A-Z of ingredients
Our ingredients policy
High performance, quality and safe ingredients are our priority.
Working closely with our ingredient growers, harvesters and providers is very important to us and we really believe it is worth the extra effort when we see the difference our ingredients make to our products.
We are passionate about responsible sourcing. Our botanical and formulation experts balance factors such as performance, sustainability, ethics and organic practices to determine the best source for us to use.
We never do it.
No animal ingredients
None of our ingredients are derived directly from animals. However, in some of our formulations we use animal-friendly ingredients such as beeswax and manuka honey. All our products are suitable for vegetarians.
Plant oils and extracts
We love plant oils and extracts for their unique chemistry and use them at levels that really make a difference.
Only mineral sunscreens
We only use mineral sun filters, which reflect rather than absorb the sun's UVA and UVB rays. Reflective mineral sunscreens provide effective broad-spectrum UV protection for even the most sensitive of skins.
Genetically engineered ingredients
We never use them.
Some of our formulations are preservative-free. We do use preservatives when absolutely essential for product safety. We use relatively low concentrations of the highest grade, broad-spectrum preservatives and consider natural preservatives wherever possible.
We only use potent, premium natural source vitamin E.
For a quick search, please click on the first letter of the ingredient which you would like to find out more about...
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- Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
The gel found in this cactus-like plant’s fat juicy fronds contain active ingredients to help cool, soothe and soften the skin. Aloe vera has been used for more than 6000 years to treat a variety of skin ailments, including sunburn, blisters and burns.
- Avocado Oil (Persea gratissima)
The flesh of the avocado contains nearly 50% plant oil. Highly nutritious, it is a good source of vitamin E, magnesium and linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid and leaves the skin smooth and soft.
- Argan Oil (Argania spinosa)
Known as the ‘Gold of Morocco’ this rich, smoothing emollient is extracted from the fruit of the argan tree and has been used for centuries by Moroccan women to help moisturise and revitalise the skin. Argan oil is naturally rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the skin.
- Armoise (Artemisia vulgaris)
Armoise is the common name used when referring to the essential oil of Artemisia vulgaris, which is native to temperate regions of Europe and Asia. The plant grows to between 3 and four feet high and has silvery-grey leaves and small yellow button-like flowers. The aerial part of the plant produces an essential oil with a camphorous, fresh and minty aroma that is widely used in perfumery.
- Apricot Oil (Prunus armeniaca)
Apricot kernels are crushed to produce this light oil, which is good for mature, dry, sensitive or inflamed skin. Its wonderfully light texture makes it easily absorbed into the epidermis or uppermost levels of the skin. In the Vital Oils Bath Oils organic apricot oil has been used as the carrier for the essential oils.
- Apple Fruit Extract (Pyrus malus/Malus x domestica)
Belonging to the rose family, these pomaceous tree fruits are related to pears and quinces. More than 15,000 named varieties of apples have been developed over centuries of cultivation, but only around 100 are commercially grown. Apple extract is used for its inherent acidity in our Haircare range. This helps to flatten the cuticles of the hair shaft leaving hair shiny and smooth. Idared, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples are the source of our extract.
- Beeswax (Cera alba)
The beeswax used in Naturally Active Skincare comes from the honeycombs in which bees store their pollen. It has skin protecting properties and helps to relieve chapped skin.
- Black Pepper Essential Oil (Piper nigrum)
Black Pepper is best known as a culinary spice. The warming benefits of the essential oil are used in aromatherapy for muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, sprains and stiffness; it is also used for colds and flu.
- Borage Oil (Borago officinalis)
Nicknamed the herb of gladness by the Romans because of its use in treating depression. The beautiful star shaped flowers of this plant give way to tiny seeds crammed with a health promoting plant oil. This oil is one of the richest sources of the essential fatty acid GLA (gamma linolenic acid), which helps to lock moisture onto the skin.
Beta-carotene is one of the orange/yellow pigments responsible for the colour of many fruits and vegetables such as carrots, oranges, apricots. It is also widely found in green leafy vegetables but its colour is masked by the green chlorophyll. This is why when the level of chlorophyll in leaves falls during autumn the leaves turn a reddish colour as the beta-carotene becomes visible. Beta-carotene has antioxidant properties.
- Bergamot Essential Oil (Citrus aurantium bergamia)
Bergamot is named after the Italian town of Bergamo where the fruit was originally cultivated. This refreshing essential oil is extracted from the bergamot fruits, and is widely used by aromatherpists to relieve stress, depression and insomnia.
- Butcher's Broom Extract (Ruscus aculeatus)
This small native shrub looks a bit like holly but actually belongs to the Lily family. It is named Butcher's broom because mature branches were bundled together by butchers to sweep their shops. Extracts from the plant have been used by herbalists in cases of venous insufficiency.
- Bitter Orange Oil (Citrus aurantium amara)
Bitter orange has highly fragrant, white flowers which are followed by green fruits that ripen to reddish-orange at maturity. Like other members of the citrus family, trees can have both ripening fruit and flower hanging from their branches at the same time. The flowers, leaves and fruit are all dotted with tiny oil glands from which an array of essential oils is produced. Bitter orange essential oil has a fresh, dry, odour with a lasting, sweet, floral undertone. While notes are reminiscent of bergamot, grapefruit and sweet orange, the dominant scent is unique.
- Blue Seakale Extract (Crambe maritima)
A member of the cabbage family, sea kale is a perennial halophyte (salt-loving plant) perfectly adapted to the nutrient-poor conditions of coastal sand and shingle where it is found in the wild. While Crambe maritima is native to our island home, it is a rare and protected species on the Isle of Wight. The seakale we use is harvested from sustainable plantations of seakale in Brittany, France.
