Ingredient Dictionary

Poor

Acacia farnesiana extract

A fragrant extract from a type of acacia tree. There is no research showing it to have any benefit... Read More »

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

Poor

Aerocarpus santalinus

See red sandalwood

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

Poor

alpha isomethyl ionone

Alpha isomethyl ionone is a fragrance ingredient that must be listed on products that contain it due to its risk of causing a sensitized reaction. Read More »

Categories: Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Poor

amyl cinnamate

Fragrant component. Read More »

Categories: Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Poor

amyl salicylate

Fragrant component. Read More »

Categories: Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Poor

amyris oil

Fragrant oil. It has no other known benefit for skin. Read More »

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

Average

Anethum graveolens

See dill extract

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

Poor

Angelica archangelica root oil

Volatile oil obtained from the angelica plant. The oil contains chemical constituents that can be... Read More »

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

Poor

anisaldehyde

Synthetic fragrance used in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Poor

anise

Also known as aniseed, it can have potent antioxidant and antibacterial properties (Source:... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts, Irritants, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Average

aroma/flavor

Seeing "aroma/flavor" on an ingredient list can be either good or bad. For example, if the aroma or flavor comes from mint.... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Poor

balm mint extract

Extract derived from a fragrant plant; it poses some risk of skin irritation. It also has some... Read More »

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

Poor

balsam peru

Fatty resin that when applied topically can cause allergic skin reactions and contact dermatitis.... Read More »

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

Poor

bay leaf oil

Can be a potent antioxidant (Source: Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, January 2002, pages... Read More »

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

Poor

benzoin extract

Balsam resin that has some disinfecting and fragrant properties; it may also be a skin irritant... Read More »

Categories: Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Poor

bergamot oil

A volatile citrus oil that, when used topically, is a photosensitizer and has photomutagenic... Read More »

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

Poor

bitter orange flower

See orange blossom

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

Poor

bois de rose oil

See rosewood oil

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

Poor

bois oil

Fragrant oil that has no research showing it has benefit for skin (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). Read More »

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

Poor

Boswellia carterii

See frankencense extract

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

Average

Boswellia serrata extract

An extract from the gum resin of a tree and also a source of Indian frankincense, this plant extract has both positive and negative qualities for skin. Read More »

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

Poor

butylphenyl methylpropional

A fragrance ingredient with a strong floral scent used in many types of cosmetic products... Read More »

Categories: Irritants, Fragrance: Synthetic and Fragrant Plant Extracts

Poor

cananga extract

Fragrance used in cosmetics; it can be a skin irritant, much like ylang ylang. Read More »

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

Poor

Cananga odorata

See ylang ylang

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

Poor

cardamom

Plant of the ginger family, used as fragrance in cosmetics. Terpene, one of its major constituents,... Read More »

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

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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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