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Rating Ingredient
Poor

Acacia farnesiana extract

A fragrant extract from a type of acacia tree. There is no research showing it to have any benefit...

Good

acacia senegal gum

Herb that can have skin soothing properties, but is used primarily as a thickening agent.

Best

acai

Pronounced "ah-sigh-ee", this small berry with a deep purple color is a source of...

Good

acerola fruit extract

Acerola contains vitamin C. However, the dry acerola fruit and powder are unlikely to be a good...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

Achillea millefolium

Average

Actaea racemosa

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Beta vulgaris root extract

Good

Betula alba

Good

bilberry extract

Some research shows bilberry (vaccinium myrtillis) to be effective as an antioxidant when ingested...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

birch bark extract

Extract derived from the plant Betula alba (common name white birch). It can have potent...

Good

birch leaf extract

Best

bisabolol

Can be extracted from chamomile or derived synthetically. It is an anti-irritant.

Poor

bitter orange flower

Average

black cohosh

There is no research showing that black cohosh can have this or any effect…

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

black currant oil

Non-volatile plant oil.

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

black elderberry

When taken orally, this has antioxidant properties (Source: Journal of Agricultural Food...

Poor

black locust extract

Extract that can have antioxidant properties, although it also may have harmful...

Good

black mulberry

Due to its arbutin content, this extract can have some value in improving the look of discolorations....

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

black pepper extract and oil

It can cause significant skin sensitivity...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

black raspberry

Fruit that has antioxidant properties...

Best

black tea

Best

blackberry

Berries that have antioxidant properties...

Best

bladderwrack extract

Extract derived from seaweed; it can be an effective antioxidant and has water-binding properties...

Poor

bloodwort

Also known as yarrow.

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

Boerhavia diffusa root extract

Extract from a flowering plant. Animal studies have shown that this plant has strong...

Poor

bois de rose oil

Poor

bois oil

Fragrant oil that has no research showing it has benefit for skin (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).

Best

borage seed extract

Extract of the plant Borago officinalis, it can have skni-soothing properties...

Best

borage seed oil

Non-fragrant plant oil that contains gamma linolenic acid and other essential fatty acids for skin.

Best

Borago officinalis extract

Best

Borago officinalis seed oil

Poor

Boswellia carterii

Average

Boswellia serrata extract

An extract from the gum resin of a tree and also a source of Indian frankincense, this plant extract has both positive and negative qualities for skin.

Average

botanicals

General term for a large group of natural ingredients. Botanicals may or may not be organic, and...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

boysenberry

Berry that can have potent antioxidant properties (Source: Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry,...

Good

Brazil nut extract

Extract for which there is a small amount of research showing it can have antioxidant properties...

Good

bromelain

Bromelain is an extract from the pineapple that contains, among other components, various...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Exfoliant
Best

Buddleja davidii extract

Plant also known as summer lilac or butterfly bush (because the flowers are a food source for...

Average

Bupleurum falcatum extract

A plant used in Chinese medicine for a varitety of ailments ranging from the common cold to liver...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

burdock root

Plant extract whose active constituents are skin soothing and antioxidant…

Best

Butyrospermum fruit

Fruit from the karite tree, scientific name Butyrospermum parkii, from which the fat is obtained to...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

Butyrospermum parkii

Best

Buxus chinensis

Average

caffeine

Caffeine is the chief stimulant in beverages such as coffee and tea. It’s often included in skincare products with claims...

Poor

cajeputi oil

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

Aerocarpus santalinus

Good

Aesculus hippocastanum

Good

agar

Average

Agrimonia eupatoria leaf extract

Research shows this plant extract has antioxidant properties....

Good

Ahnfeltia concinna extract

Good

ahnfeltia extract

Good

Alaria esculenta

Best

Aleurites moluccana seed oil

Best

alfalfa extract

Can be an antioxidant in skincare products…

Good

algae

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

Good

algae extract

Good

algin

Brown algae.

Good

Aloe barbadensis

Good

aloe barbadensis leaf juice extract

Good

aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder

This form of aloe is the powder form of the aloe barbadensis leaf plant...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

aloe extract

Good

aloe juice

Good

aloe vera

There is no real evidence that aloe vera (Aloe barbadenis) helps the skin in any significant way....

Best

alpha bisabolol

Good

Alteromonas ferment extract

Alteromonas is found in deep areas of seawater.

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Althaea rosea

Best

Althea officinalis

Latin name for the marshmallow plant.

Poor

amyris oil

Fragrant oil. It has no other known benefit for skin.

Poor

Anacyclus pyrethrum

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Anacystis nidulans extract

Good

Ananas sativus fruit extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Exfoliant
Good

andiroba oil

Extracted from the Brazilian mahogany tree; it has soothing properties (Source:...

Average

Anethum graveolens

Poor

Angelica archangelica root oil

Volatile oil obtained from the angelica plant. The oil contains chemical constituents that can be...

Poor

Angelica polymorpha sinensis root extract

Good

annato extract

Natural plant colorant derived from the flesh surrounding the seed of Bixa orellana, a shrub native...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

anthocyanin

Group of naturally occurring substances found in plants that give fruits, vegetables, and plants...

Best

apple fruit extract

General name for various types of apples, all of which have potent antioxidant ability that, at least in theory, can benefit skin when applied topically.

Best

apricot kernel oil

Emollient plant oil pressed from the seeds of apricots, and similar to other nonfragrant plant oils.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

Arachis hypogaea extract

Extract of the plant commonly known as the peanut. It can have emollient and skin soothing...

Best

arbutin

Isolated from the leaves of the bearberry shrub, cranberry, blueberry, some...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

Arctium lappa

Best

Arctium majus

Best

Arctostaphylos uva ursi leaf

Best

argan oil

Non-fragrant plant oil expressed from the kernels of argan trees. Argan oil contains several beneficial lipids and fatty acids for skin...

Best

Argania spinosa

Poor

arnica extract

Extract from the plant Arnica montana. There is research showing that when arnica is taken orally...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

artemia extract

Average

Artemisia absinthium extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Average

Artemisia vulgaris

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Ascophyllum nodosum

Species of seaweed.

