This dictionary lists many of the ingredients used by natural cosmetics manufacturers, including Aubrey®. Ingredients are listed in alphabetical order, using their most common names. Latin names of most herbs are also included.
Feel free to copy this list, or print it for future reference.
Acacia, Katha — Acacia catechu. Used as a natural coloring agent in henna hair preparations.
Acidophilus / Grape Ferment
— A source of natural fruit acids used in face masks and lotions to encourage a faster turnover of skin cells. (See also Fruit Acids
Alfalfa Extract — Medicago sativa. Natural cleanser and mild exfoliant high in vitamins A, B, C, D and E and minerals. Used in face masks, bath oils, creams and lotions, alfalfa is also rich in protein, which makes it an excellent ingredient for hair care products. Contains saponins (natural foaming agents).
— A blend of different varieties of red algae, this powerful nutrient is rich in amino acids, antioxidant vitamin C and vitamin B-12. Used topically, it enhances cell formation and has been clinically shown to firm and tighten skin with regular use. An excellent addition to anti-aging formulas. Extracts of Nannocloropsis oculata, Euchema spinosum and Gigartina stellata can be used for this purpose. (See also Carrageenan
Allspice — Pimenta officinalis. The ground, dried berries of an evergreen tree indigenous to the West Indies. Often used as a spice or fragrance, it also acts as a scalp tonic.
— Prunus amygdalus dulcis. Butter made from sweet almond oil, a rich emollient and skin conditioner. (See also Sweet Almond Oil
Almond Butter, Almond Meal — Prunus amygdalus dulcis. Ground extract of the sweet almond kernel, used in face masks as a mild exfoliant.
Aloe, Aloe Vera, Aloe Vera Oil
— Aloe barbadensis. In the first century A.D., Roman naturalist Pliny wrote extensively about aloe as a healing agent for wounds and abrasions. It is considered one of nature's most effective remedies for sunburn and skin irritations, and a superb hydrator for dry hair and skin. Use organic aloe whenever possible.
Aloe Vera Fillet — Aloe barbadensis. The whole gel-like "fillet" removed from the aloe leaf. An excellent skin soother and hydrator.
Alpha Lipoic Acid — Thioctic acid. Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory obtained from potatoes. Used in anti-wrinkle lotions and moisturizers for its protective effects on skin.
— Amino acids are "the building blocks" that make up proteins. Because proteins are necessary to every living cell and are involved in every major process in the body, amino acids are essential to health. Of the roughly 28 known amino acids, 80 percent are manufactured by the body. The others, known as essential amino acids, must be obtained from the diet. Amino acids support proteins in the skin (collagen, elastin, etc.) and, used in certain combinations, help regulate oil production in the skin and scalp. Human hair is made up of 18 amino acids, which is why many quality hair care products contain them.
Amyris Oil — Amyris balsamifera. Essential oil used for its pleasant fragrance, and as a natural fixative in perfumes. Sometimes known as West Indian sandalwood.
Angelica — Angelica archangelica. Both the essential oil and the dried leaves of this herb are very aromatic. Angelica oil and angelica wax are excellent skin soothers.
— Bixa orellana. The waxy extract from a South American shrub, used as a natural color. Annatto is a reddish-brown color, but when mixed with an acid becomes a deep red.
Apple Oil — Pyrus malus. Extracted from the peel of apples and combined with the juice from the pulp. Contains malic acid, an antioxidant and natural pH adjuster. Has a pleasant fragrance.
Apricot Oil — Prunus armeniaca kernel oil. Essential oil from apricot pits, also known as persic oil. An emollient similar in composition to almond oil, it has a softening effect on the skin.
Apricot Kernels, Apricot Seeds — Prunus armeniaca. Ground into a powdered form, these ingredients are added to exfoliating masks and scrubs for their smoothing effect on the skin.
Argan Oil — Argania spinosa. Nutrient rich oil, high in essential fatty acids and antioxidant vitamin E. Supports the skin's collagen and improves softness and elasticity.
Arnica Oil — Arnica montana. Herbal extract used in hair tonics and massage preparations for its nourishing and anti-inflammatory properties. Combined with vitamin E, it is an excellent natural deodorant.
Aspen Bark Extact — Populus tremuloides. A natural antimicrobial, high in salicylates, which act as the plant's natural defense mechanism. Has a smoothing effect on the skin.
Atlas Cedar — Cedrus atlantica. Aromatic essential oil known for its antiseptic and calming properties on the skin and its warm, woody scent. Its use as a natural fragrance dates back to ancient Egypt.
Avocado Oil — Persea gratissima. A good source of vitamins A, D and E, amino acids and sterols. Herbalists traditionally have used avocado oil in hair and scalp preparations and in the treatment of chronic dry skin conditions. Easily absorbed by the skin and scalp, it is very soothing and nourishing.
— Natural preservative blend composed of grapefruit extract and antioxidant-rich vitamins A, C and E. This preservative extends the shelf life of products by no less than one year, and sometimes as much as three years, depending on the product.
Balm Mint — Melissa officinalis. Very mild extract, ideal for sensitive skin and skin prone to rashes and other allergic reactions. An anti-irritant and sedative, it soothes and calms the skin and scalp and promotes healing.
Balsam Peru — Myroxylon pereirae. Essential oil very soothing to the skin and scalp. Sometimes used as a fragrance components for its pleasant scent, reminiscent of vanilla.
Balsam Tolu — Myroxylon toluiferum. Antiseptic and antibacterial widely used in topical preparations for its healing properties, and in hair tonics and antidandruff products.
Baobab Oil — Adansonia digitata. Rich emollient helps maintain skin elasticity and restore moisture to dry, sun-stressed skin. Its high vitamin D content makes it ideal for after sun use. Also rich in antioxidants—particularly vitamin C—and essential fatty acids, very nourishing to the skin.
Bay Lauryl Oil — Laurus nobilis. Essential oil obtained from the leaves of the bay laurel tree, indigenous to the Mediterranean. Often used as a spice or fragrance, it also acts as a scalp clarifier and tonic.
Bay Rum/Bay Leaf
— Pimenta racemosa, Pimenta acris. Essential oil native to the West Indies. A tonic for skin and scalp, widely used in men's colognes and aftershaves for its fresh, spicy scent. (See also Pimenta Leaf Oil
Beeswax — Cera alba. Obtained from the honeycomb of the honeybee. A natural humectant, also used in cosmetics as an emulsifier and thickening agent.
Beet Root Extract — Beta vulgaris. Rich in polysaccharides, this powerful humectant is clinically proven to boost the skin's natural moisturizing factor, forming a film on the skin that actually locks moisture in for up to 8 hours. Phytonutrients enhance cell renewal and a high antioxidant content protects skin from free radical damage. The extract or juice of beets is also sometimes used as a natural red color in cosmetics.
Benzoin Gum, Benzoin Bark — Styrax benzoin. Natural antiseptic and astringent with antioxidant and preservative properties. Promotes healthy skin and scalp. A tincture is used in dentistry to treat inflammation of gums.
Benzoin Oil — Styrax benzoin resin extract. Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent. Used in skin care products, it boosts elasticity and helps calm stressed skin.
Bergamot Mint — Mentha citrata. Mild antiseptic and tonic, with properties similar to peppermint and spearmint. Sometimes used as a fragrance for its floral, citrusy scent.
Bergamot Oil — Citrus bergamia. Essential oil from the peel of the fruit, an analgesic and tonic, sometimes used as a fragrance. Only bergapten-free oil should be used.
— Orange or red compounds, precursors to vitamin A, which occur naturally in plants. Essential for skin health. (See also Carrot Oil
Betaine — A natural humectant derived from sugar beets. Used in hair care formulations as a foam enhancer and conditioning agent.
— Vaccinium myrtillus. Astringent and tonic, the extract of the berries has been shown to increase capillary strength. A source of natural fruit acids, used in facial masks and lotions to promote exfoliation and encourage a more rapid turnover of skin cells. (See also Fruit Acids
.) Taken internally, bilberry is said to improve night vision and help prevent macular degeneration.
— Also known as vitamin H, biotin is part of the B vitamin group. It is an important factor in the growth of tissue and the proper functioning of the oil glands. A biotin deficiency can lead to dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis and the formation of dandruff and crusts in the scalp. Biotin is vital for the maintenance of a normal fat metabolism, and is essential for hair growth and scalp health.
Bitter Almond Oil
— Amigdalus communis. Essential oil used as a skin softener. Sometimes added to cosmetics for its mild, pleasant scent.
Black Currant Extract
— Ribes nigrum. A source of natural fruit acids used in face masks and lotions to encourage a faster turnover of skin cells. (See also Fruit Acids
Black Pepper — Piper nigrum. Essential oil steam distilled from black peppercorns. Tonic and antimicrobial. Blended with other essential oils, it creates a distinctive spicy fragrance.
