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It can be a minefield trying to work out exactly what is in a product. After all, there can be so many different names out there for the same thing!

Some of our ingredients and terms we use may not be familiar to you.

To help, we have compiled a list of these words and phrases in our glossary below and provided an explanation for each of them.

We also talk about the things that we leave out of our products because we don't believe they bring any value or benefit to your skin,  or your health in general.  You can read more about the chemicals we avoid and why we don't use them!

If you have any questions or need advice then please contact us

To see how our ingredients measure up, we have listed all our ingredients on The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website in the USA for an independent, detailed analysis of all the ingredients we use in our skincare range. 

Actives

This is a group of ingredients that are made from infusions or macerations of plants to extract the key 'active' elements which have been shown to offer a range of skin enhancing benefits.

Some examples of actives found in our products are:

Anti Acne Formula 

Produced in partnership with small communities of the South American Rain Forest, this unique, Organic Anti Acne Active Formula is a 100% natural blend of acai oil, andiroba oil and copaiba balsam. These are all rich in natural antioxidants, and are also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-seborrheic (helps prevent or reduce excessive sebum production).

It contains anti-acne active components, such as beta-caryophylene, flavonoids and limmonoids Fatty Acid (Omega 9) which promote regeneration of the epidermis, maintaining the natural moisture of the skin.

Our Anti Acne Formula is used in many products in our Neutralize range for oily, problem skin.

Calendula 

Infused in organic cold pressed sunflower oil, it is derived from marigolds and has healing and soothing properties. Being high in carotene (Vitamin A) makes it good for helping wounds to heal, and it can also assist in treating varicose veins.

Comfrey 

Is also known as knitbone, and is infused in cold pressed sunflower oil. Well known for healing, cell repair and renewal, it is an excellent source of Vitamin B12. In creams it can help to repair skin damage after surgery, help with acne scarring and eczema. It should not be used on new wounds however until the deeper tissue has healed.

Hyaluronic Acid 

We use a vegan and cruelty-free alternative of this very popular anti-aging active which is made by producing enzymes from a bacteria-based biofermentation process. When the body cannot produce enough of coenzyme Q10 on its own anymore, then low molecular weight hyaluronic acid can penetrate through the skin to re-establish the hyaluronic acid content to more youthful levels.

It is the most efficient humectant (moisture retaining) that can attract from 600-1000 times its own weight in water. It can therefore help to plump up the skin and give it volume. 

The result is increased skin smoothness, softening whilst decreasing the appearance of wrinkles. Our rejuvenate day cream for mature skin contains hyaluronic acid and is one of our hero products!

Collagen

We us a vegan and cruelty free version (pseudo collagen), which is extracted from brewers yeast and mimics the skin's collagen. It helps to reduce the visible signs of ageing by improving elasticity, helping the skin retain moisture and reduces fine lines.

Siberian Ginseng 

This is an extraction from the plant root. It is a skin tightening ingredient and has a toning and lifting effect on your skin helping to reduce lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) 

This is both soothing and anti-inflammatory. It help relieve redness in rosacea and dry or irritated skin. It also supports cell growth, by building up the skin's barrier function. It can also improve skin moisturisation and reduces water loss by encouraging the production of natural emollients that soften skin and keep it hydrated.

It is great for acne prone skin and helps it become a more 'normal' skin type.

B3 also helps prevent skin ageing and improves the appearance of ageing skin by stimulating new fibroblasts and collagen secretion. This can improve skin elasticity. It can also help your complexion and a more even skin tone by lightening skin and reducing age spots, blemishes and blotches.

Cold Pressed

All our oils are 'cold pressed' which describes the extraction process used to get the oil out of the nut, seed or hip. It is one of the best extraction methods, allowing the oils to retain as many of the key beneficial components as possible. No solvents are used and both the purity and quality of the oil is maintained.

EPA Lined

EPA stands for Epoxy Phenolic and this is an internal coating found in our aluminium packaging. It prevents the aluminium from coming into direct contact with any of the products. The EPA lining itself does not interact with the product and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S for use in cosmetics.

Fair Trade

What is fair trade? It is where a community gets paid a fair market price for the fairtrade products that they produce and are not subjected to exploitation by intermediaries.

We choose fair trade whenever possible and select suppliers such as Freeset who have a clear fair trade policy and practice. Freeset make our branded organic cotton gift bags, each with a unique lining made from recycled sarees.

These bags are handmade by women who were formerly trafficked. Making these bags gives these women an alternative way to earn a living wage and access education for them and their children.

You can read more about our ethical skincare

Organic

This term describes the method used to produce a substance in a way that does not require chemicals and does not impact negatively on the environment. For skincare, it means minimum synthetic ingredients, minimum processing of ingredients and clear labelling, all of which we subscribe to. Our certified organic ingredients are either Soil Association, Ecocert  or USDA approved. We choose organic ingredients where they are available and accessible. Read more about our approach to organic skincare.

Omegas, Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and Prostaglandins

Essential Fatty Acids are fats which our bodies need but cannot produce themselves. Instead we need to obtain them through diet.

3 key EFAs are Omega 3, Omega 6 (also known as GLA) and Omega 9.

Our bodies can produce a limited amount of Omega 9, provided the other 2 are present. We need EFAs to produce and repair cell membranes.

A key function of EFAs is to produce prostaglandins. These regulate body functions such as the cardiovascular and circulatory systems. EFAs are key in helping the skin's fatty layer retain moisture and suppleness.

Over time, our bodies secrete fewer EFAs resulting in our skin feeling drier, losing suppleness with fine lines starting to  appear.

We need to maintain a healthy level of EFAs through diet or 'topical application' - putting it straight onto your skin.

Conscious Skincare's moisturisers and cold pressed oils are high in EFAs to help keep your skin supple and moisturised.

Preservatives

Many of our products are anhydrous (made without water) and so they do not require preservatives. In products that are formulated with water, the pH of the formulation itself is sufficient to inhibit any bacterial growth and make them safe to use.

Some examples of our products which do contain water are the Fuzz Off Shave Gel, face exfoliants, body lotions and hair care. These particular formulations need a preservative as they would otherwise spoil quickly, allowing bacteria to grow. The preservatives used in these products are ones approved by the Soil Association.

You can read more about our approach to preservatives and the ones that we use.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A comes from two sources; animal (called retinoids) and plant (called carotenoids).

Your body converts these into beta carotene which is an antioxidant. This helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals (which are believed to contribute to disease and play a role in the ageing process).

We use organic carrot tissue oil in our serums which contain retinol. Retinoic Acid is used in cell growth and development. Studies show that Vitamin A can help reduce the signs of ageing as retinol seems to increase the production of pro collagen which helps the skin retain moisture and form new skin cells.

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