Good

Asparagopsis armata extract

Extract derived from seaweed.

Best

Astragalus membranaceus

Latin name for the Chinese herb Huang-Qi, also known as milk vetch.

Good

Astragalus sinicus

Good

Astrocaryum murumuru seed butter

A non-fragrant vegetable fat that's nearly solid at room temperature (much like dairy butter). It functions as an emollient ingreident that works to keep...

Categories: Emollients, Plant Extracts
Average

Atractyloydes lancea root extract

Also known as Chinese Thistle Daisy, this root extract is used in Chinese and Japanese alternative...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

Avena sativa

See oatmeal, oat bran extract, gluten ingredients…

Poor

awapuhi

English name for wild ginger.

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

Azadirachta indica

Average

azulene

Chamomile extract used primarily as a coloring agent in cosmetics. It can have antioxidant and...

Good

babassu oil

Plant oil that can have emollient properties for skin. There is no research showing it has special...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

bakuchiol

An antioxidant found in the seeds and leaves of the plant Psoralea corylifolia...

Poor

balm mint extract

Extract derived from a fragrant plant; it poses some risk of causing skin sensitivity…

Poor

balsam peru

Fatty resin that when applied topically can cause skin sensitivity…

Average

banana extract

Extract from banana fruit that has some weak antioxidant properties (Source: Free Radical Research,...

Average

barley extract

Extract from barley plants. Can have antioxidant properties when ingested, but there is no research...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

bay leaf oil

Has the potential to provide antioxidant benefits for skin…

Good

beet root extract

Powdered base of the stem (root) of the Beta vulgaris plant. Used as a coloring agent. As with most...

Poor

Bellis perennis

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

Berberis aristata

Poor

bergamot oil

A volatile citrus oil that, when used topically, is a photosensitizer...

Good

Bertholletia excelsa extract

Best

beta-sitosterol

Plant extract, similar to cholesterol, that can have antimicrobial properties (Source: Journal of...

Good

calendula extract

Extract derived from the plant commonly known as pot marigold, there is little research showing...

Good

Calendula officinalis flower extract

Best

Calluna vulgaris flower extract

Also known as heather extract, this plant has skin-soothing properties...

Good

Calophyllum inophyllum seed oil

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

Camellia japonica

The leaf has been shown to be an antioxidant...

Best

Camellia oleifera

Best

Camellia sinensis

Poor

camphor

Aromatic substance obtained from the wood of a tree common to Southeast Asia, Cinnamomum camphora,...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

cananga extract

Fragrance used in cosmetics; it can be sensitizing to skin, much like ylang ylang.

Poor

Cananga odorata

Good

candelilla wax

Extract derived from candelilla plants; used as a thickening agent and emollient to give products...

Good

Cannabis sativa L. oil

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

canola oil

Plant lipid that has skin restoring and soothing properties…

Best

caprylic/capric triglyceride

Derived from coconut oil and glycerin, it’s considered an excellent emollient and skin-replenishing ingredient.

Good

caprylyl glycol

Skin and hair conditioning agent that may be plant-derived or synthetic. Often used as part of a...

Poor

capsaicin

Component of capsicum. When used topically, capsaicin can prevent the transmission of pain. It is...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

capsicum

Large group of plants consisting primarily of the pepper family, including chili peppers and...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

capsicum oleoresin

Fatty resin derived from capsicum plants. It can be sensitizing to skin...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

cardamom

Plant of the ginger family, used as fragrance in cosmetics. Terpene, one of its major constituents,...

Good

carnauba wax

Natural, hard wax obtained from the leaves of palm trees. Used primarily as a thickening agent, but...

Best

carnosic acid

Component of rosemary that is an antioxidant...

Best

carnosine

Composed of amino acids, it has soothing and antioxidant properties...

Best

carnosol acid

Good

carrageenan

Seaweed gum used in cosmetics as a thickening agent with water-binding properties.

Best

carrot oil

Emollient plant oil similar to other nonfragrant plant oils.

Best

Carthamus tinctorius oil

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Carya illinoensis oil

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Castanea sativa seed extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

castor oil

Vegetable oil derived from the castor bean. It is used in cosmetics as an emollient, though its...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Caulerpa taxifolia extract

Poor

cedarwood

Fragrant plant extract. There is evidence that cedarwood oil is sensitizing...

Good

cellulose

Primary fiber component of plants. Used in cosmetics as a thickening agent and to bind other...

Good

Cellulose gum

Any of various fibrous substances derived from plants. Cellulose gum is a natural ingredient..

Best

Centaurea cyanus

Good

dog rose

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

dogwood

There is a small amount of research showing that dogwood has antioxidant and soothing...

Good

dulse

Good

durian

A tropical fruit that contains high levels of antioxidants such as caffeic acid and quercetin

Good

Durvillaea antarctica extract

Extract derived from a species of algae (Durvillea antarctica).

Best

Elaeis guineensis

Good

elderberry

Also known as black elderberry or Sambucus nigra, this plant has potent antioxidant properties...

Poor

elecampane

Latin name Inula helenium; it is a plant that can be very sensitizing to the skin...

Poor

English ivy extract

Plant extract that can be a skin sensitizer due to its stimulant and astringent (skin-constricting) properties.

Good

Enteromorpha compressa extract

Extract from green algae.

Best

epigallocatechin gallate

One of the constituents of green tea believed to be responsible for its many health...

Poor

Equisetum arvense

Best

Eriobotrya japonica

Poor

eucalyptus extract

Extract that may have beneficial properties on the skin...

Poor

eucalyptus oil

Fragrant plant oil whose active constituents are found in the leaves and the oil obtained from...

Poor

Eugenia aromatica

Poor

Eugenia caryophyllus

Good

Euphorbia cerifera wax

Average

Euphrasia officinalis

Best

Euterpe oleraca

Best

evening primrose oil

Can have significant soothing and emollient benefits for skin.

Good

Evodia rutaecarpa extract

A species of Asian tree whose fragrant fruit functions as a good soothing agent in...

