BASIC COSMETIC INGREDIENTS LIBRARY

(for educational purpose only)

This comprehensive listing is gathered from various sources published in cosmetic dictionaries, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry catalogs, and online cosmetic dictionaries.

A

Alginate Zinc Triplex: A combination of Hydrolyzed Algin, which is derived from Brown Seaweed, and Zinc Sulfate that reduces the conditions favorable to acne by helping regulate sebum (oil) production, destroy acne bacteria, and reduce skin inflammation.

Allantoin: An essential extract of the Comfrey plant. An unsurpassed natural healing agent for the skin. Has the ability to help heal minor wounds and skin ulcers and to stimulate the growth of healthy skin cells.

Aloe Vera (ALOE BARBADENSIS): Habitat: indigenous to eastern and southern Africa, Mediterranean countries, and tropical or subtropical countries, including the West Indies, Mexico, and the southern United States. Gel is cultivated in Texas and Florida, U.S.A. Appearance: succulent plants with numerous fleshy leaves that protrude from the upper part of the root; narrow, tapering, and usually beset at the edges with spiny teeth. Flowers are erect spikes. Clear gel is characterized by hair-like connective veins. Odor: odorless to slight vegetable odor. Functional Benefits: Aloe gel has been used for centuries in skin care. Aloe gel has produced startling results in replenishing lost moisture from the skin. When applied to skin injuries, minor wounds, chemical or radiation burns, poison ivy, rash, etc., Aloe Vera works very quickly with dramatic results. The application of Aloe Vera on burns, produces soothing relief immediately.

Althea Root (ALTHEA OFFICINALIS): Habitat: northern Europe, northern Great Britain, Scandinavia, and the northern United States, in marshes and in moist places. Appearance: perennial herb, velvety, and hairy; up to 5 ft. tall. Odor: slightly pungent and mossy. Functional Benefits: emollient, soothing, healing, demulcent, mucilaginous. Excellent in therapeutic type skin products.

Angelica Root (ARCHANGELICA OFFICINALIS): Habitat: cultivated in Europe and native to northern Europe. Commercially available throughout the world. Also grows wild from Labrador, Canada to Minnesota, U.S.A. Appearance: stately (up to 6 ft.); biennial or perennial herb with thick hollow stems, toothed leaflets, and large rhizomes and roots. Odor: celery-like smelling leaf stalks. Roots are used as flavorings for gin and various liqueurs. Functional Benefits: soothing effects on nerve endings of the skin upon topical application.

Arnica Extract: An herb found in the northern hemisphere. It's dried flower heads have long been used as an astringent to treat skin disorders. Has been used externally to treat bruises and sprains. Anti-inflammatory and soothing.

Ascorbic Acid and Ascorbyl Palmitate Vitamin-C: A preservative and antioxidant used to help prevent free radical damage in the skin. The white or pale yellow powder will darken slightly when exposed to air.

Avobenzone: A revolutionary development in sunscreen technology that was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 1998. While traditional chemical sunscreens could block against UVB (the "burning rays") and UVA wavelengths, they could not adequately block out UVA rays, the ones responsible for the skin damage that results in wrinkles, hyper pigmentation, etc. Chemical sunscreens containing Avobenzone (as well as physical sunscreens) now offer full protection against all of the sun's damaging rays.

Avocado Oil: Rich in Vitamins A, D, and E, as well as potassium, sulfur, and chlorine. Rich and penetrating oil.

B

Balm Mint Extract:  From the leaves and flowers of the Balm Mint plant, Melissa officinalis. An antibacterial and anti-inflammatory plant that has a calming and soothing effect on the skin. Contains a balsamic essential oil that produces antibacterial ozone. 

Bearberry Extract: Derived from the Arctostaphylos uva-ursi plant. Contains a natural hydroquinone sugar complex that is more stable than synthetically-derived hydroquinone. Used in an encapsulated liposomal form that delivers the active ingredients directly to the cellular level. Fades hyper-pigmentation spots on the skin by interfering with melanin synthesis.

Beeswax: From virgin bees and used as an emulsifier. Yellow Beeswax is from the honeycomb and is soft with a honey-like odor.

Bentonite Clay: A white clay found in North America. Oil-absorbing and cleansing, it is used for its excellent refining action on enlarged pores and oily areas of the skin.

Benzophenone and Octyl methoxycinnamate: Two ultra-violet sunscreens which absorb radiation in the erythemal range 290 to 315nm. Allows radiation in the tanning range of 315 to 400nm. Benzophenone is a soluble sunscreen agent and as such, is used in all emulsions and solutions in the RAYA® line. Possible prevention of skin cancer, premature aging effects, and premature wrinkling may be some of the effects of sun screening agents.

Benzoyl Peroxide: An oxygen releasing chemical which causes drying, peeling, and antibacterial action on the skin. Used for acne lesions, benzoyl peroxide is the number one acne medication recommended by doctors. The release of oxygen is important to combat the anaerobic bacteria present in the acne-affected follicles. The peeling and drying effects peel acne pustules and open up comedones.

Bioflavonoids: Naturally found throughout the plant kingdom. Clinical studies have demonstrated that Bioflavonoids reduce edema, which is partly ascribed to a protective effect on the capillary endothelium and partly to an improved velocity and volume of blood flow. Hence, one can say Bioflavonoids help reduce inflammatory edema, while stimulating circulation.

Bisabolol: A Myrrh-type gum resin obtained from African trees. Reduces sensitivity and inflammation. Soothing and vasoconstrictive.

