Ingredient Dictionary

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BHA (beta hydroxy acid)

See salicylic acid

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

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chamomile

Plant species include Matricaria recutita, Chamomilla recutita, and Matricaria chamomilla.... Read More »

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

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benzoyl peroxide

Considered the most effective over-the-counter choice for a topical antibacterial agent in the... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

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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

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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

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Anthemis nobilis flower extract

See chamomile

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

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beta hydroxy acid

See salicylic acid

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

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hydrocotyl extract

See Centella asiatica

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

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lactoperoxidase

Enzyme derived from milk; it has antibacterial properties for skin and may be helpful for... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

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Uva ursi extract

See bearberry extract , arbutin

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

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Aleurites moluccana seed oil

See kukui nut oil

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Plant Extracts

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Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae

See sea whip extract

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Anti-Irritants

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matricaria oil

See chamomile

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

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tretinoin

Topical, prescription-only medication that can improve skin cell maturation after skin has been... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Prescription Drugs, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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Centella asiatica

Extract of herb that may be listed on labels as asiatic acid, hydrocotyl, or gotu kola. It has... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

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chitosan

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

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Anti-Irritants

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sodium ascorbyl phosphate

A stable, water-soluble form of vitamin C that functions as an antioxidant (Sources: Journal of... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Vitamins, Antioxidants, Anti-Irritants

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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

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Chamomilla recutita flower extract

See chamomile

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

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barberry

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

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

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gotu kola

See Centella asiatica

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Plant Extracts

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lauric acid

One of the fatty acids in coconut oil, lauric acid has multiple uses in cosmetics... Read More »

Categories: Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

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salicylic acid

Referred to as beta hydroxy acid (BHA), it is a multifunctional ingredient that addresses many of... Read More »

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

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Arctostaphylos uva ursi leaf

See bearberry extract

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

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willow herb

See Epilobium angustifolium extract

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, 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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