Botanical Me Glossary of Natural Ingredients
Acacia Senegal Gum (acacia senegal)
This gummy substance exudes from the small, deciduous Acacia Senegal tree, native to sub-Saharan Africa. A complex polysaccharides and protein mixture that is colorless, tasteless and soluble in cold water, this ingredient naturally holds moisture, making it a perfect addition to hydrating lotions and creams.
Almond Oil (prunus amygdalus dulcis)
Sweet Almond oil is an excellent emollient for softening and conditioning the skin. Well suited for eczema, psoriasis, and itchy, dry, and inflamed skin. Rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E. Sweet Almond oil is light and easily penetrates the skin. It hydrates the skin and restores elasticity.
Aloe Vera (aloe barbadensis)
Aloe vera juice/gel is taken from the inner leaves of the plant. It is a water/gel-like substance that is known for its ability to soothe irritated skin, especially sunburned skin. It is also a soothing anti-inflammatory that can be used in lotions, creams, cleansers and other products.
These substances prevent the formation of free radicals, which can cause the oxidative deterioration that causes premature aging of the skin. We include natural antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E in our products to help fight wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has been used for over 10,000 years as a preservative, cleaning agent, beauty agent and as medicine. It is created by fermenting the juice of apples. Apple cider vinegar is well known for many of its internal uses, but is also extremely therapeutic when used externally. It helps to maintain healthy skin and hair by restoring a healthy pH level. It soothes sunburn, cleanses and disinfects wounds, helps to heal bruises, helps with itchy scalp, dandruff and hair loss and soothes aches and pains. Used in bath water or in a clay facial or body wrap, it can help soothe itchy, irritated skin and help dissolve excess fatty deposits near the surface of the skin.
Apricot Kernel Oil (prunus armenica)
A triglyceride rich in vitamins A and E. Rapidly absorbs and helps skin retain elasticity, clarity, and suppleness. Recommended for mature, sensitive and inflamed, irritated or dry skin.
Argan Oil (argania spinosa)
Argan Oil is pressed from the fruits of a tree that is native to Morocco and known to live up to 200 years. It remains one of the rarest oils in the world. For centuries, Moroccans have used Argan Oil in skin care and within their nutritious diet. A very labor intensive process, performed primarily by Moroccan women, is required to shell and crush the fruits prior to pressing the oil. The oil is high in lipids including the omega-9 oleic acid and the omega-6 linoleic acid. Argan oil can be effective in treating dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, acne and sunburned skin.
Atlantic Sea Salt
Naturally sea salt harvested from the Atlantic Ocean. Used to help to draw toxins from the skin and exfoliate.
Avocado Oil (persea gratissima)
Avocado oil has been used in African skin treatments for centuries. This highly therapeutic oil is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B5 (Panthothenic Acid), vitamin D, E, minerals, protein, lecithin, and fatty acids. It is a useful, penetrating nutrient for dry skin and eczema. Avocado oil is said to have healing and regenerative qualities.
Baobab Oil, known as Mbuyu in Swahili, is derived from the seeds of the baobab tree, a tree that is native to Eastern and Southern Africa. Women have used this botanical for countless years to protect their skin and hair from harsh weather conditions. Baobab oil possesses a noteworthy array of vitamins including A, D and E. It contains up to 34% linoleic Acid, an Omega 6 essential fatty acid and up to 3% Alpha linolenic Acid, an Omega 3 essential fatty acid. It also contains a noteworthy amount of sterols and a high percentage of vitamins A and E. Boabab improves elasticity, encourages regeneration of skin cells and does not clog the pores. It is an excellent ingredient in formulations for eczema and psoriasis. Botanical Me Virgin Baobab Seed Oil is derived using 100% sustainable wild harvesting techniques.
