The A to Z of Skin Care

Algae Extract: has antioxidant properties and restores skin's moisture. 

Allantoin: is botanical in nature. It helps heal and calm skin irritations.

Aloe Vera Gel: commonly called the "first aid" plant, aloe gel is renowned for its anti-inflamatory, soothing and healing properties.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA): this organic acid taken from fruit acids, is used widely in anti-aging skin care products. It encourages moisture restoration, exfoliation and helps other ingredients to penetrate through the skin more effectively. Always use products containing AHAs in combination with sunscreen as they make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.

Alpha Lipoic Acid: has anti-inflammatory benefits, plus its water and fat soluble to protect skin cells.

Alum: an astringent that's often used in after-shave products to treat nicks or razor cuts caused by shaving.

Ascorbic Acid: the medical name for vitamin C. L-ascorbic acid is often used in skin lightener products and anti-aging products because it stimulates collagen production.

Avocado Butter: is hydrogenated avocado fruit oil that yields a soft, greenish, creamy butter that has excellent penetrating properties. Avocado butter has natural sunscreen properties along with Vitamins A, B, G and E which makes it a wonderful moisturizing treatment for dry and damaged skin. Avocado Butter exhibits good spread-ability on the skin, making it ideal as a massage butter or body balm, and it can be added to soap, creams, lotions, lip balms, body butters, hair pomades, bath bombs and more.

Avocado Oil: is a especially beneficial in preparations for very dry skin.  It has outstanding moisturizing and regenerative properties and is also a good hair growth stimulants.

 Beeswax: derived from the natural honeycombs, is often used in moisturizing products such as lip balms, foot creams and body creams. When grated and melted, is an emulsifying wax that softens and protects skin without clogging pores.  Its is available at craft supply stores in addition to natural food markets and herb stores.

Boric Acid: an antibacterial agent used in skin care products to give them a longer shelf life.

Calendula Extract: a botanical extract from the flowers that is prized for its anti-inflammatory, soothing and healing properties. 

Caffeine: a stimulant present in coffee, tea and soda beverages, is also useful can to soothe puffy eyes.

Camphor: an anti-infective agent with a unique taste and smell, cools and refreshes itchy skin.

Cellulose: is derived from the walls of plants and used as an emulsifier and thickener in skin care products.

Cetyl Alcohol: natural emulsifier derived from plants.

Clary Sage Oil: essential oil used for oily inflamed skin with its gentle antiseptic, vitalizing and soothing properties.

Cocomidopropyl Betaine: a naturally derived mild foaming agent that stabilizes viscosity and acts a conditioner.

Chamomile: provides calming and relaxing effects on the mind as well as soothing benefits for the skin. The oil infusions help eczema, insect bites and minor wounds.  The water infusions deep-clean pores. 

Cocoa Butter: comes from the bean of the cocoa plant.  The rich source of skin-softening nutrients is included in preparations for skin maintenance, moisturizing and repair.  Though solid at room temperature, cocoa butter melts quickly on your skin.

Coconut (Fractionated): it differs from Regular Coconut Oil in that it is produced by heat rather then cold pressing. Many consider it to be very comparable to the characteristics of human skin. It is also used on oily skin as it will not clog pores. It can also be used as a treatment to condition dull or dry hair.

Cyclomethicone: a type of silicone that provides luster and smoothness to skin care creams and cosmetics.

Dimethicone: used as a sealant in scar rehabilitation to smooth skin texture and provide moisture.

Ethyl Alcohol: refined alcohol made from grain that's often used in medicines, cleaning products, fragrances and astringents and toners. As it dries skin very quickly, moisturizers are always required after application.

Eucalyptus Oil: is a popular because of its wonderful aroma and antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties.  Helpful for acne, it is mildly stimulating and may create a gentle and tingle as it increases circulation to the skin and hair follicles.

Fragrance: a pleasant distinctive aroma, usually blended from natural essential oils and concentrated chemicals distilled from plants.

Glycerin: a humectant derived from vegetable fatty acids that draw vital moisture to the skin to make it more flexible and pliable.

Glycerin Soap: is a more refined and contains more glycerin than regular vegetable-based soap.

Glycol Stearate: an emollient and emulsifier often used in body skin care products and shampoos to achieve a luminescent appearance.

Grapefruit Oil:  has a strong citrus aroma.  It tones and firms the skin and has most of the qualities of other citrus essential oils, it is said to be refreshing, balancing and uplifting.

Grape Seed Extract: a botanical extract known to increase the effectiveness of vitamin C by acting as a vehicle and a restorer of oxidized vitamin C.

Green Tea Extract: this derivative from decaffeinated green tea contains antioxidants known to help to prevent cancer.

Hyaluronic Acid: also known as "cyclic acid", is a powerful moisturizing agent.

Isopropyl Palmitate: a skin softening ingredient that comes from palm and coconut oil, however it's known to cause blackheads and whiteheads.

Jojoba Beads: are uniform, round spheres made of jojoba esters, to deliver a gentle yet effective exfoliation.  Because of the uniform shape, they cause less irritation than other mechanical exfoliants.

Jojoba Oil: natural oil taken from the seeds of the Simondsia Chinesis, a desert shrub. It's very similar to natural human oil secretions so it's non-greasy. it is a natural emollient that mimics the skin's own moisturizing properties.

Kaolin: also called China Clay, fine clay that's white in color. Kaolin is often used in facial masks and powders that absorb oil.

Lactic Acid: used in chemical peels to hydrate, moisturize and strip away dry, flaky skin cells.

Lanolin: this oily substance that comes from sheep is commonly used in bath oils and hand creams to provide extra moisturize. In rarely cases, it can irritate the skin and cause skin allergy.

