The Science Bit Explained

The Science Bit Explained


It’s reported that approximately 60% of substances applied to our skin are absorbed in to it. On average women apply over 200 chemicals to their skin every day by a using a regular skin care routine. It only takes around five seconds for any chemicals contained in the skincare to be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. Anything absorbed through the skin, can be up to ten times the concentration of an equivalent oral dose, which would ordinarily be filtered by our liver and enzymes in the stomach. Skincare ingredients can become complicated so we have put together ‘The Science Bit Explained’ to give you an insight into the ingredients we put on our skin.


ALS is otherwise known as Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate and much like SLS which is known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Both of these ingredients are chemicals known as surfactants (surface-active agents). These chemicals are typically found in shampoos, shower gels, bubble baths, washing detergent and in industrial products such as carpet cleaners and degreasers,  basically ALS / SLS are very effective additives to anything that is expected to foam up. Because of their de-greasing ability, they also remove natural oils from the skin and can cause dryness, irritation and allow environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin.

Argan Oil (Argania Spinosa)

Argan Oil is believed to be the rarest oil in the world and has a number of health benefits. It is derived from the kernels of the fruit from the ancient Argania Spinosa tree. The tree itself is one of the rarest species of trees in the world and is only found in its natural habitat in Southern Morocco. Research has shown that Argan Oil has one of the highest known contents of Vitamin E in the natural world, which protects the skin against free radicals linked to aging of the skin as well as decreasing inflammation, scarring and the appearance of stretch marks. Argan Oil is high in Omega 3, 6 and 9, 6. Omega 6 plays a vital role in helping prevent moisture loss, which aids the prevention  of fine lines and wrinkles.

Avocado Oil (Persea Gratissima) or (Persea Americana)

Avocado is very high in sterolins (plant steroids), which are believed to reduce age spots, help heal sun damage, reduce the appearance of scars and helps to relieve the dryness and itching of psoriasis and eczema. The oil that helps to soften the skin and has a superior moisturizing effect. It is an ideal ingredient for people with dehydrated or damaged skin and assists in the regeneration and rejuvenation of the skin. Avocado oil is easily absorbed into deep tissue, and with its excellent emollient properties, makes it ideal for mature skins. Avocado Oil can be found in our Emma’s Soap range

Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis)

The Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) plant grows naturally in dry desert areas and the leaf juice that is extracted contains hundreds of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Used externally in skin care, it is effective for the treatment of skin irritation, burns, sunburn, eczema, psoriasis, acne, dermatitis, ulcers and to stimulate cell regeneration, which makes it particularly excellent for its anti-aging properties. There are around 200 different Aloe Vera plants with it’s use said to to date back to the ancient egyptian times and Cleopatra herself apparently used  it as part of her beauty regime.


The body contains its own natural supply of antioxidants which are compounds that exist to fight (oxidise) harmful free radicals. Antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Vitamin C are used in skincare to fight the effects of Free Radical damage. Vitamin C is a key ingredient in promoting the production of collagen, which is a protein that assists the growth of cells, blood vessels and is also effective at promoting skin repair and reducing scar tissue.  Vitamin E  protects the skin against free radicals linked to aging of the skin as well as decreasing inflammation, scarring and the appearance of stretch marks.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Ascorbic acid is a naturally occurring organic  compound also known as Vitamin C and is a key ingredient in promoting the production of collagen, which is a protein that assists the growth of cells, blood vessels and boosts collagen production which firms the skin. Vitamin C is also effective at promoting skin repair and reducing scar tissue. It is an extremely powerful antioxidant which is known to reduce free radicals that are responsible for fine lines and wrinkles.