Bergamot Essential Oil (citrus bergamia)
Cold pressed from the peels, this citrus oil has a lovely fresh, floral citrus aroma that is uplifting, rejuvenating, and balancing. It helps to alleviate fatigue due to stress. Bergamot Oil restores appetite, combats colic, strengthens the immune system, reduces fever and is generally calming. Because it is a photo-sensitizer, this oil should not be applied to the skin before going into the sun. Grown in Italy and also Ivory Coast.
Bladderwrack (fucus vesiculosis)
Brown seaweed harvested in cool ocean waters around the world. It is a source of potassium, iodine, vitamins A and D and some protein and various minerals and salts that cleanse and refresh skin.
Borage Seed Oil
Borage seed, commonly known as the starflower, is one of the richest sources of gamma linolenic acid, and contains important vitamins and minerals beneficial in regenerating new skin cells in damaged skin. An anti-inflammatory and very soothing, borage oil is excellent for mature or dry skin.
Calendula oil is used in skin care to treat burns, cuts, eczema, oily skin, inflammations, insect bites, rashes and wounds. Calendula’s carotene, saponins, and bitter principles make this oil an excellent anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and anti-bacterial agent with extraordinary skin healing properties.
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil)
Fractionated Coconut Oil contains only the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) of coconut oil, making it a fluid and very stable oil. It is produced through the hydrolysis of coconut oil and is then fractionated by steam distillation to isolate the MCTs. Fractionated Coconut Oil has indefinite shelf life and is a light, non-greasy, non-staining, liquid oil. Fractionated Coconut Oil is preferred in aromatherapy because the small molecular size helps carry therapeutic oils under the skin.
Carrot Seed Oil (daucus carota)
Carrot seed essential oil, daucus carota, has an earthy and woody aroma. Carrot seed essential oil is used primarily for its healing properties and effects on the skin. It stimulates circulation, repairs and tones the skin, increases elasticity, reduces the formation of wrinkles, and scars. Carrot seed oil is useful for balancing oily and dry skin, and caring for mature skin.
Not an “alcohol” such as ethyl or rubbing alcohol, this ingredient is actually an emulsifying wax made by combining fatty alcohols derived from vegetable sources. It is an emulsifier and an emollient. Cetearyl alcohol is not drying to the skin, and in fact, forms an occlusive film that helps keep skin’s moisture from evaporating. In hair care products, it gives hair a silky feeling.
This natural nonionic surfactant is derived from coconut and palm oils. It is a fatty alcohol, not an “alcohol” like ethyl or rubbing alcohol. Cetyl alcohol widely used as a softener, emulsifier and thickener in skin creams and lotions, as well in shampoos and conditioners.
Chamomile has a sweet, apple-like scent. It’s one of the primary essential oils used to calm, comfort and sedate a restless spirit and to help relieve irritated, inflamed skin conditions. It can promote relaxation and help reduce muscle tension. This extract also has anti-inflammatory, anti-itching, cleansing, conditioning, healing, and moisturizing properties. It is one of the few essential oils that can be used on inflamed skin. Grown in South Africa.
Cinnamon Oil (cinnamomum zeylanicum)
This warm and spicy essential oil is steam distilled from the bark of the tree. It has been used for thousands of years in the East for a variety of complaints including colds, flu, digestive and menstrual problems and rheumatism. Grown in Madagascar.
Cocoa Seed Butter (theobroma cacao)
This pure, crushed butter is obtained from the seeds of trees grown in Africa. Known for its hydrating effects and pleasing aroma, cocoa butter may help relieve stress and boost the immune system. It is rich in antioxidants and many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, which helps to soothe, hydrate and balance the skin. It also helps boost skin’s collagen production and may help prevent stretch marks.
Coconut Oil (cocos nucifera)
Botanical Me Organic Virgin coconut is pressed from fresh coconuts (not dried copra) and has not been deodorized. It retains the delicious aroma of fresh coconuts. Coconut oil is a very good carrier oil for dry, itchy, sensitive skin. It will not clog pores. It is light, non-greasy and absorbs readily into the skin.
