Skin Care Products Ingredients Dictionary I Newport Cosmeceuticals

NCI Ingredients Glossary


Acacia Senegal Serum

Derived from the acacia tree that is native to Africa, this serum is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is primarily used as a thickener or binding agent in a variety of skin care products. Due to its soothing properties, it is used in a number of eye treatments that target reduction of puffiness and dark under eye circles. It is also used in some anti-aging products to get rid of wrinkles and fine lines.


Full of antioxidants and rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, the oil of this berry is a popular ingredient for anti-aging products. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is known to result in glowing skin.


This gelatin alternative is derived from algae and is commonly used as a thickener, binder or emulsifier in makeup. However, it is also known to have antioxidant and moisturizing qualities. Due to these qualities, it can be found in a variety of moisturizers, cleansers, and scrubs.


Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is a gentle plant-derived chemical that helps skin to get rid of dead cells naturally. It is found in a variety of exfoliants, especially those formulated for acne-prone skin.


Also known as denatured alcohol, SD alcohol is a common ingredient in beauty products. This chemical is known for its ability to dry up quickly. This ability makes it a popular ingredient in toners and moisturizers for oily skin.


This plant extract contains chlorophyll and vitamin A that are perfect for moisturizing. As such, it is a popular ingredient in moisturizers and cleansers. Alfalfa is also used in anti-aging products due to its antioxidant abilities.


Apart from its ability to instantly hydrate it, algae also protect skin from free radicals that cause premature aging. This quality makes it a popular ingredient in anti-aging products

Algae Extract

Algae extract is known to contain amino acids and vitamins that help combat aging skin. When used in personal care products, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, leaving you with smooth young-looking skin.


Extracted from the root of the Comfrey plant, this chemical is mostly known for its soothing and moisturizing properties. It is used as an active ingredient in moisturizers for sensitive, dry skin. Because allantoin promotes cell generation, it is also used in anti-aging products.

Almond Oil

Popularly known for its deep cleansing abilities, almond oil has been known to be an active ingredient in many acne products.

Aloe Vera

Arguably one of the most popular skin product ingredients, aloe vera has long been known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is used to treat a variety of skin disorders such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Alpha Bisabolol

Used in personal care products, this thick oil helps other ingredients penetrate the skin. It also has soothing and healing properties. It is found in cleansers, moisturizers and even makeup.

Ammonium Hydroxide

Also known as aqueous ammonia, this synthetic colorless liquid is used to adjust the pH in a variety of exfoliating products.

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate

Commonly found in shampoos and facial cleansers, this chemical is known for its ability to help water bind with oily dirt. Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate makes it a good cleansing ingredient for both hair and skin care products.


When used on the skin, antioxidants help prevent premature aging. Due to this, they are mostly found in anti-aging products.

Arachidonic Acid

Arachidonic acid is an oily liquid used to moisturize skin and is an active ingredient in a variety of moisturizers and anti-aging products.

Arachidyl Propionate

This waxy non-toxic ingredient is usually used as a lubricant in the production of moisturizers, lipsticks, and other personal care products.


Arbutin can either be produced synthetically or derived from the bearberry plant. It is a natural skin lightener and proves useful to those with uneven skin tone or dark spots. It works by breaking down to hydroquinone, a popular lightener.

Argan Oil

With its high fatty acid and vitamin E content, argan oil moisturizes skin without having a greasy effect. It also promotes cell production. It comes as no shock therefore that it is included in many moisturizers and anti-aging products


This naturally-occurring amino acid contributes to skin health by promoting the production of growth hormones. Due to this quality, it is popularly included in high-end anti-aging products.

Ascorbic acid

Ascorbic acid is a form of vitamin C that is commonly used as an antioxidant. When its antioxidant nature is combined with its soothing properties, it becomes a perfect ingredient for anti-aging products.

Azelaic Acid

With its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it comes as no surprise that azelaic acid is present in several acne creams.




Bearberry Extract

Derived from the leaves of the bearberry, this extract is used as an astringent in cosmetics. However, it is most popular for its skin lightening abilities.


When used in cosmetics, bentonite clay helps get rid of blemishes like acne marks and age spots. It is commonly used in the form of facial masks.

Benzoyl Peroxide

This chemical is a widely used ingredient for acne treatments. Benzoyl Peroxide offers acne relief by killing bacteria and reducing redness and inflammation.


Also known as trimethylglycine, betaine is known for its moisturizing and anti-irritant capabilities.


Commonly referred to as salicylic acid, Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is a chemical exfoliating ingredient that gets rids of excess oil and unclogs pores resulting in pimple and bump-free skin. It is usually gentler than traditional scrubs.

