What's in Your Cosmetics and SkinCare Products?
Skincare and Cosmetic ingredients guide
The following ingredients with their usage descriptions are just some of the more popular ones used in many spa products & cosmetics, but there are literally hundreds. This comprehensive listing is taken from various sources published in Cosmetic Dictionaries, Cosmetic and Pharmaceutical industry Catalogs and Cosmetic Dictionaries published on Internet.
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Many times these ingredients are hard to recognize on product ingredient list because they have to be listed as the official chemical name for them. Where available we have included it.
Alginated Zinc Triplex - A combination of Hydrolyzed Algin (which is derived from Brown Seaweed) and Zinc Sulfate to reduce the conditions favorable to acne by helping to regulate sebum (oil) production, destroy acne bacteria and reduce skin inflammation.
Allantoin -An essential extract of the comfrey plant. An unsurpassed natural healing agent for the skin. Has the ability to help heal minor wounds and skin ulcers, and to stimulate the growth of healthy skin cells.
Aloe Vera ( ALOE BARBADENSUS) - Habitat: Indigenous to East and South Africa, Mediterranean countries and tropical or subtropical countries including the West Indies, Mexico and Southern United States. Gel cultivated in Texas and Florida. Appearance: Succulent plants with numerous fleshy leaves which protrude from the upper part of the root; narrow, tapering and usually beset at the edges with spiny teeth. Flowers are erect spikes. Clear gel is characterized by hair-like connective veins. Odor:Odorless to slightly vegetable odor Aloe gel has been used for centuries in skin care. Aloe gel has produced startling results in replenishing lost moisture from the skin. When applied to skin injuries, minor wounds, chemical or radiation burns, poison ivy, rash, etc., aloe Vera works very quickly with dramatic results. The application of aloe vera on burns produces soothing relief immediately.
ALTHEA ROOT (ALTHEA OFFICINALIS) - Habitat: Northern Europe, Northern Great Britain, Scandinavia, Northern United States, in marshes and in moist places. Appearance: Perennial herb, velvety and hairy, up to 5 ft. Odor: Slightly pungent and mossy. Functional Benefits: Emollient, soothing, healant, demulcent, mucilaginous. Excellent in therapeutic type skin products.
ANGELICA ROOT (ARCHANGELICA OFFICINALIS) - Habitat: Cultivated in Europe and native or Northern Europe. Commercially available throughout the world. Also grows wild from Labrador to Minnesota in the U.S. Appearance: Stately (up to 6 ft.); biennial or perennial herb with thick hollow stems, toothed leaflets and large rhizomes and roots. Odor: Celery-like smelling leaf stalks. Roots are used as flavorings for gin and various liqueurs. Functional Benefits: Has soothing effects on nerve endings of the skin on topical applications. Arnica Extract A herb found in the northern hemisphere. The dried flower heads have long been used as an astringent and to treat skin disorders. Has been used externally to treat bruises and sprains. Anti-inflammatory and soothing.
Ascorbic Acid and Ascorbyl Palmitate Vitamin C - A preservative and anti-oxidant used to help prevent free radical damage in the skin. The white or pale yellow powder will darken slightly when exposed to the air.
Avobenzone - A revolutionary development in sunscreen technology approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 1998. While traditional chemical sunscreens could block against UVB (the "burning rays") and UVAII wavelengths, they could not adequately block out UVAI rays, the ones responsible for the skin damage that results in wrinkles, hyper pigmentation, etc. Avobenzone-containing sunscreens (as well as physical sunscreens) now offer full protection against all of the sun's damaging rays.
Avocado Oil - Rich in Vitamins A, D and E, potassium, sulfur and chlorine. Rich and penetrating oil.
Balm Mint Extract - From the leaves and flowers of the Balm Mint plant, Melissa Officinalis. An antibacterial and anti-inflammatory that has a calming, soothing effect on the skin. Contains a balsamic essential oil that produces antibacterial ozone.
Basil Oil - Compresses of Basil have long been used to calm inflammation and swelling of the skin.
Bearberry Extract - Derived from the Arctostaphyllos Uva Ursi plant. Contains a natural hydroquinone sugar complex that is more stable than synthetically-derived hydroquinone. Used in an encapsulated liposomal form that delivers the active ingredients directly to the cellular level. Fades hyperpigmentation spots on the skin by interfering with melanin synthesis.
Beeswax - From virgin bees and used as an emulsifier. Yellow beeswax is from the honeycomb and is soft with a honey-like odor.
Bentonite Clay - A white clay found in North America. Oil absorbing and cleansing, it is used for its excellent refining action on enlarged "pores" and oily areas of the skin.
Benzophenone and Octyl Methoxycinnamate - Two ultra-violet sunscreens which absorb radiation in the erythemal range 290 to 315nm. Allows radiation in the tanning range of 315 to 400nm.
Benzophenone - A soluble sunscreen agent and as such, is used in all emulsions and solutions in the SPAGLO® line. Possible prevention of skin cancer, premature aging effects and premature wrinkling may be some of the effects of sun screening agents.
Benzoyl Peroxide - An oxygen releasing chemical which causes drying, peeling and antibacterial action on the skin. Used for acne lesions, benzoyl peroxide is the number one acne medication recommended by doctors. The release of oxygen is important to combat the anaerobic bacteria present in the acne-affected follicles. The peeling and drying effects peel the acne pustules and open up the comedones.
Bioflavonoids - Naturally found throughout the plant kingdom. Clinical studies have demonstrated that bioflavonoids reduce edema which is partly ascribed to a protective effect on the capillary endothelium and partly to an improved velocity and volume of blood flow. Hence one can say, bioflavonoids help reduce inflammatory edema while stimulating circulation.
