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Paula's Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30 Ingredients Explained

General Moisturizer
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Updated on December 05, 2023

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Overview

What it is

General moisturizer with 45 ingredients that contains exfoliants, niacinamide, peptides, SPF, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is vegan and cruelty-free

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, parabens or sulfates

Fun facts

Paula's Choice is from United States. This product is used in 22 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.

General moisturizer with 45 ingredients that contains exfoliants, niacinamide, peptides, SPF, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Quick info

spf rating
30

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 45

Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

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.

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate Antimicrobial, Emollient, Skin Conditioning

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

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Zinc Oxide Cosmetic Colorant, Skin Protecting, UV Absorber
1 / 0 Mineral UV Filter IconHelps fight Acne IconNon-Reef-Safe Icon
Mineral UV FilterMineral UV Filter Icon Helps fight AcneHelps fight Acne Icon Non-Reef-SafeNon-Reef-Safe Icon

Zinc Oxide is a mineral broad-spectrum UV filter; it is the broadest UVA and UVB reflector approved by the FDA. While it is most commonly man-made for cosmetics, it can naturally occur in zincite, a rare mineral.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Titanium Dioxide Cosmetic Colorant, UV Absorber, UV Filter
0 / 0 Mineral UV Filter IconNon-Reef-Safe Icon
Mineral UV FilterMineral UV Filter Icon Non-Reef-SafeNon-Reef-Safe Icon

Titanium dioxide is known for its UVA and UVB protection properties. It is non-comedogenic and non-irritating. Titanium Dioxide is a physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens reflect light and prevent it from reaching your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

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

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Isononyl Isononanoate Emollient, Skin Conditioning

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.

Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

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

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Cetearyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1 Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon 3 Concerns

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.

2 Com. / 1 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Potassium Cetyl Phosphate Emulsifying

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate is the potassium salt of a mixture. This mixture consists of the esters from phosphoricacid and cetyl alcohol.

Dimethicone Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
1 / 0 Silicon Icon
SiliconSilicon Icon

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.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Glyceryl Stearate Emollient, Emulsifying
1 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Good for Dark Spots Icon
Good for Dark SpotsGood for Dark Spots Icon

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.

Actinidia Chinensis Fruit Extract Emollient, Skin Conditioning

Actinidia Chinensis is the extract from kiwi fruit. It contains antioxidants in the forms of Vitamin C and polyphenols.

Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Oil IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil is derived from the kernels of the argania spinosa tree. You may know it as argan oil.

Tetrapeptide-30 Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Tetrapeptide-30 is a peptide.

Linoleic Acid Cleansing, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon 3 Concerns

Linoleic Acid is Vitamin F and a fatty acid. It is an emollient and helps thicken texture. Linoleic acid helps with hydrating skin and nourishing the skin's barrier. The top layer of skin, or epidermis, contains high amounts of linoleic acid naturally.

Resveratrol Antioxidant, Skin Protecting
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Resveratrol is a famous emerging antioxidant. It is a good alternative for sensitive skin types who cannot tolerate retinoids.

Ascorbyl Glucoside Antioxidant
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 6 Benefits

Ascorbyl Glucoside is a stable form of Vitamin C. It is created by combining glucose from starch.

Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Tocopheryl Acetate Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon

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.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 5 Benefits

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) is a form of Vitamin C and is an antioxidant. It can help to reduce redness, improve skin texture, reduce the effects of aging, reduce the visibility of dark spots, and brighten skin.

Bisabolol Masking, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Bisabolol is pimarily used to add fragrance to a product. However, it is also famous for helping soothe skin.

Tocopherol Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 4 Benefits May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

0-3 Com. / 0-3 Irr.
Phospholipids Skin Conditioning

Phospholipids are naturally found in our skin as they are the main component of cell membranes. Phospholipids have humectant, emollient, antioxidant properties.

Lecithin Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning

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.

