Skincare Ingredient Guide

Guide to Skin Care Ingredients.

Understanding Skin Care Product Ingredients and benefits. Skincare ingredients dictionary.
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© 2018. All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce or republish content without permission. Protection Status

© 2018. All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce or republish content without permission.


Commonly found in powder form—is loaded with Omega-3 essential fatty acids and polyphenols, which are known to help boost the health and glow to the skin. A natural moisturizer. Phytonutrient-rich and tannin-rich properties help hydrate and smooth wrinkles and facial lines. The ingredient has abilities to bring antioxidant boosting power to skin.

Because seaweeds are so sturdy and resilient, they’re excellent bases for anti-aging products—look for them in potent anti-wrinkle crèmes or products targeting fine lines around the eyes. While nothing short of plastic surgery will make fine lines and wrinkles disappear, seaweeds may be effective in reducing their appearance by bringing tightening and lifting action to aging skin. Credit goes to its rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that deliver much-needed hydration retaining properties to skin.  This is excellent news for folks with sensitive skin or normal skin during sensitive times (dry winter skin). It’s been shown to reduce the signs of pigmentation (melasma) during pregnancy.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)

(Glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids) . Creams and lotions with alpha-hydroxy acids may help with fine lines, irregular pigmentation and age spots, and may help shrink enlarged pores. Side effects of alpha-hydroxy acids include mild irritation and sun sensitivity. It’s best to use every other day with low concentrations to start.


Pressed from the nut of the fruit of the Moroccan Argan Tree. Because Argan Oil is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin C, which are easily absorbed, it is incredibly effective at restoring nutrients and moisture to hair, skin, and nails. This rich oil contains a concentrated nutrient-rich blend of antioxidant tocopherols (Vitamin E) and fatty acids, making it the perfect pure solution for dry, damaged skin, hair, nails, and the visible signs of aging. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory, healing and protective properties making it ideal for soothing skin with eczema, psoriasis, burns, wounds or scars. Argan Oil is intensely moisturizing, and contains protective qualities that can help shield skin from aging environmental free radicals.

Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C: a powerful antioxidant and natural preservative.With age and sun exposure, collagen synthesis in the skin decreases, leading to wrinkles. Vitamin C is tan  antioxidant proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, minimizing fine lines, scars, and wrinkles.

Ascorbyl Palmitate

Vitamin C-Ester:  this form of Vitamin C can penetrate cell membranes for powerful antioxidant benefits. Vitamin C helps reduce the appearance of anti-aging signs such as lines and wrinkles and discoloration, while also protecting skin from environmental damage.

Bakuchiol (pronounced ‘bah-koo-chee-ol’)

The plant-based alternative to Retinol. A dream for those with sensitive skin.There are already thousands of studies done on Bakuchiol. Retinol can also contain animal byproducts, from sources like liver, fish and egg yolks, while plant-based bakuchiol is totally vegan. “Based on the available data, bakuchiol “safely mimics the properties of retinol in reversing signs of aging, providing skin protection from sun-induced damage, providing solutions to problem skin, like acne and rosacea, and modulating pigmentation control. It is quite clear from the current literature that bakuchiol mimics and, in some cases, exceeds the activity of retinol”.— R. Chaudhuri, 2015

Beta-hydroxy acid (salicylic acid):

Salicylic acid removes dead skin and can improve the texture and color of sun-damaged skin. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicle openings and, as a result, also helps with acne.  Studies have shown that salicylic acid is less irritating than skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids, while providing similar improvement in skin texture and color.

