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Ingredient
Emollient,  Skin-Soothing, 

4-T-Butylcyclohexanol

Good

Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control, 

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer

Good

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.

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.

Antioxidant,  Plant Extract,  Skin-Soothing, 

Atractylodes Macrocephala Root Powder

Best

A natural plant extract commonly used in Chinese and Korean herbal medicines. Applied to skin, the root of Atractylodes macrocephala has soothing and antioxidant properties.References for this information: Natural Product Research I, Volume 22, 2008 pages 1,418-1,427 Journal of Ethnopharmacology, November 2007, pages 212-217 The Journal of Pharmacy and Phamacology, September 2003, pages 1,275-1,282 Life Sciences, January 2002, pages 1,022-1,023

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:

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,  Plant Extract,  Skin-Replenishing,  Moisturizer, 

Butyrospermum Parkii

Best

Hydration, 

Capryloyl Glycine

Good

A synthetic amino acid derivative that function as a conditioning agent or, depending on the formula, a surfactant. Capryloyl glycine also helps protect the skinŠ—Ès surface from water loss and can enhance the effectiveness of cosmetic preservatives, allowing lower amounts to be used (a feature that minimizes the risk of a sensitized reaction). Reference for this information: International Journal of Toxicology, May/June 2017, pages 17S-56S http://www.hmdb.ca/metabolites/HMDB00832

Emollient,  Plant Extract,  Preservative,  Moisturizer, 

Caprylyl Glycol

Good

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

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

Emulsifier,  Texture Enhancer,  Moisturizer,  Viscosity Control, 

Cetearyl Glucoside

Good

A blend of cetearyl alcohol and glucose that functions as an emulsifier.

Antioxidant,  Plant Extract,  Fragrance, 

Coffea Arabica Seed

Best

Coffea arabicaξis the coffee plant, and there is research showing that coffee extract has antioxidant properties.Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 2002, issue 13, pages 3751Š—–3756

Antioxidant,  Vitamin, 

D-Alpha-Tocopherol

Best

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

Antioxidant, 

Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate

Good

An ester that functions as an antioxidant and helps protect cosmetics products from chemical or physical deterioration induced by light.

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.

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.

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,  Plant Extract,  Skin-Soothing,  Fragrance,  Anti,  Whitening, 

Glycyrrhiza Glabra

Best

Emulsifier,  Slip Agent,  Surfactant,  Solvent, 

Hexylene Glycol

Good

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.

Film-Forming/Holding Agent,  Hydration,  Moisturizer, 

Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate

Good

The end product of hydrolyzing starch, a polysaccharide carbohydrate. This corn-derived ingredient functions as a hydrator and film-forming agent.

Antioxidant,  Plant Extract, 

Mahonia Aquifolium Root

Good

A plant extract known as Orgeon grape, it functions as a calming ingredient, antioxidant, and astringent. References for this information: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, September 2009, pages 297-303 Fitoterapia, November 2007, pages 802-806 Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, September 2004, pages 4,709-4,715

Emulsifier,  Film-Forming Agent,  Film-Forming/Holding Agent,  Hydration,  Texture Enhancer, 

Maltooligosyl Glucoside

Good

A carbohydrate polysaccharide thatŠ—Ès naturally-derived and then combined with a starch. It has multiple functions in cosmetics, including binding agent, emulsifier, hydrator, texture enhancer, and film-forming agent. An alternative to glycerin, maltooligosyl glucoside gives cosmetic products a smooth feel and is believed to provide soothing benefits.

