Discover the naturally-derived ingredients and non-toxic-to-skin alternatives infused into our formulas.
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What Is Anogeissus?
Commonly known in Africa as "Siigga" or "soul", Anogeissus has long been used in traditional African medicine as a natural healer. It's a powerful skincare ingredient that helps boost skin's natural production of fibrillin to minimize the look of lines and wrinkles.
What Is BHT?
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)—which is not to be confused with BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid)—is a synthetic ingredient that’s a proven anti-oxidant. As such, it helps protect ingredients or the product from oxidation that may be caused by reactions with oxygen in the air and helps contribute to the overall stability of the product. We use BHT at levels that are recognized as safe.
What Is Caffeine from Coffee Beans?
The invigorating effects of coffee are well known. Countless tales have been told of the legendary Ethiopian goat shepherd who discovered his goats jumping with energy after eating the caffeine-rich red berries of the coffee tree. In skincare, caffeine from coffee helps energize tired skin to make it look more awake and refreshed.
What Is EDTA?
EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is a synthetic stabilizing ingredient that helps to chelate or bind free metal ions that, left unbound, may disrupt the integrity of an ingredient or product over time. EDTA is safe for skin and based on the latest scientific evidence, EDTA is not considered harmful to the environment by regulatory bodies.
Known as the “King of Mushrooms”, Chaga Mushroom has a long history of use as a folk remedy to promote longevity and general good health. We ferment Chaga and finely filter it to create an ingredient with 28% more anti-irritant power.*
*In an in-vitro study vs. unfermented Chaga
What Is Ginseng?
Described prominently in ancient Chinese texts as a powerful herb, Panax Ginseng has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its health-boosting properties. A potent skincare ingredient, it helps increase skin's natural energy for a more revitalized appearance.
What Is Holy Basil and Lady’s Thistle Complex?
Known as Tulsi in Ayurveda tradition, this prized herb is known for its natural de-stressing effects. Lady’s Thistle is a hardy flower with sharp prickles that protect it from predators and external aggressors. Together these are beneficial skincare ingredients that possess potent skin-soothing properties.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid—aka HA or Sodium Hyaluronate—is a naturally occurring substance within our skin that has great moisture-absorbing properties. It even has different ranges of molecular weights (more on that later).
How Does Hyaluronic Acid
Work In Skin?
Meet the ingredient that helps give skin hydrated bounce. Hyaluronic Acid acts like a sponge to draw moisture to skin; helps replenish its moisture reserves; helps to retain water and keep skin hydrated; and helps visibly plump fine, dry lines. Remember the molecular weights? Here’s what we know: low molecular weight HA triggers skin to produce more of this moisture-binding substance while high molecular weight HA has been shown to help hold water to skin’s surface.
What Is Kathon CG™
(Methyl-Chloro-Isothiazolinone and Methyl-Isothiazolinone)?
Kathon CG™ is a very effective synthetic preservative. It can be used to preserve a cosmetic formula or a raw material. Because it has the potential to cause allergic reactions, in some countries its use is limited but is considered acceptable and safe at low concentrations in rinse-off product such as cleansers.
At ELC we are no longer adding Kathon CG™ as a preservative to new formulas nor using raw materials containing this preservative into our new formulas. However some of our existing products may still contain raw materials preserved with Kathon CG™ so it may still be present at low levels in a few of our rinse off products and is identified as Methyl-Chloro-Isothiazolinone and Methyl-Isothiazolinone on ingredient label.
What Is Niacinamide?
Also known as Vitamin B3, this lab-born ingredient is a major multi-tasker. For context: it works to support skin’s barrier while it also helps to brighten dull-looking skin.
How Does Niacinamide Work In Skin?
Let the multi-tasking begin. Niacinamide not only locks in moisture to support skin’s barrier, it also works to bring dull-looking skin back to life (read: brightens and revives). Combined with our plant science and high-performing formulas, you get a multi-tasking essential for noticeably healthier-looking skin.
What Is PEG (Polyethylene Glycol)?
PEGs are a broad class of synthetic ingredients with many different uses. PEGs can be used in cosmetics as humectants (attract moisture to skin), emulsifiers, thickeners, solvents, or softeners. While there are no current regulatory limits on PEGs, they are in the spotlight due to the potential presence of 1,4 dioxane which can be created during the manufacturing of the raw material.1,4 dioxane is restricted above certain levels.
Origins closely monitors the purity of the PEGs we use to ensure any presence of 1,4 dioxane complies with recommended maximum trace levels of 10 parts per million (ppm or 0.001%) in finished cosmetic products.
What Is Phenoxyethanol?
Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative that's used to help prevent microorganisms from growing in cosmetic formulas. At Origins, we use an amount of Phenoxyethanol that is recognized as safe—less than 1%—as needed to maintain product integrity as you use it; we do not over-preserve. We also continuously work to identify additional preservatives that are safe and effective for you and the planet. It's part of our ongoing commitment to your well-being.
Known as the “Mushroom of Immortality”, Reishi is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help improve overall health and promote longevity. It possesses powerful skin-soothing properties and helps calm visible irritation and boost skin's resilience.
What is Retinol?
This potent form of Vitamin A is a skin-transforming powerhouse and the gold-standard of anti-aging ingredients.
How does Retinol work in skin?
There’s a reason retinol is considered the gold standard in anti-aging and, quite frankly, a skincare staple. Here’s why: it helps promote skin’s natural cell turnover process. It also aids in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and—for those who aren’t so-concerned with aging—helps delivers smoother, more even-toned skin.
What Is Salicylic Acid?
This beta-hydroxy acid helps to exfoliate skin and target acne—and with an oil-soluble structure, it penetrates into skin’s surface to help unclog pores.
How does Salicylic Acid work in skin?
Meet the key to getting skin in the clear. Salicylic Acid helps target acne including blackheads and whiteheads, helps visibly reduce these blemishes and penetrates skin’s surface to help purify pores. It even helps prevent new blemishes from forming and as a great exfoliator, resurfaces skin’s texture to soften skin and kick dullness to the curb.
What Is Silicone?
Silicones are synthetic ingredients that are used in cosmetics for their conditioning benefits/unique sensorial properties, and include Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Amodimethicone and Cyclomethicone. To identify silicones when looking at ingredient lists, simply look for words that end in –cone, –conol, –silane or –siloxane. At Origins, we use silicones, including Dimethicone, in select formulas to help condition skin and enhance how products feel on your skin. Silicones, like all ingredients we use, have been evaluated for safety. We do not use any silicones that are restricted by regulation, like D4. We continue to explore and use alternative ingredients that will allow us to provide you with the same wonderful benefits with better biodegradability.
SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) & SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate are very popular cleansing agents responsible for the foaming character in products. They belong to the class of ingredients known as surfactants but not all surfactants are sulfates. We use sulfates (SLS and SLES) to make facial cleansers, shampoos, and body washes.
While there is no strong scientific evidence that these sulfate-based surfactants are harmful or more irritating to the skin than non-sulfate-based surfactants they are in the spotlight because of the perception that these sulfates can be harsh on skin or hair.