oxidation — a process that causes damage from oxygen that can lead to cell dysfunction. As antioxidants block the effects of free radicals, they end up being oxidized. This is why it’s important to constantly replenish your supply of antioxidants. When it comes to caring for your skin, antioxidants can help to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Unlike sunscreens and moisturizers, antioxidants can protect your skin from the inside out by guarding your cells from damage. Vitamins A, C and E and the mineral selenium are thought to be particularly helpful in skin care. In addition to helping fortify cells against free radicals, vitamins A and C also encourage cell and tissue growth, helping the body to repair itself. This is very helpful to the skin, which is constantly shedding and regrowing cells. For this reason, any antioxidants that protect cells and encourage cell growth could be helpful in an anti-aging regimen, as they may help fight fine lines and wrinkles. (Source: Discovery Fit & Health, http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/information/nutrition/antioxidants-affect-skin.htm)
Most commonly used in many skin care products, as it is best natural alcohol and water attractor of skin, which helps in giving an enhanced look for your skin. Many researchers believe that glycerin can help in treating many skin conditions like psoriasis and certain non-melanoma cancers of skin that mainly result from abnormal production and maturation of your skin cells. It also has augmented wound-healing properties. Glycerin plays a vital role in build up of your skin structure. (Source: Skin Care Beauty Zone, http://www.skincarebeautyzone.com/skin-care/significance-of-glycerin-in-skin-care/)
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that is extracted from white willow bark. In addition to treating acne, it can help a variety of skin concerns, including sun damage and psoriasis. When used in combination with other treatments, salicylic acid enhances the absorption of active ingredients into the skin. It also breaks down blackheads and whiteheads by peeling the top layer of skin and clearing blocked pores. Salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent, which means that it has both exfoliating and antiseptic properties. It also assists in shedding dead skin cells that can cause acne when mixed with dirt and sebum. Additionally, salicylic acid softens keratin, a skin-forming protein and helps break down dry skin. (Source: Skincare-News.com, http://www.skincare-news.com/a-6287-Salicylic_Acid.aspx)
Also known as Hyaluronic Acid (HA), is the key water maintaining substances in human skin. One of the main causes of skin aging is the decrease of polysaccharides such as HA. The special structure characteristic as well as the water content regulating function of HA makes it highly moisturizing – when an HA solution is applied on the surface of the skin, it can form an air permeable layer and keep the skin moist and smooth. Due to its small molecular weight, HA can penetrate into the dermis layer, fully combine with water, promote skin blood microcirculation and nutrient absorption, and maintain normal metabolism. As a result, wrinkles may appear decreased. Topical grade HA can be used in many kinds of cosmetics and is one of the best natural moisturizing components used. (Source: Bio Chemicals, http://www.biochemicals.cn/Sodium_Hyaluronate.html)
Sulfur has antifungal, antibacterial, and keratolytic activity. In the past, its use was widespread in dermatological disorders such as acne vulgaris, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, pityriasis versicolor, scabies, and warts. Sulfur, used alone or in combination with agents such as sodium sulfacetamide or salicylic acid, has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of many dermatological conditions. (Source: BNET, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PDG/is_4_3/ai_n12417035/)
Vitamin E. A fat-soluble antioxidant. (Source: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocopherol)
Also known as vitamin E acetate. A common vitamin supplement which is not oxidized and can penetrate through the skin to the living cells, where about 5% is converted to free tocopherol and provides beneficial antioxidant effects. It is less acidic than tocopherol itself. (Source: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocopheryl_acetate)
Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is a member of the powerful B-complex vitamin family. Its provitamin, panthenol (also known as provitamin B5), is the alcohol form of vitamin B5. When lotions, creams, ointments and formulations containing provitamin B5 are applied to and absorbed by the skin, this provitamin is transformed into vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), which has natural broad abilities to moisturize, soothe, heal and regenerate the skin.
Provitamin B5 is commonly billed in personal care products as dexpanthenol, d-panthenol or dl-panthenol and is most noted for its ability to function as a humectant–a water-binding substance that attracts and retains water. As a humectant, provitamin B5 stabilizes the skin barrier function, reducing the amount of water lost through the skin. By applying a provitamin B5 formulation to the skin, you will not only increase its hydration but improve its softness and elasticity, making provitamin B5 ideal for the treatment of dry, scaly or rough skin.
Provitamin B5 also goes beyond its role as a moisturizer and acts as a natural skin healer and protectant. When applied to the skin, it offers relief from itchiness and pain and reduces redness. Wounds treated with provitamin B5 have resulted in regenerated tissue that is more solid and elastic. In terms of protecting skin, provitamin B5 acts as a barrier, shielding the skin from skin irritation.
Provitamin B5′s effectiveness in hydrating, soothing, healing and protecting skin makes it an effective ingredient in formulations to alleviate the following conditions: acne, bed sores, minor cuts, diaper rash, contact dermatitis (produced when the skin comes in contact with irritants or allergens), eczema, insect bites, scrapes and sunburn. (Source: LIVESTRONG.COM, http://www.livestrong.com/article/32305-skin-benefits-pro-vitamin-b5/)