— Fucus vesiculosus. Seaweed rich in alginic acid, amino acids, polysaccharides, minerals and vitamins. Its essential oil is a stimulant and tonic. It is often used in massage lotions and some hair and scalp care products.
Blueberry Leaves — Vaccinium angustifolium. The leaves of the blueberry make a mild, soothing tea that is an excellent, non-drying skin tonic.
— Centaurea cyanus. A moisturizing agent for the skin.
— Tanacetum annuum. Also known as Moroccan Camomile and Blue Tansy, its essential oil is deep blue in color and has a lovely fragrance. An antimicrobial and tonic, very soothing to scalp and skin.
Blue Cypress Oil — Callitris intratropica. Essential oil widely used in Australia for its woody fragrance and antibacterial properties. A natural disinfectant and freshener, blue cypress oil makes an excellent addition to bath products and room deodorizers.
Blue Green Algae — Aphanizomenon flos aquae. Made up of 50% to 70% utilizable protein, blue green algae is an excellent food, used for thousands of years for its mild taste and easily assimilated nutrients. A good source of enzymes, minerals, trace minerals and antioxidants, its amino acid profile is virtually identical to that of humans, which makes it more readily absorbed by the skin. Used in hair care products for its protein content, it helps revitalize and condition dull, damaged hair.
Borage Oil — Borago officinalis. Nutrient-dense oil high in rare gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), also found in human breast milk. An anti-inflammatory and soothing agent, very beneficial for some dry skin conditions. Combined with Rosa Mosqueta® oil and alfalfa extract, borage oil is an excellent ingredient for dry or mature skin preparations.
Buchu leaf — Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory helps dissolve excess oil and soothes and purifies the complexion. An excellent ingredient in preparations for acne-prone skin and blemishes.
Burdock — Arctium lappa. Antiseptic and antibacterial used topically to calm certain skin conditions. Its oil extract smoothes and revitalizes the hair and tones and soothes the scalp. An excellent ingredient in conditioners, anti-frizz hair care products and styling aids for coarse, curly, hard-to-handle hair.
Cade Wood Oil — Juniperus oxycedrus. Essential oil obtained by steam distillation of the wood from the juniper tree. Used by European herbalists as a cleanser and toner to help clear and condition the scalp and prevent flaking. Today coal tar, a dangerous petrochemical, is generally used in its place in many mass-produced hair care products.
Calaguala Fern Extract — Polypodium leucotomos. Used by Mayan Indians in skin and scalp preparations as far back as 350 B.C., this soothing herbal smoothes and conditions the skin and helps clear and tone the scalp and remove buildup. A superb addition to preparations for dry skin and scalp conditions.
Calamine — Natural blend of zinc oxide and a small amount of ferric oxide, used in skin lotions, ointments and liniments for the treatment of itchy skin and rashes.
— Calendula officinalis. The common Marigold, known for its healing and analgesic properties. It is a frequent ingredient in ointments and natural deodorants. Contains saponins. Sometimes used as a natural yellow color.
— There are several different types of camomile (also spelled chamomile). Most common ones include German Camomile
(Chamomilla recutita / Matricaria recutita), Roman Camomile
(Anthemis nobilis), and Blue Camomile
(Tanacetum annuum). Please click on individual entries for more information.
Camphor Oil — Cinnamomum camphora. Tonic and freshener used in small amounts in lotions and creams for its cooling and soothing effects. Has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Canadian Willowherb — Epilobium angustifolium. Anti-inflammatory and soothing agent shown in clinical studies to work faster and better than many hydrocortisone creams in reducing itching and irritation. A superb skin care ingredient, often used in suncare products. Contains salicylic acid.
Canola Oil, Turnip Oil
— Brassica campestris. An excellent emollient and conditioning agent, often combined with chinawood (tung) oil in hair care products. (See also Brassica campestris/Aleurites fordi oil
in our INCI Terms Dictionary.)
— Fractionated Coconut Oil. Lightweight emollient derived from glycerin and coconut oil that helps support the skin's moisture barrier. A superb conditioning agent, it adds to the spreadability of creams and lotions and helps promote the delivery of vitamins and other beneficial ingredients onto the skin.
Cardamon Oil — Elettaria cardamomum. Antioxidant and antiseptic. One of the oldest essential oils known, its use dates back to ancient Egypt.
Carnauba Wax — Copernicia cerifera. Plant wax used as a thickening agent in cosmetics, and to increase the spreadability of powdered makeup for better coverage.
Carnosine — Naturally occurring combination of the amino acids histidine and alanine, used in skin care products for its protective and skin rejuvenating properties. An antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it protects collagen and elastin fibers in the skin from oxidative stress, improves elasticity and reduces wrinkles and other sings of aging.
Carrageenan — Chondrus crispus. Food-grade seaweed gum obtained from Irish moss and other red algae. A natural stabilizer, binding agent and emulsifier, high in sulfur and very nourishing to skin and scalp. Food-grade carrageenan should not be confused with degraded carrageenan, which is a known carcinogen.
— Daucus carota sativa. The seeds of carrots yield an essential oil rich in beta carotene, orange or red compounds that are precursors to vitamin A and occur naturally in plants. Also high in vitamin E, it is essential to skin cell regeneration and stimulates the production of sebum in dry scalp and skin. It's high antioxidant content make it an excellent natural preservative in cosmetic formulations.
Cassia Oil — Cinnamomum cassia. A natural fragrance, very similar to cinnamon.
— A mild vegetable oil-based soap saponified with an alkaline salt. (See also Olive Oil Castile
Castor Oil — Ricinus communis. Humectant and skin soother, often added to lipsticks, glosses and other cosmetic products to improve their texture.
Cayenne Pepper Extract — Capsicum frutescens. Its active ingredient, capsaicin (the chemical responsible for making peppers hot) is a powerful analgesic that works by blocking the activity of substance P, responsible for the transmission of pain impulses in the body. An excellent anti-inflammatory and warming agent, used in massage lotions and liniments to soothe tight, overworked muscles and tension.
Cedar Leaf Oil — Thuja occidentalis. Adds a woody note to perfumes and other cosmetic products.
Cedarwood Oil (Red) — Cedrus atlantica bark oil. Essential oil known for its anti-irritant properties and its soothing effect on the skin and scalp. Sometimes used as a natural fragrance.
Cellulose Gum — The most abundant polymer found in nature. Used as a setting agent in hairsprays, styling gels and mousses. A natural alternative to synthetic polymers (such as PVP) found in most mass-produced styling aids. Also used as a binder and thickener in cosmetic products.
Centaury, Century Herb — Erythraea centaurium. Used in cosmetics for its soothing and astringent properties. Applied topically, it helps even out skin tones and fade freckles and other skin discolorations. Also used as a natural color.
Chestnut Extract — Castanea sativa. Tonic and astringent, also used as a natural brown color in makeup formulations.
Chinese Angelica (Dong Quai) — Angelica sinensis. Superb skin and scalp tonic and antibacterial used in preparations for acne and other skin conditions.
Chinese Chrysanthemum (Ju hua) — Chrysanthemum morifolium. Used in Chinese medicine in the treatment of allergic reactions and skin irritations. Known for its soothing effect on the skin and scalp.
Chinese Golden Thread — Coptis chinensis. Natural antibiotic and immune system enhancer. Very similar to goldenseal, but four times higher in its active constituent berberine.
Chlorella — Chlorella pyrenoidosa. Made up of over 60% protein, this green micro-algae contains all the essential amino acids, and is high in chlorophyll and vitamin B. An excellent nutrient, often used as a skin hydrator.
Chrysanthemum — Chrysanthemum roseum, Chrysanthemum sinense. Often called Persian pellitory or painted daisy. A natural astringent and skin revitalizer.
Cinnamon — Cinnamomum zeylanicum. Fragrant spice used as a coloring agent in natural makeup powders. Has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
Citric Acid — Extract from citrus fruits used as a natural pH adjuster in cosmetics. Added to shampoos, it acts as a chelating agent, binding to chlorine and iron (from hard water) and removing them from the hair.
Citronella — Cymbopogon nardus. Aromatic essential oil often used in fragrance blends. Also used as a natural insect repellent at very high concentrations.
— An amino acid found in the skin of watermelon, sometimes known as L-Citrulline. An antioxidant and conditioning agent used in anti-aging formulas for its water-binding properties on the skin. (See also Watermelon Extract
Clary Sage Oil — Salvia sclarea. Essential oil with astringent and anti-wrinkle properties, also used as a natural fragrance.
Clematis — Clematis vitalba. Applied topically, this herb has anti-inflammatory properties and a soothing effect on the skin.
