Sweet Nut derived from almond trees in Europe. Almond oil is usually distilled to remove the toxic prussic acid. Sweet Almond Oil is rich with vitamins and minerals and has been known to relieve itchy, dry and inflamed skin.
Known as the "first aid" plan, aloe vera is taken from the inner leaves of the plant. It is a water/gel-like substance that is known for its ability to soothe irritated skin, especially sunburned skin. It is also a soothing anti-inflammatory that can be used in lotions, creams, cleansers and other products.
Arrowroot is a starch flour made from the root of the manoic plant. It is typically used in cooking as a thickener for dishes like soups and sauces. Its fine texture and white color make it a wonderful additive for body powders.
Avocado oil is taken from the pulp of the avocado and makes a rich additive to skincare products for all skin types, especially dry and maturing skin. It is high in protein and vitamins A, D and E which help heal scaly, dry skin. Unrefined avocado oil, which is green in color, contains a higher proportion of these nourishing vitamins and solids with exceptional moisturizing capabilities.
Typically produced in Brazil (but also in other South American countries), babassu oil is a type of yellowish colored palm oil from the meat of Brazil nuts. It is solid at room temperature and has a long shelf life. Babassu oil melts easily into the skin and is often used in lotions, lip balms and hair care products.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a naturally occurring earth mineral that is available in the form of a white powder at grocery stores. It is used as a deodorizer, in tooth cleansers, and also as a leavening agent in muffins, breads, cakes and cookies. We like to use it in bath bombs because, with the citric acid, it makes the fizz.
The Bamboo Exfoliating Extract is obtained from the bamboo tabashi stems collected in the form of an exudate (a thick liquid) which crystallizes at room temperature. This crystalline powder is very rich in mineral salt and is a excellent source of silica. This powder makes a mild exfoliant. It is ground to 160 microns for a light gritty feel. INCI name: Bamboo (Bambusa Vulgaris) Extract
High in various minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, zinc, salts are very beneficial to use in the bath. There are several different kinds of salts, among the most popular are and well known are: Fossilized Sea Salts: taken from various locations around the world and, as a result, composed of different minerals depending on the location of origin, fossilized salts are formed when water evaporates and leaves behind the salt product.
Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Fruit Extract
Benefits: cleansing of the skin, improving skin tone, and improving circulation.
Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract
Soothes dry skin and promotes healing of skin irritation, sunburn, rashes, and minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
Calendula Officinale (Marigold) Flower Extract
Calendula is a great moisturizer for severely chapped or split skin. It soothes the area and reduces the pain. Other benefits include antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-allergenic activity.
Synphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Extract
Comfrey is a cell proliferant, soother, and healer. Comfrey contains a substance called allantoin, a powerful soothing agent that promotes the growth of new skin cells.
Dead Sea Salts
Used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits, Dead Sea salts contain high proportions of magnesium and other minerals that are easily absorbed through the skin.
Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate)
This very plentiful and popular salt helps to detoxify the skin and soothe swollen joints and limbs. Epsom salts contribute to an especially enjoyable foot soak. Hawaiian Red Sea Salt: Is rich in minerals and volcanic red clay. Used for centuries for sacred ceremonies, this salt has known curative properties.
Beeswax is taken from the hive, where it is used to secure the walls of the honeycomb. It is used in creams and lotions to help emulsify oil and water so they don't separate in the finished product. It is particularly effective at this job when combined with borax. Products containing beeswax form an effective barrier, protecting the skin for harsh environmental conditions.
Used as a gentle exfoliant
Borax Sodium Tetraborate
Natural chemical found in the earth, especially in dry, arid areas. It is used to soften water, and when combined with beeswax, has emulsifying properties to prevent separation of creams and lotions. Borax is mildly alkaline which makes it a nice gentle additive for cleansers and toners.
Calendula (also known as pot marigold) is an herb with pretty golden flowers that are anti-inflammatory and healing. Infuse the calendula flowrs into a base of rich extra virgin olive oil to make a soothing calendula oil that can be used in healing massage oils, lotions, soaps and balms.
Citric acid, found in citrus, is a crystal-like, colorless, organic acid that naturally occurs in citrus fruits. It is used extensively in the production of food, carbonated beverages, detergents and cleaners, but also in cosmetics. For cosmetics, it is mainly combined with baking soda to produce bath bombs. Mixing the citric acid with baking soda produces a salt called sodium citrate. When bath bombs are placed into bath water, carbon dioxide is released and the bombs fizz in the tub.
Minerals from the earth that result from the degradation of mineral rocks. Ancient Egyptians used clay as both medicine and cosmetics. Animals search for clay to cover wounds and the reverse the effects of intestinal problems. There are different kinds of clay, each distinguished by its actions and color.
