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The nutrient-dense acai berry is derived from a species of palm tree mostly native to Brazil. It is known to possess high concentrations of essential fatty acids as well as vitamins A, B, C, and E.
In chemistry, an acid is described as being a hydrogen-donor, and is characterized by having a pH level (link to pH) of less than 7.
“Active ingredients” are the ingredients listed under the various OTC monographs, which affect the structure or function of the body, such as sunscreens, anti-acne products, skin protectants, etc. In order to be listed as an “active ingredient”, an ingredient must undergo a drug approval process, and receive approval by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration).
Adenosine is the nucleoside that is most commonly associated with the body’s energy-transferring processes. It is present in adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an essential biological and chemical signaling molecule.
African black soap is generally made from harvested African plants such as cocoa-pods, plantains, and palm tree leaves.
Agar is a polysaccharide ingredient obtained from seaweed or algae, particularly red algae (Gelidium).
Alanine is a non-polar, hydrophobic amino acid, synthesized mainly from pyruvate and L-glutamate. As a non-essential amino acid, sufficient levels of alanine can be obtained through diet alone.
Marine algae extracts have been used in alternative cosmetics for skin-related diseases since ancient times. Today, marine algae extracts have been extensively used in skin care products due its rich bioactive compounds. Algae extract is formed from the four major seaweed classes: red algae, brown algae, blue-green algae, and green algae. Each class contains molecules that promote skin benefits such as: omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.
Also known as alginic acid, algin is derived from alginate, a naturally occurring polymer obtained from brown algae (phaecophyceae).
Allantoin is a chemical compound that is naturally found in animals, plants, and bacteria. It is generally obtained as a botanical extract from the comfrey plant.
The almond is native to Western Asia and North Africa but is not cultivated widely throughout Israel, California, and the Mediterranean region.
Aloe vera is an ancient herbal remedy that has stood the test of time. Aloe vera extract possesses a wide variety of valuable vitamin constituents, such as vitamin A, B, C, and E, that altogether contribute skincare benefits, including antioxidant protection, moisturizing, and skin-soothing properties.
Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (AHAs) are a class of chemical compounds characterized by a carboxylic acid substituted with a hydroxyl group. They occur both naturally and synthetically. AHAs are predominantly used to reduce wrinkles and facial fine lines, exfoliate the skin’s surface, as well as promote skin cell renewal improving skin elasticity, wrinkles, skin tone evenness and the appearance of dark spots.
α-Linolenic acid (ALA) or alpha linolenic acid is one of two essential fatty acids (EFA) that cannot be produced within the body. For this reason, alpha linolenic acid must be obtained through diet.
Alpha lipoic acid (LA) is a potent antioxidant that can be made naturally within the body as well as found in various foods. Antioxidants help to protect the skin by neutralizing harmful free radicals present in the environment.
Amino acids are essential components to maintaining the appearance of healthy skin. They serve as the building blocks for proteins such as collagen, which help to give skin its supple and smooth texture.
Anise, also known as Pimpinella anisum, is derived from anise seeds and belongs to the Umbelliferae plant family. This aromatic extract dates back to traditional Iranian medicine.
Apple cider vinegar is vinegar derived from apple juice that has undergone two fermentation processes- acetification and alcoholic. When using apple cider vinegar for skin care purposes it is best to use natural or organically made products. These can be identified by solid bits of matter dispersed at the bottom of the vinegar. The solid bits consist of particles that could not be distilled out such as acetic acid, ash, zinc, tannin, and riboflavin. Aside from water, the major constituents of apple cider vinegar include acetic acid, beta-carotene, boron, calcium, enzymes, fiber, and iron.
Apple fruit extract comes from the fruit species Malus domestic in the Rosaceae family. Apple extract is believed to provide many benefits as it is highly packed with powerful polyphenols and antioxidants.
Speculated to have originated from China, apricot oil is extracted from the seed of the apricot fruit. In cosmetics, apricot essential oil is prominently utilized in topical moisturizing products as well as facial creams.
Apricot seeds alone contain high concentration of fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. For this reason, apricot seed oil may serve as a viable emollient that can improve skin hydration.
A perennial Moroccan topical remedy, argan oil has been well established for skin and hair hydration. In skincare, cosmetic argan oil is prepared by solvent-extraction.
Ascorbyl glucoside is a derivative of ascorbic acid (AA), also known as vitamin C, can be obtained through diet from plants such as citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid nutrient that is naturally distributed in marine organisms such as crustaceans and fish.
ATP, adenosine triphosphate, is a nucleotide that has been known to drive and participate in countless intracellular processes.