Baobab (Adansonia Digitata)

Baobab oil is extracted from the seeds of the ancient Baobab Tree which grows in warm dry climates such as Madagascar, Africa and Australia with some trees reported to be as old as five thousand years. The oil is easily absorbed into the skin leaving no residue, it is extremely moisturising and soothing with emollient properties. The oil is rich in Vitamins A, D, E and F.  Vitamins A and F are also polyunsaturated fatty acids which assist skin rejuvenation. Vitamin E is an extremely powerful antioxidant to help fight signs of aging. Because the oil is also rich in Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 it is excellent for those with damaged skin and for treating conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Cocoa Butter (Theobroma Cacao)

Cocoa butter also known as Theobroma Oil is extracted from whole Cacoa (Ca-cow) seeds. The seeds are first fermented then dried and roasted then pressed to extract a vegetable fat called cocoa butter.  What remains of the solid is the used to create cocoa powder which is used in chocolate. Cocoa Butter is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids which help fight the signs of ageing and hydrates the skin. Cocoa butter is also known to help the reduction of stretch marks and assist skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema due to its nourishing properties.


An aromatic essential oil with a refreshing, revitalising and decongestant scent, this invigorating tonic has a zingy, uplifting effect. Eucalyptus is used in Aromatherapy to relieve muscle aches.

Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are acids that are produced when fats are broken down. They are classed as good fats and they used for energy by most types of cells.  Fatty acids can be either monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, or saturated fats. There are also different types of fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are commonly heard of and are classed as Essential Fatty Acids. Fatty Acids can assist with the appearance of ageing and help to keep skin healthy.

Free Radicals

There are many free radicals that exist within the body, they are basically oxygen molecules which are formed when food is oxidised to create energy.  Free radicals are harmful to the body and skin and cause premature aging among other skin complaints. Everyday exposure to sun rays, cigarette smoke, pollution, cleaning agents, alcohol and metabolic processes, such as breaking down fat for energy, all increase Free Radicals. Free radicals can be neutralised with antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Vitamin C. But the body also contains its own natural supply of these antioxidants which also fight the effects of Free Radical damage.


Deeply hydrating and replenishing, Glycerine is a pure natural vegetable moisturiser. 

Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia)

Lavender Oil has a very versatile use. It can be used to treat most type of burns, including sunburn and rheumatism, muscular pains, cold sores, insect bites and head lice. It has a pain relieving effect on the skin but it is the antiseptic properties which make it effective for use on wounds and burns. It is mainly used for its antiseptic and anti-dandruff properties but can also be effective at helping skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. It has good antioxidant properties, which are effective at combating the signs aging. Lavender essential oil is probably one of the most popular essential oils due to its versatile and safe use. It has a soothing and calming effect on the nerves, relieving tension, depression, panic and nervousness and is effective for headaches, migraines and insomnia too.

Lemon (Ascorbic Acid)

Lemon juice is a citric acid and very rich in Vitamin C which acts as a powerful antioxidant known to reduce free radicals that are responsible for fine lines and wrinkles and boosts collagen production. Lemon is effective at promoting skin repair, reducing scar tissue and acne.

Linoleic acid

Linoleic Acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid which is found in many vegetable oils. It is an Omega 6 fatty acid which is great for moisture retention and is effective for its anti-inflammatory properties, which are good for acne reduction.  Research has also shown that Linoleic Acid helps to maintain healthy cell rejuvenation and may help with the treatment of atopic eczema.

Marula Oil (Sclerocarya Birrea)

Marula has an extremely high concentration of vitamin C, which stimulates the production of collagen in your skin. Collagen is the protein responsible for making your skin smooth and supple to give a youthful appearance. Not only the fruit pulp, which has a citrusy scent, but also the seed are both rich in other minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and Oleic Acid, essential ingredients for the maintenance of healthy skin. Marula is a skin conditioner used to soften, soothe and rehydrate the skin and fight free radicals. The history of the Marula goes back thousands of years. The wonderful marula fruit has been a source of nutrition as long ago as 10,000 years B.C.  In Africa, the marula is so precious, that if the seed kernel of the marula tree is given as a gift, it signifies the mark of a great friendship.

May Chang (Litsea Cubeba)

May Chang or (Litsea Cubeba) is a shrub that is native to southern china, indonesia and other regions in Southeast Asia. The essential oil is extracted from its fruit which is of better quality but can be extracted from the leaves also. May Chang is known for its uplifting, rejuvenating and antibacterial properties. It is said to reduce negative emotions, promote relaxation, mental wellbeing and aid restful sleep.