Bois de Rose Oil - Used for many skin problems from irritation and dryness to puffiness and congestion. It is extracted from the Rosewood Tree. Bisabolol A myrrh-type gum resin obtained from African trees. Reduces sensitivity and inflammation. Soothing and vaso-constrictive.
Bromelain - A proteolytic enzyme (digests proteins), obtained from the pineapple plant, a perennial herb with many varieties. The bromelain may be derived from either the stem or the fruit juices. Bromelain hydrolyzes proteins and digests dead cells on the surface of the skin.
Burdock Extract - Extracted from the root and used for its healing properties on acne skin. Excellent as a cleansing extract on oily skin conditions and extremely effective on refining and clearing the skin.
CALENDULA FLOWERS (CALENDULA OFFICINALIS) - Habitat: Cultivated in Europe and North America; commercially throughout the world. Appearance: Pale green leaves, golden orange florets; in yellow, orange and red varieties. Odor: Pleasant, mild floral, depending on variety. Aromatic when used in cooking. Functional Benefits: Soothing, anti-inflammatory, healant, used in ointments for cuts, bruises, sores and burns; has detergent and cleansing properties, as an astringent and refresher.
CHAMOMILE FLOWERS (MATRICARIA CHAMOMILLA) - Habitat: Europe, Great Britain, the temperate region of Asia, North Africa, North America. Appearance: A low-growing plant, characterized by little flowerheads and numerous tubular yellow “rays.” Odor: Aromatic, strong scent; used as a fragrance component. Functional Benefits: Soothing, sedative, softening, calmative, anti-inflammatory, sun protecting, wound healant.
COLTSFOOT HERB (TUSSILAGO FARFARA) - Habitat: Introduced to North America from Europe. Now cultivated and growing wild from Newfoundland to New Jersey, and west to Minnesota. Grown in damp, clay-like ground. Appearance: The plant leaf is shaped like a colt's hoof, hence the name. Stout leaves with bright yellow flowers characterize. Odor: Raw potato, marshy, mossy odor, vegetable-like odor. Functional Benefits: Conditioning, moisturizing. Contains: silica and cystine, important amino acids to maintain healthy skin.
COMFREY LEAVES (SYMPHYTUM OFFICINALE) - Habitat: A native of Europe and Temperate Asia, common throughout Great Britain, on the banks of rivers and watery places. Appearance: A rough plant covered with bristly hairs on the stem, which stands 2-3 feet high. Paired purple flowers taper down and grow on one side of the stem, much resembling the herb Foxglove. Odor: A nondescript green note. Functional Benefits: Astringent, cleansing, a healant to rough and abused skin, anti-inflammatory. Wound healing due to natural allontoin, carotene and mucco-polysaccharides.
Cajeput Oil - Extracted from the plant, Melaleuca leucodendron. Used for its antiseptic and analgesic properties. Calendula Extract Derived from the dried flowers of golden marigolds. Used to soothe inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes.
Calendula Extract - Used in herbology to reduce body scars, soothe chapped skin and eliminate broken capillaries. Considered to be an excellent remedy for red eyes and any skin abrasions or soreness.
Camphor - A cooling and antiseptic extract, with firming and toning properties to the skin. Extracted from the bark of 50 year old trees in China, Borneo and Japan.
Carnauba Wax -Extracted from the leaves of the Brazilian wax palm tree. Emollient and moisturizing and used for its skin protectant properties.
Castor Oil - The seed of the castor oil plant, extracted from the bean. Soothing and emollient to the skin.
Cedarwood Oil - Extracted from the plant, Junipius Virginiana. Stimulating, antiseptic and revitalizing, the oil is used for sluggish and sallow skins to stimulate blood circulation and oxygenation.
Cetyl Alcohol - A fatty alcohol which is in the form of a waxy crystalline. Used for its lubricating and emollient properties in skin moisturization.
Chamomile Extract - Extracted from the daisy-like white and yellow heads of the chamomile flowers. Popular as an excellent skin soother and anti-inflammatory agent. Reputed to bring down swelling and pain in the skin and mucous membranes. Used extensively in professional skin care as a herbal extract and for its essential oil called azulene.
Chinese Schizandra Berry (Schizandra Chinensis) - Like Ginseng, Schizandra is an adaptogenic agent that improves overall health and is specifically indicated function (lethargy). Research on this plant has focused on the forty active lignans, a type of plant carbohydrate, found in this species. These compounds have demonstrated greater antioxidant properties than both Vitamins C and E in fighting free radicals, hence the claims that Chinese Schizandra is anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic.
Clove Oil - Extracted from the plant, Eugenia caryophyllata. Used for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Collagen - The major fibrous protein of the extracellular connective tissues and comprises from 25% to 35% of our body's protein. Soluble collagen can be compared to a sponge because of its ability to trap water in its intercellular spaces. As collagen ages, the fibres aggregate into larger collagen strands and become less soluble. This less soluble condition, plus the addition of calcium deposits, squeezes the moisture out, induces further aggregation of collagen and causes shrinkage of the fibre length. The net result is a loss of skin turgor and the formation of wrinkles. During the formation of soluble collagen and the collagen fibre, glycosaminoglycans become bound to the peptide chains. These promote the ability of collagen to retain water by holding the soluble fibres apart
Coneflower Extract - Extracted from the native American plant, Echinacea angustifolia, coneflower extract was originally used as an antidote for snake bites and other venomous conditions. The juice of the root was used to heal burns and soothe topical pain. Coneflower extract has been clinically demonstrated to aid in healing and act as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Comfrey - Highly-prized in the Middle Ages for it's healing properties, Comfrey helps to reduce skin inflamation, soothe irritation and improve skin texture. Corn Cob Meal A finely milled powder from corn cobs. The extremely fine milling of the meal ensures that no harsh abrasiveness is left in the action of this exfoliant. Gives complete cell debris removal without drying or scratching.
