Ingredient Dictionary

Don't readily recognize the name of an ingredient in our products? We've chosen our ingredients carefully for both ethics and efficacy, so we're proud of them. We want you to know exactly what you are using because knowledge is power. Let us know if you want anything added to the list!

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C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate

An emollient that easily absorbs into the skin, leaving it supple and silky. This is an esther, which is an alternative to oil. Frequently, products labelled "oil-free" contain esters like these. This ingredients combats clumping, tackiness, and works to make other oils feel less greasy (e.g. combined with shea butter, you get the properties of shea butter, but a less greasy feeling and product that is easier to spread. A great alternative for those whose skin or hair scalp is sensitive to plant or nut oils. Safe enough for baby products. Vegetable derived (coconut & glucose).


A skin protectant and softener. This ingredient naturally occurs in comfrey root and the aloe vera plant. It is extracted and dried into a powder. It helps to prevent chapped, cracked,  ruptured skin or windburned skin. It acts to  increase the water content of the skin, thus keeping it  in balance.  

Behentrimonium Methosulfate

An effective emulsifier and conditioning agent for hair and skin in luxury cosmetics. This is the ingredient that transforms a product from a lotion to a hair conditioner. It imparts softness, smoothness and long-lasting hydration. Derived from rapeseed oil. 

Capric/Caprylic Glycerides

A skin and hair conditioning agent that increases moisture and smoothness. Coconut-derived. 

Cetrimonium Chloride

A hair conditioning agent that helps to reduce static electricity and improve wet and dry combing of the hair. It also offers extra protection in preserving products.

Citric Acid

An edible, water-free salt that is used to counter oxidation of metal ions typically found in water. It also serves as a ph adjuster, to keep products for skin and hair in the optimal ranges for each product.  This also serves as an essential component of bath bombs. If you have ever eaten sour candy, you have eaten citric acid! 

Cetyl/Beheny/Cetearyl l Alcohol

These are fatty acids, NOT drying alcohols. They help thicken a product and give it slip and glide in hair and skin products. This is the stuff you want  in your conditioner! These alcohols are found predominantly in coconut and palm oils. Please note that our supplier does not distinguish if these alcohols are derived from either coconut oil or palm oil, or both. 

Coco/Decyl glucoside/cocamidopropyl betaine

Mild surfactants  that are primarily used in shampoos and shower gels. These boost the foam and cleansing ability. These are made from renewable raw materials such as coconut oil and corn and fruit sugars, and is completely biodegradable.


Coco Caprylate/Caprate

It's fast-spreading emollient, used to improve the glide of many cosmetic products, making them smooth and silky to the touch. It will not block moisture from the hair, and may be rinsed out with a gentle shampoo. Derived from coconut fatty oil, caprylic and capric acids, It is designed as an alternative to cyclomethicone. 

Dehydroacetic acid & Benzyl Alcohol

Is a certified  ecosafe, organic preservative that is best used in products that contain other organic ingredients (e.g.milks, hydrosols, etc.)


Frequently used in skin and hair products, but behave differently on both. We no longer use dimethicone in our hair products, thus they are now Curly Girl Method-friendly. For skin products  a touch of  dimethicone helps to reduce the "soaping effect" of lotions to make them easier to rub into the skin. We never use more than 2% of this ingredient in any product, frequently less, as that's all it takes. Dimethicone does not 'build-up' on the skin and is cleansed with soap or our sulfate-free body wash. 

Glyceryl Stearate/PEG-100

A highly stable emulsification system. This is what allows oils and water to mix without separating. This particular formula offers additional humectant properties because of the glycerine. Vegetable derived. It is derived from glycerine and stearic acid, a naturally occuring acid in the human body, animals and vegetable fats and oils (e.g. shea butter is naturally rich in stearic acid). Our supplier is a cruelty-free supplier, so our glyceryl stearate comes from plant sources.   They do not specify beyond that. 

Glyceryl Oleate

A skin and hair-conditioning agent; surfactant, and emollient. The use application depends on the concentration.  It is a clear or light yellow liquid derived from olive oil, peanut oil, pecan oil, or teaseed oil. 

Hydrolised Oat Protein/Hydrolysed Pea Protein

To hydrolise a product means to make the molecular weight of the particles small enough for the hair and skin to properly absorb. The hair is made from protein (keratin), so hydrolised protein in hair products help to plug weak spots on the hair shaft to strengthen it.  Depending on porosity, some people need more protein (high porosity) than others (low porosity). For the skin, protein also acts to prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL). This means once you have moisturised your skin, oat or or wheat protein helps to lock that moisture in, helping skin to stay supple longer. 

Phenoxyethanol and Ethyhexylglycerin

A broad, balanced preservative that protects products against bacteria, yeasts and mould. Free of harmful parabens or urea. Derived from coconuts.


Polyquaternium 7/11

Polyquats are cationic polymers (they are substantive to the hair and skin; they add things  to our negatively charged hair  and skin). They are comprised of both natural and synthetic compounds. Conditioners are also cationic. Using a polyquat boosts the efficacy of the conditioner. The number attached at the end conveys different properties. Polyquat 7 is a conditioning agent and humectant. Polyquat 10 is a excellent thickener and provides hold in styling products. Rinses from hair with water and mild cleanser. 

Polysorbate 80

A biodegradable food additive that acts as a solvent for oils and fragrances, allowing them to combine with water-based ingredients. Derived from several vegetable based fatty acids, it is sometimes used in facial products. It allows oils to be incorporated without compromising the foaming of the products. It is derived from the dehydration of sugar alcohols and oleic acid, a naturally occuring fatty acid. 

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

A luxuriously mild surfactant with dense, creamy bubbles that impart a soft, silky feeling to skin and hair. Gentle enough for baby’s skin, but highly effective.  It is a sodium salt ester, or a fatty acid derived from coconut oil.


Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate

One of the mildest co-surfactants, it is suitable to dry and sensitive skin. Can be found in baby products, such is its mildness. Often blended with coco betaine to create a more stable cleanser. It  is derived from coconut oil and fermented sugar.

Sodium Benzoate

A common food-grade preservative. It is derived from benzoic acid (a type of salt), and provides good anti-microbial and fungicidal protection. Works best in products whose ph is more on the acidic end. 

Xanthum gum

A common food-grade thickener popular with vegans. It helps to give a more gel-like texture to products. It is a polysaccharide usually derived from corn. 

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