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Ingredient Rating

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer

Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control, 

A synthetic ingredient used to enhance the texture of skincare and haircare products. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review has deemed it safe as it is currently used in cosmetics.

Good

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice

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

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

Good

Avobenzone

Sunscreen Active, 

Synthetic sunscreen ingredient (also known as Parsol 1789 or butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane) that provides broad-spectrum sun protection by absorbing aging UVA rays. Avobenzone is one of the most widely used UVA filters in the world and has been rigorously tested for safety and efficacy. To increase its photostability, UV absorbers such as octocrylene and non-UV filters (e.g., diethylhexyl 2, 6-napththalate) often accompany avobenzone in a cosmetic formula. Antioxidants (such as vitamin E and ubiquinone) also show promise for enhancing avobenzoneŠ—Ès photostability. For more information on the importance of sunscreen and how to apply it, see our article here. References for this information:

Best

Bentonite

Absorbent,  Viscosity Control, 

Type of clay that is used as an absorbent in cosmetics. It can be drying for skin, though its absorbent properties are helpful for those with oily skin.

Good

Butylene Glycol

Texture Enhancer,  Moisturizer,  Solvent, 

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.

Good

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate

Emollient,  Emulsifier,  Texture Enhancer, 

Synthetic ingredient used as an emollient and texture enhancing agent in cosmetics. This common ingredient is soluble in oil and oil-like ingredients, and can impart a lightly conditioning, silky finish to products. Its excellent solubility is one of the main reasons its used in so many sunscreens, as it helps keep the active ingredients dispersed throughout the formula.

Good

Cetearyl Alcohol

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

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

Good

Chlorphenesin

Preservative, 

Type of alcohol used as a preservative in cosmetics.

Good

D-Alpha-Tocopherol

Antioxidant,  Vitamin, 

Antioxidant that's considered the most effective form of vitamin E.

Best

Dimethicone

Emollient,  Silicone, 

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.

Good

Ethylhexylglycerin

Preservative,  Moisturizer,  Miscellaneous, 

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

Good

Homosalate

Sunscreen Active, 

FDA-approved sunscreen active ingredient that provides primarily UVB protection. Its UVA range is very narrow, and so it is not used alone in sunscreens. Homosalate is internationally approved for use in sunscreens, up to a maximum concentration of 15%. ItŠ—Ès considered non-sensitizing, and is most often seen in sunscreens rated SPF 30 and greater.

Best

Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate

Emollient,  Emulsifier,  Skin-Softening, 

A mixure of the diesters of methyl glucoside and stearic acid. Functions as a skin-softening agent and emollient.

Good

Octisalate

Sunscreen Active, 

Technical name for active sunscreen ingredient octyl salicylate (also known as ethylhexyl salicylate).

Best

Octocrylene

Sunscreen Active, 

Globally-approved sunscreen agent that protects skin from the UVB range of sunlight. It also helps stabilize the UVA sunscreen active, avobenzone. Like all synthetic sunscreen actives, octocrylene can be sensitizing for some people.ξ

Best

Oxybenzone

Sunscreen Active, 

Sunscreen agent (also known as benzophenone-3) that protects primarily from UVB rays, and some, but not all, UVA rays. It is part of the benzophenone group of chemicals.ξ

Best

Phenoxyethanol

Preservative, 

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.

Good

Picea Abies

Plant Extract,  Skin-Soothing, 

Latin name for Norway spruce. Research has shown its bark to be a rich source of antioxidants.

Best

Retinyl Palmitate

Antioxidant,  Skin-Restoring,  Vitamin, 

Combination of retinol (pure vitamin A) and the fatty acid palmitic acid. Research has shown it to be an effective antioxidant when applied to skin. You may be surprised to learn that retinyl palmitate is found naturally in our skin, where it works as an antioxidant, particularly in regard to helping protect skin from UV light exposureŠ—”though it does not replace the need for sunscreen. Reports that retinyl palmitate is not a safe ingredient are false. TheyŠ—Ère based on a study from nearly 20 years ago that has never been reproduced or tested under real-life conditions such as how people use sunscreens that contain this ingredient. In addition, to date, there is no scientific evidence that retinyl palmitate is a carcinogen in humans. The safety of retinyl palmitate is supported by several accredited organizations and their opinions are widely available online. If you still have concerns, we encourage you to research the topic further.References for this information: Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, February 2016, pages 394-403 Acta Biochimica Polonica, 2015, pages 201-206 Clinical Interventions in Aging, December 2006, pages 327-348 Journal of Investigative Dermatology, November 2003, pages 1163-1167

