A to Z ingredient glossary

helping you better understand our values of green chemistry, in a simple and transparent way


b.box body ingredient glossary

acacia senegal gum

scientific name: senegalia senegal. 

origins: this plant-based ingredient has a long history of being used in Ancient Greece to relieve discomfort of blisters and burns. Egyptians used it in the mummification process to stick the bandage wrappings!

why we use it: acacia senegal gum acts as a stabilising agent to preserve our formulations and is commonly known as an emollient with anti-inflammatory properties that help skin to lock in moisture.

aloe vera

scientific name: aloe barbadensis

origins: extracted from the wholesome leaves of the aloe plant, known as ‘the plant of immortality’, aloe vera was popular in ancient times for its healing properties. Egyptian queens commonly used it as part of their regular beauty rituals, and Ancient Greeks to treat soldier’s wounds.

why we use it: calming properties of aloe vera are commonly known to nourish, protect and help heal inflamed or irritated skin for optimal rejuvenation.

benzyl alcohol

scientific name: benzene methanol, phenylcarbinol

origins: naturally existing for thousands of years in many plants, fruits (such as apples, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, peaches) and