Black Seed oil

Black cumin seed oil traditionally known as “blessed seed” is composed of essential fatty acids (EFAs), vitamins, antioxidants and proteins that contribute towards softer and smoother appearance of visible skin lines. Black seed has been thoroughly researched, and it’s been identified as containing phytosterols, tocopherols and the potent antioxidant thymoquinone. The oil of the black seed has shown anti-inflammatory properties “on several inflammation-based models including experimental encephalomyelitis, colitis, peritonitis, oedama, and arthritis through suppression of the inflammatory mediators prostaglandins and leukotrienes”. Black seeds are also rich in unsaturated and essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid. Black seed oil face serum can help to improve the quality of skin and nails, as well as minimizing dark spots on the face and discoloration. It can encourage better moisture-retention.

Baobab oil

Rich in anti-inflammatory properties, baobab oil is excellent at smoothing skin and reducing the appearance of damage from the sun, aging, and a host of skin conditions. Not only is it edible and especially rich in omega-fatty acids (3,6, and 9), as well as vitamins A, D, E, and K. But it also contains other skin-loving nutrients including dihydrosterculic acid, malvalic acid, arachidic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. It’s also great as a multi-purpose skin and hair oil. Use it for dry, irritated skin (like eczema). Rub into your hair and scalp for relief of dandruff and dry scalp. Reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.  Plus, baobab oil won’t clog pores, making it appropriate for acne-prone skin as well.
Like jojoba oil, baobab won’t leave skin feeling greasy or oily. The body quickly absorbs it and puts it to work. Baobab oil makes an excellent skin cleanser and moisturizer, keeping the skin looking and feeling more elastic.

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Caprylic/capric Triglyceride

from coconut oil and glycerin, repairs skin, resists moisture loss. Caprylic acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that is found in palm oil and. coconut oil. It is a clear, non-viscous liquid. It contains a mix of fatty acids that helps to replenish the skin and resist moisture loss. It acts as an excellent emollient, dispersing agent and skin-replenishing ingredient.

Camellia Oleifera Leaf (Green Tea Extract)

known as an anti-aging antioxidant. SEE GREEN TEA.

Cetyl Alcohol

It is used as a moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations (e.g., diaper rash, skin burns from radiation therapy).It is well known to effectively condition and soften the skin and hair.  This ingredient can be of either animal or plant origin-– make sure your source is vegan.


Sweet and daisy-like, chamomile is a calming, soothing herb that is ideal for sensitive skin because of its reported antioxidant properties. High levels of apigenin, luteoline, and quercetin in chamomile give it soothing properties that help relieve dry skin.

Cocoa butter

This is another very moisturizing ingredient that has skin-protecting antioxidants as well as plumping fatty acids, but it can be too occlusive for oily skin, especially on the face.

Cranberry Seed Oil

Rich with Vitamin A and E to help improve the appearance of skin’s tone and texture.  It is an exceptional oil for absorption and utilization of essential fatty acids in the skin. Cranberry seed oil soothes itchy, scaly, irritated skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Cupuaçu butter

An excellent emollient that restores elasticity to the skin while providing anti-oxidants and hydration. It is considered a “super-moisturizer” because of its hydrophilic (water-loving) properties. As it carries water to the skin it makes skin supple, soft and more elastic. This deep hydration makes the skin smooth and soft to the touch. Nature could not have provided a better solution to dry, sunburned or aging skin. Though it’s not recognized as a sun protection factor (SPF) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Monograph, cupuacu butter is well known for its ability to absorb damaging UVA/UVB rays for natural sun protection. It’s prized for its rich content of phytosterols, or plant sterols (polysterols combat free radicals.), to benefit dry, damaged skin and polyphenols to combat free radical damage and fatty acids to protect and moisturize the skin.

DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol)

DMAE boosts the production of acetylcholine, which is important for proper mental functions. DMAE in skin care products shows remarkable effects when applied topically to skin, resulting in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. Research shows DMAE improves skin tone and increases tensile strength of the skin, suggesting that the topical application of DMAE firms skin and restores elasticity. Another study using DMAE reported similar improvement in skin firmness and added that DMAE reduced the appearance of lines and wrinkles. DMAE has also demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which can help visibly slow the aging process.*JorLIY&offerid=487561.72&type=3&subid=0

Ferulic acid

Ferulic Acid is a high-potency phytochemical antioxidant found naturally in walls of plant cells.The combo of Vitamin C are proven to reduce the effects of sun damage & free radicals, helping to improve skin tone and creating a smoother complexion. Ferulic acid alone absorbs some UV and therefore is itself a weak sunscreen. Topical application has been shown to protect the skin from UVB-induced erythema (redness). When mixed with vitamin C and vitamin E, ferulic acid stabilizes the formulation and acts synergistically to double the photoprotection from fourfold to eightfold.  Skincare formulations generally incorporate Ferulic Acid at 0.5% or less.

Hyaluronic Acid

Skin care products containing this substance are often used with vitamin C products to assist in effective penetration. Hyaluronic acid (also known as a glycosaminoglycan) is often touted for its ability to “reverse” or stop aging. In news reports, you might have heard of hyaluronic acid as the “key to the fountain of youth.”  As you age, however, the forces of nature destroy hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic Acid can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water and has the amazing ability to attract and bind water molecules, keeping collagen hydrated and healthy and plumping, softening and smoothing skin.
sp-hyal mini


As a polyhydroxy acid, it not only moisturises and gently resurfaces the skin, but it also has the ability to chelate (remove heavy metals), scavenge for free radicals and protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation up to 50 percent. The associated effects of sun exposure have been reduced considerably with longer term use of Gluconolactone and results have shown improved skin firmness, fine line and wrinkle reduction, as well as hyper-pigmentation and pore size curtailment. Polyhydroxy acids can also function as antioxidants.
Other clinical findings suggest that the ingredient may aid in skin cell sloughing and produce results similar to that of hydroxy acid use without the harsher effects. Even patients with sensitive skin issues, dry skin and rosacea have experienced non-irritating improvements with Gluconolactone use.


Glycolic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid derived from sugar cane that is known for exfoliating skin, improving texture and revealing a fresh, smooth, more youthful complexion. As an exfoliant, Glycolic Acid has multiple skin benefits. It dissolves the bonds that hold the outer layer of skin cells together, enabling skin to shed easier. This action helps renew the epidermis to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, fade the look of age spots and dark spots and enhance radiance for more even skin tone. Through exfoliation, Glycolic Acid also helps purge pores of impurities making it an ideal ingredient for those who have blackheads or blemishes.

Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice)

The role of Glycyrrhiza glabra extract on skin is mainly attributed to its antioxidant activity particularly to its potent antioxidants triterpene saponins and
flavonoids .  Helps fight discoloration for more evenly toned, luminous skin. Ideal for skin showing signs of uneven pigmentation, discoloration, sun damage, freckles, age spots and dark spots. It’s used for skin lightening, skin depigmenting, antiaging,
an emollient and anti-acne

Grapeseed Seed Oil

Has antioxidants vitamins A, C, and E, easily absorbed, repairs damage, good for mature and sensitive skin and is non-comodogenic ( not tending to clog pores ).  Rich in Linoleic Acid and contains high levels of Vitamin E. Grapeseed Oil keeps skin firm and smooth, while repairing, nourishing and soothing the skin. Grapeseed Oil is also known to tighten skin.


Green Tea has been included for its synergistic roll and potent antioxidant benefits for the skin.  Research shows. when applied topically, that this powerful ingredient contains strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help slow the signs of aging. Because it is rich in polyphenols, these also help eliminate free radicals, prevent oxidative stress, protect skin from UVA and UVB radiation damage and reduce the number of sunburned cells.  It has prevention of adverse effects caused by UV radiation, with a reduction of oxidative damage.


