A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients: Complete Information about the Harmful and Desirable in Cosmetics And Cosmeceuticals / Edition 6

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (40) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $50.00   
  • Used (38) from $1.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:


Condition: New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


Take the guesswork out of choosing safe and effective cosmetics and cosmeceuticals.

You wouldn’t eat something without knowing what it was. Don’t you want to take the same care with what you put on your face, hair, and body? Find out what’s in your health and beauty products with Ruth Winter’s A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. This updated and expanded sixth edition gives you all the facts you need to protect yourself and your family from possible irritants, confusing chemical names, or exaggerated claims of beauty from gimmick additives.

Virtually every chemical found in toiletries, cosmetics, and cosmeceuticals—from body and face creams to toothpaste, hand lotion, shaving cream, shampoo, soap, perfume, and makeup—is evaluated in this book, including those ingredients marketed as being all-natural, for children, and for people of color. The alphabetical arrangement makes it easy to look up the ingredients in the products you use.

With new substances popping up in products we utilize every day—and with the continuing deregulation of the cosmetics industry—A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients is more indispensable than ever.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400052332
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/22/2005
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Winter, M.S., is an award-winning science writer who is nationally known for her many books and magazine articles. The American Society of Journalists and Authors presented her with its Career Achievement Award in Nonfiction Writing in 2004. Ruth Winter is also the author of A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, A Consumer’s Dictionary of Medicines: Prescription, Over-the-Counter, Homeopathic, and Herbal, and Poisons in Your Food. You can find out more information at her website: www.brainbody.com.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients

By Ruth Winter

Random House

Ruth Winter
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1400052335

Chapter One


ABEYANCE • The term used by the FDA that includes petitions that were filed and were found after detailed review by the Office of Food Additive (OFAS) or certain cosmetic colorings to be deficient. OFAS does not actively work on petitions in abeyances. When all the information required to address the deficiency or deficiencies is provided, a petition can be refiled and assigned a new filing date.

ABIES • A. alba, A. balsamea, A. pectinata, A. sibirica. Essential oils derived from a variety of pine trees. They are used as natural flavoring ingredients and to scent bath products. Ingestion of large amounts can cause intestinal hemorrhages.

ABIES ALBA LEAF WAX • A wax obtained from the needles of Abies alba (see above). It is used as a skin-conditioning ingredient and as a skin protectant.

ABIES PECTINATA OIL • The volatile oil from Abies alba (see) used as a fragrance ingredient.

ABIETIC ACID • Abietinol. Abietol. Sylvic acid. Chiefly a texturizer in the making of soaps. A widely available natural acid, water-insoluble, prepared from pine rosin, usually yellow and composed of either glassy or crystalline particles. Used also in the manufacture of vinyls, lacquers, and plastics. Little is known about abietic acid toxicity; it is harmless wheninjected into mice but causes paralysis in frogs and is slightly irritating to human skin and mucous membranes. May cause allergic reactions.

ABIETYL ALCOHOL • Increases thickness. See Abietic Acid

ABITOL • Dihydroabietyl Alcohol. Used in cosmetics, plastics, and adhesives. See Abietic Acid

ABRADE • Scrape or erode a covering, such as skin.

ABRASIVE • Natural or synthetic cosmetic ingredients intended to rub away or scrape the surface layer of cells or tissue from the skin.

ABSOLUTE • The term refers to a plant-extracted material that has been concentrated but that remains essentially unchanged in its original taste and odor. For example, see Jasmine Absolute. Often called "natural perfume materials" because they are not subjected to heat and water as are distilled products. See Distilled

ABSORBENT • An ingredient or cosmetic that has the capacity to absorb.

ABSORPTION BASES • Compounds used to improve the water-absorbing capacity and stability of creams, lotions, and hairdressings. Lanolin-type absorption bases are mixtures of lanolin alcohols, mineral oil, and petrolatum (see all). Also used as bases are cholesterol and beeswax (see both).

