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Obtained from pine rosin. Used as a texturizer in soaps.
The most frequently used are calcium carbonate (chalk) and, in toothpaste, di-calcium phosphate dihydrate.
Pure essential oils acquired from plants (mostly flowers) and used in products as natural fragrance additives.
Acid found in vinegar, some fruits, and human sweat. Used in hair dyes and hand lotions, and in lotions for bleaching freckles. Skin irritant and toxic to lungs.
Colorless , flammable liquid. Used in nail polish, nail polish removers. It is excessively toxic.
Extremely useful for eliminating soap films from the hair after shampooing. A mixture of vinegar or lemon juice and water is a common one.
Aging of Skin
Although aging of skin is said to be a natural process, some of the effects are not very genuine.
Dry and wrinkled skin is caused by affliction in the skin's dermal proteins (collagen, elastin and reticulin), but natural skin care can lessen this. Sun exposure is a major factor in the appearance of aging.
Type of protein found in blood, egg whites, milk, fruits and vegetables.
A group of compounds that includes ethanol, methanol, and others.
Groups of synthetic fatty acids designated as DEA, MEA, MIPA, and PEG. Used for thickening, gelling, emulsifying, emolliency, skin and hair conditioning, foam boosting, foam stabilizing, wetting, opacifying, lubricating, powder binding, skin protecting, fungicidal properties, and superfatting. Found in shampoos, bubble baths, and liquid hand and body cleansers. Harmful when contaminated by nitrosamines, and harmful to the environment
Reported to have healing , soothing and anti-irritating properties. Extracted from urea, which is derived from the urine of most animals, and from herbs like comfrey or uva ursi.
Alpha hydroxy acids
Group of acids that appear naturally in fruit. Used in toners, creams, and masks to exfoliate and moisturize the skin. Can be a skin irritant causing redness and rashes.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Derived from natural coconut alcohols. Acts as a mild clenser.
Substances that slow the breakdown of nutrients and counteract the destructive effect of free radicals (chemically) reactive compounds) in the body. There are several types which include vitamins A, E, C complex, and B complex, the minerals selenium and zinc, and the synthetic compounds BHT and BHA. Vitamins A, C, and E as well as BHA, and BHT are used as preserving agents in cosmetics.
The art of using the essential (odor producing) oils from roots, barks, and herbs for treating the skin and body.
Acid occuring naturally in many fruits also known as vitamin C. Used as a preservative in food and cosmetics. Nontoxic and not a skin irritant.
A natural substance that is prominent in pantothenic acid. European research suggests it may be beneficial in fighting the effects of radiation exposure. It is not however, particularly valuable as a topical.
BHA (butylatedhydroxyanisole) and
Synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives.
The learning of the chemical compounds workings that occur in living plants and animals.
It is one of the B vitamins that assists in dermatitis and hair loss
This common term refers to salts describable to boric oxide or orthoboric acid.
Also known as acidum boricum. Used widely as an eyewash. Odorless, white, crystalline powder. It can be used around windows and doors as a bug repellent. Should not be used in baby cosmetics or baby powder. It is poisonous at doses 1-3g for babies, 5g for children and 15-20g for adults.
Any substance acquired from plants which has medicinal or similar uses.
Toxic alcohol. It is used in fabric softeners and detergents. It is also used in face creams, shampoos, hair dressings, mascara and bath oils. It is a white crystalline powder, it can cause skin irritation at concentrations of .25%.
A toxic solvent used in nail polish and many other products.
A artificial chemical is found in face creams and other facial care products.
A pink powder that is made of zinc oxide with a small amount of ferric oxide. It is used in lotions, ointments, and liniments. It is a customary mixture that is soothing and healing to the skin. It is great for itchy rashes such as poison ivy. It is natural but some formulas contain phenol which can cause poisoning when applied to the skin. A blend of natural calamine and aloe vera is a good pure skin treatment for burns, rashes and insect bites.
Nontoxic. It is used in many foods for binding. Also used as a film-former in peel-off masks. It is a stabilizer for oil-in-water emulsions.
Natural occurring salt that is found in limestone, chalk, and marble. It is used as a pigment and for pigment prolonging. It has no known toxicity.
