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Annmarie SkinCare Organic Anti-Aging Eye Cream

Organic Anti-Aging Eye Cream

organic anti-aging eye cream
Uploaded by: delphine20 on

Ingredients overview

(*Serum Blend:) [*Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, *Squalane (Plant Sugar Derived), Carrageenan (Chondrus Crispus), *Xanthan Gum (Wood Pulp Derived)], *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, (Herb-Infused Aloe Vera Juice) [*Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Leaf Extract, *Helichrysum Arenarium (Life Everlasting) Flower Extract, *Ruscus Aculeatus (Butcher'S Broom) Root Extract, *Uncaria Tomentosa (Cat'S Claw) Bark Extract, [more]*Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, *Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf Extract, *Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Extract, *Ginkgo Biloba (Gingko) Leaf Extract, *Lycium Chinense (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Green Tea Leaf Extract, *Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Extract, *Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, *Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Seed Extract, *Hemidesmus Indicus (Sarsaparilla) Root Extract, *Hypericum Perforatum (St. John'S Wort) Herb Extract], (Butter Blend) [*Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, *Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, *Cera Alba (Beeswax)], *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, (Herb-Infused Oil) Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Sesamum Indicum (Sesame Seed) Oil, *Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, *Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf Extract, *Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Root Extract, *Echinacea Purpurea (Echinacea) Extract, *Ginkgo Biloba (Gingko) Leaf Extract, *Lycium Chinense (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, *Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Leaf Extract, *Hibiscus Sabdariffa (Hibiscus) Flower Extract, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, *Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf Extract, *Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, *Helichrysum Arenarium (Life Everlasting) Flower Extract, *Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus) Stamen Extract, *Plantago Lanceolata (Plantain) Leaf Extract, *Rhodiola Rosea (Rhodiola) Root Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Leaf Extract, *Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Extract, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Green Tea Leaf Extract, *Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Leaf Extract, *Viola Tricolor (Violet) Extract, *Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, *Emblica Officinalis (Amla) Fruit Extract, *Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) Root Extract, *Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) Extract, *Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Seed Extract], *Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Tocopherol (Non-Gmo Vitamin E), Ubiquinone (Coq10), *Squalane (Plant Sugar Derived), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside (100% Non-Gmo Plant Derived Wax), Populus Tremuloides (Aspen) Bark Extract, Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosehip) Seed Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, *Vaccinium Corymbosum (Cranberry) Seed Oil, *Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Red Raspberry) Seed Oil, *Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) Seed Oil, (Active Plant Cell Extracts) [Rosa Damascena (Damas Rose) Leaf Cell Extract, Larix Decidua (Larch) Leaf Cell Extract, Iris Pallida (Sweet Iris) Leaf Cell Extract], *Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Oil, Superoxide Dismutase (Sod), Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn Berry) Extract, Jasmine Sambac Absolute
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Highlights

#alcohol-free
Alcohol Free

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Other Ingredients

Emollient: *Squalane (Plant Sugar Derived), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Green Tea Leaf Extract, (Butter Blend) [*Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, *Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, *Cera Alba (Beeswax)], *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, (Herb-Infused Oil) Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Sesamum Indicum (Sesame Seed) Oil, *Rhodiola Rosea (Rhodiola) Root Extract, *Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Leaf Extract, *Viola Tricolor (Violet) Extract, *Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosehip) Seed Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, *Vaccinium Corymbosum (Cranberry) Seed Oil, *Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Red Raspberry) Seed Oil, *Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) Seed Oil

