Beauty with Health
There are some terms used in our website that you may not be familiar with. In this section, we have compiled a list of the phrases and provided an explanation for each of them.
If you have any questions or need advice then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Acid: A solution having a pH of less than seven
Active: An ingredient such as a vitamin or essential fatty acid with inherent properties that impart a specific benefit.
Airless Pump: A term used to denote the type of dispenser a cosmetic product comes in. Airless pumps are just that, they do not let air into the product and therefore sensitive ingredients do not oxidize or degrade. They are also great in that they help keep bacteria out of the product.
Alkali: A substance with a ph higher than 7. An Alkali can be used to neutralize an acid. Sodium hydroxide is an Alkali and is used to make soap.
Anti – aging: Addresses how to prevent, slow, or reverse the effects of aging and help people live longer, healthier, happier lives.
Antioxidant: A term for a large group of ingredients that work to reduce environmental stress (like exposure to sunlight, pollution, herbicides, etc.) on skin. Antioxidants very useful active ingredients for the manufacturing of cosmetics. They interrupt oxidation reactions and prevent the effects of oxygen radicals (e.g. peroxides) both processes known to damage the integrity and function of various natural substances. Antioxidants are useful to prevent degradation of natural ingredients (proteins, sugars, lipids) in the cosmetic product and to protect the skin cells from being damaged and slow down the aging process. In addition, they promote stimulation of new collagen growth. Antioxidants have been shown to boost the skin’s radiance, minimize age spots, sun spots, and fine lines.
Anti-caking: A material that prevents powdered products from clumping into hard masses, or cracked pieces.
Antiperspirants: Prevent odor and reduce sweat produced sweat glands. Antiperspirants – classified as drugs by the FDA – are typically applied to the underarms and attempt to stop or significantly reduce perspiration and thus reduce the moist climate in which bacteria thrive. Aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, and aluminum zirconium compounds are the most widely used antiperspirants. Aluminium-based complexes react with the electrolytes in the sweat to form a gel plug in the duct of the sweat gland. The plugs prevent the gland from excreting liquid and are removed over time by the natural sloughing of the skin. Antiperspirants are often combined with deodorants which only reduce body odor but do not inhibit sweat.
Anti-Pollution: Anti-Pollution are formulations that protect the skin against external aggressors.
Astringent: An astringent, as part of the facial cleansing system, is commonly known as toner, and it controls oily skin and lowers the pH of the face after cleansing. Basically, it draws tissues together. It is often used in facial preparations.
Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is the use of essential plant oils (Essential Oils) or aromatic compounds from plants for the purpose of affecting a person’s mood or health.
Aromatic: Having a strong scent or fragrance.
Binder: An ingredient (such as glycerin) that holds the product together.
Botanical: Ingredients derived from plants. This may not mean that the product is natural or organic.
Carrier Oil: A vegetable or nut base oil used to dilute essential oils before applying to the skin.
Chelating Agent: A substance that affects the stability or appearance of cosmetics by preventing chemicals from binding to trace elements that may be present. Chelators also boost preservatives.
Cold Pressed:All our oils are ‘cold pressed’ which describes the extraction process, under mechanical pressure at low temperatures, used to get the oil out of the nut, seed or hip. It is one of the best extraction methods, allowing the oils to retain as many of the key beneficial components as possible. No solvents are used and the purity of the oil is maintained.
Cold Processed Soap: Considered the most natural soapmaking process, in which the oils and lye are mixed at about the same temperature to what is called a Trace. Typically Soapmakers work with temperatures from 85° F to 100° F. When Lye (Sodium Hydroxide, Caustic Soda) is introduced into the heated oils, a process called saponification is started. The mixture is then poured into molds, covered and allowed to complete its natural process. This can take overnight to a couple of days. The soap will go through what is called a “gel stage” where the opaque soap will turn somewhat translucent and then turn back opaque again. The oils are converted to soap and glycerin.
After the soap is setup and is somewhat solid, it is de-molded, cut into bars and allowed to cure. This is where the soap will harden and lose its excess water, generally about two weeks to a month. Curing time depends on formula, method of drying and the environment in which it is placed to cure.
Colorant: An ingredient that gives the product its color. (Syn: Color agent)
Carboxylic acid: A compound containing a carbon atom chemically bonded to two oxygen atoms.
Continuous process: A method of manufacturing soap which involves removing glycerin during the reaction between fats and oils and caustic soda.
Conditioners: Conditioners are special surfactants (quaternary ammonium compounds) carrying positive electrical charges, thereby neutralizing the negative charges of the hair that occur especially on areas where there is weathering. The effect is a reduction of static electricity on the hair and the ‘fly away’ associated with it. Not only does this improve the shine and luster of the hair, the change in the hair surface enhances the depth and life of the hair color too. Conditioners also improve detangling and combing the hair, both wet and dry. Proteins in conditioners are able to repair damaged or permed hair by refilling shed cuticle scales.
Elastin: Elastin is used in cosmetics to protect the skin from getting dry.
