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A-Z OF INGREDIENTS

Acacia Gum (Acacia Senegal) is made from the dried, gummy sap of the African acacia tree. It was traditionally used in ancient remedies to soothe skin and help relieve swellings.

Acmella (Spilanthes Acmella) Flower Extract is also known as the Toothache plant as it was traditionally used in Brazil to treat toothaches.

Aleurites moluccana (Kukui Nut Oil) or Candlenut native to Hawaii, has been traditionally used for hundreds of years by early Hawaiians to soothe cuts and burns, and protect the skin from sun and sea weathering. Kukui Nut Oil contains vitamins A, C & E - all anti-oxidants that help create and protect healthy skin tissue.  It penetrates the skin quickly and can sooth and moisturize. It is often used to relieve chapped and irritated skin, especially eczema and psoriasis. It does not leave a greasy after-feel and is often used in sun creams. Kukui. It is very high in Essential Fatty Acids, Omega-9 (oleic acid), Omega-6 (linoleic acid) and Omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid), essential to vibrant, healthy skin.

Algae Extract (seaweed extract) There are numerous types of algae each with numerous skin benefiting properties, ranging from antioxidant, aiding the skin’s immune defences, skin restructuring, wrinkle reduction and tissue renewal, to moisturizer, hydrator, emollient and film former. Seaweeds contain more minerals than terrestrial plants and contain a rich selection of trace elements, amino acids and polysaccharides (natural sugars), which are particularly beneficial for skin smoothing and moisturisation.

Allantoin is extracted from the root of the comfrey plant and is said to have healing and soothing properties, and act as a temporary anti-irritant. It is believed to aid skin healing by stimulating new tissue growth. Non-allergenic.

Almond Oil, Sweet is an emollient and carrier oil that provides a smooth feel to the skin and increases the spreadability of products. Its main constituent is olein with a small proportion of glyceride of linoleic acid.

Aloe Vera (Aloe vera) needs no introduction as it is one of the most popular botanical ingredients used in skin care formulations, particularly sun care products. "Aloe" translates from the Arab name "Alloeh", meaning, ‘a bitter and shining substance’. In folklore, it was used as a healer of burns. It is an emollient and film-forming gum resin with extreme hydrating (99.5% of Aloe Vera is water), softening, healing, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It penetrates the skin, supplying moisture directly to the tissue. It is also claimed to have a UV absorbing ability and a relaxing effect on the skin, making it beneficial to sensitive, sunburned and exposed skin.  The inner gel (parynchemal) is extracted by careful filleting from the leaf. The leaves can be pealed open and the gel applied directly to the skin.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) is the name given to a group of natural acids often referred to as ‘fruit acids’. They are used to normalize the Stratum corneum (top, dead layer of the epidermis), by reducing its thickness though the exfoliation of dead cells by dissolving the inter-cellular glue that binds dead skin cells and the creation of a more compact structure, increasing hydration and dermal thickness, due to increased hydration and the normalization of skin functions.  There are six key types of AHAs: lactic acid from sour milk, glycolic acid from sugar cane juice, tartaric acid from grapes and wine, and citrus acid from all citrus fruit (lemons, pineapples, oranges etc). AHA’s are used in acne, hyperpigmentation, wrinkle, photo-damage, aging and eczema treatments.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is an extremely potent antioxidant that is both water- and fat-soluble. It helps Vitamins C and E work more effectively and has anti-inflammatory qualities, which can help reduce the redness associated with rosacea, acne and sensitive skin types. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dull skin, puffy eyes and dark circles.

Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide is a powerful prebiotic from natural sugars that Oskia uses, scientifically proven to help maintain and support the skin's natural microflora (feeding friendly skin organisms, without stimulating the harmful bacteria). What many people might not realize, or would rather not realize, is that our skin is covered with billions of friendly bacteria, fungi and moulds, called saprophytic flora. They live off our sweat, sebum and dead skin, and in return protect us against hostile bacteria and fungi, called saprophytic flora, which can cause itching, redness, excess scaling and irritations. Our precious friends live on a delicate balance that can easily be unbalanced by everyday activities, such as pollution, stress, age, sunlight, extreme cold, excess hygiene and medicines, especially antibiotics. In addition to protecting our skin against harmful bacteria, our good bacteria also participate in the skin metabolism: the secretion of necessary enzymes (lipases), production of lactic acid (necessary to maintain the pH balance) and re-enforces the immune system by surface antigens. Oskia use a special complex of Alpha-glucan Oligosaccharid and inulin, extracted from the Chicory root (Cichorium intybus) to help rebuild and support the skin’s natural microflora by stimulating our beneficial microflora to the disadvantage to the hostile organism, maintaining the skin conditions necessary for the growth of useful organisms.

Alpha-Spinasterol is a compound that stimulates cell regeneration.

Althea officinalis (Marshmallow Extract) is a soothing and healing herb that is particularly beneficial to chapped, dry and irritated skin, and the treatment of wounds, burns, skin inflammation, bites and bruises.

Amino Acids make up one of the groups of essential cell nutrients. Out of the twenty, the body can only produce ten of these, the remainder coming directly from protein-rich food we eat.

Amla Extract (Phyllanthus emblica), from a berry known as Indian Gooseberry or Amalaki, has one of the highest concentrations of natural Vitamin C of any edible plant. It protects cells against free-radical damage and aids collagen production.  It is grown in India and the Himalaya.

Apricot Kernal Oil (Prunus Americana) is primarily used as a carrier oil. It is also a good moisturizer and is used for its skin softening action. Rapidly absorbed by the skin, Apricot Oil contains a high percent of antioxidants and free-radical-scavenging Vitamin E that can aid the skin in retaining elasticity and suppleness. It is a triglyceride, the same as avocado, olive and sesame oil, and comprises of about 75 per cent oleic acid, 20 per cent linoleic acid, and unsaturated fatty acids esterfied with glycerine.

Argon Oil from the Argon tree native to Morocco, is rich in fatty acids and Vitamin E. It has anti-ageing and antioxidant qualities and leaves skin hydrates, soft and protected.  It is excellent for the treatment of ageing, dry or acne prone skin.

Arnica Extract (Arnica Montana) is a native to Europe, Siberia and North America. It is a member of the sunflower family and traditionally known for the treatment of bruises due to its clinically proven anti-inflammatory effect. Oskia use a special complex of Arnica and Laminaria algae extract to visibly reduce eye puffiness and dark circles its efficacy proven by three in-vivo studies. Vitamin P from the Laminaria decongest and  most importantly strengthen and constrict the delicate capillaries of the eye area, reducing the appearance of ‘dark’ circles. Arnica is also credited with antiseptic, astringent, antimicrobial, anticoadulant, circulation stimulating and healing properties, and has also been claimed to promote waste removal from the skin, aid tissue growth and to be anti-allergenic. It is considered excellent for the treatment of acne. Arnica contains essential oil (thymol), sesquiterpene lactones (arnicin, arnicolides, helenalin), flavonoids (eupafolin, pattuletin), polysaccharides, mucilage, bitters, carotenoids, inulin, tannin. You can find Oskia’s special Arnica and Laminaria complex in Eye Wonder.

Arctic Cranberry is a unique and valuable berry, with health-promoting qualities that have been known for centuries. It has been used as a medicinal herb in traditional Scandinavian medicine. Cranberry contains flavonoids, essential fatty acids Omega-6 and Omega-3 (linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid) as well as carotenoids and phytosterols. Scandinavian cranberry has been found to contain a rare type of vitamin E, tocotrienol, an antioxidant 40-60 times more effective than the more common form of vitamin E, tocopherol. Of all unrefined natural oils, cranberry contains the highest proportion of this effective antioxidant.

ASC II Complex (Dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline) is a vegetable derivative claimed to enhance skin firmness and protect elastin fibres. It is greatly used in anti-aging products.

ASC III Complex is a patented compound made from soy that is clinically proven to firm skin and reduce wrinkles.

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is a well known antioxidant. When Vitamin E reacts with a free radical it becomes damaged. Vitamin C comes in to repair this free-radical damage in Vitamin E, allowing Vitamin E to continue on its free-radical scavenging duties. Current research has suggested that Vitamin C is also photoprotective and adds protection against UVB (burning) damage when combined with UVB sunscreens. Mixed with Vitamin E, the three actually offer greater protection together than any on their own. Vitamin C is clinically proved to stimulate collagen production, and can lightening the skin and boosts the immune system.

Ascorbyl Palmitate is an oil soluble form of Vitamin C, sometimes referred to as Vitamin C Ester, which provides antioxidant protection to the cellular membranes in the skin as well as help repair it.

Beeswax (Cera alba) is one of the oldest raw ingredients used in cosmetics. It is traditionally used as an emulsifier, though has also been credited with anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antibacterial and skin-softening and elasticity enhancing properties, though there is no scientific proof for this.