Skim through

Ingredient name what-it-does irr., com. ID-Rating
(*Serum Blend:) [*Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice soothing, moisturizer/​humectant goodie
*Squalane (Plant Sugar Derived) skin-identical ingredient, emollient 0, 1 goodie
Carrageenan (Chondrus Crispus) viscosity controlling
*Xanthan Gum (Wood Pulp Derived)] viscosity controlling, emulsifying, surfactant/​cleansing
*Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice soothing, moisturizer/​humectant goodie
(Herb-Infused Aloe Vera Juice) [*Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Leaf Extract
*Helichrysum Arenarium (Life Everlasting) Flower Extract
*Ruscus Aculeatus (Butcher'S Broom) Root Extract soothing goodie
*Uncaria Tomentosa (Cat'S Claw) Bark Extract antioxidant
*Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract soothing, antioxidant 0, 0 goodie
*Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf Extract
*Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Extract
*Ginkgo Biloba (Gingko) Leaf Extract
*Lycium Chinense (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract antioxidant
Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Green Tea Leaf Extract antioxidant, soothing, antimicrobial/​antibacterial, emollient, moisturizer/​humectant superstar
*Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Extract perfuming
*Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract soothing, skin brightening superstar
*Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Seed Extract
*Hemidesmus Indicus (Sarsaparilla) Root Extract
*Hypericum Perforatum (St. John'S Wort) Herb Extract] soothing, antimicrobial/​antibacterial
(Butter Blend) [*Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride emollient
*Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil emollient, perfuming 0, 4 goodie
*Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract soothing, emollient, moisturizer/​humectant goodie
*Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil antioxidant, emollient 0, 0-3 goodie
*Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter emollient goodie
*Cera Alba (Beeswax)] emollient, viscosity controlling, emulsifying, perfuming 0, 0-2
*Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil emollient
(Herb-Infused Oil) Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil emollient 0, 0-2 goodie
*Sesamum Indicum (Sesame Seed) Oil emollient 0, 1-3 goodie
*Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract soothing, antioxidant, perfuming goodie
*Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf Extract
*Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Root Extract soothing
*Echinacea Purpurea (Echinacea) Extract moisturizer/​humectant
*Ginkgo Biloba (Gingko) Leaf Extract
*Lycium Chinense (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract antioxidant
*Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Leaf Extract
*Hibiscus Sabdariffa (Hibiscus) Flower Extract
*Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract surfactant/​cleansing
*Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf Extract
*Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract soothing, skin brightening superstar
*Helichrysum Arenarium (Life Everlasting) Flower Extract
*Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus) Stamen Extract
*Plantago Lanceolata (Plantain) Leaf Extract soothing, antioxidant, antimicrobial/​antibacterial goodie
*Rhodiola Rosea (Rhodiola) Root Extract emollient
Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Leaf Extract
*Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Extract
*Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract antimicrobial/​antibacterial
Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Green Tea Leaf Extract antioxidant, soothing, antimicrobial/​antibacterial, emollient, moisturizer/​humectant superstar
*Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Leaf Extract emollient, soothing
*Viola Tricolor (Violet) Extract emollient, soothing
*Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract
*Emblica Officinalis (Amla) Fruit Extract
*Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) Root Extract
*Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) Extract soothing
*Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Seed Extract]
*Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract soothing, emollient goodie
Tocopherol (Non-Gmo Vitamin E) antioxidant 0-3, 0-3 goodie
Ubiquinone (Coq10) antioxidant goodie
*Squalane (Plant Sugar Derived) skin-identical ingredient, emollient 0, 1 goodie
Cetearyl Alcohol emollient, viscosity controlling, emulsifying, surfactant/​cleansing 1, 2
Cetearyl Glucoside (100% Non-Gmo Plant Derived Wax) emulsifying, surfactant/​cleansing
Populus Tremuloides (Aspen) Bark Extract
Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosehip) Seed Oil antioxidant, emollient goodie
*Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil emollient, perfuming 0, 0-1
*Vaccinium Corymbosum (Cranberry) Seed Oil antioxidant, emollient
*Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil emollient
Rubus Idaeus (Red Raspberry) Seed Oil emollient
*Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) Seed Oil soothing, emollient goodie
(Active Plant Cell Extracts) [Rosa Damascena (Damas Rose) Leaf Cell Extract
Larix Decidua (Larch) Leaf Cell Extract antioxidant
Iris Pallida (Sweet Iris) Leaf Cell Extract] antioxidant
*Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Oil
Superoxide Dismutase (Sod) antioxidant goodie
Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn Berry) Extract
Jasmine Sambac Absolute

Annmarie SkinCare Organic Anti-Aging Eye Cream
Ingredients explained

Also-called: Aloe Vera;Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice | What-it-does: soothing, moisturizer/humectant

Aloe Vera is one of today’s magic plants. It does have some very nice properties indeed, though famous dermatologist Leslie Baumann warns us in her book that most of the evidence is anecdotal and the plant might be a bit overhyped.

What research does confirm about Aloe is that it’s a great moisturizer and has several anti-inflammatory (among others contains salicylates, polysaccharides, magnesium lactate and C-glucosyl chromone) as well as some antibacterial components. It also helps wound healing and skin regeneration in general. All in all definitely a goodie. 

What-it-does: skin-identical ingredient, emollient | Irritancy: 0 | Comedogenicity: 1

It seems to us that squalane is in fashion and there is a reason for it. Chemically speaking, it is a saturated  (no double bonds) hydrocarbon (a molecule consisting only of carbon and hydrogen), meaning that it's a nice and stable oily liquid with a long shelf life. 

It occurs naturally in certain fish and plant oils (e.g. olive), and in the sebum (the oily stuff our skin produces) of the human skin. As f.c. puts it in his awesome blog post, squalane's main things are "emolliency, surface occlusion, and TEWL prevention all with extreme cosmetic elegance". In other words, it's a superb moisturizer that makes your skin nice and smooth, without being heavy or greasy.

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Another advantage of squalane is that it is pretty much compatible with all skin types and skin conditions. It is excellent for acne-prone skin and safe to use even if you have fungi-related skin issues, like seborrhea or fungal acne.

