Ingredient Glossary

Ingredient Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 If you’ve ever glanced at an ingredients list for a moisturizer or cleanser and scratched your head in confusion, you are not alone. It can be overwhelming to figure out just what makes up a skincare product. However, for the most impactful and personalized skincare, it’s helpful to have a basic knowledge of ingredients and which ones are best for your skin type.

We’ve put together a glossary of ingredients for your reference so you may educate yourself on what is used to make a skincare product and what benefits each one has. We’ll be fleshing this section out over time, and will also be highlighting which products contain these ingredients, so check back often!


A

ADENOSINE:
A cell-communicator that boosts skin renewal, leaving skin soft and bright. Anti-inflammatory.

ALOE VERA:
Hydrates, calms, and soothes skin. Also anti-bacterial. Ideal for sensitive or dehydrated skin.

ALFALFA EXTRACT:
Helps to decongest the skin.

ALLANTOIN:
Derived naturally from plants. Hydrates, heals, and fades acne scarring.

ALGAE:
Rich in antioxidants, algae also binds water to the skin and has a high vitamin A content. This brightens and revitalizes skin, and can also prevent signs of aging.

ALOE VERA:

Hydrates, calms, and soothes skin. Also anti-bacterial. Ideal for sensitive or dehydrated skin.

ALLANTOIN:
Derived naturally from plants. Hydrates, heals, and fades acne scarring.

AMINO ACIDS:
Water-binding, antioxidant rich, and rejuvenating, amino acids soften skin and prevent signs of aging.

ARBUTIN:
Sourced from the bearberry plant, arbutin prevents the formation of melanin, which fades hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and scarring for brighter skin.

ARGININE:
An amino acid that softens and conditions skin.

ARGAN OIL:
Rich in fatty acids, vitamin A and E, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory. Will soften, fade dark spots, and protect the skin from aging. Ideal for conditions like eczema.

AVOCADO OIL:
Hydrating and nourishing. Packed with vitamins A, B, and E, as well as fatty acids. Reduces fine lines, dark spots, and dryness.

B

BAMBOO SAP:
Rich in amino acids and mineral oils. Hydrates and protects skin.

BEE VENOM:
Antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-aging. Stimulates collagen production for taut, firm skin. Diminishes appearance of fine lines.

BEESWAX:
Conditioning, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Forms a protective barrier around the skin to prevent dryness and damage. Rich in Vitamin A, which encourages cell regeneration.

BENTONITE:
Mineral rich, detoxifying clay that draws impurities from the pores and regulates sebum production. High in minerals like potassium and calcium.

BENZOIN:
Essential oil that is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine. It alleviates redness and treats acne.

BERRY EXTRACTS:
Rich in antioxidants, which protect skin from sun damage and aging. Increase the skin’s overall radiance.

BETA-GLUCAN:
Reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and stimulates collagen production for plump, firm skin.

BETAINE:
A humectant that binds water to skin and hydrates. Also used to increase density of skincare and haircare products.

BIRCH SAP:
Enables skin to retain moisture. Birch Extract is antiseptic, astringent, and soothing.

BUCHU OIL:
Antiseptic essential oil that protects against bacterial infections and breakouts.

C

CAFFEINE:
An anti-inflammatory ingredient that promotes circulation, reduces redness, and reduces swelling and puffiness. It is also a potent antioxidant and prevents fine lines, sagging, and other age related issues.

CALENDULA:
Calendula is a flower indigenous to the Mediterranean. Hydrating, reparative, and soothing, calendula heals dry, sensitive skin. It is antiseptic, alleviates conditions like dermatitis, and fades scarring.

CALAMINE:
Calamine is a powder that is comprised mainly of zinc oxide, which is antiseptic and helps to reduce breakouts. It is anti-inflammatory and soothes redness, stinging, and irritation.

CAMELLIA OIL:
Camellia oil is rich in vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants. It absorbs instantly into skin. Ideal moisturizer for all skin types.

CANOLA OIL:
Restores moisture and strengthens the skin’s  barrier function.

