Ingredient Dictionary


palmitic acid

A fatty acid found naturally in skin and used as the basis for many palmitiate ingredients, such as... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients, Emulsifiers, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents


palm kernel acid

A mixture of fatty acids derived from palm oil. Used as a cleansing agent, emulsifier, or to add... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Emulsifiers


PEG-60 almond glycerides

The polyethylene glycol derivative of fatty acids from almond oil... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Emulsifiers


dicetyl phosphate

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

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Emulsifiers


polyglyceryl-6 isostearate

The ester of isostearic acid and a form of glycerin. Functions as an emollient and an emulsifier in... Read More »

Categories: Emulsifiers, Emollients


PEG-75 shea butter glycerides

An emulsifying and skin conditioning agent derived from glycerides (fatty acids)... Read More »

Categories: Emulsifiers


tribehenin PEG-20 esters

A complex mixture of tribehenin and PEG-20, this ingredient has multiple functions in cosmetic... Read More »

Categories: Emulsifiers, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Emollients


hydrogenated vegetable glycerides citrate

A hydrogenated blend of vegetable glycerides that functions chiefly as an emollient and emulsifier in cosmetics... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Emulsifiers


lauryl PEG-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone

A silicone polymer that has multiple functions in cosmetic products, including skin/hair... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emulsifiers, Miscellaneous



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

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Emulsifiers


sodium dilauramidoglutamide lysine

A plant-derived ingredient that helps repair skin and hair... Read More »

Categories: Emulsifiers, Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients



PPG stands for polypropylene glycol, and this ingredient combines PPG with a fatty alcohol.... Read More »

Categories: Emulsifiers, Miscellaneous, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

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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 busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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