- Black Cohosh Root Extract (Cimicifuga racemosa)
A member of the buttercup family, black cohosh is a herbaceous perennial native to the shady deciduous woodlands of eastern North America. Infusions and extracts from the rhizome and root were widely used in Native American medicine.
- Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Bergamot is commercially grown almost exclusively in Calabria, Italy, on a narrow coastal strip of land in the southern part of the region. This multifaceted essential oil brings a fresh, bright, zesty, sparkling, complex citrus to our fragrance. Its extremely rich, fresh, sweet-fruity top note is followed by a herbaceous dry-down. Bergamot’s delicate and persistent odour has made it a popular ingredient for perfumery for centuries, and it was a component of the original eau de cologne blend. When used in significant amounts, bergamot has a fixing effect, which distinguishes it from other citrus essential oils.
- Benzoin Gum (Styrax benzoin)
The source of Siam benzoin is Styrax benzoin, a tropical tree reaching 20 metres with pale green citrus-like leaves with white undersides and nutmeg-sized, hard-shelled fruit. The trees are wounded to produce ‘teardrops’, or pebbles of resin, which harden on exposure to air. This resin, a pathological product made to protect the tree from disease and pests, is the fragrance ingredient Siam benzoin. Sweet, balsamic, vanilla, tasty, and powdery, benzoin brings powerful and suave accents to fragrance as well as having fixative properties.
- Candelilla Wax (Euphorbia cerifera)
Literally meaning ‘little candle’, the erect waxy stems of the candelilla not only look like candles but are also used as a source of wax to make candles. The plants grow in the extreme heat of the Chihuanhuan Desert in Northern Mexico and produce a waxy covering to protect their stems from being dried out by the fiercely hot sun. The wax collected from the stems can be used to help provide a protective barrier on the skin.
- Chamomile Essential Oil/Extract (Anthemis nobilis)
This herb takes its name from the Greek kamai (ground) and melon (apple) because of the sweet apple-like fragrance it releases when trodden on. The essential oil is considered a gentle oil by aromatherapists and medical herbalists have used chamomile for soothing the skin for centuries.
- Cypress Essential Oil (Cupressus sempervirens)
This large evergreen tree has been regarded as an ancient symbol of comfort and solace. The woody-evergreen odour of cypress essential oil is similar to pine and juniper berry. It is said to have sedative properties and can help relieve convulsive coughing and similar respiratory problems.
- Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
Clary Sage oil is distilled from the flowering tops and leaves of the plant, which grows best in the Mediterranean region. The oil has a sweet, herbaceous, warm tobacco-like note. It is used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and has an anti-depressant effect. The herb has been used for centuries in many different cultures both as a culinary and medicinal herb. The Egyptians used it to treat infertility, the Romans believed it prolonged life and in the Middle Ages it was said to have a 'miracle' curing power.
- Cajuput Essential Oil (Melaleuca cajuputi)
Also called the swamp tea tree, this Indonesian tree has small fragrant white flowers that cluster around a long spike. This invigorating oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of the tree and has been used by aromatherapists in cases of bronchial and respiratory problems, painful periods and cystitis.
- Cedarwood - Virginian Essential Oil (Juniperus virginiana)
This essential oil has a woody odour reminiscent of pencil sharpenings. It is widely used in fine fragrances and aftershave lotions.
- Clove Oil (Eugenia caryophyllus)
The clove is well known as a culinary spice. This colourful tree is admired for its beauty as its leaves change gradually throughout the year from yellow to pink to dark metallic green. The essential oil is distilled from the buds and provides a sweet familiar aroma and warming element to essential oil blends.
- Cornflower Extract (Centaurea cyanus)
Considered weeds by corn farmers, cornflowers were found in Tutankamun’s tomb and were almost as blue as they would have been in 1550BC. An extract from these dainty blue flowers has been used for minor inflammations of the eye.
- Cabreuva Essential Oil (Myrocarpus frondosus)
Cabreuva oil is distilled from the bark of the tree. The tree originates in South America and has very hard wood and is used for furniture making. The chippings from which the oil is extracted are the waste product of the timber mills. The oil has a delicate, sweet, woody-floral scent but has great tenacity and is used as a fixative in perfume blends.
- Camphor Oil (Cinnamomum camphora)
Camphor oil has an uplifting and stimulating effect on both the skin and the mind. Extracted from the evergreen camphor tree, Cinnamomum camphora, Chinese camphor is traditionally considered to be the best quality.
- Cranberry Seed Oil (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
This oil is produced by pressing the seeds from cranberries. Rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9, it is an easily absorbed moisturising oil.
- Cedarwood - Texan Essential Oil (Juniperus mexicana)
Texan cedarwood is native to the American southwest, growing in a band from Arkansas and Missouri south and west to Oklahoma, Texas and northern Mexico. The invasive propensity of the tree has caused the US Department of Agriculture to pay landowners to remove it to improve the grassland. Once cut and chipped, the wood is sent to distilleries which produce the essential oil through steam distillation. Texan cedarwood essential oil has a sweet, woody, slightly smoky note reminiscent of wood shavings.
- Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao)
This rich, creamy butter which has moisturising effects on the skin is made from the roasted seeds of the cocoa tree, the same seeds that give us chocolate and cocoa.
- Calendula Extract (Calendula officinalis)
This cheerful plant more commonly known as marigold has a long history of use in traditional medicine. An extract produced from the plant has a calming, soothing effect on the skin.
- Cucumber Extract (Cucumis sativus)
Cucumber contains traces of useful nutrients, including potassium, silicon and sulphur. Traditionally used as a compress this refreshing ingredient is calming and soothing.
- Cardamom Essential Oil (Elettaria cardamomum)
The spice cardamom is the seed of Eletteria cardamomum, the cardamom. Closely related to ginger, cardamom has green, sword-shaped leaves and white flowers with pink veining. Considered to be the world’s third most expensive spice, cardamom is most commonly sold in the pod (whole or split) as seeds rapidly lose freshness outside the pod, and ground cardamom loses its flavour quickly. Cardamom essential oil has a warm, spicy, aromatic top note that becomes woody and balsamic, then sweet and almost floral on the dryout.
