faq

Ingredient Education

A

ACNE 

Pimples, spots, zits... Whatever name you choose to give them, the majority of us have had to deal with some type of acne at some point in our lives. When your pores become clogged with excess sebum, the perfect environment is formed for bacteria and consequential inflammation to grow to cause these annoying breakouts. The 6 official major types of acne are whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. The causes behind them are varied and can affect anyone of all ages. Some causes of acne include improper cleansing and exfoliation, diet, stress, and hormones. For a comprehensive guide on how to treat acne from the inside out, check out our acne blog. And if you really want to eliminate acne for good I highly recommend getting your hands on our official Acne Guide which goes in-depth on the holistic way to heal your skin from acne. 

AGING SKIN 

 Aging is an inevitable part of life and the main concerns and signs of aging are sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. As we age we begin to lose collagen which starts as early as our mid to late twenties. This loss of collagen means your skin will not bounce back as easily anymore and another factor that comes with aging is a decrease in oil production, which makes lines and wrinkles much more visible. Long hours of unprotected sun exposure, environmental stressors, and lifestyle factors can all affect how fast and how dramatically signs of aging appear. Our blog on red light therapy is a must-read if you are struggling with visible signs of aging and wish to reverse these changes. Sunscreen is crucial for preventing premature aging and we have curated the best mineral sunscreens in our blog. For the ultimate underrated ingredient that plays a huge role in antiaging, take a look at our recent blog. 

 ALOE LEAF JUICE (ALOE VERA) 

Derived from the leaf of the aloe plant, aloe leaf juice has anti-inflammatory properties and is packed with antioxidants, enzymes, and vitamins that leave the skin feeling soothed and hydrated. It’s a must-have ingredient for those who suffer from dry skin or problematic, sensitive skin. Find it in One Love Organics Botanical C body polish, One Love Organics Botanical D moisture mist, Earth Harbor Mermaid milk moisturizer, and Blübiome Hydrating Milk cleanser. 

 ALCOHOL 

 The two most common types of alcohol found in skin care products are stearyl alcohol and denatured alcohol. Stearyl alcohol is safe to use as it's a fatty acid that helps to protect the skin's natural oil barrier. The product you do not want to find in your product’s ingredient list is denatured alcohol, which is used to thin out creams but can cause dryness and irritate the skin. Find it in Graydon Face Glow Tinted Moisturizing Primer. 

 ALPHA HYDROXY ACID (AHA) 

Powerful acidic compounds can be both naturally occurring and synthetic. AHAs help to gently exfoliate the skin, but unlike other exfoliants that can be too abrasive on the skin, it removes dead skin cells without irritation. They help to fade hyperpigmentation and help to even out your skin tone. AHAs also prevent and treat acne, fade fine lines and wrinkles, boost collagen production, and give the skin a brighter appearance. Some examples of AHAs are glycolic, lactic, citric, tartaric, and hydroxy caprylic acids. Find them in Agent Nateur Holi (Bright) Resurface Glass Face Mask and Versine Gentle Actives Clarity Serum. 

AMINO ACIDS 

Peptides/amino acids are molecules that combine to form proteins. When used in supplement form they boost the production of collagen, improve the skin barrier, reduce wrinkles, and help to maintain the skin's microbiome. Some Peptides help to nourish and hydrate the skin. Essentially they are the ones responsible for maintaining the skin’s elasticity, and texture, and keeping the skin moisturized. Find them in Arcana Sulis Mineral Replenish Essence Botanical Face Mist and Bloomeffects Royal Tulip Nectar. APPLE AMINO ACIDS This ingredient is often found in certain face cleansers to give a gentle cleanse without over-drying your skin. It is similar to the amino acids you can find in apple juice. 

APPLE FRUIT EXTRACT 

Apples are rich in antioxidants and are amazing to incorporate not only in your diet but also offer the skin amazing benefits when infused in your skincare products. It protects your skin against external stressors, prevents premature signs of aging, and helps to strengthen the skin's barrier. You can find it in Odacité Green Smoothie Cucumber Apple Quenching Crème.

ANTIOXIDANT 

Antioxidants can be found in a vast variety of foods including berries, grapes, etc. To find a comprehensive list of the best foods to incorporate essential antioxidants into your diet, check out our blog here. Antioxidants are substances that help to protect the skin cells from damage caused by certain environmental factors. They play a major role in helping to reduce the damage of free radicals. They also aid in reducing the effects of aging on the skin, promote a brighter and more even complexion, fade fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate the skin, and reduce inflammation. You can find it in Versine Gentle Actives Clarity Serum, Odacité All-Embracing Serum Watermelon + Hibiscus, and One Love Organics Gardenia + Tea Antioxidant Body Serum. In supplements, you can find them in Anima Mundi Moringa and Mukti Bioactive Marine Collagen Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid. 

