Ingredient Vocab List

Vocabulary in ABC Order

This is a list of all vocabulary words I have found on the ingredient lists in my products I have tested. You can search for your ingredients you wish to know about on this page. Suggestions and Submissions are welcome!

Adipose Tissue

Body fat, or just fat.


See Essential Oils

Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa)

Alfalfa is a harvested crop that is harvested due to its benefits. One of these benefits is how high it is in vitamins and minerals. It is rich in “vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K“. Wow!

Supposedly it is also an effective pain reliever. It also helps stimulate hair growth. Discoloration can also be treated with Alfalfa leaf extract.


Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a plant that grows in northern Africa. It is reported to have “moisturizing emollient effects”. Aloe vera is said to moisturize the body and hair with the sap from the plant.



Amber is an essential oil that has a strong woodsy, leather scent. It is used as a cleanser (surfactant) and a humectant (moisturizer) for hair and nails. It also has a calming effect on the mind. There is no scientific evidence, but there are claims that the essential oils can help alleviate heart palpitations. It is also said to have analgesic properties, which help alleviate pain especially in the joints. This oil is for topical use only and is not recommended to take orally.



Any substance that causes an immune system to produce antibodies against it (a disease or virus or bacteria).


Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants which protect your skin from “oxidization” which produces free radicals. This comes from the free-radical theory of aging, that states antioxidants help delay or prevent cell damage, which in turn helps to create youthful looking skin.


Any compound that can alleviate spasms in the lungs and muscles.

Antistatic Agent

This agent prevents the build-up of static electricity on surfaces.


Antibacterial agent that helps avoid infection and sepsis.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Well known for its skin and hair care properties, apple cider vinegar is one of the leading natural tonics for men and women. Vinegar, by itself, is an antiseptic (it kills germs). This is due to malic acid, one of its main components. It is a natural toner “astringent” (where it can tighten the skin) and cleanses well. They also have natural antioxidants to fight off free-radicals. “Some patients have tried Apple Cider Vinegar to treat flaking, dandruff and even psoriasis in the scalp,” Dr. Hanson shares. “The idea is the vinegar’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties combat the yeast and irritation that contribute to the  buildup of dead skin cells, flakes and itching.”

It can also help remove dirt and grime to remove scalp cleanliness.


Arctium Lappa

This dandelion is a Eurasian weed that is cultivated by Americans for the seeds. The point of the seeds is to obtain the waxy element that makes it excellent for cosmetics (especially hair products). It does not appear to have any other uses.


Argan Oil

Argan Oil is an extremely popular oil in the cosmetic industry. It has 5 acids that promote softness, hydration, and brilliance:

  • Oleic – an emollient (moisturizer) and emulsifying agent
  • Linoleic – a surfactant (cleansing) agent
  • Palmitic – used as a release agent in cosmetics
  • Stearic – the esters in the acid act as lubricants
  • Linolenic – gives moisturizing properties and anti-itch properties

These acids make for an rich and hydrating oil that gives the best of everything. It helps acne, skin dehydration, and can potentially heal skin.

Avocado Persea Gratissima Oil

Avocado oil is rich in oleic acid, which makes it a great emollient. It is also a natural source of vitamin E, which is a skin healer. This also strengthens your skin against the elements. This is a great carrier oil and can be used in aromatherapy.


Beeswax (Cera Alba)

A natural wax produced by honeybees. It is used as a hydrating waxing agent for cosmetics. It serves a duel purpose of hydrating and protecting while also serving as a vehicle for the cosmetic ingredients added to it (emulsion). It can be found in lipsticks, lipglosses, eyeshadows, creams, lotions, hair products and more.

Learn more about Beeswax

Benzyl Acetate

A compound for essential oils found in flowers such as Ylang Ylang, Tobira, and Jasmine. It gives them a pleasant aroma and can also be found in food.


Benzyl Benzoate Linalool

A compound for essential oils that has a balsamic scent. It has the power to treat scabies and ease asthma. It is labeled as one of the most important medicines on the World’s Health Organization’s Most Essential Medicines.


Bergamot Essential Oil

This essential oil is a popular analgesic (pain reliever), anti-depressant, and anti-septic. It is used in products to stimulate nerve endings to promote euphoric feelings. See more about Bergamot Essential Oil at the Organic Fact’s Health Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil.

Beta Glucan

This is a natural compound that indirectly stimulates the production of Langerhan cells in the body, which protect it from day-to-day wear and tear. The body will lose Langerhan cells over time, and Beta Glucan helps to stimulate production again. It also helps with open wounds, which can help heal open acne scars.

Betula Alba

Also known as the White Birch Tree, the extract from the leaves of Betula Alba are known for their astringent and purifying properties.Since it conatins vitamins B1, B2, A, C and E, it is also believed to work as an antioxidant. Removing bacteria helps to fight acne, so it can be classified as a gentle acne fighter as well.


Black Walnut Shell

Black Walnut shell extract fights against parasites, boils, and acne. It is anti-microbial, so it does not allow parasites such as bacteria to grow. Bacteria is the number-1 cause of boils and acne, so therefore, Black Walnut shell is very valuable to those fighting these skin conditions.


Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Resin Extract

This is an essential oil that is used for aromatherapy.  Some research suggests it is beneficial for depressive disorders.