Average

eyebright

A plant; although the name sounds like it would be beneficial for the eye area, there are no...

Average

farnesol

Extract of plants that is used in cosmetics primarily for fragrance. A few animal studies and some...

Average

farnesyl acetate

Best

chamomile

Ingredient derived from plant species Chamomilla recutita, Matricaria recutita, and Matricaria chamomilla...

Best

Chamomilla recutita flower extract

Average

cherry extract

Also known as wild cherry and sweet cherry, this fruit is a natural source of vitamin C and...

Good

chlorella

Good

Chondrus crispus

Form of red seaweed.

Average

chrysanthemum extract

Can have soothing benefit for skin.

Average

Chrysanthemum parthenium extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Cichorium intybus

Source of a plant extract with antioxidant properties (Source: Archives of Pharmaceutical Research,...

Average

Cimicifuga racemosa root extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

Cinnamomum

Poor

Cinnamomum camphora

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

cinnamon

Can have antioxidant properties when applied to skin...

Poor

Citrullus colocynthis

Bitter apple; considered sensitizing to skin.

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

Citrus amara

Poor

Citrus aurantifolia

Poor

Citrus aurantium

Poor

Citrus aurantium extract

Bitter orange extract. It can have antioxidant properties when eaten (Source: Journal of...

Poor

Citrus medica limonium

Average

Citrus unshiu

Plant extract more commonly known as the satsuma. This medium-sized citrus fruit is native to...

Average

Citrus unshiu peel extract

Poor

clary oil

Used as fragrance; can be a skin sensitizer.

Poor

clove leaf

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

clove oil

Potent skin sensitizer when applied repeatedly...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

clover blossom

Contains eugenol, which can be a skin sensitizer and cause photosensitivity.

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

clover leaf oil

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

cocoa butter

Oil extracted from cocoa beans, used as an emollient and with properties similar to those of other...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

cocoa extract

Can have antioxidant properties...

Good

coconut

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

Best

coconut oil

Non-volatile plant kernel oil that has emollient properties for skin.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

Cocus nucifera

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Codium tomentosum extract

Best

Coffea arabica (coffee) seed oil

The concentrated oil from the coffee bean plant, whichis green, not dark brown as this color doesn't occur until coffee beans are roasted. Research on this oil's effect on skin...

Best

Coffea arabica extract

Coffea arabica is the coffee plant, and there is research showing that coffee extract has...

Average

Cola acuminata seed extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

Coleus barbatus

Member of the mint family and also known as forskolin; can be a skin sensitizer...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

comfrey extract

Several studies have shown that comfrey extract can have harmful properties when...

Poor

Commiphora myrrha extract

Good

coneflower

Another name for echinacea; has soothing properties.

Poor

Copaifera officinalis

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Copernicia cerifera wax

Good

Corallina officinalis extract

Good

coriander

Herb and spice plant, the source of a fragrant component; it can be a potential skin sensitizer…

Best

corn oil

Emollient oil with properties similar to those of other nonfragrant plant oils (Source: British...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

cornflower

Can have soothing properties for skin…

Poor

cornmint

Also known as wild mint; it can be sensitizing to skin…

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

cornstarch

Starch obtained from corn and sometimes used as an absorbent in cosmetics instead of talc.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Absorbent
Good

Cornus extract

Good

Corylus americana

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Corylus avellana

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

coumarin

Organic compound found in plants and derived from the amino acid phenylalanine. It creates the...

Best

cranberry seed extract

Extract of the cranberry fruit. Natural components known as proanthocyanidins are responsible for...

Best

cranberry seed oil

Extract derived from the seed of this red berry; the oil (which is not red) has antioxidant...

Average

Crataegus monogina extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

cucumber extract

Non-irritating plant extract from the gourd family (think pumpkin) that’s often reputed to be...

Best

Cucumis melo (melon) fruit extract

More commonly known as cantaloupe or honeydew melon, Cucumis melo is a fruit that is a rich source...

Good

Cucumis sativus extract

Best

Cucurbita pepo seed extract

Best

Cucurbitea peponis

Best

Curcuma longa root

Good

Cyamopsis tetragonoloba

Poor

Cymbopogon citrates

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

Cymbopogon martini

Poor

daisy flower extract

There is no research showing this extract has any benefit for skin. Also known as tansy, it can...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

Daucus carota

Also known as wild carrot. It can have antioxidant properties, but applied topically it can cause...

Average

Dioscorea villosa extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

dipotassium glycyrrhizate

Best

dipotassium glycyrrhizinate

Poor

fennel oil

Volatile, fragrant oil that can cause skin sensitivity.

Poor

fennel seed extract

Can have antioxidant properties, but on skin it can be a skin sensitizer (Source:...

Poor

Ferula galbaniflua

Best

ferulic acid

A plant-based antioxidant. Research suggests that it provides antioxidant...

Good

feverfew extract

A plant that can be very soothing but also potentially sensitizing to the skin...

Poor

Ficus carica fruit extract

Poor

fig

Fruit that contains psoralens, which are compounds that may cause sensitizing reactions...

Best

Filipendula glaberrima

Also known as Nakai, the root of this plant extract has been shown to be an antioxidant…

Best

Filipendula rubra

Poor

fir needle oil

Volatile, fragrant oil that can cause skin sensitivity.

Best

fireweed extract

Extract from the Epilobium angustifolium plant; also known as willow herb.

Best

flax

Plant source of linen and edible seeds. Flax seeds and seed oil have antioxidant properties...

Best

flaxseed oil

From seeds of the flax plant; a source of fatty acids, particularly omega-3.

Average

fruit acid

Best

Fu ling

Best

Fucus vesiculosus extract

Good

galactoarabinan

Polysaccharide extracted from the western larch tree.

Average

Ganoderma lucidum extract

Mushroom stem extract. There is no research showing it to be effective when used topically on skin...

Poor

Gardenia florida extract

Flower extract used in cosmetics to impart fragrance; also functions as an antioxidant (Source:...

Good

Gellidiela acerosa extract

Extract derived from a type of algae.

