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Welcome To The Skin Philosophy Forum: The Forum For Skin Care and Other Interests To Be Deciphered And To Enlighten

Discover the Philosophy of Skin Care: Exploration of the Nature, Causes, and Principles of Knowledge

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Glossary of Natural Skin Care Ingredients

AGRIMONY LEAF - Agrimonia Eupatoria. Calming, astringent and toning. Beneficial as an eye wash. Also anti-inflammatory.

ALGAE - Obtained from seaweed, algae is a natural moisturizer and is claimed to prevent wrinkles. Added to salt baths to boost detoxifying action.

ALMOND MEAL - Moist with Sweet Almond Oil, Almond meal helps replenish skin oils lost during the cleansing process while producing a gentle massaging effect during exfoliation.

ALOE VERA GEL - The pulpy, expressed juice of the Aloe Vera plant. Aloe Vera is famous for its moisturizing and soothing properties, as well as for its ability to aid in healing.

ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS - Natural plant extracts that improve the look and condition of skin by accelerating the exfoliation of outer dead skin cells revealing younger fresher skin. Additionally, AHA's stimulate collagen synthesis, boost skin elasticity and increase cell renewal.

ALMOND OIL - Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis. Pressed from the ripe seeds (nut) of the almond tree. A versatile, carrier oil, good for all skin types. Ground almonds make for excellent natural abrasives. Moist with Sweet Almond Oil, ground almonds help replenish the oils lost from the skin during the cleansing process; being rather soft in texture, they produce a gentle massaging effect in exfoliators. Very lubricating and can relieve itching and inflammation; a wonderful, natural moisturizer for Ôdishpan' hands and chapped skin.

ANISE OIL - Pimpinella Anisium. Well known for its sweet aroma and taste. Antiseptic and slightly astringent. Helps induce perspiration.

ANTIOXIDANTS - A group of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help protect our body from the formation of destructive, reactive molecules, known as free radicals. Antioxidants, such as Vitamins A, C, and E, the mineral selenium, and other nutrients also act as free radical scavengers, neutralizing the free radical particles.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR - Pyrus Malus. A sour, sharp-tasting liquid containing acetic acid. Produced from the fermentation of the juice of various fruits or berries, or from honey, molasses, or even cereal grains as in malt vinegars. Cosmetic vinegars, also called toilet vinegars, have been used as a complexion aid for centuries. Vinegar closes pores and preserves or restores the skin's natural acidity (pH balance). Vinegar keeps both oily and dry complexions soft and fresh and can combat the ravages of alkaline soaps and make up.

APRICOT KERNEL OIL - Prunus Armeniaca. An extremely desirable moisturizer rich in Vitamins A and E, apricot kernel oil is extracted from the inedible kernels found in the apricot pit. Helps skin retain elasticity and suppleness without feeling greasy. Excellent when used on dry or mature skin.

ASCORBIC ACID - Is the scientific name for vitamin C, which is typically found in fresh fruits and vegetables. It can stimulate skin protein production when applied to skin.

ASTRINGENT - A member of the toner family effective on oily and blemished complexions. Performs a tightening action on the skin and pores.

AVOCADO OIL - Persea Gratissima. A precious, natural oil derived from the flesh of the avocado fruit, a tropical plant from Central America and California. Rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, protein and amino acids. One of the few vegetable oils containing protein, avocado oil penetrates the skin deeply without leaving an oily film on the skin. Promotes the regeneration of scarred skin. Softens and conditions dry, flaky skin and scalp. Stimulates hair growth.

AZTEC MARIGOLD - Tagetes Erecta. Used for its cleansing and deodorizing properties, Aztec Marigold is an anti-fungal and antibacterial. A wonderful emollient oil which has a soothing effect on the skin.

BALSAM OF PERU - Myroxylon Pereirae. An essential oil with a very rich, vanilla-like fragrance. Promotes healthy growth of skin, and can be used for eczema, chapped hands, and to toughen nipples in preparation for nursing.

BAY OIL - Steam distilled from the leaves and branches of the bay plant, bay oil is prized for its antiseptic and emollient qualities. Possesses a warm, spicy fragrance.

BEE POLLEN - Consists of plant hormones, proteins, amino acids, enzymes, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, which bees mix with their own saliva and store as food for the winter. Energizing to the body, nourishing and rejuvenating to the skin, and sweetly scented.

BEESWAX - A natural wax made by bees in the cell walls of honeycombs. Beeswax is a natural emulsifier used in cosmetics since prehistoric times. Adds a wonderful natural smell and color to products, and helps to seal and protect the skin when used in moisturizing products.

BENTONITE - A natural clay that is an effective skin clarifier. Takes its name from Fort Benton where bentonite deposits are found. Used in facial masks.