Clove Oil — Eugenia caryophyllus. Soothing agent and antiseptic. Herbalists often recommend this fragrant herb for sensitive teeth and gums.
Clovebud Oil — Eugenia caryophyllata. Fragrant oil often used in aromatherapy. Has antiseptic properties.
Cocoa Butter — Theobroma cacao. The solid fat extracted from the seeds of the cocoa plant. A rich emollient used in lipsticks, creams, soaps and suncare products for its moisturizing and soothing properties.
Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base
— Absorption base containing essential fatty acids, coconut fatty alcohols from palm kernels, aloe vera and vitamins A, C and E. Rich in linoleic and linolenic acids (vitamin F), excellent nutrients and skin conditioners. In hair care products, it is often combined with the important amino acids cysteine and methionine, which are high in sulfur and excellent for the hair and scalp.
Coconut Fatty Alcohols — Cetyl alcohol, Myristyl alcohol. The long-chain fatty alcohols from coconut palm kernels, which are natural emollients. Synthetic versions of cetyl alcohol are often used in commercial formulations and should be avoided.
Coconut Milk — Cocos nucifera fruit juice. The milk from coconuts, a natural hair and skin hydrator.
— Cocos nucifera oil. Rich emollient expressed from coconuts. It is naturally converted into a soap through a saponification reaction with an alkaline salt. Beware of cosmetics that bill themselves as "natural" and use a synthetically processed derivative, sodium lauryl sulfate, claiming it comes "from coconut oil."
Coconut Oil-Corn Oil Soap — Natural cleansing and foaming agent made from coconut/palm fatty alcohols and glucose obtained from corn. This mild, natural detergent has a similar composition to saponins (plant glycosides) obtained from soap bark (quillaya) and yucca root.
— Hydrolyzed collagen. Dermal protein that makes up 70 percent of the body's connective tissue. Applied topically, it helps attract and retain moisture to smooth and soften the skin, increase elasticity and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Coltsfoot — Tussilago farfara. Superb skin nutrient, high in polysaccharides, vitamin C and zinc. A natural anti-inflammatory and soothing agent, it helps soften and regenerate the skin. Combined with horsetail in hair care preparations, it strengthens and smoothes hair fiber and promotes scalp health.
CoQ10 (Co-enzyme Q10) Liposomes
— Ubiquinone. High in polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially linoleic acid) and protein, CoQ10 helps support cell structure with antioxidant and protective action, and has been shown to reduce the appearance and depth of wrinkles and increase the skin's moisture with regular use. (See also Liposomes
Coriander — Coriandrum sativum. Antibacterial, often used in cosmetics for its spicy fragrance.
Corn Cob Meal — Zea mays. Powder obtained from ground dried corn cobs, added to masks and scrubs for its pore-clearing and exfoliating properties. Sometimes used as a thickener.
Corn Meal — Zea mays. Meal obtained from ground corn, used as a thickener and mild exfoliant in cosmetic formulations. It has a soothing and softening effect on the skin.
Corn Syrup, Corn Starch — Natural chelating agent added to shampoos to improve rinseability by binding to iron (from hard water) and chlorine and removing them from the hair. Also used as an emulsifier and humectant.
Cornmint Oil — Mentha arvensis. Essential oil with similar properties to peppermint oil. Often used in soaps for its antiseptic effect and pleasant fragrance.
Cucumber — Cucumis sativus fruit extract. Used in face creams, lotions and cleansers for its astringent, soothing and cooling properties. Rich in antioxidant vitamin C, an excellent protector and skin nutrient.
Cysteine — Sulfur-rich amino acid, very beneficial to the hair and skin. (See Amino Acids.)
— Aqua. Purified water that has had ions removed. The deionization process also removes nitrates, calcium, magnesium and heavy metals.
Desert Herb Complex
— Unique hair care herbal blend consisting of organic jojoba oil
, organic aloe
and yucca root
. (For more information on these ingredients, see individual entries.
— Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea. Two varieties of this versatile herb are used both internally and externally in folk medicine as natural antibiotics to treat a variety of ills. A number of studies have pointed to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Its root extract is used in celltherapy and anti-wrinkle creams as a hydrator and firming agent.
Egg Oil — The extract from whole eggs, rich in natural emulsifiers. An excellent emollient and humectant featured in shampoos, rinses and conditioners for dry or damaged hair for its soothing and moisturizing properties. In skin care products, it improves texture and soothes and hydrates skin without clogging the pores.
Elastin — Hydrolized elastin. A naturally derived, water-soluble protein of bovine origin. Elastin is one of the three main proteins found in the skin, along with collagen and reticulin. Applied topically, it helps attract and retain moisture.
Elder Flower, Elder Berries — Sambucus nigra. A superb skin softener. Contains an oil high in fatty acids (66%), very beneficial to the hair and skin.
Epsom Salts — Magnesium sulfate. A natural anti-inflammatory, commonly known as Epsom Salts. Sometimes used as an emulsion stabilizer to keep products from separating.
Essential Oils — Volatile liquids extracted from plant materials by steam distillation or expression, which contain the characteristic plant aroma. Unlike fixed plant oils (such as olive oil), essential oils evaporate at room temperature and do not leave an oily residue on the skin.
— Calcium ascorbate. A patented form of natural vitamin C, both oil- and water-soluble, clinically shown to retain its potency longer than other forms. While ordinary vitamin C degrades quickly in skin care products, Ester-C® Topical is stable and delivers the full benefit of this powerful antioxidant, penetrating into deep layers of the skin to promote collagen production. (Ester-C® is a registered trademark of Inter-Cal Corporation.)
Eucalyptus Oil — Eucalyptus globulus. Essential oil with powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Used in cleansers, massage formulations and bath soaks for its cooling, soothing effect on the skin. Herbalists recommend a few drops of the oil in a hot bath to open up blocked sinuses and help clear a stuffy nose.
Evening Primrose Oil, Primrose Oil
— Oenothera biennis. Superb emollient and skin nutrient, high in essential fatty acids. A source of rare gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), also found in human breast milk. Extremely beneficial in the treatment of eczema and other dry skin and scalp conditions.
Evergreen Oil — Magnolia grandiflora. Mild astringent and tonic. Similar to cucumber oil, it has a cooling effect on the skin.
Everlasting Oil — Helichrysum italicum. Essential oil often used as a fragrance.
Eyebright — Euphrasia officinalis. Astringent and tonic. Has anti-inflammatory properties.
False Daisy — Eclipta alba. Used as a natural coloring agent in henna hair preparations.
Fatty Acid Esters — Waxes derived from plants and animals, which are less greasy than fatty acid extracts. Jojoba oil (wax) and lanolin from wool are examples of fatty acid esters. Used in absorption bases and as emulsifiers in cosmetics.
— Basic building blocks of fats and oils. Fatty acids attach to a glycerin molecule to form mono-, di- or triglycerides. (See Vitamin F
Fennel — Foeniculum vulgare. Rich in oleic and linoleic acids, essential fatty acids. It has a "tightening" and firming action on the skin.
Feverfew — Chrysanthemum parthenium. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Topically applied, a tincture of feverfew relieves pain and swelling of insect bites, rashes and other skin irritations.
Fir Oil, Siberian Pine Needle Oil
— Abies sibirica. Aromatic extract with antimicrobial and tonic properties. An excellent addition to facial cleansers and natural deodorants. Often used as a fragrance.
Flaxseed Lignans — Linum usitatissimum extract. Phytonutrients found in flaxseeds, known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and oil-balancing properties on the skin. Clinical tests show that, applied twice daily, flax lignans decrease sebum production by as much as 20% after 28 days. Used in skin care formulations to prevent acne and clogged pores and reduce ingrown hairs and skin bumps caused by shaving.
Flaxseed Oil — Linum usitatissimum. Emollient and anti-inflammatory high in essential fatty acids, B vitamins, protein and minerals. Very nourishing to dry hair and skin, whether taken internally or applied topically.
Forsythia Fruit — Forsythia suspensa. Anti-inflammatory and astringent, used topically as a soothing agent for the skin. The Chinese call it Lian-qiao.
Fragonia™ — Agonis fragrans. Essential oil distilled from a wild aromatic bush that grows in Australia, used in aromatherapy for its balancing and mood-lifting properties. Has antimicrobial properties. Its trademarked name, Fragonia™, guarantees the oil contains the appropriate constituents.
Fructose — A sugar found in fruits and honey that soothes, hydrates and encourages moisture retention in the skin.