Bois de Rose Oil: Used for many skin problems from irritation and dryness to puffiness and congestion. It is extracted from the Rosewood Tree.

Bromelain: A proteolytic enzyme (digests proteins) obtained from the Pineapple plant. A perennial herb with many varieties. Bromelain may be derived from either the stem or the fruit juices. Bromelain hydrolyzes proteins and digests dead cells on the surface of the skin.

Burdock Extract: Extracted from the Burdock root and used for its healing properties on acne. Excellent as a cleansing extract for oily skin conditions and extremely effective on refining and clearing the skin.

C

Cajeput Oil: Extracted from the plant Melaleuca leucadendron. Used for its antiseptic and analgesic properties.

Calendula Extract: Derived from the dried flowers of golden Marigolds. Used to soothe inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes. Calendula extract is used in herbology to reduce body scars, soothe chapped skin and eliminate broken capillaries. Considered to be an excellent remedy for red eyes and any skin abrasions or soreness.

Calendula Flowers (CALENDULA OFFICINALIS): Habitat: cultivated in Europe and North America; commercially sold throughout the world. Appearance: pale green leaves, golden orange florets; yellow, orange and red varieties. Odor: pleasant, mild, and floral, depending on variety. Aromatic when used in cooking. Functional Benefits: soothing, anti-inflammatory, and healing; used in ointments for cuts, bruises, sores, and burns; has detergent and cleansing properties as an astringent and refresher.

Camphor: A cooling and antiseptic extract, with firming and toning properties to the skin. Extracted from the bark of 50 year old trees in China, Borneo, and Japan.

Carnauba Wax: Extracted from the leaves of the Brazilian Wax Palm Tree. Emollient and moisturizing. Used for its skin protecting properties.

Castor Oil: The seed of the Castor Oil plant extracted from the bean. Soothing and emollient to the skin.

Cedarwood Oil: Extracted from the plant, Juniperus virginiana. Stimulating, antiseptic, and revitalizing. The oil is used for sluggish and sallow skin to stimulate blood circulation and oxygenation.

Cetyl Alcohol: A fatty alcohol in the form of a waxy crystalline. Used for its lubricating and emollient properties in skin hydration.

Chamomile Extract: Extracted from the Daisy-like, white and yellow heads of Chamomile flowers. Popular as an excellent skin soother and anti-inflammatory agent. Reputed to bring down swelling and pain in the skin and mucous membranes. Used extensively in professional skin care as an herbal extract and for its essential oil called Azulene.

Chamomile Flowers (MATRICARIA CHAMOMILLA): Habitat: Europe, Great Britain, temperate regions of Asia, northern Africa, and North America. Appearance: a low-growing plant, characterized by little flower heads and numerous tubular yellow “rays.” Odor: aromatic, strong scent; used as a fragrance component. Functional Benefits: soothing, sedative, softening, calming, anti-inflammatory, sun protecting, wound healing.

Chinese Schisandra Berry (Schisandra chinensis): Like Ginseng, Schisandra is an adaptogenic agent that improves overall health and lethargy. Research on this plant has focused on its forty active lignans, types of plant carbohydrates found in this species. These compounds have demonstrated greater antioxidant properties than both Vitamins C and E in fighting free radicals, hence the claims that Chinese Schisandra is anti-carcinogenic and antimutagenic.

Clove Oil: Extracted from the plan, Eugenia caryophyllata. Used for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Collagen: The major fibrous protein of the extracellular connective tissues. Comprises between 25% to 35% of our body's protein. Soluble collagen can be compared to a sponge because of its ability to trap water in its inter-cellular spaces. As collagen ages, the fibers aggregate into larger collagen strands and become less soluble. This less soluble condition, plus the addition of calcium deposits, squeezes the moisture out, induces further aggregation of collagen, and causes shrinkage of the fiber length. The net result is a loss of skin turgor and the formation of wrinkles. During the formation of soluble collagen and collagen fiber, glycosaminoglycans become bound to the peptide chains. These promote the ability of collagen to retain water by holding the soluble fibers apart.

Coltsfoot Herb (TUSSILAGO FARFARA): Habitat: introduced to North America from Europe. Now cultivated and growing wild from Newfoundland, Canada to New Jersey, U.S.A. and west to Minnesota, U.S.A. Grown in damp, clay-like ground. Appearance: plant leaf is shaped like a colt's hoof, hence the name; stout leaves with bright yellow flowers. Odor: raw potato, marshy, mossy, and vegetable-like. Functional Benefits: conditioning, moisturizing. Contains: silica and cystine, important amino acids to maintain healthy skin.

Comfrey: Highly-prized in the Middle Ages for its healing properties, Comfrey helps reduce skin inflammation, soothe irritation, and improve skin texture.

Comfrey Leaves (SYMPHYTUM OFFICINALE): Habitat: native to Europe and temperate Asia. Common throughout Great Britain on the banks of rivers and watery places. Appearance: rough plant covered with bristly hairs on the stem, which stands 2-3 feet tall; paired purple flowers taper down and grow on one side of the stem, much resembling the herb Foxglove. Odor: a nondescript, green note. Functional Benefits: astringent, cleansing, healing to rough and abused skin, anti-inflammatory,; wound healing due to natural allontoin, carotene, and mucopolysaccharides.

