A-Z INGREDIENT GLOSSARY
Agar agar – Derived from Seaweed. Agar agar is a popular ingredient in DIY peeling masks and is used as a thickening agent in moisturisers, soaps, and powders.
Aloe Vera – A tropical succulent plant which is commonly used as a traditional solution for sunburn, dry skin, and inflammation. Aloe also contains enzymes which help to exfoliate the skin by encouraging cell renewal. It is added to a variety of products such as face creams, body lotions, toners, and after suns.
Allantoin – Found naturally in plants such as Chamomile and Sugar Beet. It is non-irritating and highly moisturising, and often added to anti-ageing creams and used to treat dehydrated skin, Psoriasis and Eczema.
Almond Oil – Containing high levels of essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, Almond Oil is often included in body lotions and face moisturisers to help skin retain moisture and prevent fine lines.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – A group of synthetic and naturally derived active ingredients. Some of these AHAs include Glycolic, Lactic, Mandelic, Tartaric, Malic and Citric Acids. AHAs are most popular for their ability to exfoliate dead skin cells, smooth wrinkles, fine lines, improve elasticity, texture and tone, clean pores and overall resurface the skin. AHAs can cause redness and irritation, and if used incorrectly, they can increase sensitivity of the skin and cause continued irritation.
Angelica Seed – Containing essential fatty acids, these seeds are commonly used in face masks an exfoliators, or as an oil in moisturisers and face oils for targeting dehydration.
Antioxidants – One of the powerhouse ingredients when it comes to tackling anti-ageing. Studies have proven that they have the ability to protect skin cells from sun damage, pollutants, and other factors. Some antioxidants include Vitamins E and C, Green Tea and CoenzymeQ10. They can be applied topically to the skin or digested.
Arnica Flower – Most commonly used in topical ointments for bruises, sprains, arthritis, and pains. It also works gently to reduce redness and calm irritated skin, making it an effective ingredient for both anti-ageing and acne skin care.
Activated Charcoal – An effective ingredient in combatting pollution as it helps to purify the skin by drawing out excess oil and impurities.
Arbutin – Arbutin is an effective skin brightener, that helps to even out the skin. It prevents discolouration and hyperpigmentation and due to its slower release than Vitamin C, makes it a better alternative for sensitive skin.
Argan Oil – Argan Oil is produced by cold-pressing the seeds of the argan tree native to Morocco, and is full of Vitamin E, Antioxidants and Essential Fatty Acids. It helps to soften the skin, increase elasticity, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. It helps to balance the skins natural oil production and is highly nourishing.
Ascorbyl Palmitate – A non-acidic form of Vitamin C often found in serums. Due to it being fat soluble, it penetrates the skin more easily than other forms of Vitamin C. Its effective in treating environmental skin damage, however it can increase photosensitivity if not used safely.
Astringent – Astringents cause contractions of the skin, generally found in toners that are marketed to reduce pore size and to cleanse and refresh the skin. However, these can be highly drying, sensitising and irritating on the skin.
Avocado Oil – Avocado is much more concentrated than the actual fruit, as it’s extracted from the pulp and is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients, making it an effective ingredient for extremely dry and aging skin. It also is beneficial in treating irritated or sensitive skin, as it helps to soothe symptoms of Psoriasis and Eczema. It can also increase collagen production and decrease inflammation.
Azealic Acid – Neither a BHA nor an AHA, it’s a Dicarboxylic which naturally occurs on the skin that is produced by yeast. It is also found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s most effective in treating pigmentation, breakouts and helping to calm Rosacea symptoms. It also acts as an Anti-Inflammatory and antibacterial, making it suitable for all skin types including sensitive.
Bakuchiol – An extract derived from the seeds and leaves of Babchi, it is commonly described as a gentler alternative to Retinol.
Bamboo Powder – Bamboo Powder is very fine and rich in minerals and silica, commonly used in exfoliators, body powders and makeup.
Banana Peel Extract – It was originally used in cosmetics due to its amino acid, antioxidant, and sugar content. It is now used in cleansers, exfoliants and face creams. Although rich in nutrients, it is an excellent calming ingredient for treating rashes, insect bites and Psoriasis.
Baobab – This tree grows in Australia, the Middle East and Africa and the fruit and seeds are used fresh or dry, or made into extract. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antimicrobial properties as well as a high Vitamin C content. It helps to improve skin elasticity, prevent signs of ageing, and also act as a natural moisture barrier.
