Meet the Ingredients, Part 1: Oils and Fats

Your skin is your body’s largest organ and is said to absorb roughly 60 per cent of everything you apply to it. Choosing natural and organic products helps to minimize your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Just as we choose to nourish our bodies with vibrant, wholesome foods, we can make the same informed choices when it comes to nourishing our skin.

Learning about the ingredients that make up your self-care products is an important way to ensure the formulas you’re using are the right match for you.

But: we also know it can be a heck of a lot of work combing through a seemingly endless maze of resources to find the information you’re looking for.

Alas, that’s where we come in! We’ve taken the time to conveniently break down the assortment of wonderful ingredients we use in our range of creations to ensure you’ve got the information you’re interested in right at your fingertips – and that way, if you’re a hafta-know-it-all nerd like me who totally gets off on the thrill of self-study, at the very least you’ll have a solid jumping-off point to launch your research escapades!

The first post of our three-part series will spotlight the oils we use in our formulas, the second will highlight some of the ingredients you may already be familiar with and the third and final post will shed some light on the ingredients that may be more elusive to you!

Without further adieu, let’s get started!

Oils and Fats

Oils and fats serve as a vital staple of natural skincare formulas, working to smooth, condition and nourish the skin! They also have unique benefits depending on their composition and application. Take a look at what we mean...

Avocado Fruit Oil | Persea gratissima

Obtained from the pulp of the avocado fruit, avocado oil is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins A, C, D, and E, making it highly nourishing for the skin. Avocado oil’s rich and ultra-moisturizing composition is particularly beneficial for rejuvenating dry skin and mature complexions, and is also said to calm skin irritations. Avocado oil is frequently used in natural skincare formulas on account of its excellent stability against rancidity.

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Avocado Butter | Persea gratissima

Created by blending the cold-pressed flesh of the avocado fruit with hydrogenated vegetable oil, avocado butter provides the same benefits of avocado fruit oil in a creamy texture that melts into the skin for a hydrating, replenishing boost. Richly moisturizing, avocado butter is a great match for dry and mature skin types.

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Baobab Seed Oil | Adansonia digitata

Baobab seed oil comes from the cold-pressed seeds of the African Baobab tree and is high in omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, as well as skin-nourishing vitamins. With a high potency of Vitamin C in particular, baobab seed oil helps to brighten the complexion and promote cellular regeneration. It also absorbs readily into the skin with no greasy residue and offers a conditioning action that benefits all skin types.

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Beeswax

Beeswax is produced by bees as to build and protect their hive during honey production. One of its main roles in natural skincare formulations is to serve as a thickening and stiffening agent to give products structure, but it also boasts some neat benefits! Beeswax forms a protective barrier on the skin, locking in moisture and, like honey, is also said to contain anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

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Candelilla Wax | Euphorbia cerifera

Candelilla wax comes from the leaves of the Mexican candelilla shrub and, similar to carnauba wax, is used to give natural skincare products a smooth and flexible texture. It’s frequently used in balms and salves due to its ability to provide the skin with a moisturizing barrier.

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Carnauba Wax | Copernica prunifera

Carnauba Wax is a natural vegetable wax derived from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree and is used similarly to beeswax to give balms, salves and creams a solid but smooth and flexible structure. It also serves as an emollient to soften the skin and provides a barrier against moisture loss.

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Castor Seed Oil | Ricinus communis

Extracted by pressing the seeds of the tropical castor plant, castor seed oil contains ricinoleic acid, a unique unsaturated fatty acid that is said to lend the oil its powerful anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Castor seed oil's thick composition also balances the skin's moisture and smoothes the complexion.

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Cocoa Butter | Theobrama cacao

Cocoa butter is the fat extracted from cocoa beans and is loaded with beneficial vitamins and antioxidants, working to deeply penetrating the skin and create a rich moisture barrier. The polyphenols - antioxidant compounds - contained in cocoa butter are said to improve skin tone and elasticity, and help to boost collagen production. Cocoa butter is also said to be photo-protective against damaging UV radiation.

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Coconut Oil | Cocos Nucifera

Obtained from the kernel of ripened coconuts. Aside from being highly stable against rancidity, coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids which work to powerfully hydrate and nourish the skin. Coconut oil is also packed with Vitamin E, which helps boost cellular production and calm trouble skin, and is also said to be antibacterial.

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Cranberry Seed Oil | Vaccinium macrocarpon

Cranberry seed oil is cold-pressed from the seed of cranberry fruit and contains a unique balance of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids that work to replenish and rejuvenate the skin’s appearance. Not only is it deeply hydrating, its anti-oxidant rich composition is known to protect the skin from damaging free radicals, smooth lines and combat signs of aging. It is also frequently added to natural skincare formulas to protect against oxidation and rancidity.

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Emu Oil | Dromaius novaehollandiae

Emu oil comes from the fat of the emu bird, is packed with omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and is known for its unique ability to deeply penetrate the skin and assist the delivery of other beneficial ingredients. Hypoallergenic and extremely gentle, emu oil is also said to be anti-inflammatory and is used to heal burns and repair damaged tissue.

