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Paula's Choice Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment Ingredients Explained

5.0   from 2 ratings
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Published on July 13, 2020

Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 54 ingredients that contains ceramides, exfoliants, hyaluronic acid, peptides, retinoid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens or sulfates

Fun facts

Paula's Choice is from United States. This product is used in 79 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

Retinoid
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Exfoliators
Ceramides
Hyaluronic Acid
Peptides (4)

Benefits

Hydrating (3)
Good For Oily Skin (2)
Redness Reducing (4)
Reduces Irritation (3)
Skin Texture (2)
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging (4)
Dark Spots (5)
Scar Healing (2)
Acne Fighting
Brightening (4)

Concerns

Drying
May Worsen Oily Skin
Acne Trigger
Irritating
Eczema (2)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
1 / 0
Silicon Icon
3
Emollient, Emulsifying
2 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
4
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
5
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
1 / 0
6
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps brighten skin Icon
7
Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising
8
9
Emulsion Stabilising
10
Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising
Fatty Alcohol Icon
11
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
12
Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
13
Emollient, Emulsifying
1 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
14
Antimicrobial, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
15
Emulsifying
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
16
Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
17
Skin Conditioning
Retinoid IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconMay worsen Eczema IconHelps brighten skin Icon
18
Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
19
Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
20
Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
21
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Hyaluronic Acid Icon
22
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Dark Spots Icon
23
Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing
Good for Dark Spots Icon
24
Abrasive, Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Exfoliant IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
25
Skin Conditioning
26
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing, Tonic
Good for Oily Skin Icon
27
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
28
Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
29
Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
30
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
31
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
32
Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
33
Buffering
34
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
35
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
36
Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
37
Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
38
Emulsifying
39
Humectant, Solvent
40
Absorbent
0 / 0
41
Emulsifying
42
Skin Conditioning
43
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
44
45
Cleansing, Emulsifying
2 / 1
46
Emulsion Stabilising
47
Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1
Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
48
Cleansing, Foaming
49
Antioxidant
Antioxidant IconSilicon Icon
50
Skin Conditioning
51
52
Preservative
Preservative Icon
53
Masking, Preservative
Preservative IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
54
Skin Conditioning

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 54 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Dimethicone is a silicone used for making products smooth and silky. It also has the added benefit of sealing in hydration. The amount of dimethicone found in beauty products is considered safe and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores.

Dimethicone has been found increase absorption in skin, boosting the benefits of other ingredients. While there is concern for the safety of dimethicone, the levels used in skincare are safe for use.

3
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate is derived from isostearic acid. It is an emollient and emulsifier.

The highest concentration of this ingredient is found in lipsticks.

This ingredient is minimally water soluble and may not be Malassezia folliculitis, or fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate
4
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Isononyl Isononanoate is a synthetic skin-conditioner and texture enhancer. It is created from nonanoic acid, a fatty acid found in cocoa and lavender oil.

As an emollient, Isononyl Isononanoate helps keep your skin soft and smooth. This is because emollients create a barrier on the skin to trap moisture in.

Isononyl Isononanoate helps give products a velvet feel and improves spreadability.

Learn more about Isononyl Isononanoate
5
What it does: Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

6
What it does: Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Bakuchiol is a plant-derived antioxidant (it's vegan!). It is often called the replacement for retinol although it is not part of the same family.

It has similar effects as retinol: skin smoothing, reducing discoloration, and preventing wrinkles. It does not cause as much irritation as traditional retinoids.

Bakuchiol works by breaking down free radicals and stimulating collagen production in skin.

Combining bakuchiol with retinol will not have adverse side effects. Studies show using them will just boost the benefits. Bakuchiol is also found to help stabilize retinol.

While bakuchiol does not make the skin more sun sensitive, we recommend wearing SPF on a daily basis.

Read more about traditional retinol

Learn more about Bakuchiol
7
What it does: Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Very Disliked

We don't have a description for Arachidyl Alcohol.

8
What it does:
Community Rating: Mixed

We don't have a description for Glyceryl Polymethacrylate.

9
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Dimethicone Crosspolymer is a silicone created by modifying dimethicone with hydrocarbon side chains. Due to its large size, it does not penetrate skin. It is considered non-occlusive.

Dimethicone Crosspolymer is used to stabilize and thicken products. It also helps give products a silky feel.

10
What it does: Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Disliked

A type of fatty alcohol. Fatty Alcohols are most often used as an emollient or to thicken a product. They are usually derived from natural fats and oils and therefore do not have the same drying or irritating effect as traditional alcohols.

Emollients help keep your skin soft and hydrated by creating a film that traps moisture in.

Behenyl Alcohol is usually derived from the fats in vegetable oils.

In 2000, Behenyl Alcohol was approved by the US as medicine to reduce the duration of cold sores.