A natural, active enzyme found in pineapples that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. This is due to the alpha hydroxy acid that can help treat wrinkles and inflammation.

Buckthorn (Frangula Alnus) Bark

Buckthorn bark is a shrub found across the Eurasian and north African continent. Orally, this plant is dangerous in excess. There is not much about this bark when it comes to cosmetic other than for fragrance.


Cacao Seed Butter (Theobroma Cacao)

A gentle surfactant that will clean to skin without irritation.


Camellia Oleifera

The “tea oil” that comes from Camellia Oleifera has among the most antioxidants of all oils (including olive and sweet almond). It functions, therefore, as an emollient, humectant, anti-aging agent, anti-microbial, and astringent. These are extremely valuable for hydration, acne-prevention, and healing damaged skin. This oil is definitely worth the cost and should be considered when looking for a carrier oil.


Caprylyl Glycol

“A humectant and skin conditioning agent that lends moisture, emollience and wetting properties to many cosmetic solutions. It also function as a stabilizer and has been shown to increase the antimicrobial activity of other preservatives…it’s used in a plethora of personal care products such as facial moisturizer, sunscreen, anti-aging treatment, lip gloss, mascara, concealer, cleanser and foundation.”


Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

A mixed triester derived from coconut oil and glycerin. It comes in the form of an oily liquid, and is sometimes mistakenly referred to as fractionated coconut oil. It works mainly as an emollient (moisturizer) and a dispersing agent (cleanser) and solvent.


Carnauba Wax

The carnauba wax is a wax derived from the Carnauba tree in Brazil. It is mostly used as a gelling agent or an emulsifier.


Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot seed oil is composed of: Alpha Pinene, Beta Pinene, Gamma Terpinene, Limonene, Camphene, Sabinene, Myrcene, Beta Bisabolene, Carotol and Geranyl Acetate, Carotene and Vitamin-A. It is a strong anti-oxidant and fights against free-radicals that promote aging. This also works as an antiseptic, disinfectant, detoxifying agent, and tonic. It works to clear away impurities and fight acne.

Carrot oil is also known as an antiseptic and antiviral. It can also help detoxify food.



A constituent of many essential oils that may or may not have anti-inflammatory properties. There are some pharmacology leads that may prove it to help inflammation but none are proven thus far.


Castor Oil

Castor oil is  a vegetable oil derived from pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant. It is used mostly as a lubricant in cosmetics. Castor oil is known as an excellent carrier oil for hair growth. When paired with rosemary, castor oil is said to help hair grow, strengthen its structure, and moisturize its strands. It is full of Ricinoleic acid, which is an anti-inflammatory agent. Castor oil is also known as a saponification agent due to zinc salt, which means acts as a cleanser.


Chamomile Extract

See Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum)

Cinnamon has a load of polyphenols that act as anti-oxidants for the skin. These help reduce inflammation in and out of the body. Cinnamaldehyde also functions as an antiviral and antimicrobial agent which helps prevent diseases from forming and spreading–However, cinnamaldehyde  is known for being a skin irritant. Do not put cinnamaldehyde directly on your skin without diluting first. (Source)

Fun Fact: Ceylon is known as “true cinnamon”, as opposed to Cassia. Cassia may have the chemical coumarin, which might be toxic consumed at high levels. (Source)


According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:

“Traditionally, red clover ointments have been applied to the skin to treat psoriasis, eczema, and other rashes. Red clover has also been used as a cough remedy for children. More recently, studies have shown that women using red clover may experience psychological benefits.”


Cocoa Butter

The oil extracted from cocoa beans. It is a rich source of antioxidants and polyphenols (Source). Sodium Cocoa Butterate works very well as a surfactant and cleansing agent (Source). This butter can also be used as film forming agent, non-gelling thickener, and moisturizer in various applications. It also functions as an emulsion stabilizer (Source).

It is rich in oleic, stearic & palmitic fatty acids.


Cocoglycerides is a mixture of mono, di and triglycerides derived from coconut oil.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is the edible fat derived from the mature meat of coconuts. It is formed by saturated fats and because it does not oxidize quickly it does not easily become rancid. It can be used as a strong emollient (moisturizer), repellent, and cleanser. It works very similar to olive oil.

According to Medical New Today, coconut oil is good for shiny hair as it “penetrates better than mineral oils” and it is also good for healthy skin as it enhances the “protective barrier functions and have an anti-inflammatory effect on skin in humans”.

Learn more about the benefits of coconut oil


Collagen functions as the main structural protein in flesh. It keeps our skin elastic and spongy by keeping the face’s connective tissue together. It is the main protein that must be maintained for healthy, youthful-looking skin.


There are different types of Collagen:

  • Collagen I: “It is the major component of the dermis.”
  • Collagen III: “This type of collagen is produced in the earliest phases of wound healing, before type I collagen synthesis initiation. It is mostly found in elastic tissues, including the skin, muscles and blood vessels, and it diminishes with age in favor of collagen I.”
  • Collagen IV: “This has important wound healing stimulation properties, as it interacts with keratinocytes, which induce epidermal cell proliferation immediately after a skin injury.”


Comphrey (Symphytum Officinale) Rhizome/Root Extract

The Comphrey root contains a substance called allantoin, and it is a proliferative–which means it makes cells grow faster. This is excellent for damaged and scarred skin. Symphytum means “to knit together”, and that is what the substance does.


Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea) Extract

Traditionally, Coneflower is used to treat wounds and insect bites. However, in recent studies, the best pharmaceutical uses are for intestinal problems as well as cold and flu. However, these studies are still under debate. (Source)

It is also known as a skin conditioning agent and moisturizer.


Corn Mint (Mentha Arvensis)

Corn mint extract comes from the wild mint found in the southwest of America. It has been used to treat aches and pains, as well as to promote digestive health and gastral pains. It was also used to treat insomnia.


Cotton (Gossypium Herbaceum) Extract

Also known as “Cottonseed Oil” and is expressed from Cottonseed. It is used as an emulsifying agent and an emollient agent. So it moisturizes and cleanses the skin.


Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil

This oil is derived from the Crambe Abyssinica plant. It is high in Erucic Acid which has a high concentration on Omega 9 (a non-essential fatty acid). It penetrates the outer layers of the epidermis and nourishes the skin while protecting the skin from dehydration. It mimics human sebum and is great for dry skin.


Creosote Bush (Larrea Divaricatta) Extract

Larrea Divaricatta is a plant containing Nordihydroguaiaretic acid. This acid can help regulate cell-proliferation. This is excellent when it comes to damaged skin.


Dermal Layer

See Epidermal Layer


A silicone compound that makes surfaces shiny and heat-resistant.



Elastin is a connective protein that allows the skin to “snap back” into place after it’s been stretched or pulled. It is most often found in the skin. It is not as common as collagen, but is essential for providing softness and elasticity.



Also known as a moisturizer, it is a complex mixture of chemical agents designed to make the external layers of the skin softer and more pliable. It increases the skin’s hydration by reducing evaporation.



When two liquids are formed together that are usually not able to be mixed. It comes from the term “to milk”, because milk is an emulsion of fat and water.

Epidermal and Dermal Layer

The top layer of human skin.

“The upper or outer layer of the two main layers of cells that make up the skin. The epidermis is mostly made up of flat, scale-like cells called squamous cells. Under the squamous cells are round cells called basal cells. The deepest part of the epidermis also contains melanocytes. These cells produce melanin, which gives the skin its color.

A chunk of normal skin in three layers: epidermis, dermis, and fat
A chunk of normal skin in three layers: epidermis, dermis, and fat

The other main layer of the skin is the dermis, the inner layer of skin, that contains blood and lymph vessels, hair follicles, and glands. These glands produce sweat, which helps regulate body temperature, and sebum, an oilysubstance that helps keep the skin from drying out. Sweat and sebum reach the skin’s surface through tiny openings called pores”.


Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate (EGCG)

An anti-oxidant that helps aid in hair growth by scavenging for free-radicals in hair follicles. So essentially, it stops hair-loss. It also helps prevent bacterial growth and stops the hair follicles from decaying.


Essential Oils

Essential oils are hydrophic (water repellent) liquids that contain the aroma compounds of plants. They can be known as:

  • volatile oils
  • ethereal oils
  • aetherolea
  • or simply ‘oil of…’

It is “essential” because it carries the scent of the plant it comes from, but it does not have any culinary, pharmacological, health or medicinal value.

When you see a product that features the “essential oils of” or any of the above mentioned definitions, the ingredient is only there to make the product smell good. It has no other function but that. 



Ester is a chemical compound derived from acid. Those with a low molecular density are used as essential oils or pheromones. They can be particularly hydrating when derived from fatty acid such as Glycerol.


Ethereal Oils

See Essential Oils

Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate

A synthetic skin conditioning agent based on stearic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid. It functions has a skin emollient (moisturizer).


A common cosmetic surfectant and preservative that is derived from Glycerin. It can also function as a skin conditioner.


When a vitamin is fat soluble it will be absorbed within the body only when accompanied by fat. It stays within the body to be stored.


A glycoprotein that appears to have a role in the stimulation and acceleration of in vivo tissue repair.”


Flaxseed/Linseed Extract

Flaxseed (sometimes known as Linseed) extract can have a lot of benefits for the skin. According to annmarie, Flaxseed extract has the following properties:

“These three power components of flaxseed—omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and antioxidants—also have the ability to benefit the health of our skin. Here are some examples:

  • Fatty acids keep skin hydrated, moist, and smooth, preventing drying and reducing the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness.
  • Antioxidants help protect the skin from environmental stressors.
  • Flaxseed’s natural oils are known to help with oily skin and clogged pores.
  • The fatty acids in flaxseed help to tone, tighten, firm and plump the skin back to a more youthful appearance.
  • Lignans in flaxseed aid the skin.”

So the fatty acids keep your skin hydrated and the antioxidants remove free-radicals. And if you have oily skin, this can be perfect to help clean your pores.

Frankincense Oil (Boswellia carterii)

Frankincense is a plant grown primarily in Somalia and is known as a incense herb for priests. It has a very powerful fragrance and can be applied topically. Frankincense is also a strong astringent, which means it protects skin cells. It also helps reduce acne by reducing the size of pores. It also helps to lift and tighten the skin, which prevents aging. This can also help with wounds and scars as well.

Frankincense oil is also very good for reducing inflammation and pain.



