Ingredient Dictionary

Best

L-ascorbic acid

Form of vitamin C that is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent (Sources:... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Vitamins, Antioxidants

Average

L-carnitine

Also known as carboxylic acid, it is often erroneously labeled an amino acid (which it is not). It... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants

Good

L-cysteine

See antioxidant

Categories: Antioxidants

Best

lactic acid

Alpha hydroxy acid extracted from milk, although most forms used in cosmetics are synthetic. It... Read More »

Categories: Leave-On Exfoliant

Good

Lactobacillus bifidus

Type of “friendly” bacteria found in the intestine that helps maintain a healthy natural flora in... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

lactobionate

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

Categories: Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Best

lactobionic acid

See polyhydroxy acid

Categories: Leave-On Exfoliant

Best

lactoperoxidase

Enzyme derived from milk; it has antibacterial properties for skin and may be helpful for... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Poor

lady's mantle extract

See Alchemilla vulgaris

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Plant Extracts

Best

lady's thistle extract

Extract for which there is a great deal of research showing it has many medical health applications... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Antioxidants

Average

Lagerstroemia indica extract

No research shows this plant as having any benefit for skin although it is used as a mosquito... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts

Good

Laminaria digitata

See algae

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Good

Laminaria longicruris

See algae

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

Good

Laminaria ochroleuca extract

The Latin name for a species of kelp, also known as brown seaweed. Applied topically, it helps... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants

Good

Laminaria saccharine

See algae

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

Best

Lamium album flower extract

A species of the nettle plant that is used topically as an anti-inflammatory owing to its saponin... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants

Good

lanolin

Emollient, very thick substance derived from the sebaceous glands of sheep. Lanolin has long been... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Good

lanolin alcohol

Emollient derived from lanolin. Read More »

Categories: Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients, Emollients

Good

lappa extract

See burdock root

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Anti-Irritants

Good

Larrea divaricata extract

See chaparral extract

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

Good

Larrea tridentata

See chaparral extract

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

Good

Latisse

Brand name for the prescription drug whose active ingredient is the prostaglandin analogue... Read More »

Categories: Prescription Drugs

Good

lauramphocarboxyglycinate

Mild detergent cleansing agent. Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

laurdimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed soy protein

See soy extract , quaternium ammonium compounds

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

laurdimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed wheat protein

See gluten ingredients , quaternium ammonium compounds

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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