Ingredient Dictionary

Good

o-cymen-5-ol

Preservative used in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Preservatives

Poor

oak root extract

Extract that may have antibacterial properties on skin, but that also can be a skin irritant. Read More »

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

Best

oat beta-glucan

See beta-glucan , gluten ingredients

Categories: Antioxidants, Anti-Irritants

Best

oat bran extract

Oat bran extract is a portion of the oat plant that contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants, Antioxidants

Best

oatmeal

Can have anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties (Source: Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Best

octinoxate

See octyl methoxycinnamate

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

octisalate

Technical name for the active sunscreen ingredient octyl salicylate (also known as ethylhexyl... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

octocrylene

Sunscreen agent that protects skin from the UVB range of sunlight (Source: Skin Therapy Letter,... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

octyl methoxycinnamate

Sunscreen agent used to protect skin primarily from the sun’s UVB rays (Source: Skin Therapy... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Good

octyl palmitate

Used in cosmetics as a thickening agent and emollient. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

Best

octyl salicylate

Sunscreen agent used to protect skin primarily from the sun’s UVB rays (Source: Skin Therapy... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Good

octyl stearate

Used in cosmetics as a thickening agent and emollient. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

Good

octyldodecanol

Emulsifier and opacifying agent, used primarily as a thickener in moisturizers because of its... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

Good

octyldodecyl myristate

Mixture of octyldodecanol (thickener) and myristic acid that forms a new compound used as a... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

octyldodecyl neopentanoate

Skin-conditioning agent and emollient. Read More »

Categories: Emollients

Best

Oenothera biennis oil

See evening primrose oil

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants, Emollients

Best

Olea europaea fruit oil

See olive oil/olive fruit oil

Categories: Antioxidants, Emollients, Plant Extracts, Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Best

Olea europaea oil unsaponifiables

An unsaponifiable oil is the portion of a plant oil that is not broken down when the oil's fatty... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts, Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients, Emollients

Best

oleanolic acid

A potent anti-inflammatory ingredient, especially when used in synthetic rather than natural form... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Anti-Irritants

Good

oleic acid

Fatty acid used as a surfactant and thickening agent. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

oleth 10

A form of fatty (non-irritating) oleyl alcohol that functions as an emulsifier and surfactant.... Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

oleths

Mild surfactants. Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

oleyl erucate

Skin-conditioning agent derived from oleyl alcohol, which is obtained chiefly from fish oil. Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Poor

olibanum extract

See frankencense extract

Categories: Irritants, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Best

olive oil/olive fruit oil

Emollient plant oil similar to many other non-fragrant plant oils. The concept of olive oil having... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Antioxidants, Plant Extracts, Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

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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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