— A group of acids naturally occurring in fruits and herbs, used in cosmetics for thousands of years to clear and smooth the complexion. They work by loosening the "glue" that holds the outer layer of cells to the surface of your skin, thereby encouraging exfoliation and more rapid turnover of skin cells. The patented trade name for fruit acids is Alpha-hydroxy acids, which are synthetically derived in most commercial formulations. (Alpha-hydroxy acids are now common ingredients in cosmetics, but were originally used as solvents in cleaning compounds and for tanning leather.) Some natural sources for fruit acids include bilberry herb, black currant, grapefruit, tomato, wine and grapes (glycolic, malic, pyruvic, benzylic, citric, tartaric and lactic acids).
— Fumaria officinalis. A superb tonic and purifier, this ancient Chinese herbal is known for its brightening effect on the skin. Combined with ginkgo leaf, it is very beneficial to the hair and scalp.
Galbanum — Ferula galbaniflua. Used in cosmetics for its leafy fragrance, and as a fixative for other scents.
— Pelargonium graveolens. Essential oil with astringent and tonic properties, an excellent normalizer for oily skin. Sometimes used as a fragrance.
— Chamomilla recutita / Matricaria recutita. A softening agent for rough, dry skin, used since ancient times for its calming and conditioning effects. Its soothing and hydrating properties also work well on the hair and scalp. In hair care formulations, it brings out highlights in blond or light brown hair. Other types of camomile (also spelled chamomile) include Roman Camomile and Blue Camomile.
— Zingiber officinale. Anti-inflammatory and stimulant with warming and soothing properties. Used in creams, lotions and hair care products, it promotes circulation to the skin and scalp. In both powdered and essential oil form, it is an excellent ingredient for bath soaks and other personal care products. Sometimes used as a fragrance.
Ginkgo Leaf Extract (Pai-kuo) — Ginkgo biloba. Ancient Chinese herbal used in preparations to combat the effects of aging since 2,800 B.C. An anti-inflammatory and antiallergenic, very soothing to the skin and scalp. Combined with fumitory in hair care products, it increases the hair's ability to absorb nutrients and improves scalp circulation.
Ginseng Root — Panax ginseng. One of the most prized herbs in China. A stimulant and tonic used in facial masks, lotions and overnight creams, it is also an effective ingredient in hair care products for its conditioning properties. Contains saponins.
Glucose — A fruit sugar from corn and grapes that soothes and hydrates the skin, encouraging moisture retention.
Glucose Oxidase — An enzyme with natural antibacterial properties.
Glycerin — Vegetable Glycerin. Rich humectant, emollient and lubricant naturally extracted from vegetable oils, used in cosmetic formulations for thousands of years. (Synthetic glycerin, otherwise known as propylene glycol, is highly irritating to the skin and scalp and should be avoided.)
— A sugar-based carbohydrate (polysaccharide) the body uses for energy storage. (See Glycoprotein
— Fruit acid from sugar cane and other sources, often used in exfoliating masks and lotions to help remove dead skin cells and promote new cell growth. (See also Fruit Acids
— A protein linked to a polysaccharide (glycogen). Glycoproteins (ours are derived from yeast) contain sugars and amino acids, which help strengthen and smooth hair fiber.
Goa Herb, Chrysarobin
— Andira araroba. A natural astringent, its chemical affinity to the keratin elements of the skin makes this herb an excellent treatment for acne, eczema and other skin conditions. A calming agent for itching, flaking or irritated skin.
Golden Seaweed — Laminaria ochroleuca. Anti-inflammatory and humectant, rich in plant sterols. Helps attract and retain moisture and protect skin from environmental stressors.
Grape Seed Extract — Vitis vinifera extract. One of the most powerful antioxidants around, high in proanthocyanidins, a group of bioflavonoids superior to most because they are water soluble and much more easily assimilated by the body. A hard-working free radical scavenger, it prevents skin cell damage caused by sun exposure and pollution.
Grape Seed Oil — Vitis vinifera oil. Antioxidant-rich oil cold-pressed from grape seeds.
— Citrus grandis extract. Shown to have antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Combined with antioxidant vitamins, grapefruit extract makes an effective plant-based preservative. (See Aubrey's Preservative
— Citrus paradisi. An essential oil extracted from the peel of the fruit. Used in creams and lotions for its astringent and skin-freshening properties. Sometimes used as a fragrance.
Green Clay — Montmorillonite. Commonly known as French green clay, rich in minerals and other nutrients. Used in deep-cleansing face masks to draw out impurities and balance and clear the skin.
Green Tea — Camellia sinensis. The benefits of green tea to the skin have been widely documented. This powerful antioxidant (20 times stronger than vitamin E) inhibits the formation of cancer-causing free radicals and helps prevent skin cell damage caused by sun exposure and pollution. An important ingredient in suncare products, as well as in creams, lotions, shampoos and conditioners. An anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant, it is high in xanthines, very soothing and moisturizing to both hair and skin. Powdered Matcha green tea from Japan is the finest.
Guar Gum — Cyampopsis tetragonoloba. Extract from the guar bean, used as a thickener and emulsifier in cosmetic products.
Gum Arabic, Acacia Gum
— Acacia senegal. Herbal gum used as a thickener and emulsifier in creams and lotions, and as a hair set in styling gels and sprays. Often combined with gum tragacanth.
Gum Tragacanth — Astragalus gummifer. A thickener and binding agent in creams and lotions, this herbal gum is also a key ingredient in natural setting lotions, hairsprays and gels. Both gum arabic and gum tragacanth are natural alternatives to synthetic polymers (such as PVP) found in most commercial hair products.
He Shou Wu — Polygonum multiflorum. Powerful scalp stimulant and tonic used in traditional Chinese medicine to refresh and energize the scalp, minimize hair loss and prevent or reverse graying hair. (In Chinese, shou-wu literally means "a head full of black hair.")
— Iron oxides. A mineral used as a coloring agent in face powders and makeups. Hematite varies in color from reddish-brown to black.
Hemp Seed Oil — Cannabis sativa oil. A rich emollient and skin nutrient, high in essential fatty acids (linolenic and linoleic) and antioxidant vitamins A and E. Very soothing and moisturizing to the skin.
Henna Extract — Lawsonia inermis. A staple in shampoos and hair rinses for thousands of years for its coloring and/or conditioning properties. In its most common form, it is used to impart red or reddish-brown tones to the hair. Non-coloring (neutral) henna adds body and highlights without altering hair color.
Ho Wood Oil
— Cinnamomum camphora. Essential oil, often used as a fragrance. Also known as white camphor.
Honey — Light humectant and nutrient used as a thickening agent to give body to facial masks, creams and lotions.
Honeysuckle Oil — Lonicera caprifolium, Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle). An excellent cleanser and purifier used in facial creams, shampoos and soaps. Adds a pleasant, sweet fragrance to cosmetics.
Hops — Humulus lupulus. Antimicrobial and sedative, very soothing and toning to the hair and skin. In hair care preparations, it adds body and softness and is helpful in the treatment of dandruff and other scalp conditions. Combined with camomile, it reduces swelling and relieves itching and irritation.
Horse Chestnut — Aesculus hippocastanum. Anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant and mild astringent that helps stimulate circulation to the skin. Often found in massage lotions, and in products for sensitive skin for its sedative properties. Contains saponins.
Horsetail, Bottlebrush — Equisetum arvense, Equisetum hyemale. Nutrient-rich herbal high in silica, essential to collagen production. A vegan alternative to collagen treatments, it firms and refreshes the skin and promotes healing. Often used in conjunction with coltsfoot in hair care products, it strengthens the hair shaft and adds sheen and elasticity.
— Also known as floral waters, hydrosols are byproducts of the steam distillation of plant materials. While essential oils are concentrated forms of plant essences, hydrosols are highly diluted, made up of variable ratios of plant materials to water. To protect consumers, standards are being developed to determine an acceptable ratio. Quality hydrosols are beneficial to skin and hair, but do not offer all the synergy of natural, unprocessed plant liquids (e.g., aloe vera and orange pith juice).
Indian Gooseberry — Emblica officinalis. Used as a natural coloring agent in henna hair preparations.
Indigofera — Indigofera tinctoria. A safe, natural plant color (deep blue to purple). Has antiseptic properties.
— Naturally occurring in lecithin, this B vitamin is produced by the body in greater quantities than any other nutrient. Essential for cell respiration, it helps maintain skin and scalp health. (See also Vitamin B-complex
— Compounds containing iodine, naturally occurring in plants that grow in the sea. Applied topically, they are excellent antiseptics.
— Hedera helix. Antifungal often found in massage lotions and anticellulite preparations for its skin-toning and firming properties. Contains malic acid, a natural fruit acid that encourages skin cell turnover. (See also Fruit Acids
). Also used in shampoos and hair products for dandruff and other scalp problems. Contains saponins.