- Coriander Essential Oil (Coriandrum sativum)
Coriander is native to southern Europe and the western Mediterranean region. The essential oil is distilled from the dried fruits (seeds) of the plant and has a sweet, musky, spicy, woody aroma. As the seeds dry they develop an aromatic scent and flavour and this has been used to advantage for thousands of years. The seeds have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs and reference was made to them in ancient Sanscrit writings. The ancient Romans used the spice to preserve their meat.
- Carnauba Wax (Copernicia cerifera)
This natural plant wax comes from the leaves of the carnauba tree native to South America. Its leaves are covered by a waxy coating which helps them tolerate drought, the drier the conditions, the more wax is produced. This wax can be used to help provide a protective barrier on the skin.
- Cedarwood - Chinese Essential Oil (Cupressus funebris)
The essential oil produced from this evergreen tree has a woody, smoky odour. It has natural fixative properties which mean it can be added to a fragrance to help it last longer.
- Clementine Essential Oil (Citrus reticulata 'clementine')
The clementine is a member of the large family of small citrus fruits. Clementine oil is produced by expression of the peel and aromatherapists classify the sweet essential oil as both extremely uplifting and balancing.
- Comfrey Extract (Symphytum officinale)
Its name comes from the Latin con firma, meaning to grow together. This and some of its other common names including bruisewort, boneset and knitbone suggest its history of use in herbal medicine. Comfrey contains allantoin, an ingredient prescribed in the early 20th century as a remedy for a variety of skin disorders.
- Carrot Seed Essential Oil (Daucus carota)
The carrot’s umbrella-shaped clusters of small, white to green-yellow flowers are followed by small, oval, dull brown fruits commonly referred to as seeds. The oil obtained from these seeds has a distinctive sweet-spicy, earthy fragrance and is commonly used in chypre and oriental perfumes.
Coco-caprylate/caprate is a light emollient oil wholly derived from Coconut and Palm oils. It’s lightness and exceptional spreading power makes it an ideal base oil when an almost dry non-greasy finish is desired.
- Cotton extract (Gossypium herbaceum)
Cotton sugars create a barrier over the fibres of each cotton seed to protect them from the elements. Cotton extract works in the same way on hair, forming a barrier that works to improve the smoothness of each hair shaft. Smooth hair reflects more light in the same direction resulting in hair that appears glossier and healthier.
- Clove bud oil (Eugenia caryophyllus)
Native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia, Eugenia caryophyllus is a small evergreen tree with large leaves and abundant red flowers held in terminal clusters. It is for these flowers, or more specifically the buds, that these trees are renowned and grown: the spice clove is the dried flower bud of Eugenia. Clove bud essential oil has an unusual fresh, fruity top note with an acetic odour that makes it refreshing and different from clove oils derived from leaf and stem. This top note combines with a powerful sweet-spicy note for which the oil is principally used.
- Cinnamon Leaf Oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Cinnamomum zeylanicum is a medium-size tree native to the island of Sri Lanka, which remains the major producer. Cinnamon has been known and prized as a spice and fragrance ingredient for at least four millennia: there is evidence of cinnamon being shipped to Egypt as early as 2000BC. Cinnamon is among the handful of plants mentioned in the Bible several times as a fragrancing ingredient and cinnamon leaves are a by-product of the production of the bark quills for spice. Cinnamon leaf essential oil has spicy and warm, mouthwatery undertones with a crispy note.
- Cypriol Root Oil (Cyperus scariosus)
Cyperus scariosus, a sedge closely related to papyrus, from which the Egyptians made writing material, grows wild in the Madhya Pradesh region of India. The roots of this sedge are prized for the essential oil known as cypriol which is distilled from them. Cypriol brings woody, texturised, humid and mossy undertones to fragrance. It is used for its dry, woody-earthy, slightly spicy odour that is tenacious and consistent once the fresh top note dries down.
- Coconut oil (Coco nucifera (coconut) oil)
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a large palm reaching 30 metres (nearly 100 feet) in height. The coconut oil we use in Liz Earle Naturally Active Haircare is pressed on the Kenyan coast from a mixture of wild-harvested and plantation-grown coconuts using a sustainable direct micro expelling process to produce a virgin, cold pressed, unrefined oil. Coconut oil is extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts which contains around 33% oil, which helps to moisturise and smooth hair.
- Cyperus (Cupressus sempervirens (cyperus) absolute)
Cypress essential oil is distilled from the twigs of cypress, a very narrow, erect evergreen from the Mediterranean. Reminiscent of pine needles, the sweet balsamic, refreshing note of cypress absolute brings a sexy, woody note to the fragrance. The plant material for the essential oil in Botanical Essence No.100 is harvested in France where clippings from the annual autumn pruning of trees in plantations, as well as branches dropped in storms, are collected for distillation.
- Clove leaf (Eugenia caryophyllus (clove) leaf oil)
The spice clove is the dried flower bud of an evergreen tree, and is cultivated in Indonesia, as well as Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Madagascar and Zanzibar. Clove leaf essential oil has a slightly sweet, dry, woody note that is sometimes described as having a burnt, bread-like aspect. It is greener and less sticky than clove oils derived from bud and stem. The leaves used in Botanical Essence No.100 are sourced from Madagascar where they are a subsidiary crop of the spice production.
- Damask Rose Water (Rosa damascena)
The damask rose is the oldest of all the rose varieties and produces an exquisitely scented floral water which cools and moisturises the skin leaving it feeling fresh and hydrated.
Otherwise known as pro-vitamin B5, this B vitamin is necessary for the normal functioning of the skin and has a moisturising effect. It also helps stimulate cellular renewal.
