All Cosmetic Ingredients

Each and every one of our ingredient pages is supported by scientific research, with numerous references to published research papers.

Last Updated Ingredients


1

Aug 2015

Retinyl Ascorbate

Retinyl Ascorbate delivers both retinoic acid and ascorbic acid to the skin. It is a very potent antioxidant, and can supplement the skin's natural antioxidant defenses against damage.

1

Aug 2015

Propylparaben

Propylparaben, a natural substance found in mango peel and cloudberries, has been used as a preservative in food, drugs and cosmetics for more than 60 years.

12

Jul 2015

Mango

Mango seed kernel extract contains a variety of compounds that gives it its antioxidant, antimicrobial, photoprotective and antiaging activities. It has the potential to be a multifunctional cosmetic ingredient.

12

Jul 2015

Idebenone

Idebenone seems to be a potent antioxidant than its natural analog coenzyme Q10 and may be useful as an anti-aging ingredient and photoprotectant. It is however also a strong contact...

3

Nov 2014

Dead Sea

The natural mineral elements in the water of the Dead Sea and the bitumen-rich mud on its shores endow it with therapeutic powers that have been recognized for thousands of...

Most Researched Ingredients


247

citations

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an integral part of the skin's antioxidant defenses. Oral vitamin E supplements may not provide adequate protection to the skin, but topical vitamin E is an effective...

199

citations

Oxybenzone

Oxybenzone is an organic sunscreen that primarily absorbs the sun's UVB rays. Apart from skin care products, it is also used in shampoos, hair sprays and hair dyes to prevent...

160

citations

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is an ancient herbal remedy that may be able to accelerate wound healing and treat ailments such as dermatitis and psoriasis. It is also a moisturizer that can...

135

citations

Lanolin

Called wool wax because it is purified from the fleece of sheep, lanolin was first used as a basis for medical ointments in the late 19th century. It is still...

129

citations

Titanium Dioxide

Titanium dioxide is a good absorber of UVB radiation that is generally safe for use up to a maximum concentration of 25% in cosmetic products and sunscreens.

All Ingredients


6

effects

Adapalene

Adapalene is a Vitamin A derivative that is highly effective in reducing acne lesions. There is evidence to indicate that it also has potential in effacing wrinkles, lightening age spots...

6

effects

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is an ancient herbal remedy that may be able to accelerate wound healing and treat ailments such as dermatitis and psoriasis. It is also a moisturizer that can...

7

effects

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid's antiaging properties stem from its ability to remodel the extracellular matrix by stimulating collagen production, as well as its numerous antioxidant effects that enable it to protect...

4

effects

Argan Oil

The benefits argan oil brings to the skin seem to be assumptions based on its composition rather than a true scientific basis, given the scarcity of clinical and experimental data...

7

effects

Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C provides a gamut of benefits such as wrinkle repair, lightened spots and smoother skin. A powerful antioxidant, it also complements and synergizes with sunscreens in...

4

effects

Ascorbyl Glucoside

Ascorbyl glucoside releases vitamin C into the skin in a sustained manner, leading to more prolonged effects on the skin compared to other vitamin C derivatives.

3

effects

Ascorbyl Palmitate

Ascorbyl palmitate is a more stable analog of vitamin C that retains its antioxidant activity and has the potential to moisturize the skin as well as reduce wrinkles.

2

effects

Avobenzone

Avobenzone is one of the best filters of UVA radiation, making it a good candidate for sun protection to prevent photoaging.

5

effects

Azelaic Acid

A natural compound found in whole grains, azelaic acid is a good alternative to hydroquinone as a skin lightener due to its efficacy and safety. It is also effective in...

0

effects

Benzylparaben

Benzylparaben is a less commonly used paraben in personal care products. More research is needed to establish its safety due to the current lack of information.

0

effects

Butylparaben

Butylparaben has one of the strongest estrogenic activities among the parabens. It and propylparaben are considered safe for use in cosmetics as long as the sum of their concentrations stays...

