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Rating Ingredient
Good

collagen amino acids

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

Best

acetyl glucosamine

Amino acid sugar and primary constituent of mucopolysaccharides and hyaluronic acid.

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

Butyrospermum parkii

Best

Buxus chinensis

Best

almond oil

Non-volatile oil extracted from the seeds of almonds and used as an emollient.

Best

amino acid

Fundamental constituents of all proteins found in the body, such as: alanine, arginine, asparagine,...

Good

aspartic acid

Best

beta-sitosterol

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

Best

canola oil

Plant lipid that has skin restoring and soothing properties…

Best

carrot oil

Emollient plant oil similar to other nonfragrant plant oils.

Best

egg yolk

Egg yolk is mostly water and lipids (fats), especially cholesterol, which makes it a good emollient...

Best

eicosapentaenoic acid

Fatty acid derived from salmon oil; it is a good emollient and replenishing ingredient for skin.

Best

fatty acid

Substance typically found in plant and animal lipids (fat). Fatty acids include compounds such as...

Best

ceramide AP

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

ceramide EOP

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

ceramide NP

One of several types of ceramides.

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

ceramide NS

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

ceramides

Naturally occurring, long chains of lipids (fats) that are major components of skin’s outer...

Good

cetearyl octanoate

Best

cholesterol

The surface of skin depends on the stratum corneum lipid matrix, which...

Best

chondroitin sulfate

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

cysteine

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

cystine

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

decylene glycol

A synthetic glycol that functions as a skin-conditioning agent.

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

dextran

Polysaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin.

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

fibronectin

Type of protein found in the skin....

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

fructose

Often called fruit sugar, fructose is a type of sugar composed of glucose. It has water-binding...

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

glucosamine HCL

A form of glucosamine, an amino sugar that can be considered a skin-restorative...

Good

glucose

Monosaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin.

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

glutamine

Can help improve the function of skin...

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

glycerin

Also called glycerol or glycerine, glycerin is present in all natural lipids (fats), whether animal or vegetable.

Best

glycerine

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

glycerol

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

isoleucine

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.

Good

lactobionate

Polysaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin.

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

lanolin

Emollient, very thick substance derived from sheep. Lanolin has long been...

Good

lanolin alcohol

Emollient derived from lanolin.

Best

lauric acid

One of several fatty acids found in coconut oil and other natural fats.

Best

lecithin

Phospholipid found in egg yolks and may be plant or animal derived. It is widely used in...

Good

glycine

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

glycogen

Polysaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin.

Best

glycolipid

Type of lipid composed of sugar (monosaccharide) and fat (lipid) that forms an important component...

Best

glycosaminoglycans

Also known as mucopolysaccharides; these are a fundamental component of skin and are...

Best

glycosphingolipid

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

hyaluronic acid

Component of skin that is used in skincare products as a good restorative ingredient....

Good

hydrogenated palm glycerides

Palm glycerides are the fatty acid component of palm oil. When a plant oil is hydrogenated, it is...

Best

hydrolyzed glycosaminoglycans

A skin-restorative ingredient that has been hydrolyzed, which is a chemical process involving the...

Best

inositol

Major component of lecithin that may have water-binding properties for skin. It is not a vitamin,...

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

leucine

Amino acid.

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

lipid

Wide range of ingredients found in plants, animals, and human skin. Lipids include fatty acids,...

Good

lysine

Amino acid.

Good

PEG-75 shea butter glycerides

An emulsifying and skin replenishing agent derived from glycerides (fatty acids)...

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

phenylalanine

Best

phosphatidylcholine

Active ingredient in lecithin…

Best

phosphatidylethanolamine

Best

phospholipid

Type of lipid (fat) composed of glycerol, fatty acids, and phosphate. Phospholipids are essential...

Best

phytosphingosine

Long-chain, complex fatty alcohol that functions as a water-binding agent and also has preservative...

Best

phytosterol

Cholesterol-like molecules found in all plant foods; the highest concentrations are found in...

Best

Mangifera indica (mango) seed butter

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

Good

melibiose

Saccharide that can have good water-binding properties.

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

methionine

Good

milk protein

Best

mucopolysaccharide

Also known as glycosaminoglycans. This is a large class of ingredients that includes hyaluronic...

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Average

N-acetyl-L tyrosine

Good

NaPCA

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

natural moisturizing factor (NMF)

One of the primary elements in keeping skin feeling and looking healthier…

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
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...

Best

palm oil

Has emollient and antioxidant properties for skin.

Good

palmitic acid

Blend of the fatty acid palmitic acid with several amino acids…

Best

polysaccharide

Natural component of skin that can be a good water-binding agent and potentially have antioxidant...

Good

proline

Best

pumpkin seed extract

Type of squash that is a very good source of antioxidant cartenoids. Pumpkin seed oil and extract...

Good

sodium dilauramidoglutamide lysine

A plant-derived ingredient that helps replenish skin and hair...

Best

sodium hyaluronate

The salt form of skin-replenishing ingredient hyaluronic acid.

Best

sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer

A modified form of skin-replenishing hyaluronic acid attached to a polymer structure

Best

sodium PCA

PCA (pyrrolidone carboxylic acid) is a natural component of skin that is also a very good...

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

sphingolipids

Sphingolipids are complex lipids (fats) that function as skin-replenishing and conditioning ingredients...

Best

squalane

Best

squalene

Oil derived from shark liver or from plants (usually olives). It is a natural component...

Good

stearates

Good

stearic acid

Fatty acid used as an emollient and emulsifier...

Good

sucrose

Monosaccharide that has hydrating properties for skin.

Good

saccharide isomerate

Good water-binding agent and emollient for skin.

Best

saccharides

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Average

Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Saccharomyces, from the Latin, literally means “sugar fungus,” and is the scientific name for the...

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

Sclerocarya birrea

More commonly known as marula oil, Sclerocarya birrea oil is a non-fragrant plant oil that's a rich source...

Good

serine

Best

Simmondsia chinensis

Best

skin-replenishing ingredients

These are skincare ingredients that help enrich skin’s surface, drenching it with revitalizing hydration and keeping it there.

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

sodium chondroitin sulfate

Derived from natural mucopolysaccharides, it functions as a skin-softening agent and helps...

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

thiotaurine

Amino acid. Potentially, it can have antioxidant properties for skin...

Good

threonine

Good

tribehenin

Also known as glyceryl tribehenate, a skin-conditioning agent that is a mixture of glycerin and...

Good

trihydroxystearin

Mixture of glycerin and fatty acids that is used as an emollient and thickening agent.

Good

tryptophan

Good

urea

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

Good

valine

Best

vitamin F

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

Good

wheat protein

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Good

hydroxyethyl urea

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

Best

caprooyl phytosphingosine

A mixture of fatty acids caproic acid and phytosphingosine.

Best

caprooyl sphingosine

A mixture of fatty acids caproic acid and sphingosine.

Best

ceramide EOS

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

ceramide NG

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

Salvia hispanica (chia) seed oil

Non-fragrant plant oil whose seeds are a rich source of fatty acids...

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!