True
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b6eb977c-b2b7-49a8-a301-0e1f1b273f91

Ingredient Dictionary

Good

P. elisabethae

The “P.” is short for the genus Pseudopterogorgia. Read More »

Categories: Skin-Soothing, Antioxidants

Poor

PABA

See para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Average

padimate O

Sunscreen agent that protects skin primarily from the sun’s UVB rays (Source: Skin Therapy Letter,... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Good

Padina pavonica extract

See algae

Categories: Antioxidants, Emollients, Plant Extracts

Average

Paeonia albiflora extract

Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts

Average

Paeonia suffruticosa extract

Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Good

palm kernel acid

A mixture of fatty acids derived from palm oil. Used as a cleansing agent, emulsifier, or to add... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Cleansing Agents

Best

palm oil

Has emollient and antioxidant properties for skin. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Antioxidants, Skin-Replenishing

Good

Palmaria palmata extract

Extract from a type of algae whose common name is dulse. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Poor

palmarosa oil

See geranium oil

Categories: Plant Extracts

Good

palmitic acid

Blend of the fatty acid palmitic acid with several amino acids… Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Skin-Replenishing, Cleansing Agents

Best

palmitoyl hexapeptide-12

Blend of the fatty acid palmitic acid with several amino acids… Read More »

Categories: Skin-Restoring

Best

palmitoyl oligopeptide

A blend of palmitic acid (a fatty acid) with several amino acids, including alanine, arginine,... Read More »

Categories: Skin-Restoring

Best

palmitoyl pentapeptide-3

Trade name Matrixyl, a fatty acid mixed with amino acids. The only research showing this has any... Read More »

Categories: Skin-Restoring

Best

palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7

A synthetic peptide whose trade name is Matrixyl 3000… Read More »

Categories: Skin-Restoring

Best

palmitoyl tripeptide-1

See peptides

Categories: Skin-Restoring

Best

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38

An ingredient manufactured by the brand Sederma under the trade name MATRIXYL synthe’6... Read More »

Categories: Skin-Restoring

Best

palmitoyl tripeptide-5

A synthetic peptide that is believed to play a role in the appearance of skin firmness... Read More »

Categories: Skin-Restoring

Average

Panicum miliaceum

See millet seed extract

Categories: Plant Extracts

Average

pansy extract

Extract for which there is a small amount of research showing it has skin soothing and... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Skin-Soothing, Antioxidants

Good

pantethine

Also known as pantothenic acid. Read More »

Categories: Vitamins

Best

panthenol

Alcohol form of the B vitamin pantothenic acid. Read More »

Categories: Vitamins

Best

pantothenic acid

Also called vitamin B5, and often touted for a variety of benefits to skin. However, there is only one... Read More »

Categories: Vitamins

Poor

papain

Enzyme extracted from papaya. Applied topically, papain can aggravate skin... Read More »

Categories: Exfoliant, Plant Extracts

Average

papaya extract

Extract that is the source of papain, which theoretically can have exfoliating properties on skin,... Read More »

Categories: Exfoliant, 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 busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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