BETA-CAROTENE - Substance found primarily in carrots. The body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A. Used to give products a yellow to orange-red color.

BERGAMOT OIL - Citrus Bergamia. Antiseptic, energizing and uplifting. Used to calm irritated skin, psoriasis and stress.

BILBERRY EXTRACT - extracted from the leaves and fruit of the shrub, Bilberry is an astringent, cooling herb that tones the skin. It is also a natural alpha hydroxy acid.

BLADDERWRACK - Derived from thallus of Fucus Vesiculosus. Bladderwrack is a seaweed. This extract is recommended for toning the skin and stimulating cell activity. Great in baths, bladderwrack provides various minerals and salts that cleanse and refresh the skin.

BLUE VERVAIN LEAF - Acts as a relaxant in cases of muscle tension. Infused as an eye compress for tired eyes and inflamed eyelids.

BUTTERMILK - A specialty milk richer in fats and emollients than whole cow's milk. For centuries milk has been used as a natural, soothing skin cleanser and softener.

CALENDULA FLOWER - Calendula Officinalis of the Marigold plant. Calendula is classified as an anti-inflammatory and is often used to treat itching, flaking, weeping skin conditions. A wonderful, emollient oil that has a soothing effect on the skin. Effective ally in treating water retention and cellulite. Used in treatment-type products for mature skin. Calendula has been used for centuries.

CALCIUM CARBONATE - A mildly abrasive natural chalk. It is an absorbent for facial oils and helps smooth out the complexion.

CAMPHOR - Cooling, highly stimulating herb. Used for oily skin and acne.

CANDELILLA WAX - Eupohorbia Certifera. A natural wax from the Candelilla plant, grown in Mexico. Obtained by boiling the plant. Gives formulas body and sheen. Used in cosmetics as a thickener.

CARNAUBA WAX - Derived from the leaf of a Brazilian palm known as "the tree of life." An edible material wax often used in making candies, it has the highest melting point of any material wax found on earth.

CARRAGEENAN - Chondrus Crispus. Derived from a red seaweed; another name is Irish Moss. Used for its excellent emollient qualities.

CARRIER OILS - Essential oils are very concentrated and can not be used directly on the skin, as they can cause irritation. Therefore essential oils are diluted before being applied, into carrier oils. Extracted from nuts, kernels, seeds, and are sometimes called vegetable oils. Burt's Bees uses several carrier oils including: Sweet Almond, Apricot Kernel, Avocado, Grapeseed, Olive, Vitamin E oil, and Wheat Germ Oil.

CARROT POWDER - Vitamin Rich, garden grown Carrots are fresh dried and gently ground to a powdered form. Carrots, rich in Beta Carotene nourish the skin and help improve skin tone and color. Works as a natural antioxidant, to help reverse free radical damage.

CARROT SEED OIL - Daucus Carota Sativa. A thin, yellow oil distilled from ground seeds. Rich in Carotene and valued for its soothing, relaxing properties. It stimulates cell renewal as well as the sweat and sebaceous glands, and is a great benefit to mature or dry skin. Protects skin exposed to weather extremes and is indispensable for hikers, skiers and outdoor athletes. Helps to deter or reduce wrinkles. Has a heavy, woodsy, earthy, fruity scent.

CASTILE SOAP - A soap of vegetable oil origin, usually olive oil.

CASTOR OIL - is the oil extracted from the castor bean. It is a moisturizer and natural pigment dispersant.

CEDARWOOD OIL - Astringent and cleansing oil with a mild, balsamic, pleasant fragrance. Steam distilled from various types of cedars. Good as a base note to blend with floral scents for use in personal care products.

CEDAR LEAF OIL - Cedarwood Atlas. Is antiseptic and astringent. Balances and regulates oil production. Often used for it's aromatic scent.

CHAMOMILE - Anthemis Nobilis. There are two chamomiles, Roman and German, both produce the light blue oil, azulene, used since ancient times for its invigorating qualities. Chamomile has very low toxicity so it is good for children. Rejuvenating and relaxing, European facialists rave about this fragrant annual herb. Massage oil with Chamomile is good for dry skin, dermatitis, acne, burns and inflammation. Bathing with Chamomile is soothing, helps menstrual problems, aches and pains related to exercise, anxiety, stress and irritability.

CHAMOMILE EXTRACT- our yellow corn alcoholic extract contains soothing, anti-irritant alpha bisabolol.

CHLOROPHILLIN-COPPER COMPLEX - A water
soluble derivative of chlorophyll. Used as a deodorizing agent in mouth washes, breath fresheners and body deodorants.