The unsaturated (with double bonds) and hence less stable version of Squalane is Squalene, you can read about it here >> 

What-it-does: viscosity controlling

A natural polysaccharide (big sugar molecule) coming from red edible seaweeds. It is used as a helper ingredient for its gelling, thickening and stabilizing properties.  

It's one of the most commonly used thickeners and emulsion stabilizers. If the product is too runny, a little xanthan gum will make it more gel-like. Used alone, it can make the formula sticky and it is a good team player so it is usually combined with other thickeners and so-called rheology modifiers (helper ingredients that adjust the flow and thus the feel of the formula). The typical use level of Xantha Gum is below 1%, it is usually in the 0.1-0.5% range. 

Btw, Xanthan gum is all natural, a chain of sugar molecules (polysaccharide) produced from individual sugar molecules (glucose and sucrose) via fermentation. It’s approved by Ecocert and also used in the food industry (E415). 

Also-called: Aloe Vera;Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice | What-it-does: soothing, moisturizer/humectant

Aloe Vera is one of today’s magic plants. It does have some very nice properties indeed, though famous dermatologist Leslie Baumann warns us in her book that most of the evidence is anecdotal and the plant might be a bit overhyped.

What research does confirm about Aloe is that it’s a great moisturizer and has several anti-inflammatory (among others contains salicylates, polysaccharides, magnesium lactate and C-glucosyl chromone) as well as some antibacterial components. It also helps wound healing and skin regeneration in general. All in all definitely a goodie. 

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Butcher’s Broom Extract;Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract | What-it-does: soothing, astringent

The extract coming from Butcher’s Broom, a common evergreen shrub in the Mediterranean countries. It is known as a  potent venous vasoconstrictor, meaning that it helps the narrowing of the blood vessels and increases the microcirculation. 

In cosmetic products, this mainly translates to being a good astringent, refreshing and toning ingredient, as well as being an anti-redness, soothing and anti-cellulate agent.

What-it-does: antioxidant

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: German Chamomile Flower Extract;Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract | What-it-does: soothing, antioxidant | Irritancy: 0 | Comedogenicity: 0

Chamomile probably needs no introduction as it's one of the most widely used medicinal herbs. You probably drink it regularly as a nice, calming cup of tea and it's also a regular on skincare ingredient lists.

Cosmetic companies use it mainly for its anti-inflammatory properties. It contains the terpenoids chamazulene and bisabolol both of which show great anti-inflammatory action in animal studies. On top of that chamomile also has some antioxidant activity (thanks to some other active ingredients called matricine, apigenin and luteolin).  

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Though chamomile is usually a goodie for the skin, it's also not uncommon to have an allergic reaction to it. 

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Eyebright;Euphrasia Officinalis Extract

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Ginkgo Biloba Extract;Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

What-it-does: antioxidant

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Green Tea;Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract | What-it-does: antioxidant, soothing, antimicrobial/antibacterial, astringent, emollient, moisturizer/humectant
  • Green tea is one of the most researched natural ingredients
  • The active parts are called polyphenols, or more precisely catechins (EGCG being the most abundant and most active catechin)
  • There can be huge quality differences between green tea extracts. The good ones contain 50-90% catechins (and often make the product brown and give it a distinctive smell)
  • Green tea is proven to be a great antioxidant, UV protectant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and antimicrobial
  • Because of these awesome properties green tea is a great choice for anti-aging and also for skin diseases including rosacea, acne and atopic dermatitis
Read all the geeky details about Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract here >>

What-it-does: perfuming

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Licorice Root;Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract | What-it-does: soothing, skin brightening

You might know licorice as a sweet treat from your childhood, but it's actually a legume that grows around the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East, central and southern Russia. It's sweet and yellow and not only used for licorice all sorts but it's also a skincare superstar thanks to two magic properties:

Nr. 1 magic property is that it has skin-lightening or to say it another way depigmenting properties. The most active part is called glabridin. The topical application (meaning when you put it on your face) of 0.5% glabridin was shown to inhibit UVB caused pigmentation of guinea pigs. Another study even suggested that licorice is more effective than the gold standard skin-lightening agent hydroquinone. All in all, licorice is considered to be one of the safest skin lightening agents with the fewest side effects.

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There is just one catch regarding glabridin and licorice: the amount of glabridin in commercial licorice extracts can vary a lot. We have seen extracts with only 4% glabridin as well as 40% glabridin. The latter one is a very-very expensive ingredient, so if you are after the depigmenting properties try to choose a product that boasts its high-quality licorice extract. 

Nr. 2 magic property is that licorice is a potent anti-inflammatory. Glabridin has also some soothing properties but the main active anti-inflammatory component is glycyrrhizin. It’s used to treat several skin diseases that are connected to inflammation including atopic dermatitis, rosacea or eczema. 

Oh, and one more thing: glabridin seems to be also an antioxidant, which is just one more reason to be happy about licorice root extract on an ingredient list. 