Bentonite Clay – A highly absorbent clay commonly used for oily skin due to its ability to adhere to and draw out excess oils and impurities when mixed with water. It is also known for its tightening, blemish-banishing, and pore-purging abilities.
Benzoyl Peroxide – This medicine kills the bacteria that causes acne, also helping to keep pores clear. Can be found in skincare products or prescribed over the counter, it tends to dry the skin if used too often.
Beta Hydroxy Acid – (BHA) Also known as Salicylic Acid and is derived from the bark of a white willow tree. It is oil soluble, allowing it to penetrate deeply into pores and clear out congestion unlike AHAs. It is also an effective anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, making it a beneficial ingredient in acne products.
Borage Oil – This oil is pressed from the seeds of the borage plant, which contains essential fatty acids that play a part in maintaining the skins barrier. It is non comedogenic and conditions extremely dry skin.
Caffeine – Caffeine is used topically to protect the skin against UV damage. It has antioxidant properties and prevents premature aging. It can also prevent under eye puffiness and dark circles. The caffeic acid in caffeine helps the skin appear smoother meaning it is often used in products targeting cellulite.
Camellia Oil – This oil provides twice as much antioxidant protection as grape-seed oil, rose hip oil or Vitamin E. It contains high levels of fatty acid plus squalene, helping to increase collagen production, reduce wrinkles and is anti-inflammatory. It can also soothe irritated skin while increasing skin hydration, while being very beneficial in preventing signs of aging.
Carrot Seed Oil – Carrot Seed Oil is extracted from carrot seed through a cold process and contains carotenes and antioxidants. It helps to stimulate new cells and tissues, nourishes the skin, firms, tones, moisturises, protects, and rejuvenates the skin. It is beneficial for both dry and oily skin, and commonly used in anti-aging skin care.
Caraway Extract – Caraway Extract is similar to the seeds however it is much more potent and more widely used. It is commonly added to facial products to prevent signs of aging, maintain healthy collagen, eliminate dead skin cells, cleanse, and protect against environmental damage.
Castor Oil – Often used in soap to increase lather. This oil is excellent for moisturising, conditioning, and wound healing as it stimulates tissue growth and forms a protective barrier to help ward off infection.
CBD – Cannabinoids are one of many compounds in the cannabis plant. It has recently been getting a lot of attention for its benefits when taken both internally and applied topically. It has been shown to aid in anti-aging skincare and acne skincare.
Chamomile – When applied topically, chamomile helps to soothe, calm, visibly reduce redness, itching, irritation, and inflammation while keeping the skin youthful and glowing. It also is a powerful antioxidant and used in anti-aging products. Due to it being very gentle, it is suitable for all skin types including sensitive, and is commonly found in face moisturisers, body lotions and shampoos.
Chia Seed – These seeds are used either whole or ground into a powder, and can be added to face masks, exfoliators, and exfoliating soaps. When water is added to the seeds, they secrete a gelatinous fluid that is soothing, softening, and calming for irritated and sensitive skin.
Citric Acid – An AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) extracted from citrus fruits. It is used for its antioxidant and exfoliation properties and found in anti-aging peels and masks to promote cell renewal and protect against free radical damage. Due to its natural acidity, it can also be used to adjust the pH of products, preventing them from being too alkaline.
Cocoa Butter – A plant-based fat derived from roasted cocoa beans, it is high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants. It is commonly used in lotions and body scrubs, and due to the non-greasy layer it leaves on the skin, it acts as a layer of protection from external elements and helps lock in moisture. While an excellent ingredient for treating the body, it should be avoided on the face as it is comedogenic.
Coenzyme Q10 – Also called CoQ10, it is a potent antioxidant that is naturally produced by the body that’s vital to cell function but decreases with age. When applied topically, the small molecules easily penetrate the skin and work by neutralizing harmful free radicals to prevent and repair signs of aging. It is often using in serums, moisturisers, and other anti-aging skin care treatments due to its skin rejuvenating properties.
Colloidal Oats – Made from dehulled oat kernels, they are rich is polysaccharides, proteins, lipids, enzymes, saponins, flavonoids, and vitamins. It is used to soften and soothe sensitive, itchy, dry skin, rashes, psoriasis, eczema, and acne. It is commonly found in lotions, face masks, and skin care products.
