Ingredient Dictionary

Best

ecamsule

See Mexoryl SX

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

Echium plantagineum seed oil

A novel, non-fragrant plant oil that's a rich source of saturated fatty acids... Read More »

Categories: Emollients

Good

ectoin

Skin-conditioning agent that also functions in cosmetics as a stabilizer. There is limited research... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

EDTA

Acronym for ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, a stabilizer used in cosmetics to prevent ingredients... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Best

egg yolk

Egg yolk is mostly water and lipids (fats), especially cholesterol, which makes it a good emollient... Read More »

Categories: Emollients

Best

eicosapentaenoic acid

Fatty acid derived from salmon oil; it is a good emollient for skin. It has also been shown to... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Emollients

Best

Elaeis guineensis

See palm oil

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Emollients

Good

elastin

Major component of skin that gives it flexibility. Sun damage causes elastin in skin to... Read More »

Categories: Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Good

elderberry

Has potent antioxidant properties (Source: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, July 2000, pages... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Poor

elecampane

Latin name Inula helenium; it is a plant that can be very irritating to the skin and can trigger... Read More »

Categories: Irritants, Plant Extracts

Best

ellagic acid

Potent antioxidant compound found in pomegranate and most berries. Research has shown that, like... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants

Good

emollient

Supple, waxlike, lubricating, thickening agents that prevent water loss and have a softening and... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

Good

emu oil

The emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is a large, flightless bird indigenous to Australia. The oil... Read More »

Categories: Emollients

Good

emulsifier

When it comes to cosmetics, an emulsifier refers to any ingredient that helps keep unlike... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Poor

English ivy extract

Can be a skin irritant due to its stimulant and astringent (skin-constricting) properties (Source:... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Irritants

Best

ensulizole

Sunscreen agent, formerly known as phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid. Ensulizole is the established... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Good

Enteromorpha compressa extract

Extract from green algae. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

enzymes

Vast group of protein molecules, produced by all living things, that act as catalysts in chemical... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Leave-On Exfoliant

Average

epidermal growth factor (EGF)

Stimulates cell division of many different cell types. There is research showing it to be helpful... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

Best

epigallocatechin gallate

One of the active constituents of green tea believed to be responsible for its many health... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Best

Epilobium angustifolium extract

Extract derived from a plant commonly known as fireweed or willow herb. Can have antimicrobial... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Poor

Equisetum arvense

See horsetail extract

Categories: Irritants, Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Good

ergocalciferol

Technical name for vitamin D. Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Vitamins

Best

ergothioneine

A substance derived from animal tissue or various types of mushrooms that has potent antioxidant... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Anti-Irritants

Best

Eriobotrya japonica

See loquat extract

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

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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 helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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