Understanding Your Ingredients

Every Mary Kay® skin care product is the result of innovative technology combined with proven-effective ingredients. That’s why you can trust the products you use to deliver the real results you want. But understanding the specific benefits each ingredient provides can be confusing. Here’s a helpful glossary of ingredients in some of our favorite products.

To make products women love, it matters what goes into our products. Ingredients are critical to our innovation. From age-fighting to acne solutions and everything in between, our team sets out to find ingredients that are effective. Through the latest research methodologies, our scientists look for new technologies and new ingredients, and then we tirelessly test each innovation to ensure we deliver real results. 

These key ingredients make our skin care effective. We want women everywhere to feel confident about the science behind their skin care, and love the real results they experience. 

Dr. Lucy Gildea, Mary Kay Chief Scientific Officer


Vitamin C can do amazing things for skin. It’s known to help improve skin radiance and even skin tone, in addition to playing a role in supporting natural collagen and elastin that can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin C Activating Squares
TimeWise® Replenishing Serum+C®


Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin and can lead to premature skin aging. Broad spectrum sunscreens help protect from both UVA and UVB damage.

TimeWise® Age Minimize 3DDay Cream SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen*
TimeWise Repair® Volu-Firm® Day Cream Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30*


A highly effective exfoliant and the most widely recognized alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), the power of glycolic acid enhances skin’s own renewal process.  

TimeWise Repair® Revealing Radiance® Facial Peel


Peptides help support natural processes important for keeping skin looking healthy and youthful.

TimeWise® products
TimeWise Repair® products


Hyaluronic acid (HA) occurs naturally in the skin, but its amount decreases with age. HA provides essential cushioning, holding onto moisture that can actually plump skin from within.

TimeWise Repair® Volu-Fill® Deep Wrinkle Filler


Plant stem cells, which come from a very specific portion of a plant, have the remarkable ability to make other plant stem cells while maintaining their original form. Utilizing advanced technology, plant stem cells are cultivated and used in skin care formulas to deliver advanced age-fighting benefits. 

TimeWise Repair® Volu-Firm® Set 


Retinol is an age-fighting superstar, known to encourage cell turnover and renewal. It’s also known to support collagen and elastin that can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

TimeWise Repair® Volu-Firm® Night Treatment With Retinol
TimeWise Repair® Volu-Fill® Deep Wrinkle Filler


Botanical extracts are derived from plants, flowers or fruits that are rich in elements like vitamins and minerals that are good for your skin. Dragon fruit contains fatty acids and several B-complex vitamins, including the often-called “anti-stress vitamin” B1 (thiamin), plus B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin). It’s also full of minerals like iron, calcium and phosphorus. Aloe vera is shown to help maintain the skin’s moisture barrier and has a high vitamin E content, a popular antioxidant in skin care. It’s also shown to promote healthy skin and cell turnover. 

Botanical Effects®


Activated charcoal can act like a magnet to withdraw dirt and debris from pores.

Clear Proof® Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask


Salicylic acid acts like an exfoliant to promote the easy removal of dead skin cells, helping keep pores unclogged. 

ClearProof® Pore-Purifying Serum
Clear Proof® Clarifying Cleansing Gel 
Clear Proof® Blemish Control Toner 


Extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree, shea butter has been used for centuries to protect, enrich, soften and hydrate skin. Shea butter is also known to contain omega-3s, recognized to help maintain skin's natural moisture barrier.

Satin Hands® 
Pampering Sets
Satin Lips® 
Satin Body®