Copper Peptide – Studies have shown copper peptide to be one of the most powerful skin regeneration ingredients that helps to promote collagen production, increase skin elasticity, smoothes, tones, tightens, softens, and reduces bumps. It also is an antioxidant that helps to build skin’s fluid levels and build tissue.
Cucumber Extract – Made from an entire cucumber, it is generally extracted in glycerin and needs preservation. Research has shown it to have some skin-lightening, moisturizing and oil-producing effects. It is most commonly used in creams, after-sun products, lotions, cleansers, hair care products and serums.
Dead Sea Salt – Harvested from the dead sea, it is well known for its healing properties. It is used to treat acne, psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, and muscle soreness, as well as added to bath soaks to alleviate stress and insomnia.
Dill Extract – Dill extract has been used medicinally for years due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It has also been shown to have significant skin penetration, making it a highly potent active ingredient. It helps to main skin elasticity, decrease breakouts, blackheads, and acne; reduces wrinkles and fine lines; and keeps skin firm and taut.
Emollient – An emollient soothes and softens the skin, and can come as essential fatty acids, oils, or other ingredients that keep the skin hydrated and prevent water loss. They differ from moisturisers in that an emollient is just one of the ingredients in a moisturiser.
Esters – Esters are an emollient that help to smooth skin texture and protect against environmental damage. They are a modified fatty substance made when an organic acid is combined with an alcohol. They don’t feel oily when applied unlike some other emollients but are highly effective in treating both dry and oily skin.
Ethanol – Ethanol is a type of alcohol that is produced by fermenting starches such as corn, wheat, and potatoes or sugars. When used as a main ingredient in topical product, it can dry out, sensitize, and even erode the skins surface, accelerating signs of aging. It is often found in toners and wipes particularly marketed towards oily skin due to its astringent properties.
Evening Primrose Oil – This oil is rich in linoleic acid, which is critical for maintaining healthy skin, plus essential fatty acids. It has been shown to increase skin’s moisture levels, elasticity, and firmness, and to smooth out roughness. It also is an amazing anti-inflammatory and is beneficial in treating atopic dermatitis.
Flavonoids – Flavonoids are a large and diverse group of phytonutrients found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that flavonoids protect against environmental damage, reduce signs of aging, are anti-inflammatory, and help maintain healthy collagen. They are commonly found in face moisturisers, face oils, and face serums.
Ferulic Acid – Ferulic Acid is a hydroxycinnamic acid found in plant cells. With its antioxidant properties, it helps to fight free radicals and also protect and heal important structures in the skin, making it an excellent exfoliant for mature or damaged skin.
Flaxseed Oil – This oil is anti-inflammatory and emollient. It has a short shelf life and is sensitive to both heat and light and so should be stored in a dark container. It has a high concentration of omega-3s and antioxidants, making it a useful ingredient for dehydration and signs of aging. Ground seeds can also be used as an exfoliant.
Geranium Essential Oil – This oil is often included in essential oil blends, it has antibacterial properties and is used for eczema, fungal infections, and aging skin.
Ginkgo Extract – Native to Asia, gingko is thought to be one of the oldest species of tree on Earth. It is filled with antioxidants, helps balance oil production, and reduce signs of aging.
Glutathione – This powerful antioxidant naturally occurs in the human body; however, research shows that this decreases gradually with age. It defends against free radical damage, protecting and rejuvenating the skin when applied topically. It has been shown to improve skin smoothness and reduce wrinkles, making it beneficial in anti-aging properties.
Glycerin – Glycerin is a by-product of soap manufacturing, and is used as a humectant, conditioning agent, and solvent to protect skin, as well as for viscosity.
Glycolic Acid – This acid has the smallest molecule size of all the AHAs, meaning it has the deepest penetration. It is widely used in professional peels. It is also anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant , naturally derived from sugar cane, but the synthetic form is most common in skincare products.
Goji Berry – These are a super antioxidant, packed with minerals, amino acids, carotenoids, and polysaccharides that together help firm, tone, and tighten the skin. They also protect the skin from environmental stress and reduce signs of aging, combat wrinkles, increase hydration, brighten the skin, and help maintain a healthy skin.
Grape Seed Oil – A natural antioxidant that also contains AHAs, essential fatty acids and other nutrients that make it ideal for aging skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and is non-comedogenic, so often used in products targeting breakouts, blemishes, blackheads, and acne. The oil also helps to improve skin’s elasticity and suppleness, evens skin tone, reduces dehydration, and protects against sun damage.
