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  Details

Rating Ingredient
Good

galactoarabinan

Polysaccharide extracted from the western larch tree.

Poor

galbanum

Fragrant substance that, because of its resin and volatile oil content, can be extremely sensitizing…

Best

gamma linolenic acid (GLA)

Fatty acid used in cosmetics as an emollient and antioxidant. GLA is considered to...

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

gelatin

Protein obtained from plants or animals and used in cosmetics as a thickening agent.

Good

gellan gum

A plant-derived, high-weight, polysaccharide texture enhancer that also...

Categories: Texture Enhancer
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...

Average

geraniol

A volatile fragrance ingredient extracted from geranium, geraniol is capable of causing sensitivity when applied 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

Germaben II

Trade name for diazolidinyl urea.

Categories: Preservatives
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

GLA

Best

glabridin

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

Best

gluconolactone

Categories: Exfoliant
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
Good

glucose oxidase

Glucose oxidase is an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of the sugar glucose.

Categories: Miscellaneous
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...

Average

glutamic acid

Amino acid derived from wheat gluten. It can have water-binding properties for skin. There is no...

Categories: Miscellaneous
Best

glutamine

Can help improve the function of skin...

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

glutathione

Powerful, non-enzymatic antioxidant which naturally occurs in the skin.

Good

gluten ingredients

Gluten is a protein that occurs naturally in many types of grains, including wheat, rye, and barley.

Categories: Miscellaneous
Good

glycereth-26

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glycereth-26 phosphate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glycereth-6 laurate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

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

glycerol monostearate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glycerol triacetate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glycerol trioleate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glyceryl behanate

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

Best

glyceryl behenate

An ester emollient of fatty acid behenic acid...

Good

glyceryl behenate/eicosadioate

A mixture of esters of glycerin, along with behenic and eicosadioic acids, its works as a thickener and stabilizing agent in makeup and skincare products.

Categories: Thickeners
Good

glyceryl cocoate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glyceryl dibehanate

A complex mixture of glycerin and the naturally-occurring fatty acid behenic acid. Glyceryl...

Categories: Emollients
Good

glyceryl dipalmitate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glyceryl distearate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glyceryl ester

Large group of ingredients that are composed of fats and oils. At room temperature, the fats are...

Good

glyceryl isopalmitate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glyceryl isostearate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glyceryl myristate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glyceryl oleate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glyceryl palmitate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glyceryl polymethacrylate

A blend of glycerin and polymethacrylic acid that functions as a film-forming agent. It has a...

Good

glyceryl rosinate

An ester of long chain acids derived from a plant-based ingredient known as rosin.

Good

glyceryl stearate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.

Good

glyceryl stearate SE

Widely used ingredient that is a self-emulsifying (that’s what the “SE” stands for) form of...

Good

glycine

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
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
Good

glycogen

Polysaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin.

Best

glycolic acid

Categories: Exfoliant
Best

glycolipid

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

Good

glycol stearate

Used as an emollient and thickening agent.

Best

glycosaminoglycans

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

Best

glycosphingolipid

Categories: Skin-Replenishing
Best

glycyrrhetic acid

Extract from licorice that has skin-soothing properties…

Best

glycyrrhetinic acid

One of the components of licorice root extract...

Best

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Best

Glycyrrhiza uralensis root extract

Good

goji fruit extract

Poor

gold

An ingredient that seems luxe and helpful but is actually a frequent contact sensitizer…

Categories: Sensitizing, Miscellaneous
Good

Gossypium herbacuem seed oil

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

Categories: Plant Extracts
Best

gotu kola

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...

Poor

grapefruit seed extract

Labelled as Citrus paradisi (grapefruit) seed extract, this is often claimed as a natural preservative...

Categories: Uncategorized
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...

Best

green tea

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

Best

gromwell

Poor

guarana

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

Good

guar gum

Plant-derived thickening agent...

Good

guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride

Good

gums

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

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!