Customarily used in road salt and antifreeze. It is used in cosmetics as an emulsifier and texturizer. If taken internally, it can cause constipation and stomach problems. It can also cause lung difficulties if inhaled during manufacturing or processing. It's toxicity in cosmetics is unknown..
A herbal wax. It is used in lipsticks, in creams and as a replacement for rubber.
An oil from the pepper family that is used in hair tonics to arouse the scalp. It is said to upgrade hair growth. It may however cause allergic reactions in some people.
A concentrated solution of heated sugar or glucose. It is used in cosmetics as a color, in skin lotions as a soothing agent. In 1981 the FDA ruled caramel generally recognized as safe.
Used in many cosmetics and toothpastes as a thickener. It can cause eye irritation.
Natural red color comes from the dried female cochineal beetle. It is sometimes used to color lip gloss, lipsticks and other cosmetics.
Develops in plants and in the bodies of plant-eating animals. They are precursors to vitamin A.
Used as an antimicrobial in shampoos and bath lotions at concentrations of up to .3%. Humans have had allergic reactions to a .1% water solution of it within 24, 48, or 72 hours of use. CA 24 contains 70% chloroacetamide and 30% sodium benzoate.
The fiber in the cell walls of all plants. Gum that is made from it is used as an emulsifier, stabilizer and binder in cosmetics. There is no known toxicity. Inhaling the powder during manufacturing or processing can be harmful to the lungs.
A color "certified" by the FDA as safe. However, various colors (coal tar dyes) have been found to cause cancer. But, hair dyes are exempt from even this regulation.
Used in cosmetics as an emulsifier and lotion. Dries out the skin and causes numerous allergic reactions.
May be natural or artificial. It's used in most lotions. A thickener and carrying agent for other ingredients.
Used as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener, and carrying agent for other ingredients. Can be derived naturally as in coconut fatty alcohol or synthetically.
Cetyl lactate, myristate, palmitate, and stearate
Natural or synthetic compounds used as emollients and texturizers in cosmetics.
Used as a flavoring agent in foods and pharmaceuticals, and as preservative, acid, sequestrate. Foam-stabilizer and pH-adjuster in cosmetics. It is nontoxic.
Cocoamide DEA, MEA, and MIPA
Artificial substance frequently referred to as a natural substance made "from coconuts" on the labels of shampoos. It's a secondary surfactant, used in combination with other, stronger surfactants.
70% of the body's connective tissue in the dermis is made of collagen. Gerontologists have discovered that is where the aging process of the skin takes place. Young connective tissue is made up of soluble collagen whose molecules are disordered in relation to each other.
As the skin ages, and is exposed to sunlight, chemicals (like makeup. coal tar dyes, etc.) and various foods, the soluble collagen becomes "cross-linked," so the molecules are no longer displaced in relation to each other. Cross-linking makes the collagen insoluble and inflexible. As this happens, the connective and becomes strained, dry, wrinkled and worn.
A preservative used in shampoos and deodorants. Contains formaldehyde and N-acetal. Highly toxic. Also listed as DMDM hydantoin.
This abbreviation preceding the name of a color, means that the FDA has certified it as safe for use in drugs and cosmetics, but not in food. D&C means that the color can only be used externally, and not around the eyes or inside the mouth. D&C colors are usually man-made.
A product that reduces perspiration odor. There are natural deodorants containing herbs like marigold and vitamin E. Deodorants do not stop perspiration.
Destroy hair by breaking the chemical bonds that hold it together. After using any hair removal method, a moisturizer should be applied to soothe the skin.
These artificial soaps may be made with a variety of chemicals, and are frequently not biodegradable.
More commonly known by its abbreviation, DEA. One of many artificial detergents. It may be contaminated with nitrosamines and should be avoided.
Gives a smooth feel to a cosmetic cream or lotion. Various allergic reactions and internal problems make them questionable as cosmetic ingredients. Although they're still widely used, they should be avoided. Many herbal oils, such as vegetable glycerin, can easily replace this chemical.
See Dantoin 685.
