Meet the Ingredients, Part 2: Your Trusted Allies

When it comes to natural self-care, you're bound to come across the same superstar ingredients time and time again. You know they're good for your skin, but you're not necessarily certain why.

We're here to help you sort things out!

Your Trusted Allies

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is created by burning carbonaceous materials at ultra-high temperatures and then “activating” it by either a steam or a chemical process to create tiny pores and thereby substantially increase the surface area of the remaining substance. This porous surface area makes activated charcoal extremely adsorptive, meaning that substances such as contaminants and pollutants easily bind to its surface. In natural skincare formulations, activated charcoal works to powerfully draw toxins and impurities from the skin and absorb excess oil to promote a clearer, brighter complexion.

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Aloe Leaf Juice | Aloe barbadensis

Those who've suffered a painful sunburn are familiar with aloe vera leaf's ability to calm and cool the skin. In natural skincare recipes, aloe vera is also used on account of its anti-oxidant properties, its ability to hydrate the skin and for its anti-microbial action – it is even said to help combat itchiness!

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Australian Red Clay

High in iron oxide, Australian red clay gives dull and tired skin a replenishing boost. It works to draw impurities from the skin while balancing oil production, and can be used by those with dry or sensitive skin. 

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Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay is made up of highly absorbent volcanic ash which, when it comes into contact with water, produces a strong negative electrical charge that works to draw positively-charged impurities from the skin. As such, bentonite clay is frequently used in facial mask recipes, as it purifies the skin and has a mild exfoliative action. Bentonite clay’s anti-microbial properties also make it well-matched to oily, blemish-prone complexions.

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Burdock Root | Arctium lappa

Internally, burdock root is known for its detoxifying and nourishing effects in helping to cleanse the blood and stimulate the lymph system, as well as serving as an excellent liver tonic. Topically, burdock has an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory action that can help to alleviate skin infections and irritations.
    Find Burdock Root in:

    Calendula | Calendula officinalis

    Both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, calendula helps to soothe sensitive skin and aid wound healing with a mildly astringent action. It is also rich in antioxidants, which help to protect and replenish the skin.

    Find Calendula in:

    Chamomile | Matricaria chamomilla

    Chamomile is probably best known for its role in calming tea blends, helping to promote a restful sleep, and for treating digestive upsets. Soothing and effective in addressing skin complaints, chamomile makes a great choice for treating kids due to its gentleness. It’s anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, acts as an emollient to soften and soothe the skin and is hypoallergenic, meaning it’s unlikely to cause any type of reaction.

    Find Chamomile in:

    Citric Acid

    Citric acid is a weak acid used to adjust the pH in natural skincare formulations. It is also commonly combined with sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, in bath bomb recipes to create a fizzing effect.

    Find Citric Acid in:

    Frankincense | Boswellia spp.

    Frankincense is a resin derived from the hardened sap - or resin - of the boswellia tree and is used in natural skincare preparations for its anti-inflammatory benefits and its ability to help promote cellular regeneration. Frankincense is also said to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as scars and dark spots. The essential oil is known for reducing inflammation, boosting circulation and helping to counteract skin discolouration.

    Find Frankincense in:
    Sacred Silk French Pink Clay Face Mask | Sacred Serum (Frankincense Essential Oil)

    French Pink Clay

    French pink clay is a mild kaolin clay that draws impurities from the skin, helping to cleanse and purify. Milder than other types of clay, it helps to retain the skin’s natural balance without overdrying, and is well-matched to those with sensitive or mature skin.

    Find French Pink Clay in:

    Ginseng Powder | Panax quiquefolius 

    Rich in anti-oxidants, ginseng powder helps to nourish the skin by providing hydration, improving firmness and balancing oiliness. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help to soothe the appearance of tired and irritated skin.

    Find Ginseng Powder in:

    Lavender | Lavandula angustifolia

    Commonly known for its calming, floral fragrance and relaxing qualities, lavender also has antibacterial properties that work to aid wound healing (burns in particular). Lavender is also antiseptic, can help to increase circulation and can be used as an all-natural insect repellant.