Cornflower Extract - Used as an anti-inflammatory extract, and obtained from the flowers of the plant. Very soothing and sedating to the skin and mucous membranes. Similar in action to the essential oil of chamomile called azulene. Often used around the eye area as an anti-red measure.
Corn Oil - Obtained from wet-milling the grain of "zea mays" (Indian corn) used as an emollient and softener.
Cucumber Extract - Extracted from the succulent fruit of the vine and used for its tightening properties. Imparts a cool action and an anti-inflammatory action to the tissues.
Cypress Oil - Soothing and calming. Reduces circulation and has vaso-constrictive properties.
Damiana Leaf (Turnera Diffusa) - Damiana Leaf, used by Indians for hundreds of years, is used as an anti-depressant and to restore nervous system balance.
Diatomaceous - Earth A porous and pure form of silica formed from fossil remains of algae. Absorbs up to four times its own weight in water. Sets and gels on the skin surface when used in masques.
Dihydroxyacetone - Obtained from glycerol, used to artificially "tan" skin. Reacts with amino acids in skin to provide natural looking suntanned appearance.
Dandelion Root & Leaf Extract ( Taraxacum Officinalis) - Standardized; Described as a "simple bitter," Dandelion is used to treat many types of digestive dysfunctions. It is said to have a restorative effect on the liver, gallbladder and spleen. Dandelion is also an excellent choice as a diuretic because it does not deplete the body's potassium balance like most diuretics.
Dimethicone - An organic silicone, used as a skin protectant and moisturizer. Found naturally in Horsetail herbal extract, silicones form a "mesh" over the skin and slow down transepidermal moisture loss from the skin. Well tolerated by even the most sensitive skins, they have a filming action on the skin surface and smooth fine, dry lines.
Egg Oil - Natural mixture of fat soluble emollients and emulsifiers, extracted from the whole egg. Mixture of phospholipids, fatty acids and cholesterol. Provides excellent emollient properties. Protects against dehydration and has lubricating and anti-friction properties on the skin.
ELDER FLOWERS (SAMBUCUS CANADESIS) - Habitat: All over Europe and introduced to the Americas. The canadensis species is native to North America and the part used is the flower. European species nigra is mainly cultivated for its berries for use in Elderberry Wine, an old European tradition. Appearance: Sambucus canadensis is a tall shrub, up to 10 ft. tall, with small white flowers and purple-black berries. Odor: Fragrant, light green note, pleasant vegetable odor. Functional Benefits: Extracts of flowers are used as fragrance components and, because of their slightly astringent nature, are used in under-eye and other skin products. Elder is a cleanser and moisturizer to the skin and hair.
Eucalyptus Oil - A strong antiseptic with healing and stimulating properties. A vaso-dilator that improves blood circulation.
Evening Primrose Oil - An essential fatty acid oil, rich in gamma-linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids. Also known as Vitamin FF. Hydrating to the skin, it helps restore the moisture and lipid balance to dry skin conditions.
Fennel Seed Extract (Foeniculum Vulgare) - Fennel has been used for years as a digestive stimulant, especially to treat excess gas and bloating. It is used regularly in Chinese hospitals for intestinal obstruction and is used in the traditional "gripe" water formulas given to colicy babies.
Genatian Root ( Gentiana Lutea) - Often called the "archetypal bitter," Gentian Root is used to stimulate digestion. Dr. John Scudder M.D. claims, "it is one of the most efficient remedies I have ever used to address feeble or slow digestion." It is also known to have anti-inflammatory effects.
Geranium Oil - Anti-inflammatory and soothing. Used for skin irritations and dermatitis.
GINSENG ROOT (PANAX QUINQUEFOLIUS) - Habitat: American and Western species are native to North America and cultivated in Canada and throughout the U.S. Oriental is native to Manchuria, Siberia, Korea and Japan. Appearance: Both species are perennial herbs, with single stems and six long, petioled leaves on top. Parts used for extraction are the roots and rootlets. Odor: Characteristic vegetable odor. agent. Functional Benefits: Used in creams, gels, tonics, facial masks, in wrinkle and other treatment preparations. Known for its ability to deliver oxygen to the cells.
Gingko Extract - Also known as "maidenhair." An extract of the "gingko biloba" plant, a sacred tree to the Chinese. Increases moisture retention in the upper layers of the skin, and soothes irritation in sensitive skins.
Glycolipids - A plant-derived mixture of glycoceramides that enhance and restore the barrier function of the skin, regulate the skin's ability to bind and retain moisture and help restore the intercellular regulatory balance.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) T- he skin is composed of two distinct areas, epidermis and dermis. The epidermis consists of many layers of dead skin which are supported by the dermis. The dermis is a three dimensional network of collagen fibres and elastin, surrounded by a gel-like substance called the Ground substance. This determines the stability of the skin. We know that the ground substance is composed glycosaminoglycans (formerly called mucopolysaccharides), non-collagen proteins and water. Until recently, the importance of glycosaminoglycans in skin physiology has been largely overlooked when compared to topics such as pH, nucleic acid replacement, and protein composition. Pharmaceutical and biochemical research indicates that glycosaminoglycans promote the ability of collagen fibres to retain water and bind moisture into the stratum corneum of the epidermis. Collagen is the major fibrous protein of the extracellular connective tissues and comprises from 25% to 35% of our body's protein. Soluble collagen can be compared to a sponge because of its ability to trap water in its intercellular spaces. As collagen ages, the fibres aggregate into larger collagen strands and become less soluble. This less soluble condition, plus the addition of calcium deposits, squeezes the moisture out, induces further aggregation of collagen and causes shrinkage of the fibre length. The net result is a loss of skin turgor and the formation of wrinkles. During the formation of soluble collagen and the collagen fibre, glycosaminoglycans become bound to the peptide chains. These promote the ability of collagen to retain water by holding the soluble fibres apart. The addition of glycosaminoglycans in the SPAGLO® products, ensures a replacement of the diminishing amounts in the skin, and results in skin that has more moisture and increased flexibility.
