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CosMedix Lightning Serum dupes

Azelaic Acid[9], L-Arbutin[14], Mulberry extract[1], Licorice extract[5], Glycolic Acid[6] Polymer, L-Lactic Acid[10], D-Alpha Tocopherol[12], Green Tea[2] Extract, Distilled Water[13], Hamamelis[11] Extract, Plant Cellulose[4], Castor[3] Oil, Methyl Glycol, Ethyl Hydroxide, BetaCarotene[7], Lemon Extract[8].

CosMedix Lightning

Ingredient Analysis
1. Morus Nigra Root Extract ( Mulberry extract ) moisturizing ingredient
2. green tea – polyphenols ( Green Tea ) proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory; can prevent collagen breakdown & reduce UV damage to skin. It is generally accepted that 5% green tea extract or polyphenols in the 90% range is an effective concentration in skincare products to produce these effects.
3. hydrogenated castor oil ( Castor ) used as an oily base ingredient; with PEG it's a non-ionic surfactant and is used as a solubilizer for essential oils.
4. hydroxyethylcellulose ( Cellulose ) gelling & thickening agent
5. Licorice extract. anti-inflammatory; anti-allergic; the root has been proven to treat hyperpigmentation so its used in whitening products
6. Glycolic Acid. Proven to reduce fine lines & wrinkles; hyperpigmentation; smooths, exfoliates & thickens skin; increases skin hydration & elasticity; good melasma treatment
7. beta carotene ( BetaCarotene ) coloring, antioxidant, and photoprotective properties; however this is dose dependent. If it's at the end of the ingredient list, it's just being used as an (orange) colorant
8. Lemon Extract. Lemon extract in skincare is a known skin sensitizer and irritant. It can have antibacterial properties but it’s incredibly irritating, as lemon juice has a pH of 2, which is very acidic and its use is linked with damage to your skin’s acid mantle. Lemon extract/juice/peel/oil does way more harm than good. Using lemon juice on your skin, or products containing lemon extract, lemon oil, lemon peel and even other citrus extracts and peel oils (like orange, mandarin, grapefruit, etc.) can cause brown discolorations and red rash looking irritation when you go out into the sun. This is a reaction known as phytophotodermatitis.
9. Azelaic Acid. anti-inflammatory antioxidant; great for hyperpigmentation & rosacea; proven effects
10. Lactic Acid. the most moisturizing of AHAs; whitening astringent; exfoliant
11. witch hazel ( Hamamelis ) fragrant astringent; antioxidant & anti-irritant properties (some forms can be irritating, click to read why)
12. Vitamin E ( Alpha Tocopherol ) Antioxidant emollient & occlusive moisturizer with proven effects: protects the epidermis from early stages of ultraviolet light damage; increases the efficacy of active sunscreen ingredients; reduces the formation of free radicals upon skin exposure to UVA rays and other sources of skin stress; reduces transepidermal water loss from skin and strengthens the skin's barrier function; protects the skin barrier's oil (lipid) balance during the cleansing process; reduces the severity of sunburn; preservative (if at the end of the list)
13. solvents ( Water ) solvent
14. arbutin ( L-Arbutin ) lightened skin in in vitro studies, from hydroquinone; it's unclear how much is needed to show whitening effects. Low concentrations have no effect, while high concentrations of about 5% or more can be as irritating as hydroquinone & may potentially result in unexpected hyperpigmentation

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