Antioxidant,  Skin-Restoring,  Skin-Soothing,  Vitamin, 

Niacinamide

Best

Also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, niacinamide is a very effective skin-restoring ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin. Among these benefits is the ability to visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, dullness, and a weakened skin surface. Niacinamide can also mitigate the damage environmental attack can cause, and is stable in the presence of heat and light.What about using vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and niacinamide in the same product or applied at the same time in separate products?ξYou might have read or heard that niacinamide and vitamin C shouldnŠ—Èt be used at the same time, whether found together in the same product or applied separately one after the other. Rest assured, this combination is fine and is in fact quite beneficial!ξThe research this misconception is based on was conducted in the 1960s; the forms of niacinamide and vitamin C used in this study were not stabilizedŠ—”although niacinamide itself is very stable. The base of the formula used in this study was also far different than todayŠ—Ès sophisticated skincare formulas. ξToday, cosmetic chemists know how to combine niacinamide and vitamin C in the ideal base formulas that enhance their compatibility.ξThe other common concern weŠ—Ève seen about combining these two ingredients has to do with the pH range. The concern is that the acidic environment ascorbic acid needs to be most effective will cause niacinamide will convert to nicotinic acid, a form that can be sensitizing, possibly inducing redness. Good news: This conversion process would only happen under conditions of the formula being exposed to very high heat for a long period of time. This would not apply to layering skincare products or to heat conditions that occur during manufacturing, transport, and storage of cosmetic products that contain niacinamide and ascorbic acid.

Sunscreen Active, 

Octinoxate

Best

Also known as octyl methoxycinnamate and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, octinoxate is the oldest and most common sunscreen active used to protect skin, primarily against UVB rays. Although octinoxate does provide some UVA protection, it does not protect against the entire range of UVA wavelengths; therefore, there should be another UVA-protecting active present in any sunscreen you use.

Sunscreen Active, 

Octisalate

Best

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

Sunscreen Active, 

Oxybenzone

Best

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

Texture Enhancer,  Moisturizer, 

Pentylene Glycol

Good

A synthetic skin-replenishing agent and solvent.

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.

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,  Emulsifier,  Surfactant, 

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate

Good

Used as a detergent cleansing agent.

Antioxidant,  Emollient,  Plant Extract,  Skin-Restoring,  Texture Enhancer,  Astringent, 

Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit

Good

General name for various types of apples, all of which have potent antioxidant ability that, at least in theory, can benefit skin when applied topically. There is more research concerning the health benefits of eating apples rather than applying them topically via skincare products, but we know that apples have many valuable components that could benefit skin (Sources: Plant Physiology & Biochemistry, September 2014, pages 169-188;ξand Journal of Medicinal Food, November 2012, pages 1,024-1,031).

Hydration, 

Sarcosine

Good

A synthetic amino acid derivative that functions as a skin conditioning and oil-control agent and may play a role in enhancing the penetration of other ingredients. Research has shown that sarcosine can help minimize the impact UV light exposure has on skinŠ—Ès surface, so you may find it included in various types of sunscreen. ItŠ—Ès considered non-sensitizing. References for this information: Journal of Controlled Release, January 2013, pages 91-100 International Journal of Toxicology, July-August 2012, pages 358-363 Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, January 2007, pages 155-161

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.

Skin-Soothing, 

Soothing Agent

Best

Any ingredient that soothes and improves signs of sensitivity. Interestingly, most antioxidants function as soothing ingredients because one of the skinŠ—Ès responses to environmental damage is sensitivity, visible signs of stress on skin's surface, and redness. These ingredients go a long way toward helping the skin deal with its daily struggle against environmental damage and seasonal environmental extremes.

Film-Forming/Holding Agent, 

Vp/Eicosene Copolymer

Good

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.

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.

Emulsifier,  Viscosity Control,  Solvent, 

Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate

Antioxidant,  Emollient,  Viscosity Control,  Anti,  Solvent, 

Avena Sativa Peptide

Viscosity Control, 

Hydrated Silica

Viscosity Control, 

Natural Xanthan Gum

This antioxidant-rich moisturizer hydrates and protects with superstar ingredients like niacinamide, shea butter and licorice for flawless, younger-looking skin.

Helps prevent premature aging
Antioxidants protect against environmental stressors
Hydrating cream leaves a dewy finish
Use as the last step in your AM skincare routine
SKIN TYPES: Dry/Very Dry Skin
CONCERNS: Wrinkles, Anti-Aging

Allergic ingredients not found