Manuka Oil (Leptospermum scoperium)

Manuka Oil is extracted from the Leptospermum scoperium plant (commonly called the Manuka Myrtle). The plant is native to New Zealand and has been used by the native Maori people for centuries to treat many health conditions. Manuka oil has been shown to have significant antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and research has shown it to be beneficial to a number of problem skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, pimples and blemishes. In addition the oil is used widely in aromatherapy as its sweet aroma can also have a calming affect on the mind and relieve stress and anxiety.

Neem Oil

Neem is a very powerful antiseptic and antibacterial plant, which makes it an excellent natural ingredient for those who have excess skin oils.  


Ecocert are a certification body for the standard of natural and organic cosmetics and for a product to be certified as ‘Organic’ Ecocert impose strict standards as follows; “A minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming”

Oleic Acid

Oleic Acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid which occurs naturally in many plants, nuts and seeds. Its rich content of the essential fatty acid Omega 9 enhances its ability to penetrate the outer layers of the skin which results in a more intense and longer lasting moisturisation.

Omega 6

Omega 6 is known as an “Essential Fatty Acid”. It plays a vital role in helping prevent moisture loss which aids the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles.

Petroleum or Petrolatum

Petroleum and Petrolatum or petroleum jelly are all the same. Derived from crude oil it goes go through the distillation process and is filtered in order to produce the clear odorless semi-solid liquid mix of hydrocarbons. This is frequently used in many skincare and cosmetic products as it acts as a barrier to repel water and lock in moisture. Although it has been used for many years, there is much debate among researchers and scientists surrounding it’s safe use in beauty products.


Used in traditional medicine for its highly astringent and invigorating properties, Quassia extract helps to draw excess sebum from the skin and minimise the appearance of visible pores.

Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii)

Shea Butter is extracted from the nuts of the Shea tree, grown in the Savannah of Western Africa. The tree grows up to 60 feet tall and does not flower before it is 20 years old and can live up to 200 years. Shea butter protects the skin from the sun and dehydration, it stimulates Collagen production making the skin stronger, more supple and younger. Shea is deeply moisturising and has excellent anti-inflammatory properties which can aid the repair of scars, improve acne.


Packed with health benefiting vitamins A, C, B6, antioxidants Spearmint helps to relieves stress and fatigue.

Sweet Almond

A lightly hydrating, non-greasy and readily absorbed oil, sweet Almond is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and E, vital for cell repair.

Sweet Orange

Cold pressed, Sweet Orange essence has an uplifting scent containing vitamins A, B and C which feed dry, irritated and acne-prone skin, helping to heal blemishes and improve skin tone. 

Tea Tree

A highly powerful antiseptic tonic for skin to cool inflammation, cleanse, and encourage healing, with a zesty, revitalising scent.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and is a key ingredient in promoting the production of collagen, which is a protein that assists the growth of cells, blood vessels and boosts collagen production which firms the skin. Vitamin C is also effective at promoting skin repair and reducing scar tissue. Vitamin C is an extremely powerful antioxidant which is known to reduce free radicals that are responsible for fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

Vitamin E has many important functions. One of the most important is functions is the protection of the skin against harmful free radicals which it does by maintaining cell structure and protecting cell membranes. Vitamin E is excellent in reducing the signs of ageing as well as decreasing inflammation, scarring and the appearance of stretch marks.

Wild Mint

Cooling, stimulating and refreshing, this aromatic essential oil helps to purify and cleanse skin. Naturally astringent, Mint is rich in salicylic acid which helps to cleanse deep inside pores to reduce and relieve congestion. 

Witch Hazel

Widely known for its medicinal properties and for its heavily scented flowers, Witch hazel’s astringent properties, antioxidant and bioflavonoids content help to clarify skin. Traditionally, Witch hazel is used on the body to bathe varicose veins and soothe irritant skin rashes.