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Ingredient
Skin-Restoring,  Skin-Soothing, 

Adenosine Triphosphate

Best

Organic compound from adenosine, which is formed by the hydrolysis of yeast nucleic acids.

Sunscreen Active, 

Avobenzone

Best

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:

Emollient,  Viscosity Control, 

Cera Microcristallina

Good

Emollient,  Plant Extract,  Moisturizer,  Fragrance, 

Cocos Nucifera

Best

The extract of the fruit of the coconut tree, this ingredient is rich in skin-conditioning fatty acids, proteins, and complex B vitamins. References for this information: American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, May 2017, pages 25-30 Medicines, May 2016

Antioxidant,  Vitamin, 

D-Alpha-Tocopherol

Best

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

Emollient,  Texture Enhancer,  Fragrance,  Synthetic Ester,  Solvent, 

Ethylhexyl Palmitate

Good

Mixture of a fatty alcohol and palmitic acid that functions as an emollient and texture enhancer. ThereŠ—Ès no research indicating this ingredient, which may be synthetic, plant-, or animal-derived, is a problem for skin.

Fragrance,  Miscellaneous, 

Flavor

Average

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the term "flavor" on a product label signifies "any natural or synthetic substance or substances used solely to impart a taste to a cosmetic product." In Europe, the labeling name for flavor is "aroma". The term "flavor" is used most often for lip-care products and lip cosmetics (think lipstick, lip gloss).

Sunscreen Active, 

Homosalate

Best

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.

Coloring Agents/Pigment,  Pigment, 

Iron Oxides

Good

Compounds of iron that are used as coloring agents in some cosmetics. They also are used as a metal polish called jewelersŠ—È rouge, and are well-known in their crude form as rust. Although iron oxides occur naturally, the forms used in cosmetics are synthetic. Iron oxides are closely regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to the website CosmeticsInfo.org (which links to the FDAŠ—Ès Code of Federal Regulations for iron oxides), Š—“Synthetic iron oxides are produced in various ways, including thermal decomposition of iron salts, such as ferrous sulfate, to produce reds; precipitation to produce yellows, reds, browns, and blacks; and reduction of organic compounds by iron to produce yellows and blacks.Š—

Emollient,  Synthetic Ester, 

Isononyl Isononanoate

Good

Synthetic ester that functions as an emollient skin-softening agent. Occurs naturally in cocoa oil and lavender oil. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel has determined that isononyl isononanoate is safe in its current use and concentration in cosmetic products.

Emollient,  Texture Enhancer,  Synthetic Ester,  Solvent, 

Isopropyl Myristate

Good

Texture enhancer and emollient as used in cosmetics. There is also research showing it can help enhance the absorption of ingredients in a cosmetic formula.

Emollient,  Emulsifier,  Texture Enhancer, 

Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate

Good

A synthetic or animal-derived ingredient used as a surface treatment for cosmetic pigments in products such as mascara. Also used to coat titanium dioxide nanoparticles to keep them evenly suspended and stable in sunscreen formulations.ξ

Coloring Agents/Pigment,  Pigment, 

Mica

Good

Earth-derived silicate minerals included in products to give them sparkle and shine as well as varying degrees of opacity. The amount and look of the shine mica provides depends on the color and how finely itŠ—Ès milled for use in liquid, cream, or powder products. It is considered safe for use in cosmetics, including those applied to the eyes and lips.

Sunscreen Active, 

Octisalate

Best

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

Sunscreen Active, 

Octocrylene

Best

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

Emollient,  Emulsifier,  Texture Enhancer,  Fragrance,  Solvent, 

Octyldodecanol

Good

Clear colorless liquid thatŠ—Ès considered a long-chain fatty acid. ItŠ—Ès often used as a texture enhancer in moisturizers and lip products due to its lubricating and emollient properties. Octyldodecanol also helps prevent a formula from separating into its oil and liquid components. ItŠ—Ès a synthetic ingredient.

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.

Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control, 

Polybutene

Good

Synthetic polymer derived from mineral oil and used as a thickener and lubricant.

Emulsifier,  Uncategorized, 

Polyhydroxystearic Acid

Good

Synthetic polymer related to stearic acid that functions as a suspending agent.

Texture Enhancer,  Solvent, 

Propylene Carbonate

Good

Liquid used as a solvent and film-forming agent.

Antioxidant,  Skin-Restoring,  Vitamin, 

Retinyl Palmitate

Best

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

Viscosity Control,  Miscellaneous, 

Stearalkonium Hectorite

Good

Used as a suspending agent.

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

Titanium Dioxide

Best

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—

Antioxidant,  Vitamin,  Moisturizer, 

Tocopheryl Acetate

Best

Pigment, 

Red 7 Lake

Viscosity Control, 

Tin Oxide

Viscosity Control, 

Oxidized Polyethylene

Viscosity Control, 

Hydrated Silica

Antioxidant,  Emollient,  Emulsifier,  Moisturizer, 

Soy Lecithin

Emollient,  Viscosity Control, 

Silica Dimethicone Silylate

This nourishing, anti-aging lip gloss with SPF 40 creates fuller-looking, softer lips while helping to reduce the risk of early skin aging.
Optimal broad-spectrum sun protection
Available in sheer pink
CONCERNS: Anti-Aging

Allergic ingredients not found