Benzoic acid is a preservative used in skin-care products. It is considered less irritating than some other forms of preservatives.

Benzoin extract has some disinfecting and fragrant properties though it is also a skin irritant.

Benzophenone is a family of synthetic chemicals found in chemical sunscreens that protect mostly from UVB radiation and from some, but not all, UVA radiation. See UVA

Benzothonium chloride is used as a preservative in cosmetics. It is generally considered less irritating than some other forms of preservatives.

Benzoyl peroxide, the first organic peroxide to be made by intentional synthesis, is considered the most effective over-the-counter choice for a topical antibacterial agent in the treatment of blemishes and acne. Jack Breitbart of Revlon laboratories first developed the use of benzoyl peroxide for treating acne in the 1920s. There are numerous clinical studies to support its efficacy. Benzoyl peroxide works as a peeling agent, increasing skin turnover and clearing pores, thus reducing the bacterial count there as well as directly as an antibacterial due to its ability to penetrate into the hair follicle to reach the bacteria that cause the problem, and then kill them—with a low risk of irritation. It also doesn’t pose the problem of bacterial resistance that some prescription topical antibacterials (antibiotics) do Current research shows benzoyl peroxide is more effective than some other prescription treatments for acne, such as oral antibiotics or topical antibiotics. It is used in concentrations from 2.5%, to 10%, though solutions of 5% and over can cause irritation, though the skin usually builds up a tolerance, if started at a lower concentration and building up.

Benzyl Alcohol is natural preservative that occurs naturally in plants such as Jasmine, Ylang ylang and rose oils. It is an Ecocert approved preservative used against bacteria.

Bilberry (Vaccinum Myrtillus) is high in antioxidants and gentle fruit acids that go to work to help stabilise cell membranes, strengthen capillaries, reduce redness, tone and rejuvenate the skin. It is also beneficial to the eyes and circulation.

Bioflavoniods are plant derivatives with strong antioxidant properties that absorb oxygen radicals which may cause skin oxidation and antimicrobial activity. Also aids anti-inflammatory.

Biosaccharide gum-1 is a fucose-rich polysaccharide produced by plant fermentation with a wonderfully controllable viscosity and anti-allergy effect. It has a non-greasy feel and an immediate and long lasting hydrating effect due to its film forming and water-captor effects. It in fact has a longer lasting hydrating effect than Hyaluronic Acid on the corneum layer of the skin.

Bitter Orange Extract (Citrus Aurantim) is obtained from the peel of bitter oranges. It is credited with soothing properties and has a more delicate fragrance than sweet orange. The oil is used in aromatherapy to reduce stress, relax and improve concentration.

Butterbur Extract (Petasites Japonicus) is a wonderful ingredient for sensitive skin having clinically proven anti-histamine and anti-leukotriene activities. It effectively soothes, reduces redness and irritation. Native to Japan, it is also known as Fuki, Bog Rhubard or Giant Butterbur.

 Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) is a natural fat obtained from the fruit of the Karate tree, often referred to as “the tree of life”. It is a rich emollient rich in Vitamin D, F and essential fatty acids, Omega 3, 6 and 9. It protects skin from dehydration, can help improve suppleness, increases moisturisation and can improve the appearance of irritated skin.  Traditionally it is used by the tribes that collect and prepare it, to accelerate wound healing. It contains Allantoin, which may justify its healing effect. It is similar to Cocoa butter.

Calcium ascorbate is a form of vitamin C; other forms include ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Calcium ascorbate, often referred to as Ester-C, is considered a stable form of vitamin C and an antioxidant. 

Calendula officinalis (Marigold Extract) is a powerfully effective plant extract that has a deserved reputation for helping to protect and restore damaged skin. Soothing, antiseptic, healing and calming, this herb can help reduce skin blemishes and sun burn. Traditionally, marigold extract was used to heal skin rashes and cleanse wounds after washing. Recommended usage is 1-10 per cent.  The extract is obtained from the blossom. It contains Lutein, which has been clinically proved by Professor Pierfrancesco Morganti, dermatology department at the University of Naples, to increase the photo-protective activity, hydration, elasticity and lipid levels of the skin.

Camellia Oil is extracted from the leaves of Thea sasanqua nois. It is a non-greasy oil with antioxidant properties due to its high content of oleic cid.

 Camellia sinensis L (Green Tea Extract) is a powerful antioxidant due to its catechin content, mopping up and neutralizing free-radicals that become stimulated by UV light and attack the skin’s cells, causing cellular damage, such as wrinkles and abnormal cell development. It is also known to be skin firming (due to its tannins content), anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and a stimulant (due to its caffeine content). Clinical studies have shown green tea to prevent, or at least postpone, the onset of certain illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease, which is attributed to the catechin content which actively penetrates the skin cells protecting them from free-radical damage.

 Cangadora odorata (Ylang Ylang) distilled from fresh flowers, has a sensual, exotic smell and is known for its aphrodisiac properties.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Tricaprylin) is an emollient used in creams, oils and lotions that promotes penetration.

Carrageenan Extract or Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) is a seaweed found in the cold waters of the Atlantic. It is rich in minerals, proteins and vitamins, and used to soften and sooth inflamed skin. It is also used as a thickening agent. The main active constituents, which are incredibly pure, include protein, polysaccharides, iodine, bromine, mucilage, carrageenans, beta carotene, Vitamin B-1 and sulfur compounds. Used by Oskia.

Carrot Oil (Daucus carota) has been used since the 16th century for the treatment of skin diseases. It contains a natural derivative of Vitamin A or retinol, called pro-vitamin A, which helps nourish and protect the skin from signs of aging. It also contains carotene, which gives carrots their bright orange colour, and is a proven free-radical scavenger. Together, these properties are used to treat skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, skin irritations, rashes and wrinkles.

Cenaurea cyanus (Cornflower Extract) or Bluebonnet, Blue Centaury, and Batchelor’s Button, has been used in Europe since ancient times to treat bites or as a wash for tired eyes. It was apparently a favorite of Beethoven and legend has it that it brings luck to those who see it. Its healing properties make it a useful ingredient for skin care products for the delicate eye area.

 Centella asiatica, Hydrocotyl or (Gotu Kola Extract) Hydrocotyl asiatica, Indian pennywort) is traditionally used for couperose condition and in soothing and anti-itching preparations for skin disorders. It is also a known inhibitor of keratinocyte proliferation and is therefore used to treat severely dry skin such as psoriasis. It may also promote circulation and act as an anti-cellulite ingredient.

Cera alba (Beeswax) is one of the oldest raw ingredients used in cosmetics. It is traditionally used as an emulsifier, though has also been credited with anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antibacterial and skin-softening and elasticity enhancing properties, though there is no scientific proof for this.

Cetearyl Alchol (cetostearyl alcohol) is an emulsifying and stabilizing wax made from the reduction of plant oils and natural waxes. It is also used as an emollient and is a mixture of fatty alcohols consisting of cetyl and stearyl alcohols. 

Cetearyl Glucoside is an emulsifying substance made from vegetable-derived Cetearyl alcohol and Glucose.

Cetearyl Olivate works with Sorbitan Olivate to mix oil and water based ingredients together.

 Cetostearyl alcohol (Cetearyl Alchol) is an emulsifying and stabilizing wax made from the reduction of plant oils and natural waxes. It is also used as an emollient and is a mixture of fatty alcohols consisting of cetyl and stearyl alcohols. 

Chamomile Extract (Anthemis nobilis and Matricaria chamomilla) has clinically proven anti-inflammatory and repairer properties. It is also credited with bacterial, soothing, antiseptic, purifying and refreshing properties and be able to neutralise irritants. There are many types, though the main ones used in skincare are Roman and German Chamomile, the later being stronger due to its higher azulene content.

Chamomile Oil has a cooling effect on the skin as it constricts blood capillaries. It is also antiseptic and healing and found to be beneficial to burns and skin inflammations as well as dermatitis.

 Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria Extract) prepared from the flowers, has been clinically proven to be anti-inflammatory and have repairer properties. It is also considered to be soothing, anti-itching, antiseptic, bactericidal, purifying, refreshing, hypoallergenic and able to neutralize skin irritants. There are various forms of Chamomille, including Roman and German (which tends to be more potent).

Charcoal is primarily a carbon substance formed by charring organic material in absence of oxygen. It is mainly used as a food supplement to absorb toxins within the gut. One teaspoonful of Activated Charcoal USP has a surface area of more than 10,000 square feet, which gives charcoal unique absorption properties. It is often used to absorb alcohol during stomach pumping, and it can also disinfect wounds.

