The Ordinary

SERUM FOUNDATION (1.0 N)

Ingredient Rating

Alumina

Absorbent,  Scrub Agent,  Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control, 

Naturally occurring mineral used as an abrasive, a thickening agent, and an absorbent in cosmetics.

Good

Aluminum Hydroxide

Absorbent,  Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control, 

Synthetic ingredient that functions as an opacifying agent. Secondary uses include coloring agent and absorbent. Aluminum hydroxide has no known skin toxicity.

Good

Bismuth Oxychloride

Absorbent,  Texture Enhancer,  Pigment, 

Also known as synthetic pearl, itŠ—Ès the primary ingredient included in most powders that are referred to as "mineral makeup." Some cosmetic companies claim that bismuth oxychloride is natural and better for skin than talc. The truth is that in many ways talc is a more natural, unadulterated, pure ingredient than bismuth oxychloride. Bismuth oxychloride, which seldom occurs in nature, is manufactured by combining bismuth, a by-product of lead and copper metal refining, with chloride (a chlorine compound) and water. It's used in cosmetics because it has a distinct shimmery, pearlescent appearance and a fine white powder texture that adheres well to skin. Bismuth oxychloride is heavier than talc. Pure bismuth is a naturally occurring, grayish-white powder. It and its derivatives are used as skin protectives, thickeners, and absorbent agents. Bismuth oxychloride was permanently listed by the FDA as a coloring agent in 1977 and for use as a synthetic ingredient. Some people react to bismuth oxychloride due to its unique crystalline structure. What happens is that the crystals can "poke" at skin and get stuck in the pores, where the sharper "spokes" can cause irritation. This is more of a problem when bismuth oxychloride is the main ingredient in powder makeup. Pure concentrations of bismuth oxychloride nanoparticles appear to have a negative effect on human skin cells.

Average

Caprylyl Methicone

Emollient,  Silicone, 

Good

Chlorphenesin

Preservative, 

Type of alcohol used as a preservative in cosmetics.

Good

D-Alpha-Tocopherol

Antioxidant,  Vitamin, 

Antioxidant that's considered the most effective form of vitamin E.

Best

Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer

Emollient,  Emulsifier,  Silicone, 

A mixture of the silicone dimethicone with PEG-10 and PEG-15.

Good

Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer

Silicone,  Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control, 

Good

Hexyl Laurate

Emollient,  Skin-Softening, 

Skin-softening agent and emollient that is a mixture of hexyl alcohol and lauric acid.

Good

Iron Oxides

Coloring Agents/Pigment,  Pigment, 

Compounds of iron that are used as coloring agents in some cosmetics. They also are used as a metal polish called jewelersŠ—È rouge, and are well-known in their crude form as rust. Although iron oxides occur naturally, the forms used in cosmetics are synthetic. Iron oxides are closely regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to the website CosmeticsInfo.org (which links to the FDAŠ—Ès Code of Federal Regulations for iron oxides), Š—“Synthetic iron oxides are produced in various ways, including thermal decomposition of iron salts, such as ferrous sulfate, to produce reds; precipitation to produce yellows, reds, browns, and blacks; and reduction of organic compounds by iron to produce yellows and blacks.Š—

Good

Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone

Emulsifier,  Texture Enhancer,  Thickeners/Emulsifier,  Miscellaneous, 

A silicone polymer that has multiple functions in cosmetic products, including skin/hair softening and texture enhancer.

Good

Mica

Coloring Agents/Pigment,  Pigment, 

Earth-derived silicate minerals included in products to give them sparkle and shine as well as varying degrees of opacity. The amount and look of the shine mica provides depends on the color and how finely itŠ—Ès milled for use in liquid, cream, or powder products. It is considered safe for use in cosmetics, including those applied to the eyes and lips.

Good

Phenoxyethanol

Preservative, 

Common cosmetics preservative thatŠ—Ès considered one of the least sensitizing for use in formulations. It does not release formaldehyde. Phenoxyethanol is approved worldwide (including in Japan and in the EU) for use in all types of water-based cosmetics, up to a 1% concentration.

Good

Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate

Cleansing Agent,  Emollient,  Emulsifier, 

The ester of isostearic acid and polyglycerin-4 that functions as an emollient and can also be a surfactant.

