A palm tree, native to Central and South America, known for its deep purple berries.
The fruit extract is used as a potent antioxidant in skin-care products and supplements.
A colourless and strong-smelling solvent found in many nail-polish removers, it works by softening and dissolving the polymer molecules in polishes, gels, and acrylics.
Having a pH (‘potential hydrogen’) less than 7. Human skin’s barrier is naturally slightly acidic, with a pH hovering around 4.5 to 5.5. When it drops out of range, skin becomes prone to breakouts and irritation.
Form of Carbon found in cleansers and masks, has been specially treated to increase its absorbency, allowing it to sponge up dirt and oil from pores.
AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy Acid)
Natural acids derived from fruit, dairy products and sugar cane. Helpful in loosening and removing dead skin cells from skin. Enhances the skin’s texture and overall appearance. Effective in smoothing skin and wrinkles.
AHA examples: Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid and Citric Acid.
A blend of natural Algae extracts, it is used to minimize wrinkles while firming and brightening the skin.
Having a pH (‘potential hydrogen’) greater than 7. Alkaline substances are the opposite of acidic. When skin is too alkaline, may be because of using the wrong skincare products, it gets dry, irritated, inflamed, and more prone to wrinkling.
ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
This fatty acid found in all cells in the body contributes to skin's smoothness. It dissolves in both fat and water, enabling it to penetrate well into all parts of skin cells.
The building blocks of the proteins that make up collagen and elastin. They give the skin its structural support. Aging and a combination of external factors (including UV light and environmental toxins) reduce the level of amino acids in the body; creams containing amino acids may help restore them.
A class of flavonoids, these red, blue, and violet plant pigments are thought to protect against inflammatory diseases and free-radical damage.
The most recent data suggests they may help slow skin aging by curbing UV-induced skin damage.
Any ingredient that reduces free-radical damage to the skin. These are molecules that slow down or prevent oxidation of other molecules. In skin care, antioxidants help prevent premature ageing.
Extract from the bearberry plant. Used as a complexion-brightening antioxidant. Known to be a natural and milder alternative to skin-bleaching hydroquinone.
Arbutin works by directly reducing the activity of certainenzymes central to the production of melanin.
This fast-absorbing, vitamin E-rich extract is known for its ability to moisturize without clogging pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines, smooth hair, and strengthen nails.
A wound-healing Amino acid – is necessary building block of skin collagen and hair keratin.
A form of antioxidant vitamin C brightens the skin, increases collagen production, and stems free-radical damage, making it a popular skin care ingredient.
Also known as colloidal oatmeal, the anti-inflammatory antioxidant is commonly used in skin care to treat dryness, itch, and irritation.
A chemical found in sunscreens for absorbing UVA rays to reduce their penetration into the skin. Please note it provide protection against UVB rays.
It's a natural component composed of wheat, barley, rye, and the yeast living on human skin.
Used in many skin treatments like rosacea, acne, etc. Its synthetic derived versions kill bacteria living in skin pores while reducing inflammation.
It's also used to lighten skin melasma patches and other hyperpigmented patched or areas.
A key ingredient in waxing kits, this blue oil is derived from chamomile and revered for its soothing properties.
Banana fruit extracts are a natural source of Vitamins E and Alpha-Hydroxy Acid which help in moisturizing and gently refining the skin.
BHA (Beta-Hydroxy Acid / Salicylic Acid)
BHA is good for skin exfoliation. It also provides anti-inflammatory action. BHA also dissolves body substances that causes cells to stick together, therefore making it effective in combating acne.
An absorbent clay, derived from weathered volcanic ash, it is rich in antibacterial minerals, it’s commonly used in purifying or detoxifying cleansers and masks, as it pulls pollutants, sebum, and grime from pores.
An acne medicine that kills pimple-causing bacteria and exfoliates pores.
A red-orange pigment found in certain fruits and vegetables. It’s a precursor to vitamin A (retinol). When eaten, the body converts it into antioxidant vitamin A. It is known to help maintain skin and eye health.
A form of sugar molecule. It is found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, grains (oats, barley, etc). It can strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier and keep germs away.
BETA HYDROXY ACID (BHA)
A form of chemical exfoliants known to penetrate deeply into pores to remove dead skin and pigmentation. Salicylic acid (a common BHA) is found in many acne washes, creams, and peels.
A popular biodegradable bacterial-derived-fibre sheet-mask material, is known for its unparalleled moisture retention. It helps drive active ingredients into the skin.
