Albumen: Egg white. A source of pure protein. It has a soothing and tightening effect on the


Algae extract: Rich in the same vital nutrients, trace elements, and amino acids present in

human blood plasma, allowing it to penetrate the skin more thoroughly than most other

ingredients. It speeds the elimination of toxins from cells and is a natural cellular renewal

ingredient. It also helps to nourish and remineralize the skin.

Algin: A gelatinous substance derived from seaweed. It acts as an emulsifier and thickening


Allantoin: A compound that occurs naturally in wheat sprouts, tobacco seed, comfrey, and

sugar beets, or it may be derived synthetically from uric acid. It is an effective healing agent

that helps to promote cellular renewal, and it has a soothing and softening

Almond oil: A nut oil high in fatty acids. Nearly colorless and, odorless, almond oil is used in

soaps, moisturizers, and creams.

Aloe vera gel: A concentrated form derived from the aloe vera (true aloe) plant, one of the

oldest medicinal plants known. Widely revered and used by the ancient Egyptians and Native

Americans, it has remarkable healing abilities because it is a natural oxygenator (drawing and

holding oxygen to the skin). For this same reason, it is one of the most effective cellular

renewal ingredients available for use in cosmetics. It has a composition similar to that of

human blood plasma and sea water, and because its pH is the same as human skin, it is

extremely soothing and protective. It is also a natural astringent.

Annatto: A naturally occurring red-yellow dye derived from the seeds of tropical trees.

Apple cider vinegar: Found in toners; may be used with water as an "acid rinse" to adjust the

skin's own pH.

Arnica extract: Used as an anti-irritant and to treat muscle

soreness and bruising.

Arnica extract: A proven carcinogen sometimes found in talc.

Ascorbic acid: Vitamin C. An antioxidant that is also used as a pH adjuster and as a preservative

in cosmetics.

Ascorbyl palmitate: An ester of ascorbic acid. An antioxidant for oils and fats; keeps products

fresh and prevents color change.

See Ascorbic acid.

Avocado oil: Natural oil from avocados that is rich in vitamins and minerals. An excellent skin

conditioner and moisturizer that readily penetrates the skin; nonocclusive.

Azulene: An essential oil derived from German camomile (Matricaria chamomilla). It is an

excellent anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and detoxifier. Extremely calming and soothing to

the skin.

Basil oil: Ocimum basilicum belongs to the labiate botanical family, which contains the largest

number of medicinal plants. This essential oil contains linalol, thymol, tannins, pinene, and

camphor, making it excellent for healing and soothing the skin. It has a stimulating effect on

the skin's circulation and the oil glands, and is also balancing.

Beeswax: Natural wax produced by bees. Used in a wide variety of cosmetics as an emulsifier.

Can clog pores if used as a primary ingredient in a formulation.

Bentonite: A naturally occurring clay from volcanic ash. Used as an ingredient in masks and

foundation makeup.

Benzaldehyde: Artificial essential oil of almond.

Benzoic acid: Naturally occurring cosmetic preservative from gum benzoin. May be irritating

to eyes. See Gum benzoin.

Benzophenone: UVA blocker. Protects against ultraviolet light (from sunlight and fluorescent


Beta-carotene: See Carotene.

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole): A synthetic antioxidant used to prevent oxidation of oils in

cosmetics. Some reports of allergic reaction.

BHT (butylated hydroxythaluene): A synthetic antioxidant used to prevent oxidation of oils in

cosmetics. Some reports of allergic reaction.

Bismuth oxychloride: A salt derived from the mineral bismuth that imparts a slight sheen,

enabling powders to reflect light. A natural antiseptic.

Bladderwrack extract (seaweed): Derived from the dried thallus (bulbous root) of Fucus

vesiculosus, a type of seaweed. It is rich in the same trace minerals, amino acids, and other

vital nutrients present in human blood plasma and therefore helps to balance and

remineralize the skin.

Bromelain: An enzyme derived from pineapples. Digests dead protein, as in surface skin cells.

2-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol: Can form carcinogens in cosmetics or on the skin. Often

used in shampoos and moisturizers; avoid products with this ingredient. Sometimes called


Butylene glycol: A humectant and solvent with some mold-inhibiting ability. Can be irritating if

used as more than five percent of a formulation.

Butylparaben: Preservative used to prevent mold, fungus, and bacteria; extends shelf life of

cosmetics. Nontoxic and nonirritating at .05 of 1 percent. jIt may be irritating to the skin if

more than 5 percent is used in a formulation.)

C12-15 alcohols benzoate: An emollient derived from benzoic acid, a naturally occurring

preservative. Very mild.

Cajeput oil: Distilled from the flowers and leaves of the Melaleuca leucadendra tree, which

grows in Malaysia. Antiseptic and antiviral, its function is to cleanse and drain toxins and excess

oil from the skin.

Calcium carbonate (chalk): Fine white powder occurring naturally in limestone, oyster shells,

and marble. Used in powders and toothpastes. Also used as an antacid, opacifier, whitener,

neutralizer, filler.

Calcium silicate: Anticaking and opacifying agent; absorbent. Used in face powders, blushers,

and bath salts.