Free-radicals are a theory of aging in which unpaired electrons break down a cell and kill it. This creates a chain reaction of breaking down skin elasticity, creating an older, more weathered appearance.

According to this theory, this process can be delayed or halted by the strong presence of antioxidants.


Gamma Linoleic Acid

Also known as GLA, this acid is able to restore essential fats such as omega-6, which prevents itchy, dry skin that can lead to eczema. It also helps with healing when fats are able to dilute the sebum on the skin and hydrate it. Learn more about Gamma Linoleic Acid on Anne Louise’s Glowing Skin Starts with GLA.

Gardenia Florida Flower

Gardenias are only useful as fragrance. What little antioxidant properties they have might be cancelled out by a user’s sensitivity to fragrance. This fragrance is not harmful, just not useful.


Geranium Maculatum

Also known as Wild Geranium and native to North America, this plant is known as an astringent. This can help to avoid bleeding and repair flesh wounds. This help make it a great cleanser, especially for cleaning damaged skin.


Geranyl acetate

“Geranyl acetate is used primarily as a component of perfumes for creams and soaps and as a flavoring ingredient. It is used particularly in rose, lavender and geranium formulations where a sweet fruity or citrus aroma is desired.”

It is recognized as Safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba has been popular as of late. However, outside of the food industry, the extract from this tree is generally used as a mood-lifter. There is not much study on the cosmetic effects of Ginkgo Biloba, but also might function as an antioxidant (although this has yet to be proven).


Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract has been one of the famed carrier oils that hosts a number of antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes, and β-carotene. These vitamins in themselves help to heal wounds. They also act as humectants for the skin.


Panax Ginseng

From the word Panax we get “Panacea”, which means a “cure all”. Ginseng is a highly-regarded medicinal herb used over 5,000 years. Traditional medicine and contemporary medicine, however, do not always have the same findings. There is question to the validity of Ginseng as a medicinal herb. If there are benefits, traditional medicine says that Ginseng helps fight fungal infections, promotes anti-aging, and boosts memory. However, until these are verified, Ginseng can be classified in cosmetic products as a valuable fragrance.



A sugar alcohol compound which is water soluble. It prevents skin from drying out by drawing up moisture through skin layers to slow and prevent excessive dryness and water evaporation.



See Glycerin.

Green Tea

Green tea extract is associated with several skin benefits. Green tea extract is derived from leaves of Camellia sinensis. Green tea extract is naturally rich in antioxidants, which has a cell-protecting function as well. It’s a strong antioxidant effect that protects the skin from the damaging effect of free radicals. Green tea extract also contains the Methylxanthines that stimulates skin microcirculation and therefore positively influence the tone and health of the skin.

Green tea extract can actually decrease wrinkles and also makes you look younger. It is useful to incorporate green tea extract into your skin care product to possibly slow down skin aging.”


Helianthus Annuus

See Sunflower Oil

Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense)

Studies hypothesize that Horsetail extract can act as an antioxidant. However, most scientific studies do not support these hypotheses. It is suggested that it can help with brittle nails and minor wounds, which means that it probably could have the ability to repair calcium breakdown.


Hyaluronic Acid

The presence of hyaluronic acid in epithelial tissue has been shown to promote keratinocyte proliferation and increase the presence of retinoic acid, causing skin hydration. In other words, Hyaluronic acid has been shown to increase keratin and retinoic acid in the skin cells, which in turn causes skin hydration.



See Hyaluronic Acid


Any substance that can attract moisture via absorption. It absorbs water vapor and stores it beneath your skin or hair’s surface.



Illuminators, as coined by the New Beauty Magazine website, are any skincare product that, “contains pearlized pigments like mica that either reflect or diffuse light to even out your skin tone”.

They are found in serums such as the  Naturopathica Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum, which contains both Mica and Silica.

Irish Moss (Chondrus Crispus)

“Chondrus Crispus is a skin conditioning agent and is useful in the control of viscosity in an overall product. Due to it being a seaweed extract it is packed full of vitamins and minerals which are vital to the maintenance of healthy skin. Perhaps the most interesting property of Chondrus Crispus is its ability to protect against UV rays. Making it especially useful in the development of sun screen.”


Jojoba Oil

Although technical not an oil, but a “wax ester”, it is an oil most like human oil, or “sebum”. It is theorized that it can be applied to human skin to ‘trick’ it into thinking that it is producing the correct amount of oil, and the skin will normalize its skin oil production. This is great news for those with acne because sebum is the main perpetrator of zits.

It can also be used as a moisturizer due to the fact it is like human oil. This will keep up hydration and facilitate elasticity.



This compound occurring naturally as a clay and is used to enhances the glossiness of cosmetics.



Keratin is a string of “fibrous proteins” which make up the structures of hair, nails and bones in mammals. When it is added in hair products, it helps the hair to become stronger and thicker as it is naturally occurring in hair.


The majority of the cells in the epidermis (95%) are keratinocytes. They are in the “basal layer” of the epithelium, which is the epidermis. It produces Keratin (the fibrous proteins that make up the skin structures) and keeps the Langerhans cells of the epidermis and the lymphocytes of the dermis in place.