Avobenzone (butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane) is an organic material that helps reduce the amount of UV light to which the human skin is exposed by absorbing and refracting the radiation and subsequent disposal.
The avocado oil derived from avocado fruit is primarily composed of omega-3 fatty acids and oleic acids, which are best known to help boost skin-hydration.
Babassu oil is obtained from the kernels present in the nuts of the Orbingyaoleifera tree found in Brazil. The components of babassu oil are a mixture of vitamins and fatty acids.
Also known as “skullcap” (Chinese skullcap) in the United States, baicalin is obtained from the roots of Scutelleria baicalensis. This medicinal herb contains concentrations of flavonoids that provide antioxidant properties.
Baking Soda, otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate, is a naturally occurring chemical substance. When mixed with water, baking soda can be used as a mild exfoliate, helping to strip away dead skin cells found at the surface level, without causing damage.
Bamboo extract is obtained from the major species of the bamboo trees in Japan called Phyllostachys pubescens.
Barley extract, derived from the barley plant (Hordeum vulgare), contains significant concentrations of phenols, which are known to provide antioxidant activity
Named after being the favored fruit of bears, the bearberry represents the fruit of three species of dwarf shrubs found in the genus Arctostaphylos. In skin care, bearberry is renowned for its natural skin-brightening effect. Current staples of skin-brightening include hydroquinone and corticosteroids, which can cause discomfort or prove to be ineffective, respectively. 1 By infusing bearberry into cosmetic formulations, skin-brightening products can achieve desirable results with less risk of adverse side effects.
Bee pollen comes from various plant pollens and contains a balance of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, enzymes, and essential amino acids. Bees mix pollen with a small amount of saliva or nectar to create pollen loads.
Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees. It is mainly comprised of hydrocarbons, alkanes, fatty acids, fatty alcohols, and free fatty acids.
Behenic acid is a saturated fatty acid that is derived from the seeds of the indigenous Amazon tree species, Pentaclethra macroloba.
Behenyl alcohol, also known as docosanol, is a large fatty straight-chain alcohol. In cosmetic and skin care formulations, it is used as an opacifying ingredient, thickener, and emulsifier.
Bentonite is a white clay mostly found in the midwestern United States and in Canada. When applied topically, bentonite clay benefits for skin (i.e. bentonite clay face wash, bentonite clay face mask) provide highly absorbent properties.
Benzephenone-3, also known as oxybenzone, is a sunscreen active that helps to protect the skin against harmful effects of exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Benzephenone-3 helps to prevent against sunburn and photo-damage that may lead to the formation of premature signs of aging (i.e, fine lines and wrinkles) as well as the loss of skin-elasticity and firmness. 1
Benzoic acid is an alkyl benzoate preservative that occurs in nature in cherry bark, raspberries, tea, anise, and cassia bark. Benefits of benzoic acid in skincare include anti-aging, soothing, and moisturizing properties. In addition, a major derivative of benzoic acid, known as phenolic veratric acid, contains high concentrations of antioxidants to help neutralize free-radicals present in the environment. As a preservative, benzoic acid possesses a wide variety of cosmetic applications, including product stabilizer, fragrance additive, and emollient. 1
Bergamot Oil, or Citrus bergamia oil, is extracted from a plant belonging to the Rutaceae family. It is known for being a volatile oil with a bitter aromatic taste and a characteristic pleasant odor.
Beta-carotene is the principle carotenoid found in chlorophyll-containing plants, bacteria, and food.
Beta glucan is a polysaccharide (a chain of glucose molecules) that is found in foods such as oats, barley, mushrooms, and yeasts.
Beta hydroxy acid (BHA), more commonly referred to in skincare as salicylic acid, and can be found in moisturizers, cleansers, eye creams, sunscreens, and foundations. Its benefits are made possible by its unique chemical structure.
Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, is a water-soluble coenzyme that is part of the complex B Vitamin family. For most individuals, sufficient levels of biotin can be obtained through diet alone.
When it comes to plants with cosmetic usage, birch bark is a very familiar ingredient. Its main constituents- betulin, lupeol, and betulinic acid are excellent for providing skincare benefits.
Dating back to ancient Egypt, bismuth oxychloride is an inorganic compound of bismuth that is found in the majority of mineral cosmetics.
Black currant, is a woody shrub belonging to the family Grossulariaceae. Scientifically known as Ribes nigrum, black currant is native to northern Europe and northern Asia. The fruit of the plant is packed with rich amounts of fatty acids, Vitamin C and polyphenol phytochemicals, which makes black currant oil a desirable ingredient for skin care.
Black seed oil is derived from a plant known as black cumin, scientifically known as Nigella sativa. The flowering plant is native to south and southwest Asia with was originally used as a remedy for the Egyptians, who nicknamed it “Pharaoh’s’ oil.”