A form of vitamin B, it is found in carrots, almonds, milk, and other foods. It is important for regulating hair and nail growth. Shampoos and conditioners containing it usually claim that it reduces hair breakage by increasing elasticity.
A floral-scented chamomile extract used as a moisturizer, anti-inflammatory, and an anti-microbial.
A kind of skin blemish that forms when the sebum (oil) draining from a pore becomes blocked by a clump of dead skin cells. Its gets it dark colour from its own pigment, which darkens when exposed to air.
An anti-inflammatory enzyme derived from the stem or fruit of the pineapple plant.
A lightweight moisturizing agent, this ingredient is commonly found in makeup removers and makeup (for thinning and making glide on skin easily)
Ingredients derived from plants
Helps to reduce puffiness and redness by constricting blood vessels.
Used commonly in eye care products and cellulite treatments.
A light pink liquid, made from mixing zinc oxide and ferric oxide. Used to treat itching and minor skin irritations.
Extracted from the cannabis sativa plant, this oil is used in beauty products mainly for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and moisturizing properties.
Also called L-carnitine, this amino acid helps convert fat into energy when naturally present in the human body. In the skin-care, the ingredient is often found in cellulite and eye creams for its anti-inflammatory activity that can temporarily smooth puckering or puffiness.
Naturally occurring amino-acid, that prevents inflammation, glycation, and free-radical activity. Unfortunately, its level present in our bodies decline with age. Some research indicates that oral supplements and topical creams containing it can delay premature wrinkling, collagen breakdown, and thinning of the skin.
Affecting more women than men. Up to 90 percent of women suffer from it (due to estrogen and genetics). Cellulite occurs when fat cells swell and push through the tight, fibrous tissue bands (or septa) walling them in, creating a dimpled or lumpy appearance.
Naturally occurring in sebum (skin's oil), these fats / fatty acids hold together the cells of the epidermis (surface of the skin) to reinforce the skin's protective barrier.
These ingredients must be grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or chemicals. They also must be grown, prepared, processed and packaged according to the specific standards of the country which they are being certified in. They then must be certified by an Organic Certification Body.
Antiseptic cleansing agent
CETYL / STEARYL ALCOHOL
Fatty alcohols that stabilize creams and cleansers and create a silky feeling.
A popular ingredient in cleansers and creams for sensitive skin, this moisturizing botanical is known for calming inflammation while combating free-radical damage.
Found in many fruits, the antioxidant alpha hydroxy acid acts as a natural preservative. When used in peels, masks, and washes, it brightens and exfoliates the upper layers of the skin, encouraging new collagen formation.
Derived from coconut oil, it’s a mild cleansing agent.
Derived from coconut oil and fruit sugars, this is a foaming and cleansing agent
COENZYME Q-10 (COQ10)
An antioxidant present in the skin which declines with exposure to sun. It is used commonly in anti-ageing skincare to help strengthen cells and improve the texture of the skin.
A powerful antioxidant extracted from the fruit of the coffee berry or California buckthorn plant.
This protein makes up 80 percent of the skin, and its fibres give skin its firmness and strength. It naturally breaks down over time, but certain ingredients, such as retinol and peptides, can stimulate new collagen production. The most abundant protein in the human body, it makes skin thick, strong, and smooth.
A broad term for a pore, or hair follicle, that's blocked by sticky dead skin cells and the sebum that can't drain properly. When the follicle remains open, the sebum's pigment darkens from air exposure, forming a blackhead. When a particular bacteria invade the clogged pore, the resulting inflammation creates a whitehead.
These amino acids help to heal wounds, protect collagen from free-radical injury, soothe inflammation, and promote new collagen formation.
Cosmetic products that contain biologically active ingredients and claim to have pharmaceutical benefits.
This severe, potentially scarring form of acne develops when a plug of dead skin cells, sebum, and P. Acnes bacteria lodges deep inside a pore, creating a tender, pus-filled bump that sometimes ruptures the pore wall, spreading to surrounding tissue.
Derived from coconut oil and corn starch, it is a foaming and cleansing agent, so mild its used in baby products.
Means tested on skin.
A form of silicone used commonly in oil-free moisturisers for its slip and hydration properties.
