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Rating Ingredient
Good

acetyl hexapeptide-8

Acetyl hexapeptide-8 is a synthetically-derived peptide that, like all peptides, has water-binding properties and skin-restoring ability.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Good

acetyl octapeptide-3

A synthetic peptide that is based around octapeptide-3, a peptide complex composed of the amino acids aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glutamine, and methionine...

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

adenosine

Yeast-derived ingredient that functions as a good soothing and skin-restoring agent.

Best

adenosine triphosphate

An organic compound from adenosine, which is formed by the hydrolysis of yeast nucleic acids. All...

Good

Argireline

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

ATP

Best

caprooyl tetrapeptide-3

A synthetic or plant-derived signal peptide that’s said to help to boost the...

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Average

DMAE

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Good

enzymes

Vast group of protein , produced by all living things, that act as catalysts in chemical...

Categories: Exfoliant, Skin-Restoring
Best

ceramides

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

Best

creatine

An amino acid found in the human body and most type of meat and fish. This ingredient serves as the...

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

Cucurbitea peponis

Best

decarboxy carnosine HCL

Average

dimethyl MEA

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

gamma linolenic acid (GLA)

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

Best

GLA

Best

glutathione

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

Best

glycerin

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

Best

jojoba oil

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

Best

lady's thistle (milk thistle) extract

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

Best

glycosaminoglycans

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

Good

hibiscus

Fragrant plant

Best

hyaluronic acid

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

Best

hydrogenated lecithin

Categories: Skin-Restoring, Emollients
Best

hydroquinone

Hydroquinone has long been established as the most effective ingredient for reducing brown spots.

Best

linoleic acid

Unsaturated fatty acid used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. There is some...

Best

linolenic acid

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

Best

pentapeptides

Pentapeptides are a type of peptide where the peptide has five ("penta") amino acids. There are dozens of pentapeptides used in cosmetic products.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

peptides

Peptides are portions of short or long-chain amino acids, and amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Skin...

Best

phosphatidylcholine

Active ingredient in lecithin…

Best

phytosphingosine

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

Average

N6-furfuryladenine

Technical name for kinetin.

Best

niacin

Categories: Skin-Restoring, Vitamins
Best

niacinamide

Also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, niacinamide is a very effective skin-restoring ingredient...

Best

nicotinamide

Categories: Skin-Restoring, Vitamins
Best

nicotinic acid

Categories: Skin-Restoring, Vitamins
Best

palmitoyl hexapeptide-12

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

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

palmitoyl oligopeptide

A blend of palmitic acid (a fatty acid) with several amino acids, including alanine, arginine,...

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

palmitoyl pentapeptide-4

Trade name Matrixyl, a fatty acid mixed with amino acids. The only research showing this has any...

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7

A synthetic peptide whose trade name is Matrixyl 3000…

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

palmitoyl tripeptide-1

Palmitoyl tripeptide-1 is a synthetic fatty acid-linked peptide that can help repair visible skin damage and strengthen skin’s underlying supportive elements.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38

An ingredient manufactured by the brand Sederma under the trade name MATRIXYL synthe’6...

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

palmitoyl tripeptide-5

A synthetic peptide that is believed to play a role in the appearance of skin firmness...

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Good

Pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract

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

Best

sodium hyaluronate

The salt form of skin-replenishing ingredient hyaluronic acid.

Best

sphingolipids

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

Best

retinol

Retinol, the name for the entire vitamin A molecule, is a skin-restoring ingredient and an antioxidant.

Best

retinyl palmitate

Combination of retinol (pure vitamin A) and the fatty acid palmitic acid. Research has shown...

Best

retinyl retinoate

A synthetic, "new generation" retinol with research showing its usefulness for skin...

Categories: Skin-Restoring, Vitamins
Best

skin-restoring ingredients

Skincare ingredients that nourish skin’s surface in a way that helps transform it on many levels...

Good

tripeptide-32

A synthetic peptide with the "tri" (meaning three) designation referring to this peptide's mix of the amino acids proline, serine, and threonine.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

vitamin B3

Best

vitamin F

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

Best

palmitoyl tripeptide-8

A plant-derived or synthetic peptide made from combining the fatty acid palmitic acid with...

Categories: Skin-Restoring
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

Salvia hispanica (chia) seed oil

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

Best

azelaoyl bis-dipeptide-10

Azelaoyl bis-dipeptide-10 is a synthetic peptide built around naturally-derived azelaic acid that offers brightening and antioxidant benefits.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

myristoyl pentapeptide-17

Myristoyl pentapeptide-17 is a synthetic peptide known to increase skin's hydration and resilience.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

adenosine phosphate

Also known as AMP, adenosine phosphate is a skin-soothing and restoring ingredient that's similar to adenosine triphosphate.

Best

acetyl tetrapeptide-5

Acetyl tetrapeptide-5 is a synthetic peptide that has calming, smoothing, hydrating, and firmness-enhancing benefits when applied to skin.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

myristoyl tripeptide-31

A synthetic peptide made from combining the fatty acid myristic acid with tripeptide-31. This peptide is believed to have a retinol-like effect on skin’s appearance.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

palmitoyl dipeptide-10

A synthetic peptide made of palmitic acid and dipeptide-10, which contains the amino acids alanine and histidine. This peptide is believed to trigger some amount of repair to damaged collagen and elastin.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

tetrapeptide-30

Tetrapeptide-30 is a peptide that targets the appearance of discolorations and uneven skin tone.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

myristoyl hexapeptide-16

Myristoyl hexapeptide-16 is a synthetic, fatty acid-linked peptide known to improve skin’s resilience, visibly calm, and help skin look and feel smoother.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

tripeptide-1

Tripeptide-1, aka GHK (glycine, histidine, lysine - the amino acids that comprise it), is a synthetic signal peptide that teaches skin to rebuild damaged areas.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

hexanoyl dipeptide-3 norleucine acetate

Hexanoyl dipeptide-3 norleucine acetate is a synthetic peptide that helps skin’s surface shed properly and speeds up surface renewal for fresher-looking skin.

Categories: Skin-Restoring
Best

glycoproteins

Glycoproteins are a type of peptide naturally present in skin's surface that works with other ingredients to reinforce skin's barrier strength.

Categories: Skin-Restoring, Hydration

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!