Frequently Asked Questions

General & Getting Started

SkinCarisma is a community platform for savvy skincare enthusiasts to confidently discover the right products for their skincare goals and preferences. We believe that understanding the product ingredients is one of the key steps in the path to great skin.

We’ve curated ingredient information based on scientific research and journals and have put them into tools for your disposal to become a more savvy skincare enthusiast.

To find out more about us and our mission, check our about us page.

The first step is to sign up and create your profile to join the community. Having a profile will allow give benefits such as:

  1. Save products to your own custom lists, whether it’s a wishlist, a to-try list, holy grails or tracking routines - you’ll be able to do it all.
  2. Flag ingredients as either as good or bad so that when browsing the products it’ll let you know if the product contains any of them.
  3. Write reviews & leave ratings for products you’ve used in the past. This helps pay it forward and allows other members make better decisions. (And! We’ll be coming out with a suggested product engine based in the future that’s based on your past experience of products ;))
  4. Also enjoy an ad-free experience!

If you’re looking for a specific product or brand, we recommend just searching exactly the product or brand name.

If you’re looking to discover products based on your preferences, make sure you take full advantage of the filters we have on our search page. They’ll help you narrow down products according to exactly what you’re after.

But if you’re looking for some inspiration for your next skincare haul, check out our featured products and community collection - there are always great curated products there.

Whilst we currently don’t have an app, we can assure you that an app will be coming out in the future! Sign up to stay updated :)

We do plan to be out of “Beta” in the near future. However, we’ve just decided to keep the Beta label as we’re constantly improving the platform. When we do decide to move out of Beta, nothing will have changed dramatically, except our logo!

As much as we’d love to, we encourage you to check out our featured products page to discover products based on your skincare goals. It’s a great starting place to build a routine.

Also we encourage you to write reviews for products you’ve used in the past. We’ll be coming out with a suggested product engine based in the future that’s based on your past experience of products ;)

Our product database is completely community powered which means members like yourself add products which are manually approved/verified.

If you can’t find a product, don’t worry - if you can find the ingredient list of the product then you can use our ingredient analyzer to add it.

After analyzing a product, you’ll also be given an option to add it to our database.

Unfortunately this happens sometimes :( If you could email us at snails@skincarisma.com with full details of the bug, including how you ended up encountering the bug and information about the device you were using, it would help us fix it as quickly as possible.

We get amazing comments all the time and as a very small team developing, maintaining the website and doing our best to run a sustainable startup (it's extremely hard, we can't even pay our bills yet!) we appreciate every one of them.

The best way to support is by purchasing your skincare products through the retailers and links through our website - for every purchase we receive a tiny kickback which all of it goes directly back into growing our website. We’d love your support to help us bring smarter skincare to everyone!

You can find products sold by our partnered retailers by using the filters in search :)

We love hearing from passionate skincare enthusiasts. If you’re aligned with our mission and are serious about volunteering some time in helping SkinCarisma grow, please email us snails@skincarisma.com. :)

Product Information FAQ

Have you ever used a product that promised to do something but didn’t deliver? A possible explanation is that it might not have contained any notable ingredients that could have been responsible for that promised effect.

A good example is a lot of «anti-aging» creams on the market which are nothing more than just basic moisturizers.

It doesn't matter what the marketing hype or packaging «promises» it can do, if it doesn't contain anything that can help - then the likelihood of it helping is low.

We help you identify key notable ingredients that have been shown to help with effects such as:

  • Acne-Fighting
  • Brightening
  • UV Protection
  • Promote Wound healing
  • Anti-aging

This way you can screen products to to help you achieve your skincare goals smarter. Please note that different notable ingredients have varying levels of research behind them, some are extremely well proven yet some have mixed research in their efficacy.

Pro Tip Alert!
Just because a product doesn't contain any notable ingredients doesn't mean it's bad. Remember the «anti-aging» cream above? It could still be a perfectly great moisturizer but you might end up paying a higher price tag because it’s marketed as «anti-aging».

And a product with notable ingredients (or even many) doesn't necessarily guarantee the efficacy of the product performing these effects either. There are other factors such as ingredient quality, concentration and formulation that will ultimately determine this.

