Know your product!
Probably most of us never bothered reading the ingredients of our creams and beauty products simply because they are written in Latin/Scientific Name. Unfortunately this is a common practice because by law that's how it should be. The intention is to be able to identify the correct/exact species that is being used.
If you want to know what your product is made of, this list might help you out.
Acacia catechu bark powder — Acacia, Katha. Used as a natural coloring agent in henna hair preparations.
Acacia senegal gum — Gum Arabic. 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.
Achillea millefolium — Yarrow. 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.
Acidophilus / Grape ferment — See Fruit Acids in our Dictionary of Common Terms.
Aesculus hippocastanum — Horse Chestnut. 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.
Alanine — An amino acid. (See Amino Acids in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
Alcohol denat. (38b, lavender) — Natural Grain Alcohol. Powerful antiseptic, naturally obtained through the fermenting of carbohydrates in grains. (Many cosmetic formulations contain isopropyl alcohol, a petrochemical that is much cheaper to use and very harsh and drying to the skin.) Especially denatured alcohol 38b is 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.
Aleurites moluccana — Kukui Nut Oil. The oil of the kukui nut from Hawaii, rich in essential fatty acids. A natural moisturizer and skin protector.
Algae extract — A powerful nutrient—rich in amino acids, antioxidant vitamin C and vitamin B-12—that enhances cell formation. An excellent addition to anti-aging formulas for its gradual tightening and firming effect on the skin. Extracts of Nannocloropsis oculata, Euchema spinosum and Gigartina stellata can be used for this purpose. Another algae, carrageenan (Chondrus crispus), also known as Irish Moss, is used as a thickener and stabilizer in cosmetic preparations.
Aloe barbadensis leaf — Aloe Vera Fillet. The whole gel-like fillet removed from the aloe leaf. An excellent skin soother and hydrator.
Aloe barbadensis leaf / leaf juice — Aloe Vera. 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.
Amyris balsamifera — Amyris Oil. Essential oil used for its pleasant fragrance, and as a natural fixative in perfumes. Sometimes known as West Indian sandalwood.
Anacyclus pyrethrum — Pellitory. A pungent herb used as a stimulant and circulation enhancer.
Andira araroba — Goa Herb (Chrysarobin). 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.
Angelica archangelica — Angelica. Both the essential oil and the dried leaves of this herb are very aromatic. Angelica oil and angelica wax are excellent skin soothers.
Angelica archangelica extract — Chinese Angelica. Superb skin and scalp tonic and antibacterial used in preparations for acne and other skin conditions.
Aniba rosaeodora — Rosewood. Essential oil often used for its pleasant, woody-floral fragrance. A mild analgesic and cellular stimulant.
Anthemis nobilis flower oil — Roman Camomile. 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. (See also Chamomilla recutita; Tanacetum annuum (blue camomile).
Aphanizomenon flos aquae — Blue Green Algae. 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.
Aqua — Water. In our formulations, we use deionized water, purified water that has had ions removed. (The deionization process also removes nitrates, calcium, magnesium and heavy metals.) A few of our products contain mineral water from a spring, either naturally carbonated, such as Perrier, or still, such as Evian.
Arachis hypogaea — Peanut Oil. Superb emollient often used in natural massage oils and soaps.
Arctium lappa root extract — Burdock. 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.
Arginine — An amino acid. (See Amino Acids in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
Arnica Montana — Arnica Oil. 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.
Ascorbic acid — Vitamin C. 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. Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble form of vitamin C. (See also Calcium ascorbate.)
Ascorbyl palmate — An oil-soluble form of vitamin C. (See also Ascorbic acid.)
Astragalus gummifer — Gum Tragacanth. 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.
Avena sativa kernel flour — Oatmeal. 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.
Benzylic acid — See Fruit Acids in our Dictionary of Common Terms.
Beta vulgaris — Beet Root Extract. The extract or juice of beets, used as a natural red color.
Beta-carotene — Orange or red compounds, precursors to vitamin A, which occur naturally in plants. Essential for skin health. (See also Daucus carota sativa root extract.)
Betula alba — White Birch Extract. Powdered extract from the bark of the birch tree, 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.
Biotin— 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.
Borago officinalis seed oil — Borage Oil. 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.