Used as a chelating and foaming agent, a cleaning agent. So safe its even used in food items
DNA REPAIR ENZYMES
Proven to correct the UV-induced DNA damage underlying wrinkles, brown spots, and skin cancer, these liposomal encapsulated marine extracts break the abnormal bonds forged by UV light, causing atoms in our DNA to resume their normal positions.
The Korean ritual of using a cleansing oil in tandem with a water-based face wash to thoroughly dissolve and remove oil-based makeup, sunscreen, and pollutants.
The most common form of this chronic, noncontagious skin disorder is atopic dermatitis, which is characterized by itchy, red, scaly patches that often show up on the inner elbows, behind the knees, and around the neck and eyes. Prevalent in young children, it's increasingly diagnosed in adults — especially those with a family history of the condition — and may flare with exposure to harsh soaps, fragrances, and foods that provoke an allergic response.
Stretchy structural proteins that allow skin to snap back into place. Elastin is particularly vulnerable to sun damage.
Commonly added to skin-care products and supplements, this polyphenol exists naturally in pecans, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, dark-colored grapes, and red wines, and possesses antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
Any ingredient that increases water levels in the epidermis.
Chemicals such as Cetyl-alcohol that bind together ingredients in skin-care products.
EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE (EGCG)
The main active component of green tea, this anti-inflammatory polyphenol has been shown to reduce sun damage and slow signs of aging by neutralizing free radicals.
A berry-derived sugar that slowly and subtly darkens the skin. It’s typically used in conjunction with DHA to deliver a longer-lasting, more natural-looking glow.
A Korean skin-care staple, these concentrated formulas with a water- or serum-like consistency are splashed on post-cleansing to boost hydration and prepare the skin to absorb subsequent products.
Plant based antioxidant which enhances the stability of Vitamin C and E.
A plant extract, it reduces redness, fights free radicals, and calms inflammation.
Plentiful in connective tissue throughout the body, including the dermis, these cells produce the collagen and elastin responsible for keeping skin pliant and springy. Topical retinoids ramp up collagen production in fibroblasts.
While they're present in all plants, this class of antioxidant phytochemicals is especially abundant in deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables, along with coffee, nuts, and seeds.
Highly unstable molecules created in the body by sunlight, cigarette smoke, and pollution that latch onto and damage cells in ways that can lead to roughness, sagging, and wrinkling.
Typically sourced from papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin, they break down the keratin proteins comprising dead skin cells, offering a mild form of exfoliation.
A phytoestrogen, or plant hormone, found in soybeans. In skin care, it’s known for its skin-brightening and antioxidant effects. It is known to stimulate collagen production.
A chemical found in the root extract of liquorice, this skin-brightening antioxidant inhibits pigment production in the skin.
Found throughout the human body, the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory ingredient has long been used as an oral supplement (to relieve arthritis). Its topical application may reduce hyperpigmentation and boost hyaluronic acid production. Used for smoothing fine lines / wrinkles.
This age-accelerating process occurs when sugar molecules in the bloodstream bind to protein tissue throughout the body, creating advanced glycation end products (AGEs), free-radical damage, and inflammation. Among the tissues affected are the collagen and elastin fibres responsible for keeping skin smooth, plump, and flexible.
A hydrating ingredient used commonly in moisturising products.
An AHA derived from Sugar Cane which exfoliates the skin, smoothing out fine lines and uneven texture.
Used commonly in anti-ageing and brightening products.
Derived from a small fruit native to Asia, it's rich in zinc, fatty acid, and antioxidants. Taken orally or applied topically, the ingredient claims to slow the signs of aging and fend off environmental damage to skin, though there have been no large clinical studies on humans.
Boasting antioxidant levels that are far more powerful than vitamins E and C, topical and oral formulations of the ingredient are used to protect the skin against UV damage and other environmental assaults.
This hydrating ingredient's high fatty acid and antioxidant content makes it a popular addition to moisturizers, wrinkle creams, and hair-care products.
A powerful antioxidant.
Guava fruit extracts are a natural source of Vitamins C, E, and Gallic Acid which help in skin nourishment and overall health because of its anti-microbial and healing properties.
A dietary supplement which is an antioxidant-rich extract. Derived from a tropical fern, shown in clinical studies to reduce UV-induced inflammation and free-radical formation to help protect skin against sun damage (when used in conjunction with broad-spectrum sunscreen).
HEMP SEED OIL
Pressed from the seeds of industrial hemp plants, this supercharged moisturizer packs vitamins, minerals, and inflammation-quelling essential fatty acids.