CARRAGEENAN EXTRACT:
A jelly-like substance used to thicken products and soften rough skin.

CASTOR OIL:
Colorless, odorless oil that conditions and hydrates skin. Contains antimicrobial properties, and is helpful in treating sunburn, bacterial infections, and abrasions.

CAVIAR:
Rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin A and E, and potassium. Stimulates collagen production and promotes elasticity.

CELLULOSE:
Used as a thickening agent in cosmetics. Also has conditioning properties that prevent moisture loss.

CERAMIDE:
Naturally occurring in the skin. Reinforce the natural skin barrier when applied topically. Prevents moisture loss, inflammation, and bacterial infection. Ideal for thin, sensitive, dry skin.

CHAMOMILE:
Derived from chamomile flower. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal. Ideal for those with sensitive and acne prone skin.

CHARCOAL:
Detoxifies, cleanses, and balances skin. Stimulates circulation for brighter, healthier skin.

CHLORELLA:
Brightening, antioxidant, and hydrating.

CLARY SAGE OIL:
Refreshing, soothing, and anti-inflammatory. Promotes cell regeneration for even skin tone and texture.

COCOA BUTTER:
Extracted from cocoa beans, cocoa butter forms a breathable barrier on the skin that prevents against moisture loss. It is also rich in polyphenols, potent antioxidants that brighten and protect.

COCONUT OIL:
Rich in omega fatty acids and vitamins. Restores moisture and fades scarring.

COENZYME Q10:
A potent antioxidant that protects against and reverses damage caused by free radicals.

COLLAGEN:
Collagen is naturally occurring in the skin yet diminishes as we age. It hydrates, plumps, and firms.

CUCUMBER:
Soothing, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory. Reduces puffy skin, particularly around the eye area. Also astringent, which tightens pores and prevents excess sebum production.

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E

EGGS:
Tightens pores, firms, absorbs excess oil. Its astringent properties cleanse pores, treating breakouts and blackheads while minimizing enlarged pores. Ideal for those with oily, acne prone skin or mature skin.

EUCALYPTUS OIL:
Purifying and antibacterial. sloughs off dead skin cells to even out skin tone. Ideal for tired, acne prone skin.

EVENING PRIMROSE OIL:
Rich in omega-6 fatty acids, reduces inflammation and promotes skin cell growth to ease sensitivity and fade scarring. Nourishing and hydrating. Ideal for those with acne or skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis as it repairs and heals skin.

F

FRANKINCENSE OIL:
Also known as olibanum oil, frankincense oil is both astringent and antibacterial. It fights the spread of bacteria on skin, balances oil production, and prevents blemishes.

G

GALACTOMYCES FERMENT:
Packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals to brighten skin and increase radiance. Prevents formation of fine lines due to high antioxidant content.

GINGKO EXTRACT:
Bountiful in anti-aging antioxidants, ginkgo protects skin from the sun, pollution, and other damaging elements. It is also anti-inflammatory.

GINSENG EXTRACT:
Promotes oxygenation, which stimulates collagen, fights breakouts, and reduces inflammation. Rich in anti-aging antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Detoxifies, stimulates circulation, and brightens.

GINGKO EXTRACT:
Bountiful in anti-aging antioxidants, ginkgo protects skin from the sun, pollution, and other damaging elements. It is also anti-inflammatory.

GLYCERIN:
Derived both naturally and synthetically, glycerin is present the lipids of both animals and plants. It binds moisture to the skin’s surface, strengthens our natural barrier function, repairs, and alleviates dryness.

GLYCOLIC ACID:
Alpha hydroxy acid present in ingredients like snail filtrate and sugar cane, glycolic acid removes dead skin cells. This reduces the appearance of breakouts, fine lines, and dark spots.

GRAPESEED OIL:
Extracted from grape seeds, grapeseed oil contains linoleic acid which gently encourages cell regeneration. Anti-inflammatory, astringent, and brightening. Non-comedogenic. Ideal for oily, acne prone skin.

