Ingredient Dictionary

ingredient dictionary

When I started this blog, I also started wondering what exactly is in all those products I am reviewing and what they do to you. And this is how I got around to researching the ingredients of the stuff I am reviewing because I wanted to tell you guys what is inside the makeup and skincare I am recommending and in my opinion, you cannot recommend something without talking about ingredients. 

This list is a work in progress, and with every review, I will update and enlarge it. Let’s hope this will one day really be something you can use to look up your products’ dark secrets ūüėȬ†


     Aloe Extract: Aloe Vera is one thing you practically cannot go wrong with. It has healing properties, is anti-inflammatory, moisturising and has an anti-ageing effect.

Additionally, if you have pale skin, aloe vera is your best friend in summer. Just rub it onto your skin gently, if you have gotten sunburnt, and it will soothe the skin and reduce some of the pain.

     Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate: Long name, easy description. In a nutshell, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate is a texture enhancer that is used in cosmetics to prevent caking. It is deemed safe for use in cosmetics but it also has concentration limitations.
This is no cause for worry, as a lot of ingredients are only deemed safe in certain concentrations for obvious reasons. I am pointing this out, as I did see some over dramatised articles stating that this ingredient is a health hazard, which is true if it is not used correctly, which is the case with nearly every other chemical too.  


     Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate: Is an ingredient that can be produced from coconut and usually counts as a really gentle cleansing agent. It has a complicated (aka large) molecular structure and cannot penetrate the outer layers of the skin, thus is also does not damage the cells that lie underneath that layer.
It is also used as a foaming agent, which makes our skincare and also some of our hair care products all nice and foamy.

     Ascorbic Acid: Ascorbic Acid is an incredibly popular vitamin C, which is known for its soothing properties. It can be found in a lot of skincare products that advertise anti-ageing properties and treatment of hyperpigmentation. 

Something that is really important to know (and I definitely did not until now) is that Ascorbic Acid is very sensitive to UV light, so keep it inside its packaging when you aren’t using it.
Paula’s Choice has an incredibly good description which goes into detail about Ascorbic Acid if you want to check it out.¬†

     Avocado fruit extract: The extract is used in products to replenish moisture. It is popular because it is easily absorbed by the skin, that why avocado extract is often used in moisturisers or massage oils.



     Berry Complex: The berry mix Complex with ingredients such as raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, and goji berry rich in vitamin C melts dead skin cells from the lips and makes the lips feel smooth and elastic. Laneige claims it to be rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants and to act on dry, rough lips. So, I looked into every single fruit listed and I have to admit that they are really good for your skin and health in general.

     Butylene Glycol:
is a solvent with awesome antimicrobial action, which is an agent that kills microorganisms and is often used against bacteria. It also masks odour and serves as a humectant.



     Cucumber extract: Well, we all know that cucumber is 95% water, so what can you really expect? There is one interesting fact about cucumber: It enhances the scent of a makeup product. Who knew?

     Centella Asiatica Extract:
Is an ingredient that has soothing properties and is known to show notable improvement to the skins’ moisture levels.

     Cetyl Alcohol: Alcohol is usually a word you should try to avoid when you buy skin care products. It feels nice and is quick drying so you might think this product is good for you but in reality, it dries out your skin and does more damage than help.

BUT – and here is the big but. Cetyl alcohol is actually one of the few alcohols that is a really good ingredient as is works as an emollient and thickener in cosmetics. It softens the skin and is also good for the hair and is mostly found in moisturizers, creams and conditioners.

     Cetyl Ethylhexanoate: Used as a skin conditioning agent and or emollient that makes the skin feel smooth and less flaky, it also achieves a smoother look in makeup and enhances its spreadability. It is often found in lipsticks, lip- and eyeliners and eyeshadows as it makes is smoother and adds a certain amount of water-repelling properties.