Grapefruit Oil - Obtained by expression (squeezing) of the fresh peel of the grapefruit. A yellowish liquid used for its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties.
Grape Seed Extract - Extracted from Vitis vinifera plant. A rich source of free radical scavengers (anti-oxidant) including pycnogenol. An excellent anti-oxidant and rich source of proanthocyanidins, a flavenoid type molecule that protects capillary walls and inhibits enzymes that break down collagen and elastin.
Green Clay - A highly-effective cosmetic clay used for its sterilizing and purifying qualities. Very absorbent and cleansing to the skin sebum. Detoxifies and exfoliates. Produces a cooling effect on the skin, constricts follicles and deep cleanses the epidermis.
Green Tea (Japanese) or Thea Sinensis Extract - Japanese Green Tea is known to contain two active groups of chemicals known as xanthines and polyphenols or catechins. The xanthines include components such as caffeine, theobromine and theophylline. These active agents have been demonstrated to suppress inflammation and irritation, and more recently, they have been shown to reduce cellulite. When used in conjunction with hydroxy acids, green tea extract will reduce irritation due to the xanthines. Polyphenols (also known as catechins) exhibit powerful anti-oxidant properties. As a matter of fact, these anti-oxidants are 20 times stronger than Vitamin E. Consequently, green tea extract is considered to play a vital role in protecting the cell from free radical damage initiated by environmental factors such as exposure to UV light.
Hazelnut Oil - Emollient and nourishing natural nut oil. Prevents moisture loss from the skin surface and is rich in essential fatty acids.
Hawthorne Berry Extract (Artemisia Vulgaris) - Believed to be an anti-hypertonic, Hawthorn Berry is used in sedating formulas to control hypertension. Honey Taken from the nectar of flowers and manufactured in the sacs of various bees. A humectant which attracts moisture to the skin surface. Used for centuries as a natural healing salve to calm inflammation and soothe the skin.
HOPS BUDS (HUMUS LUPULUS) - Habitat: A native of Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, The Netherlands, France, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the United States, as well as northern temperate zones. Appearance: Dark green, lengthy, flexible and tough stems with heart- shaped and lobed leaves. Characterized by cone-shaped, yellowish “strobiles.” Odor: Hay like, slightly musty, mildew odor. Functional Benefits: Tonic, stimulant, healant, circulation promoter.
HORSETAIL GRASS (EQUISETUM ARVENSE) - Habitat: Temperate regions of North and South America, wet, boggy grounds, swamps, embankments. Appearance: Perennial, vascular herb with hollow, cylindrical jointed stems with sheath-like united leaves and cone-like fructifications. Odor: Green scent, vegetable like; although very slight. Functional Benefits: Astringent, calmative, cleansing, acne and skin disorders, pain relief from skin abrasions, anti inflammatory, high in silica and saponins.
Hops Extract - Derived from the carefully dried pinecone-like fruit of the hop plant, grown in Europe, Asia and North America. Hops were at one time used as a sedative. An anti-inflammatory extract which also has a mild firming action.
Hops Strobile Extract (Humulus Lupulus) Hops may be found in over 150 phytopharmaceutical drugs to treat restless anxiety and insomnia. It is known as an aromatic bitter with mild digestive qualities, making it useful in anxious individuals who have a tendency toward intestinal gas.
HORSE CHESTNUT (AESCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM) - Habitat: Native to Mid and Southeastern Europe, cultivated in temperate North America. Appearance: Deciduous tree-reaching heights of up to 100 ft. with prickly green seed pods that mature in autumn when they split open and release up to three brown nuts. Odor: Nutty green odor. Functional Benefits: Astringent, anti-inflammatory benefits for products treating reddened, irritated or sensitive skin. Used as a protecting for facial and hand/nail products.
Horsetail Extract - Derived from the plant that is used medicinally to reduce body water and as an astringent. Helps minor wounds and speeds healing of the skin. Has a firming and tightening action on the skin.
Hyaluronic Acid - Extremely moisturizing to the skin. Holds up to 370% more moisture than even the Collagen protein molecule. Binds and retains essential moisture in the skin layers and reduces fine lines caused by dehydration.
Hydrocotyl Extract - Originally found in India, hydrocotyl extract (Centella asiatica) is listed in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to combat excessively dry skin. More recently, studies at the Department of Dermatology in Strasbourg indicate its use as a strong anti-inflammatory agent, effective in the treatment of wounds, ulcers and lymphatic edema. Particularly suited to the fragile skin around the eyes, hydrocotyl extract assists in reducing inflammation and sensitivity of the skin.
Hydrolyzed Whole Wheat Protein - A non-animal, water-soluble protein derived from whole wheat. Moisturizes and smooths the skin surface, helping to bind moisture to the stratum corneum. The two major proteins in whole wheat are glutenin and gliadin. Both are rich in the amino acid called cystine, which is an important sulfur containing amino acid with moisturizing properties.
Iron Oxides - Several natural oxides of iron (iron combined with oxygen) varying in colour from red to brown, black to orange or yellow, depending on the degree of water added.