Coneflower Extract: Extracted from the Native American plant Echinacea angustifolia, Coneflower Extract was originally used as an antidote for snake bites and other venomous conditions. The juice of the root was used to heal burns and soothe topical pain. Coneflower Extract has been clinically demonstrated to aid in healing and act as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Corn Cob Meal: A finely milled powder from Corn cobs. The extremely fine milling of the meal ensures that no harsh abrasiveness is left in the action of this exfoliant. Gives complete cell debris removal without drying or scratching.

Cornflower Extract: Used as an anti-inflammatory extract and obtained from the flowers of the plant. Very soothing and sedating to the skin and mucous membranes. Similar in action to the essential oil of Chamomile called Azulene. Often used around the eye area as an anti-redness measure.

Corn Oil: Obtained from wet-milling the grain of Zea mays (Indian corn). Used as an emollient and softener.

Cucumber Extract: Extracted from the succulent fruit of the vine and used for its tightening properties. Imparts a cooling action and an anti-inflammatory action to the tissues.

Cypress Oil: Soothing and calming. Reduces circulation and has vasoconstrictive properties.

D

Damiana Leaf (TURNERA DIFFUSA): Damiana Leaf is native to Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies and has been used by the Indigenous people of those regions for hundreds of years. It is used as an anti-depressant and to restore nervous system balance.

Dandelion Root & Leaf Extract (TARAXACUM OFFICINALE): Described as a "simple bitter," Dandelion is used to treat many types of digestive dysfunctions. It is said to have a restorative effect on the liver, gallbladder, and spleen. Dandelion is also an excellent choice as a diuretic, because unlike most diuretics, it does not deplete the body's potassium balance.

Diatomaceous Earth: A porous and pure form of silica formed from fossil remains of algae. Absorbs up to four times its own weight in water. Sets and gels on the skin surface when used in masks.

Dihydroxyacetone: Obtained from glycerol and used to artificially tan skin. Reacts with amino acids in skin to provide a natural-looking suntanned appearance.

Dimethicone: An organic silicone used as a skin protector and moisturizer. Found naturally in Horsetail Herbal Extract, silicone forms a "mesh" over the skin and slows down transepidermal moisture loss from the skin. Well tolerated by even the most sensitive skin. Has a filming action on the skin surface and smooths fine, dry lines.

E

Egg Oil: Natural mixture of fat soluble emollients and emulsifiers extracted from the whole egg. Mixture of phospholipids, fatty acids, and cholesterol. Provides excellent emollient properties. Protects against dehydration and has lubricating and anti-friction properties on the skin.

Elder Flowers (SAMBUCUS CANADENSIS): Habitat: all over Europe and introduced to the Americas. The canadensis species is native to North America and the part used is the flower. European species nigra is mainly cultivated for its berries for use in Elderberry Wine, an old European tradition. Appearance: tall shrub, up to 10 ft. tall, with small white flowers and purple-black berries. Odor: fragrant, light green note, pleasant, and vegetable-like. Functional Benefits: Extracts of flowers are used as fragrance components and, because of their slightly astringent nature, are used in under-eye and other skin products. Elder Flowers are a cleanser and moisturizer to the skin and hair.

Eucalyptus Oil: A strong antiseptic with healing and stimulating properties. A vasodilator that improves blood circulation.

Evening Primrose Oil: An essential fatty acid oil, rich in gamma-linolenic and gamma-linolenic acids. Also known as Vitamin-FF. Hydrating to the skin, it helps restore moisture and lipid balance to dry skin.

F

Fennel Seed Extract (FOENICULUM VULGARE): Fennel has been used for years as a digestive stimulant, especially to treat excess gas and bloating. It is used regularly in Chinese hospitals to treat intestinal obstruction and is used in traditional "gripe" water formulas given to colicky babies.

G

Genatian Root (GENTIANA LUTEA): Often called the "archetypal bitter," Gentian Root is used to stimulate digestion. Dr. John Scudder M.D. claims, "it is one of the most efficient remedies I have ever used to address feeble or slow digestion." It is also known to have anti-inflammatory effects.

Geranium Oil: Anti-inflammatory and soothing. Used for skin irritations and dermatitis.

Ginkgo Extract: Also known as "maidenhair." An extract of the Ginkgo biloba plant, a sacred tree to the Chinese. Increases moisture retention in the upper layers of the skin and soothes irritation in sensitive skins.

Ginseng Root (PANAX QUINQUEFOLIUS): Habitat: American and western species are native to North America and cultivated in Canada and throughout the U.S. In the east, it is native to Manchuria, Siberia, Korea, and Japan. Appearance: Both species are perennial herbs, with single stems and six long, petiole leaves on top. The parts used for extraction are the roots and rootlets. Odor: characteristic vegetable odor. Functional Benefits: used in creams, gels, tonics, masks, and anti-wrinkle and other treatment preparations. Known for its ability to deliver oxygen to the cells.

Glycolipids: A plant-derived mixture of glycoceramides that enhance and restore the barrier function of the skin, regulate the skin's ability to bind and retain moisture, and help restore the inter-cellular regulatory balance.

