Glossary of Ingredients 2

Potassium sorbate
This is a preservative used to prevent mould growth in foods such as cheese, yogurt, wine, dried meat, pickles, apple cider and many herbal dietary supplements as well as Natures Children’s products. It is a good replacement for parabens and is the salt obtained by combining potassium and sorbic acid. A natural preservative of fruits, it was first isolated from the rowan tree (Sorbus aucuparia) from which the name derives.

PPG-20 crosspolymer

A smooth operating silicone with good wash-off resistance.
PPG-5 Ceteth-20
An emollient lubricating surfactant that creates a dry silky feeling on the skin and is used in luxury beauty soaps.
For a variety of reasons some people think preservatives are scary. There are demands for paraben free, formaldehyde free, even preservative free. The real world is populated with microbes, yeast, moulds and fungi, many of which will grow in cosmetics some are quite dangerous and toxic other are not so. There are no really natural preservatives that are nontoxic, as by definition a preservative is toxic. It is all about the skill of the formulator and natural preservatives ,such as formaldehyde, can be more dangerous that the synthetic ones.
Propolis extract
Created by harvesting the resinous mixture that honeybees collect from tree bark, sap and flowers. Bees seal their hives with this mixture of resins containing essential oils to preserve and protect the colony. The extract is a natural antioxidant, it naturally helps restore and maintain skin structure, it is certainly anti-bacterial and helps retain moisture.
Propylene glycol
One of the most widely used ingredients in personal care and cosmetics. It has many uses and is a versatile substance acting as a solvent moisturiser, skin conditioning agent and a carrier for fragrance oils. It is a petroleum derivative and has industrial uses such as anti-freeze. It is responsible for the texture of lipstick and the long lasting fragrance in perfumes.
Prunus armeniaca kernel oil
Commonly referred to as apricot kernel oil, this oil is pressed from the kernels of the apricot fruit. It is rich in essential fatty acids, which are vital components of the human organism. As a result, this nourishing oil helps to replenish and rebuild the skin. The essential fatty acids found in the oil make for a good emollient or moisturiser. Emollients coat the skin, holding onto moisture so skin stays hydrated.
Pyrus malus extract
The golden apple caused the Trojan War and apples are well known for their health benefits. The phenolic compounds in apple extract are good free-radical scavengers, protecting against antiaging.
Pyrus malus fruit powder
Prepared from apple skins, contains natural antioxidants and natural vitamin, with alpha-hydroxy acids for rejuvenation.
Pyrus malus fruit water
It takes 150 apples to make 1 kilo of this concentrate providing natural vitamins.
Prunus amygdalus dulcis oil
Almond oil is safe and effect light oil used for massage as an emollient and skin-soothing agent.
Punica granatum fruit ferment extract
Derived from pomegranates, this ferment with lactobacillus provides a natural enzymatic action for gentle exfoliation and cellular renewal.

A binder and film former and suspending agent. A petroleum derived material.

Red clay
A natural mineral clay used for masks and as a filler to give body to products. Clay has the ability to draw impurities from the skin.

Retinyl palmitate
The ester of vitamin A combined with palmitic acid, a saturated fatty acid and a major component of palm oil. Vitamin A alone is retinol and must not be confused with retinyl palmitate. Retinyl palmitate is considered a less irritating form of retinol, and a gentler ingredient on sensitive skin or sensitive areas. Its bactericidal properties relieve itching, congestion and swellings. Retinyl palmitate converts into retinol (or vitamin A), which in turn is converted into retinoic acid by specialised enzymes in the body. Retinoic acid facilitates communication between cells, encouraging aging cells to continue their renewal process allowing skin to maintain its youthful appearance.

Ribes nigrum extract
Blackcurrant is normally used as a skin-conditioning agent and as a colorant. The seed oil acts as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger it has softening and nourishing properties.

Rosa canina flower
The common dog rose of the hedgerow. Can be used to add rose petals or similar species for exfoliating and in scrubs.

Rosa canina leaf extract

An astringent skin conditioner soothing irritated and chapped skin.


Rosa canina seed oil

Rosehip seed oil from South America has been demonstrated to act as an anti-scarring principle. It is rich in vitamin A and essential fatty acids. It is a powerful free-radical scavenger. It naturally hydrates the skin and decreases the appearance of fine lines whilst improving skin elasticity.