Learn more about Behenyl Alcohol
11
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
12
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Disliked

Peg-75 Shea Butter Glycerides isn't fungal acne safe.

13
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Disliked

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

Glyceryl Stearate is used to stabilize the mixing of water and oil ingredients. By preventing these ingredients from separating, it can help elongate shelf life. It can also help thicken the product's texture.

As an emollient, it helps soften skin and supports barrier-replenishing ingredients.

In cosmetics, Glyceryl Stearate is often made from vegetable oils or synthetically produced. The human body also creates Glyceryl Stearate naturally.

Learn more about Glyceryl Stearate
14
What it does: Antimicrobial, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is made up of Benzoic Acid and long chain alcohols. It has a low molecular weight.

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is an emollient and texture enhancer. Due to its solubility, it is often used in sunscreens to help evenly distribute active ingredients.

As an emollient, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate helps soften and hydrate your skin. Emollients create a film on your skin that traps moisture within.

This ingredient has been reported to cause eye irritation.

Learn more about C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate
15
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

As a surfactant, it helps collect dirt and oils for washing. Emulsifiers prevent oils and water from separating.

Polysorbate 20 also adds scent to a product. Since it is made using sorbitol, it has a sweet scent. Sorbitol can also be found in fruits such as apples and peaches.

The lauric acid used to create Polysorbate 20 is often derived from coconuts.

Polysorbate 20 may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Polysorbate 20
16
What it does: Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate is a version of ascorbic acid, or pure Vitamin C.

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate has many benefits including reducing wrinkles, skin soothing, dark spot fading, and fighting against free radicals.

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate interferes with the process of skin darkening, helping to reduce hyperpigmentation. It also encourages the skin to produce more collagen.

As an antioxidant, it helps fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

One study found Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate to degrade in sunlight, but is stabilized when conbined with acetyl zingerone.

Learn more about Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate
17
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A and proven to help with anti-aging.

It promotes collagen production, increases new cell turnoever, and protects your skin as an antioxidant.

Retinol boosts collagen production and increases cell turnover. This makes retinol effective in removing wrinkles, fading dark spots, and reducing the appearance of pores.

Retinol is less effective when exposed to sun. Be sure to look for appropriate packaging to keep your retinol potent.

Using retinol and retinoids will increase sun-sensitivity in the first few weeks of use. Though studies show retinoids increase your skin's natural SPF with continuous use, it is best to always wear sunscreen and sun-protection.

We recommend speaking with a medical professional about using this ingredient during pregnancy.

Retinol may cause irritation in some people, so be sure to patch test. Experts recommend 'ramping up' retinol use: start using this ingredient once a week and work up to using it daily.

Read about Tretinoin

Learn more about Retinol
18
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ceramide NG is a type of Ceramide. The NG stands for a sphinganine base.

Ceramides are intercellular lipids naturally found in our skin that bonds dead skin cells together to create a barrier. They are known for their ability to hold water and thus are a great ingredient for dry skin.

Ceramides are an important building block for our skin barrier. A stronger barrier helps the skin look more firm and hydrated. By bolstering the skin ceramides act as a barrier against irritating ingredients. This can help with inflammation as well.

If you would like to eat ceramides, sweet potatoes contain a small amount.

Read more about other common types of ceramides here: Ceramide AP Ceramide EOP Ceramide NP

Learn more about Ceramide Ng
19
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 is a peptide. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

This ingredient consists of four amino acids and palmitic acid. These amino acids are arginine, proline, glutamine, and glycine.

This ingredient has many benefits. These benefits include boosting collagen production, fighting inflammation, and reversing UV damage.

By preventing our bodies from producing interleukins, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 helps fight inflammation. An interleukin is a chemical that signals to the body to produce an inflammatory response. Interleukin production is accelerated by UV radiation.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 tells our body to create more collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes connective tissue. Boosting collagen production leads to a healthier skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier means having firm and hydrated skin.

Read more about other common types of peptides here:

Learn more about Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7
20
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 isn't fungal acne safe and is a peptide.

21
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

Like hyaluronic acid, it is great at holding water and acts as a humectant. This makes it a great skin hydrating ingredient.

Sodium Hyaluronate is naturally occurring in our bodies and is mostly found in eye fluid and joints.

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Sodium Hyaluronate
22
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate comes from licorice root.

Extracts of licorice have demonstrated to have antibacterial, antiโ€inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant properties.

One component, glabridin, has extra potent antioxidant and soothing properties. It has also been found to block pigmentation from UVB rays in guinea pigs.

Licorice Root also contains a flavonoid. Flavonoids are a natural substance from in plants. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties.

Another component, glycyrrhizin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. This may make licorice root extract effective at treating acne. However, more research is needed to support this.