Ivy Extract - Extracted from the evergreen climbing plant, native to Europe and Asia. A natural diuretic and cleansing extract, well known for its skin refining actions. Firming and tightening to the tissues.
Jasmine Oil - A warming and smoothing oil, used to revitalize and stimulate the skin.
Kava Kava (Piper Methysticum) Rhizome and Root Extract - Kava Kava has been used for centuries as a central nervous system depressant and relaxant of the skeletal muscle. It is used by many cultures around the world for its ability to induce a state of physical relaxation and a carefree, positive sense of well being. In Europe it is found in a prescription medication to treat nervous anxiety and is touted to be as effective as the drug "benzodiazapine" in the treatment of anxiety, but without the side effects of addiction and patients' building up a tolerance to its effect.
Kaolin Clay - A white powder clay, obtained from kaolin in southeast China. Used for its oil absorbing properties, kaolin clay refines the skin and helps clear breakouts.
Kelp Extract - Extracted from a north American species of brown seaweed, Macrocystis pyriferae. High in silicon, which is believed to keep the skin from wrinkling and sagging, kelp is considered an important nutrient source for cells. It has been used to treat anemia and in cases of obesity because of its high iodine content, which has a normalizing effect on the thyroid.
Kola Nut (Cola Nitida) - A bitter brown seed containing caffein; source of cola extract. Kola Nut is used as a "stimulating tonic" and is used to counter fatigue.
Lactic Acid - SPAGLO® uses a lactic acid complex obtained from molasses through an exclusive anaerobic bio-fermentation process. This process yields a high purity lactic acid, which is of great value in retexturizing the skin surface and stimulating cell renewal. Lactic acid, being an alpha hydroxy acid with three carbons, diminishes the cohesion of surface skin cells and subsequently, prevents the thickening of the stratum corneum. Lactic Acid is absorbed across the stratum corneum to the lower layers of this section of the epidermis, and assists in cell detachment from that level. The resulting smoothness and flexibility of the skin's surface is evident soon after application. It has a larger molecular size than glycolic acid and is absorbed more gradually across the epidermis with less irritation.
Lappa Extract - Extracted from burdock. The extract comes from the root and contains tannic acid. Lappa extract is used to soothe the skin and contains vital mineral salts.
Lavender Oil - Effective in treating acne, dermatitis and oily skin problems. Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
Lemon Extract - An extract expressed from the fresh rind and peel of lemons. Very cleansing and decongestant. Lemon extract is refreshing and purifying to the skin, and is extremely active on an oily skin condition.
Lemon Oil - Extracted from the plant, Citrus limonum. Used for its antiseptic and astringent properties as well as its detoxifying effects. Lemongrass Oil Extracted from the plant, Adropogon or Cymbopogon Citratus. Cleansing and purifying to the skin, the oil is used for its excellent antiseptic properties on the skin. Helps normalize oil production and reduce breakouts.
Licorice Extract (Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate) - Extracted from the Licorice plant, Glycyrrhiza Glabra. Inhibits melanin biosynthesis while scavenging free radicals (antioxidant) and helping to calm the skin.
Liquid Crystal Cholesteric Esters - Microencapsulated strands of cholesterol lipids for skin repair and moisturizing. Highly-absorptive crystals carry active ingredients into the deeper layers of the epidermis. Similar in action to a liposomal effect, the crystals have an opalescent appearance in the product.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate - A stabilized form of vitamin C that does not oxidize upon exposure to air. An antioxidant that is linked to collagen synthesis.
Mallow Extract - From the herb family. A mucilaginous gel which is soothing, healing, softening and pain easing to the skin. Excellent in reducing inflammation and softening the skin.
Marjoram Oil - Warming and stimulating, the oil increases blood flow and aids in cell reproduction of the skin.
Mate Extract - Extracted from Ilex paraguariensis, or Paraguay tea, has been shown to reduce irritation often associated with the use of alpha and beta hydroxy acids in cosmetic formulations. Because of its high concentration of Theophylline and other anti-irritant xanthines, Paraguay tea is ideal for use in skin smoothing formulations. It is also an astringent, a stimulant and a vasodilator.
Matrixyl 3000 - Matrixyl 3000 is a combination of the two peptides, palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, not just because two active ingredients are better then one. According to the Sederma corporation, these two peptides produce a synergy when used together, i.e. the skin benefits of such combination are greater than what one would expect if each agent's effects were independent of each other. Here's a fictitious example of synergy to illustrate my point: Ingredient A causes a 10% improvement and ingredient B causes a 15% percent improvement whereas A+B combo causes a 60% improvement (as opposed to the expected 25% improvement).
For more info see Matrixyl 3000
Menthol (Oil of Peppermint) - A natural cooling agent, derived from mint oils. Anti-inflammatory and anti-itching to the skin. Imparts a cool, fresh and clean feeling to the skin.
Methylparaben/Propylparaben Food grade preservatives developed in Europe and used to ensure shelf life, hygienic stability of all SPAGLO® products. Non-irritating, non-sensitizing and non-toxic.
Methylsilanol Carboxymethyl Theophylline Alginate - A plant-derived complex used for its slimming action on cellulitic tissue. The theophylline portion of the compound acts at the cellular membrane level of the fat cells. It effects the enzymatic breakdown of lipids, the regeneration of connective tissue and the inflammatory process associated with tissue compression by fat cells.
Micronised Marine Algae - Derived from seaweeds and processed under cold pressure explosion to form a fine powder. Softening and moisturizing to the skin, algae also has detoxifying and diuretic properties.