Here is an overview:
- French Green Clay is the most popular, readily available and drawing of the clays. It is most suitable for oily and acneic skin. Green clay is not recommended for dry or mature skin types.
- Kaolin (White Clay) is one of the lightest and least drawing clays making it especially suitable for sensitive, dry and mature skin types, and for children.
- Pink Clay is created by mixing white and red clays. As a result, it's action will not be as strong as red clay alone, and it will not be quite as suitable for sensitive skin as white clay.
- Red Clay contains a high amount of silica and iron and is suitable for skincare and cosmetics. It's drawing action is good, but not as strong as green clay.
- Rhassoul Clay is is mined from beneath the shafts of the Atlas Mountains. It has detoxifying, cleansing, degreasing and astringent properties.
- Sea Clay is rich in algaes, macro and micro-minerals, oligo-elements as well as having a high content of sulfur and sodium, which are all renowned to have beneficial properties, is very effective and gentle to use.
Cocoa butter is the creamy, rich fat obtained from the seeds of the cocoa plant. It is a major ingredient in chocolate, which accounts for its rich candy bar aroma. Refined versions of cocoa butter are available so you can have the wonderful skin soothing butter without the smell if that suits you more. Cocoa butter is solid at room temperature, and makes a wonderful additive for any skincare product, especially soaps, creams, balms and lotions.
Coconut oil is a solid, white fat used in cooking and cosmetics, especially soap. It is nice to add to hair sheens and lotions if you like a really rich texture. Coconut oil is also available in a fractionated version, meaning it has been distilled and refined so the solids are removed. Fractionated coconut oil is clear with a very long shelf life and is great to use in facial and body oils and in oil-based and semi-solid perfumes. Finally, coconut oil is available as "virgin coconut oil," meaning the fresh oil has been separated from the solids, thus producing an oil which retains the wonderful tropical aroma of fresh coconuts.
Is an anti-oxidant and exfoliant that leaves the skin smooth and soothed.
Is produced through the milling of corn to extract the starch, which is then processed and dried to a fine powder. For cosmetics, the most well known use of corn starch is in powders as a natural, more healthy alternative to talc. Corn starch is soft and gentle, making it the perfect body powder for babies and adults alike. It can also be used in solid lotion bars (or balms) made of oil and wax to facilitate an easier glide across the skin and to minimize the greasy feeling that can otherwise be left behind by oil/wax mixtures.
Emulsifying wax (which can be either plant- or petroleum-based) is an ingredient that emulsifies the ingredients in a cream or lotion product, thus preventing them from separating in the mix. Emulsifying wax produces a much more reliable, stable emulsion than a beeswax/borax combination. Emulsifying wax is created when the wax material (either a vegetable wax of some kind or a petroleum-based wax) is treated with a detergent (typically sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) or polysorbates) to cause it to make oil and water bind together into a smooth emulsion.
Essential oil is distilled from plant material using water, steam or both. The process involves placing plant material over a grate and forcing steam through the grate. In the alternative, the plant material can be placed in boiling water. In either case, the heat from the steam and/or water causes the plant material to break apart and release an aromatic vapor. This vapor is condensed through cooling tubes into liquid form. This liquid is the essential oil of the plant, along with the hydrosol (water) of the plant. The essential oil and hydrosol are then separated from one another and separately bottled for shipping and sale. Essential oils have remarkable qualities that enhance health, beauty and well being, helping to revitalize skin, encouraging radiance and resilience. Different essential oils product different results in different persons with different skin types
Strong anti-septic and healing oil. Stimulating and cleansing for the senses.
Fragrance oils are combinations of synthetically manufactured chemicals which are designed to "mimic" the aroma of natural materials. Some fragrance oil manufacturers use small amounts of true plant oils to boost and enhance the final aroma of their oil. For example, a small amount of pure rose oil is often used in rose fragrance oil because it is nearly impossible to create a synthetic material that does even a remote amount of justice to the scent of the real thing. Because fragrance oils are synthetically manufactured, they can be duplicated time and time again, and smell exactly the same each time a batch is manufactured. This is a very valuable thing for cosmetics companies because customers tend to like to use products that smell exactly the same each time they buy them, and essential oils simply do not fit this bill because they differ from season to season, harvest to harvest and batch to batch.
Well known for its skin care benefits, this oil is anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, cleansing, stimulating and recommended for most skin types. Relieves nervous tension and prevents insomnia.
A revitalizing botanical extract that imparts tone and elasticity to the skin.
Glycerin is a clear, sticky liquid that is naturally produced during the soapmaking process. As a humectant, it attracts moisture, so is nice to use in products designed to provide additional hydration to the skin. Since glycerin attracts moisture from the environment, if a product contains glycerin, the product will attract moisture from the air and toward the skin. The effectiveness of glycerin in a dry climate is questionable since a dry environment contains no moisture to be pulled toward the skin.