Jojoba Oil most closely matches the body’s natural sebum and is easily absorbed without leaving a residue. Called Nature’s Multi-Tasker, it’s known for minimizing excessive oil, and for restoring moisture and balance to hair and scalp.  This one-ingredient wonder mimics the natural oils found in skin and hair. Dry skin and oily areas alike drink up its moisturizing properties, which are quickly absorbed without leaving a greasy residue or clogging pores. Jojoba Oil is a wax ester, which is part of our body’s natural oils called sebum. Sebum keeps moisture in and protects skin and hair from environmental stressors. The composition of Jojoba Oil so closely resembles that of sebum that skin and hair happily absorb Jojoba Oil’s hydrating properties.

 Mandelic acid

It’s made from almonds, this is one is recommended for acne-prone skin. It’s also less irritating than other acids but also takes a longer time to work.


Uses two amino acid chains  to stimulate significant collagen creation, making sure your skin has the proteins needed for long-term restoration and regeneration. As tiny amino acids, peptides target all skin layers, producing deep and lasting results. Matrixyl works to promote the growth of collagen as well as other proteins, such as elastin and glucosaminoglycans. This is better than creams that only hydrate the uppermost surface of skin.


Moringa is naturally rich in Essential Fatty Acids and Vitamins, A, B, C, and E, all of which help fight skin fatigue. Ideal for the delicate areas around the face, neck, and hands. Moringa leaves and pods are a nutritional powerhouse that provides a great range and amount of essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  It is a rich source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. The high protein content of drumstick aids in protecting the dermal cells from damage. The moringa plant offers a rich blend of powerful antioxidants such as kaempferol, caffeoylquinic acid, zeatin, quercetin, rutin, chlorogenic acid, and beta-sitosterol. These powerful antioxidants found in moringa possess free radical scavenging capacity and have shown its therapeutic value in curing the damage caused by oxidative stress. Aqueous extract of moringa possesses significant wound healing properties. Research studies have provided supporting evidence regarding the healing effects of moringa in the treatment of wounds with respect to skin-breaking strength, wound closure rate, and reduction in the scar area.
According to the USDA, moringa pods also contain a significant amount of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, folate, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Its mineral wealth includes calcium.

Desert Essence Moringa Jojoba & Rose Hip Oil 

Niacinamide  (Vitamin B3)

Reduces the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion.


Helps fight discoloration for more evenly toned, luminous skin. Ideal for skin showing signs of uneven pigmentation, discoloration, sun damage, freckles, age spots and dark spots. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that delivers multiple anti-aging benefits for  smoother, more youthful looking skin.
In a clinical trial, topically applied Vitamin B3 was shown to significantly reduce age spots by inhibiting the transfer of melanosomes needed for melanin production. In separate studies, topical Vitamin B3 has also been shown to help retain moisture and boost production of fatty acids and ceramides, improving skin’s barrier function. Plus, Vitamin B3 has been shown to stimulate fibrolasts and collagen, both of which help visibly firm skin and reduce the look of wrinkles.In a 4-week consumer trial on Evenly Radiant®, 82% of participants saw improvement in overall color and tone of skin.



Recently, scientific research has proven that Peptides help restore and maintain your skin’s youthful appearance. Two Peptides in particular, Matrixyl® and Argireline® have been shown to help visibly reduce the look of deep lines and wrinkles while also promoting healthy skin tone, texture and resilience.
Matrixyl® synthe’6®
• Stimulates collagen
• Promotes healthy tone and texture
• Reduces look of deep lines and wrinkles
• Helps relax facial muscles
• Promotes smooth skin
• Discourages formation of new lines


Anti-aging Pycnogenol®, is a gentle yet potent antioxidant that is 50 times more powerful than Vitamin E in neutralizing free radicals and 20 times more effective than Vitamin C in neutralizing free radicals that cause age damage to the skin. This antioxidant helps reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles and other issues associated with aging skin. Plus reduces the appearance of redness.  Helps smooth skin without irritation. Pycnogenol® also helps stabilize the capillary system and increase skin’s resistance to irritation making it an ideal ingredient for those who have red, easily irritated, sensitive skin or who suffer from the symptoms of rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions. Additionally, Pycnogenol® works to improve circulation, therefore helping to reduce puffiness or swelling.


