Understanding Active Ingredients

Active ingredients are over-the-counter formulations of drugs, and they increase the chances that a product will be effective. As per the FDA, certain concentrations are classified as prescription drugs and can be dispensed only by a doctor.

If a product contains an active ingredient, it may be prominently displayed on the packaging. When an active ingredient is present, it is classified as a drug, which means it affects the structure or functions of the body.

The percent next to the active ingredient reveals its potency. Essentially, the higher the potency, the higher the effectiveness. So if a particular product isn't working for you, you shouldn't necessarily give up on the active ingredient; instead, look for a product with a higher concentration.