Emollients: Emollients include a large variety of compounds with softening and smoothing properties. As compared to plant oils, specialty emollients are resistant to oxidation and can therefore not spoil and need no antioxidants for preservation. In addition, most specialty emollients show very good spreadability on the skin and provide a satiny, smooth and non-greasy feel to the skin.
Emulsifier: Chemical which has both water soluble and oil soluble portions and is capable of forming nearly homogenous mixtures of typically incompatible materials such as oil and water. It helps to create a stable product by keeping other materials in the product together (i.e. not separated).
Essential Oils: Concentrated liquids containing aroma compounds from a specific plant. Generally extracted by distillation, they are used in perfumes and cosmetics for their fragrance and treatment properties. They can also act as natural preservatives.
Exfoliants: Exfoliants (or abrasives) are compounds able to slough away the top layer of dead epidermis cells of the skin, thereby leaving the skin appear smoother, fresher and less wrinkled (peelings). The result of exfoliation is to promote blood circulation in the skin and to increase the turnover of surface skin cells. Exfoliation can be achieved either mechanically by scrubbing the skin with cleansers containing small, hard particles (scrubs) or also chemically by applying cleansers containing active ingredients with a peeling effect (e.g. alpha-hydroxy acids, beta-hydroxy acids and others).
Fats: Consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. Fats may be either solid or liquid at normal room temperature.
Fatty acid: A carboxylic acid which is attached to a chain of at least eight carbon atoms.
Fair Trade: This means that a community gets paid a fair market price for the commodity or product that they produce and are not subjected to exploitation by intermediaries.
First cold pressed means “that the fruit of the olive was crushed exactly one time-i.e., the first press. The cold refers to the temperature range of the fruit at the time it is crushed.” Furthermore, there is no “second” press of virgin oil, so the term “first press” means only that the oil was produced in a press vs. other possible methods.
Flavor: An ingredient that imparts flavor.
Formula: A list of ingredients in measured proportions. It can be expressed by volume, weight or percentages. The best way to write a formula is by percentage. This allows the use of any form of measurement and any total amount.
Fragrance: An essential oil, blend of oils or constituent extracted from a plant for the purpose of providing a scent.
Full-boiled process: A method of manufacturing soap which involves boiling fats and oils with caustic soda.
Herb: A plant having aromatic qualities. Used as a seasoning and in medicine, it does not produce woody tissue and usually dies back at the end of the growing season.
Humectants: Humectants (or moisturizers) are important cosmetic ingredients allowing to prevent loss of moisture thereby retaining the skin’s natural moisture. Some compounds also have the ability to actively attract moisture. Humectants are key ingredients in most skin care products but are also often used in hair care products to volumize the hair by attracting moisture which expands the hair shaft. There is a large variety of very different compounds providing moisturzing effects including proteins, acids, polysaccharides, and various small molecules (e.g. glycerine, sorbitol, urea, aloe vera etc.).
Hydrate: When you hydrate skin, you add moisture to it.
Hypoallergenic: Little likelihood of causing an allergic reaction.
Ingredient: A substance used in the preparation of a cosmetic product that is still present in the final commercial product.
Irritant: Something that causes irritation or inflammation of the skin.
Lather: The highly desirous, bubbling ability of a soap, when rubbed in the presence of water. Often an elusive quality in handmade soap, lather can be increased by adding long chain carboxylic acids such as coconut oil.
Liquid Castile Soap: Liquid castile soap is often used alone or as in ingredient in hand washes, shower cleaners, exfoliating scrubs and other formulations. It is traditionally made using olive oil and may include other vegetable oils that have been saponified (processed into soap). Liquid Castile Soap also includes water and may include other ingredients including natural or synthetic aromatics.
Micelle: Particle formed when the molecules of an emulsifier surround oil droplets allowing them to be dispersed in water.
Moisturizer: A mixture of ingredients formulated to increase hydration. An emollient adds moisture to the skin. A humectant draws moisture to the skin’s surface. An occlusive slows the process of moisture loss.
Natural Source: Obtained or derived from a natural source such as that from a botanical base.
Non-GMO: Not containing any genetically modified substances.
Natural Botanicals: The use of plant extracts and herbs have their origins in ancient times, with the earliest records originating from China and Egypt. With the therapeutic properties of plants becoming more known, cosmetics are including many plant extracts, herbs, flowers, fruits and seed oleates into their ingredients, allowing for a gentler, more organic approach to beauty. Natural botanicals have the ability to detoxify, hydrate, strengthen, stimulate, relax and balance the skin and hair.
Natural Butters: There are several kinds of natural (vegetable) butters which are extracted from various plants, trees, roots, or seeds. They all consist of solid or semi-solid fat oils (i.e. they remain solid at room temperature) making them excellent emollients, softeners and protecting agents. Their composition of oils, fatty acids and active ingredients, however, is quite different so that each butter additionally has different properties as, for example, anti-inflammatory, soothing, moisturizing or antioxidant activities.
Natural Oils: Natural oils are vegetable oils consist of a ethereal salts of glycerin with a large number of organic acids such as stearic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid forming stearin, olein and palmitin, respectively. Stearin and palmitin prevail in the solid olis and fats, while olein is dominant in the liquid oils. Natural oils are excellent emollients leaving the skin soft and smooth. While penetrating the skin many oils have also effective nourishing and revitalizing effects. Natural oils are used in a wide variety of cosmetic products including personal care as well as makeup products.
