Paula's Choice Defense Hydrating Gel-to-Cream Cleanser Ingredients Explained

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Published on July 13, 2020.

Overview

What it is

Face cleanser with 48 ingredients that contains AHA

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, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens, silicones 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.

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

AHA

Benefits

Hydrating (2)
Redness Reducing (2)
Reduces Irritation (2)
Skin Texture
Reduces Large Pores (2)
Anti-Aging (2)
Dark Spots (2)
Scar Healing
Acne Fighting
Brightening (2)

Concerns

Drying
May Worsen Oily Skin (2)
Acne Trigger (3)
Irritating
Rosacea (2)
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
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
3
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
4
Cleansing, Foaming
5
Cleansing
May worsen Eczema Icon
6
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
7
Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
8
Cleansing, Emulsion Stabilising
9
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
10
Masking
Can worsen Dry Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
11
Cleansing
12
Cleansing, Emulsifying
4 / 1
May worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
13
Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
14
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
15
Emulsifying
1-2 / 1-2
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
16
Cleansing
17
18
Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
19
Masking, Skin Conditioning
20
Skin Conditioning
21
Buffering, Masking
22
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent, Emollient, Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Antioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconHelps fight Acne Icon
23
Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing
Good for Dark Spots Icon
24
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
25
Buffering, Humectant
26
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
27
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
28
Cleansing, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
29
Skin Conditioning
30
Masking, Skin Conditioning
31
Humectant, Moisturising
32
Buffering, Skin Conditioning
33
Masking, Skin Conditioning
34
Masking, Skin Conditioning
35
Masking, Skin Conditioning
36
Skin Conditioning
37
Skin Conditioning
38
39
Buffering
40
Stabilising
41
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
42
Masking, Skin Conditioning
43
Stabilising
44
Buffering, Masking
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
45
Preservative
Preservative Icon
46
Skin Conditioning
47
Preservative
Preservative Icon
48
Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 48 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: Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate is a cleansing agent. It can be naturally derived or synthetically-created.

As a surfactant, it helps clean your skin by gathering dirt, oil, and other pollutants to be rinsed away more easily.

3
What it does: Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is a synthetic cleansing agent, though it is derived from coconut oil.

It is used to enhance the texture of products by boosting lather and thickening the texture. As a cleanser, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is mild.

4
What it does: Cleansing, Foaming

We don't have a description for Sodium Lauroamphoacetate.

5
What it does: Cleansing
Community Rating: Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a surfactant and cleanser. It helps gather the dirt, pollutants, and other impurities in your skin to be washed away. It also helps thicken a product and make the texture more creamy.

Being created from coconut oil means Cocamidopropyl Betaine is hydrating for the skin.

While Cocamidopropyl Betaine was believed to be an allergen, a study from 2012 disproved this. It found two compounds in unpure Cocamidopropyl Betaine to be the irritants: aminoamide and 3-dimethylaminopropylamine. High-grade and pure Cocamidopropyl Betaine did not induce allergic reactions during this study.

Learn more about Cocamidopropyl Betaine
6
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
7
What it does: Emulsifying

Sorbeth-230 Tetraoleate isn't fungal acne safe.

8
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Mixed

Decyl Glucoside is a glucose-based surfactant. Surfactants help clean the skin by trapping oil, sebum, and dirt to be washed away.

It is created from the fatty acids in coconut oil.

Decyl Glucoside also helps stabilize the ingredients in a product by preventing them from separating.

This ingredient is biodegradable and non-toxic. This ingredient is commonly found in baby shampoos.

Decyl Glucoside is sometimes used to stabilize the UV filter Tinosorb.

Learn more about Decyl Glucoside
9
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
10
What it does: Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

This ingredient has many purposes in skincare: thickener, emulsifier, and exfoliator.

You'll most likely find this ingredient in cleansers where it is used to create a gel-like texture. As an emulsifier, it also prevents ingredients from separating.

There is much debate on whether this ingredient is comedogenic. The short answer - comedogenic ratings don't tell the whole story. Learn more about comegodenic ratings here.

The concensus about this ingredient causing acne seems to be divided. Research is needed to understand if this ingredient does cause acne.

Scrubs may use salt as the primary exfoliating ingredient.

Learn more about Sodium Chloride
11
What it does: Cleansing
Community Rating: Mixed

We don't have a description for Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate.

12
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Lauric Acid is a fatty acid or lipid. About half of fatty acids in coconut oil is lauric acid.

This ingredient helps hydrate and sooth skin. As a humectant, it helps trap moisture. It also aids in cleaning and enhancing the texture of products.

Emerging studies show Lauric Acid to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The antimicrobial property helps strengthen the skin barrier by fighting off bad bacteria.

Lauric acid may not be Malassezia folliculitis, or fungal acne, safe.

Learn more about Lauric Acid
13
What it does: Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Lactic Acid is an AHA that is derived from fermenting lactose, a carbohydrate from milk. It removes the top layer of old and dead skin cells and helps increase cell turnover.