0

effects

Cetyl Alcohol

Cetyl alcohol serves many functions in cosmetics, acting as an emollient, opacifier, stabilizer, thickener and foam boosting agent, among others. It is not irritating to the skin, but may be...

2

effects

Cocoa Butter

Though widely used in skin care products, cocoa butter is not suitable for those with acne or acne-prone skin due to its tendency to clog the pores, producing or aggravating...

7

effects

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q₁₀ is a naturally occurring skin antioxidant and energizer that can help combat many of the detrimental signs of aging such as wrinkles, rough skin and reduced skin elasticity.

6

effects

CoffeeBerry

CoffeeBerry is an extract harvested from the fruits of the coffee plant. An ample source of antioxidants, it has demonstrated the ability to both protect the skin against UV damage...

7

effects

Copper Tripeptide

Copper tripeptide, or GHK-Cu, is the most well-studied peptide cosmeceutical. Its anti-aging efficacy has been verified in several independent trials, and it also appears to be a potent wound-healing agent.

7

effects

Dead Sea

The natural mineral elements in the water of the Dead Sea and the bitumen-rich mud on its shores endow it with therapeutic powers that have been recognized for thousands of...

4

effects

Dimethicone

Dimethicone is a very popular moisturizing ingredient because of its multifunctional properties. It works as an occlusive, reducing water loss from the skin, as an emollient, making the skin soft...

7

effects

DMAE

DMAE occurs naturally in fish. There is evidence to back up its claims of tightening and firming sagging skin, though the mechanism by which it achieves these effects is not...

6

effects

Ellagic Acid

Berries and pomegranates are a plentiful source of ellagic acid, a powerful antioxidant that may also help lighten the skin, improve its elasticity and prevent wrinkles from forming.

8

effects

Estradiol

Although estradiol improves many parameters of skin aging including wrinkles, skin elasticity and pore size, it cannot be recommended as an independent treatment for skin aging until more studies have...

0

effects

Ethylparaben

Ethylparaben is an antimicrobial preservative that is considered safe for use in cosmetics up to a concentration of 0.4%.

2

effects

Ferulic Acid

Ferulic acid occurs naturally in grains and in the cell walls of many plants. There is some evidence that it acts as an antioxidant and can protect the skin from...

2

effects

Genistein

An active ingredient found in soy and most soy products, genistein protects the skin against UV-induced damage. It also improves the skin of postmenopausal women by binding to estrogen receptors.

11

effects

Gluconolactone

Gluconolactone is a second-generation alpha hydroxy acid. It provides similar effects to glycolic acid, but offers the added benefits of gentleness and antioxidant function.

6

effects

Glycerin

The most popularly used humectant in moisturizers, glycerin hydrates the skin by attracting water from the dermis to the epidermis, possibly via its modulation of water channels in the skin.

12

effects

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is a natural organic acid derived from sugar cane. A popular exfoliant, it provides benefits in clearing up acne, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and much more.

11

effects

Green Tea

Green tea extract derived from the leaves of Camellia sinensis both protects the skin from UV-induced damage and improves photoaged skin. It is also the first botanical treatment for genital...

1

effects

Homosalate

Homosalate absorbs the sun's UVB rays, preventing sunburn. It should be combined with a UVA absorber such as avobenzone or zinc oxide to ensure broad-spectrum protection

6

effects

Hyaluronic Acid

Topical hyaluronic acid has long been used as a moisturizer and to repair injured skin, but recent studies show that it also has the potential to improve wrinkles and restore...

2

effects

Hydroquinone

Although hydroquinone is one of the most effective skin lightening agents known so far, there are concerns over its safety when in prolonged contact with the skin. It may be...

5

effects

Idebenone

Idebenone seems to be a potent antioxidant than its natural analog coenzyme Q10 and may be useful as an anti-aging ingredient and photoprotectant. It is however also a strong contact...