Butylene Glycol

This colorless alcohol is used as a thinning agent in creams, gels, lotions and even sunscreens. Butylene glycol also hydrates the skin by absorbing water from the atmosphere. This makes it an important ingredient in the production of lightweight moisturizers.



C-12-15 Alcohol Benzoate

This synthetic ingredient is used in cosmetics to alter the texture of the product.


This herb has long been used to heal dry, chapped and irritated skin. Due to its healing properties, it is included in products that combat dryness and sensitivity.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

This oily liquid is an ester of glycerin and coconut oil. It is usually used as an emollient. It is added to cosmetic products so as to create a barrier on the skin that protects it from excessive moisture loss.

Carbomer 940

Mainly used as a thickening agent, carbomer 940 is present in a variety of personal care products such as cleansers, moisturizers, and anti-aging creams. It is also known as carbopol 940.

Cetyl Alcohol

This fatty alcohol is usually in the form of a waxy solid. In cosmetics, it is used as a thickener, emulsifier or emollient.


This herbal extract is known for its antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. As such, chamomile is a staple in many acne products.

Cocamide DEA

Derived from coconut oil, this ingredient acts as a surfactant, making it easier for soaps to lather. As such, it is commonly found in cleansers and shampoos.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

This is yet another derivative of coconut oil that is used as a surfactant. Cocamidopropyl betaine is found in shampoos, toothpaste, body wash and cleansers.


This ingredient is used as a surface active detergent in cleansers.


Although coffee is mainly used as a beverage, it can also be found in eye creams and anti-cellulite beauty products. When coffee and skin interact, this ingredient exfoliates, prevents clogging of pores and gets rid of any cellulite, redness, and puffiness.

Cucumber Extract

With its vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and polysaccharides, cucumber extract offers anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and hydrating properties. It also doesn’t irritate skin. Due to its combination of qualities, cucumber extract is found in moisturizers and anti-aging products


Deionized Water

This is water that has been purified by removing ions from it. This is done through a process called ion exchange. Deionized water is commonly used in the production of cosmetics so as to prevent the possibility of toxins contaminating the product.

Diazolidinyl Urea

Due to its antimicrobial properties, this ingredient is used as a preservative in personal care products. It usually breaks down to formaldehyde.


This silicone derivative forms a protective barrier on the skin to prevent it from moisture loss. Dimethicone is mainly found in moisturizers.

Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE)

Mainly found in anti-aging products, DMAE claims to keep skin firm, smooth and soothed. However, there is research that claims that these effects are temporary and may give way to cell destruction.

DMDM Hydantoin

This chemical is a common preservative in skin care products. Hydantoin does its job by releasing formaldehyde that destroys decay-causing bacteria.



Essential oils

These oils have very many benefits for the skin. Some of them are anti-inflammatory while other are moisturizing and soothing. Due to the vastness of their uses, they appear in many skin care products.


Eucalyptus Oil

This is an essential oil that is mainly known for its soothing, pain relief and healing properties. Eucalyptus is found in creams and lotions for cuts and insect bites.


Extracts of Rose Hips

Derived from the Rosa canina plant, this extract has a high content of vitamin C. This gives it antioxidant qualities that make it a good ingredient for anti-aging products.




Fragrances impart a certain scent to cosmetics. Though this in itself is good, fragrances have also been known to cause irritation to those with sensitive skin. People with such sensitivity should stay away from products with fragrances.



Ginkgo Biloba Extract

This herbal extract has been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It fights against premature aging of skin and is present in eye creams and anti-aging products.



With its high content of antioxidants and phytonutrients, this plant ingredient is usually included in anti-aging moisturizers. Ginseng has also been known to tone and brighten skin.



This popular ingredient is found in many personal care products ranging from cleansers to moisturizers. Glycerin acts draws moisture from the air so as to keep skin hydrated.


Glyceryl Polymethacrylate

This product of glycerin and polymethacrylic acid forms a film on skin to prevent water loss. When Glyceral Polymethacrylate is used in cosmetics, it also helps in texture adjustment.


Glyceryl Stearate

Present in conditioners, sunscreens, and lotions, glyceryl stearate is mostly used as an emulsifying agent or surfactant.

Glycolic Acid

As one of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), glycolic acid acts as an exfoliating agent. It is present in exfoliants that are made specifically formulated for those with acne prone skin.

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Green Tea

When used on skin, green tea offers very many benefits. It fights against acne, premature aging, and eye puffiness. This is due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial abilities.




Also known as cetyl or palmityl alcohol, hexadecanol is found in almost every personal care product. Not only is it an emulsifying and thickening agent but it has also been known to soften skin.


This bioflavonoid contains antioxidants that are known to fight against aging. A lot of anti-aging products contain this ingredient.