Benefits of Lactic Acid are that it can help to reduce large pores and reduce the effects of aging. Some potential downsides are that it can be bad for dry skin, cause irritation, worsen eczema, and worsen rosacea.

Not only does it help exfoliate the skin, it helps strengthen the skin's barrier. When applied, lactic acid helps the skin create ceramides.

Lactic acid is an over-the-counter chemical exfoliant that comes from the fermentation of lactose β€” a carbohydrate found in milk.

Legend has it that Cleopatra used to bathe in sour milk to help reduce wrinkles.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Lactic Acid
14
What it does: Cleansing, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids.

15
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Sorbitan Laurate is created from lauric acid and derivatives from sorbitol. It is an emulsifier.

16
What it does: Cleansing
Community Rating: Disliked

Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate is a gentle cleanser and surfactant. It is the sodium salt of the Cocoyl Glutamic Acid and comes from coconut oil. As a surfactant, it helps lift dirt and oil to be washed away.

Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate also has an emolliating effect and can help leave the skin feeling soft.

17
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.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
18
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice comes from leaves of the aloe plant. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice is best known for helping to soothe sunburns. It is also anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, antiseptic, and can help heal wounds.

Aloe is packed with good stuff including Vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins are antioxidants, which help fight free-radicals and the damage they may cause. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice also contains sugars. These sugars come in the form of monosaccharides and polysaccharides, folic acid, and choline. These sugars are able to help bind moisture to skin.

It also contains minerals such as calcium, 12 anthraquinones, fatty acids, amino acids, and Vitamin B12.

Learn more about Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
19
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
20
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Cocoyl Proline.

21
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Citrate helps maintain the pH of a product. Normal pH level of skin is slightly acidic (~4.75-5.5). The acidity of our skin is maintained by our glands and skin biome. Being slightly acidic allows our skin to create an "acid mantle". This acid mantle is a thin barrier that protects our skin from bacteria and contaminants.

Sodium Citrate is a chelating agent. It neutralizes metal ions from water and prevents them from binding to other ingredients. This ensures the other ingredients will not be altered.

Learn more about Sodium Citrate
22
What it does: Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent, Emollient, Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Community Rating: Loved

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is derived from the leaves of the tea plant. Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are all harvested from this plant.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract has many benefits. It contains polyphenols, a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight off free-radical molecules that damage skin cells. The antioxidants in green tea neutralize free-radicals from the sun. This gives the skin some extra UV protection, but should not replace sunscreen.

Many components of tea have anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenols and L-theanine help soothe the skin and reduce irritation. L-theanine is an amino acid that makes up most of the amino acids found in tea leaves. The caffeine in Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract helps calm inflamed blood vessels.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract also contains Vitamin Bs, linoleic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract also has antimicrobial properties.

Research has shown both drinking Camellia Sinensis Leaf Tea and applying it to the skin can help boost skin elasticity and hydration. Studies also show using tea extract may reduce sebum, or oil, production.

Learn more about Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
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: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Sodium PCA is the sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid and is naturally occurring on human skin.

The PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, a natural amino acid derivative.

Sodium PCA is a has conditioning, anti-inflammatory, and humectant properties. Humectants help hydrate your skin by drawing moisture from the air. This helps keep your skin moisturized.

Learn more about Sodium PCA
25
What it does: Buffering, Humectant
Community Rating: Liked

Sodium Lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid, an AHA. It is a humectant and used to adjust the pH of a product.

Sodium Lactate is part of our skin's NMF, or natural moisturizing factor. Our NMF is essential for the hydration of our top skin layers and plasticity of skin.

It also influences our skin's natural acid mantle and pH, which protects our skin from harmful bacteria.

Our NMF is formed from amino acids, lactic acid, sugars, minerals, peptides, and electrolytes. As we age, our NMF naturally depletes. Other sources of NMF depletion include harsh and drying ingredients such as denatured alcohol. Sodium lactate can help replenish our NMF, leading to more hydrated and plump skin.

High percentages of Sodium Lactate can have an exfoliating effect.

Sodium Lactate is produced from fermented sugar.

Learn more about Sodium Lactate
26
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Arginine is an amino acid that is important for human development. Your body uses is it to produce hair keratin and skin collagen.

As a cosmetic ingredient, Arginine has antioxidant properties and can also help repair damaged skin. This ingredient is derived either synthetically or from animals.

Arginine isn't fungal acne safe when used in the presence of other lipids (fats, fatty acids, oils, esters, etc). Oils and fats occur naturally within the skin, so take caution when using Arginine if you're prone to fungal acne.

Learn more about Arginine
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: Cleansing, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
29
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
30
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Aspartic Acid is an amino acid that our bodies produce naturally. It is an antioxidant.

Our body uses Aspartic Acid to help build collagen and elastin. It also plays a role in hydrating skin.

