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You are here: Skin Care Ingredient Guide > Skin Care Ingredient Glossary >

Common skin care ingredients -- B

Beeswax: waxy component in many skin care products; provides moisture as well as a barrier mechanism. Also, an emulsifier (helps oil and water blending). May be mildly comedogenic.

Bemotrizinol (Tinosorb S) UV radiation blocker used in sunscreens (see bemotrizinol fact-sheet)

Benzalkonium chloride: Preservative; may occasionally cause allergy or sensitivity with continuous use.

Benzethonium chloride: Preservative against broad spectrum of microorganisms (fungi, bacteria, algae). Typically used in concentrations under 0.5%.

Benzoic acid: Preservative against growth of microorganisms; effective against fungi but only marginally useful against bacteria. Typically used in concentrations from 0.05 to 0.1%. Sensitivity to benzoic acid is rare but possible.

Benzophenone-3 (oxybenzone), benzophenone-4 (sulisobenzone) UV radiation blockers used in sunscreens (see benzophenone fact-sheet)

Benzoyl Peroxide: antibacterial agent that kills P. acnes, the germ responsible for acne breakouts. Can be drying and/or irritating. Some develop high skin sensitivity to benzoyl peroxide. Available in both prescription and OTC forms ranging from 2.5 to 10%.

Benzyl alcohol: Antibacterial preservative typically used in concentrations 1 to 3%. May cause skin irritation.

Beta Hydroxy Acid: a subclass of organic acids; the most common one is salicylic acid, a long term ingredient used for exfoliation of dry skin as well as for acne therapy.

BHT: Potent synthetic oil-soluble antioxidant often used as a preservative against rancidity.

Bisoctrizole (Tinosorb M) UV radiation blocker used in sunscreens (see bisoctrizole fact-sheet)

Boric Acid: an antiseptic used as a preservative to prevent yeast overgrowth. May be irritating.


To view the ingredient listings starting with a particular letter, click below:

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

If you cannot find something in our glossary or if you require more detailed information on individual ingredients, we recommend an in-depth reference Milady's Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary.

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