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What's in it?

A

Amidoamines *

A class of chemical compounds. They are used as intermediates in the synthesis of surfactants (see surfactants to understand what these are).  Some of which are used in personal care products, such as Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB), which may be in soaps, shampoos, and cosmetics. Patch test studies have concluded that most apparent allergic reactions to products containing CAPB are more likely due to amidoamine than to CAPB itself.

Arrowroot powder

Maranta arundinacea

Made from a tropical plant which grows well in warm rainforest habitats.  The plant has rhizomes which is an underground stem of multiple roots which store all its goodness.  The roots are dried and ground into a powder which is white, flavourless, and most often used in cooking.  It does however have other uses such as a natural deodorant, talcum powder and can help with skin allergies and acne

B

Beeswax

A natural wax produced by honey bees.  Worker Bees discard it in or at the hive and the hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive.  One of the oldest raw ingredients used in skincare, beeswax forms a protective film on the skin, helping reduce water loss. It is also non-comedogenic (non pore blocking) and credited with anti-inflammatory properties, making it particularly suited to sensitive skin.

 

Benzyl Alcohol - see preservatives

 

C

Calendula

A marigold plant that has long been used for its skin health benefits.  Calendula petals are rich in naturally occurring compounds called flavonoids.  Calendula has been used to treat a variety of skin conditions and has also been used as a pain and inflammation reducer, as well as a way to relieve treatment-related side effects for people with cancer.

Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB)

A chemical compound found in many personal care and household cleaning products.  Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic fatty acid made from coconuts, so products that are considered “natural” can contain this chemical.  Some people have an allergic reaction when they use products containing CAPB.  A scientific review of studies found that it’s not the CAPB itself that causes an allergic reaction, but two impurities that are produced in the manufacturing process.  The two irritants are aminoamide (AA) and 3-dimethylaminopropylamine (DMAPA). In multiple studies, when people were exposed to CAPB that did not contain these two impurities, they did not have an allergic reaction. Higher grades of CAPB that have been purified don’t contain AA and DMAPA and don’t cause allergic sensitivities.

 

Cocoa butter (Theobroma oil)

A type of vegetable fat that comes from cocoa beans.   Manufacturers extract creamy cocoa butter from the beans by fermenting, drying, roasting, and then pressing them. They turn the remaining portion into cocoa powder.  People have used cocoa butter for its health benefits for hundreds of years. Research suggests that cocoa butter can improve the skin, and it may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.  The term cacao and cocoa are essentially the same, and the words may be used interchangeably. You can also use the term theobroma oil.  Cacao and cocoa butter are extracted from Theobroma cacao beans. 

Coconut Oil (or Coconut Butter)

An edible oil derived from the wick, meat, and milk of the coconut palm fruit. Unrefined varieties have a distinct coconut aroma.  Cocos Nucifera is the name of the coconut tree.  So Cocos Nucifera Oil is Coconut Oil. 

 

Cosmetic colourant

CI 77289 - Bio/Organic

CI 77019 -  Safe and non-toxic ingredient for use in cosmetic products.  Derived from natural sources and is responsible for adding glam and shimmer to decorative cosmetics.

CI 77891 - (Titanium Dioxide) is a white pigment that is used in cosmetics and personal care products to obtain a rich opaque colour in the formulations. It can further be mixed with other colorants to obtain different shades and hues in a product.          CI 77891 is also beneficial for blocking potentially harmful UV rays and is thus widely used in sunscreens.

CI 77492 - a dye of mineral origin also called Iron Oxide. It gives products their yellow color. It is often mixed with other iron oxides like CI 77491 (red) and CI 77499 (black) to represent different hues. It is authorized in organic. α-Fe2O3·H2O.

D

Dehydroacetic Acid - see preservatives

 

Dimethylaminopropylamine (dmapa) *

Dimethylaminopropylamine is found in personal care products such as fabric softeners, liquid soaps, shampoos, and dyes. Leather, paper, and rubber industries also use this substance.  Sometimes present in cocamidopropyl betaine.

E

Emulsifiers 

Emulsifiers, stabilizers, and related compounds are used in the preparation of cosmetics, lotions, and certain pharmaceuticals, where they serve much the same purpose as in foods - i.e., they prevent separation of ingredients and extend storage life.  Emulsifiers are closely related to stabilizers, which are substances that maintain the emulsified state.  Lotions, moisturizers, and conditioners generally have a mixture of aqueous ingredients like water or hydrosols and non-aqueous ingredients like oils, butters, and/or waxes. To allow for these ingredients to stay together in a homogenous mixture, emulsifiers are used.

F

Flavonoids 

Phytonutrients found in plants, fruits, vegetables, grains, bark, roots, stems, flowers, tea, and wine.  These compounds are said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombogenic, antidiabetic, anticancer, and neuroprotective effects.  There are different subtypes of flavonoids, where they appear, and their possible health benefits.

G

Glycerin

Also called glycerine or glycerol, glycerin is a colorless, odorless, sweet-tasting liquid that is considered to be non-toxic.  This natural compound can come from animal fat or vegetable oils, such as palm, coconut or soybean oil.  When the human body uses stored fat as an energy source, glycerol and fatty acids are released into the bloodstream.   It is probably best known for its use in skin care products. As a humectant, this compound attracts water to itself which helps prevent moisture loss and improve skin dryness.  It is often recommended for use on some of the most stubborn dry patches, such as hand and foot calluses. (It can also be made synthetically from the chemical compound propylene).

