Ingredient Dictionary

Average

walnut-shell powder

Abrasive used in scrub products; not preferred to polyethylene beads. Read More »

Categories: Scrub Agents

Good

sodium chloride

More popularly known as common table salt. Used primarily as a binding agent in skin-care products... Read More »

Categories: Scrub Agents

Average

sea salt

Can be effective as a topical scrub, but if left on skin it can increase skin sensitivity to UVB... Read More »

Categories: Scrub Agents, Irritants

Good

polyethylene glycol

Also listed as PEG on ingredient labels, polyethylene glycol is an ingredient that self-proclaimed... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Scrub Agents

Good

polyethylene

A form of plastic (synthetic polymer) that has numerous functions in cosmetic products. Rounded... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients, Scrub Agents

Average

diatomaceous earth

Light-colored porous rock composed of the skeletons of minute sea creatures called diatoms.... Read More »

Categories: Scrub Agents

Average

azuki beans

Legumes that are often ground up for use in skin-care scrub products. Read More »

Categories: Scrub Agents

Average

apricot kernel

Often used as an abrasive agent in so-called "natural" scrubs. Apricot kernals have irregular and... Read More »

Categories: Scrub Agents

Good

aluminum silicate

Salt that has absorbent and abrasive properties. Read More »

Categories: Scrub Agents, Absorbent

Good

alumina

Aluminum oxide, which is used as an abrasive, a thickening agent, and an absorbent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Absorbent, Scrub Agents, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

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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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