Learn About Our Ingredients

At Apothecare Co. we believe you should know what’s in the products you use. We strive to be 100% transparent about what’s in our products, as well as explain why we choose the ingredients we do. You will probably be familiar with a lot of our ingredients, but in case you’re curious we’ve put together a glossary to explain each and every one.

We also believe that learning is a lifelong journey, and skincare formulation is no exception! We are always striving to improve our formulas based on new and exciting ingredients. So, your product may include an ingredient that is yet to make it into our glossary. If you ever have questions regarding a product or its ingredients, please contact us for more information.

To use the glossary, you can scroll through each section or click a letter to go directly to ingredients starting with that letter.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 


Almond Oil
Almond Oil is a natural oil derived from pressed almonds. It’s an excellent emollient and moisturizer known to help relieve and soothe dry, flaky skin. Almond Oil is easily absorbed and won’t clog pores, promoting clear, soft, healthy skin.  This natural skin-nourishing oil is ideal for the entire body.

Arrowroot Powder
Arrowroot powder is a natural powdered root starch, similar to corn starch, that is derived from the tropical South American plant Maranta arundinacea. The plant was given the name “Arrowroot” because it was once used to treat those injured with wounds from poisoned arrows. It has long been used as a topical treatment to promote the healing of cuts/scars and is a great, natural potassium and calcium supplement. It’s also great at absorbing odors and can help to eliminate toxins.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
Ascorbic Acid, commonly known as Vitamin C, is an organic compound. Widely used in cosmetics, Vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection, shielding skin from damaging free radicals that promote premature aging.


Baking Soda
See Sodium Bicarbonate

Beeswax is a natural wax produced by individual honey bees. It is widely used in the cosmetics industry as an emulsifier, emollient and thickener, giving products a rich texture. When used in products, beeswax forms a protective barrier between your skin and the environment.


Camelina Oil
Camelina oil is golden-colored natural oil that comes from seeds of Camelina Sativa, commonly known as false flax. It is a very nourishing plant oil with natural vitamin E that helps keep the skin elastic, moisturized & protected. It’s also known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Castille Soap
Believed to have originated from a region in Spain historically called Castile, castile soap is a vegetable soap traditionally made from 100% pure olive oil, water, and lye. It is a vegan product because it does not include the addition of animal fats, like tallow, as some other soaps do. Castile soap also does not contain harsh synthetic detergents and doesn’t add any skin-irritating artificial colorants, fragrances, or preservatives. So, it’s a great soap for those with sensitive skin.

Citric Acid
This natural alpha hydroxy acid, derived from various citrus fruits, is used in cosmetics to adjust the pH level to prevent personal care formulas from becoming too alkaline. It also acts as a mild acidic preservative and gentle exfoliant for skin.

Coconut Oil
This edible oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts. When applied to the skin, coconut oil has an emollient property and is very good at hydrating skin.

Colloidal Oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal is simply oats ground into an extremely fine powder. It has an anti-itch property that helps reduce the “need to itch,” and is often used as a moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations. It works great for soothing rashes and irritations from poison ivy, bug bites, chicken pox, eczema, and other skin conditions.


Dead Sea Mud
Dead Sea Mud is the black mud harvested from the banks of the Dead Sea. It is actually an alluvial silt washed down from the surrounding mountains and deposited on the shores of the Sea. This mud is unique due to its high concentrations of 20+ salts and minerals—particularly magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium. Dead Sea mud can offer many topical skin benefits, including detoxification, natural exfoliation, restoration of your skin’s pH, improved elasticity and minimization of pores, wrinkles and lines.


Emulsifying Wax
This type of agent is used to assist in the production of an emulsion. Emulsifiers enable oils to be dispersed throughout a water base to form a cream or lotion that does not separate. At Apothecare Co., we use a vegetable-derived wax sourced from naturally occurring fats and esters.

Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is not actually salt, but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Long known as a natural remedy for a sore muscles, epsom salts are easily absorbed through the skin, making them great for skincare. Some skincare uses include flushing toxins, exfoliating dead skin, removing black heads, cleansing skin and treating acne.