Antioxidants help mitigate damage from free-radical molecules. These are molecules that originate from external sources such as pollution, cigarette smoke, or the sun.

Learn more about Aspartic Acid
31
What it does: Humectant, Moisturising
Community Rating: Loved

PCA is derived from amino acids and is naturally found in our skin's barrier.

As a humectant, PCA helps draw and hold moisture to the skin. Studies show it is effective at helping the skin stay hydrated long-term.

32
What it does: Buffering, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Glycine is an amino acid that helps build proteins. It is already present in our skin as our bodies produce them naturally.

Glycine helps keep skin hydrated and reduce signs of aging. Amino acids help transport moisture throughout our skin; glycine already plays a role in helping keep our skin moisturized.

As collagen is made up of glycine and other amino acids, it is believed Glycine may help our skin produce more collagen. Collagen helps keep skin plump and firm.

Learn more about Glycine
33
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Alanine is an amino acid and is already found in the human body.

Alanine has antioxidant properties and can help with anti-aging.

Alanine is used by fibrous proteins such as collagen, elastin, and keratin. These three help make a strong skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier leads to more plump and youthful skin.

Learn more about Alanine
34
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Serine is an amino acid naturally found in our body. Our bodies use amino acids to create protein.

Amino-acids help give keep our skin hydrated. They play an important role in the skin barrier, which keeps the skin plump and firm.

Serine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning we don't need to obtain it from eating foods.

Learn more about Serine
35
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

We don't have a description for Valine.

36
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

We don't have a description for Isoleucine.

37
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Proline is an amino-acid. It helps moisturize the skin and plays an important role in creating proteins.

Proline is one of the building blocks for producing collagen. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen. Collagen helps the skin look plump and firm.

In medicine, proline is used as an osmoprotectant. This means it helps prevent oxidative degradation in other drugs.

Our bodies are able to produce proline naturally, but certain conditions may inhibit this production. In that case, proline can be obtained from eating egg whites, soy protein, dairy products, asparagus, mushrooms, and seaweed.

Learn more about Proline
38
What it does:
Community Rating: Loved

Threonine is an amino-acid. It helps hydrate the skin and has antioxidant benefits.

Threonine is vital for creating collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin support youthful and firm skin. Our bodies decrease collagen production naturally with age.

Humans are not able to create threonine and must get it through eating foods such as fish, lentils, poultry, sesame seeds, and more.

Learn more about Threonine
39
What it does: Buffering

We don't have a description for Potassium Citrate.

40
What it does: Stabilising

We don't have a description for Lactoperoxidase.

41
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

We don't have a description for Histidine.

42
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Phenylalanine is an amino acid. It is a skin soothing and hydrating ingredient. Amino acids play a crucial role in wound healing and skin hydration.

Phenylalanine is also used to help even out skin tone due to its ability to disrupt the melanin production process.

Two structures of phenylalanine exist: L-phenylalanine and D-phenylalanine. L-phenylalanine is essential, this means our bodies cannot produce it naturally and we must get it from foods. Our bodies convert D-phenylalanine to neurotransmitters, and D-phenylalanine is found in our bodies naturally.

Some foods that contain L-phenylalanine include eggs, soybeans, beef, milk.

Learn more about Phenylalanine
43
What it does: Stabilising

We don't have a description for Glucose Oxidase.

44
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: 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
45
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.

46
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.

47
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

Potassium Sorbate is a preservative used to prevent yeast and mold in products. It is commonly found in both cosmetic and food products.

Potassium sorbate is potassium salt derived from sorbic acid. Sorbic acid is a natural antibiotic and effective against fungus.

Potassium sorbate and sorbic acid can be found in baked goods, cheeses, dried meats, dried fruit, ice cream, pickles, wine, yogurt, and more.

Potassium sorbate is often used with stronger preservatives.

Learn more about Potassium Sorbate
48
What it does: Masking, Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Both the US FDA and EU Health Committee have approved the use of sodium benzoate. In the US, levels of 0.1% (of the total product) are allowed.

Sodium benzoate works as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacteria inside of cells. It prevents the cell from fermenting a type of sugar using an enzyme called phosphofructokinase.

Sodium Benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid. Foods containing sodium benzoate include soda, salad dressings, condiments, fruit juices, wines, and snack foods.

Studies for using ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate in cosmetics are lacking, especially in skincare routines with multiple steps.

We always recommend speaking with a professional, such as a dermatologist, if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Sodium Benzoate
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 48 ingredients in this product ✨

42% are loved or liked
21% have mixed ratings
23% are disliked or very disliked
15% have no rating yet

When to use

Here's some more info on how this product is used by our community.

Directions

Wet face and apply a small amount of cleanser with gentle circular motions. Rinse well. To remove heavy makeup, repeat or use with a clean, wet washcloth.

Wet face and apply a small amount of cleanser with gentle circular motions. Rinse well. To remove heavy makeup, repeat or use with a clean, wet washcloth.

When to use

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