Calendula: Marigold. Topical anti-inflammatory, antioxidant. Commonly used to treat acne

and problem skin.

Camomile oil: Distilled from the small yellow flowers of several varieties of camomile,

including German (Matricaria chamomilla) and Roman (Anthemis nobilis). German camomile

contains a high percentage of azulene, a powerful healer that is extremely soothing to the

skin. In aromatherapy, camomile is used to balance female energy and reproductive organs.

Camphor: Distilled from the wood of the camphor tree Icinnamomum camphora). It is a

natural antiseptic and analgesic that helps to calm the skin and reduce redness.

Candelilla wax: A hard wax obtained from the candelilla plant, used as an occlusive and binder

in lipsticks and creams.

Caprylk acid: Fatty acid used as an emulsifier. Found in milk and sweat and synthesized from

coconut oil.

Caprylic/capric triglyceride: Barrier agent, emollient, and solvent used in foundations, eye

shadow, creams, and lotions. Oily liquid from plants, vegetable oils, dairy fats, and sweat.

Synthesized from coconut oil or palm kernel oil.

Carbomer: Gelling agent. Synthetic polymer used to thicken, stabilize, and promote shelf life of

cosmetics. Can be irritating.

Carmine: A natural pigment derived from the dried female insect, Coccus cacti; used as dye.

Camauba wax: From the Brazilian wax palm. Used as a barrier agent and texturizer in lipsticks,

deodorant sticks, and depilatories.

Carotene (beta-carotene): Present in quantity in a variety of orange/ yellow fruits and

vegetables, such as carrots, cantaloupe, and papaya. Carotene has an orange color that

oxidizes (fades) when exposed to sunlight. It is converted into vitamin A by the body, and is

used for its cellular renewal and healing abilities.

Canageenan: Sometimes called "red algae," it is derived from the type of seaweed known as

"Irish moss." It is a natural emulsifier and thickening agent and has a soothing effect on the


Canot oil: Natural extract of carrot used as a colorant. High in betacarotene; healing and

soothing to the skin.

Castor oil: From the castor bean. Acts as a barrier agent, emollient, and lubricant. Used in

lipsticks and moisturizers.

Cedarwood oil: From red cedar. It is a strong antiseptic and has a calming effect on the skin.

Cellulose gum: Gum from cellulose, the cell wall and structural component of plants. Used as a

thickener and emulsifier in creams and lotions and as a film former in lipsticks.

Ceresin wax: From ozokerite, a naturally occurring mineral wax. Used as an emulsifier, hair

conditioner, and thickener.

Ceteareth-20: A compound made from stearyl alcohol (solid alcohols mixed with stearol, a

derivative of stearic acid) and coconut or palm oil. Used as an emollient and emulsifier.

Cetearyl alcohol: Not an "alcohol" such as ethyl or rubbing alcohol. It is an emulsifying wax

made by combining fatty alcohols derived from vegetable sources. Used as an emulsifier and

emollient, it is not drying to the skin.

Cetyl alcohol: Not an "alcohol" such as ethyl or rubbing alcohol. Yellowish white flakes with no

odor or toxicity, it is used as an emollient and emulsifier. When sebum (the moisturizer

produced by the body) is synthetically formulated in a laboratory, cetyl alcohol is added as

one of the constituents because it closely resembles a component of sebum.

Cetyl lactate: An emollient.

Cetyl palmitate: Synthetic spermaceti.

Chlorophyll: The green component of plants used as a natural colorant in deodorants, creams,

and toothpaste.

Cholesterol: Found in all body tissues. Acts as an emulsifying and lubricating agent in


Chondroitin sulfate: A factor of the hyaluronic acid complex that is bioengineered (grown in a

yeastlike culture in a laboratory).

Chromium hydroxide green: A coloring agent.

Citric acid: Found widely in plants and in animal tissues. Adjusts pH and acts as an antioxidant.

Citronella: An herb most commonly used as an insect repellent. In skin care, the essential oil is

used to calm sebaceous glands.

Citrus oil extract: A combination of grapefruit, orange, and lemon oils.

Cocamide DEA: Acts as a foam stabilizer and thickener in shampoos.

Cocamide MEA: Appears most often in shampoos; can be mildly irritating.

Cocoa butter: A saturated fat with emollient properties, making it too heavy for use on facial

skin. Frequently appears in suntan preparations. May produce contact sensitivities.

Coconut oil: A saturated fat. The fat molecules are large, making the oil too "heavy" for use on

facial skin.

Collagen: The protein that makes up the fibrous support system from which skin is made. For

cosmetic use, collagen is usually derived from cows. New technology has produced collagen

from soy and wheat.

Colloidal sulfur: Sulfur is a naturally occurring material. Colloidal sulfur is a mixture of sulfur

and acacia, a hydrophilic (water-loving) colloid derived from the African acacia tree. This

ingredient is used for its ability to calm the skin and oil glands. Commonly found in various

types of acne preparations, it helps to reduce redness, soreness, and swelling.

Comilower extract: Extracted from the common flower, bachelor's button (Centaurea

cyanus). It contains allantoin, potassium, calcium, and vitamins C and K. Because of its soothing

and anti-inflammatory properties, it is traditionally used for compresses around the eyes.