Best

genistein

Plant component (most often from soy) that is a rich source of antioxidants, though it can also be...

Best

Gentiana lutea (Gentian) root extract

Part of the gentian plant, constituents of which are soothing to skin...

Best

geranium extract

Extract that can have potent antioxidant properties (Source: Phytomedicine, June 2000, pages...

Poor

geranium oil

Fragrant oil that can have beneficial properties but also can be a skin sensitizer...

Poor

Geranium pretense

Geranium plant.

Good

ginger extract

Extract from a plant in the Zingiberacae family that has research showing it has soothing...

Poor

ginger oil

Best

Ginkgo biloba leaf extract

Potent antioxidant and soothing ingredient.

Best

glabridin

Main ingredient in licorice extract. It has soothing properties. There is research showing...

Best

glucosyl hesperidin

A water-soluble form of hesperidin, a flavonoid found in many citrus plants, as well as evening primrose oil. It has potential as an antioxidant...

Best

isoflavone

Plant derivative with antioxidant properties...

Poor

ivy extract

Plant extract that can be sensitizing due to its astringent (skin-constricting) properties.

Poor

jasmine oil

Fragrant oil, often used as a source of perfume, that can be a skin sensitizer...

Poor

Jasminium grandiflorum

Best

jojoba butter

The fattiest portion of jojoba oil, used as an intensive emollient.

Best

jojoba esters

A complex mixture of esters from jojoba oil and hydrogenated jojoba oil. The result is an...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

jojoba oil

Emollient, non-fragrant oil (technically, a polyunsaturated wax) extracted from the seeds of a perennial shrub.

Best

jojoba wax

Semi-solid portion of jojoba oil.

Poor

jonquil extract

Fragrant plant extract that poses a strong risk of skin sensitization.

Good

Ju hua

Good

jujube fruit extract

Asian plant extract that has soothing properties and may also provide other benefits...

Poor

juniper berry

Can have sothing properties for skin…

Poor

Juniperus communis

Poor

kava-kava extract

Extract of the Piper methysticum plant that has soothing properties, but can...

Poor

kawa extract

Good

kelp extract

Average

Kigelia africana extract

Extract of African plant commonly known as the sausage tree. The African lore about this extract is...

Average

kiwi fruit extract

As a food, kiwi has significant antioxidant properties that may even be greater than those of...

Average

kola nut

One of the major components of the kola nut is caffeine, which in high amounts can be a skin sensitizer...

Best

kudzu root

Source of isoflavone, genistein, and daidzein, all plant estrogens..

Best

kukui nut oil

Non-volatile oil from a plant native to Hawaii; it has emollient properties for skin (Source:...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Poor

lady's mantle extract

Best

lady's thistle (milk thistle) extract

Extract for which there is a great deal of research showing it has many applications...

Average

Lagerstroemia indica extract

No research shows this plant as having any benefit for skin...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Laminaria digitata

Good

Laminaria longicruris

Good

Laminaria ochroleuca extract

The Latin name for a species of kelp, also known as brown seaweed. Applied topically, it helps...

Good

Laminaria sacharrina

Best

Lamium album flower extract

A species of the nettle plant that is used topically as as a soothing ingredient...

Good

lappa extract

Good

Larrea divaricata extract

Good

Larrea tridentata

Poor

Laurus nobilis

Poor

lavandin oil

Essential oil of the hybrid lavender plant Lavandula hybrida and used in cosmetics as a fragrance...

Poor

Lavandula angustifolia

Poor

Lavandula officinalis

Poor

lavender extract and oil

In-vitro research indicates that components of lavender oil, specifically linalool and linalyl acetate, can have...

Poor

lemon

Potent skin sensitizer. Though it can have beneficial properties...

Poor

lemon balm

Poor

lemon oil

Commonly used citrus oil that can be a skin sensitizer, especially on abraded skin.

Poor

lemongrass extract

Extract that can have beneficial properties...

Poor

lemongrass oil

Also known as Oil of Verbena; can be effective as a mosquito repellent...

Good

lentil fruit extract

Extract that functions as a skin-conditioning agent and likely has antioxidant benefit, too.

Average

Lentinus edodes extract

Extract from the shiitake mushroom that may have antioxidant properties...

Best

Leontopodium alpinum extract

Plant extract whose constituents are capable of provding antioxidant and soothing benefit...

Best

Glycine soja oil

Oil derived from wild soybeans; it has emollient properties.

Best

Glycine soja seed extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

Glycine soja sterols

A sterol is a solid complex alcohol derived from animals and plants. In this case, the sterols are...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

glycyrrhetic acid

Extract from licorice that has skin-soothing properties…

Best

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Best

Glycyrrhiza uralensis root extract

Good

goji fruit extract

Good

Gossypium herbacuem seed oil

Also known as cotton seed oil, this non-fragrant plant oil may cause...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

gotu kola

Best

grape seed extract

Grape seed extract has been shown to help diminish free-radical damage…

Best

grape seed oil

Emollient, non-fragrant plant oil that also has excellent antioxidant properties...

Poor

grapefruit oil

Citrus oil whose volatile components (chiefly substances known as furocoumarins) are sensitizing...

Poor

grapefruit peel extract

Typically listed as citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel extract on the ingredient list...

Best

green tea

Significant amounts of research have established that tea, including black, green, and white tea...

Best

gromwell

Good

guar gum

Plant-derived thickening agent...

Poor

guarana

Herb that contains two and a half times more caffeine than coffee. It can have constricting...

Good

gums

Substances that have water-binding properties, but that are used primarily as thickening agents in...

Best

Haematococcus pluvialis extract

Poor

Hamamelis virginiana

Good

Haslea ostrearia extract

Extract derived from a water plant also known as blue algae. In pure concentrations this extract...

Poor

hayflower extract

Plant extract that, due to its constricting effect on skin, can be sensitizing There is no...

Poor

Hedera helix

Best

Helianthus annuus seed oil

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

Helianthus oil

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

hemp seed oil

From the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Because both hemp and marijuana are from the genus Cannabis,...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

hesperidin

Flavonoid found in various plants such as citrus and evening primrose oil. It has potential as a...