A sugar molecule which increases the skin’s moisture content. It can hold 1000 times its weight in water.
A thick, transparent polymer material comprising certain sheet masks, known for its close fit and water-binding capabilities.
Found in beauty supplements and drinks aiming to plump and hydrate the skin, these collagen proteins have been broken down into smaller peptides to make for easier absorption into the bloodstream.
A wrinkle-fighting form of vitamin A shown to be less irritating and more stable than traditional retinol.
Means that the product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. This does not guarantee you will not react, you will still need to check specific ingredients if you are super sensitive.
This class of moisturizing ingredients pulls water from the atmosphere into the top layer of the skin.
Available without a prescription in strengths up to 2 percent (4 percent in prescription formulas), it inhibits pigment production to lighten dark spots.
Often triggered by UV light exposure, a wound, illness, hormonal changes, or certain drugs, this darkening of the skin might appear as a uniform tan, melasma (patches of discoloration), or an isolated acne scar.
A bio-engineered antioxidant used to combat free radicals, found in some anti-ageing products.
An oil derived from an evergreen shrub used for its softening and hydrating properties.It most closely resembles the skin’™s own natural oils.
A natural clay which offers adhesion to cosmetic products. Absorbs oil, and drives out impurities, so it’s great for an oily / acne-ic skin.
A hydrating compound found in plants that encourages cell division, the popular ingredient is thought to reduce wrinkling and even skin tone and texture.
Kiwi fruit extracts are a natural source of Vitamins C, E, and Actinidin Enzyme which help in skin nourishment and managing dead skin cells (cleansing dirt and other impurities).
This skin lightener, especially popular in Japan, has been proven to be effective at blocking the production of new melanin in the skin, but it can also cause skin irritation when used in higher concentrations.
An AHA derived from fermented milk, Lactic Acid exfoliates the skin to improve texture and clarity.It has a larger molecule size than glycolic acid so can be a less irritating alternative for sensitive skins.
A natural oil that comes from sheep’s wool. It has excellent moisturizing properties and is easily absorbed by our skin. Lanolin is also known to protect and soothe the skin.Used commonly in lip balms, moisturizers etc.
A tiny vesicle (bubble-like sac), similar in construction to a cell membrane, used to encapsulate ingredients and enhance penetration into the skin; an effective delivery system.
Made from the fruit of the African Marula tree, this fast-absorbing oil boasts natural essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and flavonoids.
The pigment that gives hair, skin, and eyes their colour; patches of excess melanin can cause dark spots.
Originally derived from mint plants, this cooling agent is found in some lip balms, toners, and shave gels, mainly in synthetic form. It's also used topically to relieve minor aches, stings, and itch.
MINERAL OIL (or PARAFFIN OIL)
Liquid petrolatum which has an excellent ability to cut through grease, dirt and makeup. Commonly used in skin care and baby products. Also useful in locking in moisture.Mineral oil acts as a thin layer on the skin, and essentially creates a barrier which has been known to block pores.To be avoided when skin is problematic and prone to breakouts.
A form of Vitamin B3 that helps to strengthen skin and improve elasticity whilst reducing redness.
An active ingredient in sunscreens, this clear, colorless chemical offers only limited protection against UVA and UVB rays on its own, but can stabilize and strengthen the sun-protective powers of any UV filters it's combined with.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Abundant in herring, mackerel, wild salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, and olive oil, these essential fatty acids maintain the function of cell membranes throughout the body, preserving cells' ability to take in nutrients, dispose of waste, and hold onto water. In the epidermis, this can translate to smoother, more supple, hydrated skin.
Also known as benzophenone-3, this chemical sunscreen absorbs mainly UVB rays, which is why it is combined with UVA-absorbing filters (like avobenzone) to create broad-spectrum sunscreens.
A B vitamin that moisturizes and strengthens both skin and hair.
A skin-dissolving enzyme extracted from the leaves and fruit of the papaya plant, it’s used as a gentle exfoliant in certain cleansers, masks, scrubs, and peels.
A class of preservatives used to protect cosmetics against the growth of bacteria and fungi. These controversial ingredients — including methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben — have been shown to possess weak Estrogens like properties, but the FDA deems them safe when used at very low levels (.01 to .3 percent) in cosmetics. Commonly used preservatives in food and cosmetics that prevent bacteria and fungus from forming.
PEG - 150 DISTEARATE
Palm oil based emulsifier and tickening agent.
