Actives In Body Care Products. Do You Need Them? Experts Weigh In

body care

If you’ve understood the power of actives and how they can work for your skin, then chances are you won’t want to limit these to just your face. In fact, there’s been a steady rise in the popularity of active-based body care products, that is, ones that target specific skin issues on the body.

We connected with Dr Meghna Gupta, MD, Dermatologist, Delhi Skin Centre to ask her about this trend. “Actives for body were always available,” she says, speaking of prescriptive ones that dermatologists suggest. She adds, “Now there’s more awareness about actives, and the availability of OTC formulations too.”

Some of the more common actives we’re seeing in body care, shares Dr Meghna, include alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic and lactic acids, beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid, urea, and retinol to name a few. “These are able to address certain skin conditions like feet calluses, keratosis pilaris, acanthosis nigricans, eczema, truncal acne, body pigmentation etc.”

Dr Meghna also points out that OTC products are generally safe, if one is not allergic or sensitive to any specific ingredient. She cautions, “Don’t go overboard with actives on the body, and use them for a limited period of time. If it’s a medical concern, consult your dermatologist, don’t rely on Google search.”

Active-based Bodycare Products You Can Try…

1. Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Body Spray

Active present: Salicylic acid
Tackles: Body acne

This spray is formulated with 2% salicylic acid to fight acne without any harsh side effects. With its oil solubility, BHA penetrates the skin, gets rid of backne, bumpy texture, blackheads and gently exfoliates with a pH range of 3.2-3.8. It helps clear acne without causing any redness and dryness.

2. Victoria’s Secret Water Lotion Replenishing Body Lotion

Active present: Hyaluronic acid
Tackles: Dehydrated skin

If dry, winter skin bothers you, try this super light gel-formula lotion that is fast-absorbing and leaves skin feeling smooth and refreshed. The hyaluronic acid in it binds and holds moisture in the skin, thus boosting overall hydration levels.

3. Chemist At Play Anti-Aging Body Lotion

Actives present: Retinol, niacinamide
Tackles: Signs of ageing, sun spots, saggy skin

Signs of ageing don’t only appear on the face, which is why these types of lotions come to the rescue. An everyday use body lotion, it has 4% retinol, and also niacinamide and zemea. The together work to soothe & moisturise and reduce those fine lines and other signs of ageing like sun spots and sagging skin.

4. Suganda Lactic Body Wash

Active present: Lactic acid
Tackles: Keratosis pilaris, ingrown hair


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This hydrating and exfoliating body wash contains 5% lactic acid, panthenol and glycerin. It cleanses the skin while resurfacing it gently, visibly improving the texture of rough and bumpy skin aka keratosis pilaris or chicken skin. It also resolves ingrown hair woes and brightens the skin.

5. The Derma Co.1% Kojic Acid Daily Glow Body Serum-Lotion

Actives present: Kojic acid, vitamin C, alpha arbutin, urea
Tackles: Pigmentation, dryness

With the power of kojic acid, this body serum lotion inhibits melanin synthesis and treats pigmentation, giving you brighter and even-toned skin. Urea, macadamia oil & shea butter keeps skin moisturised all day while vitamin C & alpha arbutin brighten your skin, making it appear smoother and more radiant.

6. Mario Badescu A.H.A Botanical Body Wash

Active present: Glycolic acid
Tackles: Blemishes, dark spots

If blemishes and pigmentation on the body are the bane of your existence, try a body wash like this one. It clarifies, gently exfoliates and brightens the skin with glycolic acid and fruit enzymes, leaving skin brighter, softer, and smoother.

7. Dermafique Night Replenish [Body Serum]

Active present: Vitamin E
Tackles: Damaged skin


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Suitable for all skin types, this nourishing night-time body serum is enriched with vitamin E that repairs skin from oxidative damage. Vitamin E is probably the most widely used active ingredient in the beauty industry. This serum supports skin cell regeneration at night, hydrates skin cells and thus, renews damaged skin.

8. Fixderma Salyzap Body Wash For Acne

Active present: Salicylic acid, azelaic acid
Tackles: Body acne & breakouts

A soap-free formulation for body acne, this refreshing body wash treats and helps prevent body breakouts with salicylic acid, azelaic acid, tea tree oil and grapefruit extract. It has been specially developed to treat body breakouts such as those on your back, shoulders and chest.

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