Good

hesperidin methyl chalcone

Citrus bioflavonoid often seen in products claiming to improve dark undereye circles. There is...

Good

hibiscus

Fragrant plant

Good

Himanthalia elongate extract

Extract of a species of algae.

Good

Hippophae rhamnoides

Best

hoelen

A mushroom that grows underground on the roots of pines and other trees around the world. It has...

Best

honeysuckle flower extract

Plant extract that functions as a soothing agent. It is a very good source of flavonoids...

Average

hops

There is no research showing that hops have any benefit for skin. However, components in hops may...

Average

Hordeum vulgare extract

Good

horse chestnut extract

May have soothing properties for skin...

Poor

horse elder

Poor

horseradish

Plant that can sensitize skin and should never be applied to abraded skin.

Average

horsetail extract

Plant extract that has antioxidant and soothing properties, but there's no solid research showing it can and does exert these effects...

Average

Hortonia floribunda leaf extract

No research shows this plant as having any benefit for skin although it and other plant components...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Huang qi

Average

Humulus lupulus extract

Poor

Hydnocarpus anthelmintica

Poor

Hydrastis canadenis

Best

hydrocotyl extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

hydrogenated olive oil

When a plant oil is hydrogenated, it is chemically converted gas from a liquid to a semi-solid or...

Best

hydrolyzed jojoba esters

Essential fatty acids from the jojoba plant, broken down by water to form a new complex with...

Good

hydrolyzed jojoba protein

Protein fraction of seeds from the jojoba plant that has been hydrolyzed, which is a chemical...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

hydrolyzed soy protein

Good

hydrolyzed wheat protein

Protein fraction from wheat that has been hydrolyzed, which is a chemical process involving the...

Good

hydroxyethylcellulose

Plant-derived thickening agent typically used as a binding agent or emulsifier. Also used (most...

Good

hydroxypropyl guar

Good

Hypericum extract

Average

hyssop

Fragrant plant extract that may have some beneficial properties...

Poor

Inula helenium

Poor

Iris florentina extract

Good

Irish moss extract

Type of red algae.

Good

Leptospermum scoparium oil

Poor

Levisticum officinale root extract

Best

licorice extract

Plant extract that has skin-soothing properties. In addition, licorice root may be effective in...

Best

licorice root

Average

Lilium candidum bulb extract

Extract derived from the white lily bulb. There is no research showing this has any benefit for...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

lime oil and extract

Citrus fruit whose volatile compounds are sensitizing...

Good

Limnanthes alba

Plant commonly known as meadowfoam; its seed oil is a non-volatile plant oil used as a...

Good

Limnanthes alba seed oil

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

linden flower extract

Major constituents in linden are flavonoids and glycosides. Flavonoids are potent...

Best

linolenic acid

Linolenic acid is a naturally-occurring, colorless polyunsaturated fatty acid liquid...

Best

linseed oil

Non-volatile plant oil. Linoleic acid is a component of linseed oil. 

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

Linum usitatissimum extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

Lithospermum erythrorhizon

Also known as gromwell, the root of this plant is believed to have antioxidant and...

Poor

Litsea cubeba

Good

locust bean

Best

Lonicera caprifolium flower extract

Best

Lonicera japonica

Honeysuckle extract. A plant with soothing properties for skin.

Best

Lonicera japonica flower extract

Best

loquat extract

Extract derived from a subtropical flower that has antioxidant properties similar to...

Best

lotus seed extract

Extract that can have soothing and antioxidant properties...

Poor

lovage root extract

In cosmetics, it is used as a fragrance....

Good

lupine

Legume that is a source of isoflavones with antioxidant properties...

Average

lupine oil

Extract of Lupinus albus, a legume; it has emollient and antioxidant properties, though it may also...

Good

Lupinus albus extract

Species of legume.

Good

macadamia nut oil

Used in cosmetics as an emollient for dry skin.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

madecassoside

One of four principal bioactive compounds in the plant extract Centella asiatica.

Categories: Plant Extracts
Average

pawpaw extract

Categories: Plant Extracts, Exfoliant
Good

peanut oil

Emollient plant oil similar to all nonfragrant plant oils.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

pecan oil

Emollient plant oil similar to all nonfragrant plant oils.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

pectin

Natural substance found in plants, especially apples, and used in cosmetics as an emulsifier and...

Good

PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil

Emollient ingredient that is a mixture of polyethylene glycol (PEG) with castor oil.

Good

PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil

The chief function of this ingredient is cleansing agent.

Poor

Pelargonium graveolens oil

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

pellitory

Plant whose root extract can cause skin sensitivity.

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

peppermint

Both the oil and the extract can have disinfectant properties...

Average

Perilla ocymoides

Also known as beefsteak plant. Like many plants, the leaves contain flavones which help the plant...

Best

Persicaria hydropiper

Also known as water pepper. All parts of this plant extract have been shown in vitro to be not only...

Poor

petitgrain mandarin

Best

phloretin

A flavonoid substance derived from apples and the bark of apple trees. As for topical application...

Best

Phyllanthus emblica fruit extract

Extract that has antioxidant and soothing properties…

Good

phytic acid

Component of plants that has antioxidant properties.

Best

Picea abies extract

Latin name for Norway spruce. Research has shown its bark...

Poor

pine oil

It can aggravate skin and should never be used on abraded or chafed skin…

Good

pineapple extract

Contains the enzyme bromelain, which can break down the connecting layers between dead skin to...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Exfoliant
Poor

Pinus lambertiana wood extract

Pine extract that may aggravate skin...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

Piper nigrum

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

pistachio seed oil

Emollient plant oil with uses similar to peanut oil in cosmetics.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Pistacia vera seed oil

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Pisum sativum

Latin name for the garden pea. It does have antioxidant activity, but there is no research showing...

Good

plankton extract

A marine species known as Thalasso plankton and derived from various algae, seaweed, or marine skeletons...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

plum extract

Extract of Prunus americana that may have antioxidant activity when applied topically (Source:...

