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Paula's Choice Omega+ Complex Serum Ingredients Explained

Serum
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Updated on December 05, 2023

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Overview

What it is

Serum with 42 ingredients that contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

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

Free From

It doesn't contain any parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Paula's Choice is from United States. This product is used in 45 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.

Serum with 42 ingredients that contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 42

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.

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.
Diheptyl Succinate Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Diheptyl Succinate.

Unknown Full details ->
Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters isn't fungal acne safe.

Disliked Full details ->
Linum Usitatissimum Seed Oil Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance IconOil IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon 2 Concerns

Linum Usitatissimum Seed Oil is the expressed oil from the dried ripe seed of the Linseed, Linum usitatissimum L., Linaceae

Disliked Full details ->
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.

Linolenic Acid Cleansing, Emollient, Perfuming
Fragrance IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Linolenic Acid is a fatty acid. Our bodies need to consume this to use it. Linolenic Acid helps condition and restore skin. It is also used to treat inflammation and hyperpigmentation.

Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil Emollient
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil is an oil and isn't fungal acne safe.

Ceramide EOP Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
CeramideCeramide Icon 4 Benefits

Ceramide EOP is a type of Ceramide.

Ceramide Eos Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
CeramideCeramide Icon 4 Benefits

Ceramide EOS is a type of Ceramide.

Ceramide NP Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
CeramideCeramide Icon 4 Benefits

Ceramide NP is a type of ceramide.

Ceramide Ns Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
CeramideCeramide Icon 4 Benefits

Ceramide NS is a type of Ceramide. 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.

Caprooyl Sphingosine Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Caprooyl Sphingosine.

Unknown Full details ->
Olea Europaea Oil Unsaponifiables Skin Conditioning
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Olea Europaea Oil Unsaponifiables is an oil and isn't fungal acne safe.

Disliked Full details ->
Caprooyl Phytosphingosine Skin Conditioning

This ceramide helps condition and moisturize skin.

Unknown Full details ->
Sodium Hyaluronate Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Hyaluronic Acid Icon
Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic Acid Icon

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

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Cholesterol Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness Icon
2 Benefits

Cholesterol is a class of organic molecules called lipids. It helps hydrate your skin and is essential to having a healthy skin barrier.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Ceramide AP Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
CeramideCeramide Icon 4 Benefits

Ceramide AP is a type of Ceramide.

Butyrospermum Parkii Butter Unsaponifiables Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Butyrospermum Parkii Butter Unsaponifiables comes from shea butter.

Very Disliked Full details ->
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.
Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer Emulsion Stabilising

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

Disliked Full details ->
Prunus Domestica Seed Oil Skin Conditioning
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Prunus Domestica Seed Oil is an oil and isn't fungal acne safe.

Lauryl Laurate Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Lauryl Laurate isn't fungal acne safe.

Unknown Full details ->
Glyceryl Behenate Emollient, Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Glyceryl Behenate is a fatty acid created from glycerin and behenic acid. It is an emollient and emulsifier.

Disliked Full details ->
Hydrogenated Lecithin Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning

Hydrogenated Lecithin is created from the hydrogenation of lecithin. Hydrogenation is a chemical reaction between molecule hydrogen and another element.

Sodium Phytate

Sodium Phytate is the synthetic salt form of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antioxidant and can be found in plant seeds.

Trehalose Humectant, Moisturising

Trehalose is a disaccharide made of two glucose molecules (glucose is sugar!). Trehalose is used to help moisturize skin. It also has antioxidant properties.

Isohexadecane Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Isohexadecane is added to enhance texture, emulsify, and to help cleanse. It is an isoparrafin. It is a component of petrolatum.

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate.

Unknown Full details ->
Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting

We don't have a description for Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer.

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.

Disliked Full details ->
Cetyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 2 Fatty Alcohol Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon

Cetyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol. Fatty Alcohols are most often used as an emollient or to thicken a product.

2 Com. / 2 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate 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

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a form of Vitamin C.

Agar Masking

Agar is the vegan substitute for animal-gelatin. It helps thicken and improve the texture of cosmetics.

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 ->
Ceteareth-25 Cleansing, Emulsifying

Ceteareth-25 comes from Cetearyl Alcohol. (And Cetearyl Alcohol is created from cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol.

Disliked Full details ->
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 ->
Behenic Acid Cleansing, Emulsifying
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Behenic Acid is a fatty acid and has moisturizing properties.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Glyceryl Rosinate Perfuming
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Glyceryl Rosinate is a fragrance.

Unknown Full details ->
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!).