According to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (as amended), a drug is:
a. articles recognized in the United States Pharmacopoeia, the
official National Formulary, or any supplement to any of them
b. articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease in human beings or other animals
c. articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of human beings or other animals
An artificial chemical that's used as an antioxidant and as a "complexing" agent in shampoos-which means that it binds metallic irons so that the surfactants can work more effectively.
Prevent water loss, and have a softening and soothing effect on the skin. They can be natural, like almond oil, or manufactured, like mineral oil.
Essential Fatty Acids
Sometimes known as vitamin F, these substances can't be manufactured by the body and must be consumed in the diet. There are three types-linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic.
The primary fatty acids fulfill many functions in our bodies. They lubricate, aid in the transportation of oxygen to the cells, help thicken the blood.
Oily liquids obtained from plants. Complex mixtures of alcohols, ketones, phenols, acids, ethers, aldehydes, esters, oxides and sulfur compounds (among others). They're also called volatile oils, ethereal oils, essences or absolutes.
Ethanol (or ethyl alcohol)
Colorless, vaporizable liquid. Has a burning taste. Well-known to most of us as the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages. Commonly called simply "alcohol," although there are many other kinds of alcohols.
Ethanol is widely used in cosmetics as a solvent and as an antibacterial agent. As a preservative, it's effective at concentrations of 15% to 20%. It's a antitoxin in concentrations of 60% to 70%, with a bactericidal effect within 45 seconds. It's also used in acne treatments and in rinses for oily hair.
Ethanol absorbs water and thus can be very drying in fast-drying skin lotions (at concentrations of 15%); the lotions need to include glycerols and vegetable oils to minimize the drying effect.
Provokes a late allergic reaction in some people when used topically. Taken orally, ethanol is toxic in doses above 80g.
Ethanol is often purposely made poisonous by the addition of methanol and it is then known as SDA (specially denatured alcohol).
Compound made from acetic acid and ethyl alcohol used as a solvent and in nail polish and nail polish removers. May irritate skin.
When followed by a color, means that the FDA has certified it as safe for use only in drugs and in cosmetics used externally and not around the eyes or inside the mouth. It is not safe for foods.
Acquired from animal fat, oil seeds or fruit pulp. They are used as lotion or salve in cosmetics. They can be solid, semisolid, or liquid.
Organic oils found in vegetable and animal fats. Excellent skin emollients and an important part of the diet.
Thick to semi-thick syrup-like liquids. Give high emolliency. Can be natural or man-made. Sometimes used in hair and skin-conditioners. creams, lotions, and conditioning shampoos.
The Food and Drug Administration. The federal agency responsible for managing the safety and strength of all foods and drugs, and cosmetics sold in the US.
When preceded by the name of a color, the Food and Drug Administration has certified the coloring safe for use in food, drugs, and cosmetics.
Fluoride is toxic. It is however used in toothpaste as an antienzyme ingredient to slow down tooth decay. They are added to the water supply in some states and sites.
Colorless, harsh, irritating substance that is found in many preservatives. It is severely toxic when inhaled or swallowed. 44% of all people whose skin is exposed to it get an irritating reaction.
It is used in shampoos at concentrations of .1% to .2%. Methanol is sometimes added to formaldehyde at a 15% concentration to prevent polymerization.
Found in various fruits and herbs. They are used in masks and moisturizers for their ability to moisturize and exfoliate the skin. Fruit acids are used in concentrations as low as .25% and as high as 8%. The higher concentrations increase the "heat" of the product and the peeling action. It can also cause skin irritation in some people.
A fatty acid. Found in evening primrose oil, black currant seeds, borage oil and mother's milk.
Refined protein from animal origin. Used as a thickener and film-forming agent.
A polyethylene glycol ether of glycerin is a artificial form of glycerin.
Glycerin, Glycerine, Glycerol
Sweet, syrupy alcohol that can be produced artificially from propylene alcohol or naturally derived from vegetable oils. Used in cosmetics for thousands of years as a solvent, plasticizer, humectant, emollient, and lubricant
Glyceryl coconate, dilaurate, erucate,
hydroxystearate, monostearate, myristate, oleate, ricinoleate,
sesquioleate, stearate, trimyristate, etc.