Chondrus crispus (Carrageenan Extract) is a seaweed found in the cold waters of the Atlantic. It is rich in minerals, proteins and vitamins, and used to soften and sooth inflamed skin. It is also used as a thickening agent. The main active constituents, which are incredibly pure, include protein, polysaccharides, iodine, bromine, mucilage, carrageenans, beta carotene, Vitamin B-1 and sulfur compounds. Used by Oskia.

Cinnamate is a family of synthetic chemicals found in chemical sunscreens.

Citronellol is a naturally-occurring componunt found in more than 30 essential oils, including Rose, Geranium, Neroli, Chamomille, Lavender, and also in black tea, wine, and other fruits. It has a long history of use in cosmetics, flavorings and fragrances. It is a pale yellow oily liquid with an aroma described as sweet, rose, leather, musty, and floral. Some people find citronellol irritating, therefore if it is present in an essential oil used as a perfume or ingredient in skincare, it is be listed.

Citrus Aurantim (Bitter Orange Extract) is obtained from the peel of bitter oranges. It is credited with soothing properties and has a more delicate fragrance than sweet orange. The oil is used in aromatherapy to reduce stress, relax and improve concentration.

Citrus paradise (Grapefruit Extract) is reported to have antiseptic properties and contains Vitamin C, a co-factor in collagen synthesis.

Cocamidopropyl betaine is a natural surfactant derived from coconut oil from the kernals of pine trees. It has been shown to cause allergies in human studies and is rated as a moderate hazard, with a rating of 5, in the Cosmetics Database.

Cocoa Butter is extracted from the roasted seeds of the cocoa plant. It softens, lubricates, and moisturizes the skin.

Coco Glucoside is a gentle detergent derived from Coconuts. Used in Oskia’s Perfect Cleanser.

Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera) is one of the oldest vegetable oils used in skin care preparations. An alternative to mineral oil, it is a frequent ingredient in creams, salves and ointments, particularly those for problem skin.

Comfrey Extract (Symphytum officinale) is traditionally used for soothing and anti-itching treatments, particularly when treating eczema and sunburn. It contains allantoin and credited with healing, astringent and emollient properties. It is also considered useful in treating pain.

Corn starch gum (Xanthan Gum) is a natural gelling agent, or carrier, giving texture to skin care products. It also stabilizes and thickens formulations.

Cornflower Extract (Cenaurea cyanus), or Bluebonnet, Blue Centaury, and Batchelor’s Button, has been used in Europe since ancient times to treat bites or as a wash for tired eyes. It was apparently a favorite of Beethoven and legend has it that it brings luck to those who see it. Its healing properties make it a useful ingredient for skin care products for the delicate eye area.

Coumarin is used as a fragrance and can cause liver damage if ingested.

Cucumber Extract (Cucumis sativus) is credited with moisture-binding and regulating, soothing, tightening, refreshing, softening, tightening, anti-itching, anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It contains amino and organic acids, that are claimed to strengthen the skin’s acid mantle. It also contains minerals and mucins. In China it is known as ‘Grandmother’s Younger Face Slave’ (Hua Gua).

Cyclopentasiloxane is a silicone fluid often used in skincare, haircare and deodorants.

 Daucus carota (Carrot Oil) has been used since the 16th century for the treatment of skin diseases. It contains a natural derivative of Vitamin A or retinol, called pro-vitamin A, which helps nourish and protect the skin from signs of aging. It also contains carotene, which gives carrots their bright orange colour, and is a proven free-radical scavenger. Together, these properties are used to treat skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, skin irritations, rashes and wrinkles.

Decyl Oleate is an ester of decyl alcohol and oleic acid made from olive oil. It is a natural emollient that adds body to lotions. Used by Oskia.

Dehydroacetic Acid is an Ecocert approved, weak, non-irritating or allergy-causing preservative against fungi and bacteria. Used by Oskia.

Diethylhexyl Adipate (DEHA) is commonly found in shaving cream and can irritate eyes and skin, though ingestion can cause more serious problems. Tests have shown that DEHA can cause cancerous tumour in mice and abnormal embryos in rats. The US National Institute for Occupational Safety estimates that 11,000 workers ingest DEHA every year from cosmetics or food contaminated by its packaging.

Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) also known as deanol, is a structural derivative of one of the B vitamins and a precursor of acetylcholine, that is, it is one of the molecules used to build acetylcholine in cell metabolism. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, a molecule involved in the transmission of messages between nerve cells in the central nervous system.  Found naturally in the body, it helps brain function and can significantly reduce wrinkles, age spots and other signs of premature ageing. It is also an antioxidant that helps stabilise cell membranes and protect against free radical attack. It is naturally extracted from marine algae and can be taken in supplement form as well as in topical applications.

Dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline (ASC II Complex) is a vegetable derivative claimed to enhance skin firmness and protect elastin fibres. It is greatly used in anti-aging products.

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate (Licorice Root Extract) is a potent calming agent that has powerful anti-inflammatory abilities. It helps to improve skin tone and also visibly reduces the appearance of skin discoloration.

DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), also known as deanol, is a structural derivative of one of the B vitamins and a precursor of acetylcholine, that is, it is one of the molecules used to build acetylcholine in cell metabolism. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, a molecule involved in the transmission of messages between nerve cells in the central nervous system.  Found naturally in the body, it helps brain function and can significantly reduce wrinkles, age spots and other signs of premature ageing. It is also an antioxidant that helps stabilise cell membranes and protect against free radical attack. It is naturally extracted from marine algae and can be taken in supplement form as well as in topical applications.

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia), also known as Coneflower and whose name derives from the Greek word for sea urchin or hedgehog, is well known for its immune-boosting qualities. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient and helps promote cell renewal, improving skin tone and texture. It grows wild in North America and was long used by the Sioux and Amerind tribes to treat a vast variety of problems. 

Ethylhexylglycerin is the mild and safe preservative often used in natural products. It is particularly effective at protecting water-based products from bacterial contamination.

Galactoarabinan is a polysaccharide extracted from larch trees. It is a vegetable alternative to Collagen and Albumin, which immediate firms, lifts, smoothes and tones. Also adds a natural sheen and radiance.

Geraniol is considered a natural allergen. It occurs naturally in a number of essential oils commonly used in perfumes used in natural products, such as chamomile, citronella, clary sage, coriander, geranium, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, marjoram, neroli, Roman chamomile, rose, Spanish sage and Ylang ylang.

Ginkgo Biloba Extract (Ginkgo biloba) has been used for hundreds of years as a blood vessel dilator and has many names, including Fan Leaf Tree, Japanese Temple Tree, Elephant’s Ear Tree, Duck Foot Tree, and Maiden Hair Tree. It is credited with antioxidant properties and helps aid fibroblast cells with collagen and elastin production. Its free-radical scavenging properties make it popular in anti-aging skin care products. Taken internally, it is known to aid memory and improve concentration.

Glycerin (glycerol; propanetriol) is a humectant used in moisturizers that absorbs water from the air, helping the skin retain water.  It is a sweet, syrupy alcohol that is produced from water and fats extracted from vegetable oils. It has been used in cosmetics for hundreds of years as a solvent, plasticizer, humectant, emollient and lubricant. It is also thought to enhance comocyte desquamation.

Glyceryl Cocoate/Citrate/Lactate

Glyceryl Stearate is derived from palm kernel or soy oil and is found naturally in the human body. It is one of the most commonly used skin-conditioning ingredient and emollient, helping to form neutral, stable emulsions. It is also used as a solvent, humectant and emulsifier, preventing oil and water separating in creams.

glycol stearate

glycoproteins.

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGS), also known as mucopolysaccharides are a fundamental component of skin tissue, connective tissue (cartilage and tendons) and synovial fluid lubricant in body joints. They are essentially a group of complex proteins, including Chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid. Water also sticks to GAGs, this is where the resistance to pressure comes from. See chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, mucopolysaccharide, and natural moisturizing factor (NMF).

Goji Berries (Lycium barbarum), also known as Wolfberries, grow in the remote mountainous regions of Mongolia, Tibet and China. They have recently hit cult status due to their exceptionally high antioxidant capacity. This small, red berry has the highest antioxidant content known, more than all other foods - 10 times more than Blueberries.  They have more Vitamin C than oranges, more iron than spinach, more beta-carotene than carrots and contain vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E, 18 amino acids (6 times more than bee pollen) and 21 trace minerals.

 Antioxidant Capacity

(Based on 100g. ORAC shore as researched by Tufts University, Boston)

Goji berries           25,300

Blueberries           2,400

Strawberries         1,540

Spinach                  1, 260

Beetroot                840

Gotu Kola Extract (Centella asiatica, Hydrocotyl or Hydrocotyl asiatica, Indian pennywort) is traditionally used for couperose condition and in soothing and anti-itching preparations for skin disorders. It is also a known inhibitor of keratinocyte proliferation and is therefore used to treat severely dry skin such as psoriasis. It may also promote circulation and act as an anti-cellulite ingredient.