This surfactant ingredient is produced by the reaction of glucose from cornstarch with the fatty alcohol decanol, which is derived from coconut oil. It is biodegradable, non-toxic, non-irritating and will not block pores. This extremely mild and effective non-ionic cleanser creates an excellent lather, rinses quickly and is biodegradable.
These oils are volatile, rapidly evaporating oils obtained from the leaves, stems, flowers, seeds or roots of a plant that usually carry the odor characteristic of the plant. Most essential oils are produced by steam distillation, although citrus oils are cold pressed. Essential oils add fragrance to skin care products, as well as contribute to their healthful and beautifying qualities through their various abilities to heal, tone, balance, relax, cleanse, invigorate and boost the immune system.
Clove Essential Oil (eugenia caryophyllus)
A warm, spicy, aromatic oil, steam distilled from the leaves, stem and buds of a slender evergreen tree, this potent oil can help to stimulate the mind, aid in digestion, relieve pain from arthritis and rheumatism and ease respiratory problems. Grown in Madagascar.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is an exceptionally nourishing oil for the skin because it is high in the essential fatty acid known as gamma-linolenic acid. The human body does not produce essential fatty acids such as pnoleic and pnolenic acids. It, therefore, is important to obtain these nutrients through diet and topical apppcation. Essential fatty acids inhibit bacterial growth and allow our systems to defend against infection and inflammation. Evening Primrose oil is recommended for dry skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.
Foraha Oil (callophyllum inophyllum)
Foraha Oil, also known as tamanu oil, is obtain by mechanically crushing the dried nuts of the tropical foraha tree. The oil is a rich, deep color, and it smells similar to butter pecan ice cream. Foraha oil soothes the skin, and it helps to relieve irritations including sun burn, inflammation and common rashes. Research shows that foraha oil is a strong anti-inflammatory. It is useful for the treatment of rheumatism, eczema and inflammatory skin conditions. Grown in Madagascar.
Frankincense Essential Oil (boswelia carteri)
An ancient oil that has been used for centuries for meditation and spiritual practices. Obtained from the sap-like resin of the tree, frankincense oil is woody, balsamic, and slightly spicy. Frankincense Oil helps center the mind and calm the spirit. It is a good expectorant, and it can help relieve asthma and other bronchial congestive problems. Grown in Ethiopia and Somalia.
Highly-reactive atoms or molecules that can cause cellular damage, impair the immune system and lead to degenerative diseases. They also are known contributors to premature aging of the skin.
Geranium Essential Oil (pelargonium graveolens)
This essential oil originated from South Africa, Madagascar, Egypt and Morocco. The leaves and stalks are used for extraction, and the oil is steam distilled. Geranium oil can be used to assist with stress, anxiety, eczema, burns, edema, cellulitis and circulation. Geranium oil helps balance the sebum production of the skin and, in turn, helps keep the skin supple.
Ginger Essential Oil (zingiber officinale)
Steam distilled from the root of the ginger plant. Has a peppery, sharp, pungent, aromatic, warm and spicy odor often with a hint of camphor or lemon. Inhaling the scent is said to be stimulating. Ginger is believed to help relieve nausea and motion sickness. Its heating action helps to relieve pain from arthritis, sore muscles, menstrual cramps and headache. Grown in Madagascar and Nigeria.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
A bioflavonoid-rich active phytochemical that exhibits broad spectrum, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Used as part of the preservative system in personal care products. The special extraction process uses grapefruit seeds and pulp to obtain the extract which contains about 15-20% natural ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).
Glycerin (vegetable, kosher)
Vegetable Glycerin is obtained by adding alkalis to fats and fixed oils. Glycerin is soothing, humectant which draws moisture from the air to the skin. Glycerin is an emollient, which makes the skin feel softer and smoother, reduce rough feeling, cracking and irritation. Glycerin is nontoxic, nonirritating and non-allergenic.
