Any ingredient that reduces certain signs of inflammation, such as swelling, tenderness, pain, itching, or redness. Many ingredients perform the function of anti-irritants or anti-inflammatories, and better ones are being discovered all the time. Interestingly enough, most antioxidants function as anti-irritants because one of the skin’s responses to free-radical damage is irritation and inflammation. These ingredients go a long way toward helping the skin deal with its daily struggle against sun exposure, pollution, skin-care routines (topical disinfectants, sunscreens, and exfoliants can be irritating to skin), and seasonal environmental extremes (Sources: Exogenous Dermatology, June 2004, pages 154–160; and Toxicology Letters, December 2003, pages 65–73).

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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 sort through the myths and half-truths of the cosmetic industry. With their expert advice, you’ll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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