ingredient glossary

skoah ingredient lists are written in accordance with the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI). This means they sound very scientific. For example, vitamin E is written as disodium lauriminodipropionate tocopheryl phospates. Sounds scary, but it is a great, natural ingredient. Most countries, by law, expect cosmetics to be labelled in this way, Canada included. While we know many do not list ingredients this way, we feel it is the right thing to do.
You can find the meaning of the ingredients in our glossary.  
acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester

A plant peptide to help calm, soothe, condition your skin and reduce redness. A key ingredient in skoah's calming products.

allantoin (comfrey root extract)

Common name: Comfrey root extract

To soothe your skin and reduce inflammation, also a bacteria inhibitor.

alpha olefin sulfonate

A gentle cleanser, from coconuts, that doesn't dry your skin.

amidopropyldimethyl betaine

A gentle foaming agent derived from the meadowfoam flower.

aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C phosphate)

Common name: Vitamin C phosphate

A very concentrated form of vitamin C that won't break down over time.

arctostaphylos uva ursi leaf extract (bearberry)

Common name: Bearberry

To improve clarity and an antibacterial.

arnia montana flower extract (arnica)

Common name: Arnica

To soothe.

avena sativa kernel extract (oat)

Common name: Oat

To soothe and moisturize.

benzophenone-3 (oxybenzone)

Common name: Oxybenzone

A sunscreen to protect the product from sunlight.


A sunscreen to protect the product from sunlight.

beta-alpha hydroxy acid - BAHA (salicylic acid)

Common name: Salicylic acid

To exfoliate and a blemish fighter, derived from sweet birch bark tree in Ontario.

boswellia serrata gum (frankincense)

Common name: Frankincense

To calm, soothe and hydrate.

butylene glycol

Derived from root vegetables and is a moisturizing ingredient that conditions the skin.


butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)

Common name: Shea butter

A natural fat that protects skin from dehydration, restores suppleness and improve the appearance of dry skin.

calendula officinalis flower extract

Common name: Calendula

To soothe and fight free radicals.

camellia oleifera leaf extract (green tea)

Common name: Green tea

To fight free radicals.

caprylic/capric triglyceride

A coconut ester that looks and feels like an oil but is not a true oil. Esters are naturally occurring in our skin. It is a very effective moisturizing ingredient and penetrates quickly.

caprylyl glycol

A key ingredient in the pimple/acne products. Also a skin conditioner.


A water-soluble gelling agent that ensures product ingredients don't separate. Common in gel-like formulas.

carbopol 940 (emulsifier)

Common name: Emulsifier

To ensure product doesn't feel 'runny'.

cetrimonium chloride

An antiseptic ingredient to prevent micro-organism, dirt and oil from contaminating your skin. In hair care products, this is an effective anti-static.

cetyl/cetearyl alcohol

A fatty alcohol used as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener, and carrying agent for other ingredients. It is non-irritating and is skin softener.

cetyl esters

A skin conditioning agent and emollient.

cetyl palmitate

A fatty acid (vegetable-based) to keep a product water resistant.


A key ingredient in eye kandy to reduce under eye circles and darkness.

cocamidopropyl betaine

A gentle cleanser that won't dry or strip the skin.


A gentle cleanser, derived from coconuts, non-drying.


To give a silky feel, and a gelling agent.


A silica (from sand) to give a moist feel and leave skin silky. Silicas can be used to heal wounds and improve the appearance of scars.

denatured alcohol A

Common name: Specially denatured alcohol

Used to dissolve difficult ingredients, i.e. salicylic acid in kick it kream.

diazolidinyl urea

A non-irritating antibacterial/preservative.


Common name: PEG-8 dimethicone

A silica (from sand) to protect skin's moisture barrier by locking in moisture, leaves a silky feel. Silicas feel like silk on your skin and hold up well when skin becomes wet. Silicas can be used to heal wounds and improve the appearance of scars.


moisturize and condition the skin.

disodium lauriminodipropinate tocopheryl phophate (vitamin E phosphate)

Common name: Vitamin E phosphate

Calms redness, phosphates are the most concentrated form and therefore don't break down over time.

echinacea purpurea (echinacea)

Common name: Echinacea

Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory.

emulsifying wax nf (non-food)

Vegetable-based, prevents product from separation.

ethoxylated fatty esters (emulsifier)

Common name: Emulsifier

To prevent ingredients from separating and compromising product consistency.

ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate

A sunscreen, to prevent UVA/UVB absorption. Known for its low potential to sensitize skin or act as a photo-allergen.

ethylhexyl palmitate

A skin conditioning agent and emollient derived from plants.

ethylhexyl palmitate-tribehenin-sorbitan isostearate-palmitoyl oligopeptide

Common name: skoah's plant polypeptide blend

ethylhexyl salicylate

Used in sunscreens and cosmetics to absorb UVB rays from the sun.

ginkgo biloba extract

Common name: Ginkgo

To soothe and fight free radicals.


Derived from vegetable sources, it is a humectant, meaning it pulls moisture from the air, and an emollient, to moisturize the skin.

glycerin nordihydroguaiagetic acid (oleanolic acid)

Common name: Oleanolic acid

Part of the pimple/acne product ingredient group: takes down redness and inflammation.

glycerol monostearate

To lubricate your skin and prevent separation of ingredients, is also found in ice cream.

glyceryl stearate

An emulsifying agent to prevent ingredients from separation, also a skin conditioner.

glycolic acid (alpha hydroxy acid - AHA)

Common name: Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)

Derived from apples and grapes, to exfoliate.

hedera helix extract (ivy)

Common name: Ivy

To soothe and fight bacteria, firming.

hesperidin methyl chalcone

A citrus bioflavinold help reduce the appearance of under eye circles and darkness by decreasing capillary size.


An organic compound which acts as an sunscreen. it is an ester formed from salicylic acid.

hydrogenated polyisobutene (polysynlane)

Common name: Highly-refined olive oil

Won't clog pores, and mimics skin's natural oils.

hydrolyzed glycosaminoglycanes

Derived from sugar in corn, to hydrate and firm the skin, helps rebuild cells, is found naturally in healthy skin to cushion and lubricate.


Diminish the appearance of dark circles.

hypericum perforatum extract (St. John's wort)

Common name: St. John's wort

To fight free radicals


Part of the kalm down products ingredient group, to emulsify and thicken the product so ingredients don't separate, from vegetable starch.

iodopropynyl butylcarbamate

An antibacterial and preservative. Can be used in low percentages. It cannot penetrate beneath the epidermis and is effective to prevent bacterial growth in your product and topically on the skin. The molecular cannot penetrate your skin because they are too large.

l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

Common name: Vitamin C

An antioxidant.


To lock moisture in, a natural oil to protect skin and lips. Derived from sheep's wool.


Part of the kalm down product ingredient group: emulsifies product so it does not separate and become ineffective.

luffa cylindrica (seed) oil

Common name: Chinese gourd seed

Replenishes skin's natural lipid levels.

malic acid

A very gentle exfoliator, derived from apples.

mangifera indiva seed butter (mango seed butter)

Common name: Mango seed butter

Derived from mango, used to hydrate your skin.

meadowfoam amidopropydimethyl betaine (meadow foamate)

Common name: Meadow foamate

To soften the skin and hair, from the meadowfoam flower from the Pacific Northwest, also prevents the alpha hydroxy acids from breaking down.

methe piperita (peppermint) oil

Common name: Peppermint oil

Stimulates circulation.

methylisothiazolinone, phenethyl alcohol, PPG-2-methyl ether

To preserve product and prevent antibacterial growth. Can be used in low percentage. it cannot penetrate beneath the epidermis and is effective to prevent bacterial growth in your product and topically on the skin. The molecules cannot penetrate your skin because they are too large.

mimosa tenuiflora bark extract (mimosa)

Common name: Mimosa

To soothe, and fight free radicals.

nordihydroguaiaretic acid

Derived from plants and known to have anti-cancer properties, may from the skin from sun damage and a powerful antioxidant.

oleanolic acid

An anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial from the seed of the randia plant.

oryza sativa (rice) bran wax

Common name: Rice bran wax

Locks in moisture to protect, derived from rice oil.

palmitoyl oligopeptide

Common name: skoah's plant polypeptide

palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3 or 7

A part of the eye kandy group of ingredients, to reduce puffiness around the eyes.