Grape Extract is considered to have anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties and act as an antioxidant. It can also reduce redness. It contains a high level of berberin as well as Vitamin C, chlorophyll and enzymes. It is used primarily in anti-aging and sun care products.

Grape Seed Extract is an exceptionally powerful antioxidant and also considered to have soothing and antibacterial properties.

Grapefruit Extract (Citrus paradisi) is reported to have antiseptic properties and contains Vitamin C, a co-factor in collagen synthesis.

Grapefruit Seed Extract is said to have antibacterial properties and is also used as a preservative.

Grapefruit Water is well known for its astringent and antiseptic properties.

Green Tea Extract (Camellia sinensis L.) is a powerful antioxidant due to its catechin content, mopping up and neutralizing free-radicals that become stimulated by UV light and attack the skin’s cells, causing cellular damage, such as wrinkles and abnormal cell development. It is also known to be skin firming (due to its tannins content), anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and a stimulant (due to its caffeine content). Clinical studies have shown green tea to prevent, or at least postpone, the onset of certain illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease, which is attributed to the catechin content which actively penetrates the skin cells protecting them from free-radical damage.

Guar Gum is a polysaccharide found in the developing plant embryo of the seeds of plants. It is used as thickener and emulsifier as it has a coating effect on the skin, allowing moisture retention.

Guarana (Paullinia cupanaseed) extract is primarily used in herbal supplements and drinks as a stimulant. It is often hailed as the natural alternative to Redbull, but repeated use has been shown to increase in heart rate and blood pressure as well as in unfavourable actions on glucose and potassium homeostasis, which could be detrimental to people who suffer from hypertension, atherosclerosis, or glucose intolerance—conditions that are strongly associated with obesity. However, in animal studies (mice), it has been shown to affect fat metabolism (no research has shown its effects on human metabolism) and there is also research that it can help reduce cellulite due to its theophylline and caffeine components and due to the face that it can be absorbed into the skin. (Sources: International Journal of Pharmaceutics, April 2006, www.sciencedirect.com/; Food and Chemical Toxicology, June 2006, pages 862–867; Clinical Nutrition, December 20005, pages 1019–1028; and Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, June 2005, pages 560–571).

 Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel Extract) is obtained from the leaves and bark of the tree and known for its anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. It is traditionally used in the treatment of sunburn, burns, skin irritation, insect bites and bruises. It has good anti-itching, softening and emollient properties. Less known are its effect on UVA and UVB absorber. Effective in doses of 2-5 percent.

 Hippophae Rhamnoide (Sea Buckthorn Oil) is one of the only plants to contain almost all of the basic range of vitamins and pro-vitamins. It is rich in carotenoids, sito-sterols, flavanoids, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E & K, folic acid, omega 3, 6 and the rare omega 7, lipids, amino acids. It is a powerful antioxidant and claimed to accelerate the skin’s regeneration process, promoting the healing of damaged skin while improving the skin’s appearance and texture by slowing down the ageing process. It has exceptional rejuvenating, restorative and moisturizing properties. The oil from the pulp is rich in Palmitoleic acid, which is a natural component of skin.

Honeysuckle Extract (Lonicera fragrantissima) protects against sunburn. There are over 100 different species of honeysuckle.

Honeysuckle Oil has similar properties to the extract.

Hydrofiltrat limonium (Sea Lavender) has recently been scientifically proven to be one of the most powerful antioxidants available – nearly six times greater than cranberry. It is also scientifically proven to protect against UVA and UVB radiation and repair after UV exposure. It has an ORAC value (method to measure antioxidant capacity) of 9426, whereas Cranberry has a value of 1668. It is a pretty purple flower that grows along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.  Used in Oskia products.

Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort Oil) is a deep red oil with anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial for chapped, rough, sensitive skin, acne or skin irritations. It is also considered effective for improving capillary circulation and is also an antibiotic and therefore a natural preservative.

INCI lists (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is the list of ingredients you will find on all skin care and cosmetic products. It is a legal requirement and consists of the scientific names of each ingredients. These scientific names look complicated and can often misguide people into thinking that they are synthetic chemicals rather than natural ingredients. (All natural ingredients are themselves made up of chemicals). Many companies all include the common names in brackets to clarify understanding. For example: Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon peel oil), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Valencia Orange Peel Oil).

Inulin Oskia use a combination of Inulin and Gluco-oligosaccharides as a prebiotic to boost the growth of the protective friendly skin bacteria on the surface of our skin. Inulin is a natural sugar (glucose and fructose) extracted from the Chicory root (Cichorium Intybus) by hot water. See Gluco-oligosaccharides for more information.

Jasmine Oil (Jasminum officinale) is one of the most expensive oils available, due to the lengthy and costly extraction process of the essence from the flowers.  In the time of the Pharaohs, only the very privileged could afford its luxury. Jasmine oil acts as an aphrodisiac and can lift the senses and enlighten one’s mood.  In addition to its use in aromatherapy, it is credited with moisturizing, soothing and healing properties, and is an analgesic, sedative, hypotensive and is also used for neuralgia of the face or head.

Jojoba Oil (Simmondsis chinensis) was traditionally used and worshipped by the native Americans of the Sonora Desert for its cosmetic and healing properties.  It is a moisturizer and emollient with excellent spreadability and penetration into the corneum layer via the hair follicles and pores. Jojoba oil reduces water loss from the epidermis without completely blocking the transportation of water and gases, providing the skin with suppleness and softness. It is very similar to the sebum produced by the skin, so works very well in skincare products.

Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) – see seaweed extract

Kukui Nut Oil or Candlenut (Aleurites moluccana), native to Hawaii, has been traditionally used for hundreds of years by early Hawaiians to soothe cuts and burns, and protect the skin from sun and sea weathering. Kukui Nut Oil contains vitamins A, C & E - all anti-oxidants that help create and protect healthy skin tissue.  It penetrates the skin quickly and can sooth and moisturize. It is often used to relieve chapped and irritated skin, especially eczema and psoriasis. It does not leave a greasy after-feel and is often used in sun creams. Kukui. It is very high in Essential Fatty Acids, Omega-9 (oleic acid), Omega-6 (linoleic acid) and Omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid), essential to vibrant, healthy skin.

Laminaria is a kelp extract, extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, that Oskia uses in combination with Arnica to visibly reduce eye puffiness and dark circles, its efficacy proven by three in-vivo studies. Vitamin P from the Laminaria decongests, and most importantly, strengthens and constricts the delicate capillaries of the eye area, reducing the appearance of ‘dark’ circles. You can find Laminaria in Oskia’s Eye Wonder.

Lanolin is a thick waxy substance derived from the sebaceous glands of sheep. (It is extracted from wool without any harm to the animal!) It is a fantastic emollient and moisturising agent, though has been burdened with a reputation for being an allergen or sensitizing agent, especially for eczema sufferers. However, thankfully, a study based on 24,449 patients published in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2001, pages 28–31) has changed this. It concluded “that lanolin sensitization has remained at a relatively low and constant rate even in a high-risk population (i.e., patients with recent or active eczema).” “The mean annual rate of sensitivity to this allergen was 1.7%”—and it was lower than that for a 50% concentration of lanolin. The complex combination of lipids within lanolin is very similar to that found in the epidermis, and therefore it is a fantastic conditioner for dry skin. Able to replenish the lipid bilayers and restore essential cholesterol to the stratum corneum, lanolin can be used to maintain and repair the skin's natural barrier whilst protecting it against damaging environmental factors. Whilst lanolin helps maintain a healthy skin barrier function, it also possesses natural anti-microbial properties that provide additional protection benefits. Challenger tests carried out by Oskia’s lanolin supplier has shown it to protect against Staphylococcus Aureus, E-Coli, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Salmonella and Candida Albicans.

Lavender Flower Oil (Lavandula angustifolia) is famously known in aromatherapy and used as a perfume. However, its medicinal properties are numerous. It is credited with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, soothing, healing, stimulating, antispasmodic and balancing properties. It is also said to clean wounds, regulate skin functions and stimulate cellular growth and regeneration. It can produce excellent results when used in treatments for acne, burns, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. Its benefit to the skin is almost immediate as it penetrates extremely quickly.

Lecithin is a phospholipid natural emollient, emulsifier, antioxidant and spreading agent. It is a hydrophilic ingredient that attracts water. Usually obtained from eggs or soybeans, it is found naturally is all living organisms.

Lemon is considered a potent skin sensitizer and irritant. Though it can have antibacterial properties, the irritation can hurt the skin’s immune response. It can however be used as a chemical exfoliant if diluted with water.

Lemon oil can also be a skin irritant, especially on chapped skin.