Disliked Full details ->
Benzyl Alcohol Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Alcohol IconFragrance IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon FragranceFragrance Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 6 Concerns

Benzyl Alcohol is most commonly used as a preservative. It also has a subtle, sweet smell. Small amounts of Benzyl Alcohol is not irritating and safe to use in skincare products. Most Benzyl Alcohol is derived from fruits such as apricots.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

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

Ingredient Ratings

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

14
6
15
7
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 42 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. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
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

We don't have a description for Diheptyl Succinate.

Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Disliked

Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters isn't fungal acne safe.

Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Linum Usitatissimum Seed Oil is the expressed oil from the dried ripe seed of the Linseed, Linum usitatissimum L., Linaceae

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
Cleansing, Emollient, Perfuming
Mixed

Linolenic Acid is a fatty acid. Our bodies need to consume this to use it. Linolenic Acid helps condition and restore skin. It is also used to treat inflammation and hyperpigmentation.

Linolenic Acid reduces hyperpigmentation by disrupting melanin production.

Linolenic Acid is in many oils, include argan, rosehip, and hemp seed.

Read about Linoleic Acid

Learn more about Linolenic Acid
Emollient
Mixed

Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil is an oil and isn't fungal acne safe.

Skin Conditioning
Loved

Ceramide EOP is a type of Ceramide.

EOP stands for a linked Ester fatty acid, a linked Omega hydroxy fatty acid, and the Phytosphingosine base.

Ceramides are intercellular lipids naturally found in our skin. They bind dead skin cells together to create a barrier. The ceramides in our skin have the ability to hold water to keep our skin hydrated.

Ceramides are an important building block for our skin barrier. A strong skin barrier helps with:

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

Read more about other common types of ceramides here:

Learn more about Ceramide EOP
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Ceramide EOS is a type of Ceramide.

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.

Ceramide EOS is a synthetic N-acylated sphingolipid consisting of Sphingosine having the D-erythro structure linked to an esterified omega-hydroxy saturated or unsaturated fatty acid

Learn more about Ceramide Eos
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Ceramide NP is a type of ceramide.

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

Learn more about Ceramide NP
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Ceramide NS is a type of Ceramide. 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.

Ceramide NG,Ceramide NS,1,3-Hexadecanediol, 2-Hexadecanamide,Palmitoyl-C16-Dihydrosphingosine,1-Stearoyl-C18-Sphingosine

Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Caprooyl Sphingosine.

Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Olea Europaea Oil Unsaponifiables is an oil and isn't fungal acne safe.

Skin Conditioning

This ceramide helps condition and moisturize skin.

It is created by reacting caproic acid and phytosphingosine, two fatty acids.

Ceramides work to improve hydration from within Their lipophilic trait means they are likely to be absorbed into skin but expected to remain in the epidermis (the outer layer of skin).

Learn more about Caprooyl Phytosphingosine
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
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
Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Cholesterol is a class of organic molecules called lipids. It helps hydrate your skin and is essential to having a healthy skin barrier.

Our skin naturally contains cholesterol in the outermost layer. Besides cholesterol, it also contains ceramides and fatty acids. Cholesterol makes up about 1/4 of your skin's outer layer and barrier. Your skin barrier is responsible for keeping allergens and microbes out. Having a healthy skin barrier is also responsible for keeping your skin firm and plump.

Our bodies use cholestrol to create vitamin D, steroid hormones, and more.

Learn more about Cholesterol
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Ceramide AP is a type of Ceramide.

Ceramides are intercellular lipids naturally found in our skin that bonds dead skin cells together to create a barrier. Having a strong skin barrier leads to more firm and hydrated skin.

They are known for their ability to hold water and thus are a great ingredient for dry skin. 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 NP Ceramide EOP

Learn more about Ceramide AP
Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Butyrospermum Parkii Butter Unsaponifiables comes from shea butter.

Unsaponifiables means the butter is not saponified, or it has not been turned into soap using an alkali reaction.

This ingredient contains Vitamin E, sterols, and many antioxidants. These compounds help hydate your skin.

Learn more about Butyrospermum Parkii Butter Unsaponifiables
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

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.

Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Prunus Domestica Seed Oil is an oil and isn't fungal acne safe.

Skin Conditioning

Lauryl Laurate isn't fungal acne safe.

Emollient, Emulsifying
Disliked

Glyceryl Behenate is a fatty acid created from glycerin and behenic acid. It is an emollient and emulsifier.

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

Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Hydrogenated Lecithin is created from the hydrogenation of lecithin. Hydrogenation is a chemical reaction between molecule hydrogen and another element.

