I would like to start this section off with a blurb about "ACID"
So many of the ingredient decks we read include items that begin or end with the word "acid," which to me was pretty chilling, until I educated myself on what that really meant.
When scientists work with acids, they wear gloves, laboratory coats, safety goggles and other protective equipment, as these substances can cause significant harm if they come into contact with the skin or eyes. However, the acids inside the human body are essential for human life. Acids are necessary for digestion, protein and hormone production, genetic coding and some forms of energy production.
Now, when you see that a product has, for example, Stearic Acid in it, maybe it won't sound so alarming because you'll know that it's just a long chain saturated fatty acid that attracts dirt and oils and allows them to be rinsed from the skin....annnnnd has been shown to protect the skin's natural barrier against water loss.... annnnnd it helps to support the skin's protective barrier....I could go on and on but I think you get the point.
NOW...on to the "OTHER INGREDIENTS"
ALA (ALPHA LINOLENIC ACID)
Beeswax has many healing properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of beeswax encourage the healing of wounds. It is also protective, helping form a barrier between the skin and the environment without clogging pores.
Has a comedogenic rating of 0-2. As a fatty acid, behenic acid is important to help provide a protective barrier against the environment in order to maintain good skin quality. In skincare, behenic acid has lubricant, emollient, and soothing properties, which help to restore the skin's natural oils and improve overall levels of hydration. Very protective, moisturizing, and restorative for the skin.
Naturally rich in Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), a compound that penetrates the skin promoting cell regeneration and rejuvenation. The gentle exfoliant encourages cell turnover for younger-looking skin.
BTMS-25 & 50
This ingredient sounds a bit daunting...it did for me in the beginning too! A few of our ingredients have those 12 syllable chemical sounding words that sound pretty scary. One such ingredient is Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and Cetearyl Alcohol), or for short BTMS. Behentrimonium Methosulfate in layman terms is simply a type of emulsifying wax. When making our products that require creaminess (ummmm, all of them!), emulsification is vital. When mixing oils with other materials, BTMS allows the ingredients to mix or emulsify without separating. Despite the way the name looks, BTMS is actually derived from a plant. It is a plant-based emulsifying wax that is naturally derived from Colza or Rapeseed oil. Behentrimonium Methosulfate is sometimes listed as BTMS-25 or BTMS-50. The difference between the two is their level of potency. BTMS-25 contains 25% of the active ingredient Behentrimonium Methosulfate (derived from Colza plant), while BTMS-50 contains 50%. Gritz n Glitz will typically use 25 in scrubs and 50 in butters.
Candelilla wax is a natural vegetable wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla plant grown in the semi-arid regions. Known as a family to a species of flowering plants, it is sometimes called Euphorbia antisyphilitica. Sometimes labeled as Euphorbia Cerifera wax, it is detectable by its yellowish-brown color, brittle shell, aromatic nature and opaque appearance. Candelilla is a suitable vegan alternative to beeswax.
Organic cane sugar is unrefined sugar minus the cancer-causing and environmentally damaging pesticides present in conventionally grown sugarcane. Compared to white sugar, organic cane sugar has the full-bodied taste of sugarcane and is much less processed, retaining a lot of the nutrients present in cane juice.
CAPRIC ACID (aka Decanoic acid)
A saturated fatty acid with a comedogenic rating of 2. Known to be antibacterial and anti-inflammatory for the skin. Found in coconut oil and palm kernel oil.
CAPRYLIC ACID (aka Octanoic acid)
Cetyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol that functions as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener, and surfactant in a variety of cosmetics and skincare products. Cetyl alcohol is an organic compound that is classified as a fatty alcohol. Fatty alcohols are a hybrid between alcohols and fatty acids or oils. There is often a misconception that because it has alcohol in its name that cetyl alcohol is drying to the skin. The reality is actually the opposite. Cetyl alcohol is known to help to protect the skin from allergens, bacteria and moisture loss and improves the texture of products.
A vasodilator that encourages blood flow. The blood flowing will decrease puffiness in your face (GREAT for under-eye bags!) and anywhere on your body (goodbye cellulite!) Coffee grounds also serve as a gentle, natural exfoliant.
An omega-9 fatty acid and has a comedogenic rating of 2. Enhances the absorption of other skincare ingredients, is very soothing for the skin, and emollient in nature. Found in jojoba oil and meadowfoam oil.
EMULSIFYING WAX (eWax)
Binds together oil and water, and does it so effectively that it is the most widely used ingredient in cosmetics, today. Making smooth and stable emulsions can be a tricky endeavor so to achieve consistent results makes this ingredient a must-have in my lab.
An omega-9 fatty acid. Has an unknown comedogenic rating but is well known for its exceptional “slip” and smooth feel on the skin. Found in Abyssinian oil, broccoli seed oil, radish seed oil, jojoba oil, and meadowfoam oil.
GLA (GAMMA LINOLEIC ACID)
An omega-6 fatty acid. Unknown comedogenic rating. Very restorative for the skin, reduces inflammation and helps restore the skin’s protective barrier. Found in borage oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, and hemp oil.
A natural humectant, hydrating skin by pulling in moisture from the environment and sealing it in.
Comprises about half the fatty acid content of coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Has a comedogenic rating of 3-4. Has antibacterial properties, which is why some people with acneic skin tolerate it well.
A polyunsaturated fatty acid. It's an essential building block for ceramides, one of skin's main moisturizing elements. Our bodies can't make this essential fatty acid, so we need get it from our food or put it on our skin. Linoleic acid helps makes the skin's barrier stronger so it can effectively keep water in and irritants out. WAIT...hydrated and healthy! That’s a combo that everyone can get on board with!! Also, topical use of linoleic acid has been known to help reduce acne breakouts. Plant oils used in skincare that are rich in linoleic acid include safflower, sunflower, rosehip and evening primrose.
Micas are an extremely fine powder colorant that usually contain a slight to intense shimmer. In geology, mica refers to a group of metamorphic minerals. Metamorphic rocks and minerals are formed from pre-existing rocks by exposure to extreme heat and pressures. Micas come in many different forms due to the wide array of ways in which they can form within the earth.
A saturated fatty acid with a comedogenic rating of 3. Known to be cleansing for the skin. Found in coconut oil, babassu oil, and palm kernel oil.
A monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid that occurs naturally in various animal and vegetable fats and oils. It's an odorless, colorless oil.
A liquid preservative formulation featuring an innovative blend of phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid and an emollient base that is ideal for personal care products requiring broad spectrum protection. This preservative is approved for use in all major markets, compatible with a variety of formulations and is free of Formaldehyde Donor, Halogen, Isothiazolinones and Parabens. Effective against a broad-spectrum activity of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, yeast and mold.
A straight, long-chain fatty acid that’s found naturally in palm oil and palm kernel oil, as well as in butter, cheese, milk and meat. According to VRG's (Vegetarian Resource Group) ingredient guide, palmitic acid, which is used to produce vitamin A palmitate, can be derived from soy oil although it also can be animal-derived.
A long chain saturated fatty acid with a comedogenic rating of 2. As a surfactant, stearic acid attracts dirt and oils, and allows them to be rinsed from the skin. It has been shown to protect the skin's natural barrier against water loss and help support the skin's protective barrier. Found in cocoa butter, coconut oil, mango butter, mowrah butter, shea butter, neem oil, and tamanu oil.
Witch Hazel has some magical powers when it comes to your skin. It can help reduce the appearance of pores, which will help decrease breakouts and give your skin a smoother complexion. It can also fight inflammation and decrease oil on your face like a natural astringent.