Be smart and use this as just a starting point for you to make more informed and smarter choices and compare it with reviews to see if the product is right for you

Of course. There are endless amounts of ingredients out there that have some great effects. If we haven’t covered it - please let us know at snails@skincarisma.com!

Why are some products great for some people and horrible for others? Well everyone has different skin types and different reactions to the same ingredients.

We've identified a range of ingredients that are commonly regarded as potentially good or bad for those with Dry, Oily/Acne-Prone or Sensitive skin.

Pro Tip Alert!
A product that contains good or bad ingredients for your skin type doesn't always flat out make the entire product good or bad for your skin. There are other factors such as ingredient quality, concentration and formulation that will ultimately determine your skin’s reaction.

One of the best ways to use this section is to troubleshoot products you've had bad experiences with in the past. Check if it contains any of the marked ingredients to point out suspect ingredients to avoid in the future!

Cruelty free refers to no animal testing/not tested on animals. Please note that this is different to vegan products and products free from animal ingredients. To find cruelty free brands you can filter for them when searching the platform.

On SkinCarisma, cruelty free brands will generally have approval from one (or more) of the following organisations:

No, this is not always the case. There are also brands out there who are cruelty-free who have yet gotten approval from one of the above organisations or have gotten approval from other organisations which do not fit our definition.

If you believe a brand should be included, please email us at snails@skincarisma.com.

The Quick Version - What you need to know:
It is generally recommended that a cleanser of pH level between 4.5 to 6.0 is gentle and balanced for the skin and will help keep it in its most healthy and optimal state. Click here to search for cleansers within that range

If you’ve ever used a cleanser that’s left your skin feeling «squeaky-clean» there’s a good chance that it’s outside of this range. (p.s. That squeaky clean feeling can be an indicator that your skin’s been stripped of it’s good stuff!).

However, that being said, some people's skins are more tolerant and might even prefer cleansers outside this range - you'll know this from personal experience and checking the PH of your past cleansers.

What is PH level?

pH is a number on a scale from 1 to 14 that lets you know if something is acidic or alkaline (basic). A pH of 7 is considered neutral, if it's lower than 7, it's considered acidic and if it's higher than 7, it's considered alkaline.

Why does this matter in Skincare?

Everyone's skin is protected by a thing invisible film on the surface called the Acid Mantle, it's made of good stuff like fatty acids, lactic acids and amino acids. The Acid Mantle is like our skin’s protector and first line of defence, guarding it from external bacteria, viruses, fungi, pollutants & etc. It's also the thing that gives our skin it's PH.

Our acid mantle generally has a pH range from 4.0 to 7.0 which is often it's «healthy range». If the acid mantle moves away from this range, its defence mechanisms are weakened making us prone to external influences and can lead to acne (fungal acne included), inflammation, irritation, dehydrated skin, sensitive skin, dermatitis & other skin conditions.

So, what affects your Acid Mantles pH?

Anything can affect your skin's pH, which can make it a bit tricky. Most commonly, cleansers have a big effect on it - a high pH cleanser can raise your skin's pH for upwards of 6 hours after use which can be quite problematic. Its why skincare enthusiasts are always often looking for «pH balanced» cleansers to use.

PH Levels on SkinCarisma are community powered, meaning our members submit them from where ever they find them. This can either be done by testing it at home by yourself, from official brand website/correspondence or external sources.

If you can’t find a PH level here, we recommend trying to find it online by googling or trying to be your own scientist at home and testing it yourself using PH strip. If you happen to find it, don’t forget you can always submit it to our website through the cleanser’s page - this way the community benefits!

Pityrosporum Folliculitis/Malassezia folliculitis or simply known as Fungal Acne is a persistent acne-like condition that commonly responds poorly to traditional acne-treating methods. Unlike most cases of Acne where bacteria is the culprit, Fungi is the culprit of Fungal Acne (Hence the name!). There are certain classes & groups of ingredients that have been shown to promote and feed the growth of the Fungal Acne, Fungi such as fatty acids, oils, esters, polysorbates and fermented ingredients.

For more information regarding Fungal Acne, please visit Simple Skincare Science (f.c) - #3 of our Recommend Skincare Resources for an amazing comprehensive guide!

