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Ingredient Dictionary

Good

faex

A type of yeast. Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants

Average

farnesol

Extract of plants that is used in cosmetics primarily for fragrance. A few animal studies and some... Read More »

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

Average

farnesyl acetate

See farnesol

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

Best

fatty acid

Substance typically found in plant and animal lipids (fat). Fatty acids include compounds such as... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients, Texture Enhancer, Skin-Replenishing

Good

fatty alcohol

Made from fatty acids; fatty alcohols are used in cosmetics as thickening agents and emollients.... Read More »

Categories: Texture Enhancer, Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

FD&C

Type of coloring agent. According to the FDA, when FD&C is followed by a color, the color is... Read More »

Categories: Coloring Agents/Pigments

Good

FD&C colors

General term for any color additive deemed to be safe and FDA-approved for use in foods, drugs, and... Read More »

Categories: Coloring Agents/Pigments

Poor

fennel oil

Volatile, fragrant oil that can cause skin sensitivity. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Sensitizing

Poor

fennel seed extract

Can have antioxidant properties, but on skin it can be a skin sensitizer (Source:... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts, Sensitizing

Good

ferric ammonium ferrocyanide

Inorganic salt of ferric ferrocyanide.  Read More »

Categories: Coloring Agents/Pigments

Good

ferric ferrocyanide

Also known as Iron Blue, a coloring agent used in cosmetic products, including those designed for... Read More »

Categories: Coloring Agents/Pigments

Poor

Ferula galbaniflua

See galbanum

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

Best

ferulic acid

A plant-based antioxidant. Research suggests that it provides antioxidant... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Good

feverfew extract

A plant that can be very soothing but also potentially sensitizing to the skin... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Skin-Soothing, Sensitizing

Good

fibronectin

Type of protein found in the skin.... Read More »

Categories: Skin-Replenishing

Poor

Ficus carica fruit extract

See fig

Categories: Sensitizing, Plant Extracts

Poor

fig

Fruit that contains psoralens, which are compounds that may cause sensitizing reactions... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Sensitizing

Best

Filipendula glaberrima

Also known as Nakai, the root of this plant extract has been shown to be an antioxidant… Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Best

Filipendula rubra

See meadowsweet extract

Categories: Skin-Soothing, Plant Extracts

Good

film-forming agent

Large group of ingredients that are typically found in hair-care products, but that are also widely... Read More »

Categories: Film-Forming/Holding Agents

Poor

fir needle oil

Volatile, fragrant oil that can cause skin sensitivity. Read More »

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

Best

fireweed extract

Extract from the Epilobium angustifolium plant; also known as willow herb. Read More »

Categories: Skin-Soothing, Plant Extracts

Average

fish cartilage extract

May have water-binding properties, but there is no research showing that this has any benefit for... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Best

flavonoid

See bioflavonoid

Categories: Antioxidants

Average

flavor

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the term "flavor" on a product label signifies... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

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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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