 AVOBENZONE 

A type of chemical used in sunscreen that absorbs UVA rays. Chemical sunscreen is unstable and breaks down over time, therefore it requires penetration enhancers, preservatives, and an array of other chemicals to protect the formulation. They also require more frequent application, which means a higher toxic load on the body, increasing susceptibility to photo-allergies and contact dermatitis, with long-term use. We are strongly against the use of chemical sunscreen and instead advocate for using mineral sunscreens. For a curated list of the best mineral sunscreens, check out our blog here. AVOCADO OIL Packed with vitamins A, D, and E, essential fatty acids, and potassium, this oil is great for your overall health. In your skincare, this star ingredient is essential for those who suffer from dry skin as it hydrates and moisturizes the skin while offering a soothing effect. You can find it in Henné Organics Illumine Face Oil, Kari Gran Essential Cleansing Oil, Lina Hanson Global Calm Oil Serum, and Henné Organics Luxury Lip Balm. To find out the best facial oils for your skin type, check out our blog here. 

 AZELAIC ACID 

A key ingredient for those that suffer from unwanted pigmentation. This amazing ingredient has a plethora of benefits including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, cell-regulating, and skin-brightening benefits. At a certain dose, the acid fades dark spots formed from hyper-pigmentation. It also works by preventing the formation of tyrosinase. You can find it in Versine Gentle Actives Clarity Serum + Azelaic Acid and Graydon Blue Majik Face Foam Unscented Cleanser. To find out the 10 best ingredients for hyperpigmentation, check out our blog here. 

B

BAKUCHIOL 

Derived from the Psoralea corylifolia plant, bakuchiol serves as a natural alternative to retinol that helps to reduce the signs of premature. Bakuchiol is extracted from the Indian plant Psoralea Corylifolia, which has been found to activate skin cells, boosting collagen production and increasing elasticity, while reducing pigmentation and even acne. Bakuchiol also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. You can find this in Bloomeffects Black Tulip Overnight Retinoid Serum. 

BAMBOO CHARCOAL 

When bamboo is harvested and processed into a fine powder it becomes bamboo charcoal which is an amazing ingredient for acne products as it has the ability to pull bacteria, toxins, and other particles out of the skin. You can find it in Earth Harbor Obscura Detoxifying Reset Ampoule. 

BAMBOO EXTRACT 

A fabulous ingredient that has soothing properties and deeply hydrates the skin by drawing moisture into the skin. Perfect for those who suffer from persistent dry, chafed skin. You can find it in Graydon Blue Majik Face Foam Unscented Cleanser. 

 BEARBERRY EXTRACT 

A safe plant-derived alternative to the harmful ingredient, hydroquinone. It provides your skin with a brightening effect due to arbutin, which has skin-lightening properties. If you struggle with hyperpigmentation you definitely want to include this ingredient in your routine. To learn more about the best ingredient for hyperpigmentation, check out our blog here. It’s also an antioxidant with antibacterial properties that protects your skin against free radicals. You can find it in Henné Organics Illumine Face Oil. 

BENTONITE 

A powerful absorbent clay derived from weathering of volcanic ash that works amazingly in cleansers and masks due to its ability to pull out impurities from your skin. It removes dead skin cells and helps to unclog your pores. You can find it in Taïla Nava Jungol Detoxifying Mask. 

 BERRY LEAF EXTRACT 

An incredible antioxidant duo of raspberry and black currant helps with the overproduction of sebum and greatly reduces inflammation (the main culprit of an array of skin concerns). BETA HYDROXY ACID (BHA) Similar to AHAs, BHAs are chemical exfoliating agents. What differentiates BHA from AHA is its ability to go deep within the pores to help clear out excess sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria. You can find it in Earth Harbor Glow Juice Refining Enzyme Mask. 

BLACKBERRY EXTRACT 

Also known as blackberry vinegar, this botanical enzyme helps to restore and balance the skin. It possesses astringent properties that help to protect the skin against acne-causing bacteria without over-drying the skin. Rich in vitamin C, it has antioxidant properties that leave skin protected against free radicals and gives it a brightening effect. 

BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE (BHA) 

Unlike the previous BHA mentioned, this BHA is a synthetic antioxidant that is often used as a preservative and defoaming agent in foods. When used in skincare products, it has been associated with hormone disruption, organ system and reproductive toxicity, and even cancer in severe situations. 

BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE (BHT) 

This is another synthetic preservative that should be avoided for its harmful effects which include hormone disruption, organ system and reproductive toxicity, and even cancer in severe cases. 

BLACK CURRANT SEED OIL 

Derived from the seeds that can be found in blackcurrant plants. Blackcurrant is rich in antioxidants and vitamins, which are amazing at protecting your skin against free radicals and promoting skin elasticity. This ingredient is ideal for problematic skin (dermatitis and eczema), thanks to its nourishing properties. To learn more about how to treat sensitive, compromised skin check out our blog here. 

BLACKHEAD 

These pesky black dots that can often be found around the nose area are caused by excess oil blocking the skin’s surface in your pores. Once the trapped oil is exposed to air, it darkens to create that black color. They are best removed when extracted by a skin professional and to keep your blackheads to a minimum it's important to use gentle exfoliators once or twice a week and to double cleanse every night. A great double cleansing duo is Bloomeffects Tulip Nectar Cleansing Cream and Bloomeffects Royal Tulip Cleansing Jelly. For exfoliation that is effective but gentle enough for sensitive skin, we love Agent Nateur Holi (Bright) Resurface Glass Face Mask. 

BLUE TANSY 

 An aromatic flower that is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. This ingredient is amazing at calming irritation and soothing skin. Find it in Marina Biome Brightening Ampoule. 

 BROAD SPECTRUM 

Broad spectrum is a term used to describe sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are linked to aging, while UVB rays are linked to sunburns. A broad-spectrum sunscreen helps protect against both types of UV light. Kari Gran Essential Sunscreen and Bloomeffects Tulip Dew Sunscreen are two of our favorite sunscreen picks that have a broad spectrum.  

C
CAFFEINE
Caffeine is a stimulant found in plants, including coffee beans and tea leaves. It is known for its ability to increase alertness and reduce fatigue. In skin care, caffeine is often used to reduce puffiness and redness. It is a popular ingredient in eye care products because of its depuffing and redness-reducing properties. You can find it in Agent Nateur Ageless Eye Serum.

CALENDULA FLOWER EXTRACT

 Calendula flower extract is derived from the bright orange calendula flower. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it suitable for sensitive skin and those with eczema. Calendula extract is also known to stimulate collagen production and keep skin hydrated. You can find it in Agent Nateur Cleansing Face Oil.

CAMELLIA OIL

Camellia oil is a moisturizing oil that is extracted from the camellia flower. It is popular in Japanese skincare and has been a beauty secret of geishas for centuries. Camellia oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and omegas, and has a non-greasy texture that is ideal for moisturizing skin and hair. Camellia oil, along with its amazing benefits, is present in Henné Organics Illumine Face Oil.

CARROT ROOT EXTRACT

Carrot root extract is derived from the edible part of the carrot. It is known for its antioxidant and conditioning properties and is believed to have skin-regenerative capabilities. Carrot root extract neutralizes free radicals, making it helpful in protecting the skin against blue light damage.

CELL TURNOVER

Cell turnover is the process by which our bodies produce new skin cells and push them up to the surface. As we age, our cell turnover rate slows down, but certain ingredients, such as vitamin A (retinol), can help increase the rate of cell turnover and improve the appearance of aging skin.

CERAMIDES

These are lipids, or fatty acids, that occur naturally in the skin. Adding ceramides to skincare products allows the skin to retain moisture, which means that the skin stays plump and hydrated over time. Ceramides are present in this Versine Actives Clarity Serum.

CHAMOMILE FLOWER EXTRACT

Chamomile flower extract is derived from the chamomile plant and is known for its calming and soothing properties. It is ideal for sensitive skin and can help smooth out rough, uneven textures. Find it in Loli Chamomile Lavender Water, a makeup remover and toner in one.

CHLOROPHYLL

Chlorophyll is the photosynthetic pigment found in plants. It is also used in skincare as an anti-inflammatory ingredient. CITRIC ACID Citric acid is a natural preservative and exfoliant that is derived from citrus fruits, such as lemons. It helps to remove the superficial layer of skin and promote the growth of new skin cells. It is present in Bloomeffects Tulip Nectar Cleansing Cream.

CLOUDBERRY SEED OIL

Cloudberry seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the cloudberry fruit, which is closely related to the raspberry. It is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants and is known for its ability to soothe and moisturize dry and irritated skin. Henné Organics Illumine Face Oil, an exquisite bottle of liquid splendor, is brimming with cloudberry seed oil and other wonderful ingredients.