Lemon Peel Oil is popular in aromatherapy and considered to be antiseptic, depurative, a lymphatic stimulant and a counterirritant.

Lemongrass extract has antibacterial properties but it also may be a skin irritant.

Lemongrass oil, also known as Oil of Verbena, is used as an effective mosquito repellent, but when used as an oil directly onto the skin that can cause irritation as it contains allegens including limonene and citral. It is often used as a perfume in skincare and bath products.

Lentinus edodes extract the shiitake mushroom

Licorice Root Extract (Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate) is a potent calming agent that has powerful anti-inflammatory abilities. It helps to improve skin tone and also visibly reduces the appearance of skin discoloration.

Limonene is a common chemical constituent of many natural fragrant ingredients are used in natural and synthetic skincare products. It has a very strong orangey smell and takes its name from the rind of lemon, which like other citrus fruits, contains considerable amounts of this chemical compound. d-limonene is derived from pine trees, while l-limonene is found in species of the mint family. It is considered an allergen and therefore must be listed in ingredient INCI lists on product packaging. However, early research also suggests that limonene may be a potential anti-cancer ingredient and immune stimulant when consumed orally, but other research suggests that it may in fact promote the growth of tumors. It is best to avoid products that contain limonene as a component of the natural fragrance if you suffer from dermatitis or have very sensitive skin. Limonene is also used in cleaning products!

Linalool is a naturally-occurring terpene alcohol chemical and the fragrant component of nearly 200 plants, mainly from the Lamiaceae (mints, lavender, scented herbs) and Lauraceae (laurels, cinnamon, rosewood) families. It is one of the most common perfumes used in cosmetics and cleansing products, but it is also a potent skin irritant, allergen, or sensitizer once it is exposed to air.  Therefore, it must be listed in INCI lists on product packaging. Current research also indicates that this component of lavender can be cytotoxic (meaning toxic to skin cells) (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 1365–2184).

Liquid paraffin is very highly refined mineral white oil used in cosmetics and for medical purposes.

Locust Bean Gum has been known for its thickening properties since ancient times and is produced by milling the seeds of the Carob tree. It also has moisturizing, regenerating and smoothing properties.

Lonicera fragrantissima (Honeysuckle Extract) protects against sunburn. There are over 100 different species of honeysuckle.

Lycium barbarum, (Goji Berries), also known as Wolfberries, grow in the remote mountainous regions of Mongolia, Tibet and China. They have recently hit cult status due to their exceptionally high antioxidant capacity. This small, red berry has the highest antioxidant content known, more than all other foods - 10 times more than Blueberries.  They have more Vitamin C than oranges, more iron than spinach, more beta-carotene than carrots and contain vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E, 18 amino acids (6 times more than bee pollen) and 21 trace minerals.

Antioxidant Capacity

(Based on 100g. ORAC shore as researched by Tufts University, Boston)

Goji berries           25,300

Blueberries           2,400

Strawberries         1,540

Spinach                  1, 260

Beetroot                840

 

Macadamia Nut Oil (Macadamia integrifolia), primarily grown in Australia and the Hawaiian islands, is a carrier and emollient with excellent spreadability, lubrication and penetration properties. Its fatty acid content is very similar to that of the skin’s natural sebum. It aids softening and suppleness and is beneficial in skin nourishing products. It is also contains palmitoleic acid, which is a naturally occurring fatty acid produced by the sebaceous glands, of which production decreases with age, making Macadamia nut oil very beneficial in products for mature or very dry skin. 

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a fat soluble Vitamin C that is extremely stable for use in skin care formulas, making it bio-available to the skin's deeper layers. It fights free radicals and prevents damage as it repairs skin from sun, stress and pollutants. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen synthesis. (See Vitamin C.)

Malva Sylvestris (Mallow Extract), from the small, pink-flowered Mallow plant, was traditionally used for wound healing in folkloric medicine.  It is attributed with anti-inflammatory, soothing, refreshing and emollient properties. On contact with water it swells and forms a soft, soothing gel.  It is particularly beneficial in eye treatment preparations.

Mango Seed Butter (Mangifera indica) is a highly moisturizing butter that melts at skin temperature and is rich in fatty acids.

Marigold Extract (Calendula officinalis) is a powerfully effective plant extract that has a deserved reputation for helping to protect and restore damaged skin. Soothing, antiseptic, healing and calming, this herb can help reduce skin blemishes and sun burn. Traditionally, marigold extract was used to heal skin rashes and cleanse wounds after washing. Recommended usage is 1-10 per cent.  The extract is obtained from the blossom. It contains Lutein, which has been clinically proved by Professor Pierfrancesco Morganti, dermatology department at the University of Naples, to increase the photo-protective activity, hydration, elasticity and lipid levels of the skin.

Marshmallow Extract (Althea officinalis) is a soothing and healing herb that is particularly beneficial to chapped, dry and irritated skin, and the treatment of wounds, burns, skin inflammation, bites and bruises.

Matricaria chamomilla (Chamomile Extract) has clinically proven anti-inflammatory and repairer properties. It is also credited with bacterial, soothing, antiseptic, purifying and refreshing properties and be able to neutralise irritants. There are many types, though the main ones used in skincare are Roman and German Chamomile, the later being stronger due to its higher azulene content.

Matricaria Extract (Chamomilla Recutita), prepared from the flowers, has been clinically proven to be anti-inflammatory and have repairer properties. It is also considered to be soothing, anti-itching, antiseptic, bactericidal, purifying, refreshing, hypoallergenic and able to neutralize skin irritants. There are various forms of Chamomille, including Roman and German (which tends to be more potent).

Mentha piperita (Peppermint Extract) helps relieve skin irritation and itching. It reduces redness caused by inflammation, acne and sun burn, and cools the skin by restricting blood capillaries, leaving the skin feeling refreshed and soothed.

Methyl perfluoroisobutyl ether

Miconazoie nitrate

Milk peptides complex, used in Oskia products, has been clinically proven to: boost hyaluronic acid synthesis by fibroblasts by nearly 1900%, Boost collagen synthesis by fibroblasts by an increase of 40% over untreated cells, decrease the depth of wrinkles by 35% over 2 weeks.

Mineral Oil can cause inflammation of the hair follicles and can block pores.

MSMis the most bio-available source of organic sulfur, which is present in all living cells and the building block of collagen and elastin. It has numerous cosmetic and therapeutic benefits, from increasing collagen and elastin. It has soothing and calming effects, is a collagen builder, and nourishes and clarifies skin types of all kinds.

O3 Stressed Yeast Lysate (Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate) is a live yeast cell derivative that contains metabolic stimulating substances to increase cell respiration, promote wound healing, and its strong antioxidant power protects fragile cellular DNA, RNA and skin lipids after sun exposure. Found in Oskia’s Nutri-Active Day Cream, Get Up & Glow. For more information see Our Key Ingredients.

Oleoyl macroglycerides

Olive Leaf Extract acts as an astringent, antiseptic and a free-radical scavenger, protecting against free-radicals and reducing redness. It is often used in anti-aging.

Olive Oil (Olea europaea). The Olive tree can live for thousands of years and its health benefits as a food are well documented. Topically it is used as a moisturising carrier oil with excellent lubricity and is claimed to stimulate collagen, elastin, proteoglycans and glyoproteins.

Orange Flower Oil is credited with soothing and calming properties. It is used as a fragrance and not to be confused with Bitter Orange Oil.

Organic is a term that is constantly being thrown around. A organic compound is in fact any member of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. However it is more commonly classed as a food product or cosmetic ingredient that is produced under organically-certified farming conditions (no use of synthetic chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics)

Panthenol (Vitamin B5) is an excellent, penetrating moisturizer. It appears to stimulate cellular proliferation and help tissue repair. Studies show that when panthenol is applied on the skin it is converted to pantothenic acid, a B complex vitamin. It also protects the skin against sunburn and acts as a humectant, holding water within the product or attracting water from the environment. It acts as a skin softener providing suppleness.

Pantothenic acid is a member of the B vitamin family, also called vitamin B5 and is considered an effective treatment for acne.

Parabens are a family of preservative that have come under enormous scrutiny over the last few years, though they are now beginning to see a comeback due to their effectiveness. Regarded as ‘chemical fiends’ capable of mimicking oestrogen (soya also does this) and causing breast cancer, parabens are in fact naturally-occurring chemicals found in fruit and vegetables. Vanilla is especially rich in methyl parabens. A lot of the bad press around parabens came from an experiment by Dr Philippa Darbre, molecular biologist at the University of Reading where paraben traces where found in 18 out of 20 breast tumor examples examined. However, parabens were also found in the non-breast cancer tumors. The results have since been ignored due to possible contamination of samples, so the research did not conclusively link parabens to breast cancer. However, further research did show that they mimic oestrogen in the blood stream and high level of oestrogen is known to promote breast tumor growth. The National Environmental Research Institute of Denmark found recently that 99% of all leave-on cosmetics and 77% of rinse-off cosmetics contained parabens.