Black Tea possesses high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, essential oils, tannins, and polyphenols. Tannins and polyphenols, especially contribute towards the antioxidant properties in Black Tea skin care products.
Originating from South America, the brazil nut, also known as brazilian nut, is an excellent source of vitamins and dietary minerals.
Butylene glycol, sometimes referred to as “butanediol,” is an organic alcohol that is prevalent in skincare products.
Caffeine is most typically known as a central nervous system stimulant reducing physical fatigue and preventing drowsiness, however, it has many different holistic values and uses when it comes to treating and preventing ailments.
The mineral calcium is well-known for its key role in bone health, teeth and bodily organs, including the skin, where it regulates skin's many functions.
Calendula is a plant derived from the marigold flower family Calendula officinalis. This plant is rich in compounds such as terpenoids, carotenoids, flavonoids, and volatile oils.
Camellia japonica, also known as “Tsubaki,” is the Japanese native form of the plant Camellia. It is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, phytosqualene, and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Camphor is an organic compound found in the wood of various evergreen trees, the most common being the camphor laurel.
Caprylic /capric triglyceride is derived from coconut oil and glycerin. Chemically, caprylic /capric triglyceride contains a high concentration of fatty acids, which allows it to provide an occlusive layer to help increase moisture-retention at the skin’s surface.
Carbomer refers to a series of polymers that are derived from acrylic acid.
Chemically, carboxylic acid is an organic compound that contains a carboxyl group. In skincare, carboxylic acid is prevalently represented by aldobionic acids (ABAs), retinoic acids, vitamin C, and azelaic acid.
Carmine is obtained from the salt of carmine acid as well as from insects native to Mexico and South America.
Carnitine, also known as L-Carnitine, is an amino acid-derived building block for proteins that assists with the breakdown of fats and lipids.
Carrageenan is a gelatin-like polysaccharide that is derived from red seaweed. With its unique polymer structure, carrageenan possesses good solubility and water-binding properties that function as a good emulsifier for skincare formulas.
Castanea sativa, also known as sweet chestnut, is a deciduous tree native to Europe and Asia. Its seed extract possesses high concentrations of antioxidants such as rutin and quercetrin.
Castor oil is extracted from crushed seeds of the Castor plant, and is comprised of 90% ricinoleic acid, a hydroxyl containing fatty acids.
Cellulose is an organic compound derived from plant cell walls. Similar to its structural support function in plants, cellulose is used in skincare as a versatile emulsifier to help stabilize solutions with different solubility.
Centella asiatica extract, also known as Indian pennywort, is a perennial skin remedy that grows near the Indian Ocean. Centella asiatica possesses high concentrations of flavonoids, triterpenic steroids, amino acids, and sugars.
Similar to fatty acids, ceramides are a type of lipids found in cell membranes. A high concentration of ceramides is located in the epidermis- the outermost layer of skin cells.
Cetearyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol that can either be naturally derived from plants or synthetically derived as a byproduct of petroleum jelly. Cetearyl alcohol functions as an emulsifier that can help stabilize formulas with varying ingredient solubility.
Chamomiles are the flowering heads of the herb Matricarea recutita. Often found in the form of tea, ointment, tincture, or extract, chamomile is considered a medicinal herb. It contains concentrations of alpha-bisabolol, blue chamazulene, farnesene, polyenes, and certain flavonoids.
With the addition of oxygen, charcoal becomes what is known as activated charcoal.
Chlorphenesin is a synthetic preservative used in skin care as a cosmetic biocide.
Cinnamon is a spice that is derived from the bark of the tree genus Cinnamomum. The benefits of cinnamon on skin date back for thousands of years.
Citric acid is a weak organic acid that is naturally found within citrus fruits, especially from citrus fruits such as lemons and limes. Its usual commercial uses in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals include its role as a pH adjustor and skin thickening agent within gels and creams.
Clay is prominently used in cosmetics for its absorption characteristic, thus making it ideal for treating oily skin. The two most popular types of clay mineral are kaolin and bentonite. Kaolin is a naturally occurring clay mineral, and the gentler of the two clays.
Cocoa, also referred to as the cocoa bean or cacao bean, is the dried, fermented seed derived from Theobroma cacao.
Cocoa butter, also known as the obroma oil, is a vegetable fat derived from a cocoa bean. It possesses high concentrations of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, including oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid.
Coconut oil is a native tropical remedy that is comprised of mainly saturated fats (triglycerides), lauric acid, Vitamin E, and proteins. In skincare, it has become renowned for providing the skin with moisturizing and astringent properties.