Best

plum seed oil

Plum (Prunus domestica) seed oil, also known as plum kernel oil, is non-fragrant oil…

Poor

Pogostemon cablin

Best

mallow

Can be used as a texture enhancer in cosmetics and may have soothing...

Good

Malva sylvestris extract

Extract from the blue mallow flower, it may have some soothing properties for...

Average

malvaceae extract

Extract from plants of the Malvaceae family, which includes over 1,000 species, found in tropical...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

mandarin orange oil or extract

Primarily used as a fragrance; it can be a skin sensitizer. There is no research showing it has any...

Best

Mangifera indica (mango) seed butter

More commonly known as mango butter, this ingredient is a very good plant-based...

Good

Mangifera indica root

Extract derived from the mango tree; it can have antioxidant properties (Source: Journal of...

Good

manuka oil

Extract derived from the New Zealand tea tree; the oil is similar to that of the Australian tea...

Good

marigold

Good

marionberry

Fruit that has potent antioxidant properties.

Poor

marjoram

Herb with a fragrant component used in cosmetics; can be a skin sensitizer…

Best

marshmallow

A flowering plant native to Africa that has soothing effects...

Good

Mastocarpus stellatus

Best

mate extract

Best

matricaria oil

Good

meadowfoam seed oil

Non-fragrant, edible plant oil originally developed as an agricultural crop in the 1950s. It...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

meadowsweet extract

Extract that can have skin-soothing properties...

Best

Medicago sativa

Good

Melaleuca alternifolia

Poor

Melaleuca cajeputi oil

There is no research showing that this oil, which is derived from a plant in the same family as the...

Poor

Melissa officinalis

Poor

Mentha arvensis

Poor

Mentha piperita

Poor

Mentha spicata

Poor

Mentha viridis

Poor

menthol

Derived from peppermint; menthol can have the same sensitizing effect as peppermint on skin…

Poor

menthone

Major constituent of peppermint.

Good

Microcystis aeruginosa

Latin name for spirulina.

Good

milk vetch root

Root with potential antioxidant properties, although there isn't conclusive research that it functions that way when applied topically.

Average

millet seed extract

Extract from a cereal grain that has no established benefit for skin, but is added to cosmetic...

Poor

mimosa oil or extract

Extract used as a fragrance in cosmetics.

Poor

mint

Can be a skin sensitizer…

Good

mixed fruit extracts

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Morinda citrifolia

Good

Morus alba root extract

Latin name for mulberry.

Good

Morus bombycis root extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Morus nigra root extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Average

mugwort extract

There is no research showing this extract has any benefit for skin (Sources:...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

mulberry extract

Non-fragrant plant extract (Latin name is Morus alba) whose various parts such as the leaf and root, have shown potential to brighten and improve the look...

Good

murumuru seed butter

Categories: Emollients, Plant Extracts
Poor

myrrh

Fragrant gum resin that can be a skin sensitizer. There is little research showing it has any benefit...

Poor

myrtle extract

Contains volatile oil and tannins...

Poor

Myrtus communis extract

Average

N6-furfuryladenine

Technical name for kinetin.

Poor

Narcissus poeticus wax

Fragrant flower extract that can cause sensitizing reactions…

Good

Nardostachys jatamansi

Average

Nasturtium officinale extract

Good

natto gum

Fermentation product of soy protein. It may be a potent antioxidant (Source: Journal of...

Average

neem extract or oil

Extract from leaves of the neem tree, it has potential sensitizing effects, although it also has been...

Poor

neroli

Poor

neroli oil

Fragrant plant oil that can be a skin sensitizer...

Average

nettle extract

Extract that may have soothing properties...

Good

noni juice

Also known as morinda or Morinda citrifolia, comes from a small evergreen tree. The juice from this...

Best

Nymphaea tetragona

Also known as pygmy waterlily. The stem has been shown to be an antioxidant...

Poor

oak root extract

Extract that can be a skin sensitizer.

Best

oat bran extract

Oat bran extract is a portion of the oat plant that contains antioxidant and soothing properties...

Best

oat kernel extract

Best

oatmeal

Can have skin-soothing properties…

Best

Oenothera biennis oil

Good

Olea europaea fruit oil

Best

Olea europaea oil unsaponifiables

An unsaponifiable oil is the portion of a plant oil that is not broken down when the oil's fatty...

Good

olive oil/olive fruit oil

Emollient plant oil similar to many other non-fragrant plant oils. The concept of olive oil having...

Poor

orange blossom

Fragrant extract that can also be a skin sensitizer.

Good

Orbignya martiana

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Orbignya oleifera

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Poor

orchid

Fragrant flower that can be a skin sensitizer.

Poor

oregano

Has beneficial properties, but can also be a skin sensitizer.

Poor

Origanum majorana

Poor

Origanum vulgare flower extract

Poor

orris root

Used primarily as a fragrant component due to its violet-like scent (Source:...

Good

Oryza sativa oil

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

oryzanol

Component of plants and their products, such as rice bran, that has potent antioxidant properties.

Good

Padina pavonica extract

Average

Paeonia albiflora extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Average

Paeonia suffruticosa extract

Good

Palmaria palmata extract

Extract from a type of algae whose common name is dulse.

Poor

palmarosa oil

Categories: Plant Extracts
Average

Panicum miliaceum

Categories: Plant Extracts
Average

pansy extract

Extract for which there is a small amount of research showing it has skin soothing and...

Poor

papain

Enzyme extracted from papaya. Applied topically, papain can aggravate skin...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Exfoliant
Average

papaya extract

Extract that is the source of papain, which theoretically can have exfoliating properties on skin,...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Exfoliant
Good

Passiflora edulis extract

The layperson term for this Brazilian-based plant oil is passion fruit…

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

Passiflora edulis seed oil

Non-fragrant plant oil from the passion fruit plant, and a rich source of fatty acids and antioxidants...

Good

passion fruit extract

There is no research showing this has any benefit for skin.

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

patchouli

Fragrant oil derived from mint. It contains eugenol and can aggravate skin.