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Glycine Soja Sterols Emollient, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

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

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Xanthophylls Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Xanthophylls.

Unknown Full details ->
Pullulan

We don't have a description for Pullulan.

Sodium Gluconate Skin Conditioning

This is the synthetic salt of gluconic acid, a form of PHA and mild exfoliant.

Unknown Full details ->
Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

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Sclerotium Gum Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning

Sclerotium Gum is a polysaccharide gum made by the fungus, Sclerotium rolfssii. It is similar to xanthan gum.

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Alumina Abrasive, Absorbent
Exfoliant Icon
ExfoliantExfoliant Icon

Alumina is another name for the compound aluminum oxide. It is used as a thickener, absorbent, and abrasive.

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Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Masking, Skin Conditioning

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

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Triethoxycaprylylsilane

Triethoxycaprylylsilane is a silicone used to bind and stabilize ingredients.

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C13-14 Isoparaffin Emollient, Solvent
May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
2 Concerns

C13-14 Isoparaffin is created from petroleum-based mineral oils. It is an emollient and helps thicken a product.

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Acrylates Copolymer

Acrylates Copolymer is used as a film-forming agent and texture enhancer.

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Polyhydroxystearic Acid Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polyhydroxystearic Acid is a soft wax made from castor oil.

Disliked Full details ->
Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

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

Polyacrylamide

Polyacrylamide is a synthetic polymer. It is used to stabilize products and bind ingredients. When hydrated, Polyacrylamide forms a soft gel.

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Ceteareth-20 Cleansing, Emulsifying
2 / 3 May worsen Oily Skin Icon
May worsen Oily SkinMay worsen Oily Skin Icon

Ceteareth-20 is an emulsifier and cleansing agent. It is derived from cetearyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol.

2 Com. / 3 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Aluminum Stearate Cosmetic Colorant, Emulsion Stabilising

We don't have a description for Aluminum Stearate.

Unknown Full details ->
Laureth-7 Emulsifying

Laureth-7 is created by the ethoxylation of lauryl alcohol using ethylene oxide. Lauryl alcohol is a fatty alcohol with hydrating properties.

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Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

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

Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

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.

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Ingredient Ratings

Based on the number of likes and dislikes each ingredient has received.

18
7
17
3
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 45 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
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
Antimicrobial, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
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
Cosmetic Colorant, Skin Protecting, UV Absorber
Liked

Zinc Oxide is a mineral broad-spectrum UV filter; it is the broadest UVA and UVB reflector approved by the FDA. While it is most commonly man-made for cosmetics, it can naturally occur in zincite, a rare mineral.

Today, traditional and nano-sized zinc oxide can be found in beauty products. Nano-sized zinc oxide can enhance a product's UV protection. While it is not believed to have a negative effect on skin, nano-zinc oxide can be harmful to coral reefs.

More about harmful reef ingredients here.

Zinc Oxide also has antibacterial and calming properties. It is not water soluble.

Zinc has been used throughout history as an ingredient in paint and medicine. An Indian text from 500BC is believed to list zinc oxide as a salve for open wound. The Ancient Greek physician Dioscorides has also mentioned the use of zinc as an ointment in 1AD.

Learn more about Zinc Oxide
Cosmetic Colorant, UV Absorber, UV Filter
Mixed

Titanium dioxide is known for its UVA and UVB protection properties. It is non-comedogenic and non-irritating. Titanium Dioxide is a physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens reflect light and prevent it from reaching your skin.

Protecting your skin against UV radiation can prevent the signs of aging. Sun damage is associated with fine-lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, and hyperpigmentation. Titanium dioxide can help prevent premature aging.

With modern production, nano-scale or fine-grade titanium dioxide can be easily produced for cosmetics. In sunscreen, titanium dioxide absorbs UV light. Our skin is not able to absorb Titanium dioxide, even nanoparticles.

Titanium itself is the 9th most common element in the Earth's crust. Titanium dioxide is formed when oxygen is introduced and can be found in ores, dust, sand, and soil.

