Rating Ingredient

vinyl dimethicone/methicone silsesquioxane crosspolymer

A blend of silicone polymers that functions as a thickening agent and texture enhancer. Typically used in amounts between 0.1–20%, with amounts up to 0.6% common in rinse-off products.


tapioca starch

A natural thickener and texture enhancer derived from the roots of Manihot...


synthetic fluorophlogopite

Synthetic fluorophlogopite is a synthetic mineral material used in cosmetics to add bulk and to thicken emulsions.


glyceryl behenate/eicosadioate

A mixture of esters of glycerin, along with behenic and eicosadioic acids, its works as a thickener and stabilizing agent in makeup and skincare products.

Categories: Thickeners


A plant-based sugar created by hydrolyzing a saccharide with starch from corn, potato, or rice.



Illite is a mineral-sourced natural thickener that is sometimes referred to as French green clay.

Categories: Thickeners, Absorbent

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!