- Damask Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena)
The rosy, warm floral note brought by Damask rose absolute adds a beautiful floral serenity to fragrances. The clear pink blossoms of Damask roses are strongly fragrant, and roses have become associated with this fragrance. The blossoms are collected early in the day before the sun can release the tiny amounts of fragile volatile oils that give the rosewater and oil its fragrance.
- Daikon radish seed oil (Raphanus sativus (radish) seed oil)
Daikon or white radish originated in central Asia: the common name Daikon originates from the Japanese for ‘large root’, while the Chinese for white radish translates literally as ‘white carrot’, both accurate descriptions of the shape of the radish. Daikon radish seed oil is a very new ingredient, introduced for its light emollient properties to help give the hair gloss, and one we have been exploring since our meadowfoam seed supplier first experimented with pressing radish seeds.
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
Native to Australia, eucalyptus shoots are a favourite food of the koala. The cooling essential oil produced from the leaves and twigs has decongestant properties and is used by aromatherapists to ease muscular aches and pains.
- Eyebright Extract (Euphrasia officinalis)
Eyebright is said to be named after Euphrosyne the Greek goddess of good cheer, joy, mirth and merriment because of the gladness it brought to sufferers of eye problems. This tiny plant is still used by herbalists today to help reduce puffy eyes
- East African Shea Butter (Vitellaria paradoxa nilotica)
This natural moisturiser comes from the kernel of the fruit of the East African shea tree: our kernels are sourced from a women’s collective group working in forests around Lira in northern Uganda. Shea butter enhances the barrier function of the epidermis, reducing the trans-epidermal water loss, retaining moisture and improving the elasticity of the skin.
- Echinacea Extract (Echinacea angustifolia/purpurea)
This pretty flower from the same family as sunflowers and daisies has striking purple petals. It is said to be named because the spiky conical seed head in the centre of the petals resembles a hedgehog (echinos is Greek for hedgehog). Native Americans first used this plant and it has since been used widely in herbal preparations ever since for anything ranging from colds and flu to skin conditions.
- Elemi Gum (Canarium luzonicum)
A tropical tree native to the Philippines, Canarium luzonicum can grow up to 30 meters (98 feet) high and is tapped for its resin. Elemi, as the resin is known, has millennia of use as a fragrance ingredient. Elemi is a resin with a crispy fresh spicy hook, like black pepper prolonged into resin notes, adding delicate facets to woods and balms. It combines a fresh, lemony, pepper top note with a greener, woody, balsamic dry-down that retains a sweet spiciness.
- Frankincense Essential Oil (Boswellia carteri)
Frankincense is an aromatic resin collected as droplets from the trunk of the tree. It is widely used as incense and the essential oil is produced by distillation of the resinous droplets. Frankincense essential oil is used by aromatherpists for anxiety and stress related conditions and to restore a sense of equilibrium.
- Galbanum Essential Oil (Ferula galbaniflua)
Galbanum is a resin collected from cuts in the stems of these large plants from the same botanical family as fennel and dill. It can be distilled to produce an essential oil which has a powerful, green-woody aroma that lingers in the air long after the top has been put back on the bottle! Its natural fixative properties help to maintain the fragrance of a blend for a longer period.
- Grapefruit Essential Oil (Citrus grandis)
The name grapefruit originated because the fruits grow in clusters that resemble grapes. An uplifting and reviving oil it is used by aromatherapists for detoxifying.
- Green Tea Extract (Camellia sinensis)
The leaves of green tea are steamed immediately after picking to prevent any natural degradation of the vitamins and polyphenols (antioxidants), which they contain. Most of the health benefits of green tea are attributed to its antioxidant activity.
- Ginkgo Extract (Ginkgo biloba)
Also known as maidenhair tree, these trees are thought to be the oldest on the planet, first growing 190 million years ago! Native to China, the trees are widely cultivated for their leaves, which are a well known herbal remedy when taken in tablet form for poor memory and dementia. Herbalists have also used extracts on the skin for their stimulating and tonic properties.
- Green Clay (Kaolin)
Green clay is a natural clay that contains trace levels of minerals that give it a characteristic green colour. It is used to gently draw impurities out of the skin and absorb excess oil.
- Geranium Essential Oil (Pelargonium graveolens)
This essential oil provides a wonderfully uplifting fragrance. Pelargonium graveolens, known as rose-scented geranium has a powerful rose-like odour. This luxurious oil is most commonly used in aromatherapy for its toning and balancing properties.
The glycerin we use is always vegetable derived. It is a humectant (attracts water), drawing atmospheric water onto the skin to aid hydration.
- Green algae (Chlorella vulgaris)
Chlorella is a single-celled, spherical, green algae that has been widely used for scientific studies. It reproduces rapidly asexually, fueled by carbon dioxide, water, sun, and a small amount of minerals. High levels of chlorophyll and vitamins have lead to chlorella being sold as a supplement, marketed as an alternative to spirulina or wheatgrass. We use green algae in a ferment with white lupin protein as part of a blend for its skin-toning and firming properties.
- Grapeseed Extract (Vitis vinifera)
Grape seeds are well known for their antioxidant properties which can help protect skin from damaging free radicals.
- Green Mineral Silt (Silt)
This natural ingredient is rich in mineral salts, such as calcium, iron and magnesium which help achieve fresher, firmer looking skin.
- Guaiacwood oil (Bulnesia sarmientoi )
Bulnesia sarmientoi is a South American tree native to the Gran Chaco region on the borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia. Distilled from woodchip as a secondary product of timber production, the tea rose-like note of guaiacwood essential oil is most often described, but the rosy, woody odour is underpinned with a smoky note. Guaiacwood brings a nervous woody impact with a smoky character, reminiscent of black tea, to fragrances.