COCOA BUTTER

Cocoa butter is a rich emollient that is extracted from cocoa beans. It is full of fatty acids and antioxidants, such as vitamin E, which help to nourish and moisturize even the driest skin. Find it in Henné Organics Luxury Lip Balm as a fix for dry lips.

COCONUT OIL

You've most likely used this type of oil while cooking, and its advantages don't stop there. Because coconut oil contains saturated fatty acids, it is extremely hydrating for dry skin. Find it in One Love Organics Botanical Firming Cream.

COCONUT WATER

Coconut water is derived from the juice of the coconut fruit, is high in skin-moisturizing sugars as well as skin-nourishing amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. It also contains antioxidant properties and is non-comedogenic. It is an essential ingredient in Earth Harbor Samphire Sea-Retinol Digital Serum.

COFFEE SEED EXTRACT

Coffee seed extract is a brightening ingredient that has the power to alleviate symptoms of a bad night's sleep by energizing and boosting circulation. Find it in Graydon Fullmoon Serum. COMBINATION SKIN This skin type, as the name implies, is a combination of oily and dry skin. Typically, the T-zone and chin are oilier, while the cheeks are drier. People with combination skin, however, tend to lean toward either side, making them combination-dry or combination-oily.

COMEDO

When a pore or hair follicle becomes clogged with dead skin cells and/or sebum, a tiny bump called a comedo forms (the plural being comedones). Closed comedones are also known as blackheads, whilst open comedones are known as whiteheads.

COLLAGEN

It is the most abundant protein in your body, and it’s what gives your skin firmness and bounce. While it plays such a big part in the elasticity of your skin (more on elastin below), unfortunately collagen does break down naturally as you age, leading to sagging. Collagen production can be stimulated by using ingredients formulated for aging skin. Find it in Agent Nateur Hair Skin Nails Supplement Collagen

CUCUMBER JUICE

Cucumber juice is extracted from cucumbers and has many skincare benefits. In addition to its highly hydrating content that keeps the skin moisturized while reducing puffiness (which is why you see people putting slices of cucumber directly onto their eyes), it is also a good choice for inflamed or irritated skin.

CYSTIC ACNE

Dead skin cells or oil can clog pores and cause pimples to develop when bacteria joins the party, the affected region becomes irritated and red. When an infection spreads deeply behind the skin's surface, it can lead to painful cystic acne. Cysts typically lack the pop of a "head" on the surface and are solid, bloated, and you frequently feel as though they are developing beneath your skin. Avoid attempting to pop this kind of outbreak since you can spread the infection further under the skin. Avoid using drying treatments because doing so will only cause your skin's top layer to become dry.  
D

DARK SPOTS 

Whatever you want to call them—dark spots, brown spots, sun spots—they are all forms of hyperpigmentation that are frequently brought on by sun damage, acne scars, or simply the aging process. Melanin, which gives your skin and hair their color, is what causes dark spots in general. Look for brightening and exfoliating creams to aid with that. Get rid of hyperpigmentation with Bloomeffects Royal Tulip Nectar. 

DARK CIRCLES 

The stubborn, lingering shadow behind your eyes. What you're actually seeing as “dark circles” is primarily blood that has gathered owing to poor circulation. The skin under your eyes is so thin that the blood is visible. Genetics is the main factor that causes dark circles, although inadequate sleep and a poor diet are also factors. Along with using products that brighten the skin, try to improve circulation by massaging your face or using a stone roller or massager. Get rid of hyperpigmentation with Bloomeffects Black Tulip Eye Treatment. 

Carginogens

There are several chemicals that are known or suspected carcinogens that may be present in some beauty products. Here is a list of some of the most commonly found carcinogens in beauty products: 

 Formaldehyde: a preservative that is used in some cosmetics and personal care products. 

1,4-Dioxane: a byproduct of certain chemical processes that can be present in cosmetics and personal care products. 

Benzene: a solvent that is used in some hair dyes and other beauty products. 

Ethylene oxide: a chemical that is used to sterilize some cosmetics and personal care products. 

Hydroquinone: a skin lightening agent that is used in some skin bleaching products. 

Toluene: a solvent that is used in some nail polish and hair dyes. 

Phthalates: a group of chemicals that are used as plasticizers in some cosmetics and personal care products. 

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): a group of chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of fossil fuels and are found in some cosmetics and personal care products. 

Parabens: a group of preservatives that are used in some cosmetics and personal care products. 

Retinyl palmitate: a form of vitamin A that is used in some cosmetics and personal care products. 

Oxybenzone: a chemical that is used in some sunscreens and other personal care products.