H

HONEY:
Ideal for all skin types, honey has many skin benefits: it is antibacterial and diminishes breakouts, it is a humectant which binds moisture to the skin without a film, it is antiseptic, which wards off fungal infections and bacteria, and antioxidant rich.

HYALURONIC ACID:
Naturally occurs in human connective tissue. A humectant that binds moisture to the surface of the skin and strengthens the barrier function. Has a firming and plumping effect. Hyaluronic acid is known to hold more moisture than any other skincare ingredient and is ideal for all skin types.

I

IRIS EXTRACT:
Lightens hyperpigmentation and other forms of discoloration.

IVY EXTRACT:
Alleviates sensitivity, reduces cellulite, antibacterial, and astringent.

J

JOJOBA OIL:
Derived from a shrub that is indigenous to the American Southwest, jojoba oil is hydrating and nourishing for all skin types. Its lightweight texture mimics that of human sebum. When topically applied, this controls overactive sebaceous glands. It is antibacterial and is high in Vitamin E and A. It brightens, hydrates, repairs, and balances skin.

K

KAOLIN:
Also known as china clay, kaolin clay absorbs excess oil, draws blackheads and impurities from the pores, and stimulates circulation.

L

LACTIC ACID:
An AHA found in sour milk, lactic acid gently removes dead skin cells without causing irritation. Lactic acid reduces fine lines, breakouts, and hyperpigmentation. It stimulates production of collagen as well. Ideal for both oily, breakout prone skin and mature skin.

LANOLIN:
Derived from sheep’s wool, lanolin hydrates, protects, and balances. Its consistency is similar to that of human sebum, therefore it does not create an oily film but rather balances oil production. It creates a protective barrier on the skin to prevent moisture loss, yet does not clog pores. Ideal for all skin types.

LAVENDER OIL:
Soothing, antibacterial, antiseptic, and astringent, lavender calms, treats breakouts, tones the pores, and prevents infection.

LEMON OIL:
Brightening, sebum-balancing, antibacterial, and pore tightening, lemon oil is ideal for oily/acne skin.

LICORICE:
Licorice root is rich in antioxidants and is one of the most powerful anti inflammatory ingredients in skincare. It helps to ease redness, burning, and itching. It also has a brightening effect. Ideal for those with dry, sensitive skin, or conditions like dermatitis, rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis.

LOTUS EXTRACT:
Rich in skin brightening and antioxidant vitamin C, lotus extract increases radiance and fortifies skin from free radical damage. It is anti-inflammatory, helping to repair and soothe damaged, sensitive skin. It also contains vitamin A & B, which are brightening and collagen stimulating. Ideal for mature and sensitive skin types.

LIME OIL:
Brightening, astringent, and sebum balancing, lime oil minimizes breakouts and the appearance of pores while fading discoloration.

M

MACADAMIA NUT OIL:
Lightweight and non-comedogenic, macadamia nut oil is rich in oleic acid which hydrates and repairs. It is anti-inflammatory, therefore helpful for redness and irritation. Linoleic acid prevents moisture loss. It is ideal for all skin types.

MALIC ACID:
An AHA that removes dead skin, diminishes fine lines, and reduces uneven skin tone.

MALLOW:
Mallow extract soothes irritation and softens skin.

MAPLE TREE SAP:
Otherwise known as acer mono sap, maple tree sap is deeply hydrating and is packed with antioxidants. Since the molecules that comprise maple tree sap are very small, they penetrate the skin quickly and reach deep into the skin for long lasting moisture.

N

NEROLI OIL:
Derived from orange blossoms, neroli oil is high in vitamin C, which improves the tone and texture of skin, stimulates collagen production, and prevents signs of aging. It is often used to treat acne scarring and stretch marks. It increases serotonin levels in the brain and is often used for aromatherapy purposes.

O

OATS:
Ideal for sensitive skin, as oats are a powerful anti-inflammatory that alleviates conditions like eczema and rosacea. Oats form a protective film on the skin that prevents moisture loss and hydrate.

