Ingredient Dictionary

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

Poor

chlorhexidine

Topical antiseptic, it can cause irritation (Source: Toxicology in Vitro, August–October 2001,... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Irritants

Good

chloroxylenol

Chemical compound used as a disinfectant and preservative due to its action against certain types... Read More »

Categories: Preservatives, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Poor

Cinnamomum

See cinnamon

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

Poor

cinnamon

Can have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties (Sources: Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology, March... Read More »

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

Poor

colloidal silver

Refers to ground-up silver suspended in solution. Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Poor

Commiphora myrrha extract

See myrrh

Categories: Plant Extracts, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Poor

Cymbopogon citrates

See lemongrass extract

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

Best

Epilobium angustifolium extract

Extract derived from a plant commonly known as fireweed or willow herb. Can have antimicrobial... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Poor

eucalyptus extract

Extract that may have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties on the skin (Source: Skin... Read More »

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

Poor

eucalyptus oil

Fragrant plant oil whose active constituents are found in the leaves and the oil obtained from... Read More »

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

Average

farnesol

Extract of plants that is used in cosmetics primarily for fragrance. A few animal studies and some... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Average

farnesyl acetate

See farnesol

Categories: Plant Extracts, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Best

Gentiana lutea (Gentian) root extract

Active part of the gentian plant, constituents of which are anti-inflammatory and antibacterial... Read More »

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

Poor

geranium oil

Fragrant oil that can have antimicrobial properties but also can be a skin sensitizer or irritant... Read More »

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

Poor

Geranium pretense

Geranium plant. Read More »

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

Good

glucose oxidase

Glucose oxidase is an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of the sugar glucose. Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Miscellaneous

Poor

goldenseal

A plant that may have antibacterial or antiviral properties when taken orally. There is no evidence... Read More »

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

Best

gotu kola

See Centella asiatica

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Plant Extracts

Best

hoelen

A mushroom that grows underground on the roots of pines and other trees around the world. It has... Read More »

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

Average

hops

There is no research showing that hops have any benefit for skin. However, components in hops may... Read More »

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

Average

Humulus lupulus extract

See hops

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

Poor

Hydnocarpus anthelmintica

See chaulmoogra oil

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

Poor

Hydrastis canadenis

See goldenseal

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

Best

hydrocotyl extract

See Centella asiatica

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

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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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