Best

pomegranate extract

Pomegranate and its extracts have antioxidant properties that, while not conclusively demonstrated on human skin

Best

Poria cocos extract

Also known as Hoelen and Fu ling. Extract derived from a mushroom, which has antioxidant and...

Average

Porphyridium cruentum extract

Extract derived from a type of red algae. There is research showing components of red algae contain...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

Portulaca oleracea extract

Extract that may have soothing properties...

Good

potassium

Important element in diet that is present in such fruits as bananas and citrus. It is also an earth...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Absorbent
Average

Prunella vulgaris

Good

Prunus americana

Good

Prunus amygdalus dulcis

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Prunus armeniaca

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Prunus domestica seed extract

Best

Prunus domestica seed oil

Non-fragrant plant oil, more commonly known as plum (and, when dried, prune) that is a rich source of several potent antioxidants.

Best

Pueraria lobata

Best

pumpkin

Plant whose seeds are a rich source of fatty acids and several antioxidant components, including...

Best

Punica granatum extract

Good

pycnogenol

Antioxidant derived from the bark of the French Maritime pine tree. The term pycnogenol was...

Poor

Pyrus cydonia

Good

Pyrus malus

Species of apple; the pectin derived from it is used as a thickener in cosmetics.

Best

quercetin

A bioflavonoid ingredient from plants. Quercetin occurs naturally in red wine, tea, onions, kale, tomatoes, berries, and many other fruits and vegetables...

Poor

quercus

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

Quercus infectoria extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

quillaja extract

Extract of the Chilean soap bark tree. It contains a good amount of saponins, which have cleansing,...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

quince seed

Used as a thickening agent in cosmetics, but also has skin-constricting properties...

Good

quinoa oil

Derived from quinoa grain, it may have disinfectant properties (Source: Journal of Agricultural Food...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

rapeseed oil

Nonfragrant oil that has emollient and potential antioxidant properties for skin (Source: British...

Good

raspberry seed extract

Good

raspberry seed oil

Average

Solanum lycopersicum extract

Best

soy extract

Potent antioxidant and soothing agent for skin...

Best

soy isoflavones

Best

soy oil

Emollient oil similar to all nonfragrant plant oils.

Poor

spearmint oil

Fragrant, volatile oil that can cause skin sensitivity.

Best

Spiraea ulmaria

Good

spirulina

Good

St. John's wort

Contains several components that are harmful to skin in the presence of sunlight (Sources: Planta...

Best

stearyl glycyrrhetinate

The fatty acid form of the skin soothing glycyrrhetinic acid, which is derived from licorice.

Average

sugarcane extract

Ingredients like sugarcane extract, fruit extracts, mixed fruit extracts, and milk solids may claim...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

sunflower seed oil

Non-volatile plant oil used as an emollient in cosmetics.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

sweet almond

Most often used in its oil form, this ingredient is expressed from almonds. Also used as an...

Categories: Emollients, Plant Extracts
Poor

Symphytum officinale extract

Poor

Szechuan peppercorn

From a plant native to Szechuan Province in China. It grows on trees, and so differs from black...

Good

tamanu oil

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

Good

red algae

Good

red clover

Can have antioxidant and soothing properties...

Good

red raspberry extract

Fruit extract that has potent antioxidant properties...

Best

resveratrol

Potent polyphenolic antioxidant that is abundant in red grapes and, therefore, in red wine...

Good

rice bran oil

Emollient oil similar to other nonfragrant plant oils. There is no research showing this has any...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

rice oil

Emollient similar to other nonfragrant plant oils. There is no research showing this has any...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

rice starch

Absorbent substance sometimes included in products rather than talc....

Categories: Plant Extracts, Absorbent
Good

Ricinus communis

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Poor

Robinia pseudacacia extract

Good

Rosa canina

Good

Rosa centifolia

Good

Rosa centifolia flower

Poor

Rosa damascena oil

Oil of a very fragrant pink rose used as fragrance in cosmetics.

Good

Rosa eglanteria

Poor

Rosa gallica flower extract

Fragrant extract.

Good

Rosa mosqueta

Best

Rosa roxburghii extract

Extract from the chestnut rose; can be a source of antioxidants for skin, and does not impart...

Good

Rosa rubiginosa

Poor

rose flower

Highly fragrant substance that can be a skin sensitizer.

Poor

rose flower oil

Fragrant, volatile oil that can aggravate skin. There is no research showing...

Good

rose hip

Good

rose hip oil

Good emollient oil that has antioxidant properties (Sources: Journal of Agricultural Food...

Poor

rose oil

Fragrant, volatile oil that can aggravate skin.

Good

rosemary extract

Extract that can have antioxidant benefit for skin (Source: Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry,...

Poor

rosemary oil

Fragrant plant oil derived from rosemary, Latin name Rosmarinus officinalis. This ingredient is primarily used as a fragrance in cosmetics...

Poor

rosewood oil

Fragrant plant oil with a spicy-sweet scent, also known as bois de rose. It is extracted from wood...

Poor

Rosmarinus officinalis extract

Good

Rubus idaeus

Best

Rubus occidentalis

Good

Rubus ursinus

Best

Rubus ursinus x idaeus

Best

Rubus villoscus

The Latin name for blackberry fruit extract. This plant extract has antioxidant ability...

Average

Ruscus aculeatus

Average

Saccharomyces officinarum ferment

Derived from the sugarcane plant. Glycolic acid is also derived from sugarcane, but sugarcane...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

safflower seed oil

Emollient oil derived from the safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) plant.

Average

sage extract

Plant used most often to enhance the flavor of foods. Like all plant extracts, sage...

Good

salicin

Good

Salix alba extract

Good

Salix nigra (willow) bark extract

Poor

Salvia officinalis

Good

Sambucus canadensis

Good

Sambucus cerulea

Blue elderberry. May have antioxidant properties for skin.

Good

Sambucus nigra

Poor

sandalwood oil

Fragrant oil that can cause skin-sensitizing reactions...

Average

Santalum album seed extract

Latin name for sandalwood extract, which is used in cosmetics as a fragrance. It can have...