Lavender is known to promote hair growth as it promotes blood flow. It can also nourish the hair due to its humectant properties (it attracts moisture to the hair). It has a sweet, soft scent that can help anxiety and sleepiness. Lavender includes linalool, which helps with healing.



“Alongside collagens and proteoglycans, laminins are important components of the basement membrane. Laminin-5 anchors the epidermis to the dermis. It also regulates keratinocyte migration, facilitating the healing of injured epidermis.”

Langerhans cell

Cells found in the epidermis that functions as an antigen-presenting cell which binds antigen entering through the skin.



This substance is the natural wax produced through the sebaceous glands of “wool-bearing mammals”. It is composed primarily of sterol esters (commonly known as cholesterol in mammals) and protects mammals against the elements. It cakes up and provides a literal barrier against water reduction and wind damage. It is often used in cosmetic products for this purpose.

Learn more about Lanolin and its benefits


A colorless liquid used as a fragrance in cosmetic products for its citrus scent “lemon” where it derived its name.


This is a substance similar to Vitamin E. It aids in skin healing and cell regeneration.

Linoleic Acid

This acid functions as a surfactant (cleansing agent) as well as an emollient. It can also act as an emulsifier. Linoleic acid can also act as an anti-inflammatory agent, as well as a skin healer.


Linolenic Acid

This acid promotes moisture and promotes anti-itch.


A type of white blood cell that determines the immune system’s response to infectious antigens.


Lysyl oxidase homolog 3

This is a prototypic member of the oxidase family that is essential to the biogenises (or creation) of connective tissue in skin. It catalyses the first step in the formation of connecting collagens and elastins. So in simple terms it makes your skin elastic and strong.



Mandarin can alleviate respiratory issues as well as serves as an antiseptic against bacterial infection. It is also said to help to promote blood flow as well as aid in digestion. Learn more about Mandarin as an essential oil.

“The essential oil is extracted by cold compression of the fresh peels of these fruits and contains alpha thujone, alpha pinene, beta pinene, camphene, citral, citronellal, gamma terpinolene, geranial, geraniol, limonene, linalool, methyl methylanthranilate, myrcene, nerol, sabinene and terpineol.”


Maracuja Oil (passiflora incarnata)

Maracuja oil is fat derived from the Passionflower plant in the Amazons. However, some Maracuja oils are extracted from the passionfruit seeds. It is used as an emollient (moisturizer), anti-inflammatory agent, antioxidant, and anti-itching.

The main reason for this is the high levels of Oleic Acid (extracted from Olive oil), Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid (extracted from palm trees), and Linoleic acid (anti-itch).

Learn more about Maracuja Oil

Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract

Chamomile Extract has anti-inflammatory properties . And due to its histamine release inhibition, it stops free radicals that thrive on super-oxide synthesis. It also augments blood flow (a process called Vasodilator action) which soothes irritation and makes for a healthy glow.



Menthol, which is a naturally occurring substance in peppermint, corn mint, and other mint oils. It acts similarly in humans as a secondary alcohol (without diuretic). It acts as an antipruritic (anti-itch) and a minor analgesic, which helps ease sore muscles and pain. It eases breathing and can help with unclogging nasal cavities and congestion. Menthol soothes irritated skin and rashes, treating burns and hives. Breathe the oil when you want to alleviate nausea.

See Peppermint Oil


Methyl Benzoate

This is an organic compound (ester) that has a fruity scent and can be attractive to bees. Be very careful using this extract during the summer seasons.


Mica and Silica

A mineral found in many rocks all over the world. Notably in India, South Dakota, Brazil and Russia. Makes the skin shiny and reflective so that wrinkles do not show due to its mirror effect.



Moisturizers are skincare products which, contrary to popular belief do NOT add oil to the skin, but in fact regulate skin cell’s consumption of oxygen which in turn allows the skin to regulate its natural oil more efficiently.

In addition, when skin has enough oxygen to regulate the skin, it can then in turn boost the protein within it which diminishes fine lines and wrinkles. See also: Emollient.


Nettle (Urtica Dioica)

Nettle usually invokes thoughts of pain, as the stinging nettle’s protective hairs are horrible to endure. However, in terms of topical medicine, the nettle might have anti-inflammatory properties at the root. It can also help skin irritation. However, this is not proven in clinical trials and the use of nettles should be taken with caution.



(Vitamin B3) diminishes post-inflammatory hyperpigmentations (PIH) caused from conditions like Rosacea or dry skin. Increases hydration by acting as a wall between skin and air.


Oleic Acid

This acid is found in olive oil, where it gets its name. It is used as an emulsifying agent and also as an emollient (moisturizer).

Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin Complexes (OPC)

OPCs are naturally occurring in plant-life such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, flowers, and bark. OPCs are primarily known for their antioxidant activity. However, these compounds have also been reported to demonstrate antibacterial, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and vasodilatory actions.


Olive Oil

Olive oil is fat obtained from an olive. It is used for a million things, but in terms of skin care it is an emollient (moisturizer), skin revitalizer, and cleanser. Olive oil is also beneficial towards healing and protection against the elements.

Learn more about Olive Oil.

Olus Vegetable Oil

“Olus Oil is an expressed oil of vegetable origin consisting primarily of triglycerides of fatty acids.” This oil is classified as an emollient (moisturizer).