CINNAMON OIL - Cinnamomum Cassia. The natural
essential oil of the Cinnamon tree obtained by steam distillation of the leaves, bark and twigs. Used in skin care preparations for its spicy, awakening fragrance.

CITRIC ACID - Natural alpha hydroxy acid found in citrus fruits. It is a gentle exfoliator for skin.

CITRONELLA OIL - Cymbopogon Schoenanthus. Derived from Citronella grass, A fragrant oil used in insect repellents. Citronella oil is used as a raw material in the manufacture of other oils and is extensively used in soap making.

CLAY - Clay consists of tiny particles of minerals (rocks) which were carried along by rivers in previous geological years and then deposited in the earth, now excavated. Variously enriched and colored by the particulars of their geographical location, clays may be red, green, or white and their properties vary according to the trace elements they contain. Used for health and beauty treatments throughout the ages, in both mud packs and face masks. Its drawing action removes impurities from deep within the pores, leaving the skin clean, clear, and stimulated. Burt's Bees uses green, white, and sea clays in our cosmetic formulations.

CLOVE OIL - Eugenia Caryophyllus. Essential oil from the buds of an aromatic tropical evergreen. Warming, antiseptic, disinfectant and a pain reliever. Lends a sweet, spicy note to skin care formulations.

COCOA BUTTER - Triglycerides of fatty acids made from the beans of the cacao tree (Theobroma Cacao). Cocoa butter is a superb emollient that softens and protects chapped skin, relieves irritation and diminishes signs of wrinkling and stretch marks. Has a sweet chocolate smell. It is also helpful as a binder or thickener in natural cosmetic formulas where chemical thickeners are not used.

COCONUT OIL - Cocos Nucifera. The flesh of the coconut is rich in emollient fat, and when pressed yields a white, sweetly scented, super moisturizing oil, which is a solid at room temperature but easily melts on the skin. The consistency of coconut oil helps to bind and emulsify natural formulations where no chemical emulsifiers are desirable. Usually blended with other fats, coconut oil is the volatile, fragrant oil popularly used in suntan products. It protects skin from the elements by forming a thin film which is not absorbed. Coconut oil is useful as an after sun oil, and it is revitalizing to dry, damaged hair. Surfactants derived from coconut oil have good cleansing properties and are known for their mildness.

COMFREY - Symphytum Officinale. Contains allantoin, a skin ingredient that promotes healing, and is known for its regenerating and soothing properties. The extract of the Comfrey plant is anti-inflammatory, astringent and emollient. Aids the healing of open wounds, cuts, burns, and bruises.

COMFREY ROOT EXTRACT- is an extract containing the active healing components of the root.

CORNMEAL - Milled from corn and corn cobs, these natural abrasives are effective, yet safe, for your skin.

CORN STARCH - Zea Mays. Highly absorbent product derived from the corn plant. Absorbs both moisture and oils. Produces a soft, soothing feeling in face masques. An ingredient added to cremes and lotions to help the product spread on the skin more easily.

CRANBERRY EXTRACT - Naturally acidic extract, has an astringent effect on gums.

CUCUMBER EXTRACT - The juice extracted from the
vegetable is mildly astringent, yet soothing and can help reduce puffiness of the skin.Cucumber also has a slight bleaching action which aids in removing dead skin cells.

CYPRESS OIL - Cupressus Sempervirens. Steam distilled from the needles, twigs and cones of this tall evergreen, a native of Southern Europe. Clear to greenish-yellow, with a sharp and spicy smell, which is warm, woody and resinous with a lemony undertone. Stimulates circulation and has a detoxifying effect on the body. In skin care formulations, cypress regulates oil production, making it useful for controlling acne and dandruff, which are both caused by over-activity of the skin's oil glands. Also used to treat broken capillaries and varicose veins. Often used in men's cosmetics due to its astringent properties, cypress oil can stop the bleeding from shaving nicks and cuts.

DEAD SEA MUD - Precious clay obtained from the Dead Sea in Israel. It's drawing action removes impurities from deep within the pores, leaving the skin clean, clear, and stimulated. Minerals from the Dead Sea are known for their reviving, toning and purifying qualities.

DEAD SEA SALTS - Obtained from the Dead Sea in Israel. Composed of salts of Potassium, Chlorine, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium as well as Sulfur and Bromine compounds. These salts are famous for their reviving, toning and purifying qualities.

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH - A fine siliceous earth composed chiefly of the cell walls of diatoms, any of numerous microscopic, unicellular, marine or fresh-water algae. Effective in destroying soft bodied larval pests.

DULSE - Rhodymenia Palmata. An emollient and moisturizing sea weed. Detoxifying. Good for the treatment of oily skin.

