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Ingredient Dictionary

Poor

thyme oil

The most concentrated part of the thyme plant, and a source of antioxidants, some of which... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Sensitizing, Antioxidants

Average

thyme extract

Extract derived from the leaf or flower of the thyme plant. It can have potent antioxidant... Read More »

Categories: Antioxidants, Sensitizing, Plant Extracts

Best

Theobroma cacao seed butter

See cocoa butter

Categories: Emollients, Plant Extracts

Best

tetrahydrodemethoxycurcumin

See turmeric , curcumin

Categories: Skin Soothing, Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Best

tetrahydrobisdemethoxycurcumin

Antioxidant and skin-soothing plant extract. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Skin Soothing, Antioxidants

Good

tea tree oil

Also known as melaleuca, from the name of its native Australian plant source, Melaleuca alternifolia. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts

Poor

Taraxacum officinale

Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Sensitizing

Poor

Taraktogenos kurzii

Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts

Poor

tangerine oil

Fragrant, volatile citrus oil that can be a skin sensitizer… Read More »

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

Average

Tanacetum parthenium

See feverfew extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Sensitizing, Skin Soothing

Good

tamanu oil

From a tree native to Polynesia. It is reputed to have wondrous skin-restoring properties, as well… Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Skin Soothing

Poor

Szechuan peppercorn

From a plant native to Szechuan Province in China. It grows on trees, and so differs from black... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Sensitizing

Poor

Symphytum officinale extract

See comfrey extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Sensitizing, Skin Soothing

Good

sweet almond

Most often used in its oil form, this ingredient is expressed from almonds. Also used as an... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Plant Extracts

Best

sunflower seed oil

Non-volatile plant oil used as an emollient in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients

Average

sugarcane extract

Ingredients like sugarcane extract, fruit extracts, mixed fruit extracts, and milk solids may claim... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts

Average

strawberry begonia

There is no research showing this has any benefit for skin. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts

Best

stearyl glycyrrhetinate

The fatty acid form of the skin soothing glycyrrhetinic acid, which is derived from licorice. Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Skin Soothing

Good

St. John's wort

Contains several components that are harmful to skin in the presence of sunlight (Sources: Planta... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants

Good

spirulina

See algae

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

Best

Spiraea ulmaria

See meadowsweet extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Skin Soothing

Poor

spearmint oil

Fragrant, volatile oil that can cause skin sensitivity. Read More »

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

Best

soy protein

See soy extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Skin Soothing, Antioxidants

Best

soy oil

Emollient oil similar to all nonfragrant plant oils. Read More »

Categories: Skin Soothing, Antioxidants, Plant Extracts, Emollients

Best

soy isoflavones

See soy extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Antioxidants, Skin Soothing

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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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