Co-Enzyme CoQ10 is commonly known as co-enzyme Q or ubiquinone. Its name comes from being ubiquitous (being everywhere at once) within the bodies of most animals. CoQ 10 performs a multitude of different functions.
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body; it is most commonly found in bones, tendons, teeth, skin, and scar tissue. Its main purpose is to enable the stretching of skin, while maintaining its elasticity and smooth-like texture.
Copper peptide is a naturally occurring compound that is extensively used in skin care, especially in products regarding anti-aging. In addition, they can also provide the skin with antioxidant and skin brightening properties.
Cucumber extract or cucumber oil possesses high concentrations of antioxidants, ascorbic acid, and lactic acid. Therefore, when topically applied, the benefits of cucumber on skin include antioxidant protection and soothing properties.
Mud and water extracted from the Dead Sea are renowned for their unique composition of minerals.
Dextran, not to be confused with Dextrin, is a term given to a group of polysaccharides that are composed of multiple glucose molecules.
Dextrin, not to be confused with dextran, is a category of water-soluble carbohydrates that are used for their emulsifying properties. Dextrin functions by increasing the solubility of water-insoluble compounds.
Dihydroxyacetone, also known as DHA or glycerone, is a naturally occurring 3-carbon sugar. Cosmetically, DHA’s major commercial use is its implementation in tanning formulations.
Dill extract, scientifically known as Anethum graveolens, can be derived from either the seeds or leaves of the dill plant. The main constituents of dill weed oil are limonene, carvone, and phellandrene.
Dimethicone is a man-made, silicone molecule that possesses excellent emollient properties. Topical application of dimethicone can form a protective barrier that can help to improve moisture-retention, thus increasing skin-hydration.
Disodium EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is a water soluble acid that is a strong emulsion stabilizer with chelating properties. It functions by bonding to metal ions in a solution, rendering them inactive.
Elastin is the second most abundant protein in the body. Elastin’s function is to provide structure to the skin and enable it to resume shape after stretching or contracting.
The emu, scientifically known as Dromaius novaehollandiae, is the world’s second largest living bird.
Essential oils are a staple to skincare remedies. They are most commonly utilized in the production of cosmetic products, as well as for fragrance purposes.
Native to Australia, eucalyptus oil is derived from the leaf of Eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptus oil is most prominently used for its antioxidant and astringent properties.
Evening primrose oil is derived from the seeds of Oenothera biennis, a native plant to North America.
Face oils are non-polar molecules that possess excellent emollient and antioxidant properties. The skin-hydrating benefits of facial oils can be attributed to their non-polar structure.
Not to be confused with fats, fatty acids are chemically represented by a carboxylic acid and a long aliphatic chain, which can either be saturated or unsaturated. There are two types of fatty acids- natural fatty acids and essential fatty acids.
Ferulic acid is a derivative of Rice Bran Oil. The ferulic acid in skin care products may be responsible for providing skin-protecting properties.
Fig, also known as Ficus carica, is an Asian species of flowering plant. They possess high concentrations of polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, omega fatty acids and vitamins, including vitamin A, B1, and B2.
Flavonoids are a special class of second metabolites that help to protect plants from environmental stress. Cosmetically, uses of flavonoids extraction in skin care products are renowned for equipping topical formulations with skin protecting properties.
Folic acid (folic acid vitamin), otherwise known as vitamin B9, plays a vital role in helping to maintain the skin’s natural beauty. It possesses concentrations of antioxidants that work to reduce levels of oxidative stress in the skin as well as neutralize harmful free-radicals that are present in the environment.
Gardenia Florida extract is derived from the flowers of Gardenia Florida. In cosmetics, it is most commonly implemented into perfumes to induce a floral fragrance.
Geranium oil is extracted from the stems and leaves of the Geranium plant. In skincare, the volatile compounds of geranium oil are primarily used for fragrance purposes.
Originating from Asia, gingko biloba is one of the oldest trees on the planet. Highly concentrated with flavonoids and terpenoids, such as ginkgolides and bilobalides, gingko biloba extract is considered to be one of the most advantageous cosmetic ingredients for skin care.
Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in wheat and other related grains such as barley and rye.
Glycerin, otherwise known as glycerol or glycerine, can be derived either naturally from plants and animals or synthetically manufactured. The physical properties of Glycerin bear great similarity to the physical properties of skin, thereby enabling glycerin to play a key role in skin care. Glycerin can help to improve skin-hydration, as well as having soothing effects.
Glycolic acid is the smallest member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) family. Over centuries, glycolic acid benefits have become known to boost rejuvenation and enhance skin discoloration through methods of exfoliation and peeling agents.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), also known as mucopolysaccharides, are polysaccharides that deal with the support and maintenance of skin structural proteins such as collagen and elastin.