ACACIA • Gum Arabic. Catechu. Acacia is the odorless, colorless, tasteless dried exudate from the stem of the acacia tree, grown in Africa, the Near East, India, and the southern United States. Its most distinguishing quality among the natural gums is its ability to dissolve rapidly in water. The use of acacia dates back 4,000 years, when the Egyptians employed it in paints. Medically, it is used as a demulcent to soothe irritations, particularly of the mucous membranes. It can cause allergic reactions such as skin rash and asthmatic attacks. Oral toxicity is low, but the FDA issued a notice in 1992 that catechu tincture had not been shown to be safe and effective as claimed in OTC digestive aid products. See also Vegetable Gums and Catechu Black

ACACIA DEALBATA LEAF WAX • Acacia dealbata. Mimosa, Silver Wattle. Obtained from the leaves of a prickly Egyptian shrub. It is used as a skin-conditioning ingredient, emollient, and skin protectant. Used in moisturizers, cleaning products, blushers, eye shadow, and foundations. It is considered a poisonous house plant.

ACACIA FARNESIAN EXTRACT • Acacia Extract. Flowers, and stems of Acacia farnesiana. It is used as an astringent.

ACACIA FARNESIANA GUM • AEC Gum Arabic. Acacia senegal Gum. Widely used all over the world, it acts as an adhesive in mascara, bath soaps, and detergents as well as in body and hand preparations, except for shaving creams. It is also used in hair colorings.

ACANTHOPANX SENTICOSUS • Extract of Eleuthro Ginseng. Siberian Ginseng. A plant material derived from Acanthopanax senticosus. A skin-conditioning ingredient related to siloxans and ginseng (see both).

ACEFYLLINE METHYLSILANOL MANNURONATE • Used as a skin conditioning ingredient. Prepared from theophylline, an alkaloid (see) with caffeine found in tea leaves. Theophylline, however, is usually prepared synthetically.

ACER • A. pseudoplantanus, A. saccharinum. Mountain Maple. It acts similarly to tannin (see).

ACEROLA • Malpighia glabra. Derived from the ripe fruit of the West Indian or Barbados cherry, grown in Central America and the West Indies. A rich source of ascorbic acid. Used as an antioxidant.

ACESULFAME • Non-nutritive sweetener 200 times sweeter than sugar. Animals that were fed acesulfame developed tumors more often than animals not given it.

ACETAL • A volatile liquid derived from acetaldehyde (see) and alcohol and used as a solvent in synthetic perfumes such as jasmine. Also used in fruit flavorings (it has a nutlike aftertaste) and as a hypnotic in medicine. It is a central nervous system depressant, similar in action to paraldehyde but more toxic. Paraldehyde is a hypnotic and sedative whose side effects are respiratory depression, cardiovascular collapse, and possible high blood pressure reactions. No known skin toxicity.

ACETALDEHYDE • Ethanal. An intermediate (see) and solvent in the manufacture of perfumes. A flammable, colorless liquid with a characteristic odor, occurring naturally in apples, broccoli, cheese, coffee, grapefruit, and other vegetables and fruits. Used as a fragrance ingredient in cosmetics. Also used in the manufacture of synthetic rubber and in the silvering of mirrors. It is irritating to the mucous membranes, and ingestion of large doses may cause death by respiratory paralysis. Inhalation, usually limited by intense irritation of the lungs, can also be toxic. May cause skin irritation.

ACETAMIDE MEA • N-Acetyl Acid Amide. N-Acetyl Ethanolamine. Used as a solvent, plasticizer, and stabilizer (see all). Used in hair conditioners and skin creams and as a foam booster and thickener. It is also used in shampoos, tonics, dressings, and other hair products. Crystals absorb water. Odorless when pure but can have a mousy scent. A mild skin irritant with low toxicity. Has caused liver cancer when given orally to rats in doses of 5,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The CIR Expert Panel (see) found that it is safe at concentrations not to exceed 7.5 percent. They found, however, that it may form nitrosamines.

ACETAMIDOETHOXYBUTYL TRIMONIUM CHLORIDE • Used in hair conditioners, skin conditioning ingredients, and other miscellaneous products. See Quaternary Ammonium Compounds

ACETAMINOPHEN • A coal tar derivative, it is widely used as a pain reliever and fever reducer. It is used as an antioxidant and stabilizer in cosmetics.

ACETAMINOPROPYL TRIMONIUM CHLORIDE • Antistatic ingredient used in conditioners, bath soaps, detergents, and shampoos. See Quaternary Ammonium Compounds

ACETAMINOSALOL • Derived from ammonia and salicylic acid (see both), it absorbs ultraviolet light.

