Skin Care Terminology

Absorption Bases

A mixture or compound that acts as a carrier for other ingredients and allows the product to be absorbed by the skin. Some of the ingredients commonly found in absorption bases are lanolin and lanolin alcohols, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly. We’ve found that natural fatty acids and plant oils are superior to the synthetic...

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Acacia Gum

Also known as gum arabic. It is a natural herb powder used in foods and cosmetics. Non-toxic.

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Acetone

A solven often used in the manufacture of nail polish removers. These types of solvents (i.e., methyl butyl, and amyl) are also used to chemically extract oils from herbs and in other cosmetic areas. They are toxic.

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Acidity

The term “acidic” refers to a pH below 7.0. The pH of the hair and skin is usually between 4.2 and 5.6. Regardless of the advertising copy that a shampooor skin product with a pH of around 4.5 is best. Studies prove this is not true. See pH.

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Acids, Fatty

Many natural oils, if not chemically altered, contain fatty acids. Cetyl alcohol is an example of a fatty acid. However, there are natural and synthetic cetyl alcohols and fatty acids. The natural ones are far better for the skin and scalp.

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Alcohol

There are both natural alcohols and synthetic alcohols. Synthetic alcohol such as isopropyl alcohol is a petroleum compoun; it has a strong odor and is a cheaper raw material. The “SD” alcohols (the SD stands for “specially denatured”)are also not natural; they are grain alcohols with various substances added to them to prevent their being...

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Aldehydes

Volatile compounds often used in perfumes and in preservatives which can be toxic and cause allergic reactions.

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Alginates

These chemicals are used as binders and emulsfiers. They are synthetically compounded and have caused many allergic reactions.

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Alkalinity

Solutions that have a pH of above 7.0. Most natural soaps and shampoos have a pH of about 8.0 to 9.0. “pH balanced” products are sold with the claim that the lower pH of around 4.5 is better for the hair and skin. However, it is important for soaps and shampoos to have a natural...

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Allantoin

An extraction from comfrey root used as a soothing skin agent and to promote healing. It is also made from uric acid, but we believe the comfrey root type is superior.

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