Corn starch: A "starchy" white powder derived from corn that is very soothing to the skin. If

you have an allergy to corn, you may be allergic to this ingredient.

Cucumber extract: Cucumber is a natural anti-inflammatory and has an extremely soothing

effect on the skin.

Cypress oil: Possibly the most sacred, ancient essential oil, it was widely used in religious

ceremonies for its spiritually "opening" effect. Distilled from the bark of the cypress tree, it is

a natural astringent and restorative. As a vasoconstrictor, it also helps to shrink capillaries and

calm cupreous skin.

Deionized water: "Deionization" means that all the ions of soluble salts have been removed.

Calcium, magnesium, sulfur, etc., can interfere with formulations and "deactivate" active


Dichlorobenzyl alcohol: A type of alcohol used as a preservative. Nondrying to the skin.

Dihydroxyacetone: The "tanning agent" in many self- tanning formulas. It is actually a keto

sugar that reacts with protein on the surface of the skin to create the look of a tan. The

molecules in this ingredient are too large to penetrate the skin any deeper than the top-

most layer. Since it is unable to react in any way with the melanin in the skin, this ingredient

does not afford the protection from sun that a real tan would.

Dimethicone: An oil derived from silicone (which is derived from silica, a substance that occurs

naturally in rocks and sand). Dimethicone is used to facilitate smooth application of a product,

and helps to soften the skin.

Dimethicone copolyol: A more waterproof form of dimethicone that adheres better to skin

and hair.

Diodyl adipate: One component of an ester blend of oils designed to effectively penetrate the

skin. It is synthetically derived and nonirritating to the skin or eyes.

Disodium EDTA: Sequestering agent. See EDTA.

EDTA (ethylene diamine tetreacetic acid): A synthetic chemical that removes metals or

mineral ions from a solution. Used as a preservative. Can be irritating to the skin if more than 5

percent is used in a formulation.

Elastin: Animal protein found in the dermal layers of skin that functions to maintain skin

elasticity. When applied topically, there is no proof that this highly insoluble protein has the

ability to improve the elasticity of the skin.

Ethylparaben: A preservative. See Parabens.

Evening primrose oil: A source of vitamin E and gamma linoleic acid. Helps to regenerate skin


Famesol: A sesquiterpene alcohol, occurring naturally in many essential oils such as camomile,

rose, citronella, sandalwood, and lemon grass. Deodorant and bacteriostat.

Fluorocarbons: A component of aerosols that destroys the ozone layer of the atmosphere.

Formaldehyde: A pungent colorless gas. Used as a preservative, disinfectant, germicide,

antifungal and embalming fluid. Extremely toxic and irritating to mucous membrane;

carcinogenic. Commonly used in nail polish.

Fructose: Sugar found in honey and fruits. Used as flavoring and as a humectant.

Geranium oil: Distilled from the leaves of Pelargonium graveolens. It is a natural antiseptic and

astringent that also promotes healing. Geranium has the unusual ability to balance sebum

production (because it is an adrenal cortex stimulant), making it valuable for those with

combination, dry, dehydrated, or oily skin. Aromatherapists use it as an antidepressant.

Glycerin: A humectant (water-attracting/binding ingredient) that occurs naturally in both

vegetable oils and animal oils. The most common source is beef lard, but this type of glycerin is

usually mixed with vegetable oils when used in cosmetics.

Glyceryl cocoate: Glycerin by-product of coconut oil. Emulsifier and surfactant.

Glyceryl oleate: Used as an emulsifier in lotions and creams. Contact with eyes may cause


Glyceryl stearate: An ester used as an emulsifier (to help combine oils with water). It is a clear,

oily liquid readily able to penetrate the skin, made by combining glycerin and stearic acid.

Glyceryl stearate SE: Used in shampoos as a pearlizing agent, and as an emulsifier and opacifier

in creams and lotions.

Glycols: Glycerin combined with alcohol--for example, propylene glycol.

Grapefruit seed extract: Extracted from grapefruit seeds and used in combination with

propylene glycol and glycerin as a preservative, bactericide, and stabilizer.

Grape seed oil: Ultrafine oil expressed from grape seeds commonly used as a carrier oil in

aromatherapy products and as a base for moisturizers.

Green papaya concentrate: Made from raw, green papayas at the time when the papain

(proteolytic enzyme) content is at its highest. Once the fruit begins to ripen, its enzyme

content decreases substantially. A low-heat extraction and concentration process must be

used to protect the active enzyme. It is an excellent free-radical scavenger and cellular

renewal ingredient. Papain has the ability to digest protein, and selectively digests only dead

skin cells without harming the living ones.

Guaiazulene: Commonly known as azulene. This is a component of the essential oil distilled

from the blossoms of the German camomile (Matricaria chamomilla) flowers. It is used for its

soothing and calming effect on the skin, and it also has remarkable antibacterial and

antiinflammatory abilities. It has a natural bluish color that changes to green as it begins to

oxidize or age.

Guanine: Provides luminescence to liquid cosmetics. From fish scales, sugar beets, yeast, and

clover seed.

Guar gum: Naturally occurring resin from seeds of an Asian tree. Used as a thickener and


Gum benzoin: Resin from benzoin. Mild natural preservative.