ACETANILID • Acetanilide. A solvent used in nail polishes and in liquid powders to give an opaque matte finish. It is also used in fragrances. Usually made from aniline and acetic acid (see both). It is of historic interest because it was the first coal tar analgesic and antifever ingredient introduced into medicine. It is a precursor of penicillin and is used as an antiseptic. It is sometimes still used in medicines but is frowned upon by the American Medical Association since there are other related products with less toxicity. It can cause a depletion of oxygen in the blood upon ingestion and eczema when applied to the skin. It caused tumors when given orally to rats in doses of 3,500 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

ACETARSOL • Acetarsone. Used in mouthwashes, toothpaste, and vaginal suppositories. Thick white crystals with a slight acid taste. Soluble in water. The lethal dose in mice is only 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. May cause sensitization.

ACETATE • Salt of acetic acid (see) used in perfumery and as a flavoring.

ACETIC ACID • Ethanoic Acid. Glacial Acetic Acid. Solvent for gums, resins, and volatile oils. Styptic (stops bleeding) and a rubefacient (see). Also used as a fragrance ingredient and pH adjuster. A clear colorless liquid with a pungent odor, it is used in freckle-bleaching lotions, hand lotions, and hair dyes. It occurs naturally in apples, cheese, cocoa, coffee, grapes, skimmed milk, oranges, peaches, pineapples, strawberries, and a variety of other fruits and plants. Vinegar is about 4 to 6 percent acetic acid, and essence of vinegar is about 14 percent. In its glacial form (without much water) it is highly corrosive, and its vapors are capable of producing lung obstruction. Less than 5 percent acetic acid in solution is mildly irritating to the skin. GRAS for packaging only, not for direct ingredient in product. It caused cancer in rats and mice when given orally or by injection.

ACETIC ANHYDRIDE • Acetyl Oxide. Acetic Oxide. Colorless liquid with a strong odor, it is derived from oxidation of acetaldehyde (see). It is used as a dehydrating and acetylating ingredient (see both Dehyrated and Acetylated) and in the production of dyes, perfumes, plastics, food starch, and aspirin. It is a strong irritant and may cause bumps and eye damage.

ACETOIN • Acetyl Methyl Carbinol. A flavoring ingredient and aroma carrier used in perfumery, it occurs naturally in broccoli, grapes, pears, cultured dairy products, cooked beef, and cooked chicken. As a product of fermentation and of cream ripened for churning, it is a colorless, or pale yellow, liquid or a white powder. It has a buttery odor and must be stored in a light-resistant container.

ACETOLAMIDE • n-Acetyl Ethanolamine. Used in hair-waving solutions and in emulsifiers. See Ethanolamines

ACETONE • A colorless, ethereal liquid derived by oxidation or fermentation and used as a denaturant (see) and as a solvent in nail polish removers and nail finishes. It is obtained by fermentation and is frequently used as a solvent for airplane glue, fats, oils, and waxes. It can cause peeling and splitting of the nails, skin rashes on the fingers and elsewhere, and nail brittleness. Inhalation may irritate the lungs, and in large amounts it is narcotic, causing symptoms of drunkenness similar to ethanol (see). In 1992, the FDA proposed a ban on acetone in astringent (see) products because it had not been shown to be safe and effective as claimed.

ACETONITRILE • Methylacyanide. Colorless liquid with a pleasant odor. Used as a solvent in extraction processes and for separation of fatty acids from vegetable oils. Also used in nail-glue remover. Toxic by skin absorption and inhalation. On the Canadian Hotlist (see). See also Artificial Nail Remover


1-ACETOXY-2-METHYLNAPHTHALENE • A hair coloring. See Naphthalene

ACETUM • See Vinegar


ACETYL ARGININE • See Arginine and Vinegar

ACETYLATED CASTOR OIL • Skin conditioner. See Castor Oil and Acetate

ACETYL BENZOYL PEROXIDE • Benzo-benzone. White crystals that decompose slowly. It is an active germicide and disinfectant, and is used for bleaching flour. It is toxic by ingestion, a strong irritant to the skin and mucous membranes. Benzoyl peroxide is on the Canadian Hotlist (see).

ACETYL GLUCOSAMINE • Used as a skin-conditioning ingredient in cosmetics, glucosamine is found in chitin (see), cell membranes, and protein and sugar complexes in the blood. It has become popular as an anti-osteoarthritis medication.

ACETYL GLUTAMIC ACID • Used in skin conditioners. See Glutamic Acid and Acetylated

ACETYL GLUTAMINE • Used in skin conditioners. See Glutamic Acid and Acetylated

ACETYL GLYCERYL RICINOLEATE • Used in skin conditioners. See Castor Oil

ACETYL HEXAMETHYL INDAN • A fragrance ingredient. Derived from coal tar, it may be irritating to the skin and eyes.