Pure titanium dioxide is a white powder that is used in many products to add or change color.

Learn more about Titanium Dioxide
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
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
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
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
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
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.

Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
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.

Learn more about Cetearyl Alcohol
Emulsifying
Liked

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate is the potassium salt of a mixture. This mixture consists of the esters from phosphoricacid and cetyl alcohol.

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate is an emulsifier and cleansing agent. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

As a cleansing agent, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate helps gather oils, dirts, and pollutants from your skin. This makes it easier to rinse them away with water.

Learn more about Potassium Cetyl Phosphate
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
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.

Emollient, Emulsifying
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
Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
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
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Actinidia Chinensis is the extract from kiwi fruit. It contains antioxidants in the forms of Vitamin C and polyphenols.

Antioxidants help protect your skin against free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin.

Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil is derived from the kernels of the argania spinosa tree. You may know it as argan oil.

Argan Oil is an antioxidant, hydrating, and soothing ingredient.

Studies have shown argan oil can help fight again radical damage from the sun. This makes it effective at preventing hyperpigmentation.

Large amounts of vitamin E found in argan oil helps the skin retain water. Argan oil also contains fatty acids such as linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. It is also a good source of lipids.

Another benefit of argan oil is skin-soothing. It can help reduce inflammation-related skin symptoms.

Argan Oil is effective at regulating sebum production in pores. This can make it effective at treating hormonal acne.

Traditionally, argan oil was used for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. However, argan oil contains fatty acids that may make it not fungal-acne safe.

Argan Trees are native to Morocco.

Learn more about Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil
Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

Tetrapeptide-30 is a peptide.

Cleansing, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Linoleic Acid is Vitamin F and a fatty acid. It is an emollient and helps thicken texture. Linoleic acid helps with hydrating skin and nourishing the skin's barrier. The top layer of skin, or epidermis, contains high amounts of linoleic acid naturally.

Your body uses linoleic acid to build ceramides and prostaglandins. Ceramides keep your skin's barrier plump and firm. Prosaglandins help control inflammation and healing.

This makes linoleic acid effectives for reducing inflammation, hydrating skin, and firming skin. A side effect may include extra protection against UV damage and free radicals. This is due to linoleic acid strengthening the skin barrier.

Low levels of linoleic acid is also associated with acne-prone skin. By keeping sebum soft, it prevents pores from clogging.

Linoleic acid can is in common foods such as nuts, sunflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oil.

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

CHEM: 9,12-Octadecadienoic acid (9Z, 12Z)-

Learn more about Linoleic Acid
Antioxidant, Skin Protecting
Loved

Resveratrol is a famous emerging antioxidant. It is a good alternative for sensitive skin types who cannot tolerate retinoids.

This antioxidant is most famous for it's anti-aging benefits. Studies show it combats the signs of aging by:

Besides anti-aging, this ingredient also helps with skin brightening and soothing.

The most effective forms of resveratrol are isobutyrate and butyrate. These have the strongest effect on increasing A1 collagen and reducing inflammation.

A note on it being a retinoid alternative: Despite it's amazing skin benefits, it is not a replacement for retinoids. However, it is recommended for people with sensitive skin or intolerance to retinoids.

Resveratrol is naturally found in grapes, peanuts, and berries.

Learn more about Resveratrol
Antioxidant
Liked

Ascorbyl Glucoside is a stable form of Vitamin C. It is created by combining glucose from starch.

When applied to skin, Ascorbyl Glucoside turns into Ascorbic Acid.

Ascorbyl Glucoside is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals, or molecules that may damage skin cells.

It can help to reduce redness, improve skin texture, reduce the effects of aging, reduce the visibility of dark spots, and brighten skin.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Learn more about Ascorbyl Glucoside
Smoothing
Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
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
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) is a form of Vitamin C and is an antioxidant. It can help to reduce redness, improve skin texture, reduce the effects of aging, reduce the visibility of dark spots, and brighten skin.

