Topical Biochemistry for Healthy Looking Skin

Glossary of Ingredients

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A

ACETYL HEXAPEPTIDE – A peptide that limits the contraction of muscles to decrease the visible effects of lines and wrinkles.

ARCTOSTAPHYLOS UVA URSI (BEARBERRY) EXTRACT A natural skin lightener that reduces melanin production by inhibiting tyrosinase which is an enzyme that is responsible for the formation of pigment in the skin.  Lightens age spots and evens out dark skin areas.

ALCOHOL (SD ALCOHOL) – Quickly transports other ingredients into the skin and drives them deeper down. More gentle than ethyl alcohol, will kill bacteria, help dissolve oil and temporarily tighten pores.

ALGAE EXTRACT An antioxidant used as a water binding and thickening agent.  A rich source of sugars and amino acids.

ALLANTOIN – A botanical with soothing properties that heal and calm irritations, will moisturize and encourage cell turnover.

ALMOND OIL – A versatile oil for all skin types.  Naturally moisturizing, can relieve itching and inflammation.

ALOE (VERA) BARBADENSIS – From the Aloe Vera plant. Has the same pH as skin, noted for moisturizing and soothing properties and is an effective healing agent.

ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHAs) Water soluble natural plant extracts from fruit acids, plus milk or sugar.  Will exfoliate the upper layers of the epidermis, helps restore moisture and penetration of other ingredients.  Reported to stimulate collagen production, increase cell renewal and improve elasticity.  Increases sun sensitivity, therefore a sunscreen needs to be applied.

ALPHA LIPOIC ACID – An anti-oxidant that contributes to the skin’s smoothness and has anti-inflammatory properties. Can tighten the skin and strengthen connective tissue.

AMINO ACIDS – The building blocks of the proteins that make up collagen and elastin—substances that give the skin its structural support. Aging and a combination of external factors (including UV light and environmental toxins) reduce the level of amino acids in the body; creams containing amino acids may help restore them. Includes Alanine, Lysine, Proline, Tyrosine, Leucin and Valine

ANTIOXIDANT – A class of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that reduce free-radical damage to the skin. They act as free radical scavengers, neutralizing the free radical particles.

ANTHEMIS NOBILIS (CHAMOMILE) – Used for fragrance, skin conditioning, dry skin, acne, burns, dermatitis and inflammation.

ARNICA MONTANA – Has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It may accelerate the healing process, minimize bruising and prevent infection..

ASCORBYL PALMITATE – An effective free-radical scavenging antioxidant that is a fat soluble Vitamin C derivative.  Minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating the growth of fibroblasts that help produce collagen and elastin

AVENA SATIVA (OAT) KERNEL EXTRACT – An oat extract that is high in essential fatty acids and is an antioxidant that reduces damage caused by free radical.  Will help retain skin moisture with anti-irritant properties to sooth and calm the skin.
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B

BENZOYL PEROXIDE – An ingredient that kills bacteria but has very limited effect after several minutes.  It can be found in concentrations up to 10 percent in over-the-counter products. Can over dry the skin and has a bleaching action.  BiON does not use this ingredient.

BENZYL ALCOHOL – Preservative, viscosity increasing agent, increases thickness

BETAGLUCAN – A yeast derivative not natural to the skin, will initiate production of epidermal cell growth factor (ECGF) and transforming growth factor (TGF) to stimulate the formation of new feeder vessels, promote cellular proliferation and stimulate fibroblast cells to product elastin and collagen.

BETA HYDROXY ACIDS (BHAs) – An oil-soluble organic acid, specifically salicylic acid. Will exfoliate the upper layers of the epidermis, helps restore moisture and penetration of other ingredients.  Reported to improve wrinkling, roughness, and hyper pigmentation of photo damaged skin after at least 6 months of daily application. Increases sun sensitivity, therefore a sunscreen needs to be applied.

BETULA ALBA (BIRCH) EXTRACT An antioxidant with anti-inflammatory, skin soothing and astringent properties. Contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E.