Best

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Antioxidant,  Skin-Soothing,  Vitamin,  Whitening, 

Stable, water-soluble form of vitamin C that functions as an antioxidant and is potentially effective for brightening an uneven skin tone.ξ

Best

Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate

Cleansing Agent,  Surfactant, 

A mixture of stearyl and cetyl sulfate that funtions as a surfactant.

Good

Sodium Hydroxide

Cleansing Agent,  Sensitizing,  Ph Adjusters, 

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.

Average

Titanium Dioxide

Coloring Agents/Pigment,  Sunscreen Active,  Thickeners/Emulsifier,  Pigment, 

Inert earth mineral used as a thickening, whitening, lubricating, and sunscreen ingredient in cosmetics. It protects skin from UVA and UVB radiation and is considered to have no risk of skin sensitivity. Because of its gentleness, titanium dioxide is an excellent sunscreen active for use on sensitive, redness-prone skin. ItŠ—Ès also great for use around the eyes, as it is highly unlikely to cause stinging.Titanium dioxide is typically micronized and coated for use in cosmetics products. The micronizing makes this somewhat heavy-feeling ingredient easier to spread on skin, plus a bit more cosmetically elegant. Micronized titanium dioxide also is much more stable and can provide better sun protection than non-micronized titanium dioxide. Micronized titanium dioxide does not penetrate skin so thereŠ—Ès no need to be concerned about it getting into your body. Even when titanium dioxide nanoparticles are used, the molecular size of the substance used to coat the nanoparticles is large enough to prevent them from penetrating beyond the uppermost layers of skin. This means youŠ—Ère getting the sun protection titanium dioxide provides without any risk of it causing harm to skin or your body.The coating process improves application, enhances sun protection, and also prevents the titanium dioxide from interacting with other ingredients in the presence of sunlight, thus enhancing its stability. It not only makes this ingredient much more pleasant to use for sunscreen, but also improves efficacy and eliminates safety concerns. Common examples of ingredients used to coat titanium dioxide are alumina, dimethicone, silica, and trimethoxy capryl silane.Titanium dioxide as used in sunscreens is commonly modified with other ingredients to ensure efficacy and stability. Examples of what are known as surface modifier ingredients used for titanium dioxide include stearic acid, isostearic acid, polyhydroxystearic acid, and dimethicone/methicone copolymer.Some websites and doctors maintain that titanium dioxide is inferior to zinc oxide, another mineral sunscreen whose core characteristics are similar to those of titanium dioxide. The reality is titanium dioxide is a great broad-spectrum SPF ingredient and is widely used in all manner of sun-protection products. What gets confusing for some consumers is trying to decipher research that ranks sunscreen ingredients by a UV spectrum graph. By most standards, broad-spectrum coverage for any sunscreen ingredient is defined as one that surpasses 360 nanometers (abbreviated as Š—“nm,Š—

Best

Tocopheryl Acetate

Antioxidant,  Vitamin,  Moisturizer, 

Best

Vp/Eicosene Copolymer

Film-Forming/Holding Agent, 

Film-forming agent often used in water-resistant sunscreen products. It helps the sunscreen adhere better to skin and resist breaking down in water. It does not, however, last for hours, which is why you must reapply even water-resistant sunscreens at regular intervals.

Good

Water

Solvent,  Miscellaneous, 

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.

Good

Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate

Emulsifier,  Viscosity Control,  Solvent, 

Sodium Polyacrylate Starch

Viscosity Control, 

This daytime moisturizer’s soufflé-light texture moisturizes while providing broad spectrum protection.
Avobenzone shields skin from UVA rays
Prevents premature aging of skin
Works beautifully under makeup
Lightweight, creamy texture
Use as the last step in your AM skincare routine
SKIN TYPES: Dry/Very Dry Skin

Allergic ingredients not found