OLIVE OIL:
Rich in vitamin E, squalene, and polyphenols, olive oil nourishes and protects skin due to its high antioxidant content. It is noncomedogenic and ideal for both dry and oily skin types.

P

PANTHENOL:
Also known as ProVitamin B5, panthenol is hydrating, soothing, reparative, and protects against free radical damage. It easily absorbs and penetrates deep into the skin.

PAPAYA:
A BHA that removes dead skin from the surface, eliminates blackheads, softens, and decreases hyperpigmentation. Also referred to as “papain.”

PEPPERMINT:
Cooling and refreshing, peppermint oil stimulates circulation for brighter skin. It contains vitamin A & C for both brightening and anti-aging effects, as well as nourishing omega-3 fatty acids.

PROPOLIS:
Formed by bees, propolis is a glue-like substance that is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. It is beneficial for irritated, inflamed breakouts, those with sensitive skin, and for warding off bacterial infections of the skin. Plentiful in antioxidants, propolis maintains youthful, healthy skin.

Q

 

R

RICE:
Used for centuries in Asian skincare remedies, rice powder is known for its brightening effects. It contains vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that gently removes dead skin to reveal the more radiant layer underneath. Phytic acid stimulates cell growth to combat dullness.

ROSE:
Hydrating, antioxidant rich, antibacterial, and astringent, rose boasts so many skin benefits that it is ideal for all skin types. It improves tone and texture, fights breakouts, prevents signs of aging, and soothes irritation. Rose contains vitamin C, which brightens skin, protects, and stimulates collagen production for firm, blemish free, and radiant skin.

ROSEHIP OIL:
Due to its high concentration of vitamins A, C, and E, rosehip oil is often used in products geared towards acne prone skin for its ability to increase the cell turnover rate. This helps to rid the skin of blemishes, excess oil, and scarring. It also contains many essential fatty acids like linoleic acid that prevent moisture loss, nourish, and condition.

ROSEMARY:
A member of the mint family, rosemary is antibacterial and astringent and is therefore great for oily, acne prone skin. It promotes cell regeneration for smooth, bright, breakout-free skin. It prevents harmful bacteria from spreading and causing blemishes. Rosemary also balances sebum production to prevent breakouts. It is also anti-aging, as it increases firmness and elasticity in the skin and rich in antioxidants.

ROSEWOOD OIL:
Extracted from evergreen trees grown in Peru and Brazil, rosewood oil is antiseptic, reparative, breakout fighting, and anti-aging. It is also used in many products geared towards fading discoloration.

ROYAL JELLY:
Nourishing, hydrating, and anti-aging, royal jelly speeds up cell regeneration for brighter, smoother, breakout-free skin. It also protects against sun damage and is anti-inflammatory. Royal jelly is packed with vitamins and minerals for healthy skin.

S

SACCHAROMYCES FERMENT:
Fermented yeast that hydrates, repairs, brightens, and is anti-aging. This ingredient contains various antioxidants and amino acids that fight aging, fade dark spots, and stimulate collagen production.

SALICYLIC ACID:
Beta Hydroxy Acid derived from papaya, pineapple, and other sources. Salicylic acid removes dead skin cells and promotes cell regrowth. It penetrates past the surface of the skin to reach clogged pores and blackheads deeply embedded in the epidermis and removes them. It is also an anti-inflammatory, reducing redness and irritation, and is therefore a suitable exfoliator for sensitive skin types.

SANDALWOOD:
Used for centuries in Ayurvedic skin care remedies, sandalwood is anti-inflammatory and alleviates redness, itching, and irritation. It is also astringent, as it shrinks the size of pores, curbs excess oil production, and reduces breakouts. Its antibacterial properties prevent breakout-causing bacteria from living and spreading on the skin.  

SHEA BUTTER:
Concentrated in vitamins and fatty acids, shea butter is both hydrating and nourishing. Oleic and linoleic acid prevent moisture loss. It is anti-inflammatory and ideal for those with sensitive, dry skin or with skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.