MAP is created by combining ascorbic acid with magnesium salt. While MAP more gentle on the skin than ascorbic acid, it is thought to be less easily-absorbed into the skin.

Due to MAP's stability up to a pH level of 7, it is more stable to air and sunlight exposure than ascorbic acid. The best pH range for MAP is between 5 and 6.

Like other forms of Vitamin C, MAP has been shown to help reduce hyperpigmentation and simulate collagen production.

As an antioxidant, it helps protect your skin against the signs of aging.

Learn more about Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
Masking, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Loved

Bisabolol is pimarily used to add fragrance to a product. However, it is also famous for helping soothe skin.

Bisabolol comes from German chamomile essential oil. Synthetic Bisabolol has been shown to be less effective.

Bisabolol helps soothe skin. It does this by blocking the inflammatory signals, helping to reduce your body's reaction to irritation.

Bisabolol also interferes with the process of hyperpigmentation. This can help with reducing dark spots and uneven tone.

Bisabolol is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. By fighting these free-radicals, Bisabolol may slow down signs of aging.

Studies have shown Bisabolol to have antimicrobial properties and may be a fungicide. These properties help preserve a product's shelf life.

Bisabolol also helps the absorption of other ingredients.

Learn more about Bisabolol
Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

Vitamin E also helps keep your natural skin lipids healthy. Your lipid skin barrier naturally consists of lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. Vitamin E offers extra protection for your skin’s lipid barrier, keeping your skin healthy and nourished.

Another benefit is a bit of UV protection. Vitamin E helps reduce the damage caused by UVB rays. (It should not replace your sunscreen). Combining it with Vitamin C can decrease sunburned cells and hyperpigmentation after UV exposure.

You might have noticed Vitamin E + C often paired together. This is because it is great at stabilizing Vitamin C. Using the two together helps increase the effectiveness of both ingredients.

There are often claims that Vitamin E can reduce/prevent scarring, but these claims haven't been confirmed by scientific research.

Learn more about Tocopherol
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Phospholipids are naturally found in our skin as they are the main component of cell membranes. Phospholipids have humectant, emollient, antioxidant properties.

The phospholipids in our skin can be naturally depleted. Replenishing the phospholipids in our skin can help hydrate your skin. Due to their hygroscopic nature, they act as humectants and emollients. Humectants draw moisture from the air to your skin, while emollients help trap moisture in. This ingredient is non-occlusive.

Studies show phospholipids display antioxidant activity and may help with reducing the signs of aging.

Phospholipids are complex lipids that contain glycerin, two fatty acids, and a phosphate group. Some foods that contain phospholipids include soybeans and milk. The phospholipids found in soy come from Lecithin. This ingredient can also be synthetically created.

Some types of phospholipids:

Learn more about Phospholipids
Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
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
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
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
Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Xanthophylls.

Liked

We don't have a description for Pullulan.

Skin Conditioning

This is the synthetic salt of gluconic acid, a form of PHA and mild exfoliant.

It is mainly used to stabilize oil and butter formulations from going bad. Sodium gluconate is a humectant, pH regulator, and chelating agent.

Chelating agents help neutralize unwanted metals from affecting the formulation.

Sodium gluconate is water-soluble.

Learn more about Sodium Gluconate
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Sclerotium Gum is a polysaccharide gum made by the fungus, Sclerotium rolfssii. It is similar to xanthan gum.

In cosmetics, Sclerotium Gum is used to thicken the texture and to help stabilize other ingredients.

As an emulsifier, Sclerotium Gum helps prevent ingredients from separating, such as water and oil.

Learn more about Sclerotium Gum
Abrasive, Absorbent
Very Disliked

Alumina is another name for the compound aluminum oxide. It is used as a thickener, absorbent, and abrasive.