    Find Lavender in:
    Fountain of Youth Nourishing Under Eye Cream | Lavender Lullaby Body and Linen Spray | Colony of Hippies Calming Spray | F-Bomb Bath Bomb

    Neroli (Orange Blossom) | Citrus aurantium

    Neroli’s potent antioxidant properties make it soothing and reparative for the skin, helping to minimize wrinkles, fine lines and even stretch marks. It is said to help balance sebum production and promote skin elasticity, while its antimicrobial properties are well-suited to treating skin irritations. From an aromatherapy perspective, neroli has been traditionally used to calm anxiety and overcome insomnia, and has even been used as an aphrodisiac.

    Find Neroli in:

    Patchouli | Pogostemon cablin

    Patchouli is said to soothe inflammation and irritations, including chapped or cracked skin, and is also knowo to protect against infection. Patchouli helps stimulate circulation and thereby promote cell regeneration and, in aromatherapy, its exotic scent is celebrated for its antidepressant properties – it helps enhance mood and is used as an aphrodisiac.

    Find Patchouli in:

    Poplar Bud | Populus spp.

    Sticky, reddish-coloured poplar bud resin can be found in the closed and dormant buds of cottonwood poplars, and, infused into oil, makes a potently healing medicine. Poplar bud is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and contains salicin (the same constituent in aspirin), which works to reduce pain such as muscle soreness, as well as inflamed and irritated skin. It also works wonderfully to nourish and heal dry, cracked skin, offering a rich level of hydration.

    Find Poplar Bud in:

    Rose Flower Water | Rosa spp.

    Created from the distillation of roses for essential oil, rose water provides a sensual and refreshing way to moisturize the skin, while its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties work to tighten and calm the complexion. Rose essential oil is astringent and anti-bacterial, helping minimize redness.

    Find Rose Flower Water in:
    Love Drunk Moisturizing Facial Toner | Sacred Serum (Rose Essential Oil) | Bed of Roses Uplifting Spray (Rose Essential Oil) | Bed of Roses Solid Perfume (Rose Essential Oil)

    Rosehip Powder | Rosa spp.

    Rich in Vitamin C, rosehip powder provides skin with an anti-oxidant boost to brighten and smooth the skin and protect against free radical damage.

    Find Rosehip Powder in:

    Seaweed Powder

    Seaweed powder is a lovely addition to natural skincare recipes due to composition of skin-nourishing phytonutrients, vitamins and trace elements. It is said to help purify and balance the skin and calm inflammation.

    Find Seaweed Powder in:

    Usnea | Dolichousnea longissima

    Usnea is a lichen that grows commonly here in the Pacific Northwest, and is sustainably gathered from the forest floor after a windstorm to be infused as medicine. It's is a powerful herb for fighting infections, helping to reduce inflammation and promote wound healing.

    Find Usnea in:

    Vitamin C Ester (Ascorbyl Palmitate)

    Vitamin C Ester is a powerful fat-soluble anti-oxidant compound used in natural skincare products to protect the skin from free radical damage, smooth and brighten the complexion and combat signs of aging.

    Find Vitamin C Ester in:

    Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

    Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that is regularly added to natural skincare formulations for its ability to protect against oxidization and rancidity, but this little powerhouse is also well-known for its ability to moisturize the skin and protect against environmental stressors.

    Find Vitamin E in:

    White Willow Bark | Salix Alba

    White willow bark contains salicin, which has gentle anti-inflammatory properties to soothe and heal acne-prone skin. The salicin also loosens dead skin skills to rejuvenate and brighten the skin. As an astringent, white willow bark helps to tighten pores and control excess oil.
      Find White Willow Bark in:

      Witch Hazel | Hamamelis virginiana

      Witch hazel is extracted from a flowering shrub and is processed into a clear liquid frequently used in natural skincare formulations to remove excess oil, control oil production and cleanse and condition the skin. The presence of tannins in witch hazel’s composition lend it its astringent, tonifying action, while its anti-inflammatory properties can soothe irritated skin. Witch hazel is also said to be anti-microbial and is frequently used as an at-home remedy for insect bites, poison ivy and minor burns.

      Find Witch Hazel  in:


      Ylang Ylang | Cananga odorata

      Ylang ylang is said to be a potent antioxidant, helping to rejuvenate the skin and counteract signs of aging, balance the skin and control the production of excess oil. Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties work to soothe skin irritations and, in aromatherapy, it’s known for its ability to battle stress and anxiety, stimulate circulation and overcome feelings of anger and resentment.

      Find Ylang Ylang in:

      Review Part I of our Meet the Ingredients series: Oils and Fats!

      Note: the information on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

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