Rosa centifolia extract

Commonly called the French rose with a less green and lighter fragrance. For properties see Rosa damascena.


Rosa damascena flower oil

Extracts of this delicate flower may be used on all skin types but should be included in products for young but dry and sensitive skin. It is renowned for use in mature skin care also. Its cost is a limiting factor. It takes tens of thousands of rose blossoms, picked as they are unfolding in the early hours of dawn, to yield a few grams of rose essential oil. So only the very best products can afford to use it. Rose oil refines skin texture, is soothing and protective and with its divine fragrance is an especially caring oil.


Rosa damascena (rose absolute) flower extract

An absolute is a solvent extraction of the most scented type of rose. Absolutes are very expensive yet and contain many properties of the true even more rose essential oil but with more waxes and other constituents.


Rosmarinus officinalis oil

This essential oil is stimulating and associated with reducing many problematic skin conditions. It is traditionally used in haircare for scalp problems and for stimulating hair growth and strength. Sometimes it is also used as part of a natural preservative system.


Santalum album oil

Sandalwood essential oil with a rich warm woody aroma has had along use in traditional medicine, it is widely used in skincare being suited to all skin types but especially useful for dry, cracked skin and for rashes and acne.


Sea salt

Sodium chloride salt panned or dried from seawater, said to contain additional minerals.


Selaginella lepidophylla extract

A native plant of the Chihuahua desert. Desert plants are remarkable for retaining moisture. This extract combats dehydrated stress promotes repair and rehydration. Retains water with soothing and rejuvenating properties especially for aged or damaged skin.


Sesamum indicum seed oil

The light oil of sesame crushed from the seeds contains a high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. In the tissues beneath the skin this oil will neutralise oxygen radicals. It penetrates into the skin quickly.


Serrenoa serrulata fruit extract

Better known as saw palmetto berries. Saw palmetto has anti-inflammatory properties and relives irritation. It is good for oily skin and those suffering from acne, reducing the likely hood of inflammation.



Silica is a natural substance found in most rocks, sand and clay. As a fine powder it can be used as a mild abrasive.


Simmondsia chinensis seed oil

The desert-native jojoba is well known for its seed oil, which has numerous uses in cosmetics and industry. Since the composition of the oil, which is actually a liquid wax, is very similar to that of human sebum, this oil easily penetrates and blends into the skin (horny cell layers). It gently spreads on the skin without a greasy feel. It is very emollient and soothing.


Sodium acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer

A thickening stabilising polymer which in parts softens and lightness to a product where such a texture is required.


Sodium ascorbyl acetate

A form of vitamin C which enables every step of collagen production, from stem cell to the skin matrix. Skin levels of vitamin C drop by almost half in middle age. Topically applied vitamin C works well.


Sodium ascorbyl phosphate

A readily available form of vitamin C which enables every step of collagen production from stem cell to the skin matrix. Skin levels of vitamin C drop by almost half in middle age. Topically applied vitamin C works well.


Sodium benzoate

Sodium benzoate is a salt derived from benzoic acid and is used as a preservative in foods and cosmetics. Though benzoic acid is a more effective preservative, it isn’t very soluble in cold water compared to sodium benzoate which dissolves easily in water. As with any preservative, there are concerns but benzoic acid itself is found naturally in many foods. Topical application is not the same as ingestion and this must be remembered when considering information.


Sodium chloride

Common salt sometimes used a thicker or particles in scrubs. Minerals salt from different salt mines and the sea will have additional and salt soluble contents with different activity. Table salt is refined pure sodium chloride.


Sodium cocoate

Sodium cocoate is actually just the technical term for a simple product made from coconut oil. It is the basis of soap making. Saponification, is the process of breaking down a fat or oil by combining it with an alkali which makes soap. The process produces glycerin and the alkali salts of the fatty acids present. Sodium cocoate is the salt (hence the “sodium” part of its name) formed by breaking down coconut oil (the “cocoate” part).


Sodium hyaluronate

Is found bathing the joint in our bodies as well as providing the bounce in eyes and skin. It gives volume to the skin and holds incredible amounts of water the loss of this natural chemical as we age results in the loss of skim bloom. Strongly anti-inflammatory.


Sodium hydroxide

Most people would know this as caustic soda. It is a widely used alkali and commonly helps make soap.