Since honey is an antioxidant antibacterial, anti-aging, soothing and moisturizing agent, it has been known to ensure healthy and young-looking skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid moisturizes skin and promotes collagen production. This gets rid of signs of aging and results in supple young-looking skin. It comes as no surprise that this ingredient is included in a bunch of effective anti-aging products.

Hydroquinone 4

This controversial ingredient lightens skin and gets rid of acne spots, age spots, sun spots and any other type of discoloration.


This water-soluble polymer mostly serves as a thickening agent. It is also an emulsifier, binder, and preservative. Hydroethylcellulose is found in several beauty products.


Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is best known for moisturizing and getting rid of acne. It employs the use of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial nature to do this. It is also worth noting that it is rich in vitamins A and E.




The fact that Kaolin is absorbent is what makes it so perfect for making facial masks for oily skin.


This plant-derived growth hormone has been known to prevent sun damage and fight the signs of aging. It is mostly found in anti-aging creams.

Kojic Acid

Loved by celebrities and available in creams, lotions, gels, and serums, Kojic acid has long been trusted as a skin lightening agent.



L-Ascorbic Acid

This highly potent form of vitamin C exfoliates and prevents aging in skin leaving it with a youthful look.

Lactic Acid

Like other Alpha Hydroxy Acids, lactic acid acts as a gentle exfoliant. Due to this, it is commonly found in acne products.

Lauryl Sulfate

This ingredient usually serves as a cleansing agent in hair and skin care products.


This naturally occurring ingredient is known for its moisturizing, soothing and softening abilities. Lecithin is usually found in creams that are formulated to repair and replenish dry and worn out skin.

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil lightens, rejuvenates and heals skin. It also clears acne and prevents premature aging.

Licorice Extract

This plant extract soothes and lightens skin. It gets rid of age spots, dark under-eye circles and any other type of discoloration.

Lipoic Acid

Lipoic Acid is soluble in both water and fat, this enzyme is an antioxidant that keeps skin young-looking.



Magnesium Aluminum Silicate

This mineral serves as a thickener in a wide range of cosmetics and personal care products.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Like other derivatives of vitamin C, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate fights aging skin by boosting collagen production.

Marine Algae

Marine algae are used as an ingredient in beauty products because of its ability to heal, strengthen and revitalize skin.

Methyl gluceth 20

This water-soluble ingredient is a product of glucose and methyl alcohol. When methyl gluceth 20 is applied to skin, it softens, smoothens and moisturizes it.


Micellized Vitamin E

Due to its antioxidant properties, this ingredient is used in anti-aging products. Micellized Vitamin E fights free radicals that cause premature aging of skin.


These hygroscopic proteins are known for their hydrating nature and are commonly found in products for dry skin.

Myristyl Ether Propionate

This ingredient performs many functions in cosmetic formulas. It serves as an emollient, thickening agent and skin-conditioner.




Mostly found in moisturizers and hair conditioners, NaPCA absorbs water from the air and moisturizes skin.


This important nutrient is also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3. It is found in anti-aging products due to its ability to remove fine lines and correct with uneven skin tone.


When used in the formulation of cosmetics, this ingredient works as a lubricant and emollient. Octyldodecanol leaves the skin smooth, soft and silky.



Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7

When applied to the skin, this peptide reduces inflammation. Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 also stimulates collagen synthesis.


Panthenol is popular for its ability to moisturize, lubricate, soften and soothe skin.


By absorbing moisture from the environment and preventing its loss, PCA effectively hydrates skin. It is found in conditioning products.

PEG-100 Stearate

This ingredient is used as a surfactant in cleansers. It also moisturizes, softens and soothes skin.


Peptides reduce wrinkles and boost collagen synthesis. They are found in several anti-aging products.


This ingredient helps in combating dry skin and forms a layer on it that protects it from the harsh elements. It is found in very many beauty products.


This chemical ingredient is used as a preservative in cosmetic products.

Polyethylene Granules

Found in a variety of makeup and skin care products, polyethylene is popularly used as thickening agent.


This oily liquid acts as an emollient in cosmetic products.


This oily liquid usually acts as a thickening or emulsifying agent.

Potassium Sorbate

Popularly used as a preservative, potassium sorbate is effective against mold, fungi and yeast.

Propylene Glycol

In cosmetics, this petroleum derivative is used to hydrate skin and transport active ingredients. Propylene glycol is commonly found in moisturizers.


Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree ingredient contains vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) that exfoliate, brighten, soften and soothe skin.

Purified Water

Since purified of water is free from any toxins or pollutants, it is usually used as a solvent in the manufacture of skin care products.

PVP/ Elcosene copolymer

This ingredient is mainly used as a film-forming agent in water-resistant sunscreens and cosmetics. Elcosene copolymer also acts as an emulsion stabilizer.




