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Ingredient
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.

Emollient,  Silicone, 

Dimethicone

Good

A type of silicone, dimethicone is one of the most frequently used emollient ingredients in moisturizers due to its gentleness and effectiveness. Dimethicone is considered a synthetic ingredient, even though itŠ—Ès derived from natural silicon.

Skin-Replenishing,  Skin-Restoring,  Moisturizer,  Solvent, 

Glycerin

Best

Also called glycerol or glycerine, glycerin is a humectant thatŠ—Ès present in all natural lipids (fats), whether animal or vegetable. It can be derived from natural substances by hydrolysis of fats and by fermentation of sugars; it also can be synthetically manufactured, which is usually the case with modern-day skincare products.Glycerin is a skin-replenishing and restoring ingredient, meaning it is a substance found naturally in skin, helping to establish normal balance and hydration. ItŠ—Ès one of the many substances in skin that helps maintain a healthy look and feel, defending against dryness and working to maintain skinŠ—Ès moisture level. Essentially, glycerin is a master at hydration, and works best when combined with other replenishing and emollient ingredients.Some people wonder whether using products with glycerin takes too much water from skin when there isnŠ—Èt enough humidity in the air. This can occur with pure glycerin (100% concentrationŠ—”an amount thatŠ—Ès never used in skincare products). Any humectant (including glycerin) used in pure form can increase water loss by attracting water from the lower layers of skin into the surface layers when the climate is too arid (low humidity). For this reason, glycerin and humectants are typically used in concentrations of 5% or less and always combined with other ingredients to soften skin. In fact, glycerin combined with other emollients and/or oils is a fundamental cornerstone of most moisturizers.References for this information:International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2016, ePublicationBritish Journal of Dermatology, July 2008, pages 23-34Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, June 2007, pages 75-82Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2003, pages 7,360-7,365

Emollient,  Emulsifier,  Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control,  Surfactant, 

Cetearyl Alcohol

Good

Fatty alcohol that is a mixture of gentle cetyl and stearyl alcohols. ItŠ—Ès used as an emollient, texture enhancer, foam stabilizer, and carrying agent for other ingredients. Can be derived naturally, as in coconut fatty alcohol, or made synthetically. It is almost always combined with similar-feeling ingredients to create a productŠ—Ès texture and influence its slip when applied to skin.Cosmetic products labeled "alcohol free" are allowed to contain cetearyl alcohol, whose effects are quite different from skin-aggravating forms of alcohol. We repeat: fatty alcohols like cetearyl alcohol do not pose a risk of sensitizing skin.Reference for this information:FDA Labeling Claims, 2014http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/cetyl-alcohol

Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control,  Antistatic, 

Polyacrylamide

Good

Cleansing Agent,  Emulsifier,  Thickeners/Emulsifier, 

Sorbitan Oleate

Good

Synthetic or animal-derived ingredient used as an emulsifier and cleansing agent.

Preservative, 

Phenoxyethanol

Good

Common cosmetics preservative that's considered one of the least sensitizing for use in formulations. It does not release formaldehyde. Phenoxyethanol is approved worldwide (including in Japan and in the EU) for use in all types of water-based cosmetics, up to a 1% concentration.

Silicone,  Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control, 

Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer

Good

Emollient,  Thickeners/Emulsifier,  Viscosity Control, 

Synthetic Beeswax

Good

A synthetic (hence the name) form of beeswax composed of a mixture of alcohol esters.

Emollient,  Silicone, 

Dimethiconol

Good

Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control, 

Carbomer

Good

Group of synthetic texture enhancers used primarily to create gel-like formulations. High amounts of carbomers in a gel may result in the product rolling or balling up of cosmetic products on skin, but this phenomenon depends on other formulary steps taken to minimize this effect.

Emollient,  Silicone,  Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control, 

Dimethicone Crosspolymer

Good

Silicone derivative used as a stabilizing and suspending agent or as a thickener.

Preservative, 

Chlorphenesin

Good

Type of alcohol used as a preservative in cosmetics.

Cleansing Agent,  Emulsifier,  Thickeners/Emulsifier,  Surfactant, 

Laureth-7

Good

Form of lauryl alcohol (a non-sensitizing fatty alcohol derived from coconut oil) that can function as a cleansing agent and texture enhancer. Despite information found on the Internet, thereŠ—Ès no substantiated evidence that this ingredient is problematic for oily skin.

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:

Preservative,  Moisturizer,  Miscellaneous, 

Ethylhexylglycerin

Good

A synthetic skin-softening agent also used as a preservative, a carrier, or suspending agent for other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol.

Emulsifier, 

C12-14 Pareth-12

Cleansing Agent,  Sensitizing,  Ph Adjusters, 

Sodium Hydroxide

Average

Also known as lye, sodium hydroxide is a highly alkaline ingredient used in small amounts in cosmetics to establish and hold the pH of a product.

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Allergic ingredients not found