Goji berry, or Lycium barbarum, is derived from the goji fruit and is native to the subtropical regions of China along the Himalayans. Goji berry has a reputation for being what is termed a “superfood” because of all of the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are contained within it.
Grape seed oil or grape seed extract is taken from grinding up the seeds of red wine grapes and is most commonly used for its antioxidant properties. It also possesses proanthocyanidins, which can contribute astringent properties.
Grapeseed oil or grape seed extract is taken from grinding up the seeds of red wine grapes and is most commonly used for its antioxidant properties.
Green tea extract contains extremely high levels of polyphenols, which mainly consist of four catechin derivatives- epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatequinagalato, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). This potent mixture of polyphenol derivates makes green tea one of the most health advantageous teas in the market.
Hazelnut oil is produced from pressing the seeds of Corylus avellana, also known as hazel or hazelnuts. Prominently known as a food ingredient, hazelnut possesses high concentrations of fatty acids and Vitamin E that are known to improve skin quality.
The cannabis plant is capable of producing seeds that give rise to a valuable skin-care ingredient known as hemp seed oil. Hemp oil skin care products possess high concentrations of omega-3 and omega-6.
Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid or HEPES is a chemical molecule that acts as an organic buffering agent.
Also known as lemon peel extract or orange peel extract, hesperidin is a natural occurring flavonoid that occurs within citrus fruits (more specifically in the actual peels of lemons and oranges). In skin care, hesperidin appears as either a white or colorless crystalline structure. Studies show it can provide antioxidant and soothing properties that together contribute towards a brightened and improved skin appearance.
Homosalate is an organic compound that forms an ester from salicylic acid, and appears as a yellowish-tan liquid or oil. It is commercially used in as many as 45% of all chemical sunscreen products in the United States due to its ability to protect the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation
For more than 2,000 years, honey has been utilized as a natural home-remedy for improving skin health. Derived from bees, honey is a supersaturated solution composed mainly of sugars such as fructose and glucose, as well as proteins, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
Hyaluronic Acid, also referred to in skin care as hyaluronate or HA, is a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is found throughout the skin. Hyaluronic acid is glorified for its ability to enhance moisture-retention and skin-hydration.
Hydroquinone is an aromatic organic compound, which appears as a white granular solid. In skincare, hydroquinone is mainly used commercially as a skin lightening active.
The name peony refers to the Greek myth about Paion, a physician to the Greek Gods, and overtime peony has come to suit its name’s origin.
For nearly a millennium, the iris plant has been recognized for its beauty and representation of happiness and vitality.
Isoflavone is a chemical compound that belongs to a category of substances known as isoflavonoids. It appears as a colorless, crystalline ketone that occurs naturally in various plants such as soy beans. One of the most potent and commonly used forms of isoflavones is genistein.
Jasmine oil is a colorless fragrant essential oil that is made from pressing the flowers of Jasminum officinale or better known as jasmine.
Native to America and Africa, the jojoba plant possess high quantities of liquid wax. The oil extracted from this wax is commonly used to promote skin soothing.
Kaolin clay, also known as “China clay,” is a naturally occurring aluminosilicate mineral. It is one of the gentlest versions of cosmetic clays available for skin care purposes.
Kelp extract is derived from brown algae, and belongs to the plant species Laminaria. In skincare, kelp extract is used as a topical ingredient due to its multitude of skin care benefits.
Keratin is a major protein found in the structure of skin and hair. It can be extracted from human hair or sheep’s wool, and is most commonly found in rejuvenating serums as well as skin and hair moisturizers. Due to its large size, keratin complex peptides can face difficulty moving beyond the skin’s surface. However, studies have shown internal wool lipids (IWL), with a low molecular weight, can successfully penetrate the skin. For this reason, it is recommended for cosmetic formulations to combine keratin peptides and IWL in order to effectively deliver desirable skin-enhancing effects.1,2
The kiwi fruit belongs to the genus Actinidia and is sold commercially for its sweet but tangy flavor.
Kojic acid is a natural by-product of fermented malting rice that is used for Japanese rice wine better known as sake. In skincare, kojic acid possesses concentrations of antioxidants and can be used as a brightening agent for skin radiance in cosmetics products.
Lactic acid, a member of the family alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) family, is commonly known for its production during humanly strenuous exercises. However, it can also be derived synthetically or organically from natural foods, such as milk.
Lanolin is a waxy substance, commonly known for its skin moisturizing qualities. Lanolin skin care abilities are made possible by its high concentration of esters and hydrocarbons.