Brassica campestris / Aleurites fordi oil — A natural copolymer made by combining chinawood (tung) and turnip (canola) oils under heat and pressure. Gives shine and slip to hair and lip care products. No plastics or chemical additives are used in making this copolymer.
Butyrospermum parkii — Shea Butter. 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.
Calamine — A 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.
Calcium ascorbate — Ester-C® Topical. 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.)
Calcium Pantothenate — See Panthenol.
Calendula officinalis flower extract — Calendula. 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.
Callitris intratropica — Blue Cypress Oil. Essential oil widely used in Australia for its woody fragrance and germ-zapping properties. A natural disinfectant and freshener, blue cypress oil makes an excellent addition to bath products and room deodorizers.
Camellia japonica — White Camellia Oil. 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.
Camellia sinensis — Green Tea. 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 sun care 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.
Cananga odorata — Ylang Ylang Oil. Essential oil used for its skin-soothing properties and spicy floral scent.
Cannabis sativa — Hemp Seed 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.
Capsicum frutescens fruit extract — Cayenne Pepper Extract. 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.
Caramel — A natural color.
Carica papaya — Papaya. An excellent skin softener, its enzymatic action mildly exfoliates.
Carmine — A stable, natural pigment harvested from the wings of the cactus beetle, which provides a bright red color.
Carthamus tinctorius — Safflower Oil. Cold-pressed from safflower seeds. Rich in skin-soothing oleic acid and vitamin E.
Cedrus atlantica — Atlas Cedar. 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.
Cedrus atlantica bark oil — Cedarwood Oil (Red). 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.
Cera alba — Beeswax. A natural humectant, also used in cosmetics as an emulsifier and thickening agent.
Cetyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol — Coconut Fatty Alcohols. The long-chain fatty alcohols from coconut palm kernels, which are natural emollients. (See also Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
Chamomilla recutita, Matricaria recutita — Camomile. 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. There are several different types of camomile (also spelled chamomile), including German camomile (Chamomilla recutita / Matricaria recutita) and Roman camomile (Anthemis nobilis).
Chenopodium quinoa — Quinoa Protein. One of the most complete plant proteins, high in vitamins, minerals and the sulfur-containing amino acids cystine and cysteine, excellent hair nutrients. Used as a fixative in hair styling products, it smoothes layers in the hair’s cuticle to strengthen hair fiber, reduce frizzing and enhance shine.
Chondrus crispus — Carrageenan. 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.
Chrysanthemum sinense — Chrysanthemum. Used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of allergic reactions and skin irritations. Known for its soothing effect on the skin and scalp.
Cinnamomum camphora — Ho Wood Oil. Essential oil, often used as a fragrance. Also known as white camphor.
Cinnamomum camphora bark oil — Camphor Oil. Tonic and freshener used in small amounts in lotions and creams for its cooling and soothing effects. Has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Cinnamomum cassia — Cassia Oil. A natural fragrance, very similar to cinnamon.
Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark powder — Cinnamon. Fragrant spice used as a coloring agent in natural makeup. 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.
Citrullus lanatus — Watermelon Extract. Used in skin care for its moisturizing effect and as a defense against UV damage to the skin’s DNA.
Citrus aurantifolia — Lime Oil. Essential oil extracted from the peel of the fruit. A natural antiseptic and tonic, often used as a scent.
Citrus aurantium dulcis — Sweet Orange Oil. 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.
Citrus bergamia — Bergamot Oil. Essential oil from the peel of the fruit, an analgesic and tonic, sometimes used as a fragrance. Only bergapten-free oil should be used.
Citrus grandis — Grapefruit Oil. 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.
Citrus grandis seed extract — Citrus Seed Extract. The extract from grapefruit seeds, shown to have antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Combined with antioxidant vitamins, it makes an effective plant-based preservative.
Citrus medica limonum — Lemon Oil/Lemon Peel Oil. Essential oil with antioxidant and antibacterial properties, often used in cosmetics as a skin freshener and for its cool, pleasant fragrance.
Citrus nobilis — Mandarin Peel Extract. 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.
Citrus reticulata — Red Mandarin Oil. Antiseptic and astringent. Often used as a fragrance.
Citrus sinensis — Orange Pith Juice. 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.