Largely artificial chemicals with a drop or two of some natural fatty acid . Used as a texturizer in pasta products and as a opacifying agent in shampoos, lotions and creams.
Used as a skin care treatment in exfoliation creams and masks. It may irritate mucous membranes and cause allergic reactions.
Polysaccharides of high molecular weight that are scattered in water. They are incomparable to manufactured polymers like the PVP/PVA copolymers. Some of the gums used as hair setting products. Natural thickeners are acacia, tragacanth, quince seed and locust bean.
Particularly used in medicine, cosmetics, or foods. A plant without woody tissue that withers and dies after flowering.
Artificial chemical that is used to replace the phenolic compounds that are used in sunscreens.
Used to retain moisture. Using a natural humectant in a cosmetic product helps speed moiturization to the skin.
As a noun, this means a compound formed by the union of water with another substance. As a verb, it means to supply water to something that absorbs it.
A hormone from the adrenal gland. Synthesized for medical use, particularly for application to inflamed skin. It can adversely affect the skin by damaging the collagen of the connective tissues.
Hydrolyzed Animal Protein
Appears in many shampoos. Improves hair, repairs spilt ends and gives luster to the hair.
Cosmetic ingredient that will attract moisture to the skin.
Artificial polymer is used as an emulsifier and plasticizer.
Commonly used cosmetic preservative. Can cause contact dermatitis.
Experiments carried out in an artificial environment, outside of living organisms.
Within a living organisms, as opposed to in vitro.
Nonmetallic element. Occurs in seawater and in plants and animals that grow in the sea. When applied topically, it has antiseptic benefits.
Compounds of iron that are used as colorings in some cosmetics. Also known as jewelers' rouge, or rust.
Artificial fatty alcohol. Used as an antiseptic, a solvent, a rubbing alcohol and as a source for acetone..
Isopropyl Lanolate, Laurate, Oleate, Palmitate,
stearate and Isostearate
These esters of isopropyl alcohol and various fatty acids.
This synthetic chemical, and to reduce the greasy feel caused by the high oil content of other ingredients.
Jojoba Butter and Oil
A sun care lotion which protects from UV sun rays.
Used in manufacturing high-grade porcelain, paper, paint, cloth, soaps and many powdered and covering cosmetics. It's also used for it's dehydrating and astringent effect. It's known as China Clay.
This insoluble albumoid (fiber protein) can be found in horny tissues like the hair and nails. High in sulfur, it's quite strong, but it is subject to chemical penetration.
These odorous substances, used in nail polish removers, are toxic.
The Cosmetic Labeling Act ( Fair packaging and labeling act ) marked a major step in helping consumers become aware of what they put into their hair and rub onto their faces. Passed April 14, 1977, it requires that ingredients be listed, in descending order of concentration, on the labels of most cosmetics. Soap, however, excluded, and flavors, fragrances and trade secrets don't have to be listed specifically.
Naturally occurs in products made by bacterial fermentation. Produces pH levels like those of the hair and skin. It also helps moistures the skin naturally.
These solid forms of dyes are made by mixing liquid dye with an insoluble powder like aluminum oxide. They may be natural, but they're usually manufactured and are made from coal tar.
This yellow, semisolid, fatty discharge from sheep's wool is used as an emulsifier, a base and an ointment. There have been some reports of allergic reactions.
This white, waxy, nonionic, artificial chemical is used in shampoos, bubble baths and detergents as a surfactant and foam-builder. It may be mildly irritating to the skin.
This fatty alcohol, often derived from coconut oil, is used to make anionic surfactants. It may be natural or man-made.
Used as an emulsifier and surfactant. High in the B vitamins choline and inositol. It's found in egg yolk and manufactured from soy oil.
Essential fatty acid, found in cold pressed oils, used as an emulsifier in cosmetics.
These materials are soluble in alcohol (and other solvents) but not in water. Include fatty acids, fats, waxes, fixed oils, phosphatides, cerebrosides and sometimes steroids and carotenoids. Along with proteins and carbohydrates, lipids constitute the structure of cells. When used on the skin, they have a moisturizing and cream action.
Microscopic sacs obtained from natural or synthetic sources. Because these can easily penetrate the skin, in lotions and creams liposomes are used to deliver substances, contained within the sac, to internal skin layers.
