What's That? The Official IA Dictionary

IA Dictionary

The world of organic skincare is filled with weird jargon and words that often need some explaining. Here’s a few terms that we use and what they mean.

Anti-bacterial - Products like witch hazel have anti-bacterial effects which means they help inhibit the growth of bacteria on your skin. This is great for battling impurities and toxins.

Antiseptic - Ingredients with antiseptic properties means it is effective at battling germs as well as pollution among other yucky stuff that ends up on your skin.

Apothecary - The true meaning of an apothecary relates back to a druggist or pharmacy that dispenses medicine. We don’t do any of that (and don’t claim to either) but we do love the old timey feel that harkens back to when approaches to skincare and health were simpler. It’s why we chose it as part of our namesake.

Base Oil - These oils are derived from seeds (Sunflower), nuts (Argan), Beans (Soy) and even from vegetables and fruit. Commonly referred to as “carrier oils” as well. These types of oils are always the base of a formula since they can carry essential oils, herbs and spices. These oils are produced from gently pressing and then straining them from their original state.

Essential Oil - These oils are often steam distilled from plant parts such as the leaves, flowers, root or rind. They can also be expeller-pressed or cold-pressed. These oils are highly concentrated and should never be applied to the skin directly. Always dilute them in a base oil if you plan on experimenting with them on your own.

Expeller-Pressed - This term defines how an oil was created. Expeller-pressed is a mechanical press that then strains debris to create an oil. This is an important step because it means the oil hasn’t been exposed to chemical extractions or any synthetic procedures.

Hydrosol - It’s a fancy word for “flower water”. These are created as a by-produce of the steam distillation process.

Paraben - This is the most widely used preservative in the skincare and cosmetic industry. We don't use it in any of our products, simply because we're not sure how harmful it is to our bodies. And neither does the FDA. Since the jury is still out on this one, we've chosen not to use any in our products. 

Sebum - The fatty secretion of the sebaceous glands, also known as your fat glands. If you ever hear this word, we're probably referring to glands on your face or body.

Steam Distilled - The most common way for an essential oil to be extracted. The process uses steam that’s injected into a sill in order to extract oils from most oils, with the exception of citrus ones.

Sulfate - This is another one that has us miffed. So we don't use it. A sulfate is essentially a compound that you'll see in lots of shampoos or perhaps cleaning agents, because they're great at wiping away dirt and oils. Since we like oils around here, you'll never see us use them. But real talk: always consult the FDA as a reference if you've got concerns about an ingredient like this. 

We explain the ingredients in our formulas on all our product pages, but if you ever have any questions about what goes into our products, let us clear things up for you. You can contact us here and we'll be glad to help.