Skincare Actives: do you need a higher concentration to get results for your skin?

Go big or go home. This is a popular mantra, but it doesn’t apply when it comes to your skincare actives. The result of people believing this is lots of damaged skin barriers.

But I don’t blame the public? Almost every skincare brand has fed into this by saying ‘’buy from us we e have a higher concentration of x product ‘’

In this blog post, I will explain why this doesn’t work and what you need to focus on to get the best from your product.

Here’s what I will talk about   

  • What ‘‘skincare actives ‘’
  • The INCI & how products are listed
  • 3 things to consider when choosing actives 
  • The optimum concentration of popular skincare products
  • What is more important than the concentration of your actives

What are skincare actives?

Actives in skincare are the functional ingredient in each product you buy. They are the selling point of the product because they produce the results stated on the item.

Each active is targeted to different skin different skincare conditions from acne, dark spots and wrinkles.

The INCI classification (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient)

Ingredients listed on skincare products use the INCI classification. Here they are listed from the highest to the lowest concentration. Most ingredients with concentrations of less than 1% were excluded.

Why are we concerned about ingredient concentrations?

The general belief is that skincare products with higher concentrations work faster.  This is very far from the truth.  The goal is to use the highest concentration that gives you maximum results with the least side effects.

You won’t be able to use any product that gives you massive side effects consistently.  Think about your skincare ingredients like salt, you need enough to season the food but too much and it becomes inedible.

This is the same with skincare the higher the concentration of the active the worse the side effects.  In addition, you may not even get any additional benefits so what is the point.

Things you need to consider.

Your skin tolerance aka Your skin type 

Skin types are not created equal. Different skin types can tolerate different concentrations of active ingredients. This is the reason brands have similar products targeted to different skin types. Oily skin can tolerate a higher concentration of actives than dry or sensitive skin. Dry and sensitive skin have more fragile skin barriers which mean that higher concentrations could lead to breakouts damage or sensitivity. The exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve, so stick with the lowest effective concentration.

Find out what your skin type is here >>>>

Product Formulation

Have you ever wondered why similar products can have such different costs? I mean the ordinary products costs like $10 and la Mer costs over $100. Sure, some of it is marketing but a lot of times it is the product formulation.

Some products have much more sophisticated formulas. Which could mean encapsulated and slow-release molecules. What that means is that instead of getting a heavy dose of the active and it slowly dissipated to your skin over time. With products like this, you don’t need a high dose so less is more.

Effective Concentration of Skincare Active Ingredients

Azelaic Acid10%20%
Retinol (Vitamin A)0.01%1%
Salicylic Acid 0.01%3%
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)0.20%10%
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)1%5%
Glycolic Acid1%30%
Hyaluronic Acid0.01%3%
Lactic Acid 1%10%
Mandelic Acid1%50%

What Trumps Concentration of Actives Ingredients?

Now you know that having a high concentration is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to getting results with your skincare. So what is more important?


You will get the results you are looking for by using the products you have consistently. That way even a low concentration product will give you results and best of all with little or no side effects.

Key Tips 

  • Consider your skin type when choosing skincare with a high concentration.
  • Always start slowly with AHA / BHA / PHA, Retinoids
  • Choose lowest concentrations If your skin is dry or sensitive skin 

Do you want to learn

Get a Sneak peek

Have you ever wanted to look behind the scenes just to see if something is for you?

Look no further  In this FREE chapter, you will discover

  • How your skin protects YOU, plus 5 other functions your skin performs. Number 3 is ….
  • Discover how having a skincare routine can affect your earning ability in life. Yes, your skin affects your earning power find out why in chapter 1
  • How an effective skincare routine saves you much more money in the long run

Take a sneak peek of all these in chapter 1. Now imagine what you get in the rest of the eBook, you don’t have to there are multiple reviews  😊.

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