Hedorite: Naturally occurring clay used in facial masks to draw out oil. May also draw moisture

from skin. Gelling agent and thickener.

Honey: Used as an emollient, humectant, and bacteriostat.

Horse chestnut extract: An herb used for its calming effect on the skin.

Horsetail extract: Equisetum arvense, commonly known as horsetail, mare's tail, shave grass,

or bottle brush, is a plant that grows throughout central Europe. It is a natural astringent that

is extremely high in silica, which has a softening and smoothing effect on the skin. It also helps

to strengthen vein and capillary walls, and it is high in a variety of minerals including

potassium, manganese, sulfur, and magnesium.

Hyaluronic acid: A protein occurring in the skin. Known as a water binder, it is able to bind 1000

times its weight in water.

Hybrid safflower oil: The polyunsaturated oil of the herb safflower, which is high in linoleic and

linolenic acids. It has a small molecular structure that allows it to be quickly absorbed.

Nourishing and soothing to the skin.

Hydrocotyl extract: Hydrocotyl asiatica, commonly known as gotu kola or Indian pennywort, is

imported from India. For hundreds of years, this plant has been called "the longevity plant"

because of its incredible ability to speed cellular renewal and increase longevity. Its

properties are very similar to those of ginseng. Applied to the skin, it acts as an anti-

inflammatory agent; it speeds cell production and therefore is healing. It has a balancing and

calming effect and is extremely soothing for aggravated or problem skin.

Hydrolyzed animal protein: A by-product of the beef industry. Helps skin to hold moisture;

imparts a glossy sheen to hair.

Hydroquinone: Used as a skin bleaching agent and as an antioxidant to prevent rancidity.

Causes sensitivity to sunlight. Toxic if taken internally.

Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose: A natural gelatin derived from vegetable fibers; used as a

thickening agent.

Imidazolidinyl urea: A preservative that may be derived from either methanol (wood alcohol1

or allantoin. Kills harmful microorganisms. It is nonirritating, nontoxic, and not a

formaldehyde donor. If heated to high temperatures, such as over the boiling point, it does

produce formaldehyde. Not to be confused with urea from bovine sources.

Iron oxide: A naturally occurring compound of iron and oxygen found in a wide range of colors

from black to yellow. Used as a natural colorant.

Isopropyl alcohol: Dissolves oils; has antiseptic properties. Can be drying to the skin if used as a

primary ingredient in a formulation.

Isopropyl lanolate: An emollient that acts as a wetting agent for cosmetic pigments. Appears

as a binder for pressed powders and as a lubricant in lipsticks.

Isopropyl myristate: Used as an emollient and lubricant in preshaves, aftershaves, shampoos,

bath oils, antiperspirants, deodorants, and various creams and lotions. More than 5 percent in

a formulation can cause skin irritation and clog pores.

Isopropyl palmitate: Used in many moisturizing creams. It forms a thin layer on the skin and

easily penetrates.

Jojoba oil: Simondsia chinensis is a thick, waxy oil extracted from the large, vanilla- shaped

beans of a bush that grows in the arid climates of Arizona, southern California, and New

Mexico. Jojoba oil is strikingly similar to human sebum and is able to effectively penetrate the

skin. It is a natural cellular renewal ingredient as well as an excellent moisturizer.

Kaolin: A white Chinese clay used to give color and "slip" to powders. It also helps to gently

absorb oil on the surface of the skin. Although commonly used in clay facial masks, it may be

drying to the skin in this type of product.

Karite nutbutter: Oil from a native African tree. Anti-irritant. Traditionally used as a sunscreen.

See Shea butter.

Kukui oil: Oil from the Hawaiian kukui nut. Very emollient and moisturizing.

Lactic acid: One of the alphahydroxy acids; found in fermented milk. Helps to loosen

"intercellular glue" holding dead skin cells onto surface of the skin. Reduces wrinkles and

improves skin texture.

Laneth-10 acetate: Derived from lanolin. Acts as an emulsifier and a superfatting agent, and it

has some humectant properties.

Lanolin: An oil extracted from the wool of sheep without causing any harm to the animal. It is

one of the oils closest to human sebum, making it an excellent moisturizing ingredient.

Lanolin is a natural emulsifier and humectant that absorbs water and holds it to the skin to

help prevent dryness. Formerly believed to be a common allergen, it is now known to cause

allergic reactions in only a very small percentage of people.

Lanolin alcohol: Used as a thickener for shampoos and bath gels. Gives many cosmetics a

creamy texture and a high gloss.

Lanolin oil: "Dewaxed lanolin"; acts as a skin moisturizer and reduces stickiness of creams and

lotions. Also found in hair conditioners, fingernail conditioners, and skin cosmetics.

Lauramide DEA: Nonionic surfactant; builds and stabilizes foam in shampoos and bubble baths.

Can be drying to the skin.

Laureth-23: A nonionic surfactant found in shampoos.

Lavender oil: The most versatile of all essential oils. Because of the high percentage of linalool

that it contains, lavender oil is excellent for promoting healing and for balancing the skin. It is

an antiseptic, analgesic, antibiotic, antidepressant, bactericide, decongestant, and sedative. It

helps to reduce scarring and also stimulates the growth of new cells.