Bottom line: Licorice is a great skincare ingredient with significant depigmenting, anti-inflammatory and even some antioxidant properties. Be happy if it's on the ingredient list. :)

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: St. John's Wort Extract;Hypericum Perforatum Extract | What-it-does: soothing, antimicrobial/antibacterial, astringent

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

What-it-does: emollient

A super common emollient that makes your skin feel nice and smooth. It comes from coconut oil and glycerin, it’s light-textured, clear, odorless and non-greasy. It’s a nice ingredient that just feels good on the skin, is super well tolerated by every skin type and easy to formulate with. No wonder it’s popular. 

Also-called: Coconut Oil;Cocos Nucifera Oil | What-it-does: emollient, perfuming | Irritancy: 0 | Comedogenicity: 4

There is definitely some craze going on for coconut oil both in the healthy eating space (often claimed to be the healthiest oil to cook with but this is a topic for another site) and in the skin and hair care space. 

We will talk here about the latter two and see why we might want to smear it all over ourselves. Chemically speaking, coconut oil has a unique fatty acid profile. Unlike many plant oils that mostly contain unsaturated fatty acids (fatty acids with double bonds and kinky structure such as linoleic or oleic), coconut oil is mostly saturated (fatty acids with single bonds only) and its most important fatty acid is Lauric Acid (about 50%).  Saturated fatty acids have a linear structure that can stack nice and tight and hence they are normally solid at room temperature. Coconut oil melts around 25 °C so it is solid in the tub but melts on contact with the skin. 

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The saturated nature of coconut oil also means that it is a heavy-duty-oil ideal for dry skin types. A double-blind research confirmed that extra virgin coconut oil is as effective in treating xerosis (aka very dry skin) as mineral oil. Another study found that coconut oil is more effective than mineral oil in treating mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (aka eczema) in children.

So when it comes to dry skin, coconut oil is a goodie, no question there. The question is if it is good or bad for acne-prone skin. Its main fatty acid, Lauric Acid has some research showing that it is a promising ingredient against evil acne-causing bacteria, P. acnes but at the same time, both Lauric Acid and coconut oil have a very high comedogenic rating (4 out of 5). Though comedogenic ratings are not very reliable, anecdotal evidence (i.e. people commenting in forums) shows that people have mixed experiences. While some claim that it worked wonders on their acne others say that it gave them serious blackheads and zits. Try it at your own risk. 

As for hair care, coconut oil has pretty solid research showing that it can penetrate into the hair very well (better than mineral oil and sunflower oil) and it can prevent hair protein loss as well as combing damage.  If you have problems with damaged hair, split ends, coconut oil is worth trying as a pre- or/and post-wash treatment.  Labmuffin has an awesome blogpost explaining in more detail why coconut oil is good for your hair.

A couple of other things worth mentioning: coconut oil might help with wound healing (promising animal study), it has some antifungal activity (against dermatophytes that cause the thing known as ringworm) and it also works as an insect repellent against black flies. 

Overall, coconut oil is definitely a goodie for the hair and dry skin. If that warrants for the magic oil status it enjoys, we don't know. 

Also-called: Aloe Leaf Extract;Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract | What-it-does: soothing, emollient, moisturizer/humectant

The extract coming from the juice containing leaves of the Aloe vera plant. It's usually a hydroglycolic extract (though  oil extract for the lipid parts also exists) that has similar moisturizing, emollient and anti-inflammatory properties as the juice itself. We have written some more about aloe here.

Also-called: Avocado Oil, Persea Americana Oil;Persea Gratissima Oil | What-it-does: antioxidant, emollient | Irritancy: 0 | Comedogenicity: 0-3

The oil coming from the pulp of one of the most nutritious fruits in the world, the avocado. It's loaded with the nourishing and moisturizing fatty acid, oleic (70%) and contains some others including palmitic (10%) and linoleic acid (8%). It also contains a bunch of minerals and vitamins A, E and D

Avocado oil has extraordinary skin penetration abilities and can nourish different skin layers. It's a very rich, highly moisturizing emollient oil that makes the skin smooth and nourished. Thanks to its vitamin E content it also has some antioxidant properties. As a high-oleic plant oil, it is recommended for dry skin

Also-called: Mango Seed Oil, Mango Seed Butter;Mangifera Indica Seed Oil | What-it-does: emollient

The soft solid, off-white to ivory butter or oil coming from the kernel (the seed inside of the seed) of the Mango. Similar to many other plant oils, it's a great moisturizing and nourishing emollient oil. It has medium spreadability and gives skin a creamy-dry feel. 

It's loaded with a bunch of good-for-the-skin stuff: it contains almost all of the essential amino acids, has several antioxidant phenolic compounds (including famous antioxidant ferulic acid) and is a rich source of nourishing fatty acids (like stearic and oleic acid).