- Hops Extract (Humulus lupulus)
This herbal extract comes from the pinecone-like fruit of the hop plant and has astringent and toning properties.
- Horse Chestnut Extract (Aesculus hippocastanum)
This grand tree is easily identified by its distinctive leaves and conkers which are prized by children. Its use was first documented by herbalists in the 1500’s and extracts of the seed have astringent and stimulating properties.
- Hazelnut Oil (Corylus avellana)
In folklore the hazel tree is considered to have magical powers. The tree is valued for its wood, twigs and nuts. Hazelnut oil is made from pressed hazelnut kernels. This light oil is used in aromatherapy massage and is said to be easily absorbed by the skin leaving it soft and smooth.
- Ivy Extract (Hedera helix)
Highly regarded by the Greeks and Romans, this climbing plant was dedicated to Bacchus, the god of wine and was often tied to the head as it was thought to prevent intoxication! This belief led English taverns to display the sign of an ivy bush over their doors. Ivy extract has stimulating properties and is an excellent skin tonic.
- Indian jasmine (Jasminum sambac (jasmine) absolute)
Indian jasmine brings a complex, sensual, romantic note to the fragrance. This exquisitely fragranced floral absolute is less animalic and more petally than the absolute obtained from Egyptian jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum).The buds of the night-blooming evergreen climber are hand harvested in the early morning based on colour: only white buds are selected as green ones may not be fragrant. Buds are picked in preference to open blossoms as more blossoms are required to make the same amount of fragrance material, and they lose their fragrance more rapidly after picking.
- Jojoba Beads (Jojoba esters)
Jojoba, pronounced ‘hohoba’ is a desert shrub which produces seeds that resemble large coffee beans. The seeds contain a wax that can be shaped into tiny spherical beads. These beads provide a gentle exfoliating action on the skin to leave a clearer, brighter, more polished complexion.
- Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum officinale)
Jasmine is considered to be one of the most important flowers used in perfumery. Its intense floral aroma helps produce feelings of optimism, confidence, euphoria and it can invigorate and help lift depression. A few drops make a luxurious bath oil.
- Jojoba oil Simmondsia chinensis (seed) oil
Jojoba oil is used for its moisturising properties. A perennial, evergreen shrub native to the Sonoran desert of Mexico, Arizona and California, Simmondsia chinensis is able to withstand harsh, arid environments and live for up to 200 years. Jojoba shrubs are generally dense and can grow up to three metres tall, but growth can be stunted by extreme drought and continuous grazing by animals.
- Labdanum Absolute (Cistus ladanifer)
Also known as rockrose, this beautiful shrub produces a highly fragranced viscous resin during the hot summer months. Labdanum is considered to be an excellent natural fixative, helping to maintain the fragrance of blends for longer.
- Lavandin (Lavandula hybrida)
Lavandin is a hybrid resulting from crossbreeding between lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia) plants. These hybrids have a more vigorous growth habit and yield more essential oil than lavender. Lavandin oil is used for its fragrance which is similar to lavender but with more of a camphoraceous note.
- Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
This comforting, calming oil has been widely used since the late 16th Century. More recently research has shown the benefits of this versatile oil to help induce a restful night’s sleep. We use a high altitude lavender from the Mount Ventoux area of France for its wonderful calming aroma.
- Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus limon)
Lemon essential oil is cold pressed from the peel of the fruit. The oil is contained within glands in the outer layer of the peel. The oil is used in aromatherapy and has a refreshing and uplifting effect, and is sometimes referred to as 'the sunshine oil'. Studies have shown that dispersing lemon oil into the atmosphere helps improve concentration; in Japan it is used in this way and is said to reduce typing errors in the workplace.
- Manuka Honey (Mel)
Manuka honey is produced by bees that have collected pollen from the flowers of manuka bushes. It is a beneficial addition to treatment masks as it is soothing and calming on the skin.
- Mandarin Essential Oil (Citrus nobilis)
Citrus reticulata (syn. C. nobilis), the mandarin orange, is a small to medium sized evergreen tree producing orange fruit with loose, ‘kid glove’ skins. Thorny, with slender twigs, the trees are transformed by fragrant white flowers in the early spring. From bloom to harvest takes between 6 and 10 months depending on where on the tree the fruit is: the closer to the outside of the tree the fruit is, the faster it ripens. Mandarin essential oil has an intensely sweet top note, with a rich, floral undertone reminiscent of neroli.
- Melissa Essential Oil (Melissa officinalis)
Also known as lemon balm, melissa oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant. Our Melissa is grown by three generations of farmers on their farm in Essex, the smell during distillation is immense. This precious oil has soothing and toning properties.
- Mangosteen peel extract (Garcinia mangostana)
Native to southeast Asia, mangosteen is a popular tropical fruit. Our mangosteen comes from India. The single sex (separate male and female) trees start bearing fruit at 5 to 10 years of age. Intriguingly, to date no male tree has ever been discovered. The peel and the fruit of mangosteen contain xanthones which are being investigated for their antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Mangosteen peel extract is part of a blend we use for its skin-plumping, firming and toning properties.
- May Chang Essential Oil (Litsea cubeba)
May chang is the common name given to the fragrant essential oil from a small tropical tree native to China. The essential oil is produced from the tiny fruits, which resemble peppercorns. It is used as a perfumery ingredient for its sweet citrus odour which is similar to lemongrass but more refined.
- Myrtle Essential Oil (Myrtus communis)
Myrtle is part of the same large plant family that includes eucalyptus and tea tree. The clear, fresh smell of this oil is believed to be slightly sedative and to help soothe feelings of anger, fear and despair. Myrtle has been used since the 16th Century for its beneficial skin properties. Eau d’ange (Angel’s Water), a popular Elizabethan skin lotion contained extracts of myrtle leaves and flowers.
