Glossary of terms for Ingredients
This is an effort to help you better understand some of the more obscure or unfamiliar raw materials used in natural soap and salve products. Our goal is to sell what is safe and wholesome. In addition, we are always looking for new and better ingredients and products. Most raw materials used for these types of products require some degree of processing. Some of that processing is as simple as filtering. Other processes are not quite as simple. That's why some of the names sound so complex.
Siam Benzoin Absolute - A balsamic resin from a tree in southeast Asia (Styrax Benzoin). It has a delightful aromatic fragrance that is used in flavorings and fragrances. The tincture is also used medically as an antiseptic that helps bandages stick. We use it as both a preservative and fragrance.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocoamphodiacetate, Decyl Polyglucose, Cocobetaine - These processed ingredients are commonly called soaps, but are more accurately (or scientifically) called detergents or surfactants. There is a more complex form of chemistry and processing involved in processing detergents than there is in processing soap. These materials that we use are processed from coconut oil, corn, and sugar and have been proven to be safe and biodegradable. Although not true “soaps”, they mimic the behavior of soap by altering the surface tension of water, in effect making water “wetter”, and thus causing a greater cleaning effect. For more information on SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), look for the article in the Ingredients section of our website entitled “From the Soapbox”.
SD-Alcohol 40-2 - The initials sd stand for specially denatured. The numbers 40-2 are what designate this alcohol formula with the federal government. Denatured alcohol is altered to make it unpleasant if ingested. Effective in fighting underarm odor. Safe for use on the skin, but can sensitize certain types of skin.
Farnesol - An constituent of many essential oils (for instance, its found in sandalwood oil) with proven anti-microbial activity.
Glyceryl Stearate and Glyceryl Stearate Citrate - Sugar based emulsifiers that keep oil and water complexes bound together. It forms light and stable creams and lotions. Also used in Europe as an emulsifier in foods.
Xanthan Gum - A plant derived gum that both thickens and emulsifies. Used in foods to thicken jellies and sauces, as well as in skincare products to help thicken and strengthen emulsions.
Saponified Oils - Oils that have been changed into soap by the addition of water and an alkaline solution. Our saponified oils are vegetable oils, such as olive, palm, coconut and castor.
Capryloyl Glycine - A complex of amino acid protein and fractionated vegetable oil that helps kill microbes, and protects skin from water loss.
d- Alpha Tocopherly Acetate - The edible form of natural vitamin E found in higher quality dietary supplements and skincare products. Most skincare products use synthetic vitamin e (dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate) as cosmetic labeling laws dont require the distinction of whether the synthetic or natural version is used.
Cetyl Alcohol - An emulsifier and consistency agent processed from coconut, that also works as an emollient for the skin. This form of alcohol is whats scientifically known as a fatty alcohol and is in no way similar to the generally known forms of volatile alcohols (such as rubbing alcohol or grain alcohol). It isnt a liquid, but is solid in nature and looks like wax.
Polyquaternium-10 - A seaweed starch that has been processed to change the electrical charge of the molecule. Used in shampoos and conditioners, it allows hair to be combed easily without static build up.
Peg-120 Methyl Glucose Trioleate - A processed raw material derived from glycerin that acts as a moisturizer, thickener, and mild cleanser.
Castile Soap a term for soap that has become synonomus for natural, high quality soap. The Castile region of Spain was known for this type soap, and many say it was due to the abundance of Olive Oil used that made it so good. Olives were plentiful in that region of Spain. Our castile soap is made today with an abundance of olive oil. If your interest is for a liquid soap that is minimally processed, this is that kind of product that is still made the old fashioned way from scratch. Unlike other liquid castile soaps, ours is thick, rich and wont dry your skin.