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Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant Ingredients Explained

Exfoliator
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1
37
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Published on July 13, 2020

00% Your Match

Overview

What it is

Exfoliator with 15 ingredients that contains AHA and hyaluronic acid

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free, fungal acne (malassezia) safe, and reef safe

Suited For

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

Free From

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

Fun facts

Paula's Choice is from United States. This product is used in 81 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.

Exfoliator with 15 ingredients that contains AHA and hyaluronic acid

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 15

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.

Glycolic Acid Buffering
AHA IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 7 Benefits 2 Concerns

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with research to back up its benefits. Its main role is to peel the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

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

Chamomilla Recutita Extract Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Chamomilla Recutita Extract comes from the Chamomile flower.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
2 Benefits

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.

Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract Astringent, Skin Conditioning

Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract is the extract of the leaves of Camellia Oleifera, Theaceae.

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.
Panthenol Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Panthenol (also referred to as pro-vitamin B5) is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Sodium PCA Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0

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

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Propylene Glycol Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
0 / 0 May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
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.
Hydroxyethylcellulose Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising

Hydroxyethylcellulose is used to improve the texture of products. It is created from a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide and alkali-cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar found in plant cell walls and help give plants structure.

Polyquaternium-10

Polyquaternium-10 is an ammonium salt of hydroxyethylcellulose. It is a white and granular powder used as a film-former and anti-static agent.

Disliked Full details ->
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.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Benzoate Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

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.

Disliked Full details ->

Ingredient Ratings

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

8
3
4
liked
mixed
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not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 15 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
Buffering
Loved

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with research to back up its benefits. Its main role is to peel the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Glycolic Acid has shown to boost collage production, a protein that helps skin stay firm. Overall, Glycolic Acid helps with improving uneven tone, rough patches of skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. It also increases skin hydration by playing a role in creating molecules that create hyaluronic acid naturally.

When applying Glycolic Acid, it is normal to feel slight stinging. The pH value and concentration of glycolic acid play a role in the effectiveness of the product.

Recent studies have shown Glycolic Acid may protect the skin against UV damage. However, you should always wear SPF, especially when using exfoliants.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Glycolic Acid
Buffering
Mixed

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

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

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

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

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
Skin Conditioning
Liked

Chamomilla Recutita Extract comes from the Chamomile flower.

Chamomile is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Several compounds found in chamomile help with soothing, such as bisbolol.

Antioxidant components in chamomile help fight free-radical molecules. These unstable molecules may damage your skin cells. By stabilizing them, antioxidants may help reduce the signs of aging.

Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians used Chamomile to treat skin redness and dryness. Chamomile has also been used to help with stomach issues.

Learn more about Chamomilla Recutita Extract
Skin Conditioning
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
Astringent, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract is the extract of the leaves of Camellia Oleifera, Theaceae.

Camellia Oleifera Leaf is a green tea plant native to China. It is closely related to Camellia sinensis. Both plants have very similar properties.

Camellia Oleifera Leaf is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules. Free-radical molecules are capable of damaging our cells and other genetic material. Antioxidants help stabilize free-radicals. Antioxidants may help reduce the signs of aging.

Camellia Oleifera Leaf also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

Learn more about Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract
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
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Panthenol (also referred to as pro-vitamin B5) is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin.

lt is a humectant, meaning that it helps the skin attract and retain moisture.

Another benefit is the anti-inflammatory abilities. This means that it's great for sensitive, irritation-prone skin.

Once oxidized, panthenol converts to pantothenic acid. Panthothenic acid is found in all living cells.

Learn more about Panthenol
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
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
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Disliked

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

Another role of this ingredient is preventing a product from melting or freezing. Propylene glycol also adds antimicrobrial properties to a product, elongating product lifespan.

This ingredient is considered an organic alcohol and commonly added into both cosmetics and foods.

Those with sensitive skin or conditions may deliver a rash when using this ingredient.

Learn more about Propylene Glycol
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.

Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
Mixed

Hydroxyethylcellulose is used to improve the texture of products. It is created from a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide and alkali-cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar found in plant cell walls and help give plants structure.

Hydroxyethylcellulose helps stabilize products by preventing ingredients from separating. It can also help thicken the texture of a product.

This ingredient can also be found in pill medicines to help our bodies digest other ingredients.

Learn more about Hydroxyethylcellulose

Polyquaternium-10 is an ammonium salt of hydroxyethylcellulose. It is a white and granular powder used as a film-former and anti-static agent.

This ingredient is commonly found in hair conditioning products. According to a manufacturer, its positive charge makes it great for absorbing hair proteins. The manufacturer also states this ingredient helps with curl retention.

For haircare friends: this ingredient is not a silicone.

Learn more about Polyquaternium-10
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.

Masking, Preservative
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
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