Sodium lauroyl glutamate

This is a mild amino acid based surfactant derived from natural and renewable resources. Created from coconut oil and glutamic acid, this gentle cleanser has excellent cleansing and foaming properties, is environmentally friendly and well-tolerated by sensitive skin types.


Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate

A mild, plant based surfactant derived from natural and renewable resources. Created from coconut oil and “sugar” derivatives, this gentle cleanser has excellent foaming properties, is environmentally-friendly and well-tolerated by all skin types. It is usually used together with other wash active materials as a co-surfactant.


Sodium levulinate

One of the new generation of preservatives and used in food. An advantage is it does not affect the pH level of the skin. The sodium salt of levulinic acid.


Sodium oleate

Made from olive oil. It comes from soap making. Saponification is the process of breaking down a fat or oil by combining it with an alkali which makes soap. The process produces glycerin and the alkali salts of the fatty acids present. Sodium oleate is the salt (hence the “sodium” part of its name) formed by breaking down olive oil (the “oleate” part).


Sorbitan olivate

Sorbitan is a mild surface active agent and emulsifier derived from sorbital and olive oil. Its use is relatively new but it is over 90% biodegradable and is defined as nontoxic and non-irritant.



A sugared alcohol with a sweet taste, used as an activator for other natural chemicals.  Natural factors such as yeast. It is also a humectant for moisturising.


Sodium palmitate/sodium palmate

Palm oil is the most commonly used species when making vegetable based soaps and detergents. Palm oil is combined with an alkali which makes soap. The process produces glycerin and the alkali salts of the fatty acids present. Sodium palmitate is the salt (hence the “sodium” part of its name) formed by breaking down palm oil (the “palmitate” part).


Sodium palm kernelate

A soap ingredient which is the salt of the fatty acids from the palm kernel it is used as a moisturising surfactant or cleansing agent.


Sodium PCA

A natural highly water absorbing material which can absorb moisture from the air. It naturally occurs in human skin, derived from amino acids. Functions as a skin repairing ingredient.


Sodium polyacrylate

This is a synthetic polymer used in personal care products because of its ability to store a mass of water. It is a thickening agent film former and increases viscosity.


Sodium starch octenylsuccinate

Sometimes called sodium corn starch as it is commonly derived from maze – any we use is GM free. Used in cosmetics as an emulsifier, replacing egg yolk in mayonnaise.


Sodium stearoyl lactylate

A very mild food grade emulsifier derived from natural and renewable resources. Offering unsurpassed skin moisturisation and a smooth feel on application. It is particularly suitable for facial products and advanced moisturising products acting as a humectant. Created by the esterification of stearic acid with lactic acid this gentle ingredient has excellent emulsion stabilizing and structuring properties and is environmentally friendly.


Stearic acid

This is a fatty acid found in both animal and natural forms such as in coco and shea butter. Its primary roll it is a thickener or hardener with emollient properties. Commonly used in soap production as it not only hardens it also cleanses.



This is the solid or hard fraction of palm oil. Like crude palm fruit oil, palm stearin contains carotenoids which are pigments with a vitamin A activity.


Stevia rebaudiana leaf/stem extract

This herb is a member of the chrysanthemum family and is used as healthier sweetener or sugar substitute.


Styrax benzoin resin extract

Possesses a sweet, warming, rich, vanilla-like aroma with resinous undertones which is warm and comforting. It is derived from the resin of the styrax benzoin tree. Its properties in aromatherapy are its balsamic action and its use as an expectorant, as well as being used to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, colds and flu.



Natural sugar, the particles are used in exfoliators and scrubs.


Sucrose cocoate

Natural hydrophilic high-end quality emollient and moisturiser, made of sucrose esters from sugar beet and coconut fatty acids from coconut oil. An effective cleansing agent without stripping all the skins natural oils. It also has a thickening effect and increases foaming actions.


Symphytum officinale root extract

Comfrey which has been traditionally used for bruises and sprains reducing inflammation. The old country name was ‘Boneset’.



Talc is the softest known mineral on earth – it is a natural silicate. Talc is used in baby powder; as a mildly astringent powder it is used for preventing rashes on the area covered by a diaper or nappy. It is commonly used on feet to maintain dryness or any area prone to dampness on the body.


