Glossary of Ingredients




Babassu oil- The babassu palm tree is found in northern Brazil. The nuts are ground and methodically processed to extract the oil in small harvesting communities in the Amazon. Babassu oil is similar to coconut oil in makeup and properties. Over 80% of babassu oil is saturated fat, and over 40% of that is lauric acid. The other fatty acids are myristic, lamitic, caprylic, and stearic.  Babassu oil has about double the monounsaturated fats than coconut oil, which is mainly oleic acid.


Carnauba wax- Carnauba palms are trees found in Brazil and commonly referred to as the “tree of life” for its many different uses. Carnauba palms strangely don’t produce wax in any other location or region they’ve been planted, maybe that’s why it’s also called Brazil wax. When the dry season comes, the palm fronds secrete a layer of wax to keep moisture in their leaves. The leaves are cut and dried in the fall, then the wax flakes are beaten off and processed. Carnauba wax is mainly made of esters, long-chain alcohols and acids. It binds really well to ester oils and mineral oils. With a high melting point of 185℉, this wax is often mixed with other waxes or used as an additive to harden, thicken, or raise the melting point.


Cocoa Butter- Cocoa trees are found in Central and South America. These small trees produce pods that house a seed surrounded in pulp. Cocoa nibs are the inner seed after it is de-shelled. Extracted from the fat of cocoa seeds, the beans are about 50% butter. Cocoa nibs are ground, pressed, heated, and separated; the solid is the butter. The main fatty acids found in cocoa butter are oleic, palmitic, and stearic. Tocopherols are also found in cocoa butter and help with its natural preservation. Just like the appealing properties of chocolate, cocoa butter starts melting around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but is hard and brittle at room temperature.


Grapeseed oil- Thanks to our wine industries, grapeseed oil is a by-product of winemaking. Grapeseed oil can either be cold-pressed or chemically extracted with solvents. Cold-pressed extraction produces less oil but preserves the oil for a more natural, pure ingredient to work with. Grape seeds can have up to 20% oil content, and have a hydrophilic (water-loving) and lipophilic (fat-loving) chemical makeup. The hydrophilic compounds are mainly phenols and polyphenols,  which hold antioxidant properties. The lipophilic compounds are a mix of fatty acids, phytosterols, and tocopherols & tocotrienols (which we know makeup Vitamin E). Linoleic acid is the main polyunsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid is the main monounsaturated fatty acid. 


Jojoba oil- While it’s commonly referred to as an oil, technically this is a wax, because it’s made of long chain esters and not triglycerides. This liquid wax is pressed from the seeds of the Jojoba, an evergreen tree-like shrub, and mainly cultivated in northern Mexico and the southwestern US. It takes a jojoba shrub about four years before it begins producing seeds- and about 50% of the seed weight is just oil!

Jojoba oil is a mixture of fatty acids and fatty alcohols; it doesn’t contain any cholesterols or triglycerides. Jojoba contains many tocopherols, forms of Vitamin E, and is one of the more shelf-stable oils. It is the closest plant structure to mimic the sebum (oil) your skin naturally makes, and can help your skin regulate sebum production. Jojoba oil is nontoxic, anti-inflammatory, nonallergenic, noncomedogenic (doesn’t clog pores), and a humectant (a barrier for your skin to hold in moisture).


Olive oil– Perhaps one of the most well-known oils in the world, olive oil is fat pressed out of the fruit from the olive tree.  Even though legend says olive trees were a gift from the Greek gods, they actually originated from the Mediterranean Basin and are now grown throughout the world. Insane to believe, olive trees can live and produce fruit for hundreds of years! There are several famous landmarks across the Middle East and Mediterranean that are ancient olive trees. The  profile of olive oil varies a lot like sunflower oil in that the chemical composition is very dependent on the tree’s growing region and environment. Currently, Spain is a leader of olive production. Virgin olive oils have not been processed with any heat or chemicals, and have the highest levels of polyphenols, aka antioxidants. Olive oil mainly contains triglyceride esters, (aka fatty acids) like oleic, linoleic, linolenic, palmitic, and stearic acids.


Shea Butter- This butter comes from the seed kernels of the Shea tree. These trees are naturally found in the tropics of Africa and takes at least 10 years to begin producing fruit. The shea kernels are boiled to extract the fat, which separates to the top and cools into a thick butter. Shea butter is made of vitamins A, E, and F; triglycerides; cetyl esters; and fatty acids- stearic, oleic, linoleic, palmitic, arachidic. The  levels of stearic acid and oleic acid determine how hard or soft the butter is. Shea butter is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 


Sunflower oil- Helioanthus annus is the botanical name for a sunflower; it literally means flower of the sun. Sunflowers originated in the Americas and spread over to Europe from the early settlers. They now grow in many regions around the world, with Russia as one of the top producers. Sunflowers are one of the fastest and tallest growing plants; within six months and plenty of light, the sunflower can reach 12 feet! Then about 45 days after blooming the seed moisture is around 35% and ready for harvest. The seeds are removed with the shell and dried. They are then de-hulled, ground, and pressed for oil. The oil produced by the sunflower is mainly oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, and linoleic acid, which is a polyunsaturated fat. Because there has been so much genetic modification, the fatty acid proportions vary quite a bit from seed to seed. Tocopherols and phytosterols are also present in sunflower oil, which are beneficial to our skin and preserve the oil’s shelf life. However sunflower oil is very sensitive and does break down and oxidize faster from exposure to heat, air, and sunlight.


Vitamin E- Surprisingly, there are eight different forms of Vitamin E split into two groups- tocopherols and tocotrienols. However, there’s only one tocopherol that our bodies really use, which is alpha-tocopherol. Tocopherol is a fat-loving (lipophilic) antioxidant. Antioxidants fight off free radicals found in our bodies that cause trouble to our cells. It also holds neuroprotective and antitumoral properties.  Vitamin E can be found naturally in a variety of plants- nuts, spinach, grains, sunflower oil, palm oil, and olive oil. Tocopherol is used mainly as a preservative or skin-conditioner in cosmetics. Tocotrienol is used in oral care products, and also in cosmetics as a stabilizer and skin-conditioner.





This information has been carefully researched and compiled through these trustworthy sources.

National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, Britannica, The American Chemical Society