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All in all, a skin goodie especially for dry skin types. 

Also-called: Beeswax;Cera Alba | What-it-does: emollient, viscosity controlling, emulsifying, perfuming | Irritancy: 0 | Comedogenicity: 0-2

It's the yellow, solid stuff that you probably know from beeswax candles. It's a natural material produced by honey bees to build their honeycomb.

As for skincare, it's used as an emollient and thickening agent. It's super common in lip balms and lipsticks. 

What-it-does: emollient

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Jojoba Oil | What-it-does: emollient | Irritancy: 0 | Comedogenicity: 0-2

Jojoba is a drought resistant evergreen shrub native to South-western North America. It's known and grown for jojoba oil, the golden yellow liquid coming from the seeds (about 50% of the weight of the seeds will be oil).  

At first glance, it seems like your average emollient plant oil: it looks like an oil and it's nourishing and moisturizing to the skin but if we dig a bit deeper, it turns out that jojoba oil is really special and unique: technically - or rather chemically - it's not an oil but a wax ester (and calling it an oil is kind of sloppy). 

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So what the heck is a wax ester and why is that important anyway? Well, to understand what a wax ester is, you first have to know that oils are chemically triglycerides: one glycerin + three fatty acids attached to it. The fatty acids attached to the glycerin vary and thus we have many kinds of oils, but they are all triglycerides. Mother Nature created triglycerides to be easily hydrolyzed (be broken down to a glycerin + 3 fatty acid molecules) and oxidized (the fatty acid is broken down into small parts) - this happens basically when we eat fats or oils and our body generates energy from it.

Mother Nature also created wax esters but for a totally different purpose. Chemically, a wax ester is a fatty acid + a fatty alcohol, one long molecule. Wax esters are on the outer surface of several plant leaves to give them environmental protection. 25-30% of human sebum is also wax esters to give us people environmental protection. 

So being a wax ester results in a couple of unique properties: First, jojoba oil is extremely stable. Like crazy stable. Even if you heat it to 370 C (698 F) for 96 hours, it does not budge. (Many plant oils tend to go off pretty quickly). If you have some pure jojoba oil at home, you should be fine using it for years. 

Second, jojoba oil is the most similar to human sebum (both being wax esters), and the two are completely miscible. Acne.org has this not fully proven theory that thanks to this, jojoba might be able to "trick" the skin into thinking it has already produced enough sebum, so it might have "skin balancing" properties for oily skin.

Third, jojoba oil moisturizes the skin through a unique dual action: on the one hand, it mixes with sebum and forms a thin, non-greasy, semi-occlusive layer; on the other hand, it absorbs into the skin through pores and hair follicles then diffuses into the intercellular spaces of the outer layer of the skin to make it soft and supple.

On balance, the point is this: in contrast to real plant oils, wax esters were designed by Mother Nature to stay on the surface and form a protective, moisturizing barrier and jojoba oil being a wax ester is uniquely excellent at doing that.

Also-called: Sesame Oil;Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil | What-it-does: emollient | Irritancy: 0 | Comedogenicity: 1-3

A goldish to dark yellow emollient plant oil coming from Sesame seeds. Similar to many other plant oils, it contains high amounts of nourishing and moisturizing fatty acids (about 38% of oleic and 48% of linoleic acid) and is a nice oil to repair and regenerate dry skin. It is rapidly absorbed and gives the skin a soft and gentle feel.  

Also-called: Calendula Extract, Marigold Extract;Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract | What-it-does: soothing, antioxidant, perfuming

The extract coming from the popular garden plant Calendula or Marigold. According to manufacturer info, it's used  for many centuries for its exceptional healing powers and is particularly remarkable in the treatment of wounds. It contains flavonoids that give the plant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Comfrey Root Extract;Symphytum Officinale Root Extract | What-it-does: soothing

A medicinal plant with analgesic (painkilling) and anti-inflammatory magic properties. It contains allantoin and rosmarinic acid that are probably responsible for its soothing power. It's often used in the field of sports for treating bruises or sprains.

The questionable side of comfrey (that prevented us from giving it a goodie rating) is that it also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA). That guy has some proven toxic effect so for example in Germany the permissibale dose of PA is 100 μg/day and if the dose is between 10-100 μg/day the treatment is limited to 4-6 weeks per year.

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But do not panic: most probably your skincare product does not contain anywhere near that dose. For example, a German sport-ointment to treat ankle sprains contains only 0.35 μg/g PA, so even with four uses per day, the dose is way below 10 μg/g. The same is probably true for your skincare product. 

