Why Active Ingredients In Your Skincare May Not be Working

Ever wonder why you aren't seeing the results you thought you would from that new skincare product you've been using for a while? Most likely, the good ingredients aren't getting to where they need to be. 

Anti-ageing actives such as Retinol or Vitamin C often don’t work like they're supposed to, even though the science behind them is very good. This is because active ingredients aren't always paired with an effective 'delivery system' to get them past the surface layer of the skin.

The delivery system

Just because something is put onto the surface of the skin doesn’t mean it'll get absorbed. This means many good-quality, expensive ingredients end up sitting on top of the skin, unused until they’re eventually washed off (a lot of money down the drain, literally).

We spend a lot of time making sure the delivery system for active ingredients is effective so they can do the work they're supposed to. This adds some expense to our formulas, of course, but there’s no point in using active ingredients if they aren't going to do anything.

Unstable Active Ingredients

Another reason active ingredients may not work is because they can be unstable or become unstable over time. This means they lose their ability to do what they’re supposed to. There was a study a while back that found that most Retinol products have almost no active Retinol left in them after 6 months because Retinol by itself is quite unstable.

To avoid ingredients becoming unstable and useless, we choose the forms of active ingredients that stay stable long-term and are most compatible with the skin. The best analogy for these ingredients is that they're like fast-looking cars with gutless engines, all show, no power.

Water-soluble vs Oil-Soluble

Let's take Vitamin C for example. Most forms of Vitamin C are water-soluble, which is great if it's being ingested. But skin is full of oils and is a protective organ, so it doesn't just let anything in willy-nilly.

So, we use a type of Vitamin C called Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate (say that 5 times fast) because it's oil-soluble so it easily gets absorbed into the skin. It's also the most stable form available, which means that by the time it makes it to your face, it'll still work. While it's expensive to use, we think it's worth the extra cost to get something that works. 

A few other things

Now we'll cover off a few more things to keep in mind...just because.


Just because something comes in fancy, futuristic packaging, doesn’t make it technologically advanced no matter how shiny the box is.

Just because a product comes in packaging covered in leaves and flowers doesn’t mean it's natural. Sorry, but it's true.

Price tags

Just because something has a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily mean it's of higher quality or even works. It might just mean a bigger marketing budget to pay celebrities or fancier packaging. Go figure!


Just because an ingredient sounds technologically advanced (like stem cells from Swiss apples), doesn’t mean it's useful or compatible with human skin. It just sounds good and sells lots of products.

As you can see, we're very passionate about this topic. And thank you for reading if you've made it this far! Now, let's move on to the super serums we make and how they can work for you.


A Guide to MooGoo Face Serums


Bakuchiol (1%) Natural Retinol Substitute Active Serum

Retinol (Vitamin A) has been a fave among skincare aficionados for years now and the hype is real. Retinoids work by prompting surface skin cells to turn over and die, making way for new cell growth. They hamper the breakdown of collagen and thicken deeper layers of skin where wrinkles get their start. That's quite the CV!

But, Retinol can be irritating to the skin and is not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women. So, we hunted for a natural ingredient that packs an anti-ageing punch without the side effects, and we found Bakuchiol. Clinical studies found that this plant-based alternative is just as effective as, if not more so that Retinol.




Hyaluronic Acid (2%), Niacinamide (10%) Active Serum

This serum was created with multi-tasking in mind. We love using ingredients that can talk the talk AND walk the walk, so this is where Hyaluronic Acid & Niacinamide come in. As we age, our skin’s ability to hold onto moisture levels lessens, causing it to become dry easily, resulting in the creation of fine lines and eventually wrinkles.

Hyaluronic Acid pulls moisture into the skin and retains it to keep skin hydrated and refreshed. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is no shrinking violet. It's well-tolerated by all skin types and improves skin tone whilst reducing redness and irritation. Apply this double headlining serum morning and night, or both if that tickles your fancy.




Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate (Vitamin C) in Squalane (25%)

This oil-based formula contains a massive 25% Vitamin C. We use an oil-soluble form, as we mentioned above, which we mix into a hydrating base of Olive Squalane. This well-researched, lush, superstar oil mimics the protective oil found naturally in younger skin. Sadly, we slowly stop producing it naturally around our mid-twenties.

We top off this 3-ingredient formula with some Natural Vitamin E for good measure. We use this form because it contains both Alpha and Gamma Tocopherol, while most other forms only contain Alpha. Research is showing that it's Gamma Tocopherol that gives the most benefit to the skin. We use this in almost all of our skincare formulas.




Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Seed Oil (100%) 

Used for centuries in the Pacific Islands, this oil gained attention when it was shown in a study to help normalise the appearance of scar tissue. From the moment you apply Tamanu Oil to the skin, it can be seen that it’s a very intense and concentrated oil. It has a yellow/green colour, feels quite thick until warmed and has a distinctive scent.

In some ways, it may not be the "prettiest" of the oils, but it's certainly one of the most effective ones around. Because of its ability to reduce redness and soothe skin, it's ideal for scarring, stretch marks and blemish-prone skin, but totally suitable for all skin types too. It's also quickly becoming well-known for its anti-ageing benefits; based on the promotion of new skin and its assistance in repair and rejuvenation.




Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil (100%)

So, there's good Rosehip Oil and there's bad Rosehip Oil. Good Rosehip Oil is amazing for the skin and full of essential fatty acids, but some Rosehip Oils out there don't stack up. If Rosehip Oil isn't fresh and isn't stored properly, it can quickly become unstable and oxidize, losing all of its beneficial, antioxidant and anti-ageing properties.

Knowing this, we went to great lengths to source the highest-grade, cold-pressed Rosehip Oil we could get our hooves on. Because it's rich in essential fatty acids and has a high concentration of antioxidants, we recommend this for dehydrated and mature skin. Best applied in the evenings underneath your moisturiser for a deep and nourishing beauty sleep. Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.




Argireline Amplified Peptide (5%) Anti-ageing Serum

What is the point of an anti-ageing active if it sits on top of the skin like water on top of oil? Exactly! Up until 2020, that’s exactly what most anti-ageing serums that used peptides would do. So, to overcome this problem the Argireline Amplified Peptide was developed. What’s the difference? It has a much smaller molecule size and is combined with a Liposome delivery system that will actually penetrate the product into your skin.

If you know us, you know we jump onto the most effective ingredients we can find – and this one is no exception! We’ve spent a long time developing this addition to the MooGoo Face range and are exceptionally pleased with the result. Specifically designed to target fine lines and wrinkles, the Argireline Amplified Peptide (5%) Anti-ageing Serum is 50x more potent than regular Argireline serums! That’s pretty impressive, right? We even went an extra step and made sure to pair this with a highly effective liposome delivery system which means all this goodness is getting right down into the muscle layers of your face. Now here’s the cherry on top; all of this is manufactured using Green Technology. So now we’re not only addressing (inevitable) damage to your skin, but damage on the planet too. Yay!