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

 

Parfum

Parfum is a term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.  More and more businesses in health and beauty (significantly, small-scale startups) are investing in organically-derived and naturally-sourced ingredients, rather than opting for quick, cheap synthetic compounds. 

 

Phytonutrients

Any substance, of plant origin, that provides nutrition.

Propolis

Propolis is a natural substance collected by honey bees from trees, and is used within the hive for health and hygiene. It has been used for centuries in skincare for its many beneficial properties.  Propolis is made up of resins, balsam, waxes, essential oils, pollen, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

 

Preservatives

Mild preservatives are sometimes needed to stop bacteria growing, for example on a shampoo bar.  These bars have a low pH and sit in a damp environment.  It can sometimes be more harmful not to have the preservative in certain products.  

Preservatives cause many debates in skin care.  Many feel they are vital for any product that you want to last more than a few days in the bottle without having to keep it in the refrigerator.  Preservatives help to keep germs out and to keep the products from turning rancid or discoloured.  There are natural preservatives but sometimes to make these work the quantity is too great in the product, so a very small amount of synthetic preservative is better.

Benzyl Alcohol * - Preservative, antioxidant, and solvent.  Main benefits are it preserves, stabilizes, and dissolves ingredients.

It's found naturally as it is derived from fruit (usually cranberries and apricots) and comes in the form of a colourless liquid with a slightly sweet scent.  It's antibacterial and anti-fungal properties allows companies to use it in products and still market them as 'natural'.  The stabilizing element prevents the oxidative breakdown of the product, which means it allows your products to work more effectively for a longer period.  In general benzyl alcohol is considered to be a safe ingredient in skincare and cosmetics when used on intact skin,  It can unfortunately be an irritant and cause itching for some people, but only in rare cases is someone actually allergic to benzyl alcohol.  Those who prefer un-preserved products would want to avoid products containing standard preservatives like benzyl alcohol.

Dehydroacetic Acid * - Preservative, kills microorganisms and prevent their growth and reproduction, thus protecting cosmetics and personal care products from spoilage.  Dehydroacetic Acid is an effective antimicrobial at low concentrations (less than and equal to 0.6%) against both bacteria and fungi and has an optimal pH range of 2 to 4. At these levels it is more likely to act by preventing the growth of microbes, rather than killing the microbes.  Cosmetics containing Dehydroacetic Acid were practically nonirritating, nonsensitizing, nonphotosensitizing, and nonphototoxic in numerous clinical tests. 

Q

R

S

 

Shea Butter

Shea butter is fat that’s extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. Shea trees are native to West Africa, and most shea butter still comes from that region.  Shea butter has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for centuries and has a high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids, soothing, and conditioning your skin.  Handcrafted Shea Butter is the best, and supports millions of women across the African shea belt, and is a vital commodity in the global economy.  It is however a lot of work to turn the nuts into useable butter.

 

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate is a natural chemical substance.  It can be used in cooking (Bicarbonate of Soda, Baking Soda or Baking Powder.  In the latter it has a little acid added to make it more effective) or as a health supplement and for household cleaning.

It is also really effective at controlling odour and is used in some deodorants.

 

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

An ingredient derived from coconut oil.  It is primarily used in soaps, cleansers, shampoos, and cleansing products due to its surfactant abilities. Surfactants help to lift oil and dirt from the skin. This is why sodium cocoyl isethionate can be found in products that help to cleanse the skin and hair.  Sodium cocoyl isethionate is used as a fine white powder that has a mild scent. It is usually used in concentrations that range between 10-25%. There are considered to be no issues with irritation, sensitivity, or toxicity at these concentrations. 

Stearic acid

A long-chain fatty acid which is present in humans, animals and some plants.. For example it is an important component in shea butter and makes up around 2% of coconut oil.  Shea butter and coconut oil are popular components in skin care products such as creams and moisturisers.  It has properties that make it a natural cleansing agent, capable of helping remove excess sebum (oil), dirt and bacteria from skin, hair and other surfaces. It’s also an emulsifier, emollient and lubricant.  Stearic acid is found naturally in animal fat, especially pork fat, and also certain plants that contain fat/oil. These sources are heated and pressurized in order to isolate and remove stearic acid.  From the correct source stearic acid can be suitable for vegan/animal-free products.

 

Sunflower

Helianthus Annus Seed Oli is the oil pressed from the seeds of the Sunflower.

Helianthus Annus Seed Cera is the wax obtained from the seed of the Sunflower.

 

Surfactant

The word surfactant means surface active agent.  Surfactants stir up activity on the surface you are cleaning to help trap dirt and remove it from the surface.  It is designed to reduce the surface tension of a liquid to allow the liquid to spread out and wet a surface area.  They are pretty much universally found in cleaning agents, coatings, inks, lubricants, adhesives, and cosmetics: one important characteristic of surfactants is that they can help dissimilar substances mix (like oil and water). 

T

Theobroma oil - see Cocoa butter

 

 

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

Could cause allergic reaction. 

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