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Ingredients Glossary

At Veracity, we believe in science over trends and in considering all the facts to decide what is personally right for you. Our Ingredients Glossary is designed to be your definitive guide to the ingredients used in beauty and skincare products — from those considered safe and effective to the potentially harmful endocrine disruptors that we recommend you avoid.

Skin Safe & Veracity Approved

From chemicals to plant extracts, there are many amazing and powerful ingredients that can help safely combat signs of hormonal imbalance and aging. Many of these ingredients power our formulas at Veracity, but regardless of the brand of your products, we hope this list will help you understand what you’re putting on your face beyond marketing terminology and hype.

  • 01

    Adaptogens

    Adaptogens are a category of ingredients that come from various plants and herbs like maca, ashwagandha, and mushrooms, and provide adaptive or customizable skin support by assisting with your body's natural defenses.

  • 02

    AHA

    Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is a skincare workhorse that offers different benefits depending on its concentration.

  • 03

    Aloe Vera

    Aloe vera is a succulent plant commonly used to soothe minor irritations and sunburns, but it also has useful applications in skincare.

  • 04

    Antioxidants

    Antioxidants are a wellness buzzword for a reason, especially when it comes to skincare.

  • 05

    Apple Extract

    Apple extract is derived from the fruit of the apple tree.

  • 06

    Arginine

    Arginine is an amino acid that interacts with skin like an antioxidant.

  • 07

    Ascorbyl Glucoside

    Ascorbyl glucoside is an amped up version of vitamin C.

  • 08

    Ascorbic Acid

    Ascorbic acid (or L-ascorbic acid) is the most common form of vitamin C, and it acts as a powerful antioxidant to fight pigmentation, maintain skin barrier function, and smooth skin.

  • 09

    Bakuchiol

    Bakuchiol is a natural plant extract that has proven to have the same powerful effects as retinol, but it is better for sensitive skin and safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

  • 10

    Barley Extract

    Barley is a plant-derived antioxidant that has an abundance of phenols and flavonoids.

  • 11

    Benzoic Acid

    Benzoic acid is a skincare preservative, and its main purpose in beauty products is to keep things fresh and fungus-free.

  • 12

    Benthi Plant Peptides

    Benthi plant peptides are a compound of a protein known as growth factor Beta-2 and they work to enhance the production of epidermal lipids through protein synthesis.

  • 13

    Birch Tree Water

    Birch tree water is the sap directly harvested from birch trees.

  • 14

    Bisabolol

    Bisabolol is a natural alcohol derived from chamomile, though it can also be made synthetically.

  • 15

    Bis(Tripeptide-1) Copper Acetate

    Bis(Tripeptide-1) Copper Acetate is a combination of copper and the amino acids glycine, histidine, and lysine.

  • 16

    Black Tea Ferment

    The product of fermenting black tea with Saccharomyces yeast and Xylinum bacteria, black tea ferment provides a “lipofilling” effect.

  • 17

    Caffeine

    Caffeine’s energy-boosting effects are well known, courtesy of our beloved morning beverages.

  • 18

    Ceramides

    Your skin naturally produces ceramides, a type of lipid (fat), but synthetic and plant-derived forms are also added to skincare products for their hydration boosting powers.

  • 19

    Cherimoya Extract

    Cherimoya, or custard apple, is a sweet, creamy-textured fruit that is also overflowing with vitamins and minerals beneficial for the skin.

  • 20

    Citric Acid

    As its name suggests, citric acid is an ingredient that comes from citrus fruit.

  • 21

    Coconut Alkanes

    Coconut alkanes are emollients used to smooth skin, lock in moisture, and provide a natural “photo-filtered” effect.

  • 22

    Coconut Water

    Rich in proteins, amino acids, and electrolytes, coconut water is not only good for you to drink, it’s also great for your skin.

  • 23

    Coenzyme Q10 (CO-Q10)

    Co-Q10 is an enzyme naturally produced in the body and found in every cell.

  • 24

    Collagen

    A fundamental building block of skin, collagen is responsible for keeping things looking supple, firm, and glowing.

  • 25

    Copper Lysinate

    Copper lysinate is an amino acid complex that diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen and elastin production in the skin.