Green Tea Extract – Green Tea is less oxidised than black and more than white tea. It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenols. It is a powerhouse ingredient used to combat acne and it helps to reduce oil production and reduce wrinkles in aging skin. It may also help improve the appearance of damaged skin by helping tone and improve elasticity to decrease sagging and fine lines.
Hexyl Laurate – A mixture of hexyl alcohol and lauric acid, it is used as a skin conditioning emollient, solvent, and thickener. It can be found in sunscreens, foundations, and other makeup and is considered safe for cosmetic use.
Hibiscus Flower Extract – This flower contains high levels of antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C that stimulate collagen production, promote tissue regeneration, and helps fight signs of aging. It can also increase skin circulation, leading to enhanced elasticity and healthy skin.
Humectant – A substance that promotes the retention of water, such as Sodium PCA.
Hyaluronic Acid – This acid is naturally produced by the body and helps keep skin youthful, supple, healthy, smooth, and glowing. Production lessens with age. It boosts collagen production and helps to retain moisture, visibly reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps to reduce redness and speed up skin healing. It is most commonly used in serums and moisturisers due to its highly hydrating properties.
Hydroquinone – Used as a skin lightener for hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration, it is available over the counter or at prescription strength from a dermatologist. It generally takes at least four weeks of use to start seeing an effect and many months before the full results are visible.
Isopropyl Palmitate – A synthetic ester of isopropyl alcohol and palmitic acid, this acts as a conditioner, texturizer, antistatic, and binding agent in many skin and hair care products. It is also believed to enhance skin penetration of other fat-soluble ingredients. There is evidence that it can irritate the skin and/or clog pores if used in higher concentrations.
Jojoba Oil – This oil is very similar to skin’s sebum, making it non-comedogenic. It is filled with essential fatty acids, and it deeply moisturises, softens, and conditions dehydrated skin. It is also an anti-inflammatory and is beneficial in treating eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Kakadu Plum – These plums are considered to be one of the best sources of vitamin C. They also contain antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties and phytochemicals. It is beneficial for all skin types, including sensitive, and are often used to treat acne and reduce signs of aging. It also contains a natural antioxidant called Quercetin which is highly effective at maintaining healthy skin and reducing wrinkles.
Kaolin Clay – This gentle clay is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive. It is naturally absorbent and soaks up excess oil, helping to pull impurities from the pores without causing irritation or redness. It comes in 4 different colours; white, yellow, red, and pink, however white is most commonly used. Each colour has different benefits.
Kefir – This cultured fermented drink is made using milk proteins, yeast, and bacteria. It is a rich source of essential fatty acids, protein, potassium, probiotics, calcium, and B vitamins, and contains more fat, protein, and probiotics than yoghurt. Research has shown kefir to be effective in skin lightening and treating acne.
Kojic Acid – This acid is made from fungi and is also a by product of certain fermented foods such as soy sauce and rice wine. It is used in skin care as a lightening and brightening agent. It also contains some antibacterial and antifungal attributes, making it beneficial in treating acne.
L-Ascorbic Acid – One of the best and most useful forms of vitamin C, it is used as a skin lightening and brightening agent, to prevent and repair damage from sun exposure, for collagen synthesis, and to prevent and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. It is also a powerful, highly effective, and widely used antioxidant.
Lanolin – This thick substance is secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep to help keep their coats dry. Lanolin ingredients have excellent moisturising abilities and are used in a wide range of cosmetic products, including baby and shaving products, as well as skin, hair, and nail care. It has been shown to be an allergen/irritant so best to avoided on the face.
Lactic Acid – Lactic acid is one of the most popular AHAs similar to glycolic acid. It isn’t able to penetrate the skin as efficiently as glycolic acid, and different concentrations produce different results. For example, at 2% it begins to hydrate, at 5% it removes dead skin cells, and up to 10% it provides a more profound and intense exfoliation.
Lauric Acid – Lauric acid acts as a surfactant in products such as bar soaps, body washes, cleansers, and shampoos. Research has shown it to have antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, and moisturising properties, making it beneficial in treating a variety of skin conditions ranging from acne and psoriasis to wrinkles.
Lavender – The petals of this flower are used in products such as facial steams, scent sachets, and bath salts. Lavender has been shown to calm irritated skin.
