True
1
b6eb977c-b2b7-49a8-a301-0e1f1b273f91

Ingredient Dictionary

Poor

acetone

Strong solvent that is used in Nail Polish removers. Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Best

acetyl glucosamine

Amino acid sugar and primary constituent of mucopolysaccharides and hyaluronic acid. As such, it... Read More »

Categories: Skin Replenishing, Miscellaneous

Average

acetyl tributyl citrate

Related to citric acid and used as a plasticizer, most commonly in nail polish and nail-hardening... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

acetyl tyrosine

An amino acid complex that functions as a skin-conditioning agent. There is no research proving it... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Average

acid

Anything with a pH lower than 7 is considered acidic—above 7 is considered alkaline. Water has a pH... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

active ingredient

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

Categories: Sunscreen Actives, Miscellaneous

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

AGE

See advanced glycation endproduct

Categories: Miscellaneous

Poor

alcloxa

More technically known as aluminum chlorhydroxy allantoinate, alcloxa has constricting properties... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Poor

alkaline

Anything with a pH higher than 7 is alkaline; a pH below 7 is acidic. Water has a pH of 7; skin has... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

aminomethyl propanediol

Used to adjust pH in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

aminomethyl propanol

Used in cosmetics at concentrations of 1% or less to adjust pH. Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Average

ammonium hydroxide

Clear, colorless liquid used in cosmetics to adjust a product's pH level. Ammonium hydroxide is... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

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

bee pollen

Can have antioxidant properties (Source: Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, April 2001, pages... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

benzyl alcohol

An organic alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits (apricots, cranberries) and teas. Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

broad spectrum

Term that, when applied to sunscreen, refers to a sunscreen’s ability to protect the skin from both... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

butyl acetate

Solvent used in nail polish and many other products. Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

butylene glycol

Commonly used slip agent that has multiple functions in cosmetics, depending on the formula.... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous, Slip Agents

Poor

calamine

Preparation of zinc carbonate, colored with ferric oxide (a form of rust). Zinc carbonate is a... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous, Sensitizing

Good

calcium d-pantetheine-s-sulfonate

Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

casein

Substance derived from milk protein that may have some antioxidant properties when applied... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Good

cera microcristallina

See microcrystalline wax

Categories: Emollients, Miscellaneous

Good

chelating agent

Any of numerous ingredients that bind with metal ions or metallic compounds, preventing them from... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous

Best

choline

Part of the vitamin B complex and a constituent of many other biologically important molecules,... Read More »

Categories: Miscellaneous, Vitamins

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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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