Good

Sodium Chloride

Scrub Agent,  Viscosity Control, 

More popularly known as common table salt. Used primarily as a binding agent in skincare products and occasionally as an abrasive in scrub products.ξ

Good

Titanium Dioxide

Coloring Agents/Pigment,  Sunscreen Active,  Thickeners/Emulsifier,  Pigment, 

Inert earth mineral used as a thickening, whitening, lubricating, and sunscreen ingredient in cosmetics. It protects skin from UVA and UVB radiation and is considered to have no risk of skin sensitivity. Because of its gentleness, titanium dioxide is an excellent sunscreen active for use on sensitive, redness-prone skin. ItŠ—Ès also great for use around the eyes, as it is highly unlikely to cause stinging.Titanium dioxide is typically micronized and coated for use in cosmetics products. The micronizing makes this somewhat heavy-feeling ingredient easier to spread on skin, plus a bit more cosmetically elegant. Micronized titanium dioxide also is much more stable and can provide better sun protection than non-micronized titanium dioxide. Micronized titanium dioxide does not penetrate skin so thereŠ—Ès no need to be concerned about it getting into your body. Even when titanium dioxide nanoparticles are used, the molecular size of the substance used to coat the nanoparticles is large enough to prevent them from penetrating beyond the uppermost layers of skin. This means youŠ—Ère getting the sun protection titanium dioxide provides without any risk of it causing harm to skin or your body.The coating process improves application, enhances sun protection, and also prevents the titanium dioxide from interacting with other ingredients in the presence of sunlight, thus enhancing its stability. It not only makes this ingredient much more pleasant to use for sunscreen, but also improves efficacy and eliminates safety concerns. Common examples of ingredients used to coat titanium dioxide are alumina, dimethicone, silica, and trimethoxy capryl silane.Titanium dioxide as used in sunscreens is commonly modified with other ingredients to ensure efficacy and stability. Examples of what are known as surface modifier ingredients used for titanium dioxide include stearic acid, isostearic acid, polyhydroxystearic acid, and dimethicone/methicone copolymer.Some websites and doctors maintain that titanium dioxide is inferior to zinc oxide, another mineral sunscreen whose core characteristics are similar to those of titanium dioxide. The reality is titanium dioxide is a great broad-spectrum SPF ingredient and is widely used in all manner of sun-protection products. What gets confusing for some consumers is trying to decipher research that ranks sunscreen ingredients by a UV spectrum graph. By most standards, broad-spectrum coverage for any sunscreen ingredient is defined as one that surpasses 360 nanometers (abbreviated as Š—“nm,Š—

Best

Triethoxycaprylylsilane

Silicone,  Slip Agent, 

Silicone that functions as a binding agent and emulsifier.

Good

Trimethylsiloxysilicate

Emollient,  Silicone,  Skin-Softening,  Slip Agent, 

Used as a skin-softening and occlusive agent.

Good

Water

Solvent,  Miscellaneous, 

Most widely used cosmetic ingredient; water is almost always listed first on an ingredient label because it is usually the ingredient with the highest concentration in the formula. Despite claims of skinŠ—Ès need for hydration and claims regarding special types of water, it turns out that water may not be an important ingredient for skin. Only a 10% concentration of water in the outer layer of skin is necessary for softness and pliability in this part of the epidermis. Studies that have compared the water content of dry skin with that of normal or oily skin do not find a statistically significant difference in moisture levels between them.

Good

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate

Emollient, 

Ci 77492

Pigment, 

Tin Oxide

Viscosity Control, 

Hectorite

Viscosity Control, 

A type of clay used in cosmetics that enhances texture by imparting a smooth, silky feel. References for this information: Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, December 2015, pages 2,451-2,460

Palm Stearic Acid

Emulsifier,  Viscosity Control, 

Coconut Alkanes

Emollient,  Solvent, 

Lightweight Pigment Suspension System with Moderate Coverage

Directions
Shake before use. Dispense a small amount into the palm or the back of your hand. Smooth on and blend throughout the face, ideally outward from the midpoint of the face.

Allergic ingredients not found