Hydrogenated Lecithin is an emollient and emulsifier. As an emollient, it helps soften skin by trapping moisture within.

The phospholipids in Hydrogenated Lecithin can produce liposomes. Liposomes help other ingredients get through the skin barrier to be better absorbed.

As an emulsifier, it prevents oil and water ingredients from separating.

Learn more about Hydrogenated Lecithin

Sodium Phytate is the synthetic salt form of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antioxidant and can be found in plant seeds.

Sodium Phytate is a chelating agent. Chelating agents help prevent metals from binding to water. This helps stabilize the ingredients and the product.

Humectant, Moisturising
Loved

Trehalose is a disaccharide made of two glucose molecules (glucose is sugar!). Trehalose is used to help moisturize skin. It also has antioxidant properties.

As a humectant, trehalose helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This helps keep your skin hydrated.

Due to its antioxidant properties, trehalose may help with signs of aging. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules, unstable molecules that may damage your skin.

In medicine, trehalose and hyaluronic acid are used to help treat dry eyes.

Some animals, plants, and bacteria create trehalose as a source of energy to survive freeze or lack of water.

Learn more about Trehalose
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Mixed

Isohexadecane is added to enhance texture, emulsify, and to help cleanse. It is an isoparrafin. It is a component of petrolatum.

Due to its large size, Isohexadecane is not absorbed by the skin. Instead, it sits on top and acts as an emollient. Emollients help keep your skin soft and smooth by trapping moisture within.

Isohexadecane is often used in products designed to help oily skin. It is lightweight and non-greasy while helping to moisturize. When mixed with silicones, it gives a product a silky feel.

Learn more about Isohexadecane

We don't have a description for Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate.

Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting

We don't have a description for Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer.

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
Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Very Disliked

Cetyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol. Fatty Alcohols are most often used as an emollient or to thicken a product.

Cetyl Alcohol is not related to SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, or ethyl alcohol. The FDA allows products labeled "alcohol-free" to have fatty alcohols.

Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a form of Vitamin C.

Vitamin C helps reduce redness, improve skin texture, reduce the effects of aging, reduce the visibility of dark spots, and brighten skin.

Your skin uses Vitamin C to produce collagen and collagen production plays a role in having a strong skin barrier and having plump skin. As an antioxidant, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate also helps reduce the signs of aging such as fine-lines and wrinkles.

Studies show Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is more stable when combined with stabilizing ingredients.

VItamin C helps brighten skin by blocking the process of skin darkening.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Learn more about Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
Masking
Disliked

Agar is the vegan substitute for animal-gelatin. It helps thicken and improve the texture of cosmetics.

Agar is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

Agar is created from cell-walls of red algae.

Learn more about Agar
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
Cleansing, Emulsifying
Disliked

Ceteareth-25 comes from Cetearyl Alcohol. (And Cetearyl Alcohol is created from cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol.

This ingredient is a fatty alcohol used as an emulsifier and surfactant. As an emulsifier, it helps oil mix with water.

Like cetearyl alcohol, Ceteareth-25 can help thicken and create a gel-like consistency.

Learn more about Ceteareth-25
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
Cleansing, Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Behenic Acid is a fatty acid and has moisturizing properties.

It is naturally occuring in the Moringa oleifera tree, rapeseed oil, and peanut oil.

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

Learn more about Behenic Acid
Perfuming

Glyceryl Rosinate is a fragrance.

Buffering, Masking
Disliked

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

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 even out skin tone.

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.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Very Disliked

Benzyl Alcohol is most commonly used as a preservative. It also has a subtle, sweet smell. Small amounts of Benzyl Alcohol is not irritating and safe to use in skincare products. Most Benzyl Alcohol is derived from fruits such as apricots.

Benzyl Alcohol has both antibacterial and antioxidant properties. These properties help lengthen the shelf life of products. Benzyl Alcohol is a solvent and helps dissolve other ingredients. It can also improve the texture and spreadability.

Alcohol comes in many different forms. Different types of alcohol will have different effects on skin. This ingredient is an astringent alcohol.

Using high concentrations of these alcohols are drying on the skin. They may strip away your skin's natural oils and even damage your skin barrier. Astringent alcohols may also irritate skin.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

According to the National Rosacea Society based in the US, you should be mindful of products with these alcohols in the top half of ingredients.

Any type of sanitizing product will have high amounts of alcohol to help kill bacteria and viruses.

Learn more about Benzyl Alcohol
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.

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