Natural Waxes: Waxes are complex mixtures of alcohols, fatty acids and esters. They are harder, less greasy and more brittle than fats, and are very resistant to moisture, oxidation and microbial degradation. Waxes very useful cosmetic ingredients based on their various advantageous properties. Generally, waxes have protecting, film-forming, emollient and thickening effects. They provide stability of cosmetic products and enhance their viscosity and consistency.
Organic: This term describes the method used to produce a substance in a way that does not require chemicals and does not impact negatively on the environment. For skincare, it also means minimum synthetic ingredients, minimum processing of ingredients and clear labelling, all of which we subscribe to. We choose organic ingredients where they are available and accessible.
Oil: Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature.
Parabens: Parabens occur naturally in certain plants as a protection system for the plant. In cosmetics, these are used to preserve a product; to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. The ones used in common skincare products are synthetic (man – made from chemicals) as it is a much cheaper way to produce them. They ensure a long shelf life in cosmetics by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, yeast, and mold in beauty products. There is a great deal of research which suggests a link between synthetic parabens and health issues and, for those reasons we choose to leave them out of our products.
Petrochemicals: Chemical products made from raw materials of petroleum that are commonly used in beauty products – particularly in lip balm and gloss.
pH: Scale to measure the acidity or alkalinity of a chemical typically dissolved in water. The measurement scale goes from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline or very basic), with pH of 7 representing neutral.
Phtalates: A substance added to plastic to increase its flexibility. Phtalates can be found in a vast range of products from furnishings to liquid soap and there is much concern about exposure to this chemical and its links to asthma, endochrine disruption and cancer. Again, this substance is not used in any of our products.
Preservative: A material that stops bacteria, yeast, and/or mold from growing in the product.
Rancidity:Caused by the oxidation of fatty acids. Chemically, an oxygen ion is replaced with a hydrogen ion causing destabilisation of the molecule. Saturated fats are less susceptible to oxidation hence carrier oils/vegetable oils containing saturated faty acids tend to have longer shelf lives than oils with unsaturated fatty acids. Oxidation can be slowed by a number of means: storing in air-tight containers; storing at lower temperatures (sometimes even freezing is suitable for certain oils), or by mixing with other oils high in anti-oxidants.
Rancidity: Caused by the oxidation of fatty acids. Chemically, an oxygen ion is replaced with a hydrogen ion causing destabilisation of the molecule. Saturated fats are less susceptible to oxidation hence carrier oils/vegetable oils containing saturated faty acids tend to have longer shelf lives than oils with unsaturated fatty acids. Oxidation can be slowed by a number of means: storing in air-tight containers; storing at lower temperatures (sometimes even freezing is suitable for certain oils), or by mixing with other oils high in anti-oxidants.
Recipe: A list of ingredients in exact quantities with directions for preparing and making soap or other skin care products. This is also called a formula or formulation.
Saponification: A chemical reaction involving the breakdown of triglycerides to component fatty acids, and the conversion of these acids to soap.
SLS: An abbreviation of Sodium Laureath Sulphate, sometimes called SLES (sodium lauryl ether sulphate) it is usually made from palm oil and used extensively in skincare products as a foaming agent. There is a lot of evidence which suggests that it can be a skin irritant and could cause cosmetic dermatitis.
SPF: SPF is an acronym for sun protection factor. Sunscreen products have an SPF; the higher the SPF, the more protection you get from sunburn.
Solvent: A term to describe a large group of ingredients, including water, used for the purposes of dissolving, extracting, or suspending materials, usually without altering the make up of the other chemicals.
Soluble: Dissolvable in liquid, as in water, oil or alcohol soluble.
Sulfate: A surfactant used as a cleaning agent to remove oil and stains. Sulfates are harmful to marine life. And they can cause allergic reactions, dry skin and hair and can irritate eyes. Most companies are removing sulfates from their formulation.
Superfatted: The addition of extra oils or butters that remain unsaponified within the finished soap. These excess oils and butters contribute to the moisturizing properties of the soap.
Surfactant: A shortened term for surface active agent. Surfactants are chemicals that reduce the surface tension at the interface between the oil and water molecules, and can have many different functions in cosmetics. They create lather, cleanse and condition.
Synthetic: Something that is artificially produced and not of natural origin.
Synthetic Dye: Man-made chemicals that are used to give color.
Synthetic Fragrance: Man-made molecules that either mimic or help stabilize a natural scent.
Thickener: A material that increases viscosity (thickness) for liquid products often used to make a product creamier.They are used very often in various cosmetic products. They enhance the consistency, volume and viscosity of cosmetic products, thereby providing more stability and better performance. While some thickeners have also emulsifying or gelling properties, the majority of thickeners have the ability to retain water on the skin and act therefore as moisturizers.
Therapeutic: a substance that is known to have or appears to have curative or healing properties.
Triglycerides: A molecule containing three fatty acids chemically bonded to a glycol molecule.
Treatment: Care by procedures or applications that are intended to relieve illness or injury.