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Ingredient Rating

Adenosine Triphosphate

Skin-Restoring,  Skin-Soothing, 

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

Best

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

Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate

Absorbent,  Texture Enhancer,  Viscosity Control, 

A synthetic powdery thickening agent, absorbent, and anti-caking agent used in cosmetics. When listed among the first few ingredients in a product, chances are the product will have a powder-like matte finish and fast dry time.ξ

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

Boerhavia Diffusa

Antioxidant,  Plant Extract,  Skin-Soothing, 

Extract from a flowering plant. Studies on animals have shown that this plant has strong skin-soothing activity. Like all plant extracts, Boerhavia diffusa also has antioxidant ability.

Best

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

Camellia Sinensis

Antioxidant,  Emollient,  Plant Extract,  Sunscreen Active,  Moisturizer,  Fragrance,  Astringent, 

Best

Colloidal Oatmeal

Exfoliant,  Skin-Soothing, 

A form of oatmeal used in cosmetics and skincare products. It is produced by finely grinding oats, then boiling them. Research shows avenathramides, potent types of antioxidants found in oats (and colloidal oatmeal), can help soothe skin. A high concentration of beta-glucan and starches in colloidal oatmeal also mean it has water-binding properties and is an effective skin protectant. In fact, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes colloidal oatmeal as a skin protectant, allowing it to be listed as an active ingredient on skincare products.

Best

D-Alpha-Tocopherol

Antioxidant,  Vitamin, 

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

Best

Ginkgo Biloba Leaf

Antioxidant,  Plant Extract,  Skin-Soothing,  Anti, 

Potent, plant-derived antioxidant and soothing ingredient derived from the ginkgo plant.

Best

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

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

Phospholipid

Emollient,  Skin-Replenishing,  Moisturizer, 

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

Best

Polysorbate 20

Cleansing Agent,  Emulsifier,  Surfactant, 

Good

Salix Alba

Plant Extract,  Skin-Soothing,  Astringent,  Anti, 

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

Sorbic Acid

Preservative, 

Preservative derived from mountain ash berries or manufactured synthetically. Sorbic acid is used in many products, including several foods and even in contact lens solutions.

Good

Superoxide Dismutase

Antioxidant, 

Enzyme considered a potent antioxidant in humans.

Best

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

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

Steareth-2

Emulsifier,  Surfactant, 

Steareth-21

Emulsifier,  Surfactant, 

Hydrated Silica

Viscosity Control, 

D-Panthenol

Moisturizer,  Antistatic, 

A-Bisabolol

Anti, 

No Match

This unexpectedly lightweight daytime moisturizer helps protect skin against premature aging with brilliant broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection.
Helps maintain an even, younger-looking complexion
Helps keep excess shine in check
Fluid formula leaves a soft matte finish
Use as the last step in your AM skincare routine
SKIN TYPES: Combination Skin
CONCERNS: Enlarged Pores

Allergic ingredients not found