Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ingredients Series

I'm thinking of writing a series of posts about individual ingredients I like to use. For those of you who are nerdy and like to read ahead, here are some things we might cover:

Mica -- A sheet silicate mineral that easily sheers to uniform particle, and makes up the bulk of most mineral eyeshadows.
Titanium Dioxide -- A metal oxide that whitens and adds opacity. UVA/UVB protective.
Iron Oxides -- There are many, ranging from yellow to red to black. Rust, basically.
Chromium Oxide -- A green metal oxide. Not lip safe.
Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate and Calcium Sodium Borosilicate -- Glass-like particles act as natural glitter with less gritty feel.
Zinc Oxide -- A white metal oxide, not as opaque as titanium dioxide. UVA/UVB protective.
Tin Oxide -- Blue-black or red metal oxide.
Copper -- Reddish orange metal, makes intensely metallic pigments.
Ultramarines -- Blue mineralized limestone. Not lip safe.
Silica -- The mineral that forms sand, quartz, and glass. It is light-diffusing and oil-absorbing, and much less dense than mica or most other minerals used in cosmetics.
Talc -- A soft and low-density mineral which is a large component of soapstone. It is commonly used as a bulking agent in eyeshadows, but I use it only in body powder.

Cocoa Butter -- Vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. Smells like chocolate (the expensive kind). Possibly my favorite ingredient.
Shea Butter -- Vegetable fat extracted from African Shea nuts.
Jojoba Oil -- Liquid wax extracted from Jojoba seeds native to Southwest US/northern Mexico.
Apricot Kernel Oil -- Vegetable fat extracted from Apricot kernels.
Coffee Butter -- Vegetable fat extracted from roasted coffee beans, blended with hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Macadamia Oil -- Vegetable fat extracted from Macadamia nuts native to Australia.
Mango Seed Butter -- Vegetable fat extracted from Mango seeds.
Argan Oil -- Vegetable fat extracted from the Argan tree which grows only in Morocco. High in squalene, vitamin E, and other good stuff.
Grapeseed Oil -- Vegetable fat extracted from grape seeds of many varieties. An excellent moisturizer.
Candelilla Wax -- Wax extracted from leaves of the Candelilla shrub native to Southwest US/northern Mexico. Harder than beeswax and used in smaller quantities to solidify softer oils and waxes.
Vitamin E -- Lipid-soluble antioxidant derived from a variety of plants such as corn, soybean, wheat germ, sunflower, etc.
Olive Squalane -- A hydrogenated, stabilized version of squalene, a hydrocarbon derived from olives. Squalane/squalene can also come from shark liver. A component of human sebum.
Soy Lecithin -- A phosopholipid with surfuctant properties, derived from soybeans, used to emulsify and lubricate. Lecithin is also in egg yolks and contributes to emulsions such as mayonnaise.
Sugar -- Crystalized sucrose extracted from Sugarcane.
Fractionated Coconut Oil (Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride) -- A highly stable fraction of whole coconut oil composed of 8 and 10 Carbon triglycerides.
Maple Syrup -- Syrup condensed from the sap of Maple trees of many varieties.
Lavender essential oil -- A flower in the mint family frequently used in herbal remedies and aromatherapy for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and calming fragrance.
Tangerine essential oil -- I love the bright and cheery citrus fragrance of tangerine, which smells sweeter than Sweet Orange.
Peppermint essential oil -- I'm surprised to learn that peppermint is a hybrid of wintermint and spearmint, and that it aids memory!
Vanilla essential oil -- Widespread flavoring and a base note in many perfumes, vanilla adds a creamy and intoxicating aroma.