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs): The skin is composed of two distinct areas - the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis consists of many layers of dead skin, which are supported by the dermis. The dermis is a three dimensional network of collagen fibers and elastin, surrounded by a gel-like substance called the "ground substance." This determines the stability of the skin. We know that the ground substance is composed glycosaminoglycans (formerly called mucopolysaccharides), non-collagen proteins, and water. Until recently, the importance of glycosaminoglycans in skin physiology had been largely overlooked when compared to topics such as pH, nucleic acid replacement, and protein composition. Pharmaceutical and biochemical research indicates that glycosaminoglycans promote the ability of collagen fibers to retain water and bind moisture into the stratum corneum of the epidermis. Collagen is the major fibrous protein of the extracellular connective tissues and comprises from 25% to 35% of our body's protein. Soluble collagen can be compared to a sponge because of its ability to trap water in its inter-cellular spaces. As collagen ages, the fibers aggregate into larger collagen strands and become less soluble. This less soluble condition, plus the addition of calcium deposits, squeezes the moisture out, induces further aggregation of collagen, and causes shrinkage of the fiber length. The net result is a loss of skin turgor and the formation of wrinkles. During the formation of soluble collagen and the collagen fiber, glycosaminoglycans become bound to the peptide chains. These promote the ability of collagen to retain water by holding the soluble fibers apart. The addition of glycosaminoglycans in RAYA® products, ensures a replacement of diminishing natural amounts in the skin and results in skin that has more moisture and increased flexibility.

Grapefruit Oil: Obtained by expression (squeezing) of the fresh peel of the grapefruit. A yellowish liquid used for its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties.

Grape Seed Extract: Extracted from the Vitis vinifera plant. A rich source of free radical scavengers including pycnogenol. An excellent antioxidant and a rich source of pycnogenol, a flavonoid type molecule that protects capillary walls and inhibits enzymes that break down collagen and elastin.

Green Clay: A highly-effective cosmetic clay used for its sterilizing and purifying qualities. Very absorbent and cleansing to the skin sebum. Detoxifies and exfoliates. Produces a cooling effect on the skin, constricts follicles, and deeply cleanses the epidermis.

Green Tea (Japanese) or Thea sinensis Extract: Japanese Green Tea is known to contain two active groups of chemicals known as xanthines and polyphenols. The xanthines include components such as caffeine, theobromine and theophylline. These active agents have been demonstrated to suppress inflammation and irritation, and, more recently, they have been shown to reduce cellulite. When used in conjunction with hydroxy acids, green tea extract will reduce irritation due to the xanthines. Polyphenols (also known as catechins) exhibit powerful antioxidant properties. As a matter of fact, these antioxidants are 20 times stronger than Vitamin-E. Consequently, Green Tea Extract is considered to play a vital role in protecting the cells from free radical damage initiated by environmental factors such as exposure to UV light.

H

Hawthorn Berry Extract (ARTEMISIA VULGARIS): Believed to be an anti-hypertonic, Hawthorn Berry is used in sedating formulas to control hypertension.

Hazelnut Oil: Emollient and nourishing natural nut oil. Prevents moisture loss from the skin's surface and is rich in essential fatty acids.

 

Honey: Taken from the nectar of flowers and manufactured in the sacs of various bees. A natural humectant, which attracts moisture to the skin surface. Used for centuries as a natural healing salve to calm inflammation and soothe the skin.

Hops Buds (HUMULUS LUPULUS): Habitat: native to Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the United States, as well as northern temperate zones. Appearance: dark green, lengthy, flexible, and tough stems with heart-shaped and lobed leaves. Characterized by cone-shaped, yellowish strobiles. Odor: hay-like, slightly musty, mildew odor. Functional Benefits: tonic, stimulating, healing, circulation promoting.

Hops Extract: Derived from the carefully dried pinecone-like fruit of the Hops plant; grown in Europe, Asia, and North America. Hops were at one time used as a sedative. An anti-inflammatory extract, which also has a mild firming action.

Hops Strobile Extract (HUMULUS LUPULUS): Hops may be found in over 150 phytopharmaceutical drugs to treat restless anxiety and insomnia. It is known as an aromatic bitter with mild digestive qualities, making it useful in anxious individuals who have a tendency toward intestinal gas.

Horse Chestnut (AESCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM): Habitat: native to mid and southeastern Europe and cultivated in temperate North America. Appearance: deciduous tree-reaching heights of up to 100 ft. with prickly green seed pods that mature in autumn when they split open and release up to three brown nuts. Odor: nutty, green odor. Functional Benefits: astringent, anti-inflammatory benefits for products treating reddened, irritated, or sensitive skin. Used as a protector for facial and hand/nail products.

Horsetail Extract: Derived from the plant that is used medicinally to reduce body water and as an astringent. Helps minor wounds and speeds healing of the skin. Has a firming and tightening action on the skin.

Horsetail Grass (EQUISETUM ARVENSE): Habitat: temperate regions of North and South America; wet and boggy grounds, swamps, embankments. Appearance: perennial, vascular herb with hollow, cylindrical jointed stems with sheath-like united leaves and cone-like fructifications. Odor: green scent, vegetable-like, very slight. Functional Benefits: astringent, calming, cleansing, acne and skin disorders, pain relief from skin abrasions, anti inflammatory, high in silica and saponins.

Hyaluronic Acid: Extremely moisturizing to the skin. Holds up to 370% more moisture than even the collagen protein molecule. Binds and retains essential moisture in skin's layers and reduces fine lines caused by dehydration.

Hydrocotyle Extract: Originally found in India, Hydrocotyle Extract (Centella asiatica) is listed in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to combat excessively dry skin. More recently, studies at the Department of Dermatology in Strasbourg indicate its use as a strong anti-inflammatory agent, effective in the treatment of wounds, ulcers, and lymphatic edema. Particularly suited to the fragile skin around the eyes, Hydrocotyle Extract assists in reducing inflammation and sensitivity of the skin.