Predominantly used as a preservative in beauty products, quaternium-15 releases formaldehyde that kills all bacteria present.



Retinyl Palmitate

Derived from vitamin A, retinyl palmitate is rich in antioxidants and promotes production of collagen. This leads to younger looking skin. This ingredient is present in sunscreens and anti-aging products.


Mostly known for its presence in anti-aging products, retinol, smoothens, firms and reduces wrinkles and fine lines on skin.

Royal Jelly

Like most ingredients, royal jelly benefits skin in more than one way. It moisturizes, heals and even fights the aging of skin.



Safflower Oil

This gentle oil contains linoleic acid, a substance effective in fighting acne. Safflower oil also has moisturizing abilities.

Salicylic Acid

This acid gets rid of dead skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. These qualities make salicylic acid it perfect for acne treatment.

Sarsaparilla & Fennel Seed

When these two ingredients are combined in a beauty product, they impart it with the ability to fight the premature aging of the skin.

Saw Palmetto

This ingredient is known for clearing acne and reducing oiliness of the skin.

Sclerotium Gum

Used in a variety of personal care products, sclerotium gum acts as a stabilizer, emulsifier or thickening agent in a wide range of beauty products.

SDA 40

This alcohol is used in beauty products as a solvent or to reduce the viscosity of a mixture. It also has antimicrobial properties.

Self-Emulsifying Wax

Due to its ability to blend water and oil to a fine consistency, self-emulsifying wax is an important ingredient in moisturizers, lotions, and facial creams.

Sodium Ascorbate

This salt of ascorbic acid contains antioxidants that fight free radicals that cause premature aging. It is commonly found in anti-aging products.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Derived from vitamin C, this ingredient is rich in antioxidants that fight premature aging of the skin. As such, it is found in a bunch of anti-aging products.

Sodium Borate

When used in beauty products, this ingredient plays very many roles. It can act as an antiseptic, pH adjuster or buffering agent.

Sodium Hyaluronate

It is used in makeup and personal care products to restore suppleness to skin. Sodium Hyaluronate makes your skin look younger and healthier.

Sodium Hydroxide

This alkaline ingredient maintains the pH of skin care products. It is also a cleansing agent.
Sodium Metabisulfate
This inorganic salt is present in many personal care products and works as a preservative or antioxidant.

Sodium PCA

Due to its ability to absorb moisture from the atmosphere, this salt is included in moisturizers and hair conditioners.

Sorbitan Esters

Derived from sorbitol, this ingredient soothes and moisturizes skin. Due to its properties, sorbitan esters are found in cleansers, moisturizers and makeup.

Stearic Acid

This popular ingredient can be used as an emulsifier, surfactant or to add fragrance to a variety of cosmetics.


Sulfur is best known for its ability to exfoliate skin naturally. It also has antibacterial properties. Such qualities make it suitable for dealing with conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.




Black, green and red teas have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging abilities. When they are included in skin care products, they can moisturize, cleanse and even tighten skin. They even help clear acne.

Tea Tree Oil

This natural ingredient is present in a lot of acne products. This is due to its antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory abilities.

TEA Stearate

In personal care products, this ingredient acts as an emulsifier or cleansing agent.

Tetrasodium EDTA

Present in many personal care products, this ingredient ensures that metal ions don’t react with other ingredients. It is also used as a preservative.

Titanium Dioxide

This ingredient is mostly known for its ability to protect the skin from UVA and UVB radiation without causing sensitivity. As a result of this, titanium dioxide is present in sunscreens, moisturizers and a host of other leave-on skin products.


This ingredient is related to vitamin E and is mostly known for its antioxidant quality. It is found in makeup, soaps detergents and skin care products.

Tocopherol (miscellized)

This antioxidant-rich ingredient is present in a variety of anti-aging products.


This ingredient has long been used to fight the signs of aging by promoting collagen production and tightening skin.


This ingredient is derived from ammonia and ethylene dioxide. In cosmetics, it is used as a pH adjuster. It can also act as an emulsifier.



Vitamin A

Apart from being used in acne treatments, vitamin A is also used in anti-aging products to reduce wrinkles.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K reduces the appearance of stretch marks, spider veins and dark under eye circles. Since it is very effective, vitamin K eye treatments have become very popular over the years.



Witch Hazel Extract

The high tannin content of witch hazel extract makes it efficient in getting rid of excess oil from the skin. This quality has made this ingredient effective in combating acne.




This plant hormone is effective in fighting skin aging. It can be found in a bunch of anti-aging products including moisturizers, cleanser, toners and eye serums.

Zinc Oxide

Skin products with zinc oxide protect from UVA and UVB products while reducing skin oiliness

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