Rating Ingredient
Good

maltooligosyl glucoside

A polysaccharide that’s naturally-derived and then combined with a starch. It has multiple functions in cosmetics, including binding agent, emulsifier, hydrator, texture enhancer, and film-forming agent.

Good

hydrogenated starch hydrolysate

Offers multifunctional properties, mainly acting as humectant (hydrator) and film-forming agent for added barrier protection. May be plant-derived or synthetic.

Average

acetyl tributyl citrate

Related to citric acid and used as a plasticizer, most commonly in nail polish and nail-hardening...

Good

film-forming agent

Large group of ingredients that are typically found in hair-care products, but that are also widely...

Good

glyceryl polymethacrylate

A blend of glycerin and polymethacrylic acid whose smooth finish is used to enhance the texture and application of skin care products.

Good

gums

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

Good

hydrolyzed wheat protein

Versatile ingredient that can function as a film-forming agent, hydrator, and conditioning agent for skin or hair.

Good

hydroxyethylcellulose

A plant-derived thickening agent typically used as a binding agent or emulsifier.

Good

locust bean

Best

sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer

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

Good

sodium polyacrylate

A versatile, synthetic polymer used as a film-forming agent, stabilizer, absorbent, thickening agent, and emollient.

Good

styrene/acrylates copolymer

Synthetic polymer.

Good

sodium carbomer

A blend of sodium (salt) and the gelling agent carbomer that functions as a stabilizer and film-forming agent.

Good

triethoxycaprylylsilane crosspolymer

A silicone polymer used to enhance a product's texture.

Good

VA/crotonates copolymer

Good

VP/eicosene copolymer

A film-forming agent often used in water-resistant sunscreen products. It helps the sunscreen adhere better to skin and resist breaking down in water.

Good

VP/hexadecene copolymer

Synthetic polymer.

Good

capryloyl glycerin/sebacic acid copolymer

A naturally-derived (coconut and castor oil) or synthetic ingredient...

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:

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!