Citrus tangerina — Tangerine Oil. An antiseptic and tonic, often used as a fragrance.
Clematis vitalba leaf extract — Clematis. Applied topically, this herb has anti-inflammatory properties and a soothing effect on the skin.
Coco glucoside — See Coconut Oil-Corn Oil Soap in our Dictionary of Common Terms.
Cocos nucifera fruit juice — Coconut Milk. The milk from coconuts, a natural hair and skin hydrator.
Cocos nucifera oil — Coconut 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. Accept nothing but the real thing in its natural form.
Copernicia cerifera — Carnauba Wax. Plant wax used as a thickening agent in cosmetics, and to increase the spreadability of powdered makeup for better coverage.
Coriandrum sativum — Coriander Seed Oil. Antibacterial, often used in cosmetics for its spicy fragrance.
Corthellus shiitake — Shiitake Mushroom Extract. 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.
Cucumis sativus fruit extract — Cucumber. 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.
Cyampopsis tetragonoloba — Guar Gum. Extract from the guar bean, used as a thickener and emulsifier in cosmetic products.
Cymbopogon martini — Palma Rosa Oil. Essential oil used for its pleasant scent and hydrating and tonic effects on the skin.
Cymbopogon nardus — Citronella. Aromatic essential oil often used in fragrance blends. Also used as a natural insect repellent at very high concentrations.
Cysteine — Sulfur-rich amino acid, very beneficial to the hair and skin. (See also Amino Acids in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
Daucus carota sativa root extract — Carrot Oil. Orange or red compounds, rich in beta-carotene, that are precursors to vitamin A. Also high in vitamin E, carrot oil is essential to skin cell regeneration and helps stimulate the production of sebum in dry scalp and skin.
Dipteryx odorata — Tonka Bean. Used for its natural fragrance, reminiscent of vanilla.
Echinacea purpurea — Echinacea, Coneflower. 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 cell therapy and anti-wrinkle creams as a hydrator and firming agent.
Eclipta alba — False Daisy. Used as a natural coloring agent in henna hair preparations.
Elaeis guineensis — Palm Oil, Palm Soap. 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.)
Elettaria cardamomum — Cardamom Oil. Antioxidant and antiseptic. One of the oldest essential oils known, its use dates back to ancient Egypt.
Emblica officinalis — Indian Gooseberry. Used as a natural coloring agent in henna hair preparations.
Epilobium angustifolium — Canadian Willowherb. 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 sun care products. Contains salicylic acid.
Equisetum hyemale — Horsetail, Bottlebrush. 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.
Eucalyptus globulus — Eucalyptus Oil. 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.
Eugenia caryophyllata — Clovebud Oil. Fragrant oil often used in aromatherapy. Has antiseptic properties.
Eugenia caryophyllus flower oil — Clove Oil. Soothing agent and antiseptic. Herbalists often recommend this fragrant herb for sensitive teeth and gums.
Evernia prunastri — Oakmoss. The extract from a lichen that grows on oak trees, used as a fixative in cosmetic products.
Ferula galbaniflua — Galbanium. Used in cosmetics for its leafy fragrance, and as a fixative for other scents.
Foeniculum vulgare — Fennel. Rich in oleic and linoleic acids, essential fatty acids. It has a tightening and firming action on the skin.
Fragaria vesca — Strawberry. Astringent and tonic. Often used as a natural flavor.
Fructose — A sugar found in fruits and honey that soothes, hydrates and encourages moisture retention in the skin.
Fucus vesiculosus extract — Bladderwrack. 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.
Fumaria officinalis — Fumitory. 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.
Gaultheria procumbens — Wintergreen Oil. A tonic, stimulant and freshener, this aromatic oil has a 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.
Ginkgo biloba — Ginkgo Leaf Extract. 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.
Glucose — A fruit sugar from corn and grapes that soothes and hydrates the skin, encouraging moisture retention.
Glutamic acid — An amino acid. (See Amino Acids in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
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.)
Glyceryl linoleate, Glyceryl linolenate — Vitamin F. 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 in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
Glycine soja — Soybean Oil. Good emollient, high in linoleic, oleic, palmitic and linolenic acids, essential fatty acids necessary for healthy skin.