  • 26

    Date Palm Seed Extract

    Date palm is an essential part of the diet in many Arabian countries, but its seeds have proven to also be a rich source of antioxidants and soothing ingredients.

  • 27

    Electrolytes

    Electrolytes - minerals including potassium, sodium, calcium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium - have a single-minded purpose: hydration.

  • 28

    Ferulic Acid

    Ferulic acid is a plant-derived antioxidant and popular skincare ingredient both for its anti-aging benefits and its ability to protect skin against environmental pollution.

  • 29

    Garland Lily Extract

    Garland lily extract is derived from the rhizomes of the butterfly ginger plant found in Madagascar.

  • 30

    Glucosyl Hesperidin

    Glucosyl hesperidin is a natural flavonoid found in citrus plants such as lemons and limes.

  • 31

    Gallic Acid

    Gallic acid is a synthetic molecule that acts like metabolites found in many plants including grape seeds, rose, sumac, oak, and witch hazel.

  • 32

    Glutathione

    Glutathione is a naturally occurring peptide antioxidant that acts as both an anti-aging and a skin brightening agent.

  • 33

    Glycerin

    Glycerin is a humectant, or a moisturizing agent, that is found in the cells of the body and that works to maintain a proper balance of hydration.

  • 34

    Glycolic Acid

    Glycolic acid is one of the better known alpha hydroxy acids.

  • 35

    Green Tea

    When applied topically, green tea (or “camellia sinesis”) offers some of the same benefits for skin that it does for the body when consumed orally.

  • 36

    Hyaluronic Acid

    Your body naturally produces hyaluronic acid, which is crucial to maintaining skin hydration and fighting moisture loss.

  • 37

    4D Hyaluronic Acid

    4D hyaluronic acid combines four molecules of different sizes to enhance the moisture delivery of traditional hyaluronic acid to every layer of the skin, and then strengthens the skin barrier to retain that moisture.

  • 38

    Kojic Acid

    Research has shown that kojic acid, a by-product of the sake manufacturing process, has significant brightening properties.

  • 39

    Lactic Acid

    Another form of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), lactic acid is used for its exfoliating and brightening properties.

  • 40

    Lemon Balm

    Lemon balm is a natural antioxidant that soothes the skin.

  • 41

    Licorice Root / Extract

    The Licorice root extract is not only a well-known anti-inflammatory, but also a sensitive skin soother that combats the signs of aging.

  • 42

    Melatonin

    Melatonin is a hormone your body naturally produces and is responsible for regulating your sleep cycle and counterbalancing the stress hormone cortisol.

  • 43

    Neurophroline

    Neurophroline, a plant extract derived from the seeds of wild indigo, is an active botanical that can block the production of cortisol at the surface of your skin by up to 70%.

  • 44

    Niacinamide

    A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide helps to tighten pores, decrease signs of aging, and repair damage.

  • 45

    Pentylene Glycol

    Pentylene glycol is a safe synthetic chemical that both increases moisture in the skin, and helps to keep skincare products stable.

  • 46

    Peptides

    Peptides are small parts of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins like keratin.

  • 47

    Phenoxyethanol

    Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used to prevent bacterial growth in your skincare products.

  • 48

    Poria Mushroom + Tall Reed Extracts

    The poria mushroom is a humble coconut-shaped fungus that grows underground while tall reeds are a type of perennial grasses found in wetlands and tropical regions worldwide.

  • 49

    Potassium Sorbate

    Potassium sorbate is a common preservative found in skincare products.

  • 50

    Pomegranate Pericarp Extract

    An extract from the pericarp (outer membrane) section of the pomegranate is known to be beneficial in aiding wound healing in acne-prone skin by protecting the skin’s outer layers.

  • 51

    Prickly Pear

    A staple in Mexican and Southwestern cuisines, prickly pear has gained popularity in the skincare world for its hydrating abilities and its rich stores of antioxidants and fatty acids that replenish and rejuvenate the skin.

  • 52

    Probiotics

    Probiotics are microorganisms - mainly bacteria, yeast, and fungi - that help fortify the skin’s barrier, maintain a healthy level of pH, and enhance skin hydration.

  • 53

    Propanediol

    Propanediol is a chemical emollient that’s mainly used to help your skin absorb the other ingredients in a product, though it is also a humectant that lends a big boost of moisture.