Proteins used in some skin care products for anti-ageing benefits. There are numerous types of peptides.
Derived from apples, it enhances the activity of other ingredients whilst reducing damage caused by the sun.
These common plasticizers, used some nail polishes to increase flexibility and in some shampoos and cleansers to carry fragrance, are controversial because of a possible link to disruption of the human endocrine system. Their role in a possible increase in breast cancers in women is currently being studied.
Also called phytochemicals. Consuming or topically applying these beneficial compounds in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and other edible plants helps prevent the damaging inflammation and free-radical activity that comes from UV exposure and other environmental insults.
PLANT STEM CELLS
When part of a living apple tree, melon vine, or other plant, these unspecialized cells have the ability to divide and stimulate growth in any tissue within that plant. There's little evidence to support claims that the regenerating effects translate to human skin when plant stem cells are extracted and applied topically — though they may offer some antioxidant benefits.
Used for centuries to heal wounds, this honeybee-made resin has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory powers. In skin care, it’s often used as a soothing antioxidant.
RETINOL (VITAMIN A)
Used mainly in anti-ageing products to stimulate the renewal of cells. Is available over the counter up to 1%.
Increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun and must be used in conjunction with a daily SPF.
An antioxidant found in grapes, it neutralizes free radicals to protect skin cells from damage.
A skin-care product that contains high concentrations of active ingredients and claims superior penetration of the skin's surface when applied.
SODIUM COCOYL ISOTHIONATE
Coconut oil derived, ensures stable and velvety lather, mild on skin.
SODIUM LAURETH SULPHATE (SLES)
A safe and effective foaming detergent used in facial cleansers, body washes, shampoos, and toothpastes; not to be confused with the more irritating sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS).
SODIUM LAURYL SARCOCINATE
Coconut oil derived, foam booster and thorough cleanser, very effective yet mild on skin.
SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE
A detergent agent that cuts through oil and generates lather. Sulphate-free shampoos have become popular because of a misconception that the foaming agent may cause cancer, but no link has ever been established.
Rich in proteins and vitamins, this natural, non-irritating extract is a mild skin brightener that blocks the transfer of pigment from pigment-making cells to surrounding skin cells.
Sun Protection Factor. The number that follows is a measure of the time it will take for your skin to burn with the sunscreen applied, in comparison to unprotected skin.
If your unprotected skin would burn in 10 minutes, an SPF30 product (correctly applied) would give you 30 x 10 minutes in the sun before burning.
Strawberry fruit extracts are a natural source of Vitamins E, C, and Alpha Lipoic Acid for skin nourishment & skin foliation (natural anti-oxidant).
Cleansing agents that create a lather used to remove dirt and oil. Can be synthetic or plant derived.
There are more than 100 different varieties — some synthetic, others from natural sources, like coconut or palm oil. They're found in facial cleansers, body washes, shampoos, and shaving creams. All types have the potential to dry and irritate the skin. They've come under scrutiny in recent years for their potential damage to the environment.
Used as oil-dissolving detergents, emollients, and foaming agents in cleansing products. Traditional high-pH soap and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) are stripping surfactants; milder ones include sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), decyl glucoside, coco-glucoside, and others.
A natural mineral used for sun protection like a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. Used in sunscreens and cosmetic products.
The wavelength of ultraviolet light that leads to signs of aging by destroying existing collagen and elastin within the skin and undermining the body's ability to create more of each. The rays cause skin cancer, and they are also generated in tanning beds. They are constant throughout the year, which is why sun protection should be worn daily regardless of season.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun that cause premature ageing to the skin.
Rays that cause the skin to tan and burn.
The high-energy wavelength of ultraviolet light that leads to darkened pigment in the form of tanning, freckles, and age spots — plus, of course, sunburns. They are strongest in summer months.
Mild skin care preservative.
Promotes the growth and repair of body tissues. Vitamin A is used commonly in anti-ageing products.
A key antioxidant which strengthens collagen synthesis and promotes radiant skin.
VITAMIN E (TOCOPHEROL)
A powerful antioxidant that i™s essential for the body to protect it from free radicals.Vitamin E also has excellent conditioning properties.
A natural sun protector, acts as a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. Used in sunscreens and foundation (especially mineral makeup).
Zinc has also been known to be beneficial for those with sensitive and acne-ic skin.
A mineral in sunscreen that prevents UVA and UVB light from entering skin and doing damage.