Hydrolyzed Whole Wheat Protein: A non-animal, water-soluble protein derived from whole wheat. Moisturizes and smooths the skin's surface, helping to bind moisture to the stratum corneum. The two major proteins in whole wheat are glutenin and gliadin. Both are rich in the amino acid called cystine, which is an important sulfur containing amino acid with moisturizing properties.

I

Iron Oxides: Several natural oxides of iron (iron combined with oxygen) varying in color from red to brown, black to orange, or yellow, depending on the degree of water added.

Ivy Extract: Extracted from the Evergreen climbing plant, native to Europe and Asia. A natural diuretic and cleansing extract well known for its skin refining actions. Firming and tightening to the tissues.

J

Jasmine Oil: A warming and smoothing oil used to revitalize and stimulate the skin.

K

Kaolin Clay: A white powder clay, obtained from Kaolinite in Southeast China. Used for its oil absorbing properties, Kaolin Clay refines the skin and helps clear breakouts.

Kava Kava (PIPER METHYSTICUM) Rhizome and Root Extract: Kava Kava has been used for centuries as a central nervous system depressant and relaxant of the skeletal muscles. It is used in many cultures around the world for its ability to induce a state of physical relaxation and a carefree, positive sense of well being. In Europe, it can be found in a prescription medication used to treat nervous anxiety and is touted to be as effective as the drug benzodiazepine in the treatment of anxiety, but without the side effects of addiction and patients' building up a tolerance to its effects.

Kelp Extract: Extracted from a North American species of brown seaweed, Macrocystis pyrifera. High in silicon, which is believed to keep the skin from wrinkling and sagging, Kelp is considered an important nutrient source for cells. It has been used to treat anemia and cases of obesity because of its high iodine content, which has a normalizing effect on the thyroid.

Kola Nut (COLA NITIDA): Kola Nut is used as a stimulating tonic to counter fatigue.

L

Lactic Acid:  An Alpha Hydroxy Acid with three carbons that diminishes the cohesion of surface skin cells and subsequently prevents the thickening of the stratum corneum. Lactic Acid is absorbed across the stratum corneum to the lower layers of this section of the epidermis and assists in cell detachment from that level. The resulting smoothness and flexibility of the skin's surface is evident soon after application. It has a larger molecular size than Glycolic Acid and is absorbed more gradually across the epidermis and with less irritation. We use a Lactic Acid Complex obtained from molasses through an exclusive anaerobic bio-fermentation process. This process yields a high purity Lactic Acid, which is of great value in retexturizing the skin's surface and stimulating cell renewal.

Lappa Extract: Extracted from Burdock. The extract comes from the root and contains Tannic Acid. Lappa Extract is used to soothe the skin and contains vital mineral salts.

Lavender Oil: Effective in treating acne, dermatitis, and oily skin problems. Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

Lemon Extract: An extract expressed from the fresh rind and peel of lemons. Very cleansing and decongestant. Lemon Extract is refreshing and purifying to the skin and is extremely active on an oily skin condition.

Lemongrass Oil: Extracted from the plant Andropogon, or Cymbopogon citratus. Cleansing and purifying to the skin, this oil is used for its excellent antiseptic properties on the skin. Helps normalize oil production and reduce breakouts.

Lemon Oil: Extracted from the plant Citrus limonum. Used for its antiseptic and astringent properties, as well as its detoxifying effects.

Licorice Extract (DIPOTASSIUM GLYCYRRHIZATE): Extracted from the Licorice plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra. Inhibits melanin biosynthesis, while scavenging free radicals (antioxidants) and helping to calm the skin.

Liquid Crystal Cholesteric Esters: Microencapsulated strands of cholesterol lipids for skin repair and moisturizing. Highly absorptive crystals carry active ingredients into the deeper layers of the epidermis. Similar in action to a liposomal effect, the crystals have an opalescent appearance in the product.

M

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: A stabilized form of Vitamin-C that does not oxidize upon exposure to air. An antioxidant that is linked to collagen synthesis.

Mallow Extract: From the herb family. A mucilaginous gel that is soothing, healing, softening, and pain easing to the skin. Excellent in reducing inflammation and softening the skin.

Marjoram Oil: Warming and stimulating, this oil increases blood flow and aids in cell reproduction of the skin.

Mate Extract: Extracted from Ilex paraguariensis, or Paraguayan tea, and has been shown to reduce irritation often associated with the use of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids in cosmetic formulas. Because of its high concentration of theophylline and other anti-irritant xanthines, Paraguayan tea is ideal for use in skin smoothing formulas. It is also an astringent, a stimulant, and a vasodilator.

Menthol (Oil of Peppermint): A natural cooling agent derived from mint oils. Anti-inflammatory and anti-itching to the skin. Imparts a cool, fresh and clean feeling to the skin.

Methylparaben/Propylparaben: Food grade preservatives developed in Europe and used to ensure shelf life and hygienic stability of all RAYA® products. Non-irritating, non-sensitizing, and non-toxic.

Methylsilanol Carboxymethyl Theophylline Alginate: A plant-derived complex used for its slimming action on cellulitic tissue. The theophylline portion of this compound acts at the cellular membrane level of the fat cells. It effects the enzymatic breakdown of lipids, the regeneration of connective tissue, and the inflammatory process associated with tissue compression by fat cells.

Micronized Marine Algae: Derived from seaweeds and processed under cold pressure explosion to form a fine powder. Softening and moisturizing to the skin, Algae also has detoxifying and diuretic properties.

