Paula's Choice


Ingredient Rating

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.


Caprylyl Glycol

Emollient,  Plant Extract,  Preservative,  Moisturizer, 

Skin and hair conditioning agent that may be plant-derived or synthetic. Often used as part of a preservative blend in cosmetics.


Ceramide Ap

Skin-Replenishing,  Moisturizer, 


Ceramide Eop



Ceramide Np

Skin-Replenishing,  Moisturizer,  Fragrance, 

One of several types of ceramides, which are naturally occurring, long chains of lipids (fats) that are major components of skinŠ—Ès outer layers. Research shows moisturizers containing ceramide NP can improve the look and feel of dry skin.


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, 2014



Emollient,  Emulsifier,  Skin-Replenishing,  Viscosity Control, 

Applied topically, cholesterol in cosmetics can help maintain the skinŠ—Ès healthy feel and appearance. It is also a stabilizer, emollient, and water-binding agent.



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

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


Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil

Antioxidant,  Emollient,  Plant Extract,  Fragrance, 


Hexylene Glycol

Emulsifier,  Slip Agent,  Surfactant,  Solvent, 




Common cosmetics preservative thatŠ—Ès 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.



Emollient,  Skin-Replenishing,  Moisturizer, 

Type of lipid (fat) composed of glycerol, fatty acids, and phosphate. Lecithin is an example of a phospholipid. See lecithin.


Sodium Chloride

Scrub Agent,  Viscosity Control, 

More popularly known as common table salt. Used primarily as a binding agent in skincare products and occasionally as an abrasive in scrub products.ξ


Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

Cleansing Agent,  Surfactant, 

Derived from coconut, a mild detergent cleansing agent and the chief ingredient in non-soap Dove Beauty Bar.


Sodium Hyaluronate

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

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:


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.


Sodium Lauroamphoacetate

Cleansing Agent,  Surfactant, 

Mild surfactant (cleansing agent) also used as a lather agent.


Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate

Cleansing Agent,  Emulsifier,  Thickeners/Emulsifier, 

Used as an emulsifier and mild thickening agent in cosmetics. In higher concentrations, it functions as a surfactant.



Emollient,  Skin-Replenishing,  Skin-Restoring, 

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



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.


Glycol Distearate

Emollient,  Emulsifier,  Viscosity Control, 

Potassium Carbomer

Viscosity Control, 

Palm Stearic Acid

Emulsifier,  Viscosity Control, 

Soy Lecithin

Antioxidant,  Emollient,  Emulsifier,  Moisturizer, 

Natural Xanthan Gum

Viscosity Control, 

A gentle daily cleanser that helps balance moisture while removing makeup, impurities and excess oil.
Thoroughly and gently cleanses skin
Contains skin-restoring ingredients
Unique pearlescent cream-to-foam formula
Use as the first step in your AM/PM skincare routine
CONCERNS: Anti-Aging, Enlarged Pores

Allergic ingredients not found