Packed with high levels of Vitamins A, C, E and K, plus zinc, Pumpkin Seed Oil is incredibly moisturizing and helps protect skin from daily environmental stressors. Pumpkin Seed oil is excellent for use in formulations where an increase in smoothness, firmness, elasticity and skin tone is needed. It’s rich in nourishing vitamins, proteins, fatty acids and minerals to help reduce the appearance of fine lines. Pumpkin Seed oil is excellent for use in formulations where an increase in smoothness, firmness, elasticity and skin tone is desirable. It is especially recommended for anti-aging. It may prove useful in preventing and lessening the appearance of stretch marks.


Vitamin A. It’s popularly used in anti-wrinkle treatments in its retinol form, but Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant that renews skin cells. Retinoids are used in the treatment of many diseases and are effective in the treatment of a number of dermatological conditions such as inflammatory skin disorders, acne, skin cancers, disorders of increased cell turnover (e.g. psoriasis), photoaging, and skin wrinkles. Superficial acne scarring may be successfully treated with retinol because it encourages the production of collagen, which helps soften and smooth the surface of the skin.
They’ve been shown to prevent the rise of collagenase — the enzyme that breaks down collagen — after UV exposure. One of the retinol benefits is its ability to unclog pores and prevent further build up.  Provitamin A (carotenoids) are found in plant-based food such as fruits (orange fruit such as apricot  & mango) and vegetables (carrot, pumpkin & sweet potato ).  Beta-carotene is the main carotenoid compound; it displays the greatest provitamin A activity as well as significant antioxidant activity.  Beta-carotene protects cells from free radical damage.
There are possible side effects associated with retinol. It can cause redness, dryness and mild stinging. But these symptoms usually go away as your skin adjusts to the treatment.

Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)
Retinyl palmitate is an ingredient composed of palmitic acid and retinol (Vitamin A) Promotes cell turnover in the skin, helps with breakouts, acne and psoriasis. Retinyl palmitate is an alternate for retinyl acetate in vitamin A supplements.Retinyl palmitate is considered to be a gentler, milder form of vitamin A. The skin must first convert it to retinol, then retinoic acid, for it to have the same anti-aging effects, so higher concentrations are used to stimulate skin repair.  It should be noted that it is not an FDA-approved sunscreen active ingredient. Retinol and retinyl palmitate are produced by commercial methods but can be found naturally in animal fats, in fish liver oil.

ROSE HIP OIL (Rosa Moschata)

Extracted from the hips and seeds of roses, Rose Hip Oil has a unique combination of Essential Fatty Acids and vitamins that help rejuvenate skin. It’s quickly absorbed into deeper layers of the skin to deliver nourishment. It helps to improve skin’s tone, texture and brighten the appearance of hyperpigmentation. A non-greasy oil, known as a natural acne and eczema relief, reduces visible signs of aging, gives glowing skin. Rosehip oil is loaded with skin-loving antioxidants, phytonutrients and omega-6 fatty acids. Cold-pressing them produces a pure, light and silky oil that works wonders on dry, rough and weathered skin.

  • Light & silky – absorbs quickly
  • Rosehips are brimming with vitamin C—with a higher content than citrus fruits.
  • packed with Vitamins A, E, and the antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene, and high levels of trans-retinoic acid, all beneficial to maintaining a healthy, revitalized complexion.


Salicylic Acid, derived from the bark of the Willow tree, is a remarkable multi-benefit beta-hydroxy acid.  It is also known for its gentle exfoliating properties. Salicylic Acid is an active component of aspirin and the key ingredient in many blemish-fighting skin care products.
When applied topically, Salicylic Acid helps skin cells shed normally, therefore facilitating the removal of pore-clogging dirt, oil and debris. It helps clear pores, minimize blemishes and prevent breakouts. It allows for your next treatment layer to penetrate more effectively.

