Natural Inspirations


INGREDIENT GLOSSARY


Why Natural Ingredients in Body Care Products?

The use of natural and organic personal care products is increasing dramatically. People are becoming more knowledgeable and concerned about the effect of chemicals on their bodies and are turning to more natural alternatives. Properly formulated natural personal care products are not only good for you but are actually more effective.

At Natural Inspirations we believe nature creates the best ingredients. We're proud of the ingredients in our products and list them on every label and on our website for complete transparency -- we want you to know what you're putting on your body. We have combined natural ingredients in superior formulations that are nourishing and effective to make you look good and feel good. Our goal is to provide you with luxurious body care products that are healthy, pure and natural.

We hope this glossary of common ingredients and definitions will provide a quick reference for the ingredients in our products. Also please remember that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It is the combined formulations that maximizes each individual ingredient’s natural benefits and makes them so effective.


COMMON TERMS:

ANTIOXIDANTS
Substances that help prevent the formation of free radicals, which can cause signs of aging in skin. Antioxidants protect tissue against cellular damage by stabilizing free oxygen molecules.

AROMATHERAPY
Practice of using the aromas of essential oils and natural extracts to promote a sense of well-being. 

CHELATING AGENTS
Chelating agents are ingredients that bind with metal ions or metallic compounds, preventing contamination or discoloration. They improve the efficacy of preservatives and antioxidants and play a crucial role in the stability and efficacy of personal skin care products.

EMOLLIENT
Ingredients that soften and smooth the skin and reduce dryness, roughness and irritation – they are designed to make the external layers of the skin softer and more pliable. They increase the skin's hydration by reducing evaporation.

EMULSIFIERS
An emulsifier is used whenever you want to mix two components and keep them from separating. Emulsifiers enable oils to be dispersed throughout a water base to form a cream or lotion that does not separate.

EMULSION
This is a system in which two liquids that would not normally mix together are held in suspension by a small amount of an emulsifier.

EXFOLIANTS
An exfoliant is used to slough away dead skin cells that have accumulated on the surface of your skin in order to maintain youthful, healthy-looking skin that glows and remains free of blemishes. Dead skin cells, left on the surface of the skin, slow down healthy cell renewal and increase the depth of wrinkles.

FRAGRANCE                                                                                                                                                                          
A blend of essential oils, extracts and synthetics added to a product to deliver an aroma. We use a combination of natural essential oils from flowers and herbs, safe ingredients sourced at the level of personal care, and some safe synthetics to ensure consistent performance and a luxurious experience. Our fragrances are free of phthalates and propylene glycol.

HUMECTANTS
Humectants are ingredients in products that draw moisture in. Products with humectants are great for dry skin because they will attract moisture that is both applied directly on the skin as well as environmental moisture, such as that which comes from highly humid environment.

HYDRATORS
Supply water to your skin. Plant liquids are the best source of beneficial hydrating agents including vegetable glycerin, aloe vera and water.

SAPONINS (GLYCOSIDES)
Substances found in nature that foam readily in water; used as foam boosters.

SURFACTANTS    
Surface active agents are responsible for wetting, dispersion and emulsification to enhance the spreading and penetrating ability of a liquid. This in turn improves the cleaning ability of water.

INGREDIENTS WE AVOID:

EDTAs

A stabilizer used in cosmetics to prevent ingredients from binding with other ingredients to cause unwanted changes to a product's texture, odor and consistency. Though clinical data indicates that disodium EDTA is not well absorbed by the skin, it has been shown to enhance the dermal penetration of other ingredients contained in the product making it easier for undesirable ingredients to enter your body.

PARABENS

Often shown on an ingredient list as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, or butylparaben, parabens are a common synthetic preservative in beauty products.  Continued use of parabens as preservatives has been linked to hormone-disruptive activities, breast cancer, and skin irritation and there are studies that suggest possible carcinogenicity.

PEGs

The abbreviation of polyethylene glycol is a mixture of compounds. They function in three ways: as emollients, emulsifiers, and as vehicles that help deliver other ingredients deeper into the skin. Because of this penetration enhancing effect, PEGs make it easier for undesirable ingredients to enter your body.

PETROCHEMICALS

Petroleum based substances covering a wide array of chemicals. Some of these chemicals can cause photosensitivity and skin problems by creating a chemical barrier that prevents skin from "breathing."  This leads to chapping and dry skin.

PHTHALATES

These chemical plasticizers that soften plastics are also found in beauty products (shown on the ingredient list as diethylphthalate (DEP)) where they stabilize the fragrance, increase spreadability and enhance absorption of skin care products.There may be a relationship between phthalates and adverse effects on human reproduction or development as well as cancer.

SULFATES

Also known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), these chemicals dissolve the oils on your skin which can cause a drying effect. Used for their foam-building abilities, they cause eye irritation, skin rashes, and allergic reactions.