- Meadowfoam Seed Oil (Limnanthes alba)
Meadowfoam is a wildflower native to the interior valleys of Central California. Identified as a potential crop for plant-based, renewable-source raw materials, meadowfoam is also used for crop rotation to help farmers fallow their fields whilst generating income. When in flower the fields take on the appearance of a mass of white foam. The oil helps to condition and smooth the hair shaft.
Menthol is a crystalline substance with a characteristic odour that is commonly extracted from Mentha arvensis (cornmint) essential oil. Cornmint essential oil has a menthol content of between 70% and 77%: at this level the essential oil actually solidifies at room temperature. Menthol’s characteristic minty odour arises from traces of essential oil trapped within the crystals. Menthol feels cool when applied to our skin because it attaches to nerve receptors causing messages to be sent to our brain that our skin is being cooled.
- Neroli Essential Oil (Citrus aurantium v. amara)
Also known as bitter orange oil, this floral scented oil comes from orange blossoms and is widely used in eau de cologne and perfume. Neroli oil has uplifting and restorative properties. For this reason aromatherapists use it to help treat depression, anxiety and insomnia.
- Nutmeg Essential Oil (Myristica fragrans)
Myristica fragrans (nutmeg) is an evergreen tree from the Spice Islands or Moluccas of Indonesia, with fragrant bell-shaped flowers on its outermost branches. The yellow nutmeg fruit is the only tropical fruit which produces two spices, nutmeg and mace. When ripe, the fruit splits in two, revealing a dark brown, shiny seed partially covered in a red, net-like structure, the aril, which is the source of mace. Nutmeg essential oil has a light, warm, spicy, fresh odour, with a rich, sweet, warm body note.
- Orange Flower Water (Citrus aurantium v. amara)
Also known as orange flower hydrosol, this exquisitely fragranced floral water is produced from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree. It contains the water soluble, volatile components of orange flowers, which give it its delicious, subtle odour.
- Olive Stone Granules (Olea Europaea Seed Powder)
These are made by crushing and size grading olive stones and are a by-product of the prepackaged olive industry. They have an angular shape which makes them particularly effective as exfoliants. The olive stones are sourced from Southern Europe.
- Oat Extract (Avena sativa)
Although more commonly found in nutritious breakfast cereals, oats when used on the skin have emollient and soothing properties. An ancient belief that oats could cure rheumatism led to mattresses being filled with oat straw.
- Patchouli Essential Oil (Pogostemon cablin)
Patchouli has reviving and stimulating properties and is used by aromatherapists to help soothe skin and help calm stress. It is even reported to be a mild aphrodisiac! The sweet, spicy, heady odour of patchouli makes it a very popular fragrance ingredient.
- Pomegranate Extract (Punica granatum)
The pomegranate is a neat, rounded shrub or small tree that produces red apple-sized fruits, which contain fleshy pink seeds. The name pomegranate comes from the old French ‘seed apple’. Pomegranate extract is used in the Sun Shade protection products for its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals.
- Peppermint Essential Oil (Mentha piperita)
Peppermint has been used for centuries for digestive problems and today peppermint tea is commonly drunk after meals, particularly in warm climates. Refreshing and invigorating, it helps to tone and stimulate the skin and makes a cooling, refreshing foot bath.
- Petitgrain Essential Oil (Citrus aurantium v. amara)
This essential oil was originally obtained from the small green unripe fruits of the bitter orange tree. The name was retained after the leaves and twigs became the main source of the oil. Petitgrain has balancing and uplifting properties and helps to relieve tension.
- Palmarosa Essential Oil (Cymbopogon martinii)
Palmarosa is a flowering grass that is native to India and is in the same family as Citronella and Lemongrass. The essential oil is distilled from the freshly dried leaves of the plant. It has a fresh, floral, sweet rosy scent similar to Rose Geranium and is often mistaken as such. Aromatherapists have used palmarosa oil for stress, nervous tension, grief and anger.
- Pear seed extract (Pyrus communis)
The European pear has its origins in the Tian Shen mountains of China. More than 5,000 cultivated varieties exist, but only around 12 are commercially grown. Our organic pear seed extract is the by-product of the canned fruit and juice industries. Used over a period of time, pear seed extract has been shown to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the texture and appearance of the skin surface. We use pear seed extract for its skin-toning and firming properties.
- Pine Essential Oil (Pinus sylvestris)
Refreshing, stimulating and invigorating, this oil is taken from the needles of the Scots pine.
Pumice is formed from lava that is full of gas. The lava is ejected and shot through the air during an eruption where the gasses escape leaving the rock full of holes.
- Passionflower Oil (Passiflora incarnata)
The passionflower takes its name from the stunning purple tinged yellow or pink flowers that are said to resemble Christ's crown of thorns from The Passion (the twelve stages of the cross). The flowers give way to large orange berries called passion fruit. Passionflower seed oil is extracted from the seeds contained within this 'fruit' and contains a high percentage of linoleic acid.
- Propolis (Propolis wax)
Propolis is a mixture of resins from the bark and buds of trees collected by bees to protect their hives. It has skin protecting properties and leaves the skin feeling soothed.
- Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
Extensively cultivated for its oil in its native regions as well as in India, China, and South America, Pogostemon cablin is an aromatic shrub. All parts of the plant, from the leaves and stems to the flowers’ stamens are densely furry. The highly-scented oil glands for which it is grown are scattered over its leaves. Patchouli essential oil has an extremely rich, sweet herbaceous, aromatic spiciness with a textured, warm woody note and earthy, slightly smoky undertones. Forming the base notes of fragrances, patchouli provides a delicate earthiness.