  • 54

    Pumpkin + Pomegranate Enzyme Complex

    When pumpkin and pomegranate undergo fermentation, a process that breaks down the sugar content in the fruit, the results are substances called pumpkin and pomegranate extracts.

  • 55

    Purple Superfood Complex

    Purple Superfood Complex is a proprietary Veracity compound that is a combination of potent antioxidants and probiotics.

  • 56

    Rambutan Peel Extract

    Rambutan peel extract is derived from the outer layers of the fruit of the rambutan, a plant native to Southeast Asia.

  • 57

    Red Algae Extract

    Red algae extract boosts skin moisture and provides an immediate moisturizing effect for 24 hours.

  • 58

    Resveratrol

    The same powerful antioxidant that’s found in red wine and dark chocolate, resveratrol acts as a protective barrier for the skin and helps to stave off damage caused by pollution, the sun, and other environmental factors.

  • 59

    Retinol

    Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that promotes cell turnover, fights acne, diminishes signs of aging, firms skin, and provides all the benefits of an antioxidant.

  • 60

    Sage Oil

    Sage oil is used to help control sebum, or the oily substance produced by skin glands.

  • 61

    Snow Mushroom

    The snow mushroom, a staple ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, has been demonstrated to hydrate the skin by holding up to 500 times its own weight in water.

  • 62

    Sodium Citrate

    Derived from citric acid, sodium citrate is mainly used to preserve skincare formulas and maintain pH balance.

  • 63

    Sodium Gluconate

    A form of gluconic acid, sodium gluconate works as a natural preservative in skincare products.

  • 64

    Sodium Hyaluronate

    Sometimes referred to as “mini HA,” sodium hyaluronate is found naturally in skin tissue and is a smaller molecular form of the hyaluronic acid you know and love.

  • 65

    Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer

    Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer is a vegan synthetic form of hyaluronic acid that has even greater hydration properties due to a modification that enables it to hang around the most outer layers of skin longer.

  • 66

    Sodium Hydroxide

    Sodium hydroxide, or lye, is a highly alkaline ingredient (non-acidic) used to maintain a balanced pH levels in skincare products.

  • 67

    Sodium Lactate

    Derived from lactic acid, sodium lactate is another agent used to regulate pH levels in skincare products.

  • 68

    Sodium PCA

    Sodium PCA (pyrrolidone carboxylic acid) is a humectant that pulls moisture from the air to hydrate the skin.

  • 69

    Squalane

    Squalane oil is a moisturizing agent that acts similarly to the oil produced by the skin; unlike your body’s natural oil, this ingredient is lighter and less greasy.

  • 70

    Sulfur

    Sulfur is an essential component in all living cells that can also commonly be found in rocks and minerals.

  • 71

    Super Hyaluronic Acid

    Hyaluronic acid “HA” may be a buzz word in hydration, but what’s less well known is that its variant, sodium acetylated hyaluronate, does all the same things but even more effectively.

  • 72

    Tea Tree Oil

    Derived from a small Australian tree, tea tree oil is a natural oil that has been used as a homeopathic remedy for coughs and skin healing for centuries.

  • 73

    Tocopherol

    Tocopherol, or Vitamin E, is an antioxidant that is naturally produced by the skin.

  • 74

    Turmeric

    Turmeric is one of the most versatile spices.

  • 75

    Vitamin A

    Vitamin A is a powerful skincare ingredient.

  • 76

    Vitamin C

    Vitamin C, deemed “The Holy Grail of Skin-Care Ingredients” by Allure, is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and help brighten and repair damaged skin.

  • 77

    Vitamin D

    As an antioxidant that the body produces naturally when exposed to sunlight, Vitamin D fights inflammation and rejuvenates skin, but it also helps ensure calcium absorption in the body.

  • 78

    Vitamin E

    Vitamin E, or tocopherol, is an antioxidant that is naturally produced by the skin.

  • 79

    White Lily Bulb Extract

    The extract from the bulb of the white lily flower is essentially “sleep for the skin.”

  • 80

    Willow Bark

    Derived from the willow tree, willow bark is a rich, natural form of salicylic acid that is also safe to use during pregnancy.

  • 81

    Zinc

    Zinc is an element that some believe might have properties to fight acne and its lingering effects on skin.