Skincare Ingredients Decoded: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know

With over 100,000 words and counting, Skincare Glossary is a complete guide to skincare terms. It has everything you need to know about skincare from A to Z. It covers everything from acne to wrinkles and everything in between. Skincare Glossary also provides a list of the most commonly used skincare ingredients for easy reference, as well as a list of skincare brands and more.

Vegan skincare products do not contain any animal byproducts, are not tested on animals, and no animal by-products are used in the manufacturing of these products. Vegan-certified products have their logo that skincare brands can use to tell you that their products have been certified by the Vegan Society.


Parabens are chemical preservatives commonly used in cosmetics and skincare products to prevent mold and bacteria from growing in the products. If you’re interested in paraben-free skincare products, many brands will advertise being “paraben-free” in a pretty visible place on their products’ packaging so you don’t have to read all the ingredients to know if the product is paraben-free.


Phthalates are chemicals used as binding agents or solvents in skincare and cosmetics. When people talk about harmful things in plastic, they’re often referring to Phthalates.


You may not think of gluten, the protein in wheat flour, as a skincare ingredient, but gluten can be found in all kinds of skincare products. Of course, there’s no flour in your skincare product, but gluten can be included in the form of oils and extracts from barley, rye, and wheat plants. If you have a gluten sensitivity or suffer from Celiac Disease, make sure to use skincare products that are marked as “gluten-free.”


Skincare products are marked as “organic” when all the natural ingredients are organically grown. Most ingredients in skincare that are organic will have that noted in the ingredients list. 



Apricot Kernel Oil 

Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, improves skin tone, and maintains skin texture

Avocado Oil 

Moisturizes skin, protects against UV radiation, and can calm skin itchiness


Absorbs dirt and oil, fights acne, and brightens skin


Moisturizes, protects against environmental damage and reduces signs of aging in the skin

Emulsifying Wax

Moisturizes, protects against environmental damage, and makes products easier to apply


Reduces wrinkles, traps moisture in the skin, and works to improve skin texture

Glycolic Acid

Fights acne, promotes collagen growth, and removes dead skin cells to improve skin texture

Hyaluronic Acid 

Hydrates skin, tightens skin, and stimulates skin cell regeneration

Kaolin Clay

Fights acne, absorbs excess moisture and oils, and removes dead skin cells


Malic Acid

Removes dead skin cells, hydrates skin, and improves skin tone and texture

Mango Seed Butter

Stimulates skin cell growth, protects against environmental irritants, and improves skin elasticity


Reduces skin inflammation, promotes keratin production, and reduces wrinkles


Minimizes the appearance of pores, treats hyperpigmentation, and increases keratin production

Organic Alcohol Organic

Helps ingredients penetrate the skin, preserves skincare products, and helps products dry faster on the skin

Neem Seed Oil

Moisturizes skin, fights wrinkles, and fades scars

Organic Aloe Leaf Juice

Treats burns and acne, moisturizes and reduces psoriasis


 Organic Bilberry Fruit Extract

Brightens skin, prevents age spots, and blocks harm from UVA light

Organic Coconut Oil

Reduces inflammation, soothes eczema, and promotes wound healing

Organic Cranberry Fruit Extract

Increases collagen production, firms and tightens skin, and reduces fine lines

Organic Green Tea Leaf Extract

Reduces the appearance of cellulite, soothes redness and swelling, and decreases the occurrence of blackheads by eliminating dead skin and bacteria


Organic Hibiscus Extract

Prevents acne, exfoliates the skin, and supports the natural production of collagen

Organic Lemon Peel Extract

Fades dark spots, reduces acne by fighting oil build-up, and helps remove acne scars

Organic Multiple Fruit Tincture

Encourages the growth of new skin cells to improve skin’s appearance, hydrates skin, and protects against UV radiation

Organic Orange Peel Extract

Unclogs pores to reduce blackheads and acne, evens and lightens skin tone, and works as a natural astringent to deeply clean skin

Organic Rosemary Leaf Extract

An antioxidant that prevents premature aging, calms skin conditions such as eczema, and reduces swelling

Organic Seaweed Extract

Brightens skin by exfoliating it naturally, hydrates skin, and helps to heal common skin conditions such as acne and rosacea


Organic Shea Butter

Reduces razor bumps, reduces stretch marks, and reduces skin inflammation

Organic Sugar Cane Extract

Protects skin against harsh weather by helping skin absorb moisture, protects skin against toxins, and combats free radicals that can damage skin

Organic Sugar Maple Extract

Removes dead skin build-up, protects skin elastin to prevent signs of aging, and repairs damage caused by free radicals such as wrinkles

Organic Sunflower Seed Oil

Combats acne and redness, helps skin retain moisture, and protects skin against bacteria

Organic White Willow Bark Extract

Reduces pore size by exfoliating the skin, reduces excess oil on the skin, and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles


Used as a preservative in many skin care products, can reduce acne as well as cause eczema

Pro-vitamin B

Calms inflammation, reduces hyperpigmentation, and minimizes enlarged pores

Pro-vitamin B5

Helps maintain your skin’s natural barrier, improves skin’s elasticity, and helps skin retain moisture levels

Red Clay 

Removes blackheads by drying them out, tightens pores, and improves skin tone


Increases collagen production, helps the skin produce new blood vessels to improve skin color, and softens rough skin

Rose Clay

Tightens pores, reduces inflammation, and removes dead skin cells

Rosehip Oil

Reduces fine lines and wrinkles, battles premature aging, and encourages skin cell development to prevent and minimize sagging skin and scars

Stearic Acid

Softens skin, cleanses skin gently, and helps the skin absorb important nutrients

Sunflower Seed Oil

Helps skin retain moisture, works against premature aging, and helps soothe dry-skin related conditions such as eczema

Tartaric Acid

Helps combat keratosis pilaris, helps dissolve tough layers of skin for a smoother complexion, and moisturizes

Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate

 A natural preservative found in skincare products as well as a stabilizer that prevents discoloration in skincare products.

 Vegan DMAE

Reduces the appearance of dark under-eye circles, tightens and firms skin, and improves skin tone and coloration

Vegetable Glycerin

Soothes skin irritation, moisturize skin and protect against skin infections

Vitamin A

Prevents sun damage and against sunburn, keeps aging skin healthy by programming cells, and helps keep skin clear of blemishes

Vitamin B3

Reduces hyperpigmentation, fights free radicals (harmful environmental factors) to protect the skin, and decreases redness

Vitamin C

Encourages collagen growth, provides protein to keep skin from aging, and prevents further damage to existing collagen

Vitamin E 

Supports skin cell function, combats free radicals, and reduces UV damage to the skin

Xanthan Gum

Helps skincare products be applied smoothly, improves the texture of skincare products, and helps prevent product separation

Ylang Ylang Oil

Helps the top layers of skin heal, kills skin bacteria, and helps skin heal quickly