- Pink Pepper Berry Oil (Schinus terebinthifolius)
Schinus terebinthifolius is a small, sprawling tree native to subtropical and tropical South America. Dense clusters of hundreds of small white flowers are followed by similar numbers of spherical berries, pink to red in colour, which are the source of the common name. Dried berries are sold as pink peppercorns, a spice used to add a peppery note to food. Pink pepper berry essential oil brings spicy, sparkling, rosy and feminine undertones to fragrance. It has a fresh, warm-spicy, woody-peppery note with a smoky-woody undertone that can be sharp or dry.
- Quince seed extract (Pyrus cydonia)
The quince is closely related to the apple and the pear. Quince trees are hardy, deciduous trees of the temperate zone, thriving and fruiting for more than 30 years. Their twisted shape is tamed by espaliering them against walls. The fruit has been a mainstay of diverse cuisines, appearing in paste or ‘cheese’, pickles, baked dishes, and a variety of marmalades. We use quince seed extract as part of a blend for its skin-toning and firming properties.
- Rosemary Essential Oil/Extract (Rosmarinus officinalis)
This renowned and once sacred herb has been used for centuries in beauty preparations. Rosemary essential oil has a fresh pungent aroma and is very invigorating and stimulating. The extract has beneficial antioxidant properties.
- Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)
Distilled from the bark of a tall South American tree, this essential oil is prized for its mellow floral aroma. Rosewood has astringent and toning properties and is a renowned pick me up.
- Rosehip Oil (Rosa rubiginosa)
This oil is produced from the seeds contained within striking red rosehips. Considered a luxurious oil rosehip seed oil is a good source of essential fatty acids which help lock moisture onto the skin.
- Red algae extract (Kappaphycus alvarezii)
Research confirms red algae’s ability to help build an effective barrier against dryness, flattening the cuticle so that each hair is sleeker and softer. Hand-harvested from plantations in the ocean, red algae is used in Botanical Shine Treatment for these hydrating and barrier-forming properties.
- Rose Petal Oil Rosa damascene
In a traditional rose oil, 90% of the essential oil comes from the petals and 10% comes from the structural parts of the blossom. By removing the structural parts, and working to capture the most volatile notes in the distillation process, the rose petal essential oil obtained more closely represents the fragrance of the rose flower.
- Soap Bark (Quillaja saponaria)
Natural saponins, found in the wood of the Chilean soap bark tree provide the basis for our naturally foaming Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash. The tree has astringent, anti-inflammatory and invigorating properties and is used by herbalists to help treat coughs and bronchitis. On the skin, it can help to relieve scalp problems such as dandruff.
- Sweet Orange Essential Oil (Citrus aurantium dulcis)
Orange is a member of the large family of citrus fruits and has a characteristic aroma that cheers and uplifts the spirits.
- Sodium Hyaluronate
Sodium hyaluronate is a source of hyaluronic acid. Its name is derived from the Greek word hualos, meaning glass because of its transparent, glassy appearance. Hyaluronic acid is a natural skin cell component, found in the deepest levels of the dermis. It is able to hold 200 times its weight in water, which makes it an excellent moisturiser. It is found more in younger skins with levels declining over the years.
- Self-Heal Extract (Prunella vulgaris)
This short perennial plant is packed with tiny purple flowers and belongs to the same family as lavender and mint. Self-heal is used by herbalists the world over for a wide variety of conditions.
- Sausage Tree extract (Kigelia africana)
The sausage tree is widespread in tropical Africa. The common name comes from the shape of the fruit which look like large sausages and can each weigh up to 12 kilos. Our fruit comes from the shores of Lake Malawi. The company harvesting it ensures that both the collectors and community benefit from the wild harvest, while leaving enough behind for the animals. We use sausage tree extract for its skin-toning and firming properties.
- Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii)
This natural moisturiser comes from the fruit of the African Karite tree and has remarkable nourishing and smoothing properties. Shea butter is particularly useful in counteracting dryness as it helps to seal moisture onto the skin.
- Shave Grass Extract (Equisetum arvense)
This unique feathery looking plant descends from prehistoric times. Over the centuries it has been widely used by herbalists for many other purposes. Rich in silica it has been used for scouring metal. An extract made form this plant has astringent properties.
- Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis)
This light emollient oil produced from almond kernels helps keep the skin soft and smooth.
- Sandalwood Essential Oil (Santalum album)
As one of the oldest incense materials, (it was in use at least 4,000 years ago), precious sandalwood oil was often referred to as "Liquid Gold". Its subtle, woody, balsamic odour helps instil a sense of calm and well-being and when used as part of an oil blend, it offers a tension-relieving pick-me-up. It is one of the most calming incenses and therefore one of the most popular for use in meditation for its ability to compose the mind and enhance mental clarity.
- St John’s Wort Oil (Hypericum perforatum)
This cheerful yellow flower is not surprisingly known as the ‘sunshine herb’. It has a gentle, soothing effect on the skin.
- Sweet Orange Fruit Extract (Citrus aurantium dulcis)
Juice, frozen and fresh, is the primary commercial product made from the fruit of the sweet orange. From honey and marmalade to sweets, all parts of the fruit are used in cuisines around the globe. Sweet orange fruit extract’s inherent acidity helps to flatten the cuticles of the hair shaft leaving hair shiny and smooth.
- Sunflower Oil (Helianthus annuus)
This vibrant plants Latin name comes from the Greek ‘helios’ meaning sun and ‘anthos’ meaning flower. It is an incredibly versatile plant recognized worldwide for its ornamental and economic importance. The oil produced from the seeds contains relatively high levels of vitamin E and is a beneficial ingredient in moisturising skin treatments.
- Sumac wax (Rhus succedeanea)
The principal ingredient in the ceremonial hair wax used by Japanese sumo wrestlers and geishas, sumac wax has been used for its hair-taming and management properties for centuries. Sumac wax is used in Botanical Shine Intensive Treatment to help increase combability, manageability and improve the condition of frizzy, coarse or very dry hair.