Licorice Root Extract – This root has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries, and is renowned for its soothing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It visibly reduces dark spots, redness, irritation, and inflammation, and protects against environmental stressors, while balancing oil. It gently brightens and moisturises, helping to fade sun damage and treat rosacea and psoriasis.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate – A potent antioxidant derived from vitamin C, which possesses some of the same benefits, such as collagen enrichment. It is much less acidic than vitamin C, so can be used as a gentler alternative for sensitive skin. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and brightening/lightening effects, and it also offers protection against and repair from UV damage, like diminishing the appearance of age spots. It is most commonly used in moisturiser and serums.
Matcha Green Tea – Matcha can help you gently remove dead skin from your face and neck, giving you a fresh revitalising look. It is a great antioxidant and helps to fight off free radical damage.
Malic Acid – Malic acid has a much larger molecule size than glycolic acid and lactic acid, therefore giving it less penetration and less effective exfoliation. However, it is still an effective exfoliator and better for sensitive skins. Studies have shown it to increase collagen production and reverse signs of aging, it may also even out pigmentation, fight acne, and reduce wrinkles.
Mandelic Acid – The least common of the AHAs as it has the largest molecule size. This means it has the slowest penetration rate and is best for sensitive skins, it has the best effect on skin discolouration.
Moringa Oil – Cold-pressed from moringa seeds, this oil is filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. It is noncomedogenic, non-greasy, and easily absorbed by the skin, evening out skin tone and tightening the skin for a youthful, dewy glow. Its anti-inflammatory and collagen-building properties can help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while reducing DNA damage in skin cells.
Mushrooms – A type of fungus, mushrooms are rich in vitamin D, selenium, and antioxidants. They are used in skincare to reduce inflammation and irritation and soothe even the most sensitive skin, as well as for skin brightening and lightening, and to repair, reduce, and protect against aging and wrinkles. It is used in many products including soaps, face creams, serums, and shampoos.
Neroli Hydrosol – Neroli Hydrosol is an antioxidant rich, purifying astringent that has soothing properties that can regenerate skin cells, decrease redness, maintain elasticity, and rejuvenate skin. It also fights inflammation and is antibacterial, making it beneficial in treating both acne and rosacea. It is usually used in toners or facial mists.
Niacinamide – Otherwise known as Vitamin B3, it is common in skincare for its soothing abilities with acne-prone skin, in the treatment of hyperpigmentation, sun-damaged skin, and to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and increase elasticity.
Octyl Palmitate – Derived from palm oil, this ester is used for viscosity and to add a thick and creamy texture. It is also used as a silicone replacement as it gives the same silky, polished feeling. It can clog pores and increase breakouts.
Orange Peel – Orange peel contains powerful antioxidants that protect the skin from environmental stressors, purify and rebalance the skin, and visibly reduce signs of aging.
Oligopeptide-34 – Oligopeptide-34 reduces tyrosinase activity and melanosome transfer to cells, making it extremely beneficial in treating and preventing pigmentation.
Oligopeptide-51 – This power peptide increases efficacy and enhances skin brightening when combined with Oligopeptide-34.
Palm Oil – Palm oil contains essential fatty acids and tocotrienols, strong antioxidants that help fight free radicals, visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and cleanse without a greasy feel. It is primarily used in soap making, body lotions, and products for anti-aging.
Papain Enzyme – Papain enzyme is derived from Papaya and is a proteolytic enzyme that gently exfoliates to encourage cell renewal for brighter, more luminous skin.
Papaya Seed Oil – Extracted from papaya seeds, the oil contains essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and enzymes. It is also antibacterial and antifungal and is used to treat acne and athletes’ foot. It is added to face cleansers to help remove dead skin cells and rejuvenate skin, face oils to protect against aging and acne, and to scalp oils and foot balms.
Parabens – Parabens are a group of synthetic chemicals used as preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products. They include butylparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben, isobutylparaben, and ethylparaben. Studies have shown that cumulative exposure contributes to health problems, including risk of breast cancer as they’re said to disrupt hormone functions.
Peptides – Peptides are a chain of amino acids linked by bonds. Although they are often used alone, peptides work best is skin care formulations when in conjunction with other ingredients such as antioxidants.
Phytic Acid – Phytic acid naturally occurs in plant seeds. Its use internally is controversial as it impairs the absorption of minerals. Topically, it is used as a powerful antioxidant in skincare products aimed at reducing signs of aging.
