top view of open skin care jar with circle graph indicating 95%

The Main Ingredient in a Skincare Product is Called Its Base.

Believe it or not, the base comprises a whopping 75-95% of what is in your skincare bottle! All other ingredients in the formula amount to just 5-25%.

Ingredients are listed in order of concentration, from highest percentage to lowest. The first ingredient listed on the label will always be the product’s base.

What are those other ingredients? Click to Learn

Taking up approximately 5-25% of your skin care formulation are emulsifiers, solvents, surfactants, thickeners, emollients, sunscreens, preservatives, colorings and fragrances, among other things. Active ingredients, which are often highlighted on the product label and used to address specific skin concerns, are added in very small quantities.

graph showing base ingredient and it's function: solvent, delivery system

What does the base do?

Bases have two big functions: they act as a solvent and a delivery system.

Solvent: an ingredient that dissolves other ingredients to form a solution.

Delivery system: ingredient(s) that carry active ingredients deep within the skin tissue where they can have the intended impact on the skin.

Take a look at the products you regularly use.

More than likely, you’ll find water is being used as the base ingredient. How do we know? Because water is the most commonly used base in skincare products.

Put another way, up to 95% of what you’re paying for when choosing a skincare product is, water.

top view of glass of water

Why is water so commonly used?

It's flexible. Water can be tolerated by nearly all types of skin. And, because most skin care ingredients are water-soluble, it is an effective solvent.

It's cheap. Water is incredibly inexpensive.

There’s nothing wrong with using water as a base ingredient. However, consider what water doesn’t do:

  • A liquid drop with an arrow bouncing off of the skin surface

    As a water-resistant membrane, the skin cannot absorb water. Therefore, water is an ineffective delivery system. For a product to improve the skin, it must penetrate the skin.

  • two blue liquid drops of different sizes, one with the letters pH

    Water is a neutral substance and, as such, it provides no benefit to the skin when applied topically.

  • Three green wavy lines with a blue liquid drop

    While water’s role in a skincare product is to dilute active ingredients, when used in high concentrations, as is the case when it is used as a base, it becomes a filler and only dilutes the beneficial ingredients in the formulation.

  • a circular bacteria icon

    The more water that a skincare formulation contains, the higher the risk of bacteria. This often means that an increased amount of preservatives are used to combat the risk of contamination.

Are there alternatives to water-based skincare?

There are! While water remains the most commonly used skincare base, you can find products formulated with bases of oils, waxes and a range of plant-based ingredients.

At Lexli we utilize a base of pure aloe vera instead of water.

Why does Lexli use aloe vera?

Aloe vera does all the good things that water does, including acting as a solvent while being well-tolerated by nearly all skin types. Additionally, however, aloe vera provides the skin with more than 75 active components, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and more. Aloe is clinically proven to benefit the skin in a variety of ways:

  • aloe slice with arrow penetrating skin

    It penetrates skin tissue. (Water does not.)

  • medical cross over cross section of skin

    It encourages skin repair.
    (Water does not.)

  • skin cross section with radiating inflamed part

    It calms the skin and reduces the appearance of redness.
    (Water does not.)

  • aloe slice covering circular bacteria icon

    It contains antimicrobials that combat certain types of bacteria.
    (Water does not.)

  • icon of aloe seeping into skin

    It is naturally moisturizing to the skin.
    (Water is not.)

Some argue that aloe-based formulations are no better than water since aloe vera is approximately 95% water. However, in addition to water, aloe vera contains 75+ naturally occurring beneficial compounds that set it apart.

What our customers say

Been using for years and nothing else compares! Best skin care out there. And LOVE that its aloe based!

Laurie W., Verified Buyer

Love Lexli. I have used Lexli for years, and I love the fact that the first ingredient in Lexli products is pure organic pharmaceutical aloe vera. I feel the more natural and pure the products I use the better it is for not only my skin, but my overall being, and I feel confident that Lexli meets that criteria.

Anne M., Verified Buyer

Love this product. Excellent product! My skin looks and feels smooth. For 13 years I have used Lexli and will not use anything else!

Jane M., Verified Buyer