Microsponges: Microscopic spheres capable of absorbing skin secretions, therefore reducing oiliness and shine from the skin. Spherical particles composed of clusters of even tinier spheres. Capable of holding four times their weight in skin secretions. Clinical studies demonstrate that the use of Microsponges in a lotion reduced perceived oiliness on the skin by 50%; shine was reduced by 20%.

Milk Protein: A soothing, skin cleansing preparation. A natural protein complex used for its mild cleansing properties and soothing action on the skin. Milk compresses can be used to soothe an allergic skin reaction and are used in cleansing preparations for their mild action.

Mugwort Herb Extract (ARTEMISIA VULGARIS): Traditionally, Mugwort Herb has been used in sedating formulas to offset the usual stress related digestive complaints. An aromatic bitter that stimulates gastric secretion for the treatment of "weak digestion" and should accompany the use of sedating herbs.

N

Neroli Oil: Extracted from Orange Flowers and helps improve circulation. A warming and relaxing oil that has a gently stimulating effect.

Nettle Leaves (URTICA DIOICA): Habitat: temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and the United States and South Africa, Australia, the Andes. Appearance: heart-shaped, finely-toothed leaves, tapering to a point, with green flowers in long, branched clusters. Over 500 species, many with the characteristic stinging hairs on the stems and leaves, thus the name “Stinging Nettles.” Fibrous raw material. Odor: very slight, leafy odor. Functional Benefits: heat sensation following touching of the raw material; irritant, astringent. Adds gloss and luster to finished products.

O

Orange Oil: Extracted from the plant, Citrus aurantium. Soothing, hydrating, and calming oil that reduces irritation. Used in essential oil blends for the treatment of cellulite.

Orange Peel (CITRUS AURANTIUM): Habitat: native to all temperate, subtropical, and tropical areas of the globe. Mainly cultivated as a food source. Appearance: small trees bearing green fruits that expand and usually become yellow to orange colored upon maturing. Odor: fragrant, refreshing citrus odor. Distinct orange note. Functional Benefits: anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Adds freshening appeal to products.

P

Pacific Sea Kelp (MACROCYSTIS PYRIFERA): Habitat: off the coast of California, U.S.A., all the way down to South America and Hawaii, U.S.A. Grows up from the ocean floor and at depths of more than 100 ft. Appearance: a sporophyte plant; upper part that is exposed to sunlight near the surface is light to dark green due to photosynthesis, while the deeper parts are almost colorless. Odor: basically odorless or slightly salty. Functional Benefits: soothing, healing, odorless and colorless, which is of great advantage in personal care products; wide uses in anti-cellulite products for added firming.

Panthenol: See Vitamin B5.

Papain: A digestive enzyme collected from Papaya fruit. Papain hydrolyzes proteins and has a proteolytic capacity (digests proteins). Papain has the ability to digest dead tissue without affecting the surrounding live tissue and has sometimes been called a "biological scalpel." It is used in digestive aids and as the active ingredient in enzyme cleaners for soft contact lenses. Papain contains 212 amino acids and is also rich in Malic Acid, an Alpha Hydroxy Acid.

Parsol 1789: The trade name for Avobenzone. 

Passionflower Extract: Passionflower Extract has been reported to be an effective treatment for stress and nervousness.

Passionflower (PASSIFLORA INCARNATA): Habitat: native to the southeastern United States from Florida to Texas. Appearance: exotic, climbing vine with large, pale lavender colored flowers. Spanish explorers were said to have been startled by the beauty of the Passionflower. A perennial, woody plant. Odor: a slight hint of floral. Functional Benefits: used primarily for its soothing and sedating effect in cosmetic preparations. Compatible with aroma therapy or other therapeutic products.

Patchouli Oil: Extracted from the plant Pogostemon patchouli. Used for its antiseptic properties.

Peppermint Leaf Extract (MENTHA PIPERITA): The common Peppermint Extract is included in formulas to address gastrointestinal symptoms often associated with stress.

Petitgrain Oil: Extracted from the bitter Orange plant. Used for its skin soothing and calming properties.

Pinecone Extract: Extracted from the cones of Pine trees. Helps alleviate pain and discomfort and overcome fatigue. Considered to be stimulating to the skin by increasing blood flow and oxygenation.

Pine Needle: Extracted from the plant Pinus sylvestris. Used for its antiseptic properties.

Prickly Ash Bark (ZANTHOXYLUM CLAVA HERCULIS): A circulatory stimulant, Prickly Ash helps drive other botanicals to their targets. It is used to stimulate the nerve centers and functional activity of the body's organs.

Proline: An amino acid that, when combined with sodium PCA - a natural component of the NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor) - has been demonstrated to provide excellent moisture absorption and retention properties to the skin.

Propylene/Butylene Glycol: Clear, colorless liquids among the most common moisture-carrying vehicles in skin care. Superb permeation through the skin and excellent humectant properties. Softens and moisturizes the skin.

R

Red Raspberry Extract: A soothing and non-stimulating extract. Noted to be a natural antibiotic, Red Raspberry Extract is also very soothing and relaxing to an inflamed skin. Excellent for a sensitive skin and any irritation from acne, shaving, or windburn.

Retinol: See Vitamin-A

Rose Hip Extract: Very rich in natural Vitamin-C. Moisturizing and hydrating to the skin. Helps protect the skin from capillary damage and firms and tones the tissues. Helps moisture bind in the connective tissue proteins of the skin.

Rosemary Extract: An extract obtained from the fresh, flowering tops of the plant. Used for its tonic properties and as a stimulant to the tissues. A natural diuretic, Rosemary Extract helps release fluids from the tissues and gives a firming and decongestant action.

