Ingredient Dictionary

Good

faex

A type of yeast. Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants

Good

Fagus sylvatica extract

See yeast

Categories: Antioxidants

Average

farnesol

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

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Average

farnesyl acetate

See farnesol

Categories: Plant Extracts, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Best

fatty acid

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

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients, Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Good

fatty alcohol

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

Categories: 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 irritation and sensitivity. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Irritants

Poor

fennel seed extract

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

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts, Irritants

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

Best

Ferula foetida

See ferulic acid

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Poor

Ferula galbaniflua

See galbanum

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

Best

ferulic acid

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

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Average

feverfew extract

A plant that can be very irritating to the skin and can trigger allergic reactions. The irritation... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants, Irritants

Average

fibroblast growth factor (FGF)

Within the body, stimulates growth of the nervous system and bone formation. Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

fibronectin

Type of protein found in the skin’s intercellular matrix, similar to collagen and elastin.... Read More »

Categories: Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Poor

Ficus carica fruit extract

See fig

Categories: Irritants, Plant Extracts

Poor

fig

Fruit that contains psoralens, which are compounds that may cause photodermatitis. Topical... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Irritants

Best

Filipendula glaberrima

Also known as Nakai, the root of this plant extract has been shown in vitro to be not only a potent... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Antioxidants

Best

Filipendula rubra

See meadowsweet extract

Categories: Anti-Irritants, 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 irritation and sensitivity. Read More »

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

Best

fireweed extract

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

Categories: Anti-Irritants, 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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