Ingredient Dictionary

Best

barberry

Plant whose primary component, berberine, is an alkaloid that can have antibacterial properties and... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Best

beta hydroxy acid

See salicylic acid

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Anti-Irritants, Antioxidants, Leave-On Exfoliant

Best

beta-glucan

Polysaccharide, meaning that it is a sugar (e.g., starch and cellulose) that can be derived from... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Antioxidants

Best

beta-sitosterol

Plant extract, similar to cholesterol, that can have antimicrobial properties (Source: Journal of... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts, Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Best

BHA (beta hydroxy acid)

See salicylic acid

Categories: Leave-On Exfoliant, Anti-Irritants, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Best

bisabolol

Can be extracted from chamomile or derived synthetically. It is an anti-irritant. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants

Best

black tea

See green tea

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Best

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

Best

borage seed extract

Extract of the plant Borago officinalis, it can have anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Best

borage seed oil

Non-fragrant plant oil that contains gamma linolenic acid (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). Read More »

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

Best

Borago officinalis extract

See borage seed oil

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

Best

Borago officinalis seed oil

See borage seed oil

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

Average

Boswellia serrata extract

An extract from the gum resin of a tree and also a source of Indian frankincense, this plant extract has both positive and negative qualities for skin. Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Irritants, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts, Plant Extracts

Best

burdock root

Plant extract whose active constituents are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Whether the leaves,... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Average

butcher's broom extract

There is evidence showing that this extract can reduce edema and venous problems when taken orally... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants

Good

calcium gluconate

Calcium is an essential mineral for the body. A small amount of research shows calcium gluconate... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants

Good

calendula extract

Extract derived from the plant commonly known as pot marigold, there is little research showing... Read More »

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

Best

Calluna vulgaris flower extract

Also known as heather extract, this plant has anti-inflammatory properties. Heather is considered a... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Best

canola oil

Plant lipid that has barrier-repair and anti-inflammatory properties (Source: British Journal of... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants, Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Best

Centaurea cyanus

See cornflower

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Best

chitosan

Derived from chitin, a polysaccharide found in the exoskeletons of shrimp, lobster, and crabs. It... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Anti-Irritants

Average

chrysanthemum extract

Can have anti-inflammatory benefit for skin. Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Best

coenzyme Q10

Also known as ubiquinone, it is a vitamin-like, fat-soluble substance present in all human cells.... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Anti-Irritants

Best

colloidal oatmeal

See gluten ingredients , oatmeal

Categories: Anti-Irritants

Poor

comfrey extract

Several studies have shown that comfrey extract can have carcinogenic or toxic properties when... Read More »

Categories: Irritants, Plant Extracts, 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 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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