BISABOLOL – From the chamomile plant, this anti-inflammatory extract helps heal and soothe the skin. It also has antibacterial properties.

BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER) – Extracted from the fruit of the Shea Tree, found only in Africa. Shea Butter is an antioxidant that penetrates into the skin and moisturizes with both hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties.  Is extremely high in Vitamins A, E and omega fatty acids and enhances cell regeneration and capillary circulation.
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C

CALCIUM – Regulates cell differentiation (and cell division) and controls the thickness of the epidermis through rapid or slow cell turnover.  Regulates normal skin color by stimulating melanocytes and regulates the lipid barrier processes.  Stimulates the production of antioxidants.

CAMELIA SINENSIS (GREEN TEA) EXTRACT – A potent anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging ingredient. Contains high levels of EGCG which acts as a sun protective ingredient which prevents the breakdown of collagen and reduces UV damage.  Can modulate the production and biological actions of androgens in the treatment of acne.

CANANGA ORORADA (YLANG YLANG) OIL – Has antibacterial and antiseptic properties and helps balance sebum production.

CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE – Slows loss of water from skin by forming a barrier.

CAPRYLYL GLYCINE – Skin conditioner, preservative.

CAPRYLYL GLYCOL – Skin conditioner, preservative.

CARBOMER – An emulsion stabilizer and thickening agent

CARTHAMUS TINCTORIUS (SAFFLOWER) OIL – Has a very high percentage of linoleic acid. It helps to moisturize, nourish and restructure the skin.

CENTELLIA ASIATICA (GOTU KOLA) EXTRACT –  An antioxidant that stimulates the production of type I and type III collagen, increases skin tensile strength, aids in healing, reduces swelling and puffiness. 

CETYL ALCOHOL – Emulsion stabilizer

CINNAMOMUM ZEYLANICUM (CINNAMON) EXTRACT – Has antibacterial, analgesic, antiseptic, antibiotic and astringent properties,   

CITRIC ACID – A alpha hydroxy acid found in citrus fruits used primarily as a preservative and to adjust acid/base balance.

CITRUS AURANTIFOLIA (LIME) OIL/EXTRACT – An antiseptic essential oil that also provides a natural fragrance and is a source of Vitamin C.

CITRUS DULCIS (ORANGE) EXTRACT – A fragrant floral extract excellent for use on sensitive, irritated skin and is a source of Vitamin C.

CITRUS GRANDIS (GRAPEFRUIT) EXTRACT – A fruit extract rich in flavonoids that inhibit Tyrosinase. Is a natural source of Vitamin C that inhibits melanogenesis.

CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) PEEL OIL/EXTRACT – A natural source of Vitamin C and antioxidant bioflavonoids. Protects the skin against damage from reactive ozone. Used as an anti-inflammatory.

CITRUS NOBILIS (MANDARIN ORANGE) PEEL OIL – Soothing, sedating oil that provides toning action to skin.

COCAMIDE DEA – A chemically modified form of coconut oil used as a foaming agent and enhances the performance of cleansing agents.

COCAMIDOPRPYL BETAINE – A gentle surfactant that cleanses the skin, leaves it soft and supple

COLLAGEN – A natural protein that makes up the majority of the skin and  gives the skin its firmness and strength. Will naturally break down over time but replacement slows with aging. Collagen applied to the skin will not be absorbed and has no lasting benefit.

CUCUMIS SATIVUS (CUCUMBER) – Anti-inflammatory with softening, astringent and refreshing actions that contains amino acids to strengthen the acid mantle.

CURCUMA LONGA (TURMERIC) ROOT EXTRACT – Derived from an East Indian herb, also known as curcumin. An antioxidant which helps prevent cell damage and helps reduce the aging of skin and development of the signs of skin aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.  Used for skin whitening, tumor suppression and anti-aging properties.