Lecithin: A thick, oily substance present in all living cells, whether animal or plant. A natural

antioxidant, emulsifier, and emollient. Also a phospholipid with great water-binding ability. (It

is able to bind 300 times its weight in water.) Occurs naturally in eggs, milk, sunflower seeds,

soybeans, and some vegetables.

Lemon grass oil: An essential oil distilled from the grassy herb of the same name. It is purifying,

refreshing, and hydrating.

Lemon oil: An essential oil that is pressed from the outer rind of lemons. It is a mild bleach,

which enables it to brighten dull skin color and calm redness. It is also a natural astringent,

antiseptic, and bactericide with the ability to stimulate the white corpuscles that defend the

body. The essential oil is used to regulate and control fluid accumulation and to bring balance

to fluids in skin cells. Lemon also balances the pH of the skin by counteracting acidity on its

surface. It has an uplifting and refreshing effect when inhaled.

Magnesium: Occurs naturally in great quantity in the sea salts from the Dead Sea, some of the

most beneficial salts known. Magnesium helps to remineralize and soothe the skin.

Magnesium aluminum silicate: A naturally occurring mineral that is commonly used to

emulsify, thicken, and color cosmetics. Because of its enormous molecular size, it is not

absorbed through the skin.

Magnesium carbonate: Found in powders and covering preparations.

Magnesium silicate: See Talc.

Magnesium stearate: A compound of magnesia (a naturally occurring white alkaline powder)

and stearic acid used as a natural coloring agent.

Manganese: Occurs naturally in great quantity in the sea salts from the Dead Sea, some of the

most beneficial salts known. Manganese is soothing and calming to the skin.

Manganese violet: A light violet powder; can be used around the eyes.

Matricaria oil: Known as azulene. An essential oil distilled from flowers of Matricaria

chamomilla, or German camomile. One of its major components, chamazulene, is an effective

anti-inflammatory that encourages healing. Another component, bisabolol, is a powerful

antiseptic and antimicrobial. This oil also contains flavonoids, plant acids, fatty acids, amino

acids, polysaccharides, salicylate derivatives, choline, and tannin. Azulene is extremely

soothing to the skin and has a distinctive smell, much like fresh hay. Only tiny amounts of this

powerful essential oil need to be used for product effectiveness. Aromatherapists use it as an

anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antidepressant, antifungal and disinfectant. Excellent for the

treatment of dry, reddened, burned, or sensitive skin.

Menthol: An antiseptic and anesthetic found in skin lotions and shave creams. Has been shown

to cause adverse reactions when applied in high concentrations to the skin.

Methylparaben: A derivative of PABA {para-aminobenzoic acid). Used as a preservative with

antimicrobial abilities, it prevents the formation of bacteria. Nontoxic and nonirritating at .15

of 1 percent. Note: This ingredient, along with butylparaben and propylparaben, may be

irritating to the skin if more than 5 percent is present in a formulation; there are many

commercially made cosmetics that have such a high percentage, which explains the

commonly held belief that the parabens are sensitizers.

Methyl salicylate: Oil of birch, or oil of wintergreen. Anti-irritant and disinfectant. Main

constituent of wintergreen oil or made synthetically. Very cooling and relaxing, but irritating

to mucous membrane. Mica: A naturally occurring silicate found in a variety of rocks. Easily

distinguishable by its shape, it comes in thin, papery sheets. Mica has a natural iridescence and

varies in color from brownish green and blue to colorless. It is used as a natural colorant and

to impart softness to the skin.

Microcrystalline wax: Used as a stiffening and opacifying agent.

Mineral oil: A by-product of the petroleum industry. A thinner form of petrolatum IVaseline).

Contrary to its name, this is an inert substance that does not contain any minerals, nutrients,

or organic ingredients. Forms an occlusive layer on the skin that "seals" it; extremely

comedogenic when used as a primary ingredient in moisturizers, liquid foundation, and other


Montan wax: Often used in place of carnauba wax.

Mucopolysaccharides: A basic component of the skin. This gelatinous material helps maintain a

moist environment for collagen, elastin, and dermal cells and provides support for connective

tissue and mucous membrane. Used as a humectant and skin softener in cosmetics.

Neopentyl gbycol dicaprylate/dicaprate: Used as a lubricant; soothing and softening to the

skin. It is a compound of neopentyl glycol, which is derived synthetically, and

dicaprylate/dicaprates, which are derived from coconut. Caprylates are in the glyceride

family and are found in human sebum.

Neroli: Essential oil distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree. Used in aromatherapy

to ease nervous tension and induce calm.

Nonoxynol-10: A synthetic ingredient used as a dispersing agent to solubilize essential oils. Not

to be confused with the spermicide nonoxynol-9.

Octoxynol-l: Used as an emulsifier and dispersing agent.

Octyl methoxycinnamate: Sunscreen, UVB blocker. Derived from cinnamon or cassia oil. Less

irritating than PABA.

Octyl palmitate: 2-ethylhexyl alcohol reacted with palmitic acid. See Palmitic acid.

Octyl stearate: The ester of 2-ethylhexyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol. Octyl stearate may be derived

from tallow or vegetable oils.

