Ingredient Dictionary

Good

xylitol

See sorbitol

Categories: Slip Agents, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

Ximenia americana oil

Plum oil; it can have emollient properties. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients

Poor

Xi xin

See ginger extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants, Irritants

Best

xanthophyll

Also known as lutein, this is a cartenoid pigment from plants that functions as an antioxidant. Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Good

xanthan gum

Used as a thickening agent. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Poor

witch hazel

Commonly used plant extract that can have potent antioxidant properties (Sources: Phytotherapy... Read More »

Categories: Irritants, Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Poor

wintergreen oil

Can be very irritating and sensitizing (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Irritants

Best

willow herb

See Epilobium angustifolium extract

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Anti-Irritants

Good

willow bark

Contains salicin, a substance that when taken orally is converted by the digestive process to... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Average

wild yam extract

The roots of wild yams were used in the first commercial production of oral contraceptives, topical... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts

Poor

wild ginger

See ginger extract

Categories: Irritants, Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants

Good

white willow

See willow bark

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Best

white tea leaf extract

Extract from the minimally processed buds and leaves of green tea. There is research showing that... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Poor

white oak bark extract

See oak root extract

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

Average

white nettle

Contains components that can have both anti-irritant as well as inflammatory properties (Source:... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Irritants, Anti-Irritants

Good

whey protein

A form of protein derived from milk. An animal-derived ingredient, whey protein functions as a hair... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

whey

Milk contains two primary proteins, casein and whey. When cheese is produced these more liquid... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants

Good

wheat protein

See natural moisturizing factor (NMF) , gluten ingredients , protein

Categories: Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Good

wheat germ oil

Emollient plant oil similar to all nonfragrant plant oils. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients

Good

wheat germ glycerides

Used as emollient and thickening agents in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

Good

wheat amino acids

A blend of amino acids from wheat protein after it has been broken down via hydrolysis. Most often... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Best

watermelon fruit extract

Extract from the fruit Citrullus lantus, commonly known as watermelon... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Average

watercress extract

There is a small amount of research showing that dietary intake of watercress can inhibit the... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Good

water

The most widely used cosmetic ingredient; water is almost always listed first on an ingredient... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Average

walnut-shell powder

Abrasive used in scrub products; not preferred to polyethylene beads. Read More »

Categories: Scrub Agents

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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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