September 16, 2020 4 min read
Understanding what goes into your skincare is really important, so you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin. But sometimes ingredients can sound pretty intimidating, especially when they’re something you’ve never heard of before.
So we’re here to help you understand that just because an ingredient sounds scary, it doesn’t mean it necessarily is! Here are some of the ingredients we use that might seem scary, but really they are here to nourish and care for your skin.
The thought of applying acids to your face might sound like a chemistry class nightmare, but really the acids we use in skincare are completely safe and not scary at all.
When it comes to our skincare, there are a wide range of acids used for different benefits. There are acids also referred to as ‘chemical exfoliants’, which means that they help to boost cellular turnover and reveal brighter, smoother skin underneath. There are also acids that help to hydrate the skin and promote anti-ageing benefits.
Here are some of the acids we use and how they actually benefit your skin!
Salicylic Acid(found in Willow Bark) is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), which works to exfoliate skin just like their AHA counterpart. However, BHAs are oil-soluble which means they have the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin. This acid helps to unclog pores and also works as an anti-inflammatory agent, which makes it a great ingredient for blemish prone and oily skin types. You can find Salicylic Acid in our Rainforest Rescue Blemish Serum.
Hyaluronic acid is actually something that is naturally synthesised by the body. Around 50% of hyaluronic acid that is naturally found in your body is in your skin. However, as we age, the amount we store in our bodies decreases - by the age of 50, it’s possible that your body’s hyaluronic acid reserves will have decreased by 50%. This is one of the reasons that our skin tends to become drier and duller as we get older, as new skin cells are not being produced as quickly.
However, hyaluronic acid is perhaps most well known for its moisturising qualities. Just one molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, trapping moisture in the skin, which plumps and moisturises the skin’s layers whilst also helping to reduce signs of ageing by plumping up fine lines and wrinkles. You can find hyaluronic acid in our best selling Hyaluronic Serum 200.
Glycolic Acid is the smallest of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids - or AHAs. It is a chemical exfoliant which are often actually more delicate on the skin compared to manual exfoliants like scrubs, as they won’t cause microtears from friction. Glycolic acid also helps to stimulate a type of cell known as a fibroblast which - amongst other things - produces collagen. This stimulation means that your skin will start to produce more collagen naturally - which in turn means that your skin gets stronger, more elastic, and even maintains hydration levels more efficiently.
Sulphates are commonly known as surfactants and are found in many skincare products such as soaps and shampoos as a cleansing agent which encourages the product to lather and help break down oil and dirt.
One of the most common is sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), often used in toothpastes, shower gels, soaps and shampoos. It works to trap oil-based dirt so it can be rinsed away easily. Although it has been used safely and successfully since the 1930s, a lot of people find that it can be really drying on their skin as it can strip much needed moisture..
Instead of using synthetic ingredients like SLS which also uses palm oil in its production, we use Sodium Coco Sulfate as a base in our washes.
Sodium Coco Sulfate
Sodium coco sulfate is made from the fatty acids of coconut oil, and it's a good palm-free alternative to sodium lauryl sulfate. This creates a much more gentle lather which doesn’t strip the hair or skin of any essential moisture, instead working to clean as well as hydrate. You can find sodium coco sulfate in a range of our washes such as our Daily Detox Facial Wash, and our Superfood Shine Shampoo and Conditioner.
Although it may not sound familiar, it’s more than likely you’ve actually used cocos nucifera oil before, because it’s simply just coconut oil. Cocos nucifera oil is a plant derived fatty acid oil extracted from the white ‘flesh’ of coconuts.
Coconut oil works great for both hair and skin as it has deep cleansing properties, and it also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, protecting the skin from pathogens keeping it fresh and clean. Coconut oil also contains Triglycerides which can penetrate deep into the skin to stimulate collagen repair, making it a great anti ageing ingredient.
When using new products it is really important to read the ingredients list carefully so you know exactly what you are putting on your face, body or hair.
But it is also important to not be put off when you see an ingredient that might sound unfamiliar or scary! Most of the time these are completely safe, natural and have lots of benefits for your skin and hair! If you want to find out more about the ingredients we love to use in our organic skincare then visit our A-Z of Skincare Ingredients.
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