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Skincare ingredients: How to decode skincare ingredients

Did you know there are 1000s of registered skincare ingredients?

You don’t have to be a walking dictionary in order to pick out skincare products with the right ingredients for your needs.

We will make things a little easier for yourself and help you understand the key ingredients in our curated list of beauty products.

Check out our simplified ingredients glossary here

 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

A

Acai Berry

Acai (pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”) is a small berry with a deep purple color. Rich in antioxidants, it's considered an antiaging warrior. Also rich in vitamin A, B, and C and Omega acids, helping keep your skin, firm, tight and bright.

Ingredient type: Nourishing, Antiaging

Adzuki bean powder

Being rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, adzuki beans are known to increase antioxidants, and help improve overall health in general.</p>

AHAs

AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid and are water-soluble acids made from sugary fruits. They help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place. AHA use can result in increased sensitivity to the sun, though wearing a sunscreen daily eliminates this risk. Can be hydrating or used as an exfoliant, depending on the concentration.

Ingredient type: Cleansing, Nourishing

Algae

A natural ingredient that's easily sustainably sourced and harvested, with endless results for your skin. It hydrates, softens and detoxifies the skin. While replenishing essential vitamins and minerals, it rebuilds your skin.

Ingredient type: Cleansing, Nourishing

Aloe Vera

The magical plant known by the ancient Egyptians as  the plant of eternity, has been used for it's health benefits and skincare results as far back as 6000 years ago. Because Aloe Vera contains mostly (95%) of water, it hydrates the skin like no other ingredient, leaving a very light feeling on the skin after application. leaving the skin smoother, softer and plump. If you a looking for a light product, choose an Aloe Vera based formulation.

Ingredient type: Nourishing

Allantoin

Allantoin is considered an effective moisturizing ingredient when used in skincare, and its gentle, non-irritating qualities make it an excellent addition to anti-aging products for those with sensitive skin. Allantoin can increase skin smoothness, aid in wound healing and act as an antiaging agent.

Ingredient type: Nourishing

Almond oil

Sweet Almond Oil is incredibly rich in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and the naturally antioxidant Vitamin E.
Because of the vitamin E content, it is one of many natural oils which can help protect from skin damaging free radicals, and is also of great benefits to those with particularly dry or eczema-prone skin. It does not clog pores.

Ingredient type: Nourishing 

Amalaki

With more vitamin C than an orange, this Indian Superfruit is packed with antioxidants. A powerful Ayurvedic ingredient, Amalaki offers one of the highest potency of Vitamin C in nature. Amalaki also aids in the production of collagen & elastin, which in turn, supports the skin’s healthy, youthful glow, relieves age spots and alleviates oxidative stress caused by UVA.

Ingredient type: Cleansing, Nourishing

Apple

Apple extract is an exfoliant loaded with alpha hydroxy acids ( AHA) . Fantastic to remove dead skin that can give your skin a dull appearance. Apple also acts as an incredibly potent antioxidant while calming inflammation.  Beneficial for most skin types, and great for oily, aging or dull skin.

Argan Oil

Known as the elixir from Morocco, and extracted from the kernels of the Argan tree, is a beauty oil packed with extremely rich antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamins A and E. Argan Oil is easily absorbed and non-greasy. A powerful antiaging oil, It hydrates and nourishes skin, fades out scars, manages breakouts and blemishes, and prevents wrinkles.

Avocado oil

Avocado oil has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that help your skin stay smooth and strong while providing elasticity. The beta carotene, fatty acids, and vitamins A, D, and E in avocado oil help with cell turnover and protect against sun damage. Avocado oil is appropriate for all skin types and will help improve fine lines, dullness, inflammation and premature aging.

Ashwaganda

Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb with multiple health benefits. Its antioxidant properties help protect the skin against free radicals, which can damage your skin, it's ability to moisturize makes it a great anti aging tool. Ashwagandha is also known to clear dirt and impurities from skin pores.

 

B

Bergamot

Bergamot Essential Oil has been used in Italian folk medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, Bergamot Essential Oil is a natural cleanser. It’s particularly good for oily skin, helping to unclog pores and balance sebum levels. especially because of its refreshing scent. The oil does have a slight tendency to increase your skin’s photosensitivity, though, so always wear sunscreen when using it.


Bibhitaki

This Indian Superfruit has an astringent property which clears congestion & rejuvenates the skin. It can also protect the skin from acne-causing bacteria while simultaneously decreasing inflammation.
 

