Category Archives: US Ingredients

US Ingredient FAQs

Rodan + Fields® products combine active ingredients in aesthetically elegant vehicles for effective formulations that feel like luxury skin treatments. Scroll below for answers to our most common questions on Rodan + Fields ingredients.

What is a “Drug Facts” box?

If there is a “drug facts” label on the package or insert and the ingredient list separates and calls out an “active ingredient,” it is an OTC drug. An ingredient cannot be listed as an “active ingredient” on a purely cosmetic product.

  • Active Ingredient: Used only in FDA-regulated OTC drug products
  • Purpose: The intended action(s) of the OTC drug product
  • Uses: The specific indication(s) or approved use(s) for the OTC drug product
  • Warnings: Any known possible contraindications or adverse effects of the product; this information is required on all drugs but not on cosmetics.
  • Directions: Recommended manner set forth by the applicable drug monograph.
  • Inactive ingredients: Other ingredients in the product that are not regulated as OTC drugs; these ingredients may provide other cosmetic benefits not indicated under “uses.”

What is RFp3?

RFp3 peptide technology is our proprietary combination of two peptides and a protease inhibitor that work at the skin’s surface to neutralize triggers and pacify skin. In Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Sensitive Skin Treatment and ENHANCEMENTS Mineral Peptides, RFp3 works in combination with OTC skin protectants or sunscreen ingredients to shield against the biological and environmental aggressors associated with skin irritation.

What are peptides?

Peptides are chains of amino acids that may occur naturally in the body or be synthesized in the laboratory. For skincare applications, different types of peptides are used. For example, some peptides are used in skincare products to reduce the appearance of aging, and other types of peptides may be used to reduce visible redness associated with a range of skin conditions.

Are Rodan + Fields products natural or organic?

Our primary concern is the safety and efficacy of our products and natural ingredients are not always the safest or most effective alternatives. Rodan + Fields products are not classified as either natural or organic. While many government and nongovernmental agencies have issued guidelines, there is no single uniform definition of the term “natural” as applied to cosmetic products. Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields have created a regimen-based solution to skincare concerns by combining the best-in-class over-the-counter (OTC) and skincare ingredients to produce easy-to-use, aesthetically elegant formulations that produce real, demonstrable results.

For more on this topic, check out the Skinpact News Webisode “Earth Day.”

Are Rodan + Fields products safe?

The safety and efficacy of our products is our primary concern. As a result we follow all FDA guidelines and constantly review ingredient information and testing data. We are also members of the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) which initiated the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel as an independent, nonprofit scientific body that assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics and skincare products. In addition, we conduct irritancy testing on all of our products and all of our Regimens undergo dermatologist-run third party clinical testing to ensure safety and efficacy.

How do I test products to determine if my skin is sensitive to them?

We recommend you test products using the following instructions for three days, three times a day:

  1. Apply a small amount of the product on your jawline or neck. If you’re testing a cleanser, apply it for 30 seconds, and then rinse it off.
  2. Apply each product on a separate area. When you test again, reapply the products in the same area as originally applied.
  3. Watch for any signs of redness, dryness, irritation or swelling.

If you determine you are sensitive to a product, discontinue use. You may want to consider consulting your physician for further testing to determine whether your skin may be sensitive to certain ingredient(s) so that you may avoid using products containing that ingredient in the future.

How is Active Hydration Serum different from other hydrating skincare products?

Active Hydration Serum is not like any other product. The 3D3P Molecular Matrix is a patent-pending, one-of-a-kind structure, invented in our R+F lab. We created a new molecule to address hydration in a different way, binding Glycerin to Hyaluronic Acid and attracting moisture to the skin throughout the day as needed. Our proprietary technology allows us to deliver a high dose of 30% Glycerin versus other formulas that only contain 1-3%, making Active Hydration Serum more effective.

How do Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid differ?

Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid are humectants that attract and hold water. However, they behave differently on the skin. Glycerin is a small molecule which is capable of absorbing at the skin’s surface. Hyaluronic Acid is a very large molecule that sits on top of the skin when applied, creating a hydrating cushion. Combining both Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid provides a superior capacity for binding water and boosting hydration.

What’s a cosmeceutical?