Jasmine Oil — Jasminum officinale. Essential oil of the aromatic flower, widely used in aromatherapy for its calming effect and as a natural fragrance in cosmetics and perfumes. A popular herbal medicine in China, very soothing to the skin and scalp.
Jojoba Butter — Jojoba esters. Natural butter made from jojoba oil. An excellent emollient.
Jojoba Meal — Simmondsia chinensis. High in protein and natural fibers, this byproduct of the moisture-rich jojoba plant contains 17 amino acids. Its mild exfoliating properties help clear away dead skin cells and nourish and deep-cleanse the complexion without drying it out.
Jojoba Oil, Jojoba Wax
— Simmondsia chinensis. Waxy oil extracted from the bean, which helps the jojoba desert plant retain water during the long summer drought. When used in cosmetic preparations, it not only acts as a humectant, but actually creates a protective film over the skin and hair shaft that helps seal in moisture. The oil is highly stable and very effective on dry skin, damaged hair and split ends.
Jojoba Wax Spheres — Made from jojoba wax, these perfectly smooth microscopic beads act as gentle exfoliants in masks and scrubs. A natural alternative to polyethylene beads (plastic) found in some skin care products.
Juniper Berries — Juniperus communis. Their essential oil is an excellent toner and antiseptic used to treat oily skin and acne, as well as eczema and other chronic skin conditions. Very soothing, it is also used as a fragrance.
— Mt. Kaolin Clay. A fine, natural clay from Mt. Kaolin, China, known for its drawing properties. Often used in deep-cleansing face masks.
Kava Kava — Piper methysticum. Mild sedative and analgesic used in the South Pacific as an aid in meditation. Taken internally, it helps relieve anxiety and stress. Applied to the skin, kava kava soothes and relaxes overworked muscles and tension. An excellent ingredient for massage lotions and bath oils.
Kelp — Macrocystis pyrifera. Seaweed high in iodine and vitamins A, B-complex, C and E. A skin and scalp nutrient, very soothing and toning.
Kukui Nut Oil — Aleurites moluccana. The oil of the kukui nut from Hawaii, rich in essential fatty acids. A natural moisturizer and skin protector.
Lactic Acid — An acid naturally occurring in milk and fruits, which produces pH levels like those of the hair and skin. A rich moisturizer.
— Laminaria digitata. Seaweed high in antioxidants and iodine helps attract and retain moisture on the skin. An excellent humectant and nutrient.
Lanolin — The oil obtained from the wool of sheep, used as an absorption base in moisturizers and hair products.
Lavandin — Lavandula hybrida. Hybrid obtained from crossing lavender and aspic. Its essential oil has antiseptic and soothing properties.
Lavender-Glycerin — Lavandula angustifolia. Obtained by the maceration of lavender flowers in vegetable glycerin. Very soothing to the skin.
— Lavandula angustifolia oil. Essential oil obtained from lavender flowers. Added to skin and hair care preparations for its soothing and antiseptic properties and pleasant fragrance.
Lavender Water — Lavandula angustifolia flower water. A byproduct of the distillation of lavender flowers, this hydrosol or floral water is a natural hydrating and soothing agent. An anti-irritant and antiseptic, it is an excellent ingredient in facial cleansers, toners and lotions for sensitive skin.
— A vegetable extract high in natural fatty acids. Most common sources are soybean oil and eggs. (See also Phospholipids
Lemon Oil, Lemon Peel Oil — Citrus medica limonum. Essential oil with antioxidant and antibacterial properties, often used in cosmetics as a skin freshener and for its cool, pleasant fragrance.
Lemon Oil Terpenes — A concentrated form of lemon oil, used as a natural fragrance.
Lemongrass — Cymbopogon citratus. Antimicrobial and antifungal often used as a fragrance. Has antioxidant properties. An excellent normalizer for oily skin.
Lime Oil — Citrus aurantifolia. Essential oil extracted from the peel of the fruit. A natural antiseptic and tonic, often used as a scent.
Linden Extract, Lime Tree — Tilia cordata. The extract from the flowers of the lime tree (also known as linden tree), which contains an essential oil-farnesol-similar to aloe and camomile. An emollient and soothing agent for the skin, also used in eye care formulations.
Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid
— See Vitamin F
— Microcapsules or sacs made from fatty substances (phospholipids), easily absorbed by the skin. Used in creams and lotions, they penetrate deeply to deliver nutrients, moisture and other substances contained within the sac to internal layers of the skin. (See also Phospholipids
Lysozyme — A natural enzyme.
Macadamia Nut Oil — Macadamia ternifolia. An excellent moisturizer and protector for hair and skin. High in essential fatty acids, its natural affinity to human sebum makes it an excellent skin care ingredient.
Magnesium — A mineral essential for nutrition and absorption of calcium and vitamin C. Applied topically, it helps regulate oil production in the skin and scalp.
Magnolia Blossom Extract — Magnolia biondii. Natural tonic and anti-irritant added to face creams for its slight bleaching effect on the skin. Sometimes used as a fragrance.
— Malva sylvestris. A natural hydrator, its skin-softening properties make it an excellent addition to creams, lotions and facial masks for dry skin. Sometimes used as a wash for tired eyes.
Mandarin Oil, Red Mandarin Oil (Ju pi/chen pi) — Citrus reticulata. Antiseptic and astringent. Often used as a fragrance.
Mandarin Peel Extract — Citrus nobilis. Natural anti-inflammatory known to improve skin and scalp circulation. Has a slight bleaching effect on the skin, helping fade freckles and other skin imperfections.
Mango Butter — Mangifera indica. Butter made from the seed of the mango, similar to jojoba butter. An excellent moisturizer.
Manuka Oil — Leptospermum scoparium. Analgesic, antifungal and antibacterial. Used by New Zealand's Maori people for its medicinal properties, this herbal oil has five times the antiseptic properties of tea tree oil and has a pleasant, honey-like fragrance.
Marshmallow Root — Althaea officinalis. An excellent hydrator and skin soother. Helps soften, protect and regenerate the skin.
— Spiraea ulmaria. Also known as Lady of the Meadow and Meadow Queen, it was considered a sacred plant by the Druids. Used in cosmetics for sensitive skin for its mild, tonic effect.
— Antiseptic and astringent derived from peppermint, its warming/cooling properties have a soothing effect on the skin. (See also Peppermint
— Sulfur-rich amino acid, very beneficial to the hair and skin. (See also Amino Acids
— Lactoperoxidase, Lactalbumin. Protein high in lactic acid and containing the eight essential amino acids. It has been labeled "the most perfect protein." An excellent ingredient in conditioners for dry or damaged hair.
Milk Thistle — Silybum marianum. Detoxifier used internally in the treatment of liver disorders. Clinical studies have shown its active compound silymarin, a flavonoid with strong antioxidant properties, helps protect skin cells from free radical damage caused by sun exposure and pollution. Very soothing to the skin and scalp.
Mineral Water — Aqua. Water drawn from a spring, either naturally carbonated (such as Perrier) or still (such as Evian).
Mint — Any of a variety of aromatic plants (genus Mentha) used as a natural antiseptic and freshener. Sometimes added as fragrance. (See also Peppermint; Spearmint; Cornmint.)
Mistletoe — Viscum album. An anti-irritant, known for its soothing properties on sensitive skin. It is often combined with fennel, hops, camomile, balm mint and yarrow in skin formulations.
Morus Root — Morus alba. Extract of mulberry root bark, with anti-inflammatory and humectant properties. The Chinese use it for its whitening properties and smoothing effect on the skin.
Mucopolysaccharides — Plant or animal substances that bind with water to form the thick, jelly-like material that cements cells together. Used in skin and hair care formulations for their ability to retain water. Mucopolysaccharides from aloe vera are best.
Myrrh — Commiphora myrrha. A superb moisturizer and freshener with skin-regenerating properties. Ideal for sensitive skin. Often used as a fragrance.
Myrtle Herb Extract — Myrtus communis. Aromatic stimulant and mild tonic sometimes used in suncare products for its soothing effect on sun-irritated skin.
Natural Flower Oil — Oil extracted from flowers and used in synthetic-free perfumes and colognes. A natural fragrance.
Natural Grain Alcohol
— Alcohol denat. (38b, lavender). Powerful antiseptic, naturally obtained through the fermenting of carbohydrates in grains. Especially denatured alcohol 38b is pure, natural grain alcohol that has been rendered undrinkable by the addition of an essential oil. The federal government allows for several different types of essential oils to be used as denaturants under the SDA 38b classification; however, the preferred additive for the natural cosmetic industry is lavender. (Many cosmetic formulations contain isopropyl alcohol, a petrochemical that is much cheaper to use and very harsh and drying to the skin.)
Neroli, Orange Blossom Oil
— Citrus aurantium. Oil distilled from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree. Its antibacterial and balancing properties make it a good addition to skin care products.
