Ingredient Dictionary

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sphingolipids

Sphingolipids are complex lipids (fats) that function as skin-repairing and conditioning ingredients... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

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hydroquinone

Strong inhibitor of melanin production that has long been established as the most effective... Read More »

Categories: Prescription Drugs, Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Antioxidants

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niacin

See niacinamide

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Vitamins

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hydrogenated lecithin

See lecithin

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Emollients

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creatine

An amino acid found in the human body and most type of meat and fish. This ingredient serves as the... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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Retin-A

One of several prescription-only drugs (others include Renova, Retin-A Micro, and Avita) that... Read More »

Categories: Vitamins, Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Prescription Drugs

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adenosine triphosphate

An organic compound from adenosine, which is formed by the hydrolysis of yeast nucleic acids. All... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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phosphatidylcholine

Active ingredient in lecithin. Every cell membrane in the body requires phosphatidylcholine (PC).... Read More »

Categories: Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients, Emollients, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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retinyl palmitate

Form of vitamin A. It is a combination of retinol (pure vitamin A) and palmitic acid. There is... Read More »

Categories: Vitamins, Antioxidants, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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adenosine

Yeast-derived ingredient that plays an important cell-signaling role in many bodily processes.... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Anti-Irritants

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nicotinamide

See niacinamide

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Vitamins

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nicotinic acid

See niacinamide

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Vitamins

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all-trans retinoic acid

Active ingredient in Retin-A and Renova. Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Prescription Drugs

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palmitoyl pentapeptide 3

Trade name Matrixyl, a fatty acid mixed with amino acids. The only research showing this has any... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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linoleic acid

Unsaturated fatty acid used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. There is some... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Anti-Irritants, Antioxidants, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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eicosapentaenoic acid

Fatty acid derived from salmon oil; it is a good emollient for skin. It has also been shown to... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Emollients

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Filipendula glaberrima

Also known as Nakai, the root of this plant extract has been shown in vitro to be not only a potent... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Antioxidants

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lady's thistle extract

Extract for which there is a great deal of research showing it has many medical health applications... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Antioxidants

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acetyl hexapeptide-3

A synthetically-derived peptide that is being used in a wide range of skin care and makeup... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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subtilisin

Protease enzyme obtained from the fermentation of Bacillus subtilis. Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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proteases

Enzymes that are part of a process that causes the breakdown of amino acids and proteins in skin... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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tripeptide-32

A synthetic peptide with the "tri" (meaning three) designation referring to this peptide's mix of the amino acids proline, serine, and threonine. Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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Agaricus bisporus extract

An extract of mushroom that is thought to help regulate skin cell production by inhibiting cell... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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enzymes

Vast group of protein molecules, produced by all living things, that act as catalysts in chemical... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Leave-On Exfoliant

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hibiscus

Fragrant plant Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Cell-Communicating Ingredients

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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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