Ingredient Dictionary

Average

GABA

GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid/gamma amino-butyric acid) is an amino acid synthesized in the brain... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

Good

galactoarabinan

Polysaccharide extracted from the western larch tree. Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Poor

galbanum

Fragrant substance that, because of its resin and volatile oil content, can be extremely irritating... Read More »

Categories: Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts, Irritants

Best

gamma linolenic acid (GLA)

Fatty acid used in cosmetics as an emollient, antioxidant, and cell regulator. GLA is considered to... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Antioxidants, Emollients

Average

Ganoderma lucidum extract

Mushroom stem extract. There is no research showing it to be effective when used topically on skin... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Poor

Gardenia florida extract

Flower extract used in cosmetics to impart fragrance; also functions as an antioxidant (Source:... Read More »

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

Good

gelatin

Protein obtained from plants or animals and used in cosmetics as a thickening agent. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

Gellidiela acerosa extract

Extract derived from a type of algae. Read More »

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

Best

genistein

Plant component (most often from soy) that is a rich source of antioxidants, though it can also be... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Best

Gentiana lutea (Gentian) root extract

Active part of the gentian plant, constituents of which are anti-inflammatory and antibacterial... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Best

geranium extract

Extract that can have potent antioxidant properties (Source: Phytomedicine, June 2000, pages... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Poor

geranium oil

Fragrant oil that can have antimicrobial properties but also can be a skin sensitizer or irritant... Read More »

Categories: Irritants, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Plant Extracts

Poor

Geranium pretense

Geranium plant. Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Irritants, Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Good

Germaben II

Trade name for diazolidinyl urea. Read More »

Categories: Preservatives

Poor

ginger extract

Extract from a plant in the Zingiberacae family that has research showing it has anti-inflammatory... Read More »

Categories: Irritants, Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Poor

ginger oil

See ginger extract

Categories: Irritants, Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants

Best

Ginkgo biloba leaf extract

Research shows this potent antioxidant helps improve blood flow. It is often used in anti-cellulite... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Average

ginseng

Herb in the family Araliaceae, native to Asia. A small number of studies carried out on animals... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

Best

GLA

See gamma linolenic acid (GLA)

Categories: Antioxidants, Emollients, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

Best

glabridin

Main ingredient in licorice extract. It has anti-inflammatory properties. There is research showing... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Best

gluconolactone

See polyhydroxy acid

Categories: Leave-On Exfoliant

Good

glucose

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

Categories: Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Good

glucose oxidase

Glucose oxidase is an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of the sugar glucose. Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Miscellaneous

Average

glucose tyrosinate

See tyrosine

Categories: Miscellaneous

Average

glutamic acid

Amino acid derived from wheat gluten. It can have water-binding properties for skin. There is no... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

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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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