- Tree moss extract
Tree moss is the name given to the absolute produced from lichens collected from a variety of trees. It is a dark coloured oil with a woody, earthy odour that is used in fragrance blends. It is also a useful natural fixative in perfumery, this means that it is used to help maintain the fragrance of a blend for a longer period.
- Titanium Dioxide
Titanium Dioxide occurs naturally as the mineral 'Rutile' but it is almost always coloured due to contamination with materials such as Iron Oxides. Titanium Dioxide is very effective at reflecting UV light and hence ideal for use as a component in sun protection products.
- Tonka Bean Absolute (Dipteryx odorata)
Tonka bean absolute is produced from the beans of a large tree, native to South America, which grows over 120 feet high. Tonka bean has a soft sweet odour reminiscent of hay and coconut and is often used as a natural fixative in perfumery; this means that it is used to help maintain the fragrance of a blend for a longer period.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
This powerful essential oil comes from the leaves and the twigs of the Australian tea tree. Originally used in Aboriginal medicine it is now used widely by aromatherapists and herbalists utilising its antibacterial properties for a variety of skin conditions.
- Vetiver Essential Oil (Vetiveria zizanioides)
Vetiver is a tall perennial grass. An essential oil with a sweet, earthy odour is produced from its roots. This oil is known as the ‘oil of tranquillity’ because of its sedative properties, which help promote relaxation.
- Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia)
The familiar rich, warm scent of vanilla comes from the seedpods of a plant from the orchid family. Vanilla is believed to be calming and relaxing and to soothe feelings of anger, frustration and irritability. The flowers have to be pollinated by hand. When harvested, the seedpods are carefully cured for around six months to produce the distinctive odour, which makes vanilla extremely expensive and for this reason much of the vanilla used today is synthetically produced. We use only natural vanilla.
- Vanilla Extract (Vanilla planifolia)
Vanilla planifolia is the source of the flavour and fragrance ingredient vanilla. It is an orchid native to the moist tropical lowland forests of Mexico and Central America. Used in perfumery and flavouring for millennia, vanilla remains among the most expensive of the world’s spices due to the amount of effort involved in hand pollinating, cultivating, harvesting and curing the pods.
- Vetiver (Vetiveria)
Vetiver such as ours, which comes from the islands of Haiti and Réunion, has a floral aspect and is considered to be of a higher quality than oil from other sources. This essential oil has a strong woody smell; deep, humid with green earthy accents, it adds a mysterious dimension to woody bases. Extensively used in perfumery, not only as a fixative but also as a fragrance ingredient in its own right, vetiver oil is a component in fougère, oriental and chypre bases as well as moss and woody notes.
- Wheatgerm Oil (Triticum vulgare)
This oil comes from the seed or ‘germ’ of the wheat stalk. Wheatgerm makes an excellent addition to massage oil as it contains high levels of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant.
- West African Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa)
Shea nuts are wild-harvested in the forested savannah of Africa in an area that extends west-east for approximately 5,000 kilometers between the latitudes of 11 and 14 degrees north of the equator. Our West African shea is from the Tung Teiya Women’s Shea Association in Ghana. Eleven women’s groups, comprising of 450 women, generate income from harvesting shea, valuing and conserving their semi-arid ecosystem. Shea butter improves the elasticity of the skin and enhances the barrier function of the epidermis, helping it to retain moisture.
- White lupin protein (Lupinus albus)
An annual bean, the white lupin produces flowers in an upright spike, with each blossom being replaced by a pod containing a number of beans. A thousand beans weigh a kilo (2.2lbs). The white lupin is among the most widely cultivated of the lupins, and has been key subsistence crop for 3,000 years. The white lupin is related to the colourful ornamental lupins that grow in gardens. We use white lupin bean as part of a blend for its skin-plumping, firming and toning properties.
- Witch Hazel Water (Hamamelis virginiana)
Witch hazel is a deciduous shrub or small tree. Its other common names, winterbloom and snapping hazel illustrate its unusually late flowering period and its explosive bursting seeds that can be ejected as far as 20 feet away from the plant. Naturally rich in tannins the distillate produced from witch hazel has a mildly astringent effect, helping to tone the skin.
- White Clay (Montmorillonite)
This super-fine powder helps absorb excess sebum on the skin and draw out embedded impurities.
- Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (Cananga odorata)
The name ylang ylang comes from the Malay for 'flower of flowers'. Its nickname 'poor man's jasmine' does not do justice to its powerfully sweet, rich heady fragrance. When added to the bath the fragrant aroma can help to lift the spirits and may even have aphrodisiac properties!
- Yarrow Extract (Achillea millefolium)
Traces of this native European herb have been found in Neanderthal burial caves, suggesting its usage goes back 60,000 years. Yarrow was for centuries an indispensable medicinal herb. Native American tribes believed it could cure everything from sore throats and toothache to indigestion and bowel complaints. We use it for its astringent and soothing properties.
- Yangu Oil (Calodendrum capense)
Belonging to the citrus family, yangu trees are native to Africa from northern Kenya to eastern South Africa. Clusters of beautiful pink flowers have made the tree an ornamental favourite in sub-tropical regions. The shiny black seeds from the fruit contain around 60% oil. Being an emollient, yangu seed oil helps to smooth and soften the hair shaft.
- Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil)
Both powerfully floral and intensely sweet, ylang ylang fades into a softer, slightly spicy and balsamic sweet, creamy floral note. It pushes the spicy note of the Indian jasmine and reinforces the other flowers. The blossoms used for the essential oil in Botanical Essence No.100 are handpicked from plantation-grown trees in the Comoros Islands. The yellow ylang ylang blossom is so delicate that it is distilled in small stills to avoid the flowers crushing each other and impacting the fragrance.
- Zinc Oxide
Zinc Oxide occurs naturally in small quantities as the mineral 'Zincite'. Zinc Oxide reflects UV light very effectively and is hence ideal for use as a component in sun protection products.