Skin Care & Cosmetics Ingredient Glossary (P– R)

skincare spa wellbeing healthy skin face mask ingredients natural k beauty world


Naturally found in the raw fruit of the papaya plant, papain is a protein-degrading(proteolytic) enzyme — which helps break down large proteins into smaller pieces, aka peptides and amino acids.

Papaya has high contents of antioxidants, vitamins, phytochemicals, beta-carotene, and chymopapain which also have antibacterial, antifungal, lightening, and exfoliating properties. This helps remove damaged keratin for better product absorption, reduced inflammation, and helps the skin to recover after scarring.

Just note that some studies have shown that this enzyme can compromise the skin’s barrier and can induce allergic reactions.

Aromatica Sea Daffodil Cleansing Mousse is a Korean skincare product with papain.

*Syn: Papaya Proteinase


Parabens (P-Hydroxybenzoic Acid — PHBA) are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics, body, personal hygiene, and pharmaceutical products. They help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, fungus, and other microbes thus increasing the shelf life of the products, especially in the moist, warm places such as a bathroom.

Parabens are controversial ingredients — including variants such as Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben and Isobutylparaben. They have been accused of containing a weak estrogen-like property and it may lead to health risks.

However, some of the research on this matter applies to high concentrations (up to 100%), in contrast, 1% of less amounts of parabens are typical in cosmetic formulations.

For those who are not comfortable to use products containing parabens, you can check the alternatives such as essential oils, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol, or Benzoic acid.

However, they may have some drawbacks — some are effective against fungi and yeast but struggling with bacteria, others are higher instance of skin irritation, or just more expensive. Other option is that you can find a product using of airless pump bottles which prevent it from excessive exposure to air, extending shelf life. 


Phthalates are made from Phthalic acid (Benzenedicarboxylic acid) and has been used as a softener, solvent, or fragrance in many beauty and personal care products, such as moisturizing lotions, color cosmetics, perfumes, nail polishes, shampoos, hair sprays, body washes, and soaps.

However, Phthalates have gained a lot of attention due to its potential as an endocrine (or hormonal) disrupting chemical — also known as EDCs. What’s EDCs? When absorbed by the body, endocrine disrupters may mimic or interfere with metabolism and the body's hormones. They can be found in many everyday products such as plastic bottles, toys, and even food.

Thankfully, many brands have made their formulas phthalate-free, but Phthalates can be called many different names, such as phthalate (DEP), n-butyl phthalate (DBP), dimethyl phthalate (DMP), Di-2-ethyl-hexyl phthalate (DEHP), diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP), phthalate esters, fragrance, and more.

Peppermint oil

An essential oil from a hybrid plant of water mint and spearmint, peppermint oil is typically used for aromatherapy, toothpastes, mouthwash, as well as cosmetics.

Peppermint is well known for its ability to relieve an upset stomach and relieve tension headaches, but for cosmetics, it can help soothe dryness or irritation and cleanse the skin due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.        

While it’s generally a safe to use essential oil in small amounts, it can trigger for allergic reactions or sensitizing effects on skin. 

*Syn: Mentha Piperita

Pomegranate Fruit Extract

Pomegranate is a great source of antioxidants, Vitamin B and C, Ellagic acid, anthocyanins, which help detox the skin and replenish dry and dull skin while balancing skin hydration levels.                

*Syn: Punica Granatum

Prickly Pear Seed Oil

Extremely high in natural potent antioxidants and essential fatty acids, prickly pear seed oil is a carrier oil that helps moisturize, soften skin and prevent premature wrinkle formation and skin damage caused by free radicals and UV rays.

The cactus seed oil contains enormous amounts of vitamin E and K, which helps brighten hyperpigmentation and under-eye dark circles, boost cell regeneration as well as increase moisture retention levels.

It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that helps wounds heal faster while reducing redness and irritation.

Huxley skincare uses sustainably farmed, certified organic prickly pear seed oil in their entire beauty line, such as Anti-Gravity CreamSecret of Sahara Grab Water Essence.

*Syn: Barbary Fig Seed Oil, Opuntia Ficus Indica, Indian fig oil


Phytosterols are plant-derived compounds that are similar in structure and function to cholesterol, as it binds to water, making the skin look healthier and plumper.

Phytosterols can be divided into plant sterols and plant stanols, which helps shield the skin from sun damage, environmental stressors, and moisture loss. 

We can’t synthesize phytosterols, but it can be found in various dietary sources of plant origin, such as vegetable oils (canola, safflower, sesame, soybean), nuts and seeds (pumpkin, cashew, peanut), cereals, and legumes.