Oleic acid: A common constituent of many animal and vegetable fats and, therefore, of most

normal diets. Used in cosmetics as an emollient in creams and lotions. Can be mildly irritating.

Oleyl alcohol: Found in fish oils; has softening and lubricating qualities.

Olive oil: Natural oil used as an emollient in soaps, cleansers, and shampoos.

Oxybenzone: See Benzophenone. Ozakerite: See Ceresin wax.

PABA: See Para-aminobenzoic acid.

Padimate-O: Brand name for PABA. Palmarosa oil: The essential oil of palmarosa grass

(Cymbopogan martini). Exceptional in bringing hydration to the skin, it is also an effective

cellular renewal ingredient.

Palmitate: Salt of palmitic acid. Used as an oil in many cosmetics. See Palmitic acid.

Palmitic acid: A natural fatty acid found in palm, cottonseed, peanut, ricebran, sorghum, and

other natural vegetable oils. Used as an emulsifier, surfactant and texturizer.

Palm kemel oil: Oil from an African palm nut. High-sudsing cleaning agent used in soaps.

Panthenol: Part of the water-soluble vitamin B complex.

Pantothenic acid: The result of a reaction in skin enzymes to panthenol. Acts as an healing


Papain: An active proteolytic enzyme found in papaya; the most potent form comes from

unripened green papaya. Used in exfoliants to dissolve dead skin cells.

Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA): A sunscreening agent. Possibly phototoxic and

photoallergenic; a common sensitizer.

Parabens: Broad-spectrum preservatives derived from plant or petroleum sources. Effective

against bacteria, fungus, yeast, and mold. Parabens are some of the safest preservatives,

effective over a wide pH scale.

Paraffin: Derived from petroleum. Used as a thickener for cosmetic creams.

PEG: An abbreviation for polyethylene glycol, a synthetic polymer used as a humectant,

emulsifier, emollient, binder, solvent, and stabilizer; protects against oxidation and moisture

loss. It is derived from natural gas. Higher numbers indicate more PEG chains are present in

the molecule.

PEG-5 ceteth-10 phosphate: A compound of polyethylene glycol, ceteth (from coconut fruit),

and ethylene oxide, with phosphoric acid (which is produced synthetically). Used as an


PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate: A combination of polyethylene glycol and glyceryl cocoate (derived

from coconut oil) to form a type of sucrose (sugar) extract. It is a mild cleansing agent and

emollient that breaks up fat on the skin's surface without stripping the skin's natural oils or

causing dryness. Rinses completely from the skin with water. It may be used in place of sodium

lauryl or laureth sulfate, which are both drying and stripping for the skin.

PEG-8: A polymer of ethylene oxide. Acts as an emollient, plasticizer, and softener for

cosmetics creams and shampoos.

PEG-40 castor oil: A compound made from polyethylene glycol (PEG) and castor oil, an extract

of the castor bean. This ingredient is used as a solvent to help disperse other ingredients in a


PEG-100 stearate: Polyethylene glycol combined with stearic acid to form a water-soluble

ester used as an emulsifier and emollient; has a softening effect on the skin.

Peppermint oil: An essential oil containing menthol that has a cooling effect on the skin. May

be irritating to mucous membrane.

Petrolatum: Also known as petroleum jelly, paraffin jelly, Vaseline. Forms an occlusive barrier

on the skin, which limits the skin's ability to function. Common comedogenic ingredient.

Phenyl mercuric acetate: Used as a preservative in shampoos and eye cosmetics. It is highly

toxic if inhaled or swallowed and can cause skin irritation.

Phosphoric acid: Functions as a metal ion sequestrant and an acidifier.

Polyaminopropyl biguanide: A synthetically derived preservative. It was originally developed

by Bausch and Lomb for use in eye products worn by contact lens wearers. It is one of the

most gentle, yet effective, antimicrobial preservatives available.

Polysorbate 20: Derived from sorbitol. It is a water-soluble yellowish liquid used as a dispersing

agent and stabilizer, and it has a soothing effect on the skin. Some allergic reactions reported.

Potassium hydroxide (caustic potash, Iye): Used in the manufacture of liquid soaps and


Potassium sodium copper chlorophyllin: A natural colorant derived from chlorophyll.

Propylene glycol: Appears in many cosmetics as a solvent, conditioning agent, and humectant.

Can be irritating if more than 5 percent is used in a formulation.

Propylene glycol stearate: Functions as an emollient, thickener, and emulsion stabilizer in

creams and lotions.

Propyl gallate: Acts as an antioxidant (preservative).

Propylparaben: A preservative derived from PABA that is widely used in cosmetics. Its

fungicidal and antibacterial abilities help prevent yeast and mold. Nontoxic and nonirritating

at .05 of 1 percent. (It may be irritating to the skin if more than 5 percent is present in a


PVM/MA copolymer: Has thickening, dispersing, and stabilizing properties; highly irritating to

eyes, skin, and mucous membrane.

PVP: Forms a hard, transparent, lustrous film. Used primarily in hair sprays.

Quatemium-15: A synthetic preservative and bactericide derived from ammonium chloride.

May be irritating to the skin if more than 5 percent is used in a formulation.