Paullinia cupana seed extract (Guarana) is primarily used in herbal supplements and drinks as a stimulant. It is often hailed as the natural alternative to Redbull, but repeated use has been shown to increase in heart rate and blood pressure as well as in unfavourable actions on glucose and potassium homeostasis, which could be detrimental to people who suffer from hypertension, atherosclerosis, or glucose intolerance—conditions that are strongly associated with obesity. However, in animal studies (mice), it has been shown to affect fat metabolism (no research has shown its effects on human metabolism) and there is also research that it can help reduce cellulite due to its theophylline and caffeine components and due to the face that it can be absorbed into the skin. (Sources: International Journal of Pharmaceutics, April 2006, www.sciencedirect.com/; Food and Chemical Toxicology, June 2006, pages 862–867; Clinical Nutrition, December 20005, pages 1019–1028; and Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, June 2005, pages 560–571).

Peppermint Extract (Mentha piperita) helps relieve skin irritation and itching. It reduces redness caused by inflammation, acne and sun burn, and cools the skin by restricting blood capillaries, leaving the skin feeling refreshed and soothed.

Peppermint Oil is mainly used as a perfume as it has a strong minty smell, unlike the extract. It is credited with refreshing, cooling and bactericidal properties.

Petasites Japonicus (Butterbur Extract) is a wonderful ingredient for sensitive skin having clinically proven anti-histamine and anti-leukotriene activities. It effectively soothes, reduces redness and irritation. Native to Japan, it is also known as Fuki, Bog Rhubard or Giant Butterbur.

pH Balance stands for ‘potential of hydrogen’ and measures the hydrogen concentration of a substance – the acid/alkaline balance: 0 being the most acidic, and 14 the most alkaline. The pH of the acid mantle, the protective layer of dead skin, sweat and sebum, of normal skin is 5.5. Many skincare products now aim to have a pH balance of 5.5.

Phloretin is a flavonoid substance derived from apples and the bark of apple trees that has proven  skin lightening properties. In-vitro and animal research has shown that it has antioxidant ability, can interrupt melanin synthesis to reduce skin discolorations and can inhibit the formation of MMP-1 (which helps protect fibroblasts in skin’s support structure from breaking down). It also acts as a penetration enhancer, which means it can  help ingredients go beyond the superficial layers of skin. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, April 2003, pages 109-116).

Phosphatidylcholine is an active ingredient found in lecithin and is used in topical products as a water-binding agent. It also helps aid the penetration of other ingredients through the superficial layer of the skin. Internally, phoshatidylcholine (also known as PC) is required by every cell membrane in the body. It is also a major source of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is used by the brain in areas that are involved in long-term planning, concentration, and focus, but all of that information is associated with ingesting PC, not putting it on the skin. Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, September–October 1999, pages 235–246; and Journal of Controlled Release, March 29, 1999, pages 207–214.) See lecithin and water-binding agent.

Phospholipids are a class of lipids (fat) that are a major component of cell membranes as they can form lipid bilayers and are used as moisturizers and emollients. They are composed of glycerol, fatty acids, and phosphate. Lecithin is an example of a phosopholipid. See glyceryl ester and natural moisturizing factor (NMF). They are short lived when applied topically.

Phosphoric acid, also known as orthophosphoric acid or phosphoric(V) acid, is a mineral acid is used as a pH adjuster in skincare and cosmetic products.

Photosensitizer is an ingredient that irritates the skin when exposed to sunlight.

 Phyllanthus emblica (Amla Extract) from a berry known as Indian Gooseberry or Amalaki, has one of the highest concentrations of natural Vitamin C of any edible plant. It protects cells against free-radical damage and aids collagen production.  It is grown in India and the Himalaya.

Phytosterol is a cholesterol-like molecule found in all plant foods; the highest concentrations are found in vegetable oils. In skincare it is used to effectively repair the lipid barrier and protect the Natural Moisturising Factor of the skin. Phytosterols in the natural diet may lower cholesterol (Sources: Annual Reviews of Nutrition, 2002, volume 22, pages 533–549; and Metabolism, May 2002, pages 652–656). However, if applied in excess topically, there is research showing that the high lipid content of phytosterols can make the skin extremely sensitive to light (Source: Photochemistry and Photobiology, September 1997, pages 316–325).

Polyhydroxy acids (PHA) are a type of acids, including gluconolactone and lactobionic acid, that are often used instead of AHA’s as an effective chemical exfoliator.  The significant difference between them and AHAs is that gluconolactone and lactobionic acid have larger molecular structures, which limits their ability to penetrate into the skin (6% reduction in skin penetration in comparison to glycolic acid), which results in a small reduction of irritating side-effects.

Polyquaternium 37 is one of the most widely-used members of the Polyquaternium group (the number indicates its chemical composition) used as an anti-static agent and film former primarily in hair care products. A patent filed by a European beauty company states that Polyquaternium 37 (in conjunction with fatty alcohol and a surfactant) provides “hair conditioning composition with excellent body enhancing and volume up effect especially for fine hair and also gives hair excellent compatibility, elasticity and shine”.

Polysaccharides are a natural component of skin and have fantastic water-binding abilities and potentially antioxidant properties. See mucopolysaccharide and natural moisturizing factor (NMF).

Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid (extracted from Mountain Ash) used as a preservative for food, wine and skincare applications (E number 202).  It is considered to be safe because of its long term safety record and non-toxic profile and is used by many as a substitute to parabens.

Prebiotics What many people might not realize, or would rather not know, is that our skin is covered with billions of friendly bacteria, fungi and moulds, called saprophytic flora. They live off our sweat, sebum and dead skin, and in return protect us against hostile bacteria and fungi, called saprophytic flora, which can cause itching, redness, excess scaling and irritations. Our precious friends live on a delicate balance that can easily be unbalanced by everyday activities, such as pollution, stress, age, sunlight, extreme cold, excess hygiene and medicines, especially antibiotics. In addition to protecting our skin against harmful bacteria, our good bacteria also participate in the skin metabolism: the secretion of necessary enzymes (lipases), production of lactic acid (necessary to maintain the pH balance) and re-enforces the immune system by surface antigens. It is vital to protect and feed these friends. Oskia uses a powerful, patented, prebiotic complex, a combination of Inulin (from Chicory Root) and Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide (from natural sugars), which scientifically proven to help maintain and support the skin's natural microflora by stimulating our beneficial microflora to the disadvantage to the hostile organism (targeted feeding) and maintaining the skin conditions necessary for the growth of useful organisms.

Propylene glycol is often used for its emollient and softening properties, if used in small amounts. However, in larger amounts it is a mild skin irritant and can be easily absorbed by the skin. If large quantities are absorbed or ingested, it can depress the central nervous system, especially in children.

Prunus Americana (Apricot Kernal Oil) is primarily used as a carrier oil. It is also a good moisturizer and is used for its skin softening action. Rapidly absorbed by the skin, Apricot Oil contains a high percent of antioxidants and free-radical-scavenging Vitamin E that can aid the skin in retaining elasticity and suppleness. It is a triglyceride, the same as avocado, olive and sesame oil, and comprises of about 75 per cent oleic acid, 20 per cent linoleic acid, and unsaturated fatty acids esterfied with glycerine.

Pyrolidone carboxylic acid (Sodium PCA) is a natural component of skin that is also a very good water-binding agent. It is derived from amino acids but also exists naturally in the skin. It is non-comedogenic and good for dry, delicate or sensitive skin. See natural moisturizing factor (NMF).

Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) helps diminish the appearance of fine lines on the skin, while leaving it soft, smooth, and supple. It encourages cell renewal, increasing epidermal thickness and skin elasticity, giving the skin a youthful appearance, and prevents skin roughness resulting from UV exposure.

Riboseis the only cosmetic ingredient that the skin can use to control energy restoration. Known as the ‘beauty sugar’, it is a natural pentose sugar that is present in all living cells. It is proven to increase cell respiration and restore ATP reserves, the cell’s energy bank, resulting in improved cell activity for healthier skin, reduced wrinkle formation, an enhanced complexion and increased elasticity. Ribose increases oxygen consumption by fibroblasts, in mithochondria (+31%) as well as in cytosol (+37%): the two areas where the biochemical syntheses take place. The consumed oxygen is the proof of a high cellular activity. Skin analysis has shown wrinkle area to decrease by 30.2%, total length 27.3% and number by 15.1%. Consumer clinical trials have also shown skin to feel firmer by 71%. You can find Ribose in Oskia’s Get Up & Glow. Oskia uses Ribose extracted from corn.