Magnesium aluminum silicate
Flaky white solid. Used as an filler, and thickener in cosmetics. Especially used in antiperspirants, creams, and shaving creams.
Used as a filler in cosmetics.
Monoethanolamine, see alkyloamides.
Derived from peppermint. Has soothing properties if used in concentrations of 1% or less.
Artificial chemical used as an aromatic and solvent. It can cause dryness.
Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)
Flammable, colorless liquid. Primarily used as a solvent. Skin irritant.
Somewhat shiny silicate minerals. Split into very thin sheets. Used in eye cosmetics to provide sparkle.
A liquid mixture of hydrocarbons gathered from petroleum.
When externally used on the hair or skin raises the moisture content.
Liquid amino alcohol that is used as an humectant and emulsifier in cosmetics.
Nail polish remover
Highly flammable. Can dissolve many plastics. It can be fatal if swallowed. The conditioning ingredients do little to mitigate acetone's strongly drying and degreasing effects.
Flammable man-made substance. Used as an emulsifier and protective film in cosmetics, especially nail polish.
Carcinogenic compounds formed from secondary amines (nitosating agents) and nitrous acid. Typical nitrosating agents used in cosmetic formulations are DEA, MEA, and TEA.
Fatty acid that is a common constituent of many animals and vegetables. It is a common cosmetic ingredient.
Oleth-2 through Oleth-50
These polyethylene glycol ethers of oleic alcohol are used as surfactants.
Fatty alcohol. Oily, unsaturated liquid found in fish oils. Is used to make surface-active agents.
Sunscreening agent derived from isopropanol.
Naturally occuring waxlike mineral. An emulsifier and thickening agent used in lipstick and cream rouge.
Used in baby oils, bath oils, eye creams, hair conditioners, and moisturizers. It can cause allergic reactions in some people.
White to yellowish fat. Used to make soaps, shampoos, ointments, and margarine.
Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
Found in Vitamin B complex. Used in sunscreen formulations and as an anesthetic in sunburn products. Can cause allergic reactions.
Toxic. Allergenic. Artificial chemicals. Used to preserve cosmetics. They are not effective with shampoos or with products that contain proteins.
Waxy, crystalline mixture. Used as a thickener for cosmetics.
Apply a small amount of cosmetic to your inner arm, cover it with a bandage and leave it for 24 hours, if you are concerned with allergic reactions.
Natural substance. Used in cosmetics as an emulsifier and thickener. Contains partially methoxylated polygalacturonic acids.
Artificial. Used as solvents, bases, carriers, emulsifiers and dispersants.
Natural or artificial. Composed of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. When peptide bonds in the hair are broken, the result is damaged hair.
Semisolid mixture. Obtained from petroleum.
These are preservatives widely used in many cosmetics and shampoo. Another name is paraben.
Clear. Viscous liquid. Use in cosmetics as an antioxidant, sequestrant and acidifier.
A cosmetic made mainly from vegetable sources.
An organ present in all mammals except marsupials and monotremes, unites the fetus to the mother and is expelled at birth. Bovine placenta liquid, obtained from cows is used in some cosmetics as a moisturizer.
Polymers, polymeric, polymerization
Used in cosmetics to keep sunscreens from washing off, in hair-setting products, and as binders in skin creams. Plastic fingernails are also produced by polymerization.
Fatty acid esters. Used in many cosmetics as emulsifiers. Polysorbates are assigned different numerical values according to their formulas and whether they're intended to be used in foods or cosmetics.
Commonly known as PVP. Used in hairspray and other cosmetics. Inhaled particles may cause problems in the lungs of sensitive people.
One of the most widely used ingredients in cosmetics. Most common moisture carrying vehicle other than water. Permeates skin better than glycerin, but causes more sensitivity reactions
A disease of the skin. Marked by crusty patches. They can be large or small and can cover the entire body, including the scalp. Believed to be hereditary. Result of a rapid abnormal growth of skin tissue. Is not curable. Can be controlled by using UV light. UV light slows down the reproduction of skin cells.