Cosmeceutical is an unofficial term used by the beauty industry to indicate that a cosmetic ingredient has clinically significant aesthetic benefits. The FDA has not defined, nor does it recognize, the term “cosmeceutical.”

What’s the difference between an active ingredient and cosmetic ingredients?

Active ingredient is an official term used by the FDA for materials that are classified as either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drugs. For products sold in the United States, active ingredients must be called out separately on the primary package with specific labeling requirements known as Drug Facts.

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act defines cosmetics by their intended use as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body … for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance.” A cosmetic ingredient is intended to affect the appearance or have other aesthetic benefits without altering the function or structure of the body. Materials classified as cosmetic must be listed in the ingredient declaration. Ingredients that are in a formulation at greater than 1 percent must be listed in order of concentration with those at the highest concentrations listed first.

Why is vitamin D important?

Vitamin D is part of a healthy diet and required for overall health and wellness. Our bodies are able to synthesize vitamin D, but the resulting incidental sun exposure damages and ages the skin. Dr. Rodan, Dr. Fields and leading healthcare authorities recommend avoiding the sun and supplementing with oral vitamin D. ESSENTIALS Maximum D3 Vitamin D3 Supplement offers 10,000 IU of vitamin D in a once-weekly capsule.

Are Rodan + Fields sunscreens approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation?

All Rodan + Fields sunscreens have been awarded the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. This designation is only granted to sun protection products that meet stringent criteria and provide scientific data to demonstrate that the product sufficiently and safely aids in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin.

Do any Rodan + Fields products contain vitamin E?

The following products contain vitamin E:

  • REDEFINE Daily Cleansing Mask
  • REDEFINE Overnight Restorative Cream
  • REDEFINE Lip Renewing Serum
  • REDEFINE Age Shield Hand Balm
  • REDEFINE Hand Brightening Toner
  • REVERSE Intensive Brightening Toner
  • REVERSE Dual Active Brightening Complex
  • REVERSE Skin Lightening Treatment*
  • REVERSE Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Sunscreen
  • SOOTHE Gentle Cream Wash
  • SOOTHE Sensitive Skin Treatment
  • SOOTHE Moisture Replenishing Cream
  • SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
  • UNBLEMISH Oil Control Lotion SPF 20*
  • ENHANCEMENTS Micro-Dermabrasion Paste
  • ENHANCEMENTS Active Hydration Serum
  • ENHANCEMENTS Bright Eye Complex
  • ESSENTIALS Daily Body Moisturizer
  • ESSENTIALS Foaming Sunless Tan
  • ESSENTIALS SPF 30 Body Sunscreen
  • ESSENTIALS Lip Shield SPF 25

*Available in U.S. only.

Do any Rodan + Fields products contain vitamin C?

The following products contain vitamin C:

  • REDEFINE Pore Minimizing Toner
  • REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream
  • REDEFINE Overnight Restorative Cream
  • REDEFINE Age Shield Hand Balm SPF 30
  • REVERSE Skin Lightening Accelerator Pack
  • REVERSE Dual Active Brightening Complex
  • UNBLEMISH Oil Control Lotion SPF 20*
  • ENHANCEMENTS Micro-Dermabrasion Paste
  • ESSENTIALS Foaming Sunless Tan
  • ESSENTIALS Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Body Sunscreen
  • ESSENTIALS Lip Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 25

*Available in U.S. only.

Can I use products containing retinol during the day?

Yes. However, because retinol may increase photo sensitivity and because sun exposure diminishes the efficacy of retinol, we advise that you avoid sun exposure. If you want to brighten your complexion and fend off the aging effects of the sun, you should always apply a sunscreen each morning, seek shade and wear protective broad-brimmed hats and clothing.

Do Rodan + Fields products contain titanium?

The following products contain titanium dioxide:

  • REDEFINE Daily Cleansing Mask
  • REDEFINE Overnight Restorative Cream
  • REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream
  • REDEFINE Brightening Hand Treatment
  • SOOTHE Sensitive Skin Treatment
  • SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
  • UNBLEMISH Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash
  • UNBLEMISH Oil Control Lotion SPF 20*
  • ENHANCEMENTS Body Micro-Dermabrasion
  • ENHANCEMENTS Mineral Peptides SPF 20

*Available in U.S. only.