What-it-does: moisturizer/humectant

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Ginkgo Biloba Extract;Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

What-it-does: antioxidant

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Hibiscus Extract;Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Licorice Root;Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract | What-it-does: soothing, skin brightening

You might know licorice as a sweet treat from your childhood, but it's actually a legume that grows around the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East, central and southern Russia. It's sweet and yellow and not only used for licorice all sorts but it's also a skincare superstar thanks to two magic properties:

Nr. 1 magic property is that it has skin-lightening or to say it another way depigmenting properties. The most active part is called glabridin. The topical application (meaning when you put it on your face) of 0.5% glabridin was shown to inhibit UVB caused pigmentation of guinea pigs. Another study even suggested that licorice is more effective than the gold standard skin-lightening agent hydroquinone. All in all, licorice is considered to be one of the safest skin lightening agents with the fewest side effects.

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There is just one catch regarding glabridin and licorice: the amount of glabridin in commercial licorice extracts can vary a lot. We have seen extracts with only 4% glabridin as well as 40% glabridin. The latter one is a very-very expensive ingredient, so if you are after the depigmenting properties try to choose a product that boasts its high-quality licorice extract. 

Nr. 2 magic property is that licorice is a potent anti-inflammatory. Glabridin has also some soothing properties but the main active anti-inflammatory component is glycyrrhizin. It’s used to treat several skin diseases that are connected to inflammation including atopic dermatitis, rosacea or eczema. 

Oh, and one more thing: glabridin seems to be also an antioxidant, which is just one more reason to be happy about licorice root extract on an ingredient list. 

Bottom line: Licorice is a great skincare ingredient with significant depigmenting, anti-inflammatory and even some antioxidant properties. Be happy if it's on the ingredient list. :)

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Plantain Leaf Extract;Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract | What-it-does: soothing, antioxidant, antimicrobial/antibacterial

The plant extract coming from the leaves of English plantain or narrowleaf plantain that's native to Europe and Asia. The plant has plenty of traditional medicinal uses. Regarding the leaf and the skin, it's used to promote maturation of abscess and to speed up the recovery of incisions, pimples or wounds. 

Modern studies do confirm that the plant, and specifically the leaves are loaded with active compounds that give the extract anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant magic properties. An in-vitro (made on chicken membrane, not on real people) study in Phytotherapy Research found that Plantain Leaf Extract in large concentrations has a comparable soothing effect to anti-inflammatory big shot, hydrocortisone.

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Another study in the Journal of Herbal Medicine examined the antioxidant properties of the plant and found that the leaf extract has potent antioxidant activity (thanks to its flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acids content) that's comparable or superior to multiple herbs and Chinese medicinal plants. 

All in all, definitely a goodie plant extract that's good to spot on the ingredient list.

What-it-does: emollient

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Rooibos Tea

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

What-it-does: astringent

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Green Tea;Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract | What-it-does: antioxidant, soothing, antimicrobial/antibacterial, astringent, emollient, moisturizer/humectant
  • Green tea is one of the most researched natural ingredients
  • The active parts are called polyphenols, or more precisely catechins (EGCG being the most abundant and most active catechin)
  • There can be huge quality differences between green tea extracts. The good ones contain 50-90% catechins (and often make the product brown and give it a distinctive smell)
  • Green tea is proven to be a great antioxidant, UV protectant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and antimicrobial
  • Because of these awesome properties green tea is a great choice for anti-aging and also for skin diseases including rosacea, acne and atopic dermatitis
Read all the geeky details about Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract here >>

What-it-does: astringent, emollient, soothing

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

What-it-does: emollient, soothing

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Acai Extract;Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Indian Frankincense Extract;Boswellia Serrata Extract | What-it-does: soothing

The extract coming from the Indian Frankincense, a medium-sized tree native to India. Mostly the gum-resin is used that is obtained from an incision made on the trunk of the tree.  It contains about 30-60% resin, 5-10% fragrant essential oil,  and the rest is made up of polysaccharides (mostly arabinose, galactose, xylose).

The biologically most active components of the resin are boswellic acids that have anti-inflammatory propertiesAccording to manufacturer info, the boswellic acids rich resin extract is also a potent inhibitor of elastase (an enzyme that breaks down proteins, including collagen) and has antiGAGase activity (protecting the important natural moisturizing factors, glycosaminoglycans in the skin) meaning that it can help the skin to stay firm for a longer time.

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The reason why we did not award Boswellia Serrata Extract a goodie status is that this INCI name is not clear enough on the type of the extract. It might be a boswellic acids rich, anti-inflammatory extract (that is a goodie) or it might be a fragrant essential oil rich extract used in perfumery or aromatherapy that can be a problem for sensitive skin types. 

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Cucumber Fruit Extract;Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract | What-it-does: soothing, emollient

Cucumber is a nice, non-irritating plant extract that’s known for it’s soothing and emollient properties. It’s not something new to put it on our face: even Cleopatra used it to “preserve her skin”.

