Yes, the base of your skin care product matters.

Here 's why.

Lexli AloeGlyC jar from above with circle graph showing 95% of the circle in green

The Main Ingredient in a Skin Care Product is Called Its Base.


Believe it or not, the base comprises a whopping 75-95% of what is in your skin care 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.

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.

a green circle reads base ingredient function with lines going down to solvent and delivery system
a woman with brown hair shopping beauty products, reading labels

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 skin care products.

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

a clear bottle of water from above

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:

icon showing a drop of water bouncing off the surface of the skin

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.

an icon showing two drops of water, one with pH on it

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

an icon showing water dropping into a formulation

While water’s role in a skin care 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.

an icon that looks like a bacterium or a virus

The more water that a skin care 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.

waves of water

Are there alternatives to water-based skin care?


There are! While water remains the primary skin care 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, pharmaceutical-grade 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 200 active components, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and more. Aloe is clinically proven to benefit the skin in a variety of ways:

icon showing aloe penetrating the skin

It penetrates skin tissue.
(Water does not.)

icon showing a health care cross over a cross section of skin

It encourages skin regeneration and healing.
(Water does not.)

an icon showing inflammation or a blemish on the skin

It calms inflammation and redness.
(Water does not.)

icon showing aloe overtaking a bacterium or a virus

It contains antimicrobials that are lethal to certain types of bacteria.
(Water does not.)

icon showing aloe moisturizes 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, it is the 200+ naturally occurring beneficial compounds in aloe vera that set it apart. Together they work to nurture the skin like no other natural ingredient. Water alone can’t do that.

Special Offer


Purchase a Lexli trial kit for $9.99 (which provides a two-week supply of product in the skin care regimen appropriate for your skin type) and receive a $10 gift card for a future purchase. If you don’t love the products, contact us within 30 days for a full refund - and keep the gift card.

Use code ALOEBASE at checkout for offer to apply.


Free Copy of Simple Skin Care, Beautiful Skin: A Back-to-Basics Approach

Simple Skincare, Beautiful Skin: A Back-to-Basics Approach Book

Interested in learning more? Download your free copy of the skin care ebook written by Lexli founder and lead product formulator, Dr. Ahmed Abdullah!

If your skin had a user's manual, this would be it! Get the ebook that simplifies skin care and outlines the key practices that optimize your skin's health.



What our customers say

5 star review from customer who loves Lexli's aloe base
5 star review from customer who loves Lexli's organic aloe base
5 star review from long term customer who loves what Lexli has done for their skin