CYCLOMETHICONE – Used primarily as a carrying agent for other ingredients.  Is an anti-foaming agent.
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D

DIMETHICONE – A carrying agent that hydrates and protects the skin; often found in oil-free moisturizers.
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E

EGCG (EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE) – A very potent anti-oxidant polyphenol flavonoid isolated from green tea with anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor properties. Reduces sebum, inflammation and viability of P. acnes in acne.

ETHYLHEXYL GLYCERIN – A surfactant and natural preservative.

ETHYL METHOXYCINNAMATE – Absorbs, or scatters UV rays; it protects the skin from sunburn and other damaging effects of the sun. Also protects other ingredients from deterioration caused by UV rays and allows them to last longer in high UV conditions.
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F

FERULIC ACID – A plant-derived antioxidant that reduces sun damage and helps stabilize vitamins C and E in skin-care products.
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G

GINKO BILOBA (GINKO) EXTRACT – A rich source of catechins and tannins that provides antioxidant protection and stimulates blood flow and oxygen consumption in tissues.

GLYCERIN – A humectant and skin conditioner that increases water content in the top layers of the skin.

GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) OIL – An antioxidant rich in Vitamin E that protects the skin from free radicals and helps replenish lost moisture in the skin. Aids in wound healing, stimulates elastin and collagen synthesis and increases oxygen in tissues. BiON does not use genetically modified glycine soja.

GLYCOLIC ACID – An alpha hydroxy acid derived from sugarcane. An exfoliating agents used in lotions and chemical peels.  Can reduce the appearance of age spots, acne scars and irregular pigmentation.  For acne and folliculitis, can clear up blocked pores and prevent future breakouts by keeping pores from getting clogged again by dead skin cells.
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H

HAMMAMELIS VIRGINIANA (WITCH HAZEL) WATER – A plant extract with astringent properties.

HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) OIL – Is very high in antioxidants, particularly the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, retains moisture in the skin and contains the nutrients Palmitic acid, Stearic acid, Lecithin, Tocopherols, Carotenoids, Selenium, Proteins, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Omega-6 fatty acids.

HYALURONIC ACID (SODIUM HYALURONATE) – Found naturally in the skin, it increases the skin’s moisture content and prevents water loss. Has the ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water.

HYDROQUINONE – Available without a prescription in strengths up to 2 percent, it inhibits pigment production to lighten dark spots. Limited to no more than 6 months use because of harmful side effects and can darken the skin.  Banned in Japan, Europe, South Africa and Australia.  BiON does not use hydroquinone.
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J

JUGLANS REGIA (WALNUT) SEED  – From the Noix de Grenoble walnut, a rich source of bioflavonoids that scavenge free radicals, protecting the skin.
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L

LACTIC ACID – Made from fermented milk, an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates but is gentle enough for sensitive skin or rosacea. Can treat acne inflammation and blemishes and can reduce fine lines, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and age spots.

LAURETH-7 – Emulsifying agent.

LAURDIMONIUM HYDROXYPROPYL DECYLGLUCOSIDES CHLORIDE – A skin conditioning surfactant cleansing agent.

LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) EXTRACT – A natural analgesic effective in treating dermatitis and oily skin conditions. Exhibits both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

LECITHIN – A natural antioxidant that enhances appearance of dry skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness.
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M

MAGNEIUM ASCROBYL PHOSPHATE – A vitamin C derivative that is more stable than vitamin C and has comparable effectiveness increasing collagen synthesis.

MAGNESIUM SULFATE – Part of the hydrolyzed algin complex that maintains collagenase and elastase  at optimum activity to repair damaged skin tissue. Has been shown to be effective against the bacteria that cause acne.

MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA (TEA TREE) OIL – Used for its antiseptic, analgesic and anti-bacterial properties, also aids in healing and soothing the skin.