Orbignya Oleifera

“Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil is the oil expressed from the seeds of Orbignya oleifera, also known as the babassu palm. Babassu Acid is the fatty acids obtained from Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, and Sodium Babassuate is the sodium salt of babassu fatty acids.

Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil is used in a wide range of products including, soaps and detergents, make-up products, and skin and hair care products. Babassu Acid and Sodium Babassuate are primarily used in soaps.”

“Orbignya oleifera is a type of palm, called babassu palm, that is native to South America. The oil from the seeds of this tree is similar to coconut oil. Babassu oil contains approximately 44-47% lauric acid, 15-20% myristic acid, 10-12% oleic acid, 6-9% palmitic acid, 3-5% stearic acid and 1-3% linoleic acid.”


P-Cresyl Methyl Ether

Also known as 4-Anisaldehyde is an organic compound that smells strongly of vanilla and is found in many perfumes both organic and artificial.

Palmitoleic/Palmitic acid

A monosaturated fatty acid found in Macadamia Oil and Sea Buckthorn Oil, and is a constituent glycerides in body fat (adipose tissue). It can be used to clear away dirt and oil from the pores.

Palmitoyl Pentapeptide – 4 (Matrixyl)

A skin rejuvenation compound; it has similar properties as that of Retinol without the skin irritation effects. It fights wrinkles by stimulating the synthesis of the key constituents of the skin matrix: collagen, elastin, and glucosamnoglycans.



See Pantothenic Acid


See Pantothenic Acid.

Pantothenic Acid

(Vitamin B5) or Pantothenate; a water soluble vitamin. Said to promote hair color restoration. It succeeded with mouse models, but not in human models.


Peanut (Arachis Hypogaea) Oil

Warning: Peanut oil can cause allergies! Peanut oil is a natural moisturizer that can help cure dandruff. It has a high concentration of omega-6 linoleic acid that give it its emollient properties.


Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil

An essential oil used for aromatherapy. It is also known as Rose Geranium due to its classification under the same rose genus (although they are very different plants). It is said that Rose Geranium is useful against eczema, inflammation, and fungal infections (due to its antimicrobial properties). It is one of the most highly coveted essential oil for skincare. It is high in nerol, Citronellyl formate, Isomenthone, and Linalool. These are all very beneficial to the skin and anti-aging.


Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a colorless essential oil steamed from the peppermint herb. It is essentially menthol, and has been historically used as a soothing balm. It is all about the physiological stimulation with its scent. It contains Menthol, which is a naturally occurring substance in peppermint, corn mint, and other mint oils. It acts similarly in humans as a secondary alcohol (without diuretic). It acts as an antipruritic (anti-itch) and a minor analgesic, which helps ease sore muscles and pain. It eases breathing and can help with unclogging nasal cavities and congestion. Menthol soothes irritated skin and rashes, treating burns and hives. Breathe the oil when you want to alleviate nausea.



Peptides are chains of proteins. There are different kinds of peptides, but some of them have the ability to work like Botox or work as a collagen booster.

For more information on peptides, visit Peptides 101 on

Peucedanum Graveolens

(Dill Extract) – Dill extract stimulates the activity of the enzyme called Lysyl oxidase-like (LOXL), which is the key element in elastin generation and therefore skin elasticity to delay aging.



A preservative commonly found in cosmetics.



A natural chemical compound found widely in almost all plants and spices. They can also have antioxidant properties.
Some that are not essential oils can pose as them. Beware of certain products that have certain ingredients such as Linalyl Acetate, as they are posing the essential oil (such as Lavender) as the actual oil itself at a cheaper price.

Pine Extract (Pinus banksiana)

According to Plants for a Future, Jack Pine extract has some medicinal value as follows:

“It is a valuable remedy used internally in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints and is used both internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment of rheumatic affections[4]. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and so is useful in treating diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and TB[4]. Externally it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers[4]. A poultice of the inner bark has been used in the treatment of deep cuts[257]. The leaves have been used in a herbal steam bath to clear congested lungs[257]. They have also been used as a fumigant to revive a comatose patient[257]”.



This is a silicone ingredient that is used in skin, hair and cosmetic formulas to promote a lubricating, smooth and silky feel to the body. It is a resin that is comprised of small particles and does not cake together so that wherever it is spread it is thin, even and shiny.



“Polyphenols are phytochemicals, meaning compounds found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have antioxidant properties.”  Therefore, they help against inflammation, aging, and dry skin. They can also help with wound healing and cleansing.

Type of Polyphenols:

  • Flavonoids, which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, red wine, and green tea
    • Flavones
    • Flavonols
    • Flavanones
    • Isoflavones
    • Anthocyanidins
    • Chalcones
    • Catechins
  • Stilbenes, found in red wine and peanuts (resveratrol is the most well known)
  • Lignans, found in seeds like flax, legumes, cereals, grains, fruits, algae, and certain vegetables
  • Phenolic acids
    • Hydroxybenzoic acids, found in tea
    • Hydroxycinnamic acids found in cinnamon of course but also in coffee, blueberries, kiwis, plums, apples, and cherries


Pumpkin Seed Oil

In this oil, the four dominant fatty acids are Palmitic, Stearic, Oleic, and Linoleic acid. These will help reduce itching, promote moisture, and cleanse. There are also a number of carotenoids as well (Lutein and Beta Carotene) which helps promote anti-oxidation (Source).