Sea buckthorn oil (Hippophae rhamnoides L.)

Sea buckthorn berries are used for preventing infections and slowing the aging process. It is asource of vitamins C, A, and E, beta-carotene, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids. Sea buckthorn contains carotenoids, tocopherols, sterols, flavonoids, lipids, ascorbic acid, and tannins. This oil is full of protective antioxidants, but it’s low in linoleic acid, too. It contains antioxidants and vitamins that may help the appearance of healthy collagen. The seed oil contains linoleic, alpha-linoleic, oleic, palmitic, stearic, and vaccenic acids. The fruit contains palmitoleic, palmitic, and oleic acids. Numerous studies demonstrate the antioxidant activity of sea buckthorn. The alcoholic leaf and fruit extracts of sea buckthorn inhibited chromium (VI)-induced free radicals, apoptosis(cell death), and DNA fragmentation.

Radiant Glow Face Oil by SunKissAlba 2.0 oz
SunKissAlba x DERMA E signature facial oil 
Enriched with: Seabuckthorn Oil.


An ultra-hydrating extract from West African shea tree nuts, Shea Butter is known for its revitalizing effect that restores moisture and softness. Shea Butter is packed with vitamins A, E, and F that help moisturize dry skin and hair without leaving an oily residue.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Vitamin C: a potent antioxidant with skin-brightening and anti-aging properties that may promote healthy collagen. A type of Vitamin C, called Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, that is less likely to degrade before it is absorbed by the skin. This makes  Vitamin C moisturizer highly effective.

Stearic Acid

A saturated long-chain fatty acid. Stearic acid is found in various animal and plant fats, and is a major component of cocoa butter and shea butter. Stearic acid can be found in many vegetable fats like coconut.This ingredient may be derived from animals- make sure your source is vegan.


Excellent for feeding the skin plenty of nutrients, like the antioxidant , which helps replenish moisture.  Alternatives: vegetable emollients such as olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, etc.It’s a component found in human sebum (a.k.a. face oil), which makes squalane skin-identical . Squalane is non-comedogenic (pore clogging) and is suitable for use on all skin types. Moisturizers help protect sensitive skin, prevent dryness, improve skin tone and texture. Squalane is a natural lubricant and skin barrier that helps protect the skin and prevent moisture loss. It also has a high penetration efficiency that makes it an excellent transport system that helps the skin absorb other ingredients. Because of effectiveness of squalane to protect the skin against environmental factors, it is commonly used in sunblock creams and prescription acne creams, such as adapalene( Differin)

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has potent antioxidant power, promoting healthy collagen production and is known to boost skin’s luminosity.  Vitamin C & ferulic acid are proven to reduce the effects of sun damage & free radicals, helping to improve skin tone and creating a smoother complexion. Unclogs clog pores.

Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil (Grapeseed Seed Oil)

Has antioxidants vitamins A, C, and E, easily absorbed, repairs damage, good for mature and sensitive skin and is non-comodogenic ( not tending to clog pores ).


Zinc Oxide, or ZnO, is natural zinc metal that has been oxidized. While the compound has been used for centuries as a skin healing agent and cosmetic mineral pigment, Zinc Oxide has more recently become synonymous with natural sun protection. It outperforms all other sunscreens in its ability to block the UVA and UVB spectrum, and it works by instantly reflecting and scattering light so there is no wait time for sun protection. Look for nano-free zinc – having no particles under 100 nm.

Sources: Webmd,,,,, DermaE, Desert essence.

goPure Beauty products include: Vitamin C Cleanser, and Vitamin C Moisturizer, GoPure Microdermabrasion Cream, Retinol Cream, Rosehip Oil and 100% Pure & Certified Organic Argan Oil – Cold Pressed.

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© 2018. All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce or republish content without permission.
Sources: Science Direct, Pixi beauty,,  DermaE