Do Rodan + Fields products contain parabens?

Parabens, a commonly used preservative in personal care products, can also be found in some oral products and foods, including some fruits and vegetables, strawberries, grape juice yeast extracts, barley and vinegar. They have been used safely since the 1920s to help prevent microbial contamination, to increase shelf life and to keep products and consumers safe. Our primary concern is the safety of our products, and, as a result, we follow all FDA recommendations, guidelines and regulations concerning the ingredients we use in our products. In addition to finished products which may add small amounts of parabens added as a preservative to the formula, raw materials containing organic substances (such as botanicals) also need to be preserved, and in some cases parabens are used to help sanitize botanical processing equipment. Some of these botanical ingredients occasionally have very small levels of parabens which are considered incidental ingredients since they approach 1 part per million (0.0001%). As we continue to develop and improve our products, the list below may change, however, please see the list of formulas containing parabens between 0.0001% – 0.15%.

Contains parabens at low levels as a preservative (~0.15%)

  • REVERSE Skin Lightening Treatment
  • UNBLEMISH Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash

Contains parabens at trace levels from incidental addition (~0.0001%)

  • SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
  • REDEFINE Triple Defense Treatment
  • REVERSE Dual Active Brightening Complex

Updated on 2-10-17

Is hydroquinone safe, and which Rodan + Fields products contain hydroquinone?

Hydroquinone is a naturally occurring substance that is present in blueberries, broccoli and meats. It is commonly consumed by most people through their diets.

Used topically in skincare, hydroquinone has an outstanding safety profile in the United States when used as specified by the FDA as an OTC ingredient at 2% for evening skin tone and lightening areas of discoloration, pigment and age or liver spots. Hydroquinone has been used for treating these skin conditions for over 40 years. Hydroquinone can be found in:

  • REVERSE Skin Lightening Accelerator Pack*

*Available in U.S. only.

Do Rodan + Fields products contain Retin-A type ingredients?

Tretinoin, the active ingredient in the prescription drug Retin-A, is not present in any Rodan + Fields product. Other forms of vitamin A are contained in cosmetic products. Retinol is an ingredient that has been favored by dermatologists for decades to encourage epidermal cell turnover to visibly improve skin texture and minimize the appearance of pores. Retinol can be found in:

  • REDEFINE Night Renewing Serum
  • REVERSE Dual Active Brightening Complex
  • REVERSE Skin Lightening Accelerator Pack (Skin Lightening Treatment)*

Retinyl Palmitate is found in:

  • REDEFINE Overnight Restorative Cream
  • ESSENTIALS Foaming Sunless Tan
  • ESSENTIALS Lip Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 25

What are the age restrictions for Rodan + Fields products?

Certain FDA over-the-counter (OTC) monographs contain cautions with respect to use on children. For example, under the FDA’s final rule on sunscreen drug products, consumers are directed to consult a physician before using a sunscreen on children under six months. Additionally, the FDA recommends that skin lightening products containing hydroquinone are not to be used by children under 12 years of age unless directed by a physician.

Can some ingredients increase sun sensitivity?

There are a number of pharmaceutical ingredients that can cause photo (sun) sensitivity. If you are taking prescription medications, consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for such concerns.

As for commonly used skincare ingredients, very few are photosensitizing, but some may appear to make your skin more prone to sunburn. That’s because leathery, sun-damaged skin often has a thick, dead skin layer that when normalized with retinols and hydroxyl acids may temporarily result in sun sensitivity. Using products that exfoliate the outermost layers of the skin like retinoids and hydroxy acids may temporarily result in sun sensitivity. If you believe your skin is allergic to an ingredient, it is best to discontinue use and contact your healthcare professional for further guidance.

Why doesn’t the SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 contain SHIELDrf?

To best meet the needs of sensitive skin, SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen uses a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to help protect the skin from the sun. Physical, inorganic sunscreens are inert on skin and have the added benefit of helping to keep skin surface cool and reduce the appearance of heat-induced redness.


SHIELDRF is our exclusive complex of avobenzone (a key absorber of aging UVA rays) and colorless carotenoids (free radical fighting antioxidants) combined with UVB sunscreen ingredients for effective, photo-stable, broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen protection and minimization of the appearance of photo-aging.