Nettle, Stinging Nettle — Urtica dioica. Excellent tonic and astringent, rich in phosphates and trace minerals. Promotes circulation to the skin and scalp and is said to stimulate hair growth, especially when combined with horsetail and coltsfoot. Its high silica and sulfur content make it very nourishing to the hair and scalp, and an excellent addition to products for thinning hair.
— Vitamin B-3. An important B vitamin, essential for blood circulation and healthy skin. (See also Vitamin B-complex
Non-GMO — Not containing any genetically modified substances.
Nutmeg — Myristica fragrans. A popular spice in cooking, the nutmeg essential oil is used in cosmetics for its exotic, spicy fragrance.
— Hydrolized oat protein. A natural humectant used in skin care formulations for its powerful antiaging properties. Used regularly, oat protein has been clinically shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines by 34% and deep wrinkles by 57%, and to keep skin hydrated for up to eight hours after application.
Oat Straw — Avena sativa straw extract. Anti-irritant and softening agent, rich in silica. Used in hair products to improve hair texture and add shine.
Oakmoss — Evernia prunastri. The extract from a lichen that grows on oak trees, used as a fixative in cosmetic products.
Oatmeal — Avena sativa kernel flour. Natural cleanser and toner, its mild exfoliating action makes it an excellent addition to facial masks. Has a slight bleaching effect and is said to help fade age spots and other skin imperfections and to even out skin tones.
Olive Kernel Powder — Olea europaea. Mild exfoliant derived from olive seeds.
Olive Leaf Extract — Olea europaea leaf extract. Used for its antibacterial properties.
Olive Oil — Olea europaea. Rich emollient high in oleic acid, very beneficial to the skin. Used in skin care preparations for thousands of years for its softening and smoothing properties.
Olive Oil Castile
— Olive oil, saponified with an alkaline salt, becomes an excellent soap, mild and soothing to the skin. True olive oil castile soap should contain at least 40% pure olive oil.
Orange Blossom Oil
— See Neroli
Orange Pith Juice
— Citrus sinensis. The plant liquid squeezed from the pith and peel of oranges after they have been juiced. High in vitamin C and pectinic acid, it helps smooth the cuticle of the hair to lock in nutrients and enhance shine.
Oregano Oil — Origanum vulgare. Powerful antifungal and healing agent. Chinese herbalists have used it for generations to soothe rashes and other skin irritations and relieve itching.
— Aminobenzoic Acid. Water-soluble B vitamin that acts as a skin nutrient and sun protector, screening out the sun's damaging UV rays. Some people are sensitive to aminobenzoic acid, so a PABA ester (Padimate O) can be used as an alternative. (See also Padimate O
— An ester of aminobenzoic acid shown to protect skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. A very effective sunscreen, recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil
— Elaeis guineensis. Oil obtained from the seeds or fruit of the palm tree. Saponified with an alkaline salt, it is used in the manufacture of bar soaps. (See also Sodium Palmate
in our INCI Terms Dictionary.)
Palma Rosa Oil — Cymbopogon martini. Essential oil used for its pleasant scent and hydrating and tonic effects on the skin.
Palmitate — A salt or ester of palmitic acid, a fatty acid found in palm and other fatty oils. Often used in baby oils, bath oils, hair conditioners and moisturizers.
— (Vitamin B-5) Natural hair thickener that helps give hair body and hold. An excellent hydrator, it helps nourish and strengthen the scalp and promote hair health. Also used as a natural skin hydrator, it is sometimes known as Pantothenic Acid.
Papaya — Carica papaya. An excellent skin softener, its enzymatic action mildly exfoliates.
Passionflower — Passiflora incarnata. Analgesic, anti-irritant and sedative, its roots and leaves are used in skin care formulations for their soothing properties.
Patchouli — Pogostemon cablin. Aromatic essential oil used as a fragrance for its rich, herbaceous scent, and as a fixative in perfumes and soaps.
Peanut Oil — Arachis hypogaea. Superb emollient often used in natural massage oils and soaps.
— Obtained from the cell walls of plants, the peel of citrus and the crushed pulp of apples. Used in hair care products, it helps smooth the cuticle to lock in nutrients and enhance shine. (See also Orange Pith Juice
Pellitory — Anacyclus pyrethrum. A pungent herb used as a stimulant and circulation enhancer.
Pellitory-of-the-Wall — Parietaria officinalis. Herbal extract known for its emollient and astringent effects. It is sometimes combined with the mallows elder and arnica in natural moisturizers.
Peony Herb, Peony Root — Paeonia lactiflora. Antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory used in acne preparations and in toothpastes and other oral hygiene products to promote healthy teeth and gums.
— Mentha piperita. Excellent antiseptic frequently used in shampoos and rinses for its toning effect on the scalp, and in bath oils for its warming/cooling properties on sore muscles. A natural anti-inflammatory, very soothing to the skin and scalp.
— Fatty substances that are important constituents of cell membranes. Plant phospholipids are similar to human phospholipids and are readily absorbed into the skin. Phospholipids obtained from soybean oil in the form of lecithin are used to make liposomes, which act as delivery agents for vitamins and humectants. (See also Liposomes
Pimenta Leaf Oil
— Pimenta officinalis. Essential oil from the leaves of an evergreen tree indigenous to the West Indies. An antiseptic and astringent, it also acts as a scalp tonic. Often used as a flavoring agent or fragrance.
Pine Needle Extract — Pinus sylvestris. The extract of pine-tree leaves, often blended with witch hazel, red vine and other herbals for its tonic, antiseptic and stimulating effect on the skin. Combined with hops, rosemary and horsetail, it makes an excellent addition to celltherapy moisturizers.
Pine Needle Oil
— Pinus sylvestris. Aromatic oil with antimicrobial and tonic properties. An excellent addition to facial cleansers and natural deodorants, and to massage oils for its warming effect on the skin. Often used as a fragrance. See also Fir Oil
Pomegranate Extract — Punica granatum. A potent antioxidant and nutrient. Helps support skin cell regeneration.
Prickly Pear — Opuntia ficus-indica. Antioxidant and nutrient, rich in essential fatty acids, clinically proven to firm and protect skin in 28 days with twice daily use. An emollient and soothing agent, it restores softness and elasticity to dry, mature or sun-damaged skin. An excellent addition to anti-aging products.
Quillaya Bark, Soap Bark — Quillaja saponaria. Extract from the soap bark tree makes a natural soap with excellent foam-boosting and cleansing abilities, containing 9-10% saponins. An astringent and anti-inflammatory, it is used in shampoos and hair care preparations for dandruff and other scalp problems.
Quinoa Protein — Chenopodium quinoa. One of the most complete plant proteins, high in vitamins, minerals and the sulfur-containing amino acids cystine and cysteine, excellent nutrients for the hair, skin and scalp. A fixative in hair styling products, it smoothes layers in the hair's cuticle to strengthen hair fiber, reduce frizzing and enhance shine. Used in anti-aging creams and facial masks, it firms and nourishes skin for a more youthful appearance.
Radish Extract — Raphanus sativus. Antibacterial and astringent. Sometimes used as a natural color.
Raspberry Fruit Extract — Rubus idaeus. Antioxidant and astringent. Protects and tones the skin.
Red Vine — Vitis vinifera. Extract from the leaves of the grape vine, known for its soothing, toning properties, and as an "anti-blotchiness" skin treatment. An anti-inflammatory, it helps reduce redness and irritation. High in antioxidant vitamin C, choline and inositol.
Reticulin — One of the three main proteins found in the skin, often used in cellular repair creams for its ability to attract and retain moisture.
— Vitamin B-2. This antioxidant B vitamin is an integral part of the chemical process that produces glutathione, which protects skin cells from free radical damage. Very beneficial to the skin and nails. (See also Vitamin B-complex
Rice Extract — Oryza sativa. Natural chelating agent added to shampoos to improve rinseability by binding to iron (from hard water) and chlorine and removing them from the hair. Also used as an emulsifier and humectant.
Rice Starch — Oryza sativa starch. Used in baby powders in place of talc, and in powdered makeup to improve spreadability and add a soft, smooth feel to the skin.
Roman Camomile Oil
— Anthemis nobilis. A softening agent for rough, dry skin, used since ancient times for its calming and conditioning effects. Its soothing and hydrating properties also work well on the hair and scalp. Brings out highlights in lighter hair. (See also German Camomile
, Blue Camomile
Rosa Mosqueta® Rose Hip Seed Oil — Rosa rubiginosa. Oil from the rose hips of a rare rose that grows in Chile's Andes mountains. High in vitamin C, and linoleic and linolenic acids, essential fatty acids necessary for skin cell regeneration, it has been used by South American Indians for hundreds of years for its healing and moisturizing properties. Clinical tests have shown that Rosa Mosqueta®, applied regularly, helps fade scarring and skin discolorations and encourage skin cell growth. There's no better moisturizer for dry or mature skin and brittle, damaged hair.