Glycolic acid — 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 in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
Glycoprotein — A protein linked to a polysaccharide (glycogen). Glycoproteins (derived from yeast) contain sugars and amino acids, which help strengthen and smooth hair fiber.
Hamamelis virginiana — Witch Hazel. 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.
Hedera helix — Ivy. 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 in our Dictionary of Common Terms.) Also used in shampoos and hair products for dandruff and other scalp problems. Contains saponins.
Helianthus annuus — Sunflower Oil. The extract from sunflower seeds, a rich emollient high in linoleic and oleic essential fatty acids. A good base for massage oils and lotions.
Hippophae rhamnoides — Sea Buckthorn Oil. 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.
Honey — Light humectant and nutrient used as a thickening agent to give body to facial masks, creams and lotions.
Humulus lupulus — Hops. 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.
Hydrolyzed oat protein — Natural humectant clinically proven to increase hydration. Used in skin care products to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. (See also Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein.)
Hydrolyzed corn starch — Corn Syrup. 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.
Hydrolyzed 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.
Hydrolyzed oat protein — Natural humectant clinically proven to increase hydration. Used in skin care products to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. (See also Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein.)
Hydrolyzed rhodophycea — Red Algae Extract. See Algae extract.
Hydrolyzed 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.
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein — Vegetable Protein. 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 Hydrolyzed Soy Protein; Hydrolyzed Oat Protein; Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein.)
Hydrolyzed 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 Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein.)
Hypericum perforatum — St. Johns Wort. 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.
Ilex paraguayensis — Mate, Yerba Mate. This rainforest native is a powerful anti-inflammatory and nutrient, high in vitamins and amino acids.
Illicium verum — Anise Oil. Essential oil used as a natural fragrance.
Indigofera tinctoria — Indigofera. A safe, natural plant color (deep blue to purple). Has antiseptic properties.
Inositol — 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.
Iron Oxides — Hematite. A mineral used as a coloring agent in face powders and makeups. Varies in color from reddish-brown to black.
Jasminum officinale — Jasmine Oil. 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 esters — Jojoba Butter. Natural butter made from jojoba oil. An excellent emollient for hair and skin .
Jojoba esters (beads) — 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.
Juglans regia — Walnut Extract. Tonic and astringent, very beneficial to the skin and scalp. Also used as a temporary brown hair color, often in combination with henna.
Juglans regia shell powder — Walnut Shells. 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.
Juniperus oxycedrus — Cadewood Oil. 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.
Kaolin — Mt. Kaolin Clay. A fine, natural clay from Mt. Kaolin, China, known for its drawing properties. Often used in deep-cleansing face masks.
Lactic acid — An acid naturally occurring in milk and fruits, which produces pH levels like those of the hair and skin. A rich moisturizer.
Lactis proteinum — Lactalbumin. Milk 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.
Laminaria digitata — Laminaria. Seaweed high in antioxidants and iodine helps attract and retain moisture on the skin. An excellent humectant and nutrient.
Lanolin Oil — Lanolin. The oil obtained from the wool of sheep, used as an absorption base in moisturizers and hair products.
Lauris nobilis — Bay Laurel Oil. 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.
Lauroyl lysine — Fine powder derived from the amino acid lysine and lauric acid from coconut. Adds a silky feel to makeup powders.
Lavandula angustifolia — Lavender Oil. Essential oil obtained from lavender flowers. Added to skin and hair care preparations for its soothing and antiseptic properties and pleasant fragrance.
Lavandula angustifolia flower water — Lavender 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.
Lavandula hybrida — Lavadin. Hybrid obtained from crossing lavender and aspic. Its essential oil has antiseptic and soothing properties,
Lawsonia Inermis — Henna Extract. 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.
Lecithin — A vegetable extract high in natural fatty acids. Most common sources are soybean oil and eggs. (See also Phospholipids.)
Leptospermum scoparium — Manuka Oil. 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.
Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid — See Glyceryl linoleate, Glyceryl linolenate.
Linum usitatissimum extract — Flaxseed Lignans. 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.
Linum usitatissimum seed oil — Flaxseed Oil. 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.
Liposomes — Micro-capsules 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.)
Liquidambar styraciflua — Styrax Oil. A natural fragrance.
Litsea cubeba fruit oil — An antiseptic and astringent, often used in soaps and lotions as a scent fixative.