Lavandin oil is an essential oil that is comparable to lavender oil. Although the two share many of the same qualities, lavandin oil is a mixture of true lavender and spike lavender.
Distilled from the flower spikes of the lavender plant, lavender oil is frequently utilized in cosmetic products.
Lemon, scientifically known as Citrus limon, is the yellow fruit offspring of the lemon tree. It is sold commercially worldwide and provides certain skin care benefits for maintaining skin quality. Lemon derivatives used in skin care include lemon rind, lemon oil, and lemon juice. While all three forms carry the necessary components to contribute towards the healthy-looking skin, each one varies in levels of potency and phytochemicals.
Lemon juice, a derivative of the plant Citrus limon, is used in skin care to provide astringent and purifying properties.
Licorice extract is derived from the plant root of Glycyrrhiza glabra. Over the years, licorice extract has become a renowned herbal remedy for soothing skin.
Similar to beta-lipohydroxy acid, lipo hydroxy acid (LHA) is a part of the hydroxy acid family. In the cosmetic industry, LHA is also known as capryloyl salicylic acid.
Luffa cylindrica seed oil is extracted from the vines of a tropical plant that belongs to the cucumber family.
Lutein is a naturally occurring carotenoid that is synthesized only by plants. Considerably high amounts can be found within spinach, kale, and yellow carrots.
Lycopene is derived from tomatoes, watermelons, papayas as well as other red fruits and vegetables. It is characterized as a bright red carotene which has commercial uses as a food coloring.
Macadamia nut oil comes from pressing the nut meat of the macadamia tree, which is native to Australia. While used commercially for cooking in the food industry, macadamia nut oil serves as an emollient in cosmetic products.
As the fourth most prevalent dermal mineral, magnesium is capable of benefitting the skin in a variety of ways.
Manuka honey is derived from the Manuka tree, scientifically known as Leptospermum scoparium. This unique unifloral honey was first introduced into dermatology for its antibacterial and antifungal activities. Now, Manuka honey is widely distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand, and is marketed as a cosmetic raw material. When infused into product formulations, Manuka honey uses provide the ability to provide astringent properties and improve skin hydration levels.
Marula oil is extracted from the nut of the marula tree, also known as Sclerocarya birrea. Primarily from South Africa, marula oil contains saturated and unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic, palmitic, linoleic, palmitoleic, and stearic acid.
Menthol is an organic compound that is typically derived from herb plants such as peppermint and eucalyptus. When topically applied, menthol is known to produce sensation that can be described as “cooling” or “fresh.”
The purpose of sunscreen is to protect the skin from both Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) sun rays. UVB rays cause short-term effects, such as sunburn, while UVA rays cause more long-term effects, such as wrinkles and fine lines, collagen breakdown, and loss of skin elasticity.
Micelles are spherical structures made up of amphipathic fatty acids. Amphipathic fatty acids contain both a hydrophilic (polar, water-attracting) and a hydrophobic (nonpolar, water-repelling) region.
Mink oil is a natural glyceride of 14-20 carbon chain fatty acids obtained through the rendering of mink fat from removed pelts. The easily rendered animal extract appears as a pale, yellow liquid, and can be found in cosmetic formulations at concentrations of 25% and less.
Named after its founding city in France, montmorillonite clay is an old household remedy that can be multifunctional. Like most clays, montmorillonite clay contains a high assortment of minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, silica, and sodium.
Neem, scientifically known as Azadiriachta indica, is the most versatile tree of the tropics. It is native to India, Myanmar, and Japan, and can also be identified as “Indian Lila” or “Margosa.” Originally, this perennial plant was used in Ayurvedic medicine for its medicinal properties. Now, this tropical evergreen offers a myriad of plant extracts that can be utilized in the skin care industry. Neem oil, which is extracted from the leaves and bark, is implemented in cosmetic formulations to provide astringent, as well as soothing properties. 1
Niacinamide is a B-complex vitamin (Vitamin B) which is mainly used in the prevention and treatment of pellagra (a nutrient deficiency of niacin). Its uses in cosmetics has been widely known and practiced in regards to skin care particularly products that are considered to be anti-aging.
Colloidal oatmeal is the most commonly used form of oatmeal for skin care. Due to its natural derivation process, oatmeal can provide excellent skin-soothing properties that may help to alleviate dry, irritated skin.
Oils are lipids. The lipids present in our skin, the sebum and the epidermal lipids 1-2, come from two very different sources.
Amongst the beauty remedies found within household items, olive oil proves to be one of the most diverse. It helps to increase skin hydration and helps prevent skin irritation.
Fatty acids are essential for developing and maintaining the brain and nervous system, as well as regulating thyroid and adrenal activity.
