Ingredient Dictionary

Good

acrylate

See film-forming agent

Categories: Film-Forming/Holding Agents

Good

acrylates copolymer

See film-forming agent

Categories: Film-Forming/Holding Agents

Good

acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer

See film-forming agent

Categories: Film-Forming/Holding Agents

Good

acrylates/dimethicone copolymer

A silicone-enhanced film-forming agent. Also functions as a binding agent so products adhere better... Read More »

Categories: Silicones, Film-Forming/Holding Agents

Good

acrylates/steareth-20 methacrylate copolymer

A synthetic polymer that blends stearth-20 with one or more forms of methacrylic acid. Functions as... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Average

Actaea racemosa

See black cohosh

Categories: Plant Extracts

Good

active ingredient

The active ingredients list is the part of a cosmetic, drug, or pharmaceutical ingredient label... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives, Miscellaneous

Best

adapalene

See Differin , retinoids

Categories: Prescription Drugs

Good

adenine

Component of DNA that carries genetic information to the cell. Read More »

Categories: Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients

Best

adenosine

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

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Anti-Irritants

Best

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

Good

adipic acid/neopentyl glycol/trimellitic anhydride copolymer

A synthetic polymer. Read More »

Categories: Film-Forming/Holding Agents

Poor

advanced glycation endproduct

Advanced glycation endproducts, also known as AGEs, are caused by the body's major fuel source,... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Poor

Aerocarpus santalinus

See red sandalwood

Categories: Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts, Plant Extracts

Good

Aesculus hippocastanum

See horse chestnut extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants

Good

agar

See algae

Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Antioxidants, Plant Extracts

Good

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

Poor

AGE

See advanced glycation endproduct

Categories: Miscellaneous

Average

age spots

Once referred to as liver spots, these brown skin discolorations are also not related to age, any... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Average

Agrimonia eupatoria leaf extract

Research shows this plant extract inhibits the hepatitis b virus and has antioxidant properties.... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Best

AHA

Acronym for alpha hydroxy acid. AHAs are derived from various plant sources or from milk. However,... Read More »

Categories: Leave-On Exfoliant

Good

Ahnfeltia concinna extract

See algae

Categories: Emollients, Antioxidants, Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Plant Extracts

Good

ahnfeltia extract

See algae

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

Average

Ajuga turkestanica extract

The only research about this plant indicates that it may have anabolic steroid properties (Source:... Read More »

Categories: Cell-Communicating Ingredients, Plant Extracts

Good

alanine

See amino acid

Categories: Antioxidants

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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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