     Cocamidopropyl Betaine: This ingredient is mainly a secondary cleansing agent as it is too mild to really do anything to our skin or hair. It is an ingredient you should look for in baby-products though.
It is considered safe and very gentle to the skin and can be derived from either coconut oil or be created synthetically (is that a word? Hehe) and it also has some antiseptic properties.

     Coco-caprylate: Is used as a skin-conditioning agent or emollient. Unlike the regular oil, this agent is not supposed to feel sticky, but silky like a lotion. Coco caprylate is Рas you might have already guessed Рderived from coconut oil. It is also a natural ingredient with little to no hazards to the skin, which is also said to help skin regeneration.



     Diisostearyl Malate: This is one ingredient that is usually not found in foundations apparently. Diisostearyl Malate is a skin conditioning agent mostly used in lipsticks (hair dyes and sunscreens) It is generally deemed safe and in cosmetics, it is used as an emollient, which means it increases the moisture levels of the skin and prevents evaporation.

¬† ¬† ¬†Dimethicone: More often found in skincare such as primers and moisturisers, Dimethicone is a very popular silicone. It is used to fill pores and smoothen the skin which in return stops water loss. Have you ever applied a primer and your skin just felt so incredibly silky smooth? (NYX Total Control Primer) That’s dimethicone.
My only piece of advice with pore-filling ingredients like such is that you should always cleanse your skin and remove any makeup in the evening, to give your pores time to recover and your skin some time to breathe.  



     Ethylhexyl Palmitate: This wax-like, odour- and colourless fatty alcohol is also known as Octyl Palmitate and is often used to smoothen the skin and make it look soft and silky. It has no known negative effects on the skin but during my research, I did find mention of possible irritation if it comes into contact with your eyes.
This ingredient is especially good for people who have dry and or flaky skin – as mentioned above, the emollient can smoothen skin and make it feel very soft and supple.


     Evening Primrose Root Extract: The health risks of the Extract are rather low, which is a big plus. It is supposed to soothe dryness and nourish skin while reducing fine lines or wrinkles.



       Glycerin: Is also known as Glycerol or Glycerine. Glycerin is an ingredient that is found naturally in the skin, helping it establish its natural balance and hydration levels. Products that contain Glycerin help the skin maintain a natural healthy look.

Pure Glycerin takes the water from the skin and therefore is normally only used in a concentration of 5% or lower, in order to prevent that from happening.

      Grapeseed Oil:
¬†This ingredient is mostly used in products for people with oily skin because it won’t cause acne. -The actual wording was¬†non-comedogenic-

     Green tea extract:
Yes you read right. The Trendy Green Tea also invaded the skincare and makeup world.
Well, to be fair that is not actually true. Green Tea has skin-soothing and anti-aging properties. It is a rather powerful anti-oxidant which helps the skin protect itself from pollution.



¬† ¬† ¬†Hunza Apricot Extract: Is supposed to supply moisture to the skin and smoothen the skins’ texture. Besides that, it prevents skin moisture loss and further damage, thus increasing the skins’ moisture level. It also stops the skin from darkening and through doing that it evens out the skin tone.

Hyaluronic Acid:
This is one of the ingredients you should keep a look out for, as it is a “glycosaminoglycan” ¬†(its’ role is to support collagen and elastin fibres and help them maintain moisture) and a humectant, which means it draws moisture from the air (or more commonly from the deeper levels of your skin) into the surface of your skin.
Basically, it just has the ability to retain a lot of moisture. It is GOOD stuff.
     Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides: Is also one of the ingredients known for its function as a skin conditioning agent or emollient. Overall it is not rated as hazardous to our skin and it is often used as a thickening agent in cosmetics.

     Hydrogenated Soybean Oil:
This ingredient is very popular because rather than being in a liquid state, it stays semi-solid. It is very often used in hair products, so check your favourite conditioners’ ingredient list and report back to me. One of the phrases often found in combination with phrases like “Antioxidant”, “Skin conditioning Agent/ Emollient” and those sound good, right?

Funnily enough, even though it is really popular as a cosmetic ingredient, people are advised not to include it in their diet. Soybeans are very healthy, but the genetically manipulated version seems to be the exact opposite. Just some small info.  