Pumpkin Seed Oil & Extract 

Rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, minerals, omega 3-and 6-fatty acids, pumpkin seed oil helps smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and protects skin against environmental stressors by neutralizing free radicals. 

The pumpkin seed also contains zinc which has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and astringent properties that may be beneficial for oily skin types, especially those with inflammatory acne and related scarring.

*Syn: Cucurbita Pepo 


Peptides are short strings of amino acids, which are building blocks of proteins that can be found in our body. Peptides works as a messenger in our body to help promote collagen production, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, boost elasticity and firmness.

For maximum results, it’s better to use peptides in conjunction with skin brightening or antioxidant-rich ingredients which is excellent for anti-aging benefits. 

Check out Cosrx Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream and Pyunkang Yul Black Tea Time Reverse Eye Cream.

*Syn: Tetrapeptides, Hexapeptides, Argireline


Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that support our microbiome balance and improve our immune system and overall skin health. The more good bacteria we have in our body, it works as a protective shield against bad ones — which may help prevent and treat skin conditions such as dry skin, acne, eczema, premature aging, pH-imbalanced skin, and UV-induced skin damages.

Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule, it's a Korean beauty product with probiotics. 

*Syn: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillu, Vitreoscill, Bacillus Coagulans 


Also known as bee glue, propolis is a resinous mixture produced by honey bees made up of tree buds, beeswax, saliva, sap from flowers, and other compounds to build their hives. Bee propolis is well-known for its healing, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory properties.

Propolis can assist the controlling of oil production, soothing of acne-prone skin, redness, and sensitive skin. It also helps protect the skin from free radicals and hydrates skin without leaving a heavy residue, leaving the skin smoother and softer.

For propolis products, you'll love Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel and Cosrx Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask.


Resveratrol is a naturally occurring potent antioxidant and a type of polyphenol that can be found in grapes, berries (such as cranberries, blueberries and mulberries), peanuts, pistachios and dark chocolate.

Resveratrol has been shown to fight against free radicals, fungal attacks, UV radiation, signs of aging, and inflammation. It has rejuvenating power to improve uneven skin tone, rough texture, fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dryness, and radiance.


Retinoids are an umbrella term for any synthetic vitamin A and retinol is one of many different types of retinoids. Retinoids help in improving cell turnover and collagen production, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, acne scars, minimizing enlarged pores, and refining skin texture. 

When using a retinoid-based product, you may experience a few weeks of dryness, flakiness, irritation, acne breakout during the purge phase — which refers to your skin's reaction to a specific active ingredient that triggers cell turnover. 

It’s best to opt for your night skin care routine and wear moisturizer and sunscreen the next morning and avoid using retinoids and an AHA at same time as it may irritate your skin or lead to negative reactions.

*Syn: Retinoid, Tretinoin, Tazarotene, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinaldehyde, Adapalene  

Rosehip Seed Oil

Derived from the seeds of rose bushes, rosehip oil is prized for its hydrating, healing, and anti-aging benefits that helps hydrate, repair damaged skin, and protect the skin from daily oxidative stress.

Rosehip oil contains a wealth of vitamin A and C, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids (omega-3, linolenic acid and omega-6, linoleic acid) which aids in cell regeneration, boosting overall radiance, and firmer skin.

Due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties, it may help helpful for those suffering from acne, rosacea, eczema, and other inflammatory skin issues.

Our picks: Aromatica Organic Rosehip OilOlivarrier Wash All Barrier Relief, and Urang Vitamin Oil Serum.

*Syn: Rose Canina 

Rose Flower Oil & Water 

Rose oil and water are powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial agents that help reduce redness, inflammation and aid in killing off acne-causing bacteria and preventing future breakouts.

Rose water and oil also contains antioxidants, vitamin C, phenolics that provide anti-aging and fragrant benefits. 

Our picks: Urang Rose Ceramide CreamHeimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patch.

*Syn: Rosa Damascena, Damask Rose

Rosemary Leaf Extract

Rosemary leaf extract contains rosmarinic acid — which is a potent antioxidant that helps prevent skin damage and signs of premature aging by neutralizing free radicals.

Rich in calcium, mineral, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and vitamins that support collagen production and help the skin looks firmer and more elastic.

This botanical ingredient also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, astringent, and toning properties that can be useful in combating many skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

Please be aware that rosemary extract is different than rosemary oil — which is higher in concentration of fragrant components that can cause allergy or irritation.

*Syn: Rosmarius Officinalis


Best Sellers