Microsponges - Microscopic spheres capable of absorbing skin secretions, therefore reducing oiliness and shine from the skin. Spherical particles composed of clusters of even tinier spheres. Capable of holding four times their weight in skin secretions. Clinical studies demonstrated that the use of microsponges in a lotion reduced perceived oiliness on the skin by 50%; shine was reduced by 20%.
Milk Protein - A soothing, skin cleansing preparation. A natural protein complex used for its mild cleansing properties and soothing action on the skin. Milk compresses can be used to soothe an allergic skin reaction and are used in cleansing preparations for their mild action.
Mugwort Herb Extract (Artemisia Vulgaris) - Traditionally, Mugwort herb has been used in sedating formulas to offset the usual stress related digestive complaints. An aromatic bitter that stimulates gastric secretion for the treatment of "weak digestion" and should accompany the use of sedating herbs.
Neroli Oil - Extracted from orange flowers and helps improve circulation. A warming and relaxing oil which has a gently stimulating effect.
NETTLES LEAVES (URTICA DIOICA) - Habitat: The temperate regions of Europe and Asia, South Africa, Australia, the Andes, and temperate regions of the United States. Appearance: Heart-shaped, finely-toothed leaves, tapering to a point, with green flowers in long, branched clusters. Over 500 species, many with the characteristic stinging hairs on the stems and leaves, thus the name “Stinging Nettles.” Fibrous raw material. Odor: A very slight leafy odor. Functional Benefits: Heat sensation following touching of the raw material; irritant, astringent. Adds gloss and luster to finished products.
ORANGE PEEL (CITRUS AURANTHIUM) - Habitat: Native to all temperate, subtropical and tropical areas of the globe. Mainly cultivated as a food source. Appearance: Small trees bearing green fruit that expand and usually become yellow to orange colored upon maturing. Odor: Fragrance, refreshing citrus odor. Distinct orange note. Functional Benefits: Has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Adds freshening appeal to products.
Orange Oil - Extracted from the plant, Citrus aurantium. Soothing, hydrating, calming oil that reduces irritation. Used in essential oils blends for treatment of cellulite.
PACIFIC SEA KELP (MACROCYSTIS PYRIFERA) - Habitat: Off the coast of California all the way down to South America and Hawaii. Grows up from the ocean floor and at depths of more than 100 ft. Down. Appearance: A sporophyte plant. The upper part exposed to sunlight near the surface is light to dark green due to photosynthesis, while the deeper parts are almost colorless. Odor: Basically odorless or slightly salty. Functional Benefits: Soothing, healant, odorless and colorless, which is of great advantage in personal care products. Wide uses in anti-cellulite products for added firming.
Panthenol - See Vitamin B5. Papain A digestive enzyme, collected from papaya fruit. Papain hydrolyzes proteins and has a proteolytic capacity (digests proteins). Papain has the ability to digest dead tissue without affecting the surrounding live tissue, and has gained itself the reputation as a "biological scalpel." It is used in digestive aids and as the active ingredient in enzyme cleaners for soft contact lenses. Papain contains 212 amino acids and is also rich in malic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid.
Parabens - are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bacteriocidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, cleansing gels, personal lubricants, topical pharmaceuticals and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives. Their efficacy as preservatives, in combination with their low cost, their long history of safe use and the unproven efficacy of natural ingredients like grapefruit seed extract (GSE), probably explains why parabens are so commonplace. For more info click here.
Parsol 1789 - The trade name for Avobenzone.
PASSIONFLOWER (PASSIFFORA INCARNATA) - Habitat: Native to Southeastern United States from Florida to Texas. Appearance: Exotic climbing vine with large, pale lavender colored flowers. Spanish explorers were said to have been startled by the beauty of the passionflower. A perennial, woody plant. Odor: A slight hint of floral.Functional Benefits: Used primarily for its soothing and sedating effect in cosmetic preparations. Compatible with aroma therapy or other therapeutic products.
Patchouli Oil - Extracted from the plant, Pogostemon patchouli. Used for its antiseptic properties.
Passionflower (Passiflora Incarnata) - Extract Passionflower extract has been reported to be an effective treatment for stress and nervousness.
Peppermint Leaf Extract (Mentha Piperata) - The common peppermint extract is included in the formula to address gastrointestinal symptoms often associated with stress.
Petitgrain Oil - Extracted from the bitter orange plant. Used for its skin soothing and calming properties.
Pinecone Extract - Extracted from the cones of pine trees. Helps to alleviate pain and discomfort and overcomes fatigue. Considered to be stimulating to the skin, by increasing blood flow and oxygenation.
Pine Needle Extract - Extracted from the plant, Pinus sylvestris. Used for its antiseptic properties.
Prickly Ash Bark (Xanthoxylum Clava Herculis) - A circulatory stimulant, Prickly Ash helps drive other botanicals to their targets. It is used to stimulate the nerve centers and functional activity of the body's organs.
Proline - An amino acid that when combined with sodium PCA, a natural component of the NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor), has been demonstrated to provide excellent moisture absorption and retention properties to the skin.
Propylene/Butylene Glycol - A Clear, colourless liquids which are among the most common moisture-carrying vehicles in skin care. Superb permeation through the skin and excellent humectant properties. Softens and moisturizes the skin.
Red Raspberry Extract - A soothing and non-stimulating extract. Noted to be a natural antibiotic, Red raspberry extract is also very soothing and relaxing to an inflamed skin. Excellent for a sensitive skin and any irritation from acne, shaving or windburn.
Retinol - See Vitamin A. Rose Hip Extract Very rich in natural Vitamin C. Moisturizing and hydrating to the skin. Helps protect the skin from capillary damage and firms and tones the tissues. Helps moisture bind in the connective tissue proteins of the skin.