Rose Extract (Rosa Canina) is credited with soothing, astringent, tonic and deodorant properties. It is most widely used as a perfume. It has a calming effect on dry or sensitive skins. Extracted from rose petals.

Rosehip Oil (Rosa rubiginosa seed) is an antioxidant and tissue regenerator, preventing premature aging, minimising wrinkles and reducing scares. It is cold pressed from the seed of a native, wild rose growing in the cool, mountainous regions of Chile. The oil constitutes three-quarters essential fatty acids: oleic, linoleic, and linolenic, which help maintain healthy skin. Rosehip oil also contains natural Tretinoin, a derivative of Retinol (vitamin A), which replenishes and helps rebuild skin tissue. Studies also indicate an ability to improve skin hydration and aid in cases of pruritis and xerosis. It may also help regulate oil grand secretion. The oil has been used for centuries in South America for its effective moisturizing qualities. It replenishes dry and damaged skin and promotes elasticity and firmness naturally.

Scientific studies confirm that Rosehip oil is highly effective in the treatment of:

Premature ageing – having a dramatic effect on the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in just a short period of use.

Damaged skin, marked or scarred by surgery, minor burns, stretch marks, acne (Rosehip oil is not recommended for very oily acne skin), sun exposure - and helps to reduce pigmentation and raised scar tissue by promoting healthy skin renewal, effective even on non-recent scars. (For more information on scientific studies and its effect on aged skin, scars, skin burns and radiotherapy, please click) link to below paragraphs

Studies were first carried out in 1983 by the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacology of the University of Concepcion, Chile. In 1988 Dr Bertha Pareja and Dr Horst Kehl published their findings on the effects of Rosehip Oil in a paper titled "Contributions to Identification and Application of Active Components Contained in Rosa Aff. Rubiginosa". Some extracts include:

Aged skin (Photo-aging)

Twenty women with surface wrinkles, brown spots on the eyelids & intensely tanned skin aged between 25 and 35, who usually spend 3 months of summer in resorts by the beach were assessed. All applied rosehip oil on the face for four months. Significant changes were noted, firstly, surface wrinkles started to disappear, spots started to fade. Skin presented a smooth and fresh aspect and the spots had almost disappeared.

Scars

Ten women aged between 45 and 68, who had suffered unilateral or bilateral mastectomy, applied rosehip oil after the surgical stitches were removed. The oil was applied by soft massage, after three months of applying twice daily (morning and evening) the scars were less apparent, without lumps and skin elasticity had improved. Doctors indicated that the skin had improved considerably, allowing implantation of prosthesis or plastic surgery in far better conditions than with a control group not treated.

 

In 1978 Dr Fabiola Carbajal, M.D said "The results were superb using Rosehip Oil and Cream in all our clinical studies, even with scars over 20 years old. I have also found that the oil is beneficial in hair care as well: particularly with coloured, permed, and tinted hair, or hair that has been damaged by too much sun or cold weather."

Radiotherapy

Head of Radiology for the Chilean Air Force and Oncologist at Indisa clinic in Santiago, Dr. Hans Harbst said, "I work with many patients who have undergone surgery and therefore have scars, subsequent radiation causes secondary reactions to the skin such as inflammation, darkening and dermatitis. This presents an aesthetic problem for patients, but the application of Rosehip Oil has produced faster healing of these lesions." He continued, "We have achieved a loosening of the tension in the skin with Rosehip Oil, the results have been very good with some patients and spectacular with others. I have applied Rosehip Oil on all types of skin and on scars to reduce hyper-pigmentation, flattening hypertrophy (bulky scars), and loosening up fibrous chords. All these effects end up in a near complete attenuation of scars."

Skin burns

In a study of 90 patients who had suffered burns, a four-month treatment of rosehip oil resulted in 97% improvement in relation to their initial state. J.F. Oliver, Fats & Oils Journal No.25 Dec 1996.

Dr Leonardo Rusowsky, surgeon at Enrique Deformes Hospital in Santiago, Chile, and acting president of the Corporation for Aid to Children with Burns is currently researching the healing properties of Rosehip Oil and has stated that it:

              Improves the texture and quality of skin by increasing its elasticity.

              Flattens out scarring and improves the colour of scars and surrounding skin.

To date, Rosehip Oil has helped in the recovery of thousands of burn victims and is currently being used by several teams of plastic surgeons in the treatment of scars.

 

Rose Water is credited with soothing, astringent and cleansing properties. When applied to abrasions and other superficial skin lesions, it can cool and sooth. It is often mixed with glycerin to provide moisture and lubricity. Rose water forms the base of Oskia’s Eye Wonder.

Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus officinalis) is made from rosemary leaves and attributed with wound healing, astringent, toning, antiseptic, stimulating, deodorant, antibacterial, softening and invigorating properties. It is also considered to be antioxidant and to increase blood circulation, aiding skin regeneration. Rosemary is recommended for the treatment of acne, dandruff and for soothing eczema and other skin irritations. It is also used to relieve headaches and was mentioned by the 13th century herbalists the Physicians of Myddvai.

Saccharide isomerate is an effective water-binding agent and emollient used in skincare. See mucopolysaccharide.

Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate (O3 Stressed Yeast Lysate) is a live yeast cell derivative that contains metabolic stimulating substances to increase cell respiration, promote wound healing, and its strong antioxidant power protects fragile cellular DNA, RNA and skin lipids after sun exposure. Found in Oskia’s Nutri-Active Day Cream, Get Up & Glow. For more information see Our Key Ingredients.

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid extracted from willow tree bark used to help clear blackheads and spots.

Sandalwood oil is a fragrant oil that can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions (Source: American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, June 1996, pages 77–83).

Sea Buckthorn Oil (Hippophae Rhamnoides) is one of the only plants to contain almost all of the basic range of vitamins and pro-vitamins. It is rich in carotenoids, sito-sterols, flavanoids, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E & K, folic acid, omega 3, 6 and the rare omega 7, lipids, amino acids. It is a powerful antioxidant and claimed to accelerate the skin’s regeneration process, promoting the healing of damaged skin while improving the skin’s appearance and texture by slowing down the ageing process. It has exceptional rejuvenating, restorative and moisturizing properties. The oil from the pulp is rich in Palmitoleic acid, which is a natural component of skin.

Sea Lavender (Hydrofiltrat limonium) has recently been scientifically proven to be one of the most powerful antioxidants available – nearly six times greater than cranberry. It is also scientifically proven to protect against UVA and UVB radiation and repair after UV exposure. It has an ORAC value (method to measure antioxidant capacity) of 9426, whereas Cranberry has a value of 1668. It is a pretty purple flower that grows along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.  Used in Oskia products.

Sesame Oil is similar to other nut and vegetable oils for its emollient properties. It also blocks 30% of UV rays and is often used in suntan lotions. The oil is extracted from sesame seeds.

Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii) is a natural fat obtained from the fruit of the Karate tree, often referred to as “the tree of life”. It is a rich emollient rich in Vitamin D, F and essential fatty acids, Omega 3, 6 and 9. It protects skin from dehydration, can help improve suppleness, increases moisturisation and can improve the appearance of irritated skin.  Traditionally it is used by the tribes that collect and prepare it, to accelerate wound healing. It contains Allantoin, which may justify its healing effect. It is similar to Cocoa butter.

Silica is a mineral found abundantly in sandstone, clay, and granite, as well as in parts of plants and animals. It is the principal ingredient of glass. In cosmetics it is used as an absorbent powder, thickening agent or gentle exfoliant.

Sodium chloride, also known as the common table salt (yes – salt!) also finds its way into skincare products. It is used for its natural cleansing, toning, refreshening, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic and moisture absorption properties.

Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate is a very gentle and safe detergent used to cleanse.

Sodium Edetate

Sodium Hyaluronate is used as a moisturizing agent and is capable of binding 1,800 times its own weight in water. Although found in nature, it is always produced synthetically due to its high expense. It was first used in corneal transplant patients due to its extremely high lubricious quality.

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate is an organic preservative derived from the amino acid glycine.

Sodium laureth sulphates (SLES) or Sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS) are commonly used as a detergent and is considered one of the most irritating surfactants causing skin dryness, redness, itching and stinging.

Sodium PCA (Sodium Pyrollidone Carboxylic acid) is occurs naturally in human skin derived from amino acids and is responsible for binding moisture to the cells. It is highly water-absorbent, holding several times its weight in water, which makes it an excellent humectant.

Sorbic Acid is a natural preservative obtained from the berries of the Mountain Ash. It is used as a preservative against moulds and yeasts and as a replacement for glycerin in emulsions and other cosmetic creams.