It’s commonly believed that cucumber is the answer to puffy eyes, but there is no research confirming this. What research does confirm is that it contains amino acids and organic acids that’s helpful for the skin’s acid mantle. There is also an enzyme (called shikimate dehydrigenase) in the pulp that’s shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Also-called: Vitamin E | What-it-does: antioxidant | Irritancy: 0-3 | Comedogenicity: 0-3
  • Primary fat-soluble antioxidant in our skin
  • Significant photoprotection against UVB rays
  • Vit C + Vit E work in synergy and provide great photoprotection
  • Has emollient properties
  • Easy to formulate, stable and relatively inexpensive
Read all the geeky details about Tocopherol here >>

Also-called: Coenzyme Q10 | What-it-does: antioxidant

Thanks to Nivea, Q10 is a pretty well-known ingredient and the fame and Beiersdorf's (the parent company of Nivea) obsession with it are not for no reason. It's an antioxidant found naturally in human cells where it plays a big role in energy production.

In fact, it's so important for energy production that if taken as an oral supplement it has a caffeine-like effect and if taken at night you will probably not sleep very well (so you should take it in the morning). Q10 supplementation is not a bad idea: it not only gives you energy but research also shows that oral Q10 increases the Q10 level of the skin (of course, it decreases with age like pretty much every good thing in the skin) and may help to reduce wrinkles. If you are not for supplements, dietary sources include fish, spinach, and nuts.

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As for skincare, Q10 comes in the form of a yellow, oil-soluble powder that's shown to absorb into the upper layer of the skin and act there like an awesome antioxidant. It not only has preventative effects but might also be able to reduce the depth of wrinkles, though 0.3% Q10 was used in the study that counts as really high (products containing that much should be very yellow!). 

What-it-does: skin-identical ingredient, emollient | Irritancy: 0 | Comedogenicity: 1

It seems to us that squalane is in fashion and there is a reason for it. Chemically speaking, it is a saturated  (no double bonds) hydrocarbon (a molecule consisting only of carbon and hydrogen), meaning that it's a nice and stable oily liquid with a long shelf life. 

It occurs naturally in certain fish and plant oils (e.g. olive), and in the sebum (the oily stuff our skin produces) of the human skin. As f.c. puts it in his awesome blog post, squalane's main things are "emolliency, surface occlusion, and TEWL prevention all with extreme cosmetic elegance". In other words, it's a superb moisturizer that makes your skin nice and smooth, without being heavy or greasy.

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Another advantage of squalane is that it is pretty much compatible with all skin types and skin conditions. It is excellent for acne-prone skin and safe to use even if you have fungi-related skin issues, like seborrhea or fungal acne.

The unsaturated (with double bonds) and hence less stable version of Squalane is Squalene, you can read about it here >> 

What-it-does: emollient, viscosity controlling, emulsifying, emulsion stabilising, surfactant/cleansing | Irritancy: 1 | Comedogenicity: 2

An extremely common multitasker ingredient that gives your skin a nice soft feel (emollient) and gives body to creams and lotions. It also helps to stabilize oil-water mixes (emulsions), though it does not function as an emulsifier in itself. Its typical use level in most cream type formulas is 2-3%.  

It’s a so-called fatty alcohol, a mix of cetyl and stearyl alcohol, other two emollient fatty alcohols.  Though chemically speaking, it is alcohol (as in, it has an -OH group in its molecule), its properties are totally different from the properties of low molecular weight or drying alcohols such as denat. alcohol. Fatty alcohols have a long oil-soluble (and thus emollient) tail part that makes them absolutely non-drying and non-irritating and are totally ok for the skin.

A sugar based emulsifier that's especially great for low viscosity lotions or even sprays. It's effective in small amounts, only 1-1.5% is needed to form an emulsion. The resulting cream or lotion has great cosmetic properties with good spreadability and an enhanced soft skin feel. 

Also-called: Aspen Bark Extract

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Rosehip Seed Oil, Rosa Mosqueta Seed Oil, Rosa Eglanteria Seed Oil | What-it-does: antioxidant, emollient

The oil coming from the seeds of the wild rose bush most common in the southern Andes in Chile (btw, Rosa Rubiginosa, Rosa Eglanteria and Rosa Mosqueta all refer to the same oil, however, the more commonly used Rosa Canina is a bit different). Similar to many other great plant oils, it is a nice nourishing and moisturizing oil loaded with fatty acids (linoleic acid - 44%, linolenic acid - 34% and oleic acid - 14%). 

What makes rosehip oil a special snowflake among all the plant oils out there is that it also contains the miracle active, trans-retinoic acid, aka tretinoin. It is the main bioactive component of the oil and has all kinds of magic abilities including restoring and regenerating tissues (the oil is great for scars and burns), decreasing wrinkles, helping acne and even normalizing pore size. 

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Just one more note: a study found that the tretinoin content of rosehip seed oil greatly depends on the extraction method. The oil coming from cold pressing contained seven times more tretinoin (0.357 ml/l) than the oil from organic solvent extraction. Always go for the cold-pressed version! 

