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Ingredient
Plant Extract,  Skin-Soothing,  Astringent,  Anti, 

Achillea Millefolium

Poor

Emollient,  Plant Extract,  Skin-Soothing,  Moisturizer,  Anti, 

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice

Good

May also be listed as aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder, aloe extract, or aloe juice.

Plant Extract,  Fragrance,  Astringent,  Anti, 

Arnica

Poor

Extract or oil obtained from the flowering plant Arnica montana. There is research showing that when arnica is taken orally before surgery it soothes sensitivity. However, in high amounts it is a risk for skin sensitivity.

Plant Extract, 

Artemisia Absinthium

Average

Texture Enhancer,  Moisturizer,  Solvent, 

Butylene Glycol

Good

Commonly-used ingredient that has multiple functions in cosmetics, including as a texture enhancer. It’s similar to propylene glycol, but has a lighter texture.

Emollient,  Texture Enhancer, 

Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose

Good

A mixture of cetyl alcohol and hydroxyethylcellulose. It functions as thickener and stabilizing agent.

Sensitizing,  Solvent, 

Denatured Alcohol

Poor

A drying type of alcoholξthat aggravates and weakens skin. Typically, if denatured alcohol is listed as the fifth ingredient or higher, it is of considerable risk for sensitizing skin.

Fragrance: Synthetic And Fragrant Plant Extract,  Sensitizing,  Fragrance, 

Fragrance

Poor

One or a blend of volatile and/or fragrant plant oils (or synthetically derived oils) that impart aroma and odor to products. These are often skin sensitizers because they are composed of hundreds of individual chemical components. Fragrance is a leading source of sensitivity to cosmetics.

Antioxidant,  Plant Extract,  Skin-Soothing,  Anti, 

Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root

Best

Part of the gentian plant, constituents of which have skin-soothing and antioxidant benefits.

Exfoliant,  Whitening, 

Glycolic Acid

Best

A type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that, like other ingredients in the category, can act as a water-binding agent and, when properly formulated, as an exfoliant. In its capacity as an exfoliant, it can help shed dead skin to renew skinŠ—Ès surface, visibly softening the signs of aging, particularly from sun damage. Glycolic acid is one of the most effective and well-researched forms of AHA.

Preservative, 

Methylparaben

Good

Parabens are a group of controversial preservatives that include butylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben, and ethylparaben. All of these were at one time the most widely used group of preservatives used in cosmetics. Parabens were so popular because of their gentle, non-sensitizing, and highly effective profile in comparison to other preservatives but also because they were derived naturally from plants, a rare phenomenon for a preservative. Parabens are found in plants in the form of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA), a chemical that breaks down to become parabens for a plants own protection. Over the past 10 years parabens have become criticized and condemned for use in cosmetics due to their alleged relation to health concerns affecting women and men. The research about parabens is conflicting and polarizing. Some research indicates they are safe as used in cosmetics and are preferred over other preservatives to keep a formula stable. These studies also showed parabens did not have any effect when compared to natural hormones in the body. However, other research has concluded they are indeed problematic: Some studies determined a 100% concentration of parabens caused skin samples (meaning not intact skin on a person) to break down. However, these studies donŠ—Èt apply to the tiny amount (1% or less) of parabens typically used in cosmetics. In low amounts, parabens were not shown to harm skin; in fact, they offer a benefit due to their ability to thwart the growth of mold, fungi, and harmful pathogens. Other studies casting parabens in a negative light were based on force-feeding them to rats, a practice that is not only cruel but unrelated to what happens when parabens are applied to skin. There are studies indicating absorption of parabens through skin associated with application of skincare products, but those studies did not take into consideration that parabens are still used as food-grade preservatives or found naturally in plants and that could have been the source not the cosmetics. We also looked at studies showing other questionable effects but those were done in vitro meaning in a petri dish or, again, animal studies in species whose biologic makeup does not closely relate to people. We appreciate the concern about parabens and understand if people choose to avoid them. At PaulaŠ—Ès Choice Skincare we choose not to use parabens, but that decision is based on other reasons than the scare tactics rampant on the internet. References for this information: Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, May 2017, 320-325 Annual Review of Food Science Technology, February 2017, pages 371-390 Journal of Applied Toxicology, April 2017, ePublication Environmental Science and Technology, April 2017, page 4009-4017 Dermatitis, November-December 2015, pages 254-259 Toxicology Letters, December 2013, pages 295-305 Skin Therapy Letter, July-August 2013, pages 5-7 Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, June 2008, pages 4631-4636 International Journal of Toxicology, April 2008, pages 1-82 http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/paraben-information

Exfoliant,  Plant Extract,  Moisturizer, 

Papaya

Average

Plant extract that is the source of the enzyme papain, which theoretically can have exfoliating properties on skin, although the majority of the research was not performed on skin. Papaya can be a skin sensitizer, but itŠ—Ès not as potentially risky as pure papain. Still, itŠ—Ès not an ingredient to apply daily; there are better options for leave-on exfoliants, including glycolic acid and salicylic acid.

Cleansing Agent,  Emollient,  Plant Extract,  Surfactant, 

PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil

Good

The chief function of this ingredient is cleansing agent.

Texture Enhancer,  Antistatic, 

Polyquaternium-10

Good

Antioxidant,  Plant Extract,  Skin-Soothing, 

Portulaca Oleracea

Best

Extract of a weed-like succulent plant that may have skin-soothing properties and serve as an antioxidant.

Cleansing Agent,  Ph Adjusters, 

Potassium Hydroxide

Average

Highly alkaline ingredient (also known as lye) used in small amounts in cosmetics to modulate the pH of a product. ItŠ—Ès also used as a cleansing agent, most often in pure soaps or soap hybrid products. In higher concentrations, potassium hydroxide can aggravate skin, even if used in rinse-off products.

Emollient,  Uncategorized,  Viscosity Control, 

Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate

Good

Gel-textured ingredient used in many lightweight moisturizers. ItŠ—Ès a mix of propylene glycol and capric acid, a fatty acid derived from plants.

Antioxidant,  Skin-Replenishing,  Skin-Restoring,  Moisturizer, 

Sodium Hyaluronate

Best

Salt form of skin-replenishing ingredient hyaluronic acid; considered more effective for skin than pure hyaluronic acid due to its greater compatibility. References for this information:

Solvent,  Miscellaneous, 

Water

Good

Most widely used cosmetic ingredient; water is almost always listed first on an ingredient label because it is usually the ingredient with the highest concentration in the formula. Despite claims of skinŠ—Ès need for hydration and claims regarding special types of water, it turns out that water may not be an important ingredient for skin. Only a 10% concentration of water in the outer layer of skin is necessary for softness and pliability in this part of the epidermis. Studies that have compared the water content of dry skin with that of normal or oily skin do not find a statistically significant difference in moisture levels between them.

Preservative, 

Sodium Propylparaben

Solvent, 

Maris Aqua

Moisturizer,  Antistatic, 

D-Panthenol

8% glycolic acid with dropper. Half length of the dropper mechanism is enough to cover the face. pH level of between 3.83 and 3.89.

Allergic ingredients not found