Quatemium-18: Used as a conditioning agent in hair conditioners. It is an eye irritant and can

cause contact dermatitis.

Quatemium-19: A substantive (clinging) hair conditioner.

Resorcinol: Irritating to the skin and mucous membrane. Sometimes used as an antidandruff

agent because of its antiseptic properties.

Retinoic acid (Retin-A): Vitamin A acid. A chemical skin exfoliant. May irritate skin and cause

sun sensitivity.

Retinyl palmitate: Vitamin A. A primary antioxidant vitamin, free- radical scavenger and

cellular renewal ingredient (healer).

Rice bran oil: An ingredient rich in vitamin E derived from the bran of rice. It is very similar to

wheat germ oil but not as "heavy," because it has a smaller molecule that is able to more

easily penetrate the skin.

Rosemary oil: An essential oil invigorating to the circulation as well as to the psyche.

Rosewood oil: Distilled from the bark of the Aniba rosenodora tree that grows in the Amazon

rain forest. It is high in linalool, making it balancing and healing. It also has antibacterial and

analgesic abilities.

Sage oil: This essential oil, like lavender, has the distinction of being either invigorating or

calming, depending on what is needed at the time. Very balancing.

Salicylic acid: From benzoic acid. Used in cosmetics as a fungicide, sunscreen and anesthetic;

has a mild peeling effect. Can be irritating to the skin.

Sandalwood oil: Distilled from the heartwood of the Santalum album tree that grows in India.

It is a very strong antiseptic as well as being extremely soothing to the skin. It also helps the

skin hold water. Ayurvedic practitioners believe it to be a powerful aphrodisiac;

aromatherapists use it to relieve stress and anxiety.

SD alcohol: Specially denatured ethyl alcohol, treated to become unfit for oral consumption.

Used as a solvent and astringent in toners, deodorants, mouthwashes and hairsprays. Very

drying to the skin.

Shea butter: Karite nut butter. A fatty substance obtained from the nut of the karite nut tree.

A natural cellular renewal ingredient, it has excellent moisturizing and nourishing abilities as

well as being a natural sunblock.

Silica: A naturally occurring colorless crystal or white powder commonly found in a variety of

rocks. High in various minerals, silica helps to remineralize the skin, and it also has a softening


Silicone: A group of inorganic compounds of silicon and oxygen. A clear liquid used to produce

slip and richness. Used as a substitute for oil in many types of products. Examples include

dimethicone, dimethicone copolyol, simethicone, and cyclomethicone.

Silk powder: A by-product of the silk industry used in face powders to gently absorb excess oil

that may be present on the surface of the skin.

Simethicone: A silicone oil. This clear liquid is used as an antifoaming agent, ointment base, and

as a hair and skin protectant.

Sodium bicarbonate: Baking soda. Can be used to help adjust the skin's pH; extremely


Sodium borate: A detergent builder, emulsifier, and preservative in cosmetics. Caution:

ingestion of 5e to 10 grams by young children can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and death.

Sodium chloride: Sea salt. Remineralizes and softens the skin.

Sodium debydroacetate: Preservative, fungicide, and bactericide.

Sodium hyaluronate: Hyaluronic acid. A cellular renewal ingredient and healing agent that is

found in all human cells. Although this ingredient was originally extracted for commercial use

from roosters' combs, it is now also produced synthetically.

Sodium hydroxide: Lye, caustic soda. The base alkali of soap manufacturing; also used in oven

cleaners and liquid drain cleaners. Varying degrees of skin irritation.

Sodium laureth sulfate: An ionic (negatively charged) surfactant. Appropriate for use in

shampoos but too stripping for use on the skin.

Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate: A mild cleansing agent derived from coconut oil. Appropriate for

use in shampoos; may be too drying for use on the skin.

Sodium lauryl sulfate: Used in many cosmetics as an emulsifier and a detergent. Strongly

degreases and dries the skin; okay for use in shampoo.

Sodium PCA (NaPCA): The sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid. Commonly referred to as the

"natural moisturizing factor," it is found in all living cells. Its function is to help maintain the

water balance in cells, which maintains the natural water balance or moisturization of the

skin. The body's production of NaPCA decreases as we age.

Sorbic acid: Made from berries of the mountain ash tree. A mold inhibitor and fungicidal

agent. Also acts as a humectant in cosmetic creams and lotions. Can cause redness and a slight

burning sensation for some people.

Sorbitan laurate: Used as an emulsifier in many cosmetics. Found to be nonirritating to eyes

and skin.

Sorbitan sesquioleate: An emulsifier; nonirritating to skin and eyes. Sorbitan stearate: An

emulsifier; non-irritating to skin and eyes.

Sorbitol: A solid, white crystalline substance very much like sugar but more than twice as

sweet. It is derived from fruits such as apples, berries, cherries, pears and plums; it may also be

derived from com syrup. It is a humectant (water-attracting/binding) ingredient as well as an


Soybean oil: A light, readily absorbed oil derived from soybeans. It is rich in fatty acids and

vitamin E and has a small molecule, which allows it to easily penetrate the skin.