SNAIL SECRETION FILTRATE:
Derived from snail mucin, this ingredient is lightly hydrating, rejuvenating, and anti-aging. Glycolic acid is what makes snail secretion filtrate so powerful: it removes dead skin cells, diminishing acne, fine lines, and dark spots. It also firms and plumps skin. This ingredient is ideal for all skin types, especially those with acne prone or mature skin.

SOY:
Balancing, hydrating, and brightening, soy has a variety of skin benefits for all skin types. It balances sebum production, softens, stimulates collagen production, reduces fine lines, and reduces discoloration. It is packed with protective antioxidants as well, and is a great choice for improving the overall health of skin.

SUNFLOWER OIL:
A non-comedogenic oil that is ideal for oily skin types. It is rich in fatty acids like linoleic acid, which prevents moisture loss. Rich in Vitamin E, sunflower oil treats acne, discoloration, and aging and has bountiful antioxidants. Sunflower oil will hydrate, balance sebum protection, fade scarring, and ward off free radical damage.

SQUALANE:
Squalane is a lipid found in human skin as well as olives, rice bran, and wheat germ. It hydrates, heals, and protects skin. It is easily absorbed and does not clog pores, since its consistency is lightweight. This will also balance out excess oil production. It is rich in antioxidants, stimulates circulation, and encourages elasticity. Ideal for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin or conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

SWEET ALMOND OIL:
Lightweight yet highly moisturizing, sweet almond oil is beneficial for many skin types.Its lightweight texture attracts excess oil and decongests pores. Sweet almond oil contains vitamin A, which is effective at treating acne, hyperpigmentation, and signs of aging by removing dead skin cells.

T

TEA TREE:
Tea tree is often used for oily, acne prone skin due to its astringent, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial properties. Tea tree kills acne-causing bacteria, reduces the redness and inflammation associated with acne, and balances oil production for clear skin.

TITANIUM DIOXIDE:
Used to block the sun and protect skin from UVA/UVB rays.

THYME:
Thyme is antibacterial and very effective at clearing acne.

TREHALOSE:
Trehalose is water binding and antioxidant rich. It is frequently used in skincare products for its hydrating capabilities and is effective in combating dehydration.

U

 

V

VITAMIN A:
Derived from retinol, vitamin A is effective in treating both acne and mature skin. It promotes cell regeneration for smoother, brighter, softer skin. This removal of dead skin cells also reduces breakouts, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation.

VITAMIN B (NIACINAMIDE):
Niacinamide is a powerful brightening agent used in many products aimed at fading sun spots, acne scarring, and other forms of hyperpigmentation. It also strengthens our skin’s natural barrier function, which prevents moisture loss and sensitivity. Niacinamide has been found to stimulate collagen production as well.

VITAMIN C:
One of the most popular ingredients in skincare, Vitamin C is beneficial because of its high concentration of antioxidants, its cell regenerating abilities, and collagen stimulation. Vitamin C is used for acne prone skin, anti-aging purposes, and for brightening.

VITAMIN E (TOCOPHEROL):
Vitamin E is plentiful in antioxidants and is very effective at warding off free radical damage. It also reduces scarring by increasing the speed of the cell turnover rate, which also diminishes acne, fine lines, and other forms of hyperpigmentation.

W

WHEAT GERM OIL:
Extracted from wheat kernel, wheat germ oil is moisturizing and highly nourishing. It is rich in Vitamin E, which is plentiful in antioxidants, lightens dark spots, and heals damaged skin. High in linolenic acid, wheat germ oil replenishes skin and leads to soft, even skin.

WITCH HAZEL:
Astringent, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory, witch hazel treats a variety of skin woes such as acne, sensitivity, and enlarged pores. Since witch hazel tones pores, overtime it will reduce congestion and blackheads as well as breakouts. It soothes redness, itchiness, and inflammation. Its antibacterial properties prevent the spread of bacteria and the formation of breakouts.

X

 

Y

 

Z