Puncia Granatum (Pomegranate Seed Extract)

This ingredient has been studied, and has been found to scavenge and destroy free-radicals. It also has a large quantity of antioxidants to get rid of the oxidation process on the skin’s surface.


Quassia Amara Wood Extract

Also known as Bitter Ash, Quassia Amara Wood extract hosts a number of beneficial properties. It works as a topical tonic agent against lice and parasites. This makes it a great cleanser. It has been clinically proven to prevent the spread of such creatures. Bitter ash is perfect for hair cleansing.


Red Algae Extract

Red Algae Extract that is derived from an algae that grows in shallow water, which enabled it to become efficient absorbents of UV Rays. When added to skincare products it is able to absorb the harmful sun rays when they come in contact with your skin.


Retinoic Acid

Retinoic Acid is an oxidized form of Vitamin A. It works similarly to Vitamin A as it helps with acne issues.

See the Vitamin Page for more information on Vitamin A.


Revitalizers are ingredients which protect against free radicals and promote cell regeneration after damages.

Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Extract

Rosehip is a natural source of vitamin C. That being the case, it has repairing action for wrinkles and skin discoloration.  It is also a source of linoleic and linolenic acid, which gives it moisturizing properties. It is also believed to improve the skin’s elasticity by stimulating the production of collagen in fibroblast cells; thus, it regenerates old cells and improves the texture of the epidermis (top layer of skin)–it reduces skin blemishes and irritations.

*This product may have skin lightening properties due to its inhibition of melanin biosynthesis (creation), so be careful if you have darker skin*



Rose essential oil has Citronellyl Acetate that is responsible for the lovely smell. It also has Citral, which is essential for Vitamin-A synthesis. Eugenol, another component, is the strongest anti-oxidant in the world. The Methyl Eugenol is used as an antiseptic. It also has the antibiotic Nerol.


Rosemary is known as a spice that has been used for its essential oils to promote hair growth (Source). It also has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which makes it a great cleanser. It belongs to the mint family, so that also gives it the ability to improve memory and increase better blood circulation. This is especially beneficial in hair products as increased blood circulation is like water to flowers: it helps hair grow!

Learn more about Rosemary!

Sage/Clary Sage

“The health benefits of Sage Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antibacterial, cholagogue and choleretic, cicatrisant, depurative, digestive, disinfectant, emenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative and stimulating substance.”

There are innumerable amount of benefits to sage when added to skin care and cosmetic products. Learn more about sage and its properties. But most of the benefits of sage oil include hair conditioning, skin moisturizing, and body/skin stimulation.

Clary Sage is a bit different from regular sage. According to Mercola: “Sage essential oil is often compared to clary sage (Salvia sclarea). While they both come from the same evergreen shrub family, they are very different from each other. Both oils have a pale yellow-green color, but sage has a strong, spicy scent, while clary sage has a sweet, nutty aroma. Because sage oil may trigger sensitizations in some, clary sage oil is often used as a substitute to it because of its milder nature” (Source).


Sandalwood’s essential oil that has a woodsy smell. It promotes mental clarity and calmness, as well as improved memory. It is also said to help reduce coughing and high blood pressure. The essential oil originated in India and other eastern countries.


Saliporine 8

A coastal plant that was proved in studies to increase moisture level and improve skin smoothness. It also helped to prevent water loss in skin.



A process that makes soap from either fats or lye.


This is the water-soluble component of silk, that can be used to hydrate the skin, and in some research, promotes healing. The compound is made of polypeptides that that act as an antioxidant and humectant on the skin and hair. It does not have any side effects and has also been thought to function as a coagulant.


Sesame Seed (Sesamum Indicum) Oil

Sesame seed oil is a strong carrier oil with a load of benefits. It is high in iron and zinc, which are necessary for skin elasticity. They help reduce age spots and also form a protective layer on the skin to block out UV rays. It is also rich in copper, which makes it an anti-inflammatory substance.

Warning: if you are taking a anti-coagulant or blood thinner, speak to your doctor before using sesame seed oil (orally or topically).



A class of Terpene (an organic compound that repels insects) and acts as a defensive agent against insects.


Shea Butter

This fat comes from the nuts of the Shea Tree. It is known for its exceptional healing properties as well as being a natural moisturizer and lubricant. It is used to treat skin conditions, eczema, stretch marks, discoloration, itchy dry skin, insect bites, blemishes, wrinkles and more. Learn about the full healing benefits of Shea Butter. This is mostly due to large levels of Vitamin A and E.


Silk Amino Acids

Also known as Sericin, this is a glycoprotein extracted from raw silk. It is used as an additive in skin and hair care products due to its high levels of serine which has excellent moisture preservation characteristics. As a water-based additive it is used to provide a protective barrier. Sericin has a high hydroxy amino acid content which is important for the water-binding capacity which regulates the skin’s moisture content. It also has a unique carbohydrate moiety and a unique repetitive amino acid sequence which give it a high affinity for bonding to adhering proteins resulting in a tightening, anti-wrinkle effect.



This mineral reflects light from the face so that lines and wrinkles do not appear as brazenly in the sunlight.  It is also a natural absorbant, which can account for its oil fighting properties.