Quaternary ammonium salts
Used as water repellents, fungicides, emulsifiers, paper and fabric softeners, antistatic agents and corrosion inhibitors. Their use in cosmetics, especially in hair conditioners and creme rinses, came from the paper and fabric industries.
Toxic chemical. More effective against bacteria than against molds and yeast.
A derivative of Vitamin A.
The active ingredient in aspirin. Used in cosmetics as an antiseptic and preservative.
A fat. Usually of animal origin. Fatty acid chains can't accommodate any more hydrogen atoms become saturated.
Glands in the skin that open into hair follicles and from which sebum is secreted.
Natural compound. Mostly used as a thickener and emulsifier in foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Used in cosmetics as an antioxidant and preservative.
Artificial chemical that is used as a hair relaxer and a preservative.
Used in cosmetics as an emulsifier, preservative and detergent builder.
Used in cosmetics as a humectant and an alkalizer.
Crystalline salt. Used in cosmetics as a sequestrant and an alkalizer, and in foods as a buffering agent.
Sodium lauryl sulfate
Very popular ingredient. Used as a detergent, emulsifier and surfactant in over a thousand cosmetic products. This includes shampoos, toothpaste, lotions, and creams.
A chemical used in permanents as a hair relaxer. Is a primary irritant.
Pale yellow oil. Consists of mostly glycerides of linoleic, oleic, linolenic and plamitic acids. Used in cosmetics as an emollient.
Used almost universally in hair conditioners. It was originally developed by the textile industry for use as a fabric softener. It also has antistatic properties.
Used as lotions and emulsifiers.
Waxy. Crystalline. Fatty acid. Found in cocoa butter and other vegetable fats. It is mainly from tallow and other animal fats.
Artificial liquid. Made with sulfated oils. Used to make manufactured soaps and detergents. Harmful to marine life and the environment.
Trietholanolamine. Used in cosmetics as a pH adjuster, an emulsifier, a preservative, and in soap formulations. May be harmful when contaminated by nitrosamines.
Tea tree oil
Derived from the tree Melaleuca alternifolia. Used as an antiseptic and germicide. Also used for insect bites, skin problems, as a dentifrice, and mouthwash. Cosmetic applications are often dandruff shampoos, face masks, and topical creams.
Very popular shampoo ingredient. Used as synthetic detergent. A combination of triethanolamine and the salt of lauryl sulfuric acid.
Compounds capable of breaking down the protein bonds in hair. Used in permanent waves and depilatory agents. Toxic in small doses and can damage hair and skin.
White powder. Used as a pigment in eye makeup, sunscreens, and foundation makeup. It is also used as an opacifying agent, for its covering power, brilliance and reflectivity.
Used s a solvent in cosmetics, especially nail polish, and also dyes. It is used in pharmaceuticals and gasoline as a blending agent. It is toxic and narcotic in high concentrations.
Herbal gum. Used as a thickener in cosmetics and in hair care products as a hairspray or setting-lotion ingredient.
An antibacterial agent used in deodorant and deodorant soaps. Absorption through skin may cause liver damage.
Found in urine and other body fluids. Used medicinally as a diuretic and in cosmetics. Can cause an allergic reaction to those allergic to ammonia, and is an eye irritant.
Fat-soluble vitamin. Helps remedy rough and dry skin and has been used in the treatment of psoriasis. It has been used as a topical acne treatment. Some people are allergic to it. It has been used to treat aging skin. It can be obtained from fish liver oil, liver, carrots, green and yellow vegetables, eggs, milk, and dairy products, margarine and yellow fruits. It prevents vitamin C from being oxidized too quickly in the body. Normal dosages are harmless.
Can preserve cosmetics both in the water phase and in its fat-soluble form. It plays an important role in building collagen, the connective tissue that holds us together.
Fat-soluble vitamin essential for healthy bones, teeth , and the absorption of calcium. The body can produce its own vitamin D from sun exposure.
One of the most compelling natural, fat-soluble antioxidants in use- particularly when combined with vitamin C and vitamin A.
Wheat germ oil
Oil from the embryo of the wheat kernel that is high in vitamin E. Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics.
White powder used in skin ointments for ultraviolet protection and diaper rash treatment. Also used for its skin cleansing properties.
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[ 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 ]