SYNTHETIC DYES

Labeled FD&C or D&C, they are used to make a cosmetic “pretty”, synthetic dyes are linked to skin allergies and sensitivities.


NATURAL INSPIRATIONS INGREDIENTS:

We methodically assess each ingredient for health and safety. You’ll notice we’ve provided a EWG (Environmental Working Group) rating for each ingredient listed. EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Their mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. EWG has developed a rating system for cosmetics and personal care ingredients to help people find safer products, with fewer ingredients that are hazardous or that haven't been thoroughly tested. EWG combines ingredient information from more than 50 standard toxicity and regulatory databases. They rate ingredients on a scale of 0-10 to reflect known and suspected hazards of ingredients. Ratings are: 0-2 Low Hazard; 3-6 Moderate Hazard; 7-10 High Hazard.

Nearly every Natural Inspirations ingredient is in the 0-2 range of hazard – one of the BEST in the industry. For those few ingredients that exceed a 2, we have chosen the best ingredient available for reasons of efficacy, consistency and safety. 


ALLANTOIN (EWG Rating: 0)
A natural chemical compound, Allantoin is a soothing anti-irritant, and skin protectant that increases the water content of the extracellular matrix which provides structural support to cells and is an important part of connective tissue. Allantoin also increases the smoothness of the skin; promotes cell replication; and promotes the healing of wounds, burns, and scars.

ALOE BARBADENSIS (EWG Rating: 1)                                                                                                                                       
Also known as Aloe; it is cold-pressed from the leaves of the aloe vera plant. It is a good source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Aloe is most known for its moisturizing and soothing properties. 

ALOE BARBADENSIS (ALOE) LEAF EXTRACT (EWG Rating: 1)
Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice is extracted from the leaves of the plant Aloe. It has been used medicinally for several thousands of years in many cultures. It is considered one of nature’s most effective remedies for burns and skin irritations and can soothe skin and serve as an anti-inflammatory. It is also a superb hydrator for dry skin.

BABASSUAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE (EWG Rating: 1)
Plant-derived surfactant used as a cleansing agent and helps products to foam.

BENZYL ALCOHOL (EWG Rating: 5)                                                                                                                                            
A naturally-occurring organic compound used as a solvent and preservative. 

BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER) (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                                          
A natural fat obtained from the fruit of the African karite tree. Shea butter is an intense moisturizer high in fatty acids and other nutrients and is an ideal ingredient for skin moisturizers.

CANANGA ODORATA (YLANG YLANG) FLOWER OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                      
This essential oil’s sweetly seductive aroma is renowned as an aphrodisiac. It has a sweet, soft, floral, yet slightly spicy scent.

CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE (EWG Rating: 1)
Composed of coconut oil-derived glycerin, it is considered an excellent emollient and skin-repairing ingredient in cosmetics due to its mix of fatty acids. Skin can utilize to help repair its surface and resist moisture loss.

CAPRYLYL GLYCOL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                                                                                            
An emollient ester derived from coconut oil with good lubricating and spreading properties to help products glide on the skin.

CETEARYL ALCOHOL (EWG Rating: 1)                                                                                                                                       
A blend of natural emulsifiers derived from vegetable and corn oil that has an emollient effect on the skin.

CETEARYL OLIVATE (EWG Rating: 1)
The ester of cetearyl alcohol and the fatty acids derived from olive oil that helps blend ingredients together in cosmetic solutions – usually ones with moisturizing properties.

CETYL ALCOHOL (EWG Rating: 1)                                                                                                                                                                 
Derived from vegetable oils such as coconut oil, cetyl alcohol tends to have an oily texture and care natural emollients that make skin or hair feel soft and smooth.

CITRIC ACID (EWG Rating: 2)                                                                                                                                                                          
Commonly found in citrus fruits, citric acid is used to normalize pH levels in body care products.

CITRUS AURANTIUM BERGAMIA (BERGAMOT) FRUIT OIL (EWG Rating: 2)
Obtained from the peel of nearly ripe fruit of the Bergamot tree, its aroma is reminiscent to that of orange, but is more complex with an underlying floral characteristic. It can help with depression and promote focus and clarity. 

CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS (ORANGE) PEEL OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                         
A natural essential oil known for its strengthening, refreshing and stimulating properties. An anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal used for its uplifting scent and purifying properties.

CITRUS PARADISI (GRAPEFRUIT) PEEL OIL (EWG Rating: 1)
Extracted from the peel of the grapefruit (Citrus paradisi). When inhaled, its uplifting scent can help curb headaches, mental fatigue, and depression.

COCAMIDOPROPYL HYDROXYSULTAINE (EWG Rating: 0)
A very mild surfactant derived from the fatty acids of coconut oil. It is a mild cleanser and conditioner that also boosts foam and reduces static without stripping away natural oils from the skin.

COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL (COCOS NUCIFERA) (EWG Rating: 0)                                            
Cold-pressed from the fruit of palm trees, this rich emollient is light and non-greasy. It is a great moisturizer and serves as a protective layer on the skin, helping to retain the moisture.

DAUCUS CAROTA SAVITA (CARROT) SEED OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                
Cold-pressed from carrot seeds, it is rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin A, making it beneficial for healthy skin and hair. It helps stimulate cell renewal, increase circulation as well as repair and tone the skin.

DECYL GLUCOSIDE (EWG Rating: 1)                                                                                                                                                            
Derived from coconut oil and corn sugar, it is a natural mild cleanser that produces a gentle, foamy lather -- perfect for sensitive skin.  

ESSENTIAL OILS (EWG Rating: 0-2)
Obtained from the leaves, stems, flowers, seeds or roots of a plant, essential oils add fragrance to skin care products, as well as contribute to their healthful and beautifying qualities through their various abilities to tone, balance, relax, cleanse and invigorate.

EUCALYPTUS GOBULUS (EUCALYPTUS) LEAF OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                         
Essential oil with powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Steam distilled or macerated from the leaves and twigs of eucalyptus. It helps stimulate circulation, increase concentration and is useful to help relieve joint and muscle pains.

GLYCERIN (EWG Rating: 2)                                                                                                                                                                               
Derived from vegetable oil, glycerin is a rich humectant, emollient and lubricant which allows moisturizers to draw and absorb water from the air helping skin retain moisture.

HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN (EWG Rating: 0)
Composed of various protein substances derived from vegetables, it is used as a water-binding agent. Applied topically in skin care products, it is an excellent hydrator, readily absorbed by the skin for improved texture.

HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE (EWG Rating: 0)
Cellulose is a naturally occurring component found in the cell walls of plants and functions as a gelling and thickening agent in personal care products.

ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE (EWG Rating: 1)
Composed of isopropyl alcohol and myristic acid, a common, naturally occurring fatty acid. Functions to reduce the greasy feel caused by the high oil content of other ingredients in a product. Believed to have strong skin penetrating properties and can help strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

ISOPROPYL PALMITATE (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                                                                
Derived from palm oil, this formulation easily penetrates the skin to help soften and moisturize.

LAURAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE (EWG Rating: 1)
A mild, amphoteric surfactant possessing excellent foaming and cleansing properties

LAURYL GLUCOSIDE (EWG Rating: 1)
Derived from coconut, lauryl glucoside is a non-ionic surfactant that can be used as a foaming agent, conditioner or emulsifier. It has excellent foaming capacity and is ideal for use as a base surfactant or a co-surfactant in cosmetic surfactant cleansing preparations.

LAVENDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) EXTRACT (EWG Rating: 0)
The essential oil comes from the fresh lavender-colored flower tops of the Lavender plant. It is known for its aroma therapeutic, balancing and soothing fragrance, which has a calming effect on the nervous system. Added to skin care products for its soothing and antiseptic properties and pleasant fragrance.

LAVANDULA HYBRIDA (LAVANDIN) OIL (EWG Rating: 1)                                                                                              
Lavandin is a natural hybrid of true lavender. The essential oil is obtained by distillation of the flowers which have soothing and sedative properties.  Lavender is considered soothing to stressed skin, with an aroma rejuvenating to mood. It also has softening, refreshing, toning and antiseptic qualities.  

MENTHA PIPERITA (PEPPERMINT) OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                                 
A natural essential oil obtained from the peppermint plant, Mentha Piperita is one of the oldest and most highly regarded oils with a strong, clean, fresh, minty aroma that can help improve concentration and mental accuracy. The fresh-smelling, cooling oil is commonly used in soaps and skin creams, and has a warming effect that can help relax sore tired muscles.

NIGELLA SATIVA (BLACK CUMIN SEED) SEED OIL (EWG Rating: 0)
An annual flowering plant, native to southwest Asia, the flowers are delicate, and the fruit is a large and inflated capsule filled with seeds. Its oil has been used to treat skin conditions and is thought to protect healthy cells and is considered a powerful anti-oxidant – among the highest of all plant oils.

PANTHENOL (PRO-VITAMIN B5) (EWG Rating: 1)
Sometimes referred to as Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B-5 is a natural skin hydrator and works as a humectant, by infusing water in the cells, retaining moisture deep within the skins’ tissues.

PHENOXYETHANOL (EWG Rating: 4)                                                                                                                                                          
Derived from sage essential oil; safe and effective non-formaldehyde preservative that ensures shelf life and product safety. It has properties that make it useful for skin protection as well as providing healing factors. 

POLYQUATERNIUM-10 (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                                                                 
A non-irritating ingredient used in the formulation of personal care products that helps moisturize skin and provides an elegant after-feel in skin care products. It also helps protect by restoring skin’s barrier function.