ELDER FLOWER - Sambucus Nigra. Extracted from the honey-scented flowers of the elder tree. Healing and gentle astringent for all skins especially mature or sallow skins. Reputed to soften skin and smooth wrinkles, fade freckles and soothe sunburn.

EMOLLIENT - A skin conditioning agent which helps maintain the smooth, soft pliable appearance of the skin. Sweet almond oil and apricot oil are botanical emollients used in most of Burt's Bees creams, salves and balms. While the terms moisturizer and emollient are often used interchangeable, the two functions are different; however they often occur at the same time.


EMU OIL - Not all emu oil on the market is "refined", so we must warn consumers to beware. Emu Oil is an all-natural substance which exhibits anti-inflammatory and significant wound healing activity. It is used on burn patients and is known to significantly reduce recent keloid scarring; it is used as a warm-up rub prior to exercising and sports, and is used by doctors worldwide. Many folks use it as a relief for psoriasis, eczema, age-spot reduction, stretch mark reduction, roseola, rosacea, and keratosis. It is a "must have" for every household medicine chest. Got an insect bite? Reach for the emu oil!

Known as the newest anti-aging emollient, you'll want to add it to your daily beauty routine. As a "tissue nutrient", emu oil's deep penetration abilities, moisturizes skin, leaving it soft, supple and young-looking. Helps against and to alleviate wrinkles and age spots. Your skin will just LOVE the nutrition received from daily use of emu oil, emu oil facial creams, and emu oil lotions. Additionally, emu oil soap does not dry out the skin like commercially produced chemically noxious soaps can do. Emu Oil does not clog pores! Our Shampoo and Hair Conditioner will gently cleanse your hair and moisturize it, giving it added body and shine - especially great for dry, over-worked hair. Our Pina Colada flavored Lip Refresher protects lips from harsh weather and replenishes moisture to dry, chapped lips.


EMULSIFIER - Agent used to assist in the production of an emulsion. Emulsifiers enable oils to be dispersed throughout a water base to form a cream or lotion that does not separate. Common emulsifiers used in the cosmetics industry are synthetic chemicals such as polysorbate 60 or steareth-20. Burt's Bees uses a handmade extract of Irish Moss, a sea plant, as a natural emulsifier.

EMULSION - A stable system in which two liquids, which would not normally go into solution, are held in suspension by a small amount of an emulsifier. Most of Burt's Bees creams are an emulsion of botanical oils and aloe vera (water-based).

ESSENTIAL OILS - A volatile, rapidly evaporating oil obtained from the leaves, stem, flower, seed or root of a plant, usually carrying the odor characteristic of the plant. Essential oils add fragrance to our skin care products, as well as contribute to their healthful and beautifying qualities through their various abilities to tone, balance, relax, cleanse and invigorate. Although all essential oils are "fragrant", not all "fragrances" are essential oils. True essential oils must be plant derived. Used in cosmetics, aromatherapy, medicine, perfumery and flavoring.

ESTER - Compounds formed by the reaction of an acid or an alcohol. The esters used in cosmetics are usually emollients and mostly designed to spread easily and penetrate into the contours of the skin more readily. They tend to resist rancidity better than natural oils and are designed to be used in place of these in products.

EUCALYPTUS OIL - Eucalyptus Globules. Thin colorless oil derived from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree, a native of Australia. Eucalyptus trees are the tallest deciduous trees in the world, some of them reaching a height of 500 feet. Stimulating and antiseptic oil valued for its penetrating fragrance with a medicinal note to it. Most people are familiar with this scent as it is often used in cough and cold remedies, for example, Vick's Vapor Rub. Inhaling its camphor-like smell opens up sinuses and clears congestion. Often used to fight colds and coughs, as it has strong antibacterial, expectorant and cough-suppressant properties. Insects are repelled by the smell of Eucalyptus oil; it is used in many herbal insect repellents. A popular medication used to relieve joint pains, muscular aches and the swelling of arthritis. Also used for its soothing and refreshing properties.

EXFOLIANT - A product or ingredient which is used to remove unwanted tissue or waste products from the skin and other body surfaces. Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub is an example of an exfoliant. Exfoliant's gentle abrasive action removes dirt, leaving the skin soft and radiant. Crushed pecans shells, ground oats and ground almonds are the exfoliating ingredients in our Citrus Scrub.

EYEBRIGHT LEAF - Euphrasia Officinalis. This plant has been used for centuries as a topical application for eye irritations. it has a toning effect on the surface of the eye, and has excellent astringent and anti-inflammatory properties to aid problems due to allergic reactions, airborne pollution and conjunctivitis. Eyebright is known to give brilliance and sparkle to the eyes.





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