Rosemary Leaves (ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS): Habitat: in most gardens in all regions of Europe, the United States, and Asia. Prefers locations near seas or oceans. Appearance: shrubby herb with evergreen leaves of dark green color; flowers are small and pale blue. Odor: pungently aromatic, somewhat camphor-like. Functional Benefits: tonic, astringent, stimulating, cleansing, soothing, fragrance component. A widely used botanical in all types of personal care products.

Rosemary Oil: Extracted from the plant, Rosmarinus officinalis. Used for its purifying, cleansing, and antiseptic properties.

S

Safflower Oil: One of the most useful oils in cosmetics. The flowers are used in decoctions for skin eruptions, acne, and skin blemishes.

Sage Extract: Obtained by extraction from the flowering tops of the plants. Smells and tastes rather like Camphor. Has strong astringent and healing properties. A tonic and curative herb.

Sage Leaves (SALVIA OFFICINALIS): Habitat: natural habitat is the shores of the Mediterranean, although cultivated in Great Britain, France, and Germany. Commercially cultivated in the United States. Appearance: evergreen under-shrub. Odor: all parts of the plant have a strong, almost pungent, distinctive odor and a warm, bitter, astringent taste. Functional Benefits: calming, cleansing, moisturizing, skin purifying, fragrant, antimicrobial, non-sensitizing, non-irritant.

Sage Oil: Extracted from the plant Salvia officinalis. An astringent, antiseptic oil used for its sedating and calming effects on the skin.

Salicylic Acid: Occurs naturally in wintergreen leaves, sweet birch, and selected plants. This Beta Hydroxy Acid improves the appearance and condition of the skin. Its micro-exfoliating action causes a slow movement of the superficial cells that are already old, forcing the deep layers to replace them with younger cells. In addition to its exfoliating action, Salicylic Acid is also used as an anti-microbial in medicine.

Sambucus (Elder Flower): Extracted from the honey-scented flowers of the Elder tree. Used for their mildly tonic properties and naturally diuretic qualities.

Sandalwood Oil: A powerful antibiotic and antiseptic. Used to treat infections and reduce puffiness. Soothing and healing.

Saponaria Extract: Also known as Soapwort and Fuller's Herb. This extract is obtained from the European and Middle Eastern variety that has a coarse pink flower and foams like a lather. It is used as a foaming, natural cleanser for the skin.

Siberian Ginseng (ELEUTHEROCOCCUS SENTICOSUS): The use of Siberian Ginseng by Chinese herbalists dates back to 2000 BC. In modern times, Ginseng has been designated as an adaptogen, or herb that has a non-specific activity, yet promotes an overall improvement in one's health.

Silica Microbeads: Fine Silica Microbeads have a true sphere shape with a hollow center, providing unique carrying abilities. Since the beads can hold and absorb materials, they are used to protect delicate plant extracts in a tightly compacted and heat resistant carrier molecule. In addition to their function as a delivery system, Silica Microbeads also impart a smoothness and resilient texture to the skin, as they possess a ball-bearing-like and silky emolliency. Combined with three other silicone bases in the formula (cyclomethicone, magnesium aluminum silicate, and C 12-15 alkyl octanoate), they leave an improved feel to the skin, with less oiliness and no sticky residue.

Silk Amino Acids: Amino Acids are the body's building blocks from which proteins are constructed. Of the 22 known Amino Acids, eight cannot be manufactured in the body in sufficient quantities to sustain growth and health. These eight are called "essential," because they are necessary to maintain good health. Silk Amino Acids are the result of Amino mixtures from Liquid Silk, a natural non-animal source of these acids. Silk Amino Acids help moisture penetrate the skin surface and are extremely healing to the skin.

Sodium PCA: Occurs naturally in human skin and is responsible for binding moisture to the cells. Highly water-absorbing and used as an excellent humectant. A component of the NMF (natural moisturizing factor).

Sorbitol: Found in ripe berries, seaweed, and algae. A humectant that gives a velvety feel to the skin. Attracts water to itself and helps bind moisture to the skin's surface.

Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Extract: Commonly found in France and North America. The flowering tops contain 2% essential oils and salicylate derivatives, one of which is Salicylic Acid. In homeopathic medicine, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract is used to help combat inflamed joints and to have a diuretic effect on the tissues. The leaves of the plant, fresh or dried, are used in the treatment of rheumatism and cellulitis. When used directly on the skin, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract is prized for its anti-inflammatory abilities to reduce puffiness and fluid retention.

Squalane: A natural component of human sebum at around 25%. Obtained from Olive oil and used for its rich and emollient skin moisturizing properties.

Sugar Cane, Citrus Fruits, Apple Fruit, and Green Tea Extracts: Obtained from Sugar Cane, Citrus Fruits, Apple Fruit, and Green Tea. A specialized extraction process is utilized to concentrate this mixed fruit acid complex, which has been clinically proven to be an effective exfoliant mixture that is less irritating than comparable fruit acid blends. The anti-irritant action is attributed to the Green Tea Extract that allows one to formulate with higher, more aggressive concentrations of Alpha Hydroxy Acids without the usual irritation associated with higher concentrations. The use of this blend of fruit acids has been demonstrated to stimulate cell renewal in tissue at a higher rate than Glycolic Acid and with less irritation. The resulting tissue showed improved texture accompanied by a reduction in dryness and fine lines/wrinkles.