Rosemary Extract - An extract obtained from the fresh, flowering tops of the plant. Used for its tonic properties and as a stimulant to the tissues. A natural diuretic, rosemary extract helps to release fluids from the tissues and gives a firming and decongestant action.
ROSEMARY LEAVES (ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS) - Habitat: In most gardens in all regions of Europe, the United States and Asia. Prefers locations near seas or oceans. Appearance: A shrubby herb with evergreen leaves of dark green color. Flowers are small and pale blue. Odor: Pungently aromatic, somewhat camphorous. Functional Benefits: Tonic, astringent, stimulant, cleansing, soothing, fragrance component. A widely used botanical in all types of personal care products.
Rosemary Oil - Extracted from the plant, Rosmarinus officinalis. Used for its purifying, cleansing and antiseptic properties.
Safflower Oil - One of the most useful oils in cosmetics. The flowers are used in decoctions for skin eruptions, acne and skin blemishes.
Sage Extract - Obtained by extraction from the flowering tops of the plants. Smells and tastes rather like camphor. Has strong astringent and healing properties. A tonic and curative herb.
SAGE LEAVES (SALVIAS OFFICINALIS) - Habitat: Natural habitat is the shores of the Mediterranean, although cultivated in Great Britain, France and Germany. Commercially cultivated in the United States. Appearance: An evergreen undershrub. Odor: All parts of the plant have a strong, almost pungent, distinctive odor; and a warm, bitter, astringent taste. Functional Benefits: Calmative, cleanser, moisturizer, skin purifier, fragrant, antimicrobial, non-sensitizing, non-irritant.
Sage Oil - Extracted from the plant, Salvia officinalis. An astringent, antiseptic oil used for its sedating and calming effects on the skin.
Salicylic Acid - Occurs naturally in wintergreen leaves, sweet birch and selected plants. This Beta Hydroxy Acid improves the appearance and condition of the skin. Its micro-exfoliating action causes a slow movement of the superficial cells that are already old, forcing the deep layers to replace them with younger cells. In addition to its exfoliating action, salicylic acid is also used an anti-microbial in medicine.
Sambucus (Elder Flowers) - Extracted from the honey-scented flowers of the elder tree. Used for its mildly tonic properties and its naturally diuretic qualities.
Sandalwood Oil - A powerful antibiotic and antiseptic. Used to treat infections and reduce puffiness. Soothing and healing.
Saponaria Extract - Also known as Soapwort and Fullers Herb. This extract is obtained from the European and Middle Eastern variety that has a coarse pink flower and foams like a lather. It is used as a foaming, natural cleanser for the skin.
Siberian Gingseng (Eleutherococcus Senticosis) - The use of Siberian Ginseng by Chinese herbalists dates back to 2000BC. In modern times, Ginseng has been designated as an "adaptogen," or herb that has a non-specific activity yet promotes an overall improvement in one's health.
Silica - Microbeads Fine, silica microbeads have a true sphere shape with a hollow centre, providing unique carrying abilities. Since the beads can hold and absorb materials, they are used to protect delicate plant extracts in a tightly-compacted and heat resistant carrier molecule. In addition to their function as a delivery system, Silica Microbeads also impart a smoothness and resilient texture to the skin, as they possess a "ball-bearing," silky emolliency. Combined with three other silicone bases in the formula (cyclomethicone, magnesium aluminum silicate and C 12-15 alkyl octanoate), they leave an improved feel to the skin, with less oiliness and no sticky residue.
Silk Amino Acids - Amino acids are the body's building blocks from which proteins are constructed. Of the 22 known amino acids, eight cannot be manufactured in the body in sufficient quantities to sustain growth and health. These eight are called "essential," because they are necessary to maintain good health. Silk amino acids are the result of amino mixtures from liquid silk, a natural non-animal source of these acids. Silk amino acids help moisture penetrate the skin surface and are extremely healing to the skin.
Sodium PCA - Occurs naturally in human skin and is responsible for binding moisture to the cells. Highly water-absorbing and used as an excellent humectant. A component of the NMF (natural moisturizing factor).
Sorbitol - Found in ripe berries, seaweed and algae. A humectant which gives a velvety feel to the skin. Attracts water to itself and helps bind moisture to the skin surface.
Spiraea Extract - Spiraea Ulmaria Extract (meadowsweet), is commonly found in France, Western ace and North America. The flowering tops contain 2% essential oils and salicylate derivatives, one of which is salicylic acid. In homeopathic medicine, spiraea extract is used to help combat inflamed joints and to have a diuretic effect on the tissues. The leaves of the plant, fresh or dried, are used in the treatment of rheumatism and cellulitis. When used directly on the skin, spiraea extract is prized for its anti-inflammatory abilities to reduce puffiness and fluid retention.
Squalane - A natural component of human sebum at around 25%. Obtained from olive oil, used for its rich and emollient skin moisturizing properties. Sugar cane, citrus fruits, apple fruit, and green tea extract Obtained from sugar cane, citrus fruits, apple fruit and green tea. A specialized extraction process is utilized to concentrate this mixed fruit acid complex which has been clinically proven to be an effective exfoliant mixture that is less irritating than comparable fruit acid blends. The anti-irritancy action is attributed to the green tea extract that allows one to formulate with higher, more aggressive concentrations of alpha hydroxy acids without the usual irritation associated with higher concentrations. The use of this blend of fruit acids has been demonstrated to stimulate cell renewal in tissue at a higher rate than glycolic acid and with less irritation. The resulting tissue showed improved texture accompanied by a reduction in dryness and fine lines/wrinkles.