MONTMORILLONITE CLAY – A natural clay that contains over 70 trace minerals. Has natural antibiotic properties and the poultice action pulls infection from the skin.
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N

NIACINAMIDE – A form of niacin, vitamin B3, it strengthens the skin’s outer layers, improves elasticity, and reduces redness and irritation.  Helps regulate sebaceous gland secretions by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase enzyme activity while scavenging free radicals.
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O

OENOTHERA BIENNIS (EVENING PRIMROSE) OIL – An essential fatty acid oil, rich in Gamma Linoleic and Gamma Linolenic acids. Hydrating to skin, it helps restore the moisture and lipid balance.

ORIGANUM VULGARE (WILD MARJORAM) EXTRACT – Has antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.  Wild form is much more potent and contains antimicrobials thymol and carvacrol.

ORYZA SATIVA (RICE) BRAN OIL – The most nutrient-rich portion of Rice.  Contains Phytic Acid, that aids in gentle microfoliation of skin while controlling melanogenesis.

OXYNEX K – Stabilizer for light sensitive products.
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P

PALMITOYL OLIGOPEPTIDE – A synthetic peptide complex that acts as a cellular messenger to stimulate collagen and Hyaluronic Acid to increase skin elasticity and tone. Limits the contraction of muscles to decrease the visible effects of lines and wrinkles. 

PALMITOYL TETRAPEPTIDE-7 – A synthetic peptide complex that acts as a cellular messenger to stimulate collagen and Hyaluronic Acid to increase skin elasticity and tone. Limits the contraction of muscles to decrease the visible effects of lines and wrinkles.

PANAX GINSENG (GINSENG) EXTRACT – An all natural herb that is a potent antioxidant. Ginseng has been found in recent studies to help detoxify the skin and to help aid in the production of collagen thus reducing the signs of aging. Ginseng can help balance the oil gland production and can smooth fine lines and wrinkles in mature skin.

PANTHENOL – Vitamin B5 that moisturizes and strengthens the skin.

PCA – Also known as 2-Pyrrolidone-5-Carboxylic Acid, PCA is an excellent humectant and is naturally found in the skin.

PEG-120 METHYL GLUCOSE DIOLEATE – From natural Methylglucose and Oleic Acid. It is used  as a surfactant and emulsifier.

PELARGONIUM GRAVEOLENS (GERANIUM) FLOWER OIL – Used as an antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory.

PEPTIDES – Tiny protein fragments that promote collagen growth and help repair skin. Limits the contraction of muscles to decrease the visible effects of lines and wrinkles. 

PERSEA GRATISSIMA (AVACADO) OIL – Rich in vitamins A, D and E, Potassium, Sulfur and Chlorine. Rich and penetrating oil, excellent emollient.

PHENOXYETHANOL – Prevents microbial growth, preservative.

PHOSPHOLIPIDS – Phospholipids rebuild the skin’s barrier level and act as a reservoir for the prolonged delivery of  nutrients and moisture to the inner layer (dermis) of the skin. Phospholipids attract water from the surrounding air and hold water where an increased level of hydration is needed.

POLYSORBATE 20 – An emulsifier and stabilizer.

POMEGRANATE – An antioxidant that maintains moisture in the skin, protecting against UV damage that can lead to wrinkles and skin cancer.

POPULUS TREMULOIDES (ASPEN BARK)EXTRACT – A natural organic preservative.  

POTASSIUM SORBATE – Preservative derived from berries of the mountain ash tee.  Used as a mold and yeast inhibitor.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL – Common moisture-carrying vehicle.  Exhibits permeation and  humectant properties. Softens and moisturizes the skin.

PRUNUS ARMENIACA (APRICOT) KERNEL OIL – A Vitamin E rich emollient oil with skin softening properties.

PRUNUS DULCIS (SWEET ALMOND) OIL – Rich in nutrients such as Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6 and extremely rich in vitamin E.  Good moisturizer for all skin types, because it is easily absorbed. Helps to prevent moisture and water evaporating from the skin and contains antioxidants which help promote healthy skin.
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R

RETINYL PALMITATE – A derivative of vitamin A used in anti-aging products to stimulate the turnover of skin cells and increase collagen production. Fights signs of aging by speeding up exfoliation and repairing skin on a molecular level. Less irritating than retinol.

ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) EXTRACT – A natural antioxidant rich in micro-nutrients.  Has regenerating and rejuvenating activities and stimulates blood flow to effectively allow nutrients to reach the skin.
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S

SALICYLIC ACID – The most common beta hydroxy acid that exfoliates and dries the skin’s surface. It’s used in nonprescription cleansers, moisturizers, and treatments for acne-prone skin in concentrations of 0.5 to 2 percent but not allowed above 0.5% in Europe, Japan, and Canada. High concentrations are used for wart removal.

SALIX ALBA (WILLOW BARK) EXTRACT – An anti-inflammatory, astringent and exfoliant ingredient that is a natural source of BHA salicylic acid.

SCLEROTIUM GUM – A natural gum used as a thickening agent to form a gel base. Has skin smoothing and soothing properties.

SODIUM BENZOATE – Preservative

SODIUM LACTATE – A natural ingredient derived from lactic acid that helps the skin retain moisture by up to 84%. Also an antimicrobial agent and accelerates the action of Vitamin C in skin lightening products.

SODIUM LAUROYL OAT AMINO ACIDS – A mild, sulfate-free cleansing ingredient derived from natural amino acids and oats.

SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE – A surfactant cleansing or emulsifying agent that helps water mix with oils.

SODIUM METHYL COCOYL TAURATE – A surfactant cleansing agent.

SODIUM OLEFIN C14-16 SULFONATE – A surfactant cleansing agent derived from coconut.

SORBITOL – A sugar alcohol found in ripe berries, Seaweed and Algae. A humectant.

SOY RICE PEPTIDES – Dramatically reduces dark circles and puffiness, improves skin smoothness and texture, and improves microcirculation of the blood in the skin.  Consists of yeast enzyme, soy peptides and rice peptides.

SQUALANE – Obtained from Olive Oil. Used for its rich and emollient skin moisturizing qualities.

STEARIC ACID – A naturally occurring saturated fatty acid from the oil of coconuts. Stearic acid works as an emulsifier, but it’s also a moisturizing and cleansing agent.

STEARYL ALCOHOL – A fat that is an emulsion stabilizer.
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T

TETRASODIUM EDTA – Preservative and stabilizer. A chelating agent.

THYMUS VULGARIS (THYME) EXTRACT – A powerful antiseptic and anti- microbial agent.

TITANIUM DIOXIDE – A mineral in sunscreens that shields the skin from UVA and UVB rays.

TOCOPHEROL (VITAMIN E) – A moisturizing antioxidant that neutralizes free-radicals and prevents cellular damage from occurring. Protects the skin lipid barrier and the epidermis from UV damage.

TOTOROL – An antibacterial agent used as a preservative.

TRIETHANOLAMINE – Helps form emulsion and is used as a buffering agent, masking and fragrance ingredient and pH adjuster.

TRITICUM VULGARE (WHEAT) GERM EXTRACT – An antioxidant high in Vitamin E. Considered valuable in terms of delaying the signs of aging.
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V

VACCINIUM MRYTILLUS (BILBERRY) EXTRACT – An antioxidant that is both an astringent and anti-inflammatory.

VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED EXTRACT – A Pro anthocyanidin-rich extract from Grape seeds that has anti-enzyme and antioxidant properties.
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X

XANTHAN GUM – A binder, emulsion stabilizer and skin conditioner.
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Y

YEAST EXTRACT – Stimulates cell renewal and is a rich source of Beta-glucan, an immune system stimulant for skin.
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Z

ZINC GLUCONATE – Speeds wound healing and reduces scarring by helping the body in processing essential fatty acids used by the skin for healing.  Effective in inflammatory acne and is required for collagen production and elastin synthesis.

ZINC OXIDE – A mineral in sunscreen that prevents UVA and UVB light from entering skin and doing damage.

ZINC PYRITHIONE – An antibacterial, antiseborrheic and antifungal compound which helps reduce inflammation, erythema and pruritus.
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