See Mica and Silica


The pulp from soapberries are natural surfactants (cleansers). This is effective for topical treatments on the face and body. However, there is limited scientific evidence to suggest that there are any other benefits to soapberries other than that mentioned in local folk medicine.

Sodium Hyaluronate

“Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the fluid that bathes joints, in the vitreous humor of the eye and in the skin. It’s abundant in the dermis of young skin, but levels of this important compound decline with age. This makes skin look older.

Hyaluronic acid gives skin volume by holding onto water and as levels decline with age, skin loses its youthful fullness. As an anti-aging treatment, dermatologists inject it into the dermis of the skin to restore facial fullness in areas where volume is lost”.

To learn more about Sodium Hyaluronate, visit the Skin Store.

Spirulina Platensis Algae

This algae is so named because of its spiral shape, and is known to have a scent similar to seaweed. According to, spirulina’s health benefits include “… a rich supply of many important nutrients, including protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, and vitamins A, K, and B complex. It also has a high supply of carotenoids such as beta carotene and yellow xanthophylls which have antioxidant properties. It is also rich in chlorophyll, fatty and nucleic acids, and lipids” (Source) and can therefore aid in the prevention of microbial diseases.

Spirulina is also known as a great anti-oxidant when taken orally, however, all these health benefits have not been proven to work topically. Exercise caution when using anything new on your skin.


“Sun Protection Factor” which is the measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen. Research has shown that the highest measure that has been proven to be effective is SPF 50.


Stearic Acid

A waxy solid formed by saturated fatty acids. It is commonly used in cosmetics to act as a cleanser. It causes the pearly appearance of shampoos and conditioners. It also can be used as a surfectant and emollient.




Sucrose Stearate

The best of both worlds: this mixture combines sugar sucrose with stearic acid. It acts as an emollient and emulsifier. It can bring water and oil together to produce cosmetic products. It also has a luxurious feeling that makes cleansing feel good.


Sunflower Oil (helianthus annuus)

This ingredient acts as a moisturizer or emollient. It protects the skin from dryness by acting as a shield from water escaping (evaporation). It also has a large amount of vitamin E, so the skin is also healed and protected by the vitamin.



A surfactant is a compound that is used as a foaming agent, wetting agent, or a dispersant agent (prevent settling or clumping of particles). It exists right below the “surface tension” between two liquids or a liquid and a solid.


Sweet Almond Seed Oil

Sweet Almond oil is a notorious and common skincare product. It is known for helping with psoriasis, fine-lines and wrinkles, skin rashes, dryness, and helping to control hair loss. It is also a deep cleanser, which makes it excellent for hair and skin cleansers. It is high in Vitamin E–a very powerful antioxidant. It is hypoallergenic, so it is perfect for sensitive skin.



An absorbant mineral that is used to absorb oil, water and sebum. It can also be known as talcum powder.


Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)

Tea tree essential oil is known for being antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, balsamic, cicatrisant, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant and sudorific substance. It is distilled from the Tea Tree which is native to Australia.

The ingredients include Alpha Pinene, Beta Pinene, Sabinene, Myrcene, Alpha Phellandrene, Alpha Terpinene, Limonene, Cineole, Gamma Terpinene, Para Cymene, Terpinolene, Linalool, Terpinenol and Alpha Terpineol. It is a super effective  topical healer.

However, DO NOT INGEST. Tea Tree oil is poisonous to humans and can only be applied topically. Tea tree oil combines well with cinnamon and clove essential oils.



This compound is found naturally in the roots of Turmeric. It aids against sun damage by reflecting UVA rays from the skin. It is the most powerful agent in sun protection next to Micronized Zinc Oxide.



See Vitamin E


Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma Longa Plant. It has anti-inflammatory properties that comes from a pigment in the oils called curcumin.


UV Protection

UV protection involves ingredient that are able to either block or absorb UV Rays from sun exposure. This protects the skin from dehydration, cell damage and inflammation.



An emollient that offers skin conditioning, moisturizing and anti-aging characteristics. It maintains the skin and hair’s barriers functions so that it retains moisture and also acts as a humectant by absorbing the moisture around you and adding it to the skin.



See the Vitamin Page for more details.

Volatile Oils

See Essential Oils


A blend of plant extract + Peptide Pal-KMO2K. They work together to increase skin and lip softness, volume and hydration.



Some vitamins only need water to dissolve in the body. Such vitamins  will not be stored in the body but used quickly.

White Tea

White tea is known to fight against enzymes that induce aging. They have proteins that fight these enzymes when taken orally. (Source) They are also rich in anti-oxidants and can be beneficial when applied topically. (Source)

Wild Yam Root Extract

Wild yam is known for its anti-fungal properties, which can help reduce mold buildup and promote a clean and healthy dermal layer. This has been proven in clinical studies.


Ylang Ylang

The Ylang Ylang tree is native to southeastern Asia and the oil is extracted from the flowers of the tree. The essential oils of Ylang Ylang are comprised of benzyl acetate, benzyl benzoate linalool, caryophyllene, geranyl acetate, methyl benzoate, p-cresyl methyl ether and other components known as Sesquiterpenes. It helps to normalize sebum secretion and is highly perfumery.


Zinc Oxide

Zinc Oxide contains tiny reflective particles that deflect the sun’s UV Rays away from skin.


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