Lonicera caprifolium — Honeysuckle. An excellent cleanser and purifier used in facial creams, shampoos and soaps. The oil adds a pleasant, sweet fragrance to cosmetics.
Macadamia ternifolia — Macadamia Nut Oil. 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.
Magnolia biondii — Magnolia Blossom Extract. Natural tonic and anti-irritant added to face creams for its slight bleaching effect on the skin. Sometimes used as a fragrance.
Maltrodextrin — Natural sugar from plant starches, used as a stabilizer in cosmetic preparations.
Malva sylvestris — Mallow. 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.
Mangifera indica seed butter — Mango Butter. Butter made from the seed of the mango, similar to jojoba butter. An excellent moisturizer.
Medicago sativa — Alfalfa Extract. 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).
Melaleuca alternifolia — Tea Tree Oil. 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.
Melissa officinalis — Balm Mint. 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.
Mentha arvensis — Cornmint Oil. Essential oil with similar properties to peppermint oil. Often used in soaps for its antiseptic effect and pleasant fragrance.
Mentha citrata — Bergamot Mint. Mild antiseptic and tonic, with properties similar to peppermint and spearmint. Sometimes used as a fragrance for its floral, citrusy scent.
Mentha piperita — Peppermint Oil. 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.
Mentha pulegium — Pennyroyal. A member of the mint family. A strong purifier and antiseptic, as well as a natural insect repellent, said to drive away fleas and other pests. A key ingredient in natural pet grooming products.
Mentha viridis — Spearmint Oil. Essential oil used for its stimulating and tonic properties and refreshing fragrance.
Methionine — Sulfur-rich amino acid, very beneficial to the hair and skin. (See also Amino Acids in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
Mica —A transparent mineral used in powdered makeup to improve adhesion, even out skin tones and give a creamy, smooth feel to the product.
Montmorillonite — Green Clay. 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.
Morus alba — Morus Root. Extract of mulberry root bark, with anti-inflammatory and humectant properties. The Chinese use it for its whitening and smoothing effect on the skin.
Myristica fragrans — Nutmeg. A popular spice in cooking, the nutmeg essential oil is used in cosmetics for its exotic, spicy fragrance.
Myroxylon balsamum — Balsam. Antiseptic and antibacterial widely used in topical preparations for its healing properties, and in hair tonics and antidandruff products. Sometimes also used as a fragrance.
Nasturtium officinale — Watercress. Good source of vitamins A, B-complex and C. Soothing and conditioning, very beneficial to the skin. Also shown to strengthen and thicken hair.
Niacin — Vitamin B-3, essential for blood circulation and healthy skin.
Nicotinic acid — See Niacin.
Ocimum basilicum — Basil. The essential oil from this fragrant spice helps promote circulation. It has detoxifying properties and is often used in products for acne-prone skin.
Oenothera biennis — Evening Primrose Oil. 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.
Olea europaea — Olive Kernel Powder. Mild exfoliant derived from olive seeds.
Olea europaea leaf extract — Olive Leaf Extract. Used for its antibacterial properties.
Olea europaea oil — Olive Oil. 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 effect.
Origanum vulgare — Oregano Oil. Powerful antifungal and healing agent. Chinese herbalists have used it for generations to soothe rashes and other skin irritations and relieve itching.
Oryza sativa bran wax — Rice Bran Wax. Used in cosmetics as a thickener and binding agent.
Oryza sativa starch — Rice 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.
Oryza sativa syrup — Rice Syrup. 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.
Padimate O — An ingredient shown to protect skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. A very effective sunscreen, recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Panax ginseng root extract — Ginseng Root. 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.
Panthenol — Vitamin B-5. Natural hair thickener that helps give hair body and hold. An excellent hydrator, it nourishes and strengthens the scalp and promotes hair health. Also used as a natural skin hydrator, it is sometimes known as Pantothenic Acid.
Passiflora incarnata — Passionflower. Analgesic, anti-irritant and sedative, its roots and leaves are used in skin care formulations for their soothing properties.
Pelargonium graveolens — Geranium Oil. Essential oil with astringent and tonic properties, an excellent normalizer for oily skin. Sometimes used as a fragrance.
