Is this a real ingredient list?


I am a beginner in the formulation (still doing more reading than formulating at the moment) and I came across this serum that claims they have 20% ascorbyl phosphate, 2.5% retinol, 2% salicylic acid and a bunch of other stuff. Is this even realistic to make all these ingredients play well in the same bottle? It is one of the bestsellers on Amazon and has raving reviews.



  • No it is not a proper ingredients list.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • @Belassi do you refer to the non proper INCI naming of the ingredients or overall unrealistic percentages and combination of ingredients?
  • I have a serious suspicion that it’s not listed in the right order. Back to your question, the answer is no. Too much in one bottle. I would not package retinol and salicylic acid together. Retinol is so powerful by itself that it should not be mixed with other actives in such a concentration. Retinol does play well with ceramides (many professionals will say there’s no proof that ceramides work), tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and probably bisabolol to reduce irritation. But this list looks too intense. Also, Niacinamide and salycilic require different pH to perform well.
  • This is not even close to a proper ingredient list. Words like "organic", "infusion", and "wildcrafted" have no place in an ingredient list. These are marketing terms that belong in advertising copy, not an ingredient list!

    As far as mixing ingredients together, sure you can mix them together. That doesn't mean it will remain stable or effect (it won't). But consumers probably can't tell the difference so there won't be much negative impact on sales.
  • Thanks everyone! I am just amused companies like this aren't reported to FDA, let alone sell thousands of products on Amazon. I wonder if their "Made in USA" statement is also a lie...
  • 2.5% Retinol, wouldn't that be a drug under FDA regs?
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • @Belassi - Drugs are as drugs are claimed. No drug claims, no drug. Of course, you have to still be able to prove your product is safe.

  • Crikey, our manufacturing is based in a developing country and the cosmetics compliance would never allow us to produce this legitimately. I thought Amazon was vetting cosmetics these days? How do they get away with it?
    Dr. Mike Thair
    Cofounder & Chief Formulator
    Indochine Natural
  • If this product actually  really all claimed ingredients at claimed % customers will not repurchase it. Retinol makes skin peel. It makes skin ‘thinner’ and more sensitive. This is the reason why retinol isn’t in every anti-aging moisturizer. It’s too powerful. The consumer doesn’t want to deal with peeling skin. Most of products with ‘retinol’ include retinil palmitate, that doesn’t do anything, not retinol.
    This product includes a lot of essential oils (irritants) and salycilic acid in addition to retinol. Skin will look awful after a week of this. Also they said ‘squalene’. It’s not stable, that’s why squalAne is used in cosmetics.
  • Infusion ain't acceptable.
    Water should be listed first.
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