Sulfur: A pharmaceutical grade Sulfur of a 99.5% purity. Sulfur accelerates peeling of the skin and has a topically antiseptic action on the skin's surface. Traditionally used for problem skin, Sulfur works synergistically with other micro-exfoliant ingredients and is particularly suitable for skin prone to breakouts and congestion.

T

Tea Tree Oil: Extracted from the plant Melaleuca alternifolia. Used for its antiseptic, analgesic, and anti-bacterial properties; also aids in healing and soothing skin. Many of RAYA®'s formulas for acne-prone skin contain Tea Tree encapsulated in a polysaccharide capsule known as cyclodextrin, a revolutionary system for treating acne-prone skin.

Thyme Leaves (THYMUS VULGARIS): Habitat: native to Southern Europe, widely cultivated in North America. Appearance: perennial herb with woody stems and twigs that are velvety white; flowers are lavender to white-pink in color. Odor: a variety of volatile oils (cymenes, terpene, and terpineol, among others) give it a characteristically pungent odor when broken or crushed. Functional Benefits: Thyme is an antiseptic rich in thymol. Besides extensive use as a kitchen herb and fragrance component, Thyme is used in ointments and other over the counter products to treat infections. It refreshes the skin and has excellent use in toners. It is also included in the formulas of toothpastes, soaps, creams, and lotions.

Thyme Oil: Extracted from the plant Thymus vulgaris. Used for its antiseptic properties.

Titanium Dioxide (Microcrystalline): Up until now, only sunscreens based on organic ultra-violet light absorbents were available. Although effective, these chemical compounds are unsuitable for around the eye area, due to their irritant potential. Microcrystalline Titanium Dioxide is a new, inorganic natural material that functions as a sunblock to both UVA and UVB rays.

Triclosan: An active broad spectrum anti-bactericidal agent that kills bacteria on the skin's surface. Shown to kill Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria associated with acne. Kills bacteria by interfering with cell membrane function.

V

Vitamin-A: Improves skin's elasticity, moisture content, and suppleness, while reversing the signs of photo-aging. Skin deficient in this nutrient appears rough, unevenly-thickened, and dry.

Vitamin-A Palmitate (also known as Retinyl Palmitate): Reduces skin dryness and flakiness and aids in healthy cell reproduction. When applied topically, it activates the epidermis and helps the skin cells of the stratum corneum bind together.

Vitamin-B5 (Panthenol): Often called the "beautifying" vitamin, Panthenol stimulates skin healing, while providing deep hydration.

Vitamin-C: The most popular antioxidant, Vitamin-C is a required component in the production of collagen, the tissue responsible for skin suppleness. Moreover, Vitamin-C has been shown to help slow the production of hyperpigmentation ("age spots"), while providing some UV protection.

Vitamin-E: Vitamin-E plays a crucial role in protecting skin cells and membranes from environmental damage. It also provides deep hydration and calms inflammation.

Vitamin-E Linoleate/Acetate (also known as Tocopherol linoleate or Acetate): Penetrates the stratum corneum and maintains moisture levels of the skin for long periods of time (16 to 24 hours). Accumulates in the epidermis and forms a barrier against moisture evaporation from the skin. An antioxidant, Vitamin-E helps prevent free radical damage in the skin tissues.

Vitamin-F: An essential fatty acid, this vitamin helps form the membranes that protect the skin cells, preventing the formation of dry, scaly skin.

W

Watercress Extract: Used for its antiseptic and decongestant qualities. Helps to eliminate impurities and eliminate congestion. An excellent purgative.

Wheatgerm Oil: Rich in Vitamin-E, used for its antioxidant effects on free radicals in the skin. Nourishes and helps heal the skin.

Wild Oat (AVENA SATIVA): Oat Seed is used to treat exhaustion and to stabilize the nervous system. It is described as a stimulating nerve tonic, especially good for lethargic individuals.

Willow Bark Extract: Extracted from the White Willow tree, Salix alba. One of the original sources of salicin, the chemical that led to the introduction of aspirin. An anti-inflammatory agent delivered to the skin cells in lysosomes that enhance penetration through the epidermis. Causes a mild keratolytic effect making it an excellent ingredient for acne treatment products.

Witch Hazel Extract: Extracted from the Hamamelis plant and collected in autumn. Has a natural alcohol content of 70% and is astringent, cooling, and antiseptic.

Y

Yarrow Flowers (ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM): Habitat: grown commonly in meadows, pastures, and by the roadside; not confined to region; cultivated commercially and in the renowned gardens of Madeira. Appearance: leaves have a feathery appearance; plant is harvested when flowering; flowers are grayish-white or pink. Odor: pungent; both flowers and leaves have a bitter, astringent taste. Odor is so astringent that it is known to cause nose bleeds, thus the nickname “Nosebleed." Functional Benefits: cleansing, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties lend easily to various facial treatment products.

Yeast Extract: Derived from Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), this extract is comprised of a complex mixture of proteins, sugars, and Amino Acids. It acts as an excellent humectant and may be instrumental in enhancing the rate of cell turnover in the skin. Because its properties are analogous to soluble collagen, it is often referred to as "pseudo collagen." Recent studies indicate that extracts of Yeast also aid in reducing hyperpigmentation by blocking melanin biosynthesis.

Ylang-Ylang Oil: Extracted from the fragrant white flowers of the plant, this oil is used for its strong cleansing and refining properties. Helps clear congestion and smooth the skin.

Z

Zinc Oxide: A white, powdery mineral often used in sunscreen. Creates a protective barrier and deflects UVA and UVB rays off the skin. Has also shown to help reduce acne, sooth the skin, and ease inflammation.