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Grapeseed Oil | Vitis vinifera

Derived from the seeds of wine producing grapes, grapeseed oil is a mild anti-oxidant rich oil said to protect the skin against environmental stressors. Grapeseed oil absorbs easily while its natural astringency tightens and balance the skin’s appearance, making it well-suited to blemish-prone complexions.

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Jojoba Seed Oil | Simmondsia chinensis

With a make-up similar to human sebum, jojoba oil deeply penetrates the skin without leaving behind any greasy residue. Rich in antioxidants, jojoba oil's gentle, non-irritating make-up helps to restore the skin's radiance and suppleness. It's high anti-oxidant content is also frequently used to protect natural skincare preparations from oxidization.

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Lanolin

Extracted from sheep’s wool (crazy!), lanolin provides a twofold-punch of potent hydration and a protective barrier to lock in moisture. It’s frequently used in natural lip balm preparations for its ability to soothe chapped lips.

Note: you may remember lanolin got a bit of a bad rap in the 60s due to the use of impure product. While modern studies show that lanolin sensitivity is rare, it's best to be avoided if you're allergic to wool.

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Marula Oil | Sclerocarya birrea

Extracted from the cold-pressed nut of the African marula tree, lightweight marula oil is loaded with essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants, easily penetrating into the skin for a nourishing, softening boost of moisture. Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, marula oil is also said to help calm irritation and protect the skin against environmental stressors. Its mild composition is suited to all skin types and works to promote a soft and radiant complexion.

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Meadowfoam Seed Oil | Limnanthes alba

Similar to jojoba in that it's a liquid wax, meadowfoam seed oil keeps your skin's moisture balanced by preventing it from secreting too much oil. Mild enough for sensitive skin, it also helps to keep natural skincare products stable due to its potency of naturally occurring tocopherols, or Vitamin E. 

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Medium Chain Triglycerides (Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides)

MCT oil is generally derived from coconut oil and is highly stable against oxidative damage. With its silky texture and ability to easily penetrate the skin, MCT oil is suitable for all skin types and, because it’s virtually odourless, makes a great carrier oil for aromatherapy.

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Neem Seed Oil | Melia azadirachta

Anti-oxidant rich neem seed oil is mainly celebrated for its potent antibacterial properties and is frequently used in natural skincare products to prevent oxidation and rancidity. Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, it is also powerfully anti-viral, anti-fungal and antimicrobial.

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Olive Fruit Oil | Olea europaea

Most everyone is familiar with the benefits of anti-oxidant rich olive fruit oil - a kitchen staple for its many culinary uses! When it comes to natural skincare preparations, olive fruit oil’s essential fatty acid content makes it hydrating for the skin without clogging pores. Its hypoallergenic make-up is also said to help prevent acne-causing bacteria and combat inflammation, making it a good match for blemish-prone skin types.

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Pomegranate Seed Oil | Punica granatum

Extracted from the cold-pressed seed of the pomegranate fruit, pomegranate seed oil contains an abundance of skin-loving anti-oxidants, working to boost collagen production, promote circulation and even help protect against UV radiation. Ultra-hydrating, pomegranate seed oil is also said to help restore the skin’s natural balance, calm skin irritations and promote firmness.

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Pumpkin Seed Oil | Cucurbita pepo

Created from the cold-pressed seeds of pumpkins, pumpkin seed oil contains an abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids, anti-oxidants, zinc and vitamins A, E and K. Deeply moisturizing, pumpkin seed oil helps improve skin firmness and balance oiliness, while the presence of natural enzymes is said to help shed dead skin cells.

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Rosehip Seed Oil | Rosa spp.

Extracted from the seeds of the ripened fruit of the rose, rosehip seed oil is known for its high potency of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and anti-oxidants, working to nourish, hydrate, and balance the skin and promote elasticity. Rosehip seed oil is said to boost cellular regeneration and thereby reduce the appearance of dark spots and blemishes, while its natural astringency works to firm and tone the complexion. Rosehip seed oil is especially beneficial for dry or mature skin types.

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Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil | Hippophae rhamnoides

Extracted from the berries of the Sea Buckthorn shrub, this nutrient-dense oil is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, omegas, and polyphenols, and is acclaimed for helping revitalize the skin, improve cellular strength and elasticity, and stop the formation of wrinkles. Sea buckthorn berry oil is deeply moisturizing and even helps partially shield the skin from damaging UV rays, while its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce skin redness and speed up the healing of blemishes and acne.

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Shea Butter | Butyrospermum parkii

Shea butter is a vitamin-rich fat extracted from the nuts of the West African shea tree. Intensely moisturizing, shea butter is also said to be anti-inflammatory and to help boost circulation, and can be used to reduce the appearance of lines, blemishes and stretch marks. In addition, the cinnamic acid contained in shea butter is said to help soothe skin irritations.

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Sunflower Seed Oil | Helianthus annus

Made from pressed sunflower seeds, sunflower seed oil is packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin E and moisturizes the skin while protecting against environmental stressors.

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Sweet Almond Oil | Prunus dulcis

Loaded with unsaturated fatty acids and packed with Vitamin E, sweet almond oil's lightweight, non-greasy texture easily penetrates the skin to smooth and nourish.  Sweet almond oil is said to be anti-inflammatory and therefore well-suited to irritated or sensitive skin and, because it's non-comedogenic, it won't clog your pores!

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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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