Buckthorn oil

Sea Buckthorn is a berry packed with nutrients and great for hydration. A good source of fatty acids, like linoleic acid (omega-6) and oleic acid (omega-9) to help lock in moisture and increase hydration in general. It also helps treat acne due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Borage seed oil

Borage, also known as Starflower due to the shape of its pretty little blooms, produces an ultra-lightweight oil that is easily absorbed. The key benefit of borage seed oil is its sky-high concentration of a type of essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and it helps restore and balance moisturization levels. It calms and nourishes, and helps tackle redness and roughness. It can also be helpful in soothing acne-troubled skin.

C 

Cactus extract

Cactus extract is anti-inflammatory and rich in linoleic acid, which helps break clear the excess sebum from the pores. Cactus water contains a much higher concentration of electrolytes to hydrate the skin, and is rich in antioxidants that help prevent UV damage, aging and collagen loss

Camelia  flower extract

Research has shown this plant has impressive antioxidant, anti-pollution, and soothing abilities. It reduces visible signs of aging such as wrinkles and orange peel-like skin texture. At the same time, this plant extract addresses loss of collagen that can visibly impact pore size and it helps skin better defend itself against external aggressors that detract from a healthy appearance.

Cardamom

Packed with naturally occurring minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium & vitamins, cardamom is a skincare gem. It increases circulation beneath the skin’s layers thanks to its high dose of vitamin C & has strong antiseptic qualities that keep your skin feeling refreshed & oh so clean.

Castor oil

Castor oil is a highly moisturizing. Being a natural humectant, this oil attracts moisture and traps it close to the skin while helping to restore our natural moisture balance. Smoothing and softening, it will soothe parched, flaky skin without causing excess oil buildup, and even helps clear out clogged pores.

Charcoal

Activated charcoal is an effective cleanser. Great to unclogs pores, remove deeper impurities, and dead skin cells. It creates smooth skin, and helps increase elasticity , delivering even-toned skin. Dirt, toxins, heavy metals, chemicals, and other poisons are attracted to the charcoal molecules and washed away.

Clay


Bentonite clay

The U.S. is the top producer of bentonite clay and its created from volcanic ash. It’s a strong clay, with deep oil absorbing properties. This makes bentonite clay a great choice for very oily skin and acne prone skin.

French green clay

Known for its terrific oil absorbing properties and with a fine texture and negative charge and is commonly used for colour and oil absorption in facial masks. It’s vibrant green colour comes from decomposed plant matter and iron oxides and it’s best suited for oily skin types
Rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, silicon, selenium, aluminium, titanium, cobalt, sodium, phosphorus, copper and zinc, this extraordinary blend of minerals makes French Green Clay one of the most absorbent cosmetic clays, washing away impurities and leaving your skin clear, smooth and hydrated.


French pink clay

Mined in southern France, it’s a mild kaolin clay, and a combination of white and red clays. Rich in kaolinite, iron, illite, montmorillonte and calcite, this clay helps to stimulate blood circulation, and improve skin tone.
It’s a light, beautiful rose colour and it’s wonderful for most all skin types because it doesn't overly remove the skin of its natural oils, making it perfect for sensitive skin.

French yellow clay

This special type of clay has aluminum silicate. It's a soft, mild clay fantastic for sensitive or dry skin. It also has silicon, titanium and potassium which can promote increased collagen production.


Kaolin clay

Kaolin clay, also referred to as White Clay or China Clay is a very fine powdered clay. The most common colour of kaolin clay is off-white, which is when the clay its at its purest, but it might also come in different hues, depending on the mineral content of the area where it is mined.
It is great for all skin types, being a fantastic chemical free cleanser. It reduces oily skin, detoxifies and soothes irritable skin.

Rassoul clay

Rhassoul clay it’s a brown clay that can only found in a valley in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Rhassoul comes from an Arabic word that means “to wash” and it is also sometimes call Moroccan Red Clay.

With healing properties due to its unique mineral composition, it is full of metallic elements that carry a negative charge, therefore a great detoxifier for the skin, fighting acne and improving skin elasticity.

Cambrian blue clay

Cambrian clay is a mineral of volcanic origin, and the oldest clay in the world. It is a very complete clay, containing silicon, phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, silver, manganese, zinc, aluminium, copper, cobalt and molybdenum.
Cambrian clay exists in a few varieties, but the most effective is the blue one. Small particles in the clay are absorbent, removing sebum from located deep in the pores, cleansing the skin and supporting the regeneration of epidermis.
It restores firmness, reduces wrinkles and rejuvenates the skin, decontaminates and strengthens the skin, nourishing and regenerating it at the same time.


Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a vegetable oil rich in nutritious lipids, used in cosmetics for its moisturising and nourishing properties. It also reduces inflammation, keeping skin moisturized and helping heal wounds and possesses antimicrobial properties that can help treat acne and protect the skin from harmful bacteria

Cucumber

Rich in minerals and vitamins A, B, C and E, cucumber has a cooling and calming effect. It also has brightening properties, and its a natural hydrator and toner.

Cranberry oil

Packed with rich Omega 3 and six fatty acids, it helps to strengthen the skin's protective barrier. The antioxidant properties of cranberry oil benefit both young and mature skin and the anti-inflammatory attributes of omega-3 and vitamin E mean it is great for sensitive skin.

Calendula

Calendula Extract it is said to stimulates collagen production and improve dry skin. High in antioxidants, it helps plump the surface of your skin to give you tighter, more supple skin.

D

Dandelion

Dandelion is said to be an effective cleanser and detoxifier, helping with acne. It has anti-aging benefits and can nourish the skin to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots and it is naturally alkaline and has certain antimicrobial properties.

F

Frankincense

Known as the “king” of essential oils, frankincense is revered for its beautifying and rejuvenating effects on the skin. This essential oil is naturally astringent which and can create a potent anti-aging quality that can eliminate sun spots, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, tone & firm the skin, while simultaneously replacing old damaged cells with healthy new ones.

G

Geranium

A floral, fresh and sweet aroma, geranium balances and helps regulate mood. It is balances the production of sebum in the skin, minimizes wrinkles as it tightens the skin, reduces inflammation, is anti-bacterial, clears blemishes and heals wounds.

Golden jojoba

A true multi-tasker, golden Jojoba nourishes and moisturizes your skin with just a few drops. Known as a powerful natural moisturizer, it fights free radical damage and soothes skin . With powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it reduce redness, and overall keep skin calm and comfortable. Fatty acids plus Vitamin E and B-complex vitamins in the jojoba oil help repair and strengthen the skin over time.

Grape seed

Grape seeds are an excellent source of vitamins C and E, as well as antioxidants known as flavonoids, all of which may improve skin's texture and reduce the signs of aging.

Green tea extract

Green Tea Extract helps diminish the signs of aging, calms irritation, evens out discoloration. It soothes redness and swelling, repairs damage, and reduces the appearance of blackheads. A powerful cleanser, it eliminates dead skin and dirt.

H

Haritaki

Haritaki is one of the super which makes up Triphala, the traditional Ayurvedic digestive tonic. It is ideal to pacify vata dosha but is also a tridoshic herb, meaning it is balancing for all doshas. It is has restorative qualities, anti-inflammatory and rejuvenative, being great for dry skin.

Hibiscus extract

Hibiscus is a rich source of vitamin C, which is essential to produce collagen in your body. This is the main ingredient that is necessary to keep your skin healthy, youthful and glowing.

Himalayan salts

Salt has absorbent properties that soak up sebum and wash away impurities like dirt, sweat, and makeup. It makes a fantastic cleanser and mask. It helps with congestions, and oily skin, being ideal if you suffer from acne. It also nourishes and hydrates the skin.

Honey

Honey softens and soothes the skin, locks the moisture from escaping the skin and moisturizes. It also fights acne-causing bacteria, helping to keep your skin clear, it has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces redness and irritation.

Helicrysum

Helichrysum is an emollient and moisturizing oil that can help reduce the appearance of age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and improve the appearance of skin tone and texture.

Hyaluronic acid

Naturally occuring in the body, Hyaluronic acid  helps to bind water to collagen, trapping it in the skin, so that skin can appear plumper, dewier, and more hydrated. It holds the key to smooth, flawless and hydrated skin.

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is a natural cleanser, as it has anti bacterial properties. It is also rich in antioxidants, which helps protect skin against signs of aging.

J

Jasmine oil

A hydrating powerhouse, Jasmine Oil boasts strong moisturising properties. It replenishes your skin without clogging out pores.

L

Lavender

Lavender oil gently moisturizes skin, and is non-comedogenic for pores. Lavender oil is naturally antibacterial, meaning that it kills acne-causing bacteria that might infiltrate your pores. This makes the purple flower perfect for preventing, calming, and healing painful acne breakouts.

Licorice

Licorice has antioxidant and skin-soothing properties, making it a great ingredient for sensitive skin and may be effective in improving the look of an uneven skin tone.

Lemon peel

Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, lemon peel powder cleanses skin effectively.

M

Matcha powder

As a traditional Japanese drink, matcha green tea is truly nutritious and contains 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea. Not only does it help with combating inflammation, oxidation and aging, it also helps to calm mind and relax body. Matcha powder works as a gentle exfoliant and detoxifier.