As an absorbent, alumina can give a mattifying effect. It is used in mineral sunscreens to help coat nano-sized filters, such as titanium dioxide. By increasing the size of the UV filters, these ingredients stay on the skin for a longer time. By coating small sized ingredients, alumina helps thicken a product.

Alumina may be used as an abrasive, or exfoliant.

Alumina is naturally occurring in the mineral corundum. Certain varieties of corundum create rubies and sapphires. Corundum is also the crystalline form of alumina.

Learn more about Alumina
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Within a product, Caprylic Triglyceride can thicken the product and make spreadability easier by dissolving clumping compounds. An added benefit of Caprylic Triglyceride is its antioxidant properties.

Caprylic Triglyceride is made by combining glycerin with coconut oil, forming a clear liquid. Caprylic Triglyceride has not been found to be toxic for human use in concentrations under 50%.

While there is an assumption Caprylic Triglyceride can clog pores due to it being derived from coconut oil, there is no research supporting this.

Learn more about Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
Buffering, Masking
Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid

Triethoxycaprylylsilane is a silicone used to bind and stabilize ingredients.

As an emulsifier, it helps prevent ingredients from separating. This can help elongate the shelf life of products.

Triethoxycaprylylsilane is often used to coat mineral sunscreens ingredients to help give a better feel. It also helps reduce oxidative stress in sunscreens.

Learn more about Triethoxycaprylylsilane
Emollient, Solvent
Very Disliked

C13-14 Isoparaffin is created from petroleum-based mineral oils. It is an emollient and helps thicken a product.

As an emollient, it helps keep the skin soft and smooth by creating a barrier on top. This barrier traps moisture in, keeping the skin hydrated.

C13-14 Isoparaffin may not be fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about C13-14 Isoparaffin

Acrylates Copolymer is used as a film-forming agent and texture enhancer.

After applied, Acrylates Copolymer forms a thin film cover that helps skin feel more soft. It can help sunscreens become more water-resistant.

It is also used to make a product more thick.

Learn more about Acrylates Copolymer
Emulsifying
Disliked

Polyhydroxystearic Acid is a soft wax made from castor oil.

It is is a texture thickener, emulsifier, and film-former. Emulsifiers prevent ingredients from separating, such as oils and waters.

Polyhydroxystearic Acid may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Polyhydroxystearic Acid
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
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
Disliked

Polyacrylamide is a synthetic polymer. It is used to stabilize products and bind ingredients. When hydrated, Polyacrylamide forms a soft gel.

Polyacrylamide is low-toxicity. If source properly, it is deemed safe to use in cosmetics.

It should be noted the precursor to Polyacrylamide is acrylamide. Acrylamide is a carcinogen. Most reputable sources of Polyacrylamide will screen for residual acrylamide to make sure the count is in a safe range. Acrylamide is not able to be absorbed through the skin.

We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

Learn more about Polyacrylamide
Cleansing, Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Ceteareth-20 is an emulsifier and cleansing agent. It is derived from cetearyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol.

As an emulsifier, Ceteareth-20 prevents oil and water from separating. It is also a surfactant. Surfactants help gather oil, pollution, and dirt to be washed away.

Cosmetic Colorant, Emulsion Stabilising

We don't have a description for Aluminum Stearate.

Emulsifying
Disliked

Laureth-7 is created by the ethoxylation of lauryl alcohol using ethylene oxide. Lauryl alcohol is a fatty alcohol with hydrating properties.

Laureth-7 is an emulsifier and cleansing ingredient. As an emulsifier, it is used to prevent ingredients from separating. It also helps cleanse the skin by gathering dirt, oil, and pollutants to be rinsed away.

Skin Conditioning
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.

Preservative
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.

When to use

How this product is used by our community

22 Routines
100% use in am
0% use in pm
100% use every day

Directions

Apply liberally to face, neck, and eye area as the last step in your morning skincare routine.

Apply liberally to face, neck, and eye area as the last step in your morning skincare routine.

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