Know 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 favourite products.
Photo of Mary Kay Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Lucy Gildea

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.

“Rigorous testing ensures that every ingredient meets the highest standards of quality, safety and efficacy so you can feel confident about choosing Mary Kay.”

Dr. Lucy Gildea, Mary Kay Chief Scientific Officer

Activated Charcoal: A Mary Kay skin care ingredient


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

Clear Proof® Deep-Cleansing
Charcoal Mask
Dragon Fruit and Aloe: Mary Kay skin care ingredients


Botanical extracts are derived from plants, flowers or fruits, rich in elements like vitamins and minerals that are good for your skin. In addition to playing a starring role in the Botanical Effects® regimen, botanical extracts also deliver important benefits in many other Mary Kay® products, such as TimeWise® Tone-Correcting Serum.

Botanical Effects® Cleanse

Botanical Effects® Mask

Botanical Effects® Freshen

Botanical Effects® Hydrate

TimeWise® Tone-Correcting Serum
Glycolic Acid: A Mary Kay skin care ingredient


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

TimeWise Body® Smooth- Action® Cellulite Gel Cream

Hyaluronic acid (HA): A Mary Kay skin care ingredient


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

TimeWise Repair® Volu-Fill® Deep Wrinkle Filler
Peptide: A Mary Kay skin care ingredient


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

TimeWise® and TimeWise Repair® product
Plant Stem Cells: A Mary Kay skin care ingredient


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® regimen
 Retinol: A Mary Kay skin care ingredient


Retinol is an age-fighting superhero known to encourage cell turnover and renewal. It’s also known to support natural 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
Salicylic acid: A Mary Kay skin care ingredient


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

Clear Proof® Pore-Purifying Lotion

Clear Proof® Cleanser

Clear Proof® Blemish Control Toner
Sunscreen: A Mary Kay skin care ingredient


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

TimeWise® Day Solution Sunscreen SPF 35

TimeWise® Age-Fighting Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 30

TimeWise Repair® Volu-Firm® Day Cream With SPF 30

Vitamin C: A Mary Kay skin care ingredient


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.

TimeWise® Vitamin C Activating

TimeWise Replenishing Serum+C®

Shea butter


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® Set

NEW! Satin Body® Collection
Key Ingredients