Essential Oils
Essential oils are natural oils produced from distilling the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant. They have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment and in health care practices.


Germaben II
Germaben II is a clear, viscous liquid used to inhibit microbial, yeast and mold growth in cosmetic and beauty products. It contains propylene glycol, propylparabenmethylparaben, and diazolidinyl ureaPropylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin conditioning agent. Propylparaben is used as a preservative for its anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, and it occurs as a natural substance found in many plants and some insects. Methylparaben is a non-irritating agent used to prevent fungal growth (fun fact: in nature, it’s actually an insect pheromone). Diazolidinyl urea is a very effective antimicrobial preservative. Urea is an organic, waste compound produced by the body after metabolizing protein. At Apothecare Co., we use this ingredient in amounts less than 1% in order to keep your skincare free of dangerous microorganisms.

This sweet-tasting, clear, syrupy liquid is made by combining water and fats derived from vegetable oil. Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin, and is used in moisturizers due to its water binding properties.

Grapeseed Oil
This light, odorless oil with mild astringent and emollient properties is pressed from the seeds of grapes. It contains a high level of natural linoleic acid, which is known to help maintain skin’s healthy appearance—including fighting acne and aging all while adding moisture to your skin.


Saccharin is the oldest artificial sweetener, originally discovered in as an accidental bi-product of coal tar derivative research at John Hopkins University in 1879. It’s non-nutritive and is used to add sweetness to beverages and foods, as well as to skincare products like lip balm. At Apothecare Co. we occasionally use small amounts of a liquid form of cosmetic grade saccharin that is safe for lip-based products.

Shea Butter
Shea butter is the fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It is rich in natural, skin-nourishing vitamins A, E and F, as well as high levels of fatty acids, which are known to work wonders for moisture-deprived skin.

Sodium Bicarbonate
Sodium Bicarbonate, commonly called baking soda, is a chemical salt that occurs in its natural form as the mineral nahcolite. It is used by the human body to regulate pH as a counterbalance to acid build up, keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. This makes it great at fighting odors.

Stearic Acid
Is a saturated fatty acid naturally derived from soybeans. This waxy solid substance is the main ingredient used in making bar soaps to harden and opacify them. It also acts an emulsifier and thickener for lotions and creams.

Sugar (Raw)
Raw sugar, also known as turbinado sugar, is the residue left after sugarcane has been processed to remove molasses and refine the sugar crystals. Sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin. Sugar is also a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that penetrates the skin and breaks down the “glue” that bonds skin cells, encouraging cell turnover and generating fresher, younger-looking skin. Sugar also makes an excellent natural exfoliant.


Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is a yellowish colored essential oil that is made from the leaves of the plant Melaleuca alternifolia (a member of the myrtle tree family, native to Australia). It has a long history of being used as an antiseptic for skin conditions and is valued for its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. This makes it particularly good for clarifying skin.

Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
Tocopherols are a family of vitamin E compounds naturally found in vegetable oils, nuts, fish and leafy green vegetables.


Vitamin C
See Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin E
See Tocopherols


Xanthan Gum
Xanthan Gum is a plant-based, sugar-like compound used as a thickening and stabilizing agent. While commonly used in foods, in cosmetic applications xanthan gum is used as a binder, emulsion stabilizer, emulsifying surfactant, as well as an aqueous viscosity increasing agent because of its capability to hold water.


Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide is a powdered mineral made from zinc that has been oxidized. It is a safe and effective sunscreen that sits on top of the skin, scattering and reflecting UVA and UVB rays. At Apothecare Co., we use uncoated non-nano zinc oxide as the only active ingredient in all our sunscreens. This is the same kind of zinc oxide used in calamine lotions and diaper rash creams.


Apothecare Co. is a line of artisan botanical skincare handmade in St. Louis. We aim to create high-quality natural products specifically formulated for those with skin sensitivities.

© 2017 Apothecare Co. All rights reserved.