     Hydro Ion Mineral Water:
One of the best factors of this ingredient is its’ effect on skin damage. Molecular Hydrogen can help reduce the damage done to the UV-induced skin. Is also is a good anti-ageing ingredient and found in many anti-ageing skincare products.

¬† ¬† ¬†Hydroxyethylcellulose: Or Hydroxyethyl cellulose (it’s a lot easier to read haha) is usually used in makeup and skincare as a viscosity (thickness) increasing and binding agent. As far as I could find, Hydroxyethylcellulose has no beneficial properties to our skin but it is safe to use in skincare products.¬†



     Isododecane: Is a texture enhancer used to heighten the spreadability of products like lipsticks or foundations, without feeling heavy. It helps to minimise colour transfer.

Because it cannot be absorbed by the skin, the risk of any side effects like irritation occurring is rather low. Isododecane also had non-comedonal properties, which means a lack of clogging pores or acne development.



     Lemon Water:
As most of you might have guessed, Lemon Water is really high in vitamin C, which is known to be an immunity booster. It is also said to be high in proteins and helps in maintaining a healthy pH Balance.

But to be honest, just like the Lime Extract in the I’m Meme Cushion Corrector, it is better to consume Lemon orally, rather than applying it to your skin. There are less negative results and it tastes great too.


     Lime Extract: Now this one is an ingredient that is not as good as others. Citrus fruits like lime can cause a reaction when applied to the skin that is called photosensitive reaction. That reaction results in patchy, uneven parts on the skin. Lime extract oil has some antioxidant activity though.



¬† ¬† ¬†¬†¬†Macadamia seed oil: This oil supports your cells, is hydrating and supports cell healing. What really caught my eye, because we are looking at a hand cream this time, is that macadamia seed oil gets absorbed by the skin really fast. So you shouldn’t feel too greasy or something similar.

The macadamia oil seems to be an essential stabiliser for the product’s formula. Also, it gives it longevity, a good thing for those of us who do not throw away everything after half a year.
I haven’t found many risks, just be cautious if you are allergic to nuts and watch your reaction to the product closely.

   Mango seed butter:
Mango seeds contain a lot of Vitamin C, which tightens the skin and makes your skin appear plumper. With this tightening comes the wrinkle reducing, anti-ageing-effect.

The butter is also moisturising and if you have dry, chapped lips try applying a bit of mango butter as a countermeasure. Because it is so mild, even people with really sensitive skin should not have any problems when using it.

   Marshmallow Plant Extract:
Is known as a skin-soothing texture enhancer. The Marshmallow Root – Althea officinalis in Latin – is a plant native to Africa.

Other than skincare, it is also used for sores or curing irritation of the throat or a dry cough. The Root is high in mucilages, which prevents irritation, but normally most Extracts come from the flowers, whose anti-inflammatory properties are milder than the roots’.

     Mineral Oil:
Mineral oil has a bad reputation, being derived from petroleum which is known for having bad effects on your skin. With that being said, it is not a bad skincare ingredient as it gets purified before becoming the emollient we see in our ingredient lists.
On the contrary, mineral oil is an extremely effective moisturiser with soothing properties which are beneficial for your skin.


       Niacinamide: Often found in shampoos and moisturisers, Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is used to restore suppleness and even out uneven skin tones or fine lines.
It is one of the essential ingredients in Anti-Aging Products and can also help lower environmental damage done to your skin.
Fun fact, you can also find it in eggs, milk, cereal and some veggies. Who would have thought, huh? 



¬† ¬† ¬†Octylacrylamide Copolymer: Often found in sunscreens and funnily enough mascara Acrylates Octylacrylamide Copolymer is a film-forming polymer that is mostly known for making products “water-proof”. It is not tested on animals and the overall safety and health hazard close to nil.



¬† ¬† ¬†Polymethyl Methacrylate:¬†This ingredient is often used in makeup and hair-/nail care products as a film former or a “viscosity increasing agent”, which basically means it increases the thickness of a liquid. Basically, it makes the product look smoother and it feels soft to the touch.