Due to inclusion of biological ingredients, such as vitamins and herbal extracts, it is inevitable that cosmetic and personal care products are at risk for perishing. In order to prevent such adverse events from occurring, skincare companies include preservatives to help prevent contamination in raw materials, thereby increasing product shelf life.
Peppermint, scientifically known as Mentha piperita, is a perennial herb indigenous to Europe and the Middle East.
Peptides are short segments of amino acids. The two most common forms of natural peptides for skin include collagen and elastin. Collagen’s primary function is to provide the skin with good elasticity and thickness. Meanwhile, elastin serves as a flexible skin structural molecule.
Perlite is a naturally derived mineral that is extracted from volcanic rock.
Phloretin is a form of a natural phenol that can be found in the leaves of an apple tree as well as the Manchurian apricot.
The pomegranate tree is grown in multiple countries across the world. The fruit of the pomegranate tree, scientifically known as Punica granatum, is valued as a healthy source of antioxidants in nutrition as well as in skin care. Cosmetics utilize pomegranate essential oil from various parts of the fruit, including the peel, seed, and juice. All three are considered rich sources of phenolic compounds (e.g. flavonoids, anthocyanins, and hydrolysable tannins), which contribute high amounts of antioxidants.
Procysteine, also known as koprosteine, is a modified form of the amino acid cysteine. Procysteine is a more stable version of cysteine that serves as the building block for the antioxidant glutathione.
In general, Vitamin A is often referred to in skincare as retinol; the active form of retinol (Vitamin A) is retinoic acid. The body is capable of converting retinol into retinoic acid. Therefore, the term “pro-retinol,” in skincare, is used to describe precursor forms to retinoic acid, which includes molecules such as retinaldehyde and retinyl esters. However, rather than listing these molecules, cosmetic products often label “pro-retinol” as a way to indicate a product’s potential to form retinoic acid once in contact with specific enzymes in the skin.
Developed and created by L’Oréal Research and Innovation, Pro-Xylane is a sugar-molecule derived from the beech wood tree utilizing green chemistry.
Pumpkin, scientifically known as Curcubita pepo, is an annually-harvested plant with yellow flowers. In skin care, the use of pumpkin relies on the oil derived from its seeds. Pumpkin seeds contain high concentrations of tocopherols, phenolics, and sterols. Together, these constituents account for the majority of pumpkin seed oil’s antioxidant effects, which help to defend the skin against harmful free radicals present within the body and the environment. 1
The Algae family is comprised of more than 20,000 different known species, each containing chlorophyll as its primary photosynthetic pigment. Given its natural inclination to process sunlight, red algae has been proposed to help provide the skin with potent anti-oxidation protection.
Red Sandalwood, also known as Pterocarpus santalinus, is a plant extract that has been used extensively in Ayurveda - the Indian traditional system of medicine. Under such traditions, red sandalwood uses for skin have been known to provide a cooling effect that can help soothe problematic skin.
Resveratrol is a type of naturally occurring phenol that is produced by some plants, such as grapevines, in response to injure or after being attacked by foreign pathogens such as bacteria or fungi. Resveratrol is a major contributor in the antioxidant potential of red wine.
Retinoid is a term that describes vitamin A derivatives.
Retinol is a fat-soluble derivative of Vitamin A that must be derived through diet. It is an ideal ingredient for potentially enabling the skin’s natural protecting abilities.
Retinyl palmitate, otherwise known as retinol palmitate, is a synthetic form for retinyl acetate that is derived from animal fats, fish oils, and Vitamin A supplements. Retinyl palmitate is the milder, more stable precursor to retinol.
Rhamnose is a naturally occurring deoxy sugar that is derived from plants such as buckthorn, poison sumac, and birch trees. In skincare, the primary implication of rhamnose is to form rhamnolipids.
Extracted from the hem of the rose plant, Rose oil possesses antioxidant properties and skin smoothing characteristics.
Rose water (Rosa damascena) is flavored water extracted from rose petals. Rose water’s desirable fragrance makes it a commonly sought-after perfume to infuse into cosmetic products.
Rosehip, also known as rose haw and rose hep, is the accessory fruit of the wild rose plant of Chile- Rosa Mosqueta. Rosehip oil is derived from the seeds of the rosehip fruit. This perennial traditional herbal oil has been used for the treatment of skin. Since then, it has gained recognition in the skin care industry for providing anti-aging and moisturizing benefits.
In addition to the more well-known byproduct, beeswax, honey bees also produce a white, thick substance known as royal jelly. The purpose of royal jelly is to provide nourishment to the queen bee, and it contains high concentrations of proteins, amino acids, sugars, minerals, and vitamins.