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol obtained from the leaves of Mountain Ash (though can be extracted from cherries, plums, pears, apples, seaweed and algae). It absorbs moisture from the air to prevent skin drying out, leaving it smooth and velvety. It is also made naturally in the body, though excess can cause diabetes. It is used in cosmetics as a humectant and thickener as well as a number of other uses, from a sweetener and laxative to rocket fuel and bio-fuel. Ingesting large amounts (more than 20mg) can also cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Soy Protein is rich in amino acids and lipids, and can aid cellular regeneration, help increase skin elasticity and soften wrinkles and lines.

Spilanthes Acmella (Acmella) Flower Extract is also known as the Toothache plant as it was traditionally used in Brazil to treat toothaches.

Squalane is one of the most effective moisturizers available. It is a remarkable extract from olive oil and is also synthesized in the human liver, a deficiency of which results in dry skin and premature aging. It is a natural component of human skin during childhood and adolescence, but as we enter our twenties, the amount present decreases rapidly, contributing to the ageing process.  It was initially discovered in Japan where it was used successfully to treat tuberculosis, and has been shown to have beneficial effects on dermatitis and skin cancer.  Studies have also shown that Squalane has a stimulatory effect on the healing process which is thought to be due to its oxidizing effect. It is used in some of the world's most expensive beauty formulas. Beneficial effects on the skin include decrease in dryness and smoothing of wrinkles and scaly skin. 

St John’s Wort Extract (Hypericum perforatum) is credited with astringent, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. It is especially beneficial for sensitive skin or burns.

St John’s Wort Oil (Hypericum perforatum) is a deep red oil with anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial for chapped, rough, sensitive skin, acne or skin irritations. It is also considered effective for improving capillary circulation and is also an antibiotic and therefore a natural preservative.

Stearic Acid is a white, waxy fatty acid obtained from vegetable fats that is used as an emulsifying agent.

Sucrose Distearate is a plant derived emulsifier made from sugar and Stearic acid, which is a natural fatty acid from coconut or palm oil. It is used to blend essential oils with the water-based ingredients.

Sucrose Stearate is a plant derived emulsifier from sugar and Stearic acid. It is not as strong an emulsifer as Sucrose Distearate.

Surfectant is any material that helps oil and water to mix, preventing the two from separating to keep emulsions (creams or lotions) stable.

Symphytum officinale (Comfrey Extract) is traditionally used for soothing and anti-itching treatments, particularly when treating eczema and sunburn. It contains allantoin and credited with healing, astringent and emollient properties. It is also considered useful in treating pain.

Thymol is an anti-bacterial derived from Thyme oil used by the ancient Egyptians to ward off infections.

Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), also known as titanium (IV) oxide or titania, is a naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula TiO2. It is used in skincare as a natural mineral pigment (pigments are classified with numbers) or as a thickener. When used in food colouring, it is given E number E171. Used by Oskia.             

Tocopherol(Vitamin E) is widely found in nature, particularly in Wheat germ oil. It is considered the most important oil-soluble antioxidant and free-radical scavenger when applied topically. A good moisturizer and absorbed well through the skin, it is also protects against UV and helps protect the cellular membrane from free-radical damage. It serves a preservative function due to its ability to protect against oxidation. Vitamin E is also considered to improve the skin’s water-binding ability and can help reduce water loss from the surface of the skin, improving the appearance of rough, dry and damaged skin. Vitamin E also helps maintain connective tissue, protects against cell damage caused by inflammation, and counteracts the decreased functioning of the sebaceous glands, which reduces with age, and reduce skin pigmentation.

Tocopherol Acetate is an antioxidant (see Vitamin E) that helps prevent unsaturated oils and sebum from becoming rancid.

Tocopheryl Linoleate is used as an antioxidant and skin conditioning agent.

TPI1812 is a preservative made from Sodium Benzoate (a non-toxic, organic salt preservative that is particularly effective against yeast) and Potassium Sorbate.

Triethanolamine, often abbreviated as TEA, is an organic chemical compound. It is used as a pH balancer in cosmetic preparations because it has a pH value of 5-6, which is similar to skin pH. It is produced by reacting ethylene oxide with aqueous ammonia.

Urea is regarded as a ‘true moisturiser’.  It attracts and retains moisture in the Stratum corneum layer, increases the absorption of other ingredients and dissolves the intercellular glue between cells of the Stratum corneum (top, dead layer of the epidermis), as well as regulate the Hydrolipic film on the surface of the skin, leaving skin feeling soft and supple. It also reduces the amount of preservatives needed in skin care products as it inhibits the growth of micro-organisms. It is often used as a trans-dermal carrier for other compounds do to its high absorption rate.

Vaccinum Myrtillus (Bilberry) is high in antioxidants and gentle fruit acids that go to work to help stabilise cell membranes, strengthen capillaries, reduce redness, tone and rejuvenate the skin. It is also beneficial to the eyes and circulation.

Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) helps diminish the appearance of fine lines on the skin, while leaving it soft, smooth, and supple. It encourages cell renewal, increasing epidermal thickness and skin elasticity, giving the skin a youthful appearance, and prevents skin roughness resulting from UV exposure.Vitamin A can act as a keratinisation regulator, helping to improve the skin’s texture, firmness and smoothness. Vitamin A esters, once in the skin, convert to retinoic acid and provide anti-aging benefits. Retinoic acid alters collagen synthesis by stimulating the growth of fibroblast cells (which produce collagen and elastin) and the extracellular matrix. Vitamin A is believed to be essential for the generation and function of skin cells and a deficiency of Vitamin A is shown by thick, dry skin. Topical application of Vitamin A helps keep skin healthy, clear, infection free and help significantly in the fight against premature ageing.

 Vitamin B5 (Panthenol) is an excellent, penetrating moisturizer. It appears to stimulate cellular proliferation and help tissue repair. Studies show that when panthenol is applied on the skin it is converted to pantothenic acid, a B complex vitamin. It also protects the skin against sunburn and acts as a humectant, holding water within the product or attracting water from the environment. It acts as a skin softener providing suppleness.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a well known antioxidant. When Vitamin E reacts with a free radical it becomes damaged. Vitamin C comes in to repair this free-radical damage in Vitamin E, allowing Vitamin E to continue on its free-radical scavenging duties. Current research has suggested that Vitamin C is also photoprotective and adds protection against UVB (burning) damage when combined with UVB sunscreens. Mixed with Vitamin E, the three actually offer greater protection together than any on their own. Vitamin C is clinically proved to stimulate collagen production, and can lightening the skin and boosts the immune system.

Vitamin D can be absorbed though the outer layers of the skin and act as a keratinisation regulator, helping to improve the skin’s feel and firmness. Research suggests that it is an important factor in skin cell turnover.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol) is widely found in nature, particularly in Wheat germ oil. It is considered the most important oil-soluble antioxidant and free-radical scavenger when applied topically. A good moisturizer and absorbed well through the skin, it is also protects against UV and helps protect the cellular membrane from free-radical damage. It serves a preservative function due to its ability to protect against oxidation. Vitamin E is also considered to improve the skin’s water-binding ability and can help reduce water loss from the surface of the skin, improving the appearance of rough, dry and damaged skin. Vitamin E also helps maintain connective tissue, protects against cell damage caused by inflammation, and counteracts the decreased functioning of the sebaceous glands, which reduces with age, and reduce skin pigmentation.

Walnut Shell Powder is ground from the shell of English walnuts and used as a physical exfoliater in skin cleaners, soaps, scrubs and masks.

Wheat Germ Oil is rich in Vitamin E. It is an excellent antioxidant and free-radical scavenger and also used as an emollient. It also contains lecithin, an emollient, emulsifier, spreading agent and antioxidant, that is a hydrophilic ingredient that attracts water and acts as a moisturizer.

Wheat Protein

Witch Hazel Extract (Hamamelis virginiana) is obtained from the leaves and bark of the tree and known for its anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. It is traditionally used in the treatment of sunburn, burns, skin irritation, insect bites and bruises. It has good anti-itching, softening and emollient properties. Less known are its effect on UVA and UVB absorber. Effective in doses of 2-5 percent.

Xanthan Gum (corn starch gum) is a natural gelling agent, or carrier, giving texture to skin care products. It also stabilizes and thickens formulations.

Ylang Ylang (Cangadora odorata), distilled from fresh flowers, has a sensual, exotic smell and is known for its aphrodisiac properties.

Zinc Oxide is a soft, white mineral powder that is insoluble in water and forms a soothing, protective barrier on the skin. It occurs naturally in small quantities as the mineral Zincite and has mild antiseptic properties. It is used to increase the water-resistance of skin care products and protect against UV rays.

 


 

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken to ensure that the information given in this ingredient guide is accurate, OSKIA cannot be held responsible for any claims arising from the mistaken identity or inappropriate use of any herbs. We do not aim to diagnose or treat.

 


 

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