Green Coffee Oil (coffee arabica)
Pressed from unripe coffee beans, is rich in phytosterols that promote excellent moisture retention, quick penetration and good adherence within cosmetic applications. It is also exceptionally high in its composition of essential fatty acids.
Hemp Seed Oil (cannabis sativa)
Hemp Seed Oil has the lowest amount of saturated fatty acids and the highest amount of the polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acids) making it a key nutritive ingredient in anti-inflammatory skin care formulations. Said to aid in the healing of skin lesions, dry skin, inflammations of the skin and joints.
Jasmine Absolute (jasminum sambac or grandiflorum)
Jasmine oil has a beautiful, rich, floral aroma that is irresistible. Its aroma is soothing and calming and can bring about a restful state for those who are suffering from depression and nervous tension. It’s often used as an aphrodisiac. Jasmine is beneficial to the treatment of dry, irritated, sensitive skin. It can relieve headaches, ease muscle cramping, invigorates dry or aging skin, and aids in the healing of wounds.
Jojoba Oil (simmondsia chinensis)
Pronounced, “ho-ho-ba” is a cold pressed ester from the seeds of the desert shrub simmondsia chinensis. Jojoba Oil is actually not oil, but an array of wax esters. The structure of Jojoba Oil closely resembles that of your own skin’s sebum; therefore it has very good effects on the skin, acting as a moisturizer and emollient agent to improve skin elasticity and suppleness. Contains a natural anti-inflammatory called myristic acid.
Originating in India, this exotic skin care butter is rich in essential fatty acids, which aid in cell oxygenation and make nutrient more readily available for use by skin tissues. It supports skin elasticity and general flexibility of skin wall.
This mild surfactant and detergent is made from coconut oil and sugar. It is used in shampoos as a detergent and thickening agent.
Lavender (lavandula angustifolia or Cape lavender)
Lavender is a gentle oil with a soft, floral herbal scent. Known for its calming, relaxing & soothing effects, lavender is said to balance the central nervous system it is both a tonic and sedative. It can cure headaches and bring restful sleep. Lavender has a well-established tradition as a folk remedy. Suitable for all skin types, lavender’s fragrant, purple spike-like flowers heal and soothe various skin complaints such as acne, skin allergies, inflammation, sunburn, wounds, dermatitis, and eczema. Grown in the Cape Coast, South Africa.
Lemon Essential Oil (citrus limomum)
The scent of lemon oil is fresh and uplifting. Lemon oil possesses strong germicidal disinfectant, purifying, and astringent properties that make it useful for oily skin.
Mango Seed Butter (mangifera indica)
This exotic butter is extracted from the seeds of a tropical fruit tree. It has excellent moisturizing properties with high antioxidant content, and is believed to help protect against UV radiation. This ingredient has natural emollient properties, and is reputed to be useful for treating burns, stretch marks, scars and wounds. It can help with skin regeneration and may help smooth wrinkles and restore elasticity.
Manketti Oil (ricinodendron rautanenii)
Manketti trees grow throughout South Africa. The oil, also called Mongongo, is highly emollient and protects the skin from harsh winds and sun. The Kwangali people have traditionally used this oil as a rich, nutrient hair treatment oil.
Marula Kernel Oil (sclerocarya birrea)
Cold pressed from the nuts of a tree indigenous to Africa, this oil is rich in antioxidants, including vitamins A and E, as well as oleic acid. It has a high concentration of palmitic acid, which forms a protective coating on the skin’s surface. It absorbs quickly, hydrates the skin, helps to heal skin tissue, helps reduce redness, helps reduce trans-epidermal water loss and increases the smoothness of skin. It is also a good conditioner for hair. Grown in South Africa.