0

effects

Isobutylparaben

Isobutylparaben is the ester of isobutyl alcohol and p-hydroxybenzoic acid. Much more research needs to be conducted in order to determine its human risk and its safety as a cosmetic...

0

effects

Isopropylparaben

Isopropylparaben is the ester of isopropyl alcohol and p-hydroxybenzoic acid. Its safety as a cosmetic ingredient is unclear due to the lack of sufficient data.

7

effects

Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is used primarily as a treatment for severe acne, but it also helps reduce wrinkles and lighten the skin when applied topically or when taken orally.

5

effects

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil expressed from the seeds of the jojoba plant is an emollient that helps moisturize the skin, making it more supple. It may also help reduce wrinkles and treat...

6

effects

Kinetin

Kinetin is a plant hormone found naturally in coconut water. Preliminary research suggests that kinetin may delay aging, in addition to its effects on improving the complexion by smoothing wrinkles,...

3

effects

Kojic Acid

Kojic acid, a natural ingredient formed as a byproduct during the manufacture of many Japanese foods, is not as effective as hydroquinone in lightening the skin, but also does not...

8

effects

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is the mildest alpha-hydroxy acid and is commonly used for skin rejuvenation. Apart from its excellent moisturizing effect, it also reduces skin pigmentation and can be used to...

5

effects

Lactobionic Acid

Lactobionic acid is derived from the milk sugar lactose. It has several beneficial properties that can form the basis for desirable cosmetic claims, including its antioxidant function, lightening and moisturizing...

3

effects

Lanolin

Called wool wax because it is purified from the fleece of sheep, lanolin was first used as a basis for medical ointments in the late 19th century. It is still...

4

effects

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is a more stable derivative of Vitamin C. It has well-documented effects on skin lightening, hydration and like Vitamin C, appears to protect the skin from UV...

8

effects

Maltobionic Acid

Maltobionic acid is formed from the oxidation of the malt sugar maltose. Although not many clinical trials have been performed to ascertain its efficacy, it has shown its promise as...

6

effects

Mango

Mango seed kernel extract contains a variety of compounds that gives it its antioxidant, antimicrobial, photoprotective and antiaging activities. It has the potential to be a multifunctional cosmetic ingredient.

0

effects

Methylparaben

Methylparaben is used in cosmetics as an antimicrobial preservative. It is practically nonirritating and nonsensitizing to normal skin, and has only very weak estrogenic properties. It is considered to be...

4

effects

Milk Thistle

The extract of the milk thistle plant, silymarin, or its major flavonolignan silibinin, can act to supplement sunscreen protection in skin care formulations due to its strong photoprotective effect. Silymarin...

12

effects

Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B and undoubtedly one of the best-studied cosmeceutical ingredients. It is remarkably potent at reversing the visible hallmarks of aged skin, including sallowness, pigmentation...

1

effects

Octinoxate

Octinoxate is commonly used as a UVB filter in cosmetic and skin care products. Because it breaks down when exposed to light, octinoxate needs to be formulated with other UV...

1

effects

Octisalate

Octisalate is a weak, but stable and safe organic sunscreen that is usually used to augment other UVB absorbers in cosmetics and skin care products.

1

effects

Octocrylene

Octocrylene is a very popular sunscreen ingredient that absorbs UVB and near-UVA wavelengths. It is often used to photostabilize other UV filters, especially avobenzone.

1

effects

Oxybenzone

Oxybenzone is an organic sunscreen that primarily absorbs the sun's UVB rays. Apart from skin care products, it is also used in shampoos, hair sprays and hair dyes to prevent...

4

effects

Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4

Pal-KTTKS, commercially known as Matrixyl, has convincing anti-wrinkle benefits like the retinoids, but is gentler on the skin and does not damage the skin barrier, making it a viable alternative.

5

effects

Panthenol

An analog of vitamin B5, panthenol's skin benefits extend beyond its common use as a moisturizer. It protects the skin by reducing UV damage and by restoring the skin barrier,...