Lead: a heavy metal that can be present in some cosmetics and personal care products. 

Mercury: a heavy metal that can be present in some skin lightening creams and other cosmetics and personal care products. 

Triclosan: an antimicrobial agent that is used in some personal care products. 

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole): a preservative that is used in some cosmetics and personal care products. 

BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene): a preservative that is used in some cosmetics and personal care products. 

Fragrance: a term that can refer to a variety of chemicals that are used to give products a specific scent. Some of these chemicals may be carcinogenic. 

DMDM hydantoin: a preservative that is used in some cosmetics and personal care products. 

Imidazolidinyl urea: a preservative that is used in some cosmetics and personal care products. 

Quaternium-15: a preservative that is used in some cosmetics and personal care products.

Hormonal Disruptors

There are many potential ingredients in beauty products that can potentially disrupt hormones in the body. Here are some examples: 

Parabens: These are commonly used preservatives that have been shown to disrupt estrogen levels in the body. 

Phthalates: These chemicals are used to make plastics more flexible, and they have been linked to a variety of health problems, including hormone disruption. 

Bisphenol A (BPA): This chemical is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and has been linked to hormone disruption, particularly in the estrogen and testosterone pathways.

Triclosan: This antimicrobial chemical has been linked to hormone disruption and has been banned in some countries. 

Oxybenzone: This chemical, commonly found in sunscreens, has been linked to hormone disruption and has been banned in some countries. 

Octinoxate: Another common sunscreen ingredient, octinoxate has been linked to hormone disruption and has been banned in some countries. 

Lead: This heavy metal has been linked to a variety of health problems, including hormone disruption. 

Mercury: This heavy metal is toxic to the human body and has been linked to hormone disruption. 

Formaldehyde: This chemical is used as a preservative and has been linked to hormone disruption. 

Toluene: This chemical is commonly found in nail polish and has been linked to hormone disruption. 

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA): This chemical is used as a preservative and has been linked to hormone disruption. 

Hydroquinone: This chemical is used to lighten the skin and has been linked to hormone disruption. Dioxin: This chemical is a byproduct of industrial processes and has been linked to hormone disruption. 

Pesticides: Many pesticides contain chemicals that can disrupt hormones in the body. 

PCBs: These chemicals are used in a variety of industrial processes and have been linked to hormone disruption. 

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs): These chemicals are used in a variety of products, including non-stick cookware, and have been linked to hormone disruption. 

Retinoids: These chemicals, commonly found in acne treatments, have been linked to hormone disruption. 

Triclocarban: This antimicrobial chemical has been linked to hormone disruption. 

Triclosan: This chemical is used in a variety of personal care products and has been linked to hormone disruption.

Irritants
Here are ingredients that are commonly found in beauty products and may cause sensitivity or irritation in some people:
Alcohol: Alcohol can be drying and irritating to the skin, and is a common cause of sensitivity.
Fragrance: Fragrances are a common cause of skin irritation, especially for people with sensitive skin.

Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a preservative that is used in some beauty products, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Parabens: Parabens are preservatives that are used in many beauty products, but have been linked to irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES): These ingredients are commonly found in cleansing products and can cause irritation, especially for people with sensitive skin.

Propylene glycol: This ingredient is found in many products, including moisturizers, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Coal tar: Coal tar is a common ingredient in some hair dyes and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Hydroquinone: Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening ingredient that can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Retinoids: Retinoids are a type of vitamin A that are commonly found in anti-aging products, but can cause irritation and dryness in some people.

Phenoxyethanol: This preservative is found in many beauty products, but can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Phthalates: Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are used in some beauty products, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Synthetic colors: Synthetic colors, such as FD&C colors, are found in many beauty products and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Triclosan: This ingredient is found in some anti-bacterial products, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Triethanolamine (TEA): This ingredient is found in some products, including cleansers, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Imidazolidinyl urea: This preservative is found in many beauty products, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Diazolidinyl urea: This preservative is found in many beauty products, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Ethanolamines (MEA, DEA, TEA): These ingredients are found in many beauty products, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Methylisothiazolinone (MI): This ingredient is found in some products, including shampoos, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Quaternium-15: This preservative is found in many beauty products, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Metal allergens: Some beauty products contain metal allergens, such as nickel, which can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

It's important to note that everyone's skin is different, and what may be irritating to one person may not be irritating to another. If you have sensitive skin, it's a good idea to carefully read the ingredients list on beauty products and avoid those that are known to cause irritation. If you experience sensitivity or irritation after using a beauty product, it's best to stop using it and consult a dermatologist if the symptoms persist.