— Pelargonium graveolens roseum. Essential oil used in skin care for its soothing and aromatic properties. (See also Geranium
— Rosa damascena. Essential oil obtained by steam distillation. Used for its skin softening properties and pleasant fragrance.
Rosemary Oil — Rosmarinus officinalis. Essential oil beneficial to both hair and skin for its antioxidant, toning and purifying properties. In hair care products it is said to stimulate hair follicles to grow and encourage circulation to the scalp. Used in hair rinses, particularly in combination with sage, it soothes and conditions the scalp and helps remove buildup and prevent flaking.
Rosewater — Rosa damascena flower distillate. A byproduct of the distillation of fresh rose petals, this hydrosol or floral water is a natural hydrator and anti-irritant. Used in cosmetics since the 10th century, it is an excellent soothing agent for dry, sensitive skin.
Rosewood, Bois de Rose
— Aniba rosaeodora. Essential oil often used for its pleasant, woody-floral fragrance. A mild analgesic and cellular stimulant.
Royal Jelly — Substance secreted in the digestive tube of worker bees. A powerful nutrient high in amino acids, minerals and vitamins A, B, C and E. Very soothing and moisturizing to the skin.
Rye Seed Extract — Secale cereale. The highly purified extract from rye seeds. An excellent ingredient in face creams and anti-aging formulations, it provides a gradual and long-lasting firming action and visually smoother skin. Has been shown to significantly reduce the depth and appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by 25% with twice daily use.
Safflower Oil — Carthamus tinctorius. Cold-pressed from safflower seeds. Rich in skin-soothing oleic acid and vitamin E.
Sage Oil — Salvia officinalis. A purifier and tonic, its antibacterial action makes it ideal for sensitive skin or scalp and antidandruff preparations. It is often combined with rosemary in hair and skin care products, and like rosemary, it has antioxidant properties and is very beneficial to the skin and scalp.
— The active ingredient in aspirin, a natural anti-inflammatory and exfoliant used in the treatment of acne and preparations for oily skin. Applied topically, it penetrates the follicle and encourages the shedding of dead skin cells from within, breaking up oil deposits and impurities that can cause blocked pores and blemishes. Natural sources of salicylic acid include willow bark extract and wintergreen oil.
Sandalwood Oil — Santalum album. One of the oldest fragrance components, this aromatic essential oil has been in use for over 4000 years for its deep, woody, long-lasting scent. In recent years, the Indian sandalwood tree has become endangered. We use only farmed, sustainable Australian sandalwood in our products.
Saponins — Natural glycosides that foam in water. A natural detergent.
Sarsaparilla Root — Smilax utilis. Mild, natural detergent and skin purifier. Contains saponins.
Sassafras Oil — Sassafras officinale. Essential oil often used as a fragrance.
Sea Aster — Aster tripolium. Soothing agent clinically proven to reduce redness and irritation on the skin. An excellent addition to calming formulas for sensitive complexions.
Sea Buckthorn Oil — Hippophae rhamnoides. Richest herbal source of antioxidant vitamins E and A (beta carotene and other carotenoids), which help prevent the formation of free radicals. This nourishing oil is also high in essential fatty acids, particularly rare palmitoleic acid, a constituent of the skin's sebum. An excellent soothing agent for stressed or acne-prone skin and sunburn.
Sea Salt — Mineral-rich salt naturally obtained from sea water. Used in bath soaks and body scrubs for its softening effect on the skin.
— Special blend of herbal extracts from the sea, usually consisting of variations of the following: Bladderwrack
(seaweed gum), Iodides
. (For more information on these, see individual entries.)
Selenium — Micronutrient mineral with strong antioxidant properties, very soothing to the scalp. Included in shampoos and rinses for dandruff and other scalp problems, it helps remove buildup and keep scalp clear and healthy with continued use. Should be used in small amounts, as it can be irritating to the eyes.
Sesame Oil — Sesamum indicum. Similar to avocado oil, this rich emollient is high in linoleic and oleic fatty acids. Often used as a carrying agent for other ingredients in cosmetic formulations.
— Butyrospermum parkii. Moisture-rich butter obtained from the nuts of the Mangifolia tree in Central Africa, also known as karite butter or African butter. A superb emollient, high in fatty acids and other nutrients, it is an ideal ingredient for skin moisturizers, sun care products and hair conditioners.
Shiitake Mushroom Extract — Corthellus shiitake. Anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant. Calms and hydrates skin and helps promote skin cell health. Contains kojic acid, which can have a brightening effect on age spots and other imperfections.
Siberian Pine Needle Oil
— See Fir Oil
Silybum marianum — Milk thistle. Detoxifier used internally in the treatment of liver disorders. Clinical studies have shown its active compound silymarin, a flavonoid with strong antioxidant properties, helps protect skin cells from free radical damage caused by sun exposure and pollution. Very soothing to the skin and scalp.
Silica — A mineral used in creams and lotions as a thickener and stabilizer. In suncare products, it works synergistically to increase the efficiency of sunscreen ingredients. Like talc, silica can cause serious damage to the lungs when the dry ingredient is inhaled, but is safe when applied topically.
Silk Powder — Used in makeup powders to even out skin tones and leave the complexion soft and smooth. Obtained from silk threads, it is high in amino acids and vitamin E.
Skullcap — Scutellaria baicalensis. Mild tonic and stimulant with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Very beneficial to hair and scalp.
Soapwort — Saponaria officinalis. High in saponins, natural cleansing agents. Used in soaps for its lathering properties.
Sodium Cocoate — Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera) saponified with an alkaline salt. A lathering agent in soaps. (See also Coconut Oil.)
Sodium Hyaluronate — A naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan (polysaccharide) derived from beneficial bacteria. Used in skin care preparations to helps attract and retain moisture.
Sodium Hydroxide — An alkaline salt obtained when electrolysis (positive and negative poles) is applied to sea water or salt water. Chlorine collects at the positive pole, and sodium hydroxide collects at the negative pole.
Sodium PCA — Salt of glutamic acid, an amino acid that occurs widely in food. Used in appropriate concentrations, it acts as a humectant to help attract and retain moisture to the skin.
— An emollient and skin soother derived from sorbitol. Sometimes used as an emulsifier. (See also Sorbitol
— A white, sweet, crystalline alcohol found in certain berries and fruits, sometimes used as a sugar substitute. Used as a moisturizing agent in cosmetic products. (See also Sorbitan sesquiolate
in our INCI Terms Dictionary.)
— Hydrolized soy protein. Water-soluble protein naturally derived from soy via the enzymatic hydrolysis process. Applied topically, it is an excellent hydrator that improves the texture and resiliency of the skin. In hair care formulas, it coats porous and damaged areas to strengthen and mend hair fiber.
Soybean Oil — Glycine soya. Good emollient, high in linoleic, oleic, palmitic and linolenic acids, essential fatty acids necessary for healthy skin.
Spearmint Oil — Mentha viridis, Mentha spicata. Essential oil used for its stimulating and tonic properties and refreshing fragrance.
Squalane — A saturated hydrocarbon found in human sebum, added to cosmetics for its emollient and bactericidal properties. Squalane is typically obtained from shark liver oil, but the identical substance can be derived from olives. Olive oil squalane is more stable and much more compatible with the skin than its shark-derived counterpart.
St. John's Wort — Hypericum perforatum. Although this calming herb is best known as a natural antidepressant, its oil form is an excellent emollient and skin softener, widely used in sun and skin care products for its healing properties on dry, irritated skin. Also beneficial to damaged hair and dry scalp. Not phototoxic when used topically.
Stearic acid — A fatty acid used as an emulsifier and thickening agent. A surfactant, stearic acid helps bind soap particles to dirt and oil on the skin's surface so they can be rinsed away. We use stearic acid from vegetable sources in our natural products.
Strawberry — Fragaria vesca. Astringent and tonic. Often used as a natural flavor.
Styrax Oil — Liquidambar styraciflua. A natural fragrance.
Sucrose — A derivative of cane sugar. Hydrates and encourages moisture retention in the skin.
Sugar Cane Extract
— Saccharum officinarum. A main source of glycolic acid, its mild exfoliating action helps remove dead skin cells and encourage new cell growth. An excellent addition to anti-aging products. (See also Fruit Acids
.) Sometimes used as a natural scent.
Sugar Maple — Acer saccharum. A natural alpha hydroxy acid, its mild exfoliating action helps remove dead skin and promote skin cell turnover. Has antioxidant properties.
