True
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b6eb977c-b2b7-49a8-a301-0e1f1b273f91

Ingredient Dictionary

Poor

acne soap

Soaps that often contain strong cleansing ingredients, they are often overly drying and... Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Average

alcohol

A group of organic compounds with a vast range of forms and uses in cosmetics... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Cleansing Agents

Good

ammonium laureth sulfate

Can be derived from coconut; used primarily as a detergent cleansing agent and is considered gentle... Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

ammonium lauryl sulfate

Can be derived from coconut; used primarily as a detergent cleansing agent and is considered gentle... Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

arachidyl glucoside

A mild surfactant (cleansing) and emulsifying agent, made from... Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

behenic acid

Fatty acid used as a thickening agent and surfactant. Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents, Texture Enhancer

Good

bis-PEG-18 methyl ether dimethyl silane

A synthetic skin conditioning agent and surfactant belonging to the chemical class of siloxanes and... Read More »

Categories: Texture Enhancer, Emollients, Silicones, Cleansing Agents

Good

C20-40 pareth-40

Mixture of polyethylene glycols of various molecular weight that can function as stabilizing... Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Average

cocamide DEA and MEA

Both cocamide DEA (diethanolamine) and MEA (monoethanolamine) are widely used ingredients to thicken the water phase of cosmetics, keep ingredients blended, and boost foaming properties... Read More »

Categories: Texture Enhancer, Cleansing Agents

Good

cocamidopropyl betaine

One of the more gentle surfactants used in skincare products. Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

cocamidopropyl dimethylamine

An antistatic agent derived from coconut oil, though it may be produced synthetically, too... Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine

Mild surfactant. Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

coco-glucoside

A mixture of fatty alcohol from coconut and glucose. Chiefly functions as a cleansing agent. May be... Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

coconut

Has degreasing and cleansing properties, which is why detergent cleansing agents are frequently... Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents, Plant Extracts

Good

decyl glucoside

Used as a gentle detergent cleansing agent. Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

detergent cleansing agent

See surfactant

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

dicetyl phosphate

A mix of portions from cetyl alcohol and phosphoric acid that functions as surfactant and emulsifier. Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

dihydrocholeth-30

A synthetic ingredient that functions as an emulsifier... Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

disodium cocoamphodiacetate

Mild detergent cleansing agent. Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

disodium cocoyl glutamate

A cleansing agent derived from coconut. Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

disodium lauraminopropionate

A mild surfactant. Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents

Good

glyceryl behanate

A simple mixture of glycerin and the naturally-occuring fatty acid behenic acid. Glyceryl behenate... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Cleansing Agents, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

glyceryl oleate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Cleansing Agents, Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

Good

glyceryl rosinate

An ester of long chain acids derived from a plant-based ingredient known as rosin. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Cleansing Agents, Emulsifiers

Good

glyceryl stearate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Cleansing Agents

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!

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