Liquiritin is one of the flavone compounds found in licorice. It has been found to help lighten skin by preventing tyrosinase from reacting with tyrosine. When the two react, protein is converted to melanin. Melanin is the substance in your body that gives your features pigmentation.

Licorice root is native to Southern Europe and Asia. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to help with respiratory issues.

Learn more about Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate
23
What it does: Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing
Community Rating: Liked

Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract is an extract of the roots of Licorice. It has been found to have several benefits such as skin hydrating, conditioning, and soothing.

One component, glabridin, has extra potent antioxidant and soothing properties. It has also been found to block pigmentation from UVB rays in guinea pigs.

Licorice Root also contains a flavonoid. Flavonoids are a natural substance from in plants. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties.

Another component, glycyrrhizin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. This may make licorice root extract effective at treating acne. However, more research is needed to support this.

Liquiritin is one of the flavone compounds found in licorice. It has been found to help lighten skin by preventing tyrosinase from reacting with tyrosine. When the two react, protein is converted to melanin. Melanin is the substance in your body that gives your features pigmentation.

Learn more about Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract
24
What it does: Abrasive, Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Avena Sativa Kernel Extract is is derived from colloidal oatmeal. It is formed from grounded oatmeal and a liquid base.

Besides being a healthy breakfast, oats have many benefits in skincare too.

This ingredient helps sooth, hydrate, and protect the skin. The starches in colloidal oatmeal are able to bind water, keeping the skin hydrated.

The cellulose and fiber in colloidal oatmeal help reduce inflammation. This can also help the skin feel softer.

Colloidal Oatmeal is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants help stabilize free-radical molecules. These molecules may damage skin cells.

Avenacins found in colloidal oatmeal have anti-fungal properties. The saponins have a cleaning affect.

Overall, colloidal oatmeal is great at providing the skin with moisture and help sooth irritation. It also protects the skin in various ways.

Learn more about Avena Sativa Kernel Extract
25
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Arctium Lappa Root Extract is from the burdock plant. It is an antioxidant and helps soothe skin. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

In folk medicine, Arctium Lappa has been used to treat skin inflammation and digestion.

26
What it does: Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing, Tonic
Community Rating: Liked

Salix Alba Bark Extract comes from the white willow tree, which is native to Europe and Central Asia.

Salix Alba Bark Extract has often been described as salicylic acid's cousin. This is due to the salicin it contains. However, studies are limited showing salix alba bark to be an effective salicylic acid alternative.

Salicin does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has shown to decrease the formation of inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-ฮฑ and nuclear factor-kappa B. Salicin also has a mildly exfoliating effect on the skin.

Several other components in salix alba bark extract also contain antioxidant properties, such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants may help with anti-aging as they neutralize harmful free-radical molecules.

Willow Bark extract has been used for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations used white willow to help treat pain and fevers.

Learn more about Salix Alba Bark Extract
27
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Glycine Soja Sterols is derived from the soybean plant. Sterols are an organic compound and technically an alcohol.

Unlike solvent alcohols, glycine soja sterols have emollient properties and help hydrate the skin.

This ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis, or fungal-acne safe.

Sterols can be found in plants, animals, and fungi.

Learn more about Glycine Soja Sterols
28
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Lecithin is a term for a group of substances found in plants, animals, and humans. They are made up of mixture of fatty acids. These fatty acids usually are a mixture of phosphoric acid's choline ester connected to stearic, oleic, and palmitic acids. Most lecithins are created from plant ingredients scuh as sunflower.

Lecithin is an emollient. Emollients help soften the skin and creates a barrier to keep moisture in.

As an emulsifier, it also helps prevent water and oil ingredients from separating. Lecithin can help ingredients be better absorbed by the skin. The phospholipids in Lecithin can produce liposomes. Liposomes help other ingredients get through the skin barrier.

Learn more about Lecithin
29
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
Community Rating: Loved

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

Some studies have shown this ingredient can promote wound healing with higher concentrations.

Allantoin is derived from the comfrey plant but produced synthetically for cosmetic products to ensure purity.

Learn more about Allantoin
30
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

One study found using Tocopheryl Acetate with Vitamin C decreased the number of sunburned cells.

Tocopheryl Acetate is commonly found in both skincare and dietary supplements.

Learn more about Tocopheryl Acetate
31
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

We don't have a description for Hydrolyzed Soy Protein.

32
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a 3-amino acid peptide. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a signal peptide. This means it tells our skin to create collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes connective tissue. Boosting collagen production leads to a healthier skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier means having firm and hydrated skin.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 can help reduce wrinkles and make the skin look more youthful.

Read more about other common types of peptides here:

Learn more about Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1
33
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
34
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Tribehenin comes from glycerin and behenic acid.

