Ingredient Dictionary


cell-communicating ingredients

Cell-communicating ingredients, theoretically, have the ability to tell a skin cell to look, act,... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Cell-Communicating Ingredients



See polyhydroxy acid

Categories: Leave-On Exfoliant


ferulic acid

A plant-based antioxidant. Research suggests that it provides antioxidant and sun-protective... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants


zinc oxide

Zinc oxide is an inert earth mineral used as a thickening, whitening, lubricating, and sunscreen ingredient in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Anti-Irritants, Coloring Agents/Pigments


hydrolyzed jojoba esters

Essential fatty acids from the jojoba plant, broken down by water to form a new complex with... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Plant Extracts


watermelon fruit extract

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

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts



Antioxidant that's considered the most biologically active form of vitamin E. Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Vitamins


menthyl anthranilate

Also known as meradimate, this is a synthetic sunscreen active is a partially effective UVA... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives


L-ascorbic acid

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

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Vitamins, Antioxidants


Glycine soja oil

Oil derived from wild soybeans; it has emollient properties. Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts, Emollients


glycolic acid


Categories: Leave-On Exfoliant


Borago officinalis seed oil

See borage seed oil

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



By-product of uric acid extracted from urea and considered an effective anti-irritant. Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants


yerba mate extract

Used for the preparation of the most popular tea-like beverage in South America. It has... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants


Ortho Tri-Cyclen

Low-dosage birth-control pills (generic norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) approved for use in the... Read More »

Categories: Prescription Drugs


Camellia japonica

The leaf has been shown in vitro to be potent antioxidant and also able to inhibit the expression... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts


Simmondsia chinensis

See jojoba oil

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


honeysuckle flower extract

Plant extract that functions as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is a very good source of flavonoids... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts



Ingredient derived from plant species Chamomilla recutita, Matricaria recutita, and Matricaria chamomilla... Read More »

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


palmitoyl tripeptide-5

A synthetic peptide that is believed to play a role in collagen synthetis and preventing the breakdown of collagen... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients


licorice extract

Extract that has anti-inflammatory properties (Source: Healthnotes Review of Complementary and... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants


Helianthus annuus seed oil

See sunflower seed oil

Categories: Emollients, Plant Extracts


Ginkgo biloba leaf extract

Research shows this potent antioxidant helps improve blood flow. It is often used in anti-cellulite... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants


Persicaria hydropiper

Also known as water pepper. All parts of this plant extract have been shown in vitro to be not only... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants


Boerhavia diffusa root extract

Extract from a flowering plant. Animal studies have shown that this plant has strong... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Anti-Irritants

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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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