Ingredient Dictionary

Good

Acacia senegal

Herb that can have anti-inflammatory properties, but is used primarily as a thickening agent. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants

Good

acetyl glyceryl ricinoleate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

Good

acetylated castor oil

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

acetylated hydrogenated cottonseed glyceride

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

acetylated palm kernel glycerides

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

acrylates/steareth-20 methacrylate copolymer

A synthetic polymer that blends stearth-20 with one or more forms of methacrylic acid. Functions as... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

agar

See algae

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

Good

Ahnfeltia concinna extract

See algae

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

Good

ahnfeltia extract

See algae

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

Good

Alaria esculenta

See algae

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

Good

algae

Algae are very simple, chlorophyll-containing organisms in a family that includes more than 20,000... Read More »

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

Good

algae extract

See algae

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

Good

algin

Brown algae. Read More »

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

Average

alkyloamides

Identified on skin-care product labels as DEA, triethanolamine (TEA), and monoethanolamine (MEA),... Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

Althaea rosea

See mallow

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Plant Extracts, Anti-Irritants

Good

Althea officinalis

Latin name for the marshmallow plant. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Anti-Irritants, Plant Extracts

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

Good

Aluminum hydroxide

A synthetic ingredient that functions as an opacifying agent and skin protectant. Secondary uses... Read More »

Categories: Absorbent, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

aluminum starch octenylsuccinate

Powdery thickening agent, absorbent, and anticaking agent used in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Absorbent

Good

aluminum stearate

The aluminum salt of stearic acid that functions as a thickening agent and helps stabilize products. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

Anacystis nidulans extract

See algae

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

Good

arachidic acid

Derived from peanut oil and used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Average

arachidonic acid

Produced from phospholipids and fatty acids. There is research showing that this is potentially... Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

arachidyl alcohol

Waxy substance used as a thickening agent and emollient in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers

Good

arachidyl propionate

Waxy substance used as a thickening agent and emollient in cosmetics. Read More »

Categories: Thickeners/Emulsifiers, Emollients

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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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