Good

Sapindus mukurossi peel extract

A plant extract that is a natural source of saponin...

Good

Saponaria officinalis extract

Good

saponin

Group of natural carbohydrates, found in plants, that have considerable potential...

Good

Sargassum filipendula extract

Poor

sausurrea oil

Also called costus oil. Volatile oil and fragrant component used in cosmetics; it can be a skin...

Average

Saxifraga sarmentosa extract

Categories: Plant Extracts
Poor

sclareolide

Fermented from clary sage and used as a fragrant component in cosmetics.

Good

Scutellaria baicalensis extract

Good

sea buckthorn

Berry extract that grows on a shrub-like tree. Sea buckthorn is believed to have several topical...

Good

Seamollient

Trade name for an algae extract.

Good

seaweed

Group of sea plants (scientific name: algae) of all sizes and shapes, and having a gelatin-like...

Average

Serenoa serrulata extract

Good

sericin

Scientific name for silk protein.

Good

sesame oil

Emollient oil similar to other nonfragrant plant oils.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Good

Sesamum indicum

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Best

shea butter

Shea butter is a plant lipid extracted from the karite tree that is used as an emollient in cosmetics.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Average

Siegesbeckia orientalis

Chinese herb (also known as St. Paul’s wort) for which there is no research showing that it has any...

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

silver tip white tea leaf extract

Best

Silybum marianum extract

Best

Simmondsia chinensis

Good

skullcap extract

Herbal extract from Scutellaria baicalensis that has antioxidant soothing properties...

Good

slippery elm bark

Can be a skin-soothing ingredient.

Good

soapberry extract

Extract from the tree Sapindus saponaria. The berries contain a good amount of Saponins.

Good

soapwort

Plant from which is derived an extract with detergent cleansing properties.

Average

Tanacetum parthenium

Poor

tangerine oil

Fragrant, volatile citrus oil that can be a skin sensitizer…

Average

tea tree oil

Also known as Melaleuca, from the name of its native Australian plant source, Melaleuca alternifolia.

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

tetrahydrobisdemethoxycurcumin

Antioxidant and skin-soothing plant extract.

Best

tetrahydrodemethoxycurcumin

Best

Theobroma cacao seed butter

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Average

thyme extract

Extract derived from the leaf or flower of the thyme plant. It can have potent antioxidant...

Poor

thyme oil

The most concentrated part of the thyme plant, and a source of antioxidants, some of which...

Poor

Thymus serpillum extract

Extract of wild thyme.

Average

Thymus vulgaris

Best

Tilia cordata

Average

tomato extract

Extract that has weak antioxidant properties...

Poor

tormentil extract

Plant that can be irritating due to its tannin content, which causes skin constriction.

Good

Trifolium pratense

Average

trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract

Latin name for the fenugreek plant. The seeds are used most often, and their fiber content helps...

Good

Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ extract

Extract from the germ portion of the wheat plant. In cosmetics, this ingredient functions as a...

Good

Triticum vulgare oil

Best

troxerutin

A flavonoid ingredient that's extracted from the Japanese plant Sophora japonica.

Good

turmeric

Spice made from the dried, ground root of a plant; its extract is called curcumin. A natural yellow...

Good

Ulmus fulva bark extract

Good

Ulva lactuca extract

Extract from the plant known as sea lettuce, it has some soothing and antioxidant...

Average

Uncaria tomentosa extract

Also known as cat’s claw, there is some research showing it to be an effective soothing...

Good

Undaria pinnatifida

Form of brown algae.

Average

Urtica dioica

Best

Uva ursi extract

Best

Vaccinium macrocarpon fruit extract

Latin term for cranberry.

Good

Vaccinium myrtillus

Categories: Plant Extracts
Good

Vanilla planifolia fruit extract

Extract used primarily as a fragrance and flavoring agent. The vanilla plant is a source of...

Poor

verbena extract

Fragrant extract that can be a skin sensitizer...

Poor

vetiver oil or extract

Fragrant component in skincare products that also has some beneficial properties...

Average

Viola tricolor extract

Best

Vitis vinifera

Latin name for the vines that produce wine grapes. More commonly known as grape seed oil or grape...

Average

walnut extract

Extract that can have antioxidant properties...

Good

walnut oil

Emollient, non-fragrant plant oil...

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Average

watercress extract

Research indicates that watercress extracts can have antioxidant activity, but that information is limited...

Best

watermelon fruit extract

Extract from the fruit Citrullus lantus, commonly known as watermelon...

Good

wheat germ oil

Emollient plant oil similar to all non-fragrant plant oils.

Categories: Plant Extracts, Emollients
Average

white nettle

Contains components that can have both soothing and sensitizing properties...

Poor

white oak bark extract

Best

white tea leaf extract

Extract from the minimally processed buds and leaves of green tea. There is research showing that...

Good

white willow

Poor

wild ginger

Good

willow bark

Contains salicin, a substance that when taken orally is converted by the digestive process to...

Best

willow herb

Poor

wintergreen oil

A type of mint often used to ease the discomfort of sore muscles...

Poor

witch hazel

Commonly used plant extract that can have antioxidant properties...

Best

xanthophyll

Also known as lutein, this is a cartenoid pigment from plants that functions as an antioxidant.

Poor

Xi xin

Good

Ximenia americana oil

Latin name for plum oil; it can have emollient properties.

Poor

yarrow extract

Extract for which there is little research showing it to have any benefit for skin. What studies do...

Best

yerba mate extract

Plant ingredient used in the preparation of the most popular tea-like beverage in South America. It has...

Poor

ylang ylang

Fragrant, volatile oil that can also be a skin sensitizer…

Average

yucca extract

Plant extract that can have soothing benefits...

Poor

Zanthoxylum piperitum

Poor

Zingiber officinale roscoe

Poor

Zingiber zerumbet

Poor

Zingiberaceae

Good

Zizyphus jujuba fruit extract

Best

physalis angulata extract

This plant extract has a potent calming effect on skin.

Best

tremella fuciformis sporocarp extract

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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!