     Propylene Glycol: This ingredient has a really, really bad reputation. It is known for being an enormous health and safety hazard or even antifreeze.
As is, Propylene Glycol used in makeup or cosmetics is absolutely harmless. The amount used only stops the product in question form melting or freezing and also assists active ingredients to penetrate your skin.



     Shea butter: One of the main benefits of shea butter is that it is moisturising and contains a ton of vitamins that are beneficial for your skin. It reduces inflammations Рwe all know and hate them Рand makes your skin soft and smooth.

Did you know that shea butter actually offers UV protection? Well yes, with its SPF of about 6 it will not prevent that sunburn from making you look like a crab but still, it’s the thought that counts, right?

     Sodium Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-1:
This is a polymer that Estee Lauder patented and they defined it as a water-absorbing polymer that acts as a “high thickening¬†effect in aqueous solvents” that blurs the fine lines of the skin. The polymer appears to have really low health risks and reduces pore size.
From what I can gather, this is the perfect ingredient for pore filling primers or primers in general, as it assists a smooth spread and good skincare.


     Sweet almond oil: If you think mango seeds are top notch then look at this. Almond oil is hypoallergenic and normally used as a massage oil for infants, because of its mildness. The light texture helps the oil to penetrate the skin and it is said to prevent blackheads and acne.

And – I think I am going to try this out myself – it reduces dark circles under your eyes if applied every evening before going to bed.
     Synthetic Wax: The texture enhancer, which can be a mixture of different types of wax, is used to keep products smooth and stop items such as lipsticks from going brittle and dry too fast. It is a pretty common item in makeup and skincare.



     Titanium Dioxide: Is one of those super ingredients that protect the skin from all kinds of damage, especially UVA and UVB and is often found in sunscreens. If you have sensitive skin this is one of the ingredients you should look for in your products as it is deemed safe for all skin types and also has a very low inflammation risk.
Titanium Dioxide resides on the upper layers of the skin and thus enhances sun protection and it also works as an opacifier.

¬† ¬† ¬†Trehalose:¬†Is actually a kind of sugar that is sometimes called “mushroom sugar” because it can be found in mushrooms. It has an anti-ageing effect and stabilises protein structures.
Apparently, it is a really healthy kind of sugar, so if you want to eat “anti-ageing-sugar” just buy some shiitake mushrooms!

     Trimethylsiloxysilicate: The silicone is deemed very safe to use in cosmetics and is often found in products to keep them smooth and waterproof. Due to its high rating and the water-repelling effects Trimethylsiloxysilicate also often appears in sunscreens and baby-creams.



     Urea: Is an organic crystalline compound also called Carbamide. It is used to hydrate the skin with its moisturising properties and additionally also exfoliates the skin.

Urea is found in our skin naturally and is one of the factors influencing the skins’ moisture levels. If you have dry skin, the Urea percentage is noticeably lower than that of a regular skin type. So, for someone with dry skin, this is definitely an ingredient to look into when buying skincare products.



    Vinyl Dimethicone: Is a silicone-based polymer, used in shampoos, skincare and cosmetic articles. Companies use vinyl dimethicone to adjust the thickness of liquid makeup products to their liking.
If you are looking for long wear cosmetic products you should check for silicones in the ingredient list, as they are known to have good effects on the longevity of your looks.



     Water: Water is the most important skin component and our human body mostly consists of water. It is also the most common ingredient in cosmetic products. To tell the truth, in comparison to other ingredients, water does not have that many positive effects on our skin in regard to our skincare products. It is used to eliminate the hardness, minerals and to avoid product contamination. And to stretch out some of the products.


Ps.: I hope this list is of some help and that the information is accurate. Because I am not really knowledgeable in Biology or Chemistry РI nearly flunked the class last time  РI research those things and summarise them, hoping that nothing is wrong. 
Should I have made a mistake I would be really grateful if you could tell me so. 


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