Meadowfoam Oil (limnanthes alba)
Oil is pressed from the seeds of Meadowfoam (limnanthes alba), a plant which received its name because of its resemblance while in bloom to the white foam blowing on the ocean. Meadowfoam is native to northern California, southern Oregon, Vancouver Island, and British Columbia. Meadowfoam contains over 98% long-chain fatty acids, and also has higher quality triglyceride levels when compared to other vegetable oils. In addition, it has three long chain fatty acids that were previously unknown before its discovery. It also has amazing moisturizing and rejuvenating capabilities.
Moringa Oil (moringa oleifera)
Derived from a tree grown in tropical and sub-tropical climates, the healing properties of this oil are well documented by ancient cultures. It is similar in composition to olive oil and is high in oleic acid, which helps restore skin’s moisture levels, protect against drying, and keep skin feeling soft and smooth. Moringa oil is light and spreads easily on the skin, making it good for use in massage and aromatherapy applications, as well as everyday skin creams, lotions, balms, scrubs and hair care formulas. Grown in South Africa.
Myrrh Essential Oil (commiphora myrrha)
Myrrh Oil has powerful antiseptic and astringent properties and is a good addition to formulations intended to help wound healing. Possesses a rich, earthy, woody and balsamic aroma. It helps clear mucus from the lungs and is useful for chronic bronchitis. It strengthens the immune system and has an overall beneficial effect on the digestive system. Grown in Ethiopia and Kenya.
Native to India, neem is one of the most powerful oils on the market. It is a natural antifungal, anti- bacterial as well as anti-protozoan. Neem Oil is used widely in India and Africa as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-parasitic agent in personal care products including moisturizers, pp care products, soaps, toothpastes and hair care products. It is used to treat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, ringworm, scabies, syphilitic sores, and chicken pox. Neem Oil can eliminate lice, repel bugs and control dandruff. In toothpaste, Neem Oil helps relieve swollen and bleeding gums and kills the bacteria that causes gingivitis.
Olive Oil, Extra Virgin
Called “liquid gold” by ancient Greeks, olive oil is a symbol of abundance, glory and peace. It is high in oleic acid and therefore is a good skin cell regenerator. Olive oil attracts external moisture to the skin and still allows normal functions of the skin to take place. It is useful when applied externally for rheumatic conditions and as a treatment for inflamed skin.
Palm Fruit Oil (elaeis guineensis)
Extra virgin Palm Fruit Oil is pressed from the ripened fruit of the palm tree. A rich source of antioxidants Vitamin E and carotenes.
Palm Kernel Oil (elaeis guineensis)
Palm kernel oil is pressed from the fruit kernels of the palm tree Elaeis guineensis.It is most commonly found in handmade soap to increase its lather and hardness.
Papaya Seed Oil (carica papaya)
Papaya Oil is rich in essential fatty acids. It penetrates and moisturizes the skin very effectively. Grown in Eastern Africa.
Perilla Seed Oil (perilla ocymoides)
Perilla Seed Oil is believed to suppress chronic inflammation and itchiness. It is high in Omega 3 fatty acids which have been known to exhibit antiseptic activity and may be effective against the bacteria responsible for acne.
Rose petals have been used for their skin softening properties and pleasant fragrance. They are said to have sedative, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Rose oil possesses antiseptic, anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial for treating dry, aging, wrinkled skin as it moisturizes, tones and rejuvenates skin cells.
Rosehip Oil (rosa mosqueta)
Rose hip seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, and natural anti-oxidant properties that help improve the elasticity of the skin, regenerate skin cells, slow down premature aging, and reduce the formation of wrinkles and scarring. Rose hips are incredibly rich in vitamins A, B, E, K, and especially C.
Rosemary Oil Extract
Rosemary oil extract is a natural anti-oxidant.
Sandalwood Essential Oil (santalum album)
Used for over 4,000 years as a perfume and temple incense, this essential oil has a sweet, buttery, woody aroma that is very sensual. It is uplifting and relaxing and is effective for balancing all types of skin. It has an astringent effect on oily skin and helps soothe irritated skin.