Pelargonium graveolens roseum — Rose Geranium. Essential oil used in skin care for its soothing and aromatic properties. (See above entry, Pelargonium graveolens.)
Persea gratissima — Avocado Oil. 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.
Phospholipids (Liposomes) — 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 dioica fruit extract — Allspice. 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.
Pimenta officinalis — Pimenta Leaf Oil. 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.
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 above entry, Pimenta officinalis.)
Pimpinella anisum — Aniseed Fruit Oil. A natural fragrance.
Pinus strobes bark extract — White Pine Bark. Native Americans used this soothing extract in preparations for dry scalp and skin conditions long before coal tar and other petrochemicals were ever used.
Pinus sylvestris — Pine Needle Oil. Aromatic extract 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.
Piper nigrum — Black Pepper Oil. Essential oil steam distilled from black peppercorns. Tonic and antimicrobial. Blended with other essential oils, it creates a distinctive spicy fragrance.
Pogostemon cablin — Patchouli. Aromatic essential oil used as a fragrance for its rich, herbaceous scent, and as a fixative in perfumes and soaps.
Polygonum multiflorum — He Shou Wu. 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.)
Polypodium leucotomos — Calaguala Fern Extract. 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.
Potassium Cocoate, Potassium Jojobate, Potassium Olivate — The potassium salts of coconut, jojoba and olive oils, commonly known as liquid castile soap. (See also Castile Soap in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
Proline — An amino acid. (See Amino Acids in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
Prunus amygdalus amara — Bitter Almond Oil. Essential oil used as a skin softener. Sometimes added to cosmetics for its mild, pleasant scent.
Prunus amygdalus dulcis, Amigdalus communis, var. dulcis — Sweet Almond Oil. 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.
Prunus amygdalus dulcis seed meal — Almond Meal. Ground sweet almond kernels, used in face masks as a mild exfoliants.
Prunus armeniaca — Apricot Kernels, Apricot Seeds. Ground into a powdered form, these ingredients are added to exfoliating masks and scrubs for their smoothing effect on the skin.
Prunus armeniaca kernel oil — Apricot 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.
Pullulan — A polysaccharide made from starch, used in cosmetics as a water-binding and thickening agent.
Punica granatum — Pomegranate Extract. A potent antioxidant and nutrient. Helps supports skin cell regeneration.
Pyrus malus — Apple Oil. 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.
Pyruvic acid — See Fruit Acids in our Dictionary of Common Terms.
Quillaja saponaria — Quillaya Bark. 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.
Raphanus sativus — Radish Extract. Antibacterial and astringent. Sometimes used as a natural color.
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.
Retinyl palmitate — 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.
Ribes nigrum — Black Currant Extract. A source of natural fruit acids used in face masks and lotions to encourage a faster turnover of skin cells. (See also Fruit Acids in our Dictionary of Common Terms.)
Riboflavin — Vitamin B-2. Antioxidant B vitamin, 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.
Ricinus communis — Castor Seed Oil. Humectant and skin soother, often added to lipsticks, glosses and other cosmetic products to improve their texture.
Rosa damascena flower distillate — Rosewater. 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.
Rosa damascena flower oil — Rose Oil. Essential oil obtained by steam distillation. Used for its skin softening properties and pleasant fragrance.
Rosa rubiginosa — Rosa Mosqueta® Rose Hip Seed Oil. 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.
Rosmarinus officinalis — Rosemary Oil. 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.
Rubus idaeus — Raspberry Fruit Extract. Antioxidant and astringent. Protects and tones the skin.
Salvia officinalis — Sage Oil. 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.
Salvia sclarea — Clary Sage Oil. Essential oil with astringent and anti-wrinkle properties, also used as a natural fragrance.
Sambucus nigra — Elder Flowers. A superb skin softener. Contains an oil high in fatty acids (66%), very beneficial to the hair and skin.
Santalum album — Sandalwood Oil. 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.
Saponaria officinalis — Soapwort. High in saponins, natural cleansing agents, it is used in soaps for its lathering properties.
Sassafras officinale — Sassafras Oil. Essential oil often used as a fragrance.
Sea Salt — Mineral-rich salt naturally obtained from sea water. Used in bath soaks and body scrubs for its softening effect on the skin.
Silica — A mineral used as a thickener and stabilizer. In sun care products, it works synergistically to increase the efficiency of sun care ingredients.
