Learn about the most commonly found ingredients in natural skincare, their key purposes and what they are used for. Co-written by Sabina, founder of Know To Glow
We have developed a very simple way for you to learn about each of the ingredients you may come across when reading the labels of natural skincare housed in the aevi online apothecary and also beyond.. If you like this let us know, we hope to build on this very soon so would love to hear your thoughts! xo
Consisting of polysaccharides, algae extracts aid in moisture retention, blood circulation and have antioxidant properties that all help with the skins elasticity. Algae extracts are excellent water-binding and thickening substances used in many beauty products.
Derived from the comfrey plant, it is used in healing products as it promotes skin restoration of acne and minor cuts. Found mostly in anti-blemish products and clarifying lotions.
Derived from almonds (of course!), its properties help to soothe and moisten the skin. Its high vitamin A content makes it also good for clogged pores and congested skin to gently get rid of build up.
The gel from this plant moisturises skin and makes a protective layer which helps speed up healing time of cuts, burns and irritation. Vitamin A, C, E along with amino acids, polysaccharides and minerals boost circulation and in turn stimulates skin cell renewal.
ANISE SEED EXTRACT
Used in saunas, this liquorice scented extract is found in natural hair and facial cleansers. It is used in saunas as it opens and detoxifies pores.
APRICOT KERNEL OIL
Used in face creams and body lotions as it has great soothing properties and is non greasy. The omega-6 content of this oil helps firm and tone the skin.
Contains antioxidants and mono saturated fatty acids such as oliec acid. Oleic acid is amazing at protecting the skin from free radicals and environmental stress that in turn cause signs of ageing.
Softens the skin and is rapidly absorbed without leaving a greasy residue. Packed with fatty acids, antioxidants and Vitamin E it effectively boosts the skins elasticity.
ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHAs)
Lactic, Malic, Citric, glycolic and pyruvic are acids that naturally occur in citrus fruits, sour milk and cane sugar. AHAs are used in cosmetics because they detach dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, allowing skin to be less congested, smoother and more even. AHAs also help with moisture retention.
Elevates mood as it has anti-depressant effects. like caffeine it stimulates blood circulation and stimulates the tightening of skin tissue. Its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antibiotic properties have been used for centuries to relieve sunburn, stretch marks and blemishes.
Derived from honey bees, beeswax has strong antiseptic and healing properties. In beauty products beeswax is used to enhance creamy textures and it also aids is softening the skin and retaining water.
Made from cold pressed rind of a cross breeding between lemon and orange tree it has strong antibiotic, antiseptic and anti-stress qualities. Its main use in skincare is to speed up healing of rashes, cuts and keeping them clear of bacteria.
BLUE CHAMOMILE / GERMAN CHAMOMILE
The anti-inflammatory properties of the chamomile leaves are used in skincare due to its calming effects. It is great for sensitive skin as it reduces redness and signs of broken capillaries.
Improves blood circulation and skin cell turnover which reduces redness and also firms the skin. Caffeine fights inflammation and is a great ingredient in acne treatment.
CARROT SEED OIL
Due to its carotenoid content- Beta carotene is a super antioxidant that stops the skin from premature ageing. Applied topically it reduces the effects of sun damage, pollution and smoking.
Derived from the cocoa bean this ingredient has essential fatty acids such as oleic, palmitic, steric acid that all aid in the neutralisation of free radicals. It keeps water content of the skin in place which keeps the skin plump and hydrated.
Containing essential fatty acids, when applied on the skin it prevents loss of moisture. It is also a natural anti-fungal and antibacterial. The high content of vitamin E helps prevent the wear and tear of the skin by stimulating cell turnover.
A famous antiseptic - used topically on minor wounds it speeds up the skins healing process. It also reduces keloid scarring and the appearance of stretch marks. It boosts hydration and is used in many beauty products made for sensitive skin.
Extracted from the nut of the Simmondsia chinensis shrub, it resembles the skins natural sebum so when used in cosmetics it is acts as a great natural conditioner and skin softener. A carrier oil in many beauty products, it calms and soothes the skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
A well known essential oil known for reducing emotional stress; in cosmetics it is used for its healing and antioxidant properties. It is a great ingredient for improving skin texture and reducing signs of ageing, acne and sun damage.
Used for its detoxifying properties, it rejuvenates skin and also balances the skins natural oil production - great for oily and combination skin.
A natural skin softener and calming ingredient used to speed up healing while reducing inflammation. Can be found in acne and rosacea treatments.
Used for many years for its healing properties, it softens chapped skin and acts as a natural antibacterial. Found in cosmetics for its soothing properties and also as a fragrance.
Vitamin E, polyphenols, phytosterols, are antioxidants found in olive oil that all prevent premature ageing and improve the skins elasticity. Comparable to jojoba oil, olive oil is very similar to the skins natural sebum which makes it easy for the skin to absorb.
ORANGE PEEL EXTRACT
In natural skincare this ingredient is used as a colorant and mild fragrance. Its high content of vitamin C helps reduce signs of aging.
PALMA ROSA EXTRACT
This essential oil is a strong bactericide which stops bacteria spreading around pimples and minor cuts. It aids in controlling the skins sebum production and therefore can be used by all skin types. Lastly it stimulates skin cell turn over that slows down the signs of premature ageing.
Found in bath and face products, it gently cleanses and moisturises the skin. Its high content of antioxidants such as beta carotene helps fight free radicals and produces vitamin A. Vitamin A speeds skin cell turn over and accelerates wound healing.
Used in skincare products for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Also used as a fragrance.
Found in body and facial cleansers due to its great skin renewal properties. It also stimulates circulation due to its cooling effect.
Found in hair care products for dry and damaged hair. It has a spongy and moisturising texture that has reparative properties. In skincare it is used for its antioxidant content as it is an excellent free radical fighter!