Pink Kaolin Clay – Made by combining white and red kaolin clays, it offers all the properties of both clays but without the absorption capacity of the red alone. Its beautiful colour makes it a popular for face and body masks, and also in soaps.
Red Algae – This easily absorbed algae imparts nutrients to skin, hydrates, moisturises, revitalises, and maintains skin health, elasticity, structure, and youth.
Resveratrol – This compound is found in large concentration in red wine, grape skins, blueberries, cranberries, and peanuts. It is popular in skincare for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties and is used in face creams and serums targeting premature aging, wrinkles, and fine lines.
Retinoids – This generic term covers a class of potent chemical compounds derived from synthetic vitamin A. Brand names for this prescription-only ingredient include Retin-A and Differin. Studies show that when applied topically retinoids are accepted directly into skin cells. This makes them extremely effective in diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and stretch marks, while also fighting acne. That said, they can be highly irritating, causing redness, peeling, and photosensitivity. Pregnancy and breastfeeding women are advised against the use of Retinoids.
Retinol – Retinol is the alcohol form of synthetic vitamin A that’s available over the counter. Less effective than retinoids, retinol is still a powerful ingredient that accelerates cell renewal. It can be seen anti-aging and acne-targeted skin care formulations such as moisturisers and serums. It is known to cause irritation and should not be used by pregnant women.
Retinyl Palmitate – This synthetic ester of retinol and palmitic acid is a less potent vitamin A derivative that requires high concentrations for efficacy. It can be found in a variety of products, including lipsticks, sunscreens, foundations, moisturisers, serums, shampoos, and conditioners. Many products that contain it may not have enough in their formulations to achieve any visible results. That said, pregnant women are still advised against using it.
Rock Rose Essential Oil – This essential oil is used for mature skin, acne-prone skin, congested skin, and eczema. Studies have shown it to be effective as a wrinkle’s reducer, as an antibacterial, and for eliminating pore build up.
Safflower Seed Oil – This oil is packed with essential fatty acids and antioxidants that visibly reduce skin’s elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It protects skin against environmental damage and premature aging. It is noncomedogenic, easily absorbed, inexpensive, and readily available. An effective moisturiser, it can substitute for widely used oils such as almond oil in nut-free applications.
Sage – Sage has a strong aroma and is often used for its aroma therapeutic attributes. Used topically, it is an astringent, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal and is typically used in toners, deodorants, and foot soaks.
Shea Butter - Rich in fatty acids and vitamins A, E, and F, it visibly reduces inflammation, nourishes, and moisturises. It is also filled with powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that rejuvenate, oxygenate, and offer a protective barrier. An effective moisturiser, it can be used undiluted on hands, elbows, lips, and feet to prevent and heal cracking and severe dryness, as well as added to body lotions and soaps.
Shiitake Mushroom Extract – This extract is a powerful anti-aging ingredient and helps prevent dehydration, wrinkles, crows’ feet, sagging, and discolouration.
Salicylic Acid – Salicylic is a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) and is best suited for breakout prone skin and sensitive skin. This exfoliator works by going deep into the hair follicle and unclogging it, it also helps to encourage the skins natural pore cleaning process. It also acts as an effective anti-inflammatory, making it the best option for inflamed breakouts and sensitive skin.
Silica – Silica is one of the most abundant elements found on earth and in the human body. Topically, silica helps produce new collagen and skin cells, which improves elasticity, tone, and strength.
Silk Amino Acids – Silkworms produce a protein, sericin, that research shows have a significant effect on wound healing as well as imparts antioxidants. Its ability to repair and mend tissue means its beneficial in products geared towards treating acne. It is also used for anti-aging products with the combined benefits of antioxidants and protein. It protects skin against environmental damage and promotes collagen renewal.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate – This is one of the most widely used detergent and surfactant, made from either petroleum or coconut oil. There is a lot of negative press about this ingredient therefore companies are looking for alternatives.
Sodium Hyaluronate – A natural component of the skin that holds a thousand times its weight in water, maintaining optimum hydration levels of tissues.
Sodium PCA – Derived from amino acids, this humectant is naturally found in human skin. Research shows it has the ability to bind moisture in the air to hair and skin cells to maintain hydration. Found in products such as shampoos, conditioners, cleansers, moisturisers, and toners, it is considered safe for cosmetic use in concentrations up to 4%.
