True
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Ingredient Dictionary

Best

C10-30 cholesterol/lanosterol esters

Blend of cholesterol and fatty acid ester from lanolin. Functions as a skin conditioning agent. Read More »

Categories: Emollients

Good

C12-15 alkyl benzoate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

Good

C12-18 acid triglyceride

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

Good

C13-14 isoparaffin

A petroleum-derived ingredient whose wax-like texture functions as a thickening or gelling agent. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

C18-36 acid triglyceride

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

C20-40 pareth-40

Mixture of polyethylene glycols of various molecular weight that can function as stabilizing... Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Best

caffeic acid

Antioxidant that has multiple benefits for skin… Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants

Good

caffeine

Alkaloid found in coffee, tea, and kola nuts. It’s often included in skincare products with claims... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Poor

cajeputi oil

See Melaleuca cajeputi oil

Categories: Plant Extracts, Sensitizing

Poor

calamine

Preparation of zinc carbonate, colored with ferric oxide (a form of rust). Zinc carbonate is a... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous, Sensitizing

Best

calcium ascorbate

Form of vitamin C; other forms include ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, and... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Vitamins

Good

calcium carbonate

Chalk; used as an absorbent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Absorbent

Good

calcium d-pantetheine-s-sulfonate

Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

calcium gluconate

Calcium is an essential mineral for the body. A small amount of research shows calcium gluconate... Read More »

Categories: Skin Soothing

Good

calcium pantothenate

Also known as pantothenic acid. Read More »

Categories: Vitamins

Good

calendula extract

Extract derived from the plant commonly known as pot marigold, there is little research showing... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts, Skin Soothing

Good

Calendula officinalis flower extract

See calendula extract

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Best

Calluna vulgaris flower extract

Also known as heather extract, this plant has skin-soothing properties... Read More »

Categories: Skin Soothing, Plant Extracts

Good

Calophyllum inophyllum seed oil

See tamanu oil

Categories: Plant Extracts

Best

Camellia japonica

The leaf has been shown to be an antioxidant... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Best

Camellia oleifera

See green tea

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Best

Camellia sinensis

See green tea

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Poor

camphor

Aromatic substance obtained from the wood of a tree common to Southeast Asia, Cinnamomum camphora,... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Sensitizing

Poor

cananga extract

Fragrance used in cosmetics; it can be sensitizing to skin, much like ylang ylang. Read More »

Categories: Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts, Plant Extracts

Poor

Cananga odorata

See ylang ylang

Categories: Plant Extracts, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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