At SkinCarisma, we've done our best to identify as many ingredients as possible but note the fungal-free label may not be 100% accurate due to the complexconditions and combination of ingredients that malezzeria can thrive on. Additionally, products that may contain ingredients that have shown to feed Malassezia may not necessarily exacerbate the condition due to concentration of ingredient used in the product, this information is simply not available on the products.

As a result, please note this is only an experimental label that can be best used to possible identify problematic products you have used in the past. It is in no way a perfect identifier nor a predictor in whether or not it will exacerbate or cause fungal acne. It will continue to be worked on as more information and research comes to light.

Due to the lack of substantial research into this area it is very likely there are other ingredients and class/groups of ingredients that could feed Fungal Acne which have not been identified. The Fungal-Safe label does not constitute as medical advice. For your specific case, always consult your medical professions such as dermatologist, physician, pharmacist, or health care provider - please read our medical disclaimer for more information.

If you believe an ingredient is missing from the list, please email us at snails@skincarisma.com and let us know! :)

Ingredient Safety Breakdown refers to the percentage % of ingredients in different risk categories as classified by EWG (Environment Working Group) if they are available. There are almost endless cosmetic ingredients and they are one of the very few organisations globally that have assigned ratings to the vast majority of commonly used ingredients which is why we reference them.

Pro Tip Alert!

EWG is seen by many to be more on the alarmist side in their assignment of health ratings resulting in rating ingredients as riskier than they actually are. We recommend using this a reference point rather than a strict guide of ingredient safety and to always do further research if into ingredients that you may find suspect.

Directly from their website: «The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.»

EWG is one of the few organizations that have curated and compiled data from multiples sources to create a rating for cosmetic ingredients which is why we’ve decided to use their score. For more information regarding EWG you can visit their website directly.

The EWG score consists of between 1 - 10 and falls in a category of low, medium, high risk and unknown. Unknown means there is currently no data available for it. The distribution of it is as follows:

1 – 2: Low Risk

3 – 6: Medium Risk

7 – 10: High Risk

We definitely understand this sentiment, which is why we’ve recommended them to use them as a reference point rather than an exact strict guideline. Always do further research into any ingredients you may find are suspect!

We also provide CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) ratings as an alternative!

Directly from their website: «The Cosmetic Ingredient Review was established in 1976 by the industry trade association (then the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association, now the Personal Care Products Council), with the support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. Although funded by the Council, CIR and the review process are independent from the Council and the cosmetics industry.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) studies individual chemical compounds as they are used in cosmetic products. CIR relies heavily on the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) when identifying the ingredients to be assessed. »

CIR is another organisation that has a core focus of cosmetic ingredient safety. For more information regarding the CIR you can visit their website directly.

You will notice that the CIR Finding ratings are on a different scale compared to EWG's. We currently use 3 of their ratings:

A - Safe as Used

B - Safe with Qualifications

C - Insufficient Data to Support Safety

Each ingredient may have several functions. Function being the purpose of the ingredient in the product. Click here for a full list of cosmetic functions directly from the «Official Journal of the European Union: Amending Decision 96/335/EC establishing an inventory and a common nomenclature of ingredients employed in cosmetic products».

General Cosmetic Analysis FAQ

As accurate as it currently can be! All product information is submitted by our dedicated community members and are manually reviewed/approved before being put on the site.

However, sometimes errors do split through the cracks and if you do spot an inaccurate listing - please let us know!

There might be times where the ingredients do not exactly match, this is because a single ingredient may have different variations of its name and often have synonyms. We've grouped these different name variations into just one name, rest assured - the outcome on the cosmetic analysis remains entirely the same!

Make sure that a synonym name isn’t being used first! It’s possible that we might be missing an ingredient and our analyser is being too smart and is incorrectly matching it to an alternative. If you believe this is the case, please email us at snails@skincarisma.com with the suspect ingredients and an example. We’ll look into it update our algorithm!

Sometimes you’ll find ingredients without many data points which is completely normal, it just means it’s unavailable yet.

Awesome that you've spotted a correct, please email us at snails@skincarisma.com and we’ll take a look into it immediately!