Ingredient Dictionary

Best

Haematococcus pluvialis extract

See astaxanthin extract

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Poor

Hamamelis virginiana

See witch hazel

Categories: Antioxidants, Irritants, Plant Extracts

Poor

hamamelitannin

Tannin that is found in witch hazel. It can be a skin irritant, but it also has potent antioxidant... Read More »

Categories: Irritants, Antioxidants

Good

Haslea ostrearia extract

Extract derived from a water plant also known as blue algae. In pure concentrations this extract... Read More »

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

Good

hawthorn extract

Extract that when taken orally may improve circulation (Source: Phytomedicine, 1994, volume 1,... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Poor

hayflower extract

Plant extract that, due to its constricting effect on skin, can be an irritant. There is no... Read More »

Categories: Irritants, Plant Extracts

Good

hazelnut oil

Oil extracted from the hazelnut and that is used as an emollient. Read More »

Categories: Emollients

Average

heavy water

Water in which hydrogen atoms have been replaced by deuterium; it is used chiefly as a coolant in... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Poor

Hedera helix

See English ivy extract

Categories: Irritants, Plant Extracts

Poor

hedione

Synthetic fragrant component in products, which also can be a skin irritant. Read More »

Categories: Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts, Irritants

Best

Helianhtus annuus seed oil

See sunflower seed oil

Categories: Emollients, Plant Extracts

Best

Helianthus oil

See sunflower seed oil

Categories: Emollients, Plant Extracts

Good

hemp seed oil

From the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Because both hemp and marijuana are from the genus Cannabis,... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients

Average

hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)

Stimulates division in cells lining the liver, skin cells, and cells that produce skin color. Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients

Best

hesperidin

Flavonoid found in various plants such as citrus and evening primrose oil. It has potential as a... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Good

hesperidin methyl chalcone

Citrus bioflavonoid often seen in products claiming to banish dark undereye circles. There is... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Poor

hexyl cinnamal

A fragrance ingredient used in many perfumes and often seen in fragranced skin-care products... Read More »

Categories: Irritants, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Good

hexyl laurate

Skin-conditioning agent and emollient that is a mixture of hexyl alcohol and lauric acid. Read More »

Categories: Emollients

Good

hexyldecanol

A synthetic, non-drying fatty alcohol used as an emollient and skin-conditioning agent. Read More »

Categories: Emollients

Good

hexylene glycol

See propylene glycol

Categories: Slip Agents

Average

hexylresorcinol

A synthetic ingredient that has been shown to have skin lightening ability in cell cultures but there is very limited research about it on skin... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants

Good

hibiscus

Fragrant plant Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

Good

Himanthalia elongate extract

Extract of a species of algae. Read More »

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

Good

Hippophae rhamnoides

See sea buckthorn

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Good

histidine

See amino acid

Categories: Antioxidants

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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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