ACETYL HEXAMETHYL TETRALIN • Used in perfumes, it is closely related to acetyl ethyl tetramethyl tetralin, which was voluntarily removed from perfumes when it was reported that it caused nerve damage in animals. The "hexyl" component was inserted to make the fragrances less volatile and less allergenic.

ACETYL MANDELIC ACID • A pH (see) adjuster. See Mandelic Acid

ACETYL PROPIONYL • Yellow liquid. Soluble in water. Used as a butterscotch or chocolate-type flavoring. See Propionic Acid

ACETYL TRIETHYL CITRATE • A clear, oily, essentially odorless liquid used as a solvent. See Citric Acid

ACETYL TRIOCTYL CITRATE PECTIN • Citrus Pectin. A jelly-forming powder obtained from citrus peel and used as a texturizer and thickening ingredient to form gels with sugars and acids. Light in color.

ACETYL TYROSINE • Used in suntan gels, creams, and liquids. Widely distributed amino acid (see), termed nonessential because it does not seem to be necessary for growth. It is used as a dietary supplement. It is a building block of protein and is used in cosmetics to help creams penetrate the skin. The FDA has asked for further study of this additive that is GRAS. See Acetylated

ACETYL VALERYL • See Valeric Acid and Acetic Acid

ACETYLATED • Any organic compound that has been heated with acetic anhydride or acetyl chloride to remove its water. Acetylated lanolins are used in hand creams and lotions, for instance. Acetic anhydride produces irritation and necrosis of tissues in the vapor state and carries a warning against contact with skin and eyes.

ACETYLATED CETYL HYDROXYPROLINATE • Used in skin conditioners, it is derived from ammonia and amino acids (see both).

ACETYLATED GLYCOL STEARATE • Used as an emulsifying ingredient, stabilizer, and skin conditioner. See Acetylated and Glycols

ACETYLATED HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED GLYCERIDE • Used as a skin conditioner and emollient. See Cottonseed Oil

ACETYLATED HYDROGENATED LANOLIN • Skin conditioner. See Lanolin and Hydrogenation

ACETYLATED HYDROGENATED LARD GLYCERIDE • Skin conditioner ingredient. See Lard

ACETYLATED HYDROGENATED TALLOW GLYCERIDES • Skin conditioner ingredient. See Tallow and Hydrogenation


ACETYLATED LANOLIN • An emulsifier and emollient. Repels water better than plain lanolin and does not form emulsions.


Excerpted from A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2009

    A very superficial treatment of cosmetic ingredients

    I bought a copy last week, but was disappointed. It seems to be a very "dumbed down" book. It lists many chemicals, but has only vague information about them, not enough to be very helpful in learning about them. In at least one description of a chemical, I concluded that a sentence pertaining to something else was appended to the bottom of the paragraph I was reading. I just picked up the book again and read a description that referred to glycerin, so I looked up glycerin. "GLYCERIN Glycerol. Any by-product of soap manufacture ..." The word "Any" should probably be "A." There are similar blunders throughout the book, on nearly every page. I am really surprised that the book made it to the 6th edition. I would not recommend that you get a copy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2009


    I am an esthetician student and this book is wonderful for my studies. Very handy to have as a learning guide. I also feel it is a good tool for all woman to use on a daily basis to know just what is in our cosmetics. Do you really know?? I wish I had known about half this stuff even before I started studying. Buy it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2005

    Comprehensive and thorough

    The 6th edition of Ruth Winter's A CONSUMER'S DICTIONARY OF COSMETIC INGREDIENTS, first published in 1978, contains an excellent 40 page introduction covering everything from the state of cosmetics regulations, safety concerns, basic ingredients, and what to do if you have an adverse reaction, to an annotated list of organizations concerned with cosmetics safety. This detailed book is over 500 pages with thousands of entries of varying lengths--from a line or two to a paragraph. There are some longer entries of 2 or more pages on a key topic like sunscreen. The information covers more generic cosmetics, like cold cream or lipstick, as well as more technical ingredients and chemicals that you may find a specific products. In addition to a 3-page bibliography, there are two useful Appendices: 'Common Label Warnings--Pay Attention!' and 'Nail Safety.'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)