Sunflower Oil — Helianthus annus. The extract from sunflower seeds, a rich emollient high in linoleic and oleic essential fatty acids. A good base for massage oils and lotions.
Sweet Almond Oil, Sweet Almond Butter — Prunus amygdalus dulcis. Excellent emollient high in oleic, linoleic and other fatty acids, ideal in the treatment of very dry skin. Soothing and moisturizing. A good absorption base.
Sweet Clover Extract — Melilotus officinalis. Conditioning and soothing agent. Promotes circulation to the skin and scalp.
Sweet Orange Oil, Sweet Orange Peel
— Citrus aurantium dulcis. Essential oil expressed from the peel of sweet oranges (Navel, Jaffa, Valencia). An anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal used for its refreshing properties and pleasant scent. Contains flavonoids and vitamins A, B, C and E.
Tagetes Oil — Tagetes minuta. An essential oil with antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
Tangerine Oil — Citrus tangerina. An antiseptic and tonic, often used as a fragrance.
Tea Tree Oil — Melaleuca alternifolia. Essential oil with powerful antiseptic and germicidal properties, similar to eucalyptus oil. Due to its strong odor, it must be used in small amounts in cosmetics, but makes an excellent addition to dandruff shampoos and therapeutic masks and moisturizers.
Thyme — Thymus vulgaris. Antiseptic and tonic. Contributes an herbal note to the scent of cosmetic products.
Titanium Dioxide — Naturally occurring mineral that actually deflects the sun's burning rays off the skin, offering significant protection from damaging UVA/UVB rays. Often combined with Padimate O, it is a superb ingredient for sunblocks.
Tofu — Derived from soybeans, this rich plant food is high in protein, calcium, B vitamins and other nutrients beneficial to hair, scalp and skin. An excellent addition to absorption bases.
Tonka Bean — Dipteryx odorata. Used for its natural fragrance, reminiscent of vanilla.
Turmeric — Curcuma longa. A spice known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties.
Vanilla Oil — Vanilla planifolia. Used as a natural fragrance.
Vegetable Glycerin — Rich humectant, emollient and lubricant naturally extracted from vegetable oils, used in cosmetic formulations for thousands of years. (Synthetic glycerin, otherwise known as propylene glycol, is highly irritating to the skin and scalp and should be avoided.)
— Termed "the building block of life," protein is our most important food, a leading source of vitamins and essential amino acids. Generally found in meats, eggs and dairy products, protein can also be obtained from soy, wheat and other plant sources. Applied topically, vegetable protein is an excellent hydrator, readily absorbed by the skin for improved texture. In hair care formulas, it combines with fatty acids and amino acids to coat porous or damaged hair and split ends. (See also Soy Protein
; Oat Protein
; Wheat Protein
Vetiver — Vetiveria zizanoides. Soothing essential oil used in cosmetics for its smoky, earthy scent. Due to its sedative properties, in India it is known as "oil of tranquility."
Violet — Viola odorata. Analgesic and soothing agent very beneficial to sensitive skin. Contains salicylic acid. The flower extract, combined with other oils and extracts, is often used as a fragrance.
Vitamin A — Antioxidant vitamin widely used (both internally and topically) in the treatment of acne and other skin conditions. Its topical application promotes the formation of new skin cells and helps regulate oil secretion in the sebaceous glands. Particularly beneficial for dry or sun-exposed skin, it is often found in sun protection creams for its antioxidant properties and its soothing and hydrating effect on the skin. (A deficiency of vitamin A in the body reduces the mucopolysaccharides in the skin, which accelerates the skin's aging process.) Also used as a natural preservative in cosmetics.
Vitamin B-complex (Herbal)
— Water-soluble vitamins that, when applied topically, help control excess oil secretion. Particularly effective in preparations for rough, scaly skin and blemishes. Since B vitamins are the regulators of the body's metabolic functions, they are important to skin cell respiration. (See also Inositol
— Ascorbic acid, Calcium ascorbate. Powerful antioxidant and nutrient, very beneficial to the skin. Plays an essential role in building collagen, the connective tissue that makes up 70 percent of our skin. Vitamin C is also a natural preservative, protecting both the oil and water phases of cosmetics. (Ester-C®
— d-Alpha Tocopherol. The most potent antioxidant vitamin around, it protects skin from cancer-causing free radicals and is essential for proper utilization of oxygen in the tissues. In cosmetics it also acts as a natural preservative, protecting the oil phase in creams and lotions.
— Glyceryl linoleate, Glyceryl linolenate. Skin protector and revitalizer consisting of linoleic and linolenic acids, two essential fatty acids. Used in moisturizers, it soothes rough, dry or chapped skin on contact and helps soften and revitalize dry or damaged hair. (See also Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base
Vitamins A, C and E — Their combined action, blended with citrus seed extract, makes an excellent natural preservative.
Walnut Extract — Juglans regia. Tonic and astringent, very beneficial to the skin and scalp. Also used as a temporary brown hair color, often in combination with henna.
Walnut Shells — Juglans regia shell powder. Natural exfoliants used in facial masks. The mild scrubbing action of ground walnut shells helps break up oil deposits and clear away dead skin cells and debris.
Watercress — Nasturtium officinale. Good source of vitamins A, B-complex and C. Soothing and conditioning, very beneficial to the skin. Also shown to strengthen and thicken hair.
Watermelon Extract — Citrullus lanatus. Used in skin care for its moisturizing effect and as a defense against UV damage to the skin's DNA.
Wheat Germ Oil — Triticum vulgare. Extracted from the embryo of the wheat kernel. An anti-inflammatory and skin nourisher that also acts as a natural preservative because of its high vitamin E content.
Wheatgrass — Triticum aestivum. Anti-inflammatory used in the treatment of eczema and dermatitis. An ingredient in many preparations for problem skin, and in shampoos and hair conditioners. Contains plant sterols.
— Hydrolized wheat protein. Water-soluble protein naturally derived from wheat. Applied topically, it helps attract and retain moisture and is clinically proven to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. In hair care formulas, it coats porous and damaged areas to strengthen and mend hair fiber. (See also Vegetable Protein
Whey protein — A protein derived from milk. Helps support the skin's collagen.
White Birch Extract — Betula alba. Powdered extract from the bark of the birch tree, rich in betulin and known for its soothing and purifying effect on the skin. Herbalists use it in the treatment of many skin disorders. An excellent addition to sun care products and face creams.
White Camellia Oil — Camellia japonica. Rich oil extracted from the white camellia flower, cultivated in the villages of China and Japan and used in hair and skin care formulations for thousands of years. A superb moisturizer and nutrient for hair and skin, it has antioxidant properties.
White Oak Bark Extract — Quercus alba. Natural astringent. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant properties make it beneficial for some skin and scalp conditions.
White Pine Bark Extract — Pinus strobus. American Indians used this soothing extract in preparations for dry scalp and skin conditions long before coal tar and other petrochemicals were ever used.
Wild Ginger Root
— See Ginger
Willow Bark Extract
— Salix Nigra. An excellent natural source of salicylic acid, very beneficial in the treatment of acne and blemish-prone skin. A natural anti-inflammatory. (See also Salicylic Acid
Wintergreen Oil — Gaultheria procumbens. A tonic, stimulant and freshener, this aromatic oil has a "heating" or "warming" action on the muscles and skin. Excellent in body rubs and bath oils, as well as mouthwash and toothpaste formulations. Is very high in salicylic acid.
Witch Hazel — Hamamelis virginiana. A byproduct of the distillation of the leaves and stems of the plant, this hydrosol or floral water is a natural astringent and tonic. An anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory, it is an excellent ingredient in facial cleansers, toners and lotions.
Xanthan Gum — Polysaccharide derived from beneficial bacteria, used as a natural stabilizer, thickener and emulsifier in cosmetic preparations.
Xylitol — Sugar alcohol from the birch tree, used as a sweetener.
Yarrow — Achillea millefolium. Extract from the flower heads of this ancient herbal, a known anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant. It also adds sheen to the hair and has a firming action on the skin.
Yeast — High in protein and B vitamins. Added to cosmetics for its nutritional properties.
— Ilex paraguayensis. This rainforest native is a powerful anti-inflammatory and nutrient, high in vitamins and amino acids.
Ylang Ylang Oil — Cananga odorata. Essential oil used for its skin-soothing properties and spicy floral scent.
— Yucca schidigera. Mild, natural detergent used in shampoos and soaps for its foaming and purifying abilities. Contains saponins.
Zinc — Mineral essential for growth and skin cell regeneration. Promotes healing. Often prescribed orally to help control some forms of acne.
Zinc Oxide — Occurring in nature as zincite, this water-insoluble substance makes an excellent sunblock, protecting skin from UVA and UVB rays.