Sesame Seed Oil (sesamum indicum)
Expeller pressed from the seeds of a plant found in tropical regions of Asia, Africa and South America, this heavy oil is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B and E, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It has many of the same emollient properties as olive oil, as well as other nut and vegetable oils. This oil helps to maintain integrity of skin tissue while restructuring and moisturizing the skin.
Shea Butter (butyrospermum parkii)
Shea Butter is the fat from the nuts of shea trees that grow wild throughout the wooded savannas of West and Central Africa. Botanical Me shea nuts are sustainably and organically grown by women’s collectives in Togo, West Africa. Shea Butter has been used for centuries in Africa as a decongestant, an anti-inflammatory for sprains and arthritis, healing salve. It is naturally rich in vitamins A, E, and F, as well as a number of other vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids and has been found to help to protect skin against climate and UV aggressions, prevent wrinkle formation, soothe irritated and chapped skin, and moisturize the epidermis. Shea Butter also enhances cell regeneration and capillary circulation, which helps prevent and minimize stretch marks, inflammations, and scarring. At Botanical Me, we use only raw and unrefined shea butter, making our products far superior to other shea products on the market. Most other cosmetics use refined shea butter that has been extracted by solvents, bleached and deodorized-a process that depletes the therapeutic and nutrient capacity of the shea.
Naturally derived from soybeans, this waxy solid substance is an emulsifier and thickener for lotions and creams.
Tocopherol (vitamin E)
We use only the natural form of vitamin E. It is an effective antioxidant, protecting cellular structures against damage from free radicals and the by-products of fat peroxidation. It acts as a free radical scavenger to prevent the by-products of chemical-cell interaction that causes cell damage. Its moisturizing and restorative qualities make it an important component of many skin care products including anti-aging creams and lotions, UV protectant products, moisturizers, burn treatments and belly creams to prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Vanilla Essential Oil (vanilla planifolia)
Derived by maceration from the beans of the only orchid that produces edible fruit, this extract is a source of polyphenols, which exhibit antioxidant activity and serve as anti-inflammatory agents. Its warm scent promotes self-confidence, sensuality, calm emotions and promote relaxation.
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is derived from citrus fruit. It is anti-oxidant and natural preservative.
Watermelon Seed Oil (citrullus vulgaris)
Watermelon Seed Oil is also known as Ootanga Oil and Kalahari Oil. Watermelon Oil does not clog pores or prevent the body from naturally eliminating toxins through the skin. It helps the pores dissolve sebum. It is non-greasy yet highly moisturizing. Rich in Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids and Omega 9 Fatty Acids . The rich composition of essential fatty acids contained in Watermelon Seed Oil helps to restore elasticity to the skin. Grown in Africa.
Wheat Germ Oil (triticum vulgare)
Made from the heart of common wheat grains, this oil is high in lecithin, fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E. Because of its high vitamin E content, it has excellent antioxidant properties.
This polysaccharide, or sugar polymer, is a natural thickener derived from corn sugar by a fermentation process. It is a common food additive and is also used to thicken and add volume to lotions, creams and gels. It also works as a suspension agent.
Yangu Oil (calodendrum capense)
Yangu Oil, otherwise known as Cape Chestnut Oil, is extracted from the seed of a beautiful African forest tree. When the fruits ripen, the pods burst and release tiny black seeds from which the oil is pressed. Yangu Oil is used in cosmetics due to its inherent ultra violet protection and it’s high content of essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (cananga odorata)
Steam distilled from the tropical flower. It is said to calm anger, release tension, lift depression and stabilize mood swings, as well as act as an aphrodisiac. This ingredient can also promote wound healing. It can help balance sebum production and is most helpful to oily skin. It also is believed to fight the bacteria that often contribute to acne and can be used in a facial toner to balance oily skin.