Rich in antioxidants, including vitamins C, E and polyphenols, this extract helps to neutralize tissue-damaging free radicals and soothes irritated skin.
GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract)
Features the best of both worlds: the quaternary compounds derived from grapefruit exhibit broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, while evidencing none of the toxic side-effects of chemically-derived quaternaries.
Hemp Seed Oil
Taken from hemp seeds, this oil is high in essential fatty acids making it a superb additive for hair and skincare products.
Rich in many essential nutrients including vitamins C, D and E, honey is also a natural humectant that draws moisture to the skin.
Natural emollient that mimics the skin's own moisturizing properties.
Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus Limon)
Lemon essential oil is pressed from the rind of the fruit. It usually has a pale yellow color and smells just like a fresh lemon, only with more tang and richness. Lemon oil has a fresh, uplifting scent so I often add it to my aromatherapy burner to help lift my spirits when needed.
Inhibits radical cell generation
Macadamia Nut Oil
A light, nourishing oil produced mainly on the island of Hawaii, macadamia nut oil is high in palmitoleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid), which complements the sebum produced by human skin. Even a small amount of macadamia nut oil has the ability to gently coat the skin, thereby protecting it. This makes it great for use in products designed to help the skin weather harsh environmental conditions.
Mango butter is an off-white substance that is taken from the seed kernels of the mango tree. It is not quite as soft at room temperature as shea butter, yet not as hard a cocoa butter. It makes a great moisturizer on its own or in creams, lotions and balms.
Mica is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals which are mined from around the world, purified, and crushed into fine powders. Mica accepts color very well and when color is added to mica, the effect can be anything from dazzling (using silver and gold tones) to muted (using opaque colors such as are used in foundations).
Milk is secreted from the mammary glands of various females from the animal kingdom such as cows, goats and deer. Most people are familiar with either cow's milk or goat's milk. Unless otherwise stated, the recipes you will find here refer to cow's milk. Milk is high in proteins. Whole milk contains a great deal of fat, which makes it useful for skincare preparations. Cleopatra is said to have bathed in milk to maintain her radiant complexion.
Oats are a popular whole grain said to help reduce cholesterol when taken internally. For skincare purposes, oats are used mainly in skin soothing oatmeal baths, moisturizers, facial scrubs and masks. Rich in bran protein, potassium, iron, phosphates, magnesium, and silica, oats have a gentle cleansing effect on the skin's surface, especially sensitive skin, and serve as a natural anti-itch agent.
Called "liquid gold" by ancient Greeks, olive oil hails from the olives which grow on the branches of olive trees, a symbol of abundance, glory and peace. Roman gladiators used olive oil as a salve for their wounds. Interestingly, since olives are fruits, olive oil is technically a type of fruit juice. Olive trees thrive in a dry habitat of sunshine, heat and minimal rainfall.
Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties that clean and rejuvenate the skin.
A strong astringent and anti-parasitic with vitamin C properties.
Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that is a natural emollient.
Anti-oxidant and exfoliant.
Antioxidant properties that also prevents wrinkles, heals blemishes, absorb dirt and oil from pores and balances the skin.
Stimulate circulation and aid in skin renewal.
Antiseptic, antimicrobial and stimulating, and will have a tautening effect on the skin.
Taken from the pit of the fruit of the African karite tree, Shea butter is used to heal small wounds, burns and skin ulcers. It contains fatty acids, phytosterol and unsaponifiables which stimulate the skin's renewal process, providing a more youthful, vibrant appearance. It's texture is typically soft and butter-like so it melts readily into the skin.
Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
Sodium hydroxide is a chemical that, when added to fats and water in the proper proportion and at the right temperature, will facilitate the creation of soap and glycerin that we all know and love as "a bar of soap."
Stearic acid is a white, wax-like substance taken from either animal fat or vegetable sources. When added in small quantities to creams and lotions. Stearic acid adds a thickness and texture that is not obtainable with beeswax and borax alone. Stearic acid also adds a pearlescent quality to a cream.
Sugar is a nice ingredient to add to recipes for body scrubs. It is generally too abrasive for use on the face and neck area but when used on the body, especially hands, feet and ankles, heels, elbows, knees and everywhere else, it is superb.
Tea Tree Oil
Strong disinfectant, fungicidal and anti-microbial properties. Has a cleansing and clearing effect on the skin.
Witch Hazel is an herb that makes a wonderful, cooling astringent and toner for the skin. It is made by steeping witch hazel herb leaves and/or roots in hot water or oil to create an infusion that can then be used in creams, lotions and moisturizing gels.