Tetrasodium EDTA

A water softener and preservative it reduces soap scum and improves lather and foaming action.


Tetrasodium etidronate

Please see Tetrasodium EDTA


Tin oxide

Adds extra sparkle and reflects light.


Thymus serpillum oil

An essential oil from the ‘creeping’ thyme plant with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity.


Thymus vulgaris oil

Providing a strong herbal smell, the essential oil has strong anti-germ and cleansing value. It is also quite stimulating and has a traditional use as a concentration aid.


Tocopheryl acetate

A form of vitamin E, a natural skin-conditioning agent and antioxidant. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be isolated from vegetable oils. Whilst it can be synthesised, Natures Children uses the natural form to protect its products and oils from oxidation or going rancid.


Tocopheryl acetate pyridoxine HCL

An optimisation of vitamin E and vitamin B6 for skin conditioning with anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties.



Provides a soft polymer that acts as a surfactant and emulsifier which is added to provide a superior sensory profile it can be derived from vegetable oil.


Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil

The bread of life oil, rich in carotenes and vitamin E. Used essentially for its anti-oxidant effect.



A natural component of skin tissue and around 7% of our natural moisturising factor is made up of urea. In the outer layer of the skin maintains moisture balance to keep the skin hydrated, soft and supple. As natural urea is associated with urine, which is a waste product, sources in cosmetics are synthetic.


Vaccinium macrocarpon extract

Cranberry oil is an emollient lubricant and anti-inflammatory agent. It contains essential fatty acids which prevent the skin from becoming dry. It contains special anti-oxidants.


Vanilla planifolia fruit extract

One of the world’s favourite flavours. It is widely used in perfumery but the seed pod of this orchid has many valuable properties. The fragrance comes from an active ingredient – “vanillin”, found in crystals within the beans. It has strong anti-oxidant properties and both medicine and skincare benefit, as many issues stem from oxidative stress in the body. Children’s skin, being formative, has special needs.


Vetiveria zizanoides root oil

Vetiver has a thick woody dark aroma. In aromatherapy it is used to address burn out and exhaustion amongst other things. It is considered a grounding oil.


Vitellaria paradoxa

Otherwise known as shea butter or karité oil. This very popular butter comes from Africa and has been used for thousands of years for cosmetic purposes. Shea butter is rich in minerals, fatty acids, lots of vitamin A and E to promote skin health. Great for everything from sunburn, cracked, dry, or peeling skin as well as skin affected by various elements such as dermatitis; moisturising and nourishing. Most useful as a hand cream and for work and careworn hands and skin soothing for razor burn.


Vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil

An emollient fixed oil extracted from the seeds of grapes used for wine making. Grapeseed oil is usually extracted using solvents although some cold pressed oil is said to be available. It has a light texture. 


Xanthan gum

It is produced by the fermentation of glucose, sucrose, or lactose. After a fermentation period, the polysaccharide is powdered and used as a food additive and thickening modifier, in salad dressings, for example as well as in cosmetics to make a cream thicker with more body.



Yeasts are actually tiny fungi and have specific uses, such as in bread making, they often contain vitamins. Yeast works in combination with sorbitol for example. Such a combination stimulates the skins natural defences, reduces redness and even reduces the harmful effects of UVC exposure.


Zea mays germ oil

Corn germ oil is a rich oil with a high vitamin E content and is obtained from the embryo or kernel of the corn grain. The benefits of this oil include helping with skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema and is very helpful for dry skin.


Zingiber officinalis

Ginger root applied to the skin lightens age spots and gives luminescence. A free-radical scavenger which protects from crosslinking and a ‘leather skin’ look, also protects from environmental and pollution damage.


Zinc lactate

Is the zinc salt of natural lactic acid, produced by fermentation from carbohydrates. It is an excellent source of zinc, which is known to help reduce excess sebum. As lactates are an important part of the natural moisturizing factor (NMF) of the skin, the lactate part of the salt contributes to keeping skin moisturised, while the zinc part helps control excess sebum.


Zinc oxide

Zinc oxide is a white, powdery natural vital mineral. Zinc oxide is one of the safest ingredients for protecting the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet sun rays. UV rays penetrate the skin and damage tissue. However zinc oxide is also effective for healing the skin. It can be used to heal wounds, reduce the tenderness associated with sunburns and in particular soften chapped skin.


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