Ingredient Dictionary

Best

lauric acid

One of the fatty acids in coconut oil, lauric acid has multiple uses in cosmetics... Read More »

Categories: Skin-Identical/Repairing Ingredients, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

sodium laureth-13 carboxylate

Used primarily as a detergent cleansing agent.  Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

poloxamer 184

A synthetic polymer that functions as a cleansing agent. Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

disodium cocoyl glutamate

A cleansing agent derived from coconut. Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

glyceryl behanate

A simple mixture of glycerin and the naturally-occuring fatty acid behenic acid. Glyceryl behenate... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

potassium cetyl phosphate

Used as a detergent cleansing agent. Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

PEG-10 rapeseed sterol

A blend of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and the fatty acid component of the rapeseed plant. Used as a... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

soapwort

Plant from which is derived an extract with detergent cleansing properties. There is some research... Read More »

Categories: Plant Extracts, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Antibacterial/Anti-Acne

Good

sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate

A gentle cleansing agent that may be derived from coconut or made synthetically. Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

polysorbate 20

See polysorbates

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

lauryl alcohol

See surfactant

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

sodium trideceth sulfate

See surfactant

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

PEG-80 sorbitan laurate

Mild surfactant. Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

disodium lauraminopropionate

A mild surfactant. Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

sodium myreth sulfate

Detergent cleansing agent similar to sodium laureth sulfate or ammonium laureth sulfate... Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

laureth-7

A form of lauryl alcohol (a non-irritating fatty alcohol derived from coconut oil) that can... Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer

PEG stands for polyethylene glycol; PPG stands for polypropylene glycol. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

PEG-120 methyl glucose dioleate

See surfactant

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

cocamidopropyl betaine

One of the more gentle surfactants used in skin-care products. Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

ammonium laureth sulfate

Can be derived from coconut; used primarily as a detergent cleansing agent and is considered gentle... Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

dihydrocholeth-30

A synthetic ingredient that functions as an emulsifier... Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Emulsifiers

Good

sodium methyl taurate

Mild surfactant. Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

coconut

Has degreasing and cleansing properties, which is why detergent cleansing agents are frequently... Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents, Plant Extracts

Good

steareth-20

Derived from the benign fatty ingredient stearyl alcohol, this functions primarily as a surfactant... Read More »

Categories: Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

Good

sodium hexametaphosphate

Salt with multiple functions in cosmetics. It can act as a detergent, an emulsifier, a texturizer,... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Preservatives, Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents

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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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