Sulfur - A pharmaceutical grade sulfur of a 99.5% purity. Sulfur accelerates peeling of the skin and has a topically antiseptic action on the skin surface. Traditionally used for problem skins, sulfur works synergistically with other micro-exfoliant ingredients and is particularly suitable for skins prone to breakout and congestion.
Tea Tree Oil - Extracted from the plant, Melaleuca Alternifolia. Used for its antiseptic, analgesic and anti-bacterial properties; also aids in healing and soothing skin. Many of SPAGLO®'s formulas for acne-prone skin contain Tea Tree encapsulated in a polysaccharide capsule known as Cyclodextrin, a revolutionary system for treating acne-prone skin.
Thyme Oil - Extracted from the plant, Thymus vulgaris. Used for its antiseptic properties. THYME LEAVES (THYMUS VULGARIS) Habitat: Native to Southern Europe, widely cultivated in North America. Appearance: Perennial herb with woody stems and twigs that are velvety white. Flowers are lavender to white-pink in color. Odor: The variety of volatile oils (cymemes, terpenes, and terpineols among others) give it a characteristic pungent odor when broken or crushed. Functional Benefits: Thyme is an antiseptic rich in thymol. Besides extensive use as a kitchen herb and fragrance component, thyme is used in ointments and other OTCs to treat infections. It refreshes the skin and has excellent use in toners. It is also included in the formulations of toothpastes, soaps, creams and lotions.
Titanium Dioxide (Microcrystalline) - Up until now, only sunscreens based on organic ultra-violet light absorbers were available. Although effective, these chemical compounds are unsuitable for around the eye area, due to their irritant-potential. Microcrystalline Titanium Dioxide is a new inorganic natural material, which functions as a sunblock to both UVA and UVB rays.
Triclosan - An active broad spectrum antibacteriacidal agent that kills bacteria on the skin's surface. Shown to kill Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria associated with acne. Kills bacteria buy interfering with cell membrane function.
Vitamin A - Improves skin elasticity, moisture content and suppleness while reversing the signs of photo-aging. Skin deficient in this nutrient appears rough, unevenly-thickened and dry.
Vitamin A Palmitate - Known as "retinyl" palmitate. Reduces skin dryness and flaking, and aids healthy cell reproduction. Applied topically, it activates the epidermis and helps the skin cells of the stratum corneum bind together.
Vitamin B5 (Panthenol) - Often called the "beautifying" vitamin, Panthenol stimulates skin healing while providing deep moisturization.
Vitamin C - The most popular antioxidant, Vitamin C is a required component in the production of collagen, the tissue responsible for skin suppleness. Moreover, Vitamin C has been shown to help slow the production of hyperpigmentation ("age spots") while providing some UV protection.
Vitamin E - Vitamin E plays a crucial role in protecting skin cells and membranes from environmental damage. It also provides deep moisturization and calms inflammation.
Vitamin E Linoleate/Acetate - Known as "tocopherol" linoleate or acetate. Penetrates the stratum corneum and maintains moisture levels of the skin for long periods of time (16 to 24 hours). Accumulates in the epidermis and forms a barrier against moisture evaporation from the skin. An anti-oxidant, Vitamin E helps prevent free radical damage in the skin tissues.
Vitamin F - An essential fatty acid, this vitamin helps form the membranes that protect the skin cells, preventing the formation of dry, scaly skin.
Watercress Extract - Used for its antiseptic and decongestant qualities. Helps to eliminate impurities and eliminate congestion. An excellent purgative. Wheatgerm Oil Rich in Vitamin E, used for its antioxidant effects on free radicals in the skin. Nourishes and helps heal the skin.
Wild Oat (Avena Sativa) - Oat Seed is used to treat exhaustion and to stabilize the nervous system. It is described as a stimulating nerve tonic especially good for lethargic individuals.
Willow Bark - Extract Extracted from the white willow tree, Salix alba. One of the original sources of salicin, the chemical that led to the introduction of aspirin. An anti-inflammatory agent delivered to the skin cells in liposomes that enhance penetration through the epidermis. Causes a mild keratolytic effect making it an excellent ingredient for acne treatment products.
Witch Hazel - Extract of the hamamelis plant, collected in autumn. Has a natural alcohol content of 70% and is astringent, cooling and antiseptic.
Yeast Extract - Derived from yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), this extract comprised of a complex mixture of proteins, sugars and amino acids acts as an excellent humectant and may be instrumental in enhancing the rate of cell turnover in the skin. Because its properties are analogous to soluble collagen, it is often referred to as pseudocollagen. Recent studies indicate that extracts of yeast also aid in reducing hyperpigmentation by blocking melanin biosynthesis.
YARROW FLOWERS (ACHIFFEA MILLEFOLIUM)- Habitat: Grown commonly in meadows, pastures and by the roadside, not confined to region. Cultivated commercially and in the renowned gardens of Madiera. Appearance: Leaves have a feathery appearance. Plant is harvested when flowering; flowers are grayish-white or pink. Odor: Foliage is pungent, and both flowers and leaves have a bitter, astringent, pungent taste. Odor is so astringent it is known to cause nose bleeds, thus the name “nosebleed.” Functional Benefits: Cleansing, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties lend easily to various facial treatment products.
Ylang-Ylang Oil - Extracted from the fragrant white flowers of the plant, the oil is used for strongly cleansing and refining properties. Helps clear congestion and smooths the skin.
Zinc Oxide - An inert ingredient, it is often used to thicken lotions and creams.
It is used to protect, soothe, and heal the skin. It provides an excellent barrier to the sun and other irritants. It is somewhat astringent, antiseptic, and antibacterial. When used in sunscreen preparations, it can contribute to and/or increase SPF. It has UVA and UVB absorption characteristics. Zinc Oxide is obtained from zinc ore, a commonly found mineral.