It is used as an emollient, or moisturizer. Emollients form a thin barrier on skin to prevent moisture from escaping.

This ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis, or fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about Tribehenin
35
What it does: Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

It is a common ingredient in many products, especially those designed to hydrate skin. The primary benefits are retaining moisture, skin softening, and promoting a healthy skin barrier.

Though Caprylyl Glycol is an alcohol derived from fatty acids, it is not the kind that can dry out skin.

This ingredient is also used as a preservative to extend the life of products. It has slight antimicrobial properties.

Learn more about Caprylyl Glycol
36
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Dipeptide-2 is a peptide.

37
What it does: Antioxidant
Community Rating: Loved

Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract comes from the Japanese Knotweed plant native to Japan, Korea, and China.

This plant contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It contains high amounts of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant.

The root of the plant has been used in traditional folk medicine throughout Asia.

Learn more about Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract
38
What it does: Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Peg-10 Phytosterol.

39
What it does: Humectant, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

PEG-8 is a synthetic polymer used as a humectant and solvent.

This ingredient is able to help dissolve active ingredients, including water. This gives it humectant properties.

It is soluble in water. The number '8' stands for the molecular weight of the ingredient.

Learn more about Peg-8
40
What it does: Absorbent
Community Rating: Disliked

Magnesium Aluminum Silicate is a type of silica. It comes from naturally occuring minerals such as silicate ores and clay.

Magnesium aluminum silicate is used for enhancing texture and as an absorbent. Due to its large molecular size, it is unable to be absorbed into the skin.

Like other types of silica, this ingredient can be used to thicken a product. As an absorbent, it may be used to absorb extra water or help prevent clumping.

Learn more about Magnesium Aluminum Silicate
41
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Disliked

We don't have a description for Arachidyl Glucoside.

42
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Chrysin.

43
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

The hydrophilic trait of Pentylene Glycol makes it a humectant. As a humectant, Pentylene Glycol helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This can help keep your skin hydrated.

This property also makes Pentylene Glycol a great texture enhancer. It can help thicken or emulsify a product. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

Pentylene Glycol also acts as a mild preservative and helps to keep a product microbe-free.

Some people may experience mild eye and skin irritation from Pentylene Glycol. We always recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient in your routine.

Pentylene Glycol has a low molecular weight and is part of the 1,2-glycol family.

Learn more about Pentylene Glycol

We don't have a description for Sodium Acrylates Copolymer.

45
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Steareth-20 is a waxy compound used to emulsify ingredients. It is created from stearyl alcohol.

It possesses surfactant properties. This means it reduces surface tension and helps oils, dirt, and pollutants to be washed away.

The 20 stands for the number of ethylene oxide used to create this ingredient.

Learn more about Steareth-20
46
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Disliked

This is a synthetic polymer. It helps improve the texture of products by adding thickness and gel-like feel.

It is also an emulsifer, meaning it prevents ingredients such as oil and water from separating. It also helps evenly disperse other ingredients.

47
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

Cetearyl alcohol is an emollient. Emollients help soothe and hydrate the skin by trapping moisture.

Studies show Cetearyl alcohol is non-toxic and non-irritating. The FDA allows products labeled "alcohol-free" to have fatty alcohols.

This ingredient is usually derived from plant oils such as palm, vegetable, or coconut oils. There is debate on whether this ingredient will cause acne.

Due to the fatty acid base, this ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis safe.

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48
What it does: Cleansing, Foaming
Community Rating: Disliked

Coco-Glucoside is a surfactant, or a cleansing ingredient. It is made from glucose and coconut oil.

Surfactants help gather dirt, oil, and other pollutants from your skin to be rinsed away. Coco-Glucoside is considered gentle and non-comedogenic.

This ingredient is a known skin-irritant.

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49
What it does: Antioxidant

Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone is an antioxidant and is a type of silicone.

50
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for N-Hydroxysuccinimide.

51
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

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52
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

53
What it does: Masking, Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

Benzoic Acid is used to preserve and adjust the pH of products.

The antimicrobial property of Benzoic Acid helps elongate a product's shelf life. Its main role is to reduce fungi growth and is not found to be effective at fighting bacteria. Therefore Benzoic Acid is always added along with other preservatives.

In its pure form, Benzoic Acid looks like a white crystalline solid. It has slight solubility in water.

The name of Benzoic Acid comes from gum benzoin, which used to be the sole source of deriving this ingredient. Benzoic Acid is the most simple aromatic carboxylic acid.

Benzoic Acid is naturally occuring in strawberries, mustard, cinnamon, and cloves. It has a slight scent but is not considered to be a fragrance.

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54
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

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39% are loved or liked
11% have mixed ratings
41% are disliked or very disliked
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When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use Paula's Choice Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment ->
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