Macadamia nut oil

Rich in oleic acid, the oil softens and moisturizes dry skin and assists with cell regeneration.

Marula oil

Marula oil is a lightweight and fast absorbing, antioxidant-rich oil , containing fatty acids that have anti aging, moisturizing and emollient properties

N

Neem oil

One of the most vital herbs in Ayurvedic healing, cooling neem purifies the skin of acne-causing bacteria with its multitude of antioxidant properties. It also aids in reducing acne scars & hyper-pigmentation. Being rich in vitamin E & fatty acids, neem soothes dry, irritated skin, making way for a restored & radiant complexion

O

Orange peel powder

Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, orange peel powder gently exfoliates and brightens dull complexions.

Olive Oil

Emollient, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, it moisturizes dry skin, protects againts premature aging, and it helps with sun damage. Those with sensitive and acne prone skin should abstain.

P

Passion fruit oil

Passion fruit oil is full of nutrients like vitamins A, C and essential fatty acids, which make sit a powerful antiaging ingredient, keeping skin youthful and firm.

Pomegranate oil

Pomegranate extract can be used as a skin nutrient or an exfoliant. Rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamin C, catechins and flavonoids, Pomegranate is able to help fight inflammation, hydrate skin, treat acne and dark spots, brighten complexions and can help delay the signs of aging.

Primrose oil

Evening Primrose Carrier Oil shows soothing and moisturizing properties. Gentle for use on sensitive and prematurely aging skin, it enhances elasticity as well as the texture of flaking or peeling skin, making it an ideal ingredient in formulations for mature skin.

Pumpik seed oil

Rich in vitamin A, E, biotin, zinc and antioxidants, the oil’s inflammatory properties help reduce itching and redness.

R

Rose extract

Rose is a gentle antiseptic and astringent, cleansing the  skin and preventing blemishes. With anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces redness and soothe irritation – making it ideal for all skin types (acneic, dry, mature, sensitive) because of its calming and healing abilities.

Rosehip oil


Consists of tannins, rosehip oil is an astringent and non-greasy oil. This oil is a popular choice for anti-aging face oil because it contains vitamin A, C and E that protect and renew skin.

Rice powder

Rice contains vitamins, minerals and amino acids which help moisturize skin and brighten skin tone. It is widely used in treatments for anti-aging and whitening in Asia.

S

Sandalwood

Sandalwood has been used classically in various Ayurvedic skincare formulations. This time tested Ayurvedic herb is effective in soothing pimples, acne, blemishes and rashes. It is also effective in soaking excess oil and sebum from the skin.

Sesame seed oil

Sesame is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It can help your skin in several ways. It may be especially beneficial for acne-prone skin and acne scars.

Shatavari

Grown throughout India, Shatavari is one of nature's best kept secrets. Shatavari root helped reduce the free-radical skin damage that leads to wrinkles. Shatavari also helped prevent collagen breakdown. Collagen helps maintain your skin's elasticity.

Shea butter

The high concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins make shea butter an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening skin, With anti-inflammatory and healing properties, using shea butter on your body, especially your face, can condition, tone, and soothe your skin.

Snow lotus

Lotus leaves are naturally overloaded with anti-oxidants which is an essential ingredient in day time skincare because it helps skin fight free radicals and prevent early aging keeping it youthful looking.


Sunflower seed oil

Sunflower seeds are rich in protein, oil and sunflower oil acts as an antioxidant as it is rich in Vitamin E. Being rich in nutrients and antioxidants, it is widely used in cosmetics and is found to be effective against acne, eczema, inflammation, general redness and irritation of the skin.
Sweet almond oil

High in omega-9 fatty acids, sweet almond oil is light-weight and good for dryness, itchiness, inflammation, and irritation

T

Tea tree

Used often as a cleanser, Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties. It has been shown to help conditions such as acne.

Triphala

Triphala is one of the most highly prized herbal formulas used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Made of 3 dried fruits Amalaki, Haritaki and Bibhitaki, each a powerful fruit but, according to Ayurveda, when mixed their benefits are amplified, balancing, detoxifying and nourishing.  Shown to have antibacterial effects and high in vitamin C.

Turmeric

Turmeric Ground is well known for its antiseptic and healing properties as well as its ability to improve skin complexion.

Tulsi

Tulsi is beneficial for the skin due to its antifungal, antibacterial properties. It also purifies the skin from acne and blemishes by draining toxins out of the blood. Tulsi promotes a smooth, even skin tone.

V

Vitamin E

Vitamin E sinks into the skin and behaves as an antioxidant that protect skin cells and nurture the skin.