Lavender Oil: aptitude for cleansing and beautifying the skin is reflected in its name, which comes from the Latin verb "to wash." Extracted from flowers and leaves.  Regarded as the most versatile essence in aromatherapy, it is well known for its relaxing and calming action.  Lavender essential oil is also used to treat cuts and burns as it deliver healing and antiseptic properties.

Lecithin: this antioxidant from nature is primarily derived from soybeans. It's a natural emollient and emulsifier that helps to soften and replenish the skin.

Lemon Oil: contains antioxidant properties that help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. 

Lemon Peel Extract: also an AHA, this extract is high in antioxidant vitamin C and has been promoted as a skin balancer and natural skin lightener.

Mandarin Oil: cold pressed from mandarin peels, this essential oil is used to relieve skin conditions and is an excellent toner.  It has also been used to relieve nervous tension.

Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts): mineral compound that brings the metabolic benefits of magnesium to the skin, in the bath, epsom salts have soothing effects because they re balance pressure across the body which helps to improve circulation.

Menthol: a natural cooling agent containing 50% peppermint or other mint oils.  Used in skin care to give a cooling effect to the skin.

Olive Butter: is obtained from cold pressed olives and collected when the oil is refined to remove the unsaponifiables. This butter has excellent emollient and antioxidant properties making it a natural moisturizer. If sensitivity to Shea butter develops, Olive butter is a good substitute as it exhibits many of the same characteristics. With many natural essential fatty acids and unsaponifiables, Olive butter is an essential ingredient for anti-aging products.

Olive Oil: obtained by pressing the ripe olive fruit. Olive oil continues to be a superior ingredient for skin and hair care.  Its essential fatty acids and vitamin E make it an excellent emollient, skin conditioner and moisturizer with superior penetrating power.

Orange Oil: an expression from fresh orange peel, this essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties that clean and rejuvenate the skin.

Panthenol(Pro-Vitamin B5): acts as a deep-penetrating moisturizer and aids in tissue repair.

Pumice: a very light colored, frothy volcanic rock that is formed from lava.  The scrubbing power of pumice helps to exfoliate dry skin and calluses.

Rice Bran: extracted from the bran or outer coat of the brown rice grain removed during the milling process is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential oils. Rice bran oil also has constituents believed to hinder UV rays absorption at the skin’s surface. 

Rose Hips: this botanical extract from wild roses is rich in vitamin C. 

Rose Oil: this fragrant oil has soothing calming properties, which is good for dry or sensitive skin.

St. John’s Wort: has antiseptic, antiviral and astringent properties. This makes it perfect for application on wounds. It is also credited with being a pain reliever and excellent for the reduction of swelling and bruising. It can also be applied to sunburns to improve recovery times, varicose veins, and on bee stings. St. John's Wort may cause photo sensitivity. Users should avoid direct sunlight after application.

Safflower Oil: this light odorless oil contains protein, minerals and is good for all skin types.  It is absorbed rapidly into the skin, delivering emollience and nourishment. 

Sea Salt: obtained from the evaporation of sea water, sea salt contains minerals that soothe tired muscles and leave skin soft and smooth and nourished. 

Shea Butter:  a rich emollient derived from seeds of the karite tree.  Shea butter helps prevent trans-epidermal moisture loss and helps soften and protect skin.

Silk Powder: a natural fiber added to cosmetic products to give them their fine texture and to absorb oil.

Silk Proteins: used in some eye creams to prevent dehydration.

Sodium Bicarbonate: commonly called "baking soda". This neutral acid raises skin PH levels. Skin-softening and -soothing qualities in water based solutions.  It is used as a disinfectant in foot powders, as a mild abrasive in tooth powders and as a softener in bath salts.

Sodium Borate: commonly called "borax"; works as a preservative in cosmetics.

Soya Oil: is extremely high in Lecithin, Sterolins, and Vitamin E. Soya bean is becoming increasingly popular with massage therapists because the oil is very light, and an excellent alternative to 

Stearyl Alcohol: a naturally derived emulsifier that contributes to product aesthetics.

Sunflower Seed Oil: rich in oleic acids, acts as an emollient by giving skin an elegant feel while preventing trans-epidermal moisture loss.

Sweet Almond: has very little scent characteristic of most carrier oils. Absorbs into skin at average speed, slight oil feeling left on skin.

Tea Tree Oil: has strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties.  It has a cleansing and clearing effect on skin.

Vitamin A: a fat-soluble vitamin that keeps skin hydrated. Vitamin A is used in skin care products because it improves aging skin and firms skin texture. It can also dry out acne, but it makes skin sun sensitive.

Vitamin C: a water-soluble vitamin used in cosmetic creams, topical and oral medicines to boost collagen synthesis.

Vitamin D: a fat-soluble vitamin required for tooth and bone structure. It's used in some prescription medicines to treat psoriasis.

Vitamin E full spectrum-50 also know as tocopherol: plays a crucial role in protecting skin cells and membranes from environmental damage. This protection extends to stopping damage to the skin from UV rays, pollutants and aging. It provides deep miniaturization for the skin whilst allowing the skin to breathe and function naturally, therefore helping to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. For use in cosmetics, Vitamin E is a natural preservative that helps sustain shelf life of products.

Water: or H20, a colorless tasteless liquid used in all skin care products.

Witch Hazel: an effective astringent extracted from the leaves and bark of the Hamamelis Virginnia plant. It has botanical properties, helps improve acne, awakens puffy eyes and reduces excess oil on the skin.

Xanthan Gum: an emulsifier and thickener.

Zinc Oxide: this composite that increases immune function has anti-irritant properties so it's commonly used in diaper rash creams and sunscreen products to prevent UV light from contacting the skin.