Squalene – Naturally produced in sebum, squalene lubricates skin, but body levels begin to decline rapidly from our early twenties. It is a highly effective emollient and a powerful antioxidant that prevents damage from UV rays, increases cellular turnover, promotes collagen strength, prevents age spots, and is antibacterial, non-greasy, easily absorbed, and good for all skin types. It is commonly used in cleansers.
Sunflower Seed Oil – This oil contains essential fatty acids and linoleic acid and improves cell regeneration. It also moisturises, is noncomedogenic, and anti-inflammatory.
Tartaric Acid – This AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) can be made synthetically or from grapes. The synthetic form is the most commonly used in skin care. It is an effective exfoliant and may be tolerated more easily than glycolic, lactic, and malic acids, despite its larger molecule size.
Tea Tree Hydrosol – The hydrosol reduces the appearance of breakouts and helps keep them at bay, visibly reduces redness and inflammation, minimises pore size, reduces excessive oil, and visibly tightens the skin. It can be used alone, undiluted, as a facial toner or hydrating mist. It can irritate if not used sensibly.
Titanium Dioxide – This naturally occurring oxide of titanium is a white fine powder that is used in sunscreens and cosmetics as a colourant; it is also used in soap making. It is suitable for sensitive skins.
Vitamin A – There are two types of vitamin A, retinoids, and carotenoids. Both convert to retinol, which increased new cell production and is generally used in face creams to treat acne and reduce wrinkles. Carotenoids are high in antioxidants and prevent damage from UV rays and other environmental stressors and inhibit premature aging. Vitamin A comes in many different forms that differ in strength and how skin recognises them. All vitamin A causes photosensitivity, so sun avoidance is recommended when using topical vitamin A creams.
Vitamin B3 – Otherwise known as Niacinamide, Vitamin B3 is common in skin care for its soothing abilities with acne-prone skin, in the treatment of hyperpigmentation, sun-damaged skin, and to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and increase elasticity.
Vitamin B5 – Otherwise known as Panthenol, it is a common ingredient used in hair care, to help skin retain moisture, as a moisturiser, and to help maintain a protective and conditioning barrier on the skin. It is generally not effective enough to be used alone but works in conjunction with other compatible active ingredients.
Vitamin C – One of the most commonly used active ingredients in skin care, this powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protects against environmental stressors and visibly reduces signs of aging and damage caused by free radicals. Mature or sun-damaged skin has lower levels of vitamin C, the loss of which is associated with accelerated aging, poor wound healing, and dehydration. Vitamin C also promotes cellular turnover, healthy collagen, production of skin’s natural barrier lipids, and skin elasticity and tone. Maintaining healthy levels wards off wrinkles and fine lines while keeping skin healthy.
Vitamin E – Because vitamin E is soluble in oil, it has extensive transdermal penetration. Studies have shown that vitamin E can help keep both the fluid and moisture content of skin balanced as well as protect skin from environmental stress. Vitamin E is generally combined with other compatible antioxidants to make a complete and powerful antioxidant profile that protects skin from signs of damage caused by free radicals. There are different forms of vitamin, but those generally used in skin care are alpha-tocopherol or tocopherol acetate.
White Kaolin Clay – This powder contains a high level of the mineral kaolinite, which is rich in silica. Kaolin clay is one of the gentlest clays and perfect for sensitive and dry skin. Its absorption capacity is lower than most clays, which gives it the ability to soften and mildly exfoliate skin with its gentle particles.
White Tea Extract – The extract comes either powdered or in oil, solvents, or alcohol and is added to anti-aging skin care products.
Witch Hazel Bark – Native Americans boiled the bark and used it to treat skin ailments. Today it is often used to make tinctures or added to facial toners and cleansers for its mild astringent properties.
Ylang-ylang Essential Oil – This essential oil is used aroma therapeutically and in essential oil scent blends to alleviate anxiety, stress, tension, and to lift self-esteem. Topically, it can be used on both dry and oily skin.
Yuzu Seed Oil – Extracted from and refined from the seeds, the antioxidant-filled seed oil is used to treat dermatitis, excessively dry and dehydrated skin, itchy skin, psoriasis, and eczema.
Zinc Oxide – Zinc oxide is used as a colourant, filler, bulking agent, and sunscreen. It is commonly found in lotions, makeup, sunscreen, baby powders, athlete’s foot products and other cosmetic industry standards.