7

effects

Petrolatum

Petrolatum is a very effective moisturizer that helps hydrate the skin by preventing water loss. Despite claims to the contrary, it is safe when used in cosmetics and does not...

3

effects

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is a commonly used ingredient that conditions and moisturizes the skin. It is also added to cosmetic formulations as a stabilizer, fragrance ingredient, solvent and viscosity-decreasing agent.

0

effects

Propylparaben

Propylparaben, a natural substance found in mango peel and cloudberries, has been used as a preservative in food, drugs and cosmetics for more than 60 years.

6

effects

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is famously known as a compound in red wine. Supplementation of resveratrol improves skin moisturization and elasticity. It also has photoprotective, anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties.

4

effects

Retinal

Retinal is a precursor of retinoic acid with notable anti-aging effects. It is also effective in clearing acne, especially when combined with glycolic acid in a single formulation.

4

effects

Retinol

Retinol is a natural form of Vitamin A that exerts its significant anti-aging effects through its conversion to tretinoin. Unlike tretinoin however, it is much less irritating to the skin.

1

effects

Retinyl Acetate

Although retinyl acetate is absorbed by the skin, there is little evidence of its skin benefits to support its inclusion in over-the-counter cosmetic antiaging products.

1

effects

Retinyl Ascorbate

Retinyl Ascorbate delivers both retinoic acid and ascorbic acid to the skin. It is a very potent antioxidant, and can supplement the skin's natural antioxidant defenses against damage.

4

effects

Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin A that is commonly used in cosmetic products because it is more stable to heat than retinol.

3

effects

Retinyl Propionate

Retinyl propionate is a milder, more tolerable retinoid than tretinoin and retinol that is less well-tested but may be helpful in easing wrinkles and lightening hyperpigmented spots.

8

effects

Salicylic Acid

Salicyic acid, a natural compound found in many fruits and vegetables, has been used for decades to treat various skin disorders and can also help alleviate the signs of aging.

0

effects

Shea Butter

There is little scientific evidence to back up shea butter's claimed effects as a moisturizer, but it does have good anti-inflammatory effects and appears safe to use on the skin,...

5

effects

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is a stable precursor of vitamin C that is not only helpful in treating acne, but can also lighten the skin and protect it from sun damage.

9

effects

Soy

Soy extract from the legume Glycine max contains many bioactive compounds including isoflavones and enzyme inhibitors. This gives it the ability to improve the properties of the skin, especially in...

8

effects

Tazarotene

Tazarotene is a newer retinoid that is nevertheless one of the best-researched. Its anti-aging effects include, but is not limited to, improving both fine and deep wrinkles, lightening pigmented spots...

4

effects

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural essential oil distilled from the leaves of an Australian hardwood tree. It has strong antimicrobial properties and can be used to treat acne, but...

4

effects

Thermal Spring Water

Although there is little data on how thermal spring waters permeate the skin to exert their effects, they do seem to be effective in photoprotecting the skin, and can also...

1

effects

Titanium Dioxide

Titanium dioxide is a good absorber of UVB radiation that is generally safe for use up to a maximum concentration of 25% in cosmetic products and sunscreens.

8

effects

Tretinoin

Long a well-established treatment for acne, tretinoin, a form of vitamin A, is also highly effective as an anti-aging ingredient. It improves wrinkles, brightens and smooths the complexion, lightens age...

6

effects

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an integral part of the skin's antioxidant defenses. Oral vitamin E supplements may not provide adequate protection to the skin, but topical vitamin E is an effective...

1

effects

Vitamin K

Vitamin K, which is found in a wide variety of foods, helps resolve laser-induced bruises and may help reduce eye bags when combined with retinol.

7

effects

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a botanical ingredient derived from the plant of the same name. It is a skin protectant that has powerful antioxidant effects.

9

effects

Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide is a physical sunscreen that can absorb both UVA and UVB radiation depending on the particle size. Due to its UVA protection capability, it is able to inhibit...