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  Details

Rating Ingredient
Good

capryloyl glycine

A synthetic amino acid derivative that function as a conditioning agent or...

Categories: Hydration
Good

maltooligosyl glucoside

A carbohydrate polysaccharide that’s naturally-derived and then combined...

Good

hydrogenated starch hydrolysate

The end product of hydrolyzing starch, a polysaccharide carbohydrate...

Good

collagen amino acids

Collagen amino acids are made from the hydrolylsis (breaking down with water) of protein...

Good

acetyl tyrosine

An amino acid complex that functions as a skin-conditioning agent. There is no research proving it...

Categories: Hydration
Good

galactoarabinan

Polysaccharide extracted from the western larch tree.

Good

glycogen

Polysaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin.

Good

hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Composed of various protein substances derived from vegetables and broken down by water to form a...

Categories: Miscellaneous, Hydration
Good

methylpropanediol

Glycol that functions as a solvent. Methylpropanediol can enhance ingredients such as salicylic acid.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Hydration
Good

sodium hydroxymethylglycinate

Derived from amino acids and used as a skin- and hair-softening agent, and to a lesser extent as...

Categories: Preservatives, Hydration
Good

sorbitol

Can be created synthetically or derived from natural sources. Similar to glycerin, it is a...

Best

squalane

Good

sucrose

Monosaccharide that has hydrating properties for skin.

Good

tamanu oil

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

Average

thymus hydrolysate

Form of animal thymus derived by acid, enzyme, or other methods of hydrolysis. It can have...

Categories: Miscellaneous, Hydration
Good

trehalose

Plant sugar that has hydrating properties for skin.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Hydration
Good

tridecyl trimellitate

Used as a skin-conditioning agent and thickening agent. 

Good

Undaria pinnatifida

Form of brown algae.

Good

urea

Component of urine, although synthetic versions are used in cosmetics. In small amounts urea has...

Best

vitamin B3

Best

vitamin F

Name sometimes used to represent essential fatty acids of linoleic acid and linolenic acid. These...

Good

wheat amino acids

A blend of amino acids from wheat protein after it has been broken down via hydrolysis. Most often...

Categories: Miscellaneous, Hydration
Good

xylose

Form of sugar. Similar to other sugars, xylose has hydrating properties for skin.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Hydration
Good

sarcosine

A synthetic amino acid derivative that functions as a skin conditioning...

Categories: Hydration
Good

xylitylglucoside

An ingredient derived from two water-binding plant sugars, xylitol and glucose.

Categories: Hydration
GOOD

anhydroxylitol

A natural, plant-derived ingredient that acts as a humectant to help skin absorb and retain moisture.

Categories: Hydration
Good

PCA

PCA (which stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid), is an ingredient derived from amino acids that serves as a humectant and is part of the natural moisturizing factor.

Categories: Hydration
Good

hydroxyethyl urea

A synthetic ingredient that serves to hydrate skin and help maintain a normal...

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!