What's the deal with actives?

They have the power to entirely alter your skin. But get this, actives don't have to be intimidating.

What's the deal with actives?

They sound scary, they have the power to entirely alter your skin and there's a never ending list to choose from - some even have a percentage scale. But get this, actives don't have to be intimidating.

"Often my clients imagine them to be harsh, irritating or over exfoliating but actives can be soothing and nourishing as well," explains Jess Arnaudin, Skin Therapist and Author of new book, Plant-Based Beauty. "Take Hyaluronic Acid - that's an active ingredient that addresses dryness in the skin and is extremely soothing."

What are actives?

Essentially the 'doing' part of a product. Actives work to stimulate the skin and change the structure of the cells. "They work to repair, rejuvenate and hydrate the cells as well as nourish and protect," explains Nichola Joss, celebrity Facialist and an advocate of natural-based skincare. "Non-actives are the ingredients that help to formulate the product, pad it out, and preserve and act as a delivery system."

What are the most effective actives?

Although in skincare actives can come from a variety of natural and synthetics, we love natural actives here at NEOM. "Ingredients like botanical extracts and essential oils can be equally as, if not more effective," continues Nichola. Which means it's more of a case of personal preference and how your skin reacts when it comes to choosing where your actives come from. What's more crucial is how the product has been formulated.

Let's get specific

The most popular actives are without doubt vitamin C, vitamin A & E, AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids), BHAs (beta hydroxul acids), zinc oxide, hyaluronic & salicylic acid. Then there's the ones that may be new on your radar like acai (ideal for increasing hydration), coconut fruit extract, jasmine flower extract (rich in a variety of active chemical components) and ones like peony flower extract too.

You only have to scan our skincare's ingredients list to see we've incorporated as many natural actives as we can - for example the Great Day Glow range contains natural wheat germ oil - a high performance natural active great for helping to diminish pores and peppermint oil which contains high levels of salicylic acid (a natural astringent beneficial for treating blemishes) and turmeric root extract too. "Turmeric is a renowned antioxidant and also contain anti inflammatory properties to help induce a natural radiant glow," says Gemma Clare, Holistic Health & Skincare Expert.

Then there's Ultimate Calm which contains a naturally derived hylauronic acid from wheat, corn and yeast, that replenishes moisture, coconut fruit extract which helps seal in moisture and delivering critical macro-nutrients along with lavender, geranium and rose to repair and boost the skin barrier. Natural actives just got put on the map!