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Ingredient Dictionary

Good

D&C

According to the FDA, D&C is an identification that indicates a coloring agent has been approved as... Read More »

Categories: Coloring Agents/Pigments

Good

D&C colors

General term for a wide group of color additives that are approved for use in drugs and cosmetics... Read More »

Categories: Coloring Agents/Pigments

Best

d-alpha-tocopherol

Antioxidant that's considered the most optimal form of vitamin E. Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Vitamins

Poor

daisy flower extract

There is no research showing this extract has any benefit for skin. Also known as tansy, it can... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts

Poor

Daucus carota

Also known as wild carrot. It can have antioxidant properties, but applied topically it can cause... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Good

DEA oleth-10 phosphate

Used as an emulsifying agent, which is a group of ingredients essential to most cosmetic... Read More »

Categories: Texture Enhancer

Best

decarboxy carnosine HCL

See carnosine , skin-restoring ingredients

Categories: Skin-Restoring, Skin-Soothing

Good

decyl glucoside

Used as a gentle detergent cleansing agent. Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

decyl oleate

A skin-conditioning agent derived from the esters of decyl alcohol and oleic acid. Read More »

Categories: Emollients

Good

decylene glycol

A synthetic glycol that functions as a skin-conditioning agent. Read More »

Categories: Skin-Replenishing

Good

dehydroacetic acid

A synthetic preservative uses in amounts of 0.6% or less. Sometimes its salt form (known as sodium... Read More »

Categories: Preservatives

Average

dehydroepiandrosterone

Read More »

Good

deionized/demineralized water

Filtered water used in cosmetics. All water used in cosmetic formulations goes through this process... Read More »

Poor

denatured alcohol

See alcohol

Average

deoxyribonucleic acid

Read More »

Good

detergent cleansing agent

See surfactant

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Average

deuterium oxide

Read More »

Good

dextran

Polysaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin. Read More »

Categories: Skin-Replenishing

Good

dextrin

Carbohydrate that is classified as a polysaccharide. It is used as an adhesive when mixed with... Read More »

Categories: Texture Enhancer

Good

DHA

See dihydroxyacetone

Good

di-PPG-3 myristyl ether adipate

Derivative of myristyl alcohol (a fatty alcohol) and adipic acid (a buffering and neutralizing... Read More »

Categories: Texture Enhancer

Average

diatomaceous earth

Light-colored porous rock composed of the skeletons of minute sea creatures called diatoms.... Read More »

Categories: Scrub Agents

Average

diazolidinyl urea

Water-soluble preservative. Read More »

Categories: Preservatives

Average

dibutyl phthalate

Also known as DBP, it is a common ingredient in nail polish and most synthetic fragrances sold... Read More »

Good

dicaprylyl carbonate

An emollient ingredient that may be derived from synthetic or animal sources. It spreads easily and... Read More »

Categories: Emollients

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About the Experts

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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