Ingredient Dictionary

Good

Zizyphus jujuba fruit extract

See jujube fruit extract

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

Poor

Zingiberaceae

See ginger extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants, Irritants

Poor

Zingiber zerumbet

See ginger extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Irritants, Anti-Irritants

Poor

Zingiber officinale roscoe

See ginger extract

Categories: Irritants, Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

Poor

zinc sulfate

Chemical compound resulting from the interaction of zinc with sulfuric acid. There is little... Read More »

Categories: Irritants

Good

zinc stearate

The zinc salt of stearic acid. It has multiple functions in cosmetics, including serving as the... Read More »

Categories: Slip Agents, Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Coloring Agents/Pigments

Poor

zinc phenolsulfonate

Antimicrobial agent that can also be a skin irritant. Read More »

Categories: Irritants, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Best

zinc PCA

A synthetic skin-conditioning ingredient derived from zinc, research has shown it to have anti-aging benefits due to... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Best

zinc oxide

Inert earth mineral used as a thickening, whitening, lubricating, and sunscreen ingredient in... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Anti-Irritants, Coloring Agents/Pigments

Good

zinc gluconate

Combination of zinc with a form of glucose (a sugar) that is commonly used in cold lozenges for its... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Poor

zinc carbonate

See calamine

Categories: Miscellaneous, Irritants

Best

zinc

There is growing evidence that zinc can be a significant anti-irritant and antioxidant. It also can... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Antioxidants

Good

zeolite

Group of minerals used as an absorbent in cosmetics. Zeolites been shown to have anticancer... Read More »

Categories: Absorbent

Poor

Zanthoxylum piperitum

See Szechuan peppercorn

Categories: Irritants, Plant Extracts

Average

Yucca schidigera

See yucca extract

Average

yucca extract

Plant extract that can have anti-inflammatory benefits. Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Average

yogurt

There is no research showing that yogurt is effective when applied topically on skin. Yogurt... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Poor

ylang ylang

Fragrant, volatile oil that can also be a skin irritant. Read More »

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

Best

yerba mate extract

Used for the preparation of the most popular tea-like beverage in South America. It has... Read More »

Categories: Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Good

yellow 6 lake

See FD&C colors

Categories: Coloring Agents/Pigments

Good

yellow 5

See FD&C colors

Categories: Coloring Agents/Pigments

Good

yeast

Group of fungi that ferment sugars. Yeast is a source of beta-glucan, which is a good antioxidant.... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants

Poor

yarrow extract

Extract for which there is little research showing it to have any benefit for skin. What studies do... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants, Irritants

Good

xymenynic acid

Synthetic fatty acid that functions as a skin-conditioning agent. Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

xylose

Form of sugar. Similar to other sugars, xylose has water-binding properties for skin. Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

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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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