Ingredient Dictionary

Good

active ingredient

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

Categories: Sunscreen Actives, Miscellaneous

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avobenzone

Synthetic sunscreen ingredient (also known as Parsol 1789 and butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane) that... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Good

benzephenone-3

Also called oxybenzone, a sunscreen agent that protects skin primarily from the sun’s UVB rays and... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Good

benzophenone

Group of compounds used in cosmetics as sunscreen agents to protect mostly from UVB radiation and... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Good

bumetrizole

Sunscreen ingredient that absorbs primarily UVB light. Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane

See avobenzone

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

ecamsule

See Mexoryl SX

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

ensulizole

Sunscreen agent, formerly known as phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid. Ensulizole is the established... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate

See octyl methoxycinnamate

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

homosalate

FDA-approved sunscreen active ingredient that primarily provides UVB protection. Its UVA range is... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

menthyl anthranilate

Also known as meradimate, this is a synthetic sunscreen active is a partially effective UVA... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

meradmiate

See menthyl anthranilate

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

Mexoryl SX

Also called ecamsule (technical name terephthalylidine dicamphor sulfonic acid), Mexoryl SX is a... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

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octinoxate

See octyl methoxycinnamate

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

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octisalate

Technical name for the active sunscreen ingredient octyl salicylate (also known as ethylhexyl... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

octocrylene

Sunscreen agent that protects skin from the UVB range of sunlight (Source: Skin Therapy Letter,... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

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octyl methoxycinnamate

Sunscreen agent used to protect skin primarily from the sun’s UVB rays (Source: Skin Therapy... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

octyl salicylate

Sunscreen agent used to protect skin primarily from the sun’s UVB rays (Source: Skin Therapy... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

oxybenzone

Oxybenzone (also known as benzophenone-3) is a sunscreen agent that protects primarily from the... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Poor

PABA

See para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)

Categories: Sunscreen Actives, Irritants

Average

padimate O

Sunscreen agent that protects skin primarily from the sun’s UVB rays (Source: Skin Therapy Letter,... Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Poor

para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)

Sunscreen ingredient rarely used since the 1990s because of strong potential for allergic reactions. Read More »

Categories: Sunscreen Actives, Irritants

Best

Parsol 1789

See avobenzone

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

terephthalylidine dicamphor sulfonic acid

See Mexoryl SX

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

Best

Tinosorb M

See Tinosorb S

Categories: Sunscreen Actives

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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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