Spearmint oil: Devired from Mentha spicata, this essential oil is high in menthol, limonene, and

bisabolol, as well as flavonoids, tocopherols, betaine, choline, azulene, tannin, and rosemaric

acid. Milder than its cousin peppermint, it is antiseptic, antiparasitic and antiinflammatory.

Because of the menthol it contains, it is cooling and soothing to the skin and helps to increase


Squalane: A nutrient-rich oil present in human sebum (the skin's own moisturizer) and

involved in the process of cell growth. Squalane can be created synthetically or obtained from

either the liver of the rare Japanese azame shark or olive oil or wheat germ oil. Squalane is

also a natural bactericide and healer. It spreads evenly along the surface of the skin to coat all

of its contours, nonocclusively, to protect it. Squalane is also able to penetrate deeper and

more readily than most other oils. Note: Squalane is meant to be used topically and should not

be confused with squalene, another form of the same ingredient that has been purified for

the purpose of ingestion.

Squalene: The pasteurized form of squalane. A bactericide and an emollient.

Skaralkonium chloride: Extremely effective hair conditioner and softener.

Stearic acid: One of the most common natural fatty acids, occurring in most animal and

vegetable fats. It is white, waxy, thick, and unable to penetrate the skin unless combined with

a substance such as glycerin. The most common sources are coconut and palm oil. When

combined with PEG-100 stearate, it forms a water-soluble ingredient that is used as both an

emulsifier and an emollient.

Stearyl alcohol: Pearlizing agent, lubricant, and antifoam agent.

Sucrose cocoate: A very gentle cleansing agent in the form of a sugar, derived from coconut

oil. Nonstripping and nondrying to the skin, it solubilizes and washes off completely with


Talc (Magnesium Silicate): A natural mineral. Adheres to skin; used in makeup, powders and

foundation; produces slip and coloring. A lung irritant when used in powder form.

TEA-lauryl sulfate: High foaming agent. Prolonged skin contact may cause skin irritation.

Tea tree oil: From the Australian tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia. Germicide, fungicide and

antiseptic. This oil is commonly used for treating acne, cuts, burns, and insect bites.

Tetrasodium EDTA: Sequestering agent. Prolonged skin contact may cause irritation, possibly

even a mild burn.

Thyme lemon oil: An essential oil belonging to the medicinal labiate family of plants; distilled

from the wild-crafted herb collected in Spain. It is balancing and it strengthens the immune

system and aids cellular renewal.

Titanium dioxide: A natural white pigment that occurs in several varieties of crystal forms. It

has a natural sun-blocking ability and is used to deflect ultraviolet rays and to cover flaws on

the skin.

Toluene sulfonamide: Formaldehyde resin. Used as a plasticizer in nail polishes; a strong


Triclosan: A bactericide with very high percutaneous absorption. Can cause liver damage; an

eye irritant.

Triethanolamine (TEA): An alkalizing agent in cosmetics. Can cause irritation and sensitivity if

more than 5 percent is used in a formulation.

Ultramarine blue: Used as pigment.

Vetiver oil (vetivert): Andropogon muricatus is a scented grass similar to lemon grass and

citronella that grows in India and other tropical climates. The essential oil is distilled from the

root, making it the most grounding of all essential oils. It is also a very powerful humectant.

Vtamin A: "The skin vitamin"; one of three vitamins able to be absorbed by the skin (vitamins E

and D are the others). It is a potent antioxidant, making it an extremely effective free-radical

scavenger. It is used widely for healing and as an anti-aging ingredient because of its ability to

stimulate new cell production.

Vitamin D: One of three vitamins able to be absorbed by the skin and the only one that the

body is able to manufacture (when exposed to ultraviolet light). This vitamin is necessary for

the building of new skin cells, as well as bones, teeth, and hair.

Vitamin E: A natural cellular renewal (healing) ingredient and antioxidant. In its pure form, the

oil is too heavy for daily use on the face; however, it makes an excellent ingredient in

moisturizers, eye treatment preparations and facial masks. In its pure form, it may be used for

healing cuts, abrasions, and burns.

Wheat germ glycerides: Derived by pressing wheat germ. A dietary source of vitamin E;

excellent addition to moisturizers and lotions.

Wheat germ oil: Obtained from the wheat kernel. This heavy oil is used in a wide variety of

cosmetic preparations. Natural source of vitamins A, E, and D and squalane.

Witch hazel: Natural extract of the Hamamelis plant. Used as an astnngent in cosmetics.

Soothing to irritated skin; non-drying.

Xanthan gum: A thickener and emulsion stabilizer. A natural wax produced by a


Ylang ylang oil: Extracted from the flower of the exotic ylang ylang tree, which grows in the

Far East and in the tropics. This oil is a natural antiseptic and is used in aromatherapy as a

sedative, antidepressant and aphrodisiac. It is used in cosmetics primarily as a fragrance.

Zinc: Occurs naturally in great quantity in the sea salts from the Dead Sea, some of the most

beneficial salts known. Zinc helps to remineralize and calm the skin.

Zinc oxide: Widely used in powders and creams to help cosmetics adhere to the skin. A natural,

physical sun-blocking ingredient.

Zinc stearate: Widely used in powders and creams to help cosmetics adhere to the skin. May

be harmful if inhaled; has an effect on the lungs similar to asbestos.