Also-called: Castor Oil;Ricinus Communis Seed Oil | What-it-does: emollient, perfuming | Irritancy: 0 | Comedogenicity: 0-1

Castor oil is sourced from the castor bean plant native to tropical areas in Eastern Africa and the Mediterranean Basin. It is an age-old ingredient (it’s over 4,000 years old!) with many uses including as a shoe polish, food additive and motor lubricant. You would be reasonable to think that putting shoe polish on your face wouldn’t be the best idea, but it turns out castor oil has some unique properties that make it a stalwart in thick and gloss-giving formulas (think lipsticks and highlighters).

So what is so special about it? The answer is its main fatty acid, called ricinoleic acid (85-95%).  Unlike other fatty acids, ricinoleic acid has an extra water-loving part (aka -OH group) on its fatty chain that gives Castor Oil several unique properties. First, it is thicker than other oils, then its solubility is different (e.g. dissolves in alcohol but not in mineral oil), and it allows all kinds of chemical modifications other oils do not, hence the lots of Castor oil-derived ingredients. It is also more glossy than other oils, in fact, it creates the highest gloss of all natural oils when applied to the skin. Other than that, it is a very effective emollient and occlusive that reduces skin moisture loss so it is quite common in smaller amounts in moisturizers. 

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While it is very unlikely (and this is true for pretty much every ingredient), cases of reactions to castor oil have been reported, so if your skin is sensitive, it never hurts to patch test. 

What-it-does: antioxidant, emollient

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Carrot Seed Oil;Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil | What-it-does: emollient

The oil coming from the seeds of the carrot, the orange root vegetable we all know and eat regularly. This oil is a really tricky one, as it can refer to two types of oil that can both be extracted from the carrot seeds: the essential oil (about 0.83% yield) and the fixed oil (about 7.84% yield). 

The two seed oils are very different and to make matters even worse these two oils are also very different from carrot root oil, or carrot oil, that is basically carrot root extract macerated in a carrier oil such as sunflower or olive oil and is the one that contains the vitamin A precursor, carotene. 

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Let's start with the fixed oil: it's a nice emollient plant oil that is loaded with moisturizing fatty acids (petroselinic acid - 60% and linoleic acid - 12% are the main ones). Other important components are carotol (30%) and daucol (12%) that give the seed oil antifungal and antioxidant properties. Browsing cosmetic manufacturer info, the oil is also often described as revitalizing, toning and stimulating

As for the essential oil, it is a light yellow colored oil with a rich, spicy and earthy fragrance. Its main component is carotol (about 65%) but similar to other essential oils, it is a chemically complex mixture with lots of compounds in small amounts. The essential oil also has antifungal and antioxidant properties but also contains fragrant components that might irritate sensitive skin types. 

Also-called: Raspberry Seed Oil | What-it-does: emollient

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Tamanu Oil;Calophyllum Tacamahaca Oil | What-it-does: soothing, emollient

An oil coming from cool places like Tahiti, Bora Bora, and the island of Polynesia. Similar to other more common plant oils, it's loaded with nourishing and moisturizing fatty acids (oleic acid: 40%, linoleic acid: 35%, palmitic acid: 15% and stearic acid: 11%).

Its unique thing is that it contains calophyllic acid that gives the oil extra healing and regenerating effects. A manufacturer even claims that tamanu oil can protect small capillary vessel and is recommended for redness and rosacea-prone skin

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

What-it-does: antioxidant

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

What-it-does: antioxidant

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Acai Oil;Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Oil

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: SOD | What-it-does: antioxidant

Superoxide Dismutase - or in short SOD - is the body's smart antioxidant enzyme that protects the cells from highly reactive, cell-damaging superoxide radicals (O2−).

You have probably read the terms "free radicals" and "antioxidants" a thousand times, and you know that free radicals are the evil guys, and antioxidants are the good guys. So superoxide radical is a very common free radical that can cause all kinds of cell damages and superoxide dismutase is an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of superoxide radicals into molecular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide (btw, this one has to be further converted by other antioxidant enzymes, called catalases).

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The extra nice thing about SOD is that it remains intact during the neutralization process and can continue its magic, while non-enzymatic antioxidants (like vitamin E) are used up during neutralization.

The efficacy studies of topical SOD are promising. In-vitro (made in the lab) tests show that SOD is a more effective antioxidant than vitamin E, green tea extract, and MAP. There is also an in-vivo (made on real people) study that measured how SOD can reduce the redness caused by UV rays and it was much more effective than vitamin E (pure or acetate form) and ascorbyl palmitate

All in all, SOD is a really potent antioxidant and slathering it all over yourself is a great way to give the skin a little extra help in protecting itself from all the bad environmental things out there. 

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

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