Usually listed on ingredient labels as PVP or PVP copolymer, it is one of the primary ingredients used in hairstyling products to hold hair in place. When present in minuscule amounts in skin-care products, it places an imperceptible film over the skin that is considered to be water-binding and that helps give the appearance of firmer skin. It can aggravate skin for some individuals.

See film-forming agent

Back to Ingredient Dictionary

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!