RED RASPBERRY EXTRACT
Absorbs UVA and UVB and therefore can be classed as a natural sunscreen. It is packed with antioxidants such as alpha lionelenic acid and phytosterols which calm psoriasis and eczema. Other antioxidant such as Vitamin E helps protect from oxidative stress and keep the skin soft and hydrated.
An ancient remedy and compound used for its many health benefits, resin has a high antioxidant and mineral content which regenerates skin cells, firms and improves skin tone. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used on dry skin, chapped lips, nails and the scalp. It is a natural germicide and disinfectant which is used to clean acneic skin.
Regularly used as a toner due to its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. It is a great ingredient to use during cleaning as it gently cleans the pores of build-up.
This ingredient is produced by bees and has numerous skin benefits. When applied topically it aids in rejuvenating the skin while keeping it soft and supple. It has a high content of amino acids, B vitamins and flavonoids that all contribute to collagen production and skin cell turn over.
ROSE HIP EXTRACT
Rich in vitamin C it stimulates collagen production while fighting off free radicals. It has essential fatty acids that help in strengthen the skin and keeping it nourished and hydrated.
Used in treating many different skin problems such as dryness to acne, rose geranium soothes and moisturises. Collagen and elastin production are enhanced which minimizes signs of aging.
A natural astringent, rosemary stimulates blood circulation while delivering nutrients and antioxidants to the skin. Used in hair-care products for people suffering from oily scalp as rosemary regulates sebum production.
A real multitasking ingredient! It has anti cancer properties, natural antibacterial, regulates sebum production, stimulates skin cell renewal, aids in the skins elasticity. It also regenerates skin cells and over time evens out skin texture and complexion.
With its hydrating properties it protects the skin from free radicals and strengthens the skins own ability to retain water. Used in anti-acne treatments due to its ability to dry out pimples without drying out surrounding skin cells.
Used to reduce keloid scarring and pigmentation, very nourishing leaves the skin soft and supple.
SEA BUCKTHORN OIL
Sea Buckthorn rapidly reduces inflammation and heals the skin of burns, cuts and rashes due to its high content in fatty acid omega 7 – Palmitoleic acid. This is a natural component of the skin and therefore it strengthens and nourishes the cells,
Thickens facial and body creams as its texture is very moisturising. It also reduces inflammation and removes toxins from the skin and body.
Derived from sesame seeds – it is full ofminerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper that all keep the strong and glowing. The linoleum acid content is a great anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent that helps combat sun damage and hormonal skin.
SLIPPERY ELM BARK
Used as a healing treatment for centuries, this ingredient takes down redness, inflammation and relieves painful acne and pimples. Because of its high flavonoid and vitamin E content, scarring is significantly reduced.
Menthol, carophyllene and myrcenen all act as antiseptic agents that help minor cuts and spots heal with minimal chance of infection.
Stearic acid is one of the many fatty acids that occurs naturally in various plants and animals, is a substance that allows a bar of soap, candle or hard candies retain their shape.
SUGAR CANE EXTRACT
Derived from sugar cane, usually made into glycolic acid, a - AHA connection, natural exfoliant which can brighten the skin and even out skin tone and minimise pigmentation
SUGAR MAPLE EXTRACT
Acts as a natural AHA, can be found in various cosmetics as an exfoliant which aids in cell repair and minimising effects of free radicals. It also regulates and tones down sebum production and can be found in cosmetics made for people prone to oily skin.
SWEET ALMOND OIL
Comes only from edible almonds - high vitamin A content, helps the skin cell turnover, which in turn is great for acne and acne scarring. High in vitamin E, and zinc which hydrates and protects the skin from oxidative damage.
SWEET ORANGE OIL
Derived from outer peel of orange – sweet orange oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, anticeptic- is added to many skincare products as it increases ability to absorb it c, strengthens collagen production and increases blood flow to the dermis. Limonene is a powerful antioxidant that is found in this oil and is great at combating free radicals and protecting the skin from oxidative stress.
A antifungal and antiseptic, it is mainly used in skincare products that reduce acne and over production of oil. It is great for the hair as it nourishes the scalp without leaving grease and is also used in anti-dandruff products. Also helps reduce keloid scarring and stretch marks.
TEA TREE OIL
Made from the Melaleuca Tree in Australia, is an active ingredient in many skincare products due to its natural antiseptic properties and anti-inflammatory abilities. It treats acne due to its antibacterial and anti fungal properties; unblocks sebaceous glands, drying out the pores of excess sebum and then disinfects the pore. Overall it strengthens the skin and promotes healthy cells.
This oil comes from the steam distillation of the plants roots, and its aroma is used widley in perfume, lotions, and cosmetics. The aroma is calming and balancing and also an antiseptic.
A fat soluble antioxidant and skin conditioner, it protects skin from environmental pollution, UV protection but is not classed as a sunscreen. Vitamin e protects fibroblasts in the skin - cells that produce collagen, which slows down the ageing process. In cosmetics vitamin E is used as a natural stabilizer/preservative due to its high antioxidant content.
BLACK WALNUT HULLS
Tannins in black walnut help tighten the skins dermis and relieve irritation. It is and antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial which can be found in cleansers for people with sensitive and reactive skin.
Packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids, it protects the skin from free radicals and premature aging. It softens the skin and has been found to relieve symptoms of psoriasis.
WILD LETTUCE LEAF
A great ingredient found in some natural after-sun products due to its ability to treat sunburned and rough skin. Can also be used as an antibacterial on minor wounds and pimples.
YLANG YLANG EXTRACT
Used in skincare as a cleansing agent because of its gentle decongestant properties. Ylang ylang also reduces redness and stimulates healthy sebum production.