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.
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.
Simmondsia chinensis seed oil — Jojoba Oil, Jojoba Wax. 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.
Simmondsia chinensis seed powder — Jojoba Meal. 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.
Sodium cocoate — Coconut oil saponified with an alkaline salt. A lathering agent in soaps. (See also Cocos nucifera oil.)
Sodium cocoyl hydrolyzed soy protein — A mild, natural soap. (See also Sodium Cocoate and Hydrolyzed Soy Protein.)
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 palmate — Palm oil saponified with an alkaline salt. Primarily responsible for the hardness and durability of bar soaps. (See also Elaeis guineensis.)
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.
Soluble 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.
Sorbitol — A white, sweet, crystalline alcohol found in certain berries and fruits. Used as a moisturizing agent, and as a sugar substitute.
Spiraea ulmaria — Meadowsweet. 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.
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.
Styrax benzoin resin extract — Benzoin Oil. Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent. Used in skin care products, it boosts elasticity and helps calm stressed skin.
Styrax benzoin extract — Benzoin Gum, Benzoin Bark. 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.
Sucrose — A derivative of cane sugar. Hydrates and encourage moisture retention in the skin.
Symphytum officinale — Allantoin. Extract from comfrey used in celltherapy treatments, face creams and sun care preparations as a healing agent and moisturizer. An anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant, allantoin is reported to promote skin cell regeneration. It can also be made from uric acid, but the comfrey root type is superior. The finest quality allantoin is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Tagetes minuta — Tagetes Oil. An essential oil with antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
Tanacetum annuum — Blue Camomile, Morrocan Camomile. An antimicrobial and tonic, very soothing to scalp and skin. Also known as blue tansy, its essential oil is deep blue in color and has a lovely fragrance.
Tapioca starch — Used in powdered makeup to improve spreadability and impart a silky feel to the product.
Theobroma cacao seed butter — Cocoa Butter. The solid fat extracted from the seeds of the cacao plant. A rich emollient used in lipsticks, creams, soaps and sun care products for its moisturizing and soothing properties.
Thioctic acid — Alpha Lipoic Acid. Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory obtained from potatoes. Used in anti-wrinkle lotions and moisturizers for its protective effects on skin.
Thuja occidentalis — Cedar Leaf Oil. Adds a woody note to perfumes and other cosmetic products.
Thymus vulgaris — Thyme. Antiseptic and tonic. Contributes an herbal note to cosmetic products.
Tilia cordata — Linden Extract. The extract from the flowers of the lime tree (also known as linden tree), which contains an essential oil, famesol, similar to aloe and camomile. An emollient and soothing agent for the skin, also used in eye care formulations.
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 sunscreens. For more information about titanium dioxide, go to http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/HBI/21/
Tocopherol / Tocopheryl acetate — Vitamin E, 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.
Triticum vulgare — Wheat Germ Oil. 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.
Tussilago farfara — Coltsfoot. 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.
Ubiquinone — CoQ10 (Co-Enzyme Q10) Liposomes. 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.)
Urtica dioica — Nettle. 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.
Vaccinium myrtillus extract — Bilberry Fruit. 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 in our Dictionary of Common Terms.) Taken internally, bilberry is said to improve night vision and help prevent macular degeneration.
Vanilla planifolia — Vanilla Oil. Used as a natural fragrance.
Vetiveria zizanioides — Vetiver. 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.
Viola odorata — Violet. Analgesic and soothing agent very beneficial to sensitive skin.
Viscum album — Mistletoe. 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.
Vitis vinifera extract — Grape Seed 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.
Vitis vinifera oil — Grape Seed Oil. Antioxidant-rich oil cold-pressed from grape seeds.
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.
Yucca schidigera — Yucca Root. Mild, natural detergent used in shampoos and soaps for its foaming and purifying abilities. Contains saponins.
Zea mays — Corn Cob Meal. Powder obtained from ground dried corn cobs, added to masks and scrubs for its pore-clearing and exfoliating properties. Sometimes used as a thickener.
Zinc Oxide — Occurring in nature as zincite, this water-insoluble substance makes an excellent sunblock, protecting skin from UVA and UVB rays.
Zingiber officinale — Ginger. 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.