Also called ortho-hydroxybenzoic acid, salicylic acid is a crystalline solid that occurs naturally in many plants. The most renowned use of salicylic acid is to treat acne, other uses include skin exfoliation and treating warts.
Saponins enable high skin surface activity, which gives witch hazel its cleansing function- removing dirt and oil from the skin surface.
Originating from Western Africa, shea butter is harvested from the nuts of the Shea tree. Appearing in numerous skin remedies, shea butter serves to be one of the most versatile ingredients for skin maintenance.
Silicones has been used in cosmetic and skincare products for over 50 years. The most widely used forms of silicone in beauty products, include dimethicone and cyclomethicone. When used in skincare products, silicone adds slip and makes it application of the product feel silkier on the skin.
Categories: Salt, Alkaline
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is an anionic surface active agent commonly used in cosmetics. It is well-known for causing skin discomfort, which can lead to altered skin barrier function and water-loss. For this reason, the FDA recommends using less than 1% in personal care products. However, when used appropriately, sodium lauryl sulfate can also provide certain skin benefitting properties. 1
Soja oil is vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean. It contains concentrations of genistein, vitamin E, lecithin, and essential fatty acids (EFAs)- linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids. The constituents of this natural oil hold significant nutritional value that contribute towards its emollient application in skincare.
Soybean oil or soya oil is vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean. It contains high concentrations of genistein, vitamin E, essential fatty acids (EFAs), and lecithin.
SPF or Sun Protection Factor represents a product’s ability to reflect or absorb UV radiation in lieu of the skin. It is a numerical value designated to a product that represents its ability to delay sun-induced burns and skin damage. Ultimately, the higher the SPF value, the better a product is at providing protection against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays- the primary cause of sunburns.
Squalane is a hydrocarbon and triterpene that is taken from the hydrogenation of squalene. Both forms can also be harvested from fish oils, shark liver oils, as well as certain vegetable oils.
Although it is known to have deleterious effects on a person’s health, sugar is equipped to provide beneficial attributes to one’s skin. In addition to being a topical exfoliant, sugars increase the skin’s ability to retain moisture, therefore maintaining skin hydration and helping maintain a healthy skin barrier function.
Helianthus annuus seed oil comes from compressing the seeds of a plant most commonly known as a sunflower. In skincare, it is mainly used as an emollient agent in cosmetic products.
Sweet almond oil, scientifically known as Prunus dulcis, is produced by pressing the kernels of ripe seeds derived from the almond tree.
Phenylethyl resorcinol, also known as Symwhite ®, is a brightening ingredient found in skin care and cosmetic products.
Tea tree oil is derived by steam distillation from the leaves and branches of Melaleuca alternifolia. The essential oil originated in the states of New South Wales and Queensland, Australia.
Categories: Vitamins, Antioxidants
Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, belongs to the plant ginger family Zingiberaceae.
Although known as an organic waste compound, urea is present in every healthy skin cell. It forms after the body metabolizes proteins.
Categories: Antioxidants, Vitamins
Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is a water soluble vitamin that possesses good skin permeability. As a component of coenzyme A, which plays a role in a variety of natural enzyme-catalyzed reactions, Vitamin B5 is vital to maintaining good skin quality.
Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid, the pure form of vitamin C) is a natural antioxidant.
Also known as calciferol, Vitamin D is comprised of a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. And while both major forms of Vitamin D (D2 and D3) can be formed and obtained artificially, only D3 can be synthesized by the skin following exposure to UVB sun radiation.
Often referred to in skincare as tocopherol, Vitamin E represents two classes of molecules (tocopherols and tocotrienols), which in total contains eight compound derivatives.
Watermelon, also known as Citrillus lanatus, is a fruit grown in the warmer regions of the world.
Witch hazel extract is distilled from the plant witch hazel. Witch hazel bark possesses a high concentration of oligomeric tannins, which serve as potent antioxidants that help to protect the skin from free radical damage.
Derived from yeast (e.g Saccharomyces cerevisiae), yeast extract is a mixture of flavonoids, sugars, vitamins, and amino acids. This unique derivative of fungi also contains a high concentration of antioxidants, which are capable of neutralizing harmful free-radicals that are present in the environment.
Yuzu lemon, also known as Citrus junos, originally comes from central China and Tibet. The citrus fruit then found its way to Japan and Korea where it gained publicity as a highly regarded skin care ingredient. Due to its composition of hydrocarbons, limonene, and linalool, the yuzu fruit provides a very strong aromatic, which can be incorporated into a variety of skin care products. 1 Yuzu skin benefits are also known to include antioxidant protection, which can help to promote anti-aging and rejuvenation for a more youthful appearance.
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