A penetrating moisturizer which absorbs into the skin and hair and is converted into pantothenic acid, a B complex vitamin. Assist skin care products in retaining water and also absorbs water from the air, aiding in skin and hair moisturization.

pantothenic acid

A B-complex vitamin. Assists skin care products in retaining water and also absorbs water from the air, aiding in skin and hair moisturization.

peg-60 almond glycerides

Part of the pimple/acne product ingredient group: emulsifies ingredients so they don't separate and become ineffective.


Preserves the water, prevents bacterial and fungal growth on skin and in product (antibacterial).

polysorbate 60

A type of fatty acid. Fatty acids occur naturally in our skin, but can also be derived from vegetables to help help strengthen our natural fatty acids. They protect the outer layers of our skin from damage.

polysorbate 80

A skin softener and wettener, food grade, often used in ice cream, derived from corn.

propylene glycol (vegetable glycerin)

Common name: Vegetable glycerin

To hydrate, from sweet potatoes, carrots, root vegetables. It acts as a humectant by absorbing water from the air. It penetrates the upper layers of the skin well and leaves a nice feel.

propylene glycol alginate (sea kelp alginate)

Common name: Sea kelp alginate

To hydrate without heavy feel, oil-free, from the Pacific Ocean.

purified aqua (water)

Common name: Purified water

Filtered 3 times with carbon filters using reverse osmosis and UV light PVM/MA decadiene.

retinyl palmitate (vitamin A)

Common name: Vitamin A

Known for its antioxidant properties.

rosmarinus officialis leaf extract (rosemary extract)

Common name: Rosemary extract

Shine enhancement in shampoos.

silica (same family: dimethicone, cyclomethicone, silicone)

Essentially derived from sand (natural). It provides a stable consistency in the product and gives skin a 'silky feeling'. Some forms can be used to heal wounds and prevent the appearance of scars.

sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate

A gentle foaming agent from coconuts.

sodium edta

A stabilizer to make the gelling agents work more effectively. Prevents changes in texture, odor and consistency.

sodium hyaluronate

Common name: hyaluronic acid (from cucumbers)

It is a powerful humectant as it is capable of binding 1,800 times its own weight in water.

sodium hydroxide

A pH stabilize (to balance the skin's pH).

sodium olefin sulfonate

A surfactant that comes from coconuts. Won't dry or strip the skin of moisture.

sorbitan isostearate

An emulsifying agent and skin conditioner.

stearic acid

A fatty acid from vegetable to emulsify product.


Incredibly soothing and calming and also strengthens the skin. If teprenone is used every day starting at age 26, by age 35 - the skin will appear that of a 30 year old. Teprenone slows down cell DNA break down.

tetrasodium edta

A pH stabilizer.

thermus thermophilus ferment

A deep sea algae that is a powerful antioxidant.

thioctic acid

Common name: Lipolic acid

Anti-aging, antioxidant, fights free radicals (speed up skin metabolism).

tilia cordata flower extract (linden)

Common name: Linden

To soften skin and fight free radicals.

titanium dioxide

A mineral, to calm and soothe the skin.

tocopheryl acetate vitamin E tribehenin

A skin conditioning agent derived from plants.

ubiquinone (coenzyme q-10)

Common name: Coenzyme q-10

An antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and prevents decrease in collagen and elastics, stimulates circulation, speeds up skin's metabolism (cell renewal) and anti-aging.

xanthan gum

Necessary to thicken a product and provide the correct consistency. Without it, the product would feel watery or runny.

zinc oxide

An earth mineral which calms and soothes the skin, it is completely non-irritating, and can also serve as an antioxidant.

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