POTASSIUM SORBATE (EWG Rating: 3)                                                                                                                             
Derived from naturally occurring unsaturated fatty acids, it is a safe and effective, non-formaldehyde preservative.

PRUNUS ARMENIACA (APRICOT) KERNEL OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                  
Derived from apricot seeds; smoothes, softens, and protects. In skin care products, this emollient is a natural alternative to mineral oil, adding good lubricity to products. It is rapidly absorbed and helps skin retain elasticity, clarity, and suppleness.

PRUNUS ARMENIACA (APRICOT) SEED POWDER (EWG Rating: 0)
The powder from the seeds of the apricot is widely used for mild exfoliation in cosmetic products. It works wonderfully as a mild exfoliating scrub for the skin. The unique characteristics of the seed, when ground up, forms spheres so it is more gentle on the skin than other seeds used as exfoliating elements in skincare products.

PUNICA GRANATUM (POMEGRANATE) EXTRACT SEED OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                    
Derived from the fruit of a plant native to northern Africa, its high polyphenol content makes it a powerful antioxidant. The oil’s remarkable ability to nourish, moisturize and improve skin elasticity makes it effective in treating dry and maturing skin.

ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                         
Derived from the leaves of the evergreen rosemary shrub, this ingredient has an herbaceous, woody, sharp, camphor-like scent. It balances intense emotions, controls mood swings, counters depression and can help manage stress, as well as ease muscle and joint pain. Its best known use as a facial oil for extremely dry skin, but it is also found in products for oily skin and acne.

SAPONARIA OFFICINALIS (SOAPWORT) EXTRACT (EWG Rating: 0)
High in saponins, Soapwort is a natural cleansing agent used in soaps for its lathering properties with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The sapogenin is hydrophobic (water hating) and the glycoside or carbohydrate is hydrophilic (water loving) making saponins a natural surfactant as well as a mild emulsifier.

SODIUM HYALURONATE (EWG Rating: 0)
A naturally derived salt of the skin-identical ingredient hyaluronic acid, Sodium Hyaluronate is a powerful humectant providing superb hydration making it an excellent ingredient in skin care.

SODIUM LAUROYL METHYL ISETHIONATE (EWG Rating: 1)                                                                                         
An extremely mild cleanser that can be used as a primary or secondary surfactant by creating a dense, luxurious foam and imparting an elegant after-feel.  It has excellent water solubility properties, making it a good choice for clear liquid cleansing systems making them sulfate-free.

SODIUM POLYACRYLATE (EWG Rating: 3)                                                                                                                                               
Used in cosmetics and personal care products because of its ability to absorb water and is primarily used as a thickening agent.

SORBITAN OLIVATE (EWG Rating: 0)
A natural emulsifier and surfactant derived from olive oil. It reduces skin water loss, has a high moisturizing effect, is hypoallergenic and biomimics the skin.

SORBITOL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                                                                                                               
Derived from fruits and berries; humectant (attracts and holds moisture), gives velvety feel to the skin. It prevents moisture loss by pulling water from the air, hydrating skin.

TOCOPHEROL (EWG Rating: 1)                                                                                                                                                                  
This natural form of Vitamin E is one of the most effective antioxidants. Derived from vegetable oils; heals, rejuvenates, softens, soothes and protects. Its moisturizing and restorative qualities make it an important component of many skin care products including anti-aging creams and lotions.

TRISODIUM ETHYLENEDIAMINE DISUCCINATE (EWG Rating: 0)
naturally-derived chelating agent that improves the efficacy of preservatives and antioxidants and play a crucial role in the stability and efficacy of personal skin care products. 

VACCINIUM MACROCARPON (CRANBERRY) SEED OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                
Native to the higher altitudes of North America, cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines found in acidic bogs throughout the cooler regions. Cranberry oil is high in antioxidants and is used as a highly nourishing and moisturizing ingredient. It is ideal for anti-aging products, as antioxidants help to eliminate free radicals which cause oxidative stress leading to premature aging.    

VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                                                             
Extracted from grape seeds after the fruit is juiced, this oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, and Vitamin E. This oil is easily absorbed by the skin, and is a nourishing addition to lotion, cream, lip balm for dry, damaged or aging skin. Grape seed oil is noted for its great skin moisturizing properties as well as regenerative and restructuring benefits. 

XANTHAN GUM (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                                                                                
Derived from natural carbohydrates, it is used to thicken and provide soothing properties to lotions, creams and gels.  

ZINGIBER OFFICINALE (GINGER) ROOT OIL (EWG Rating: 0)                                                                                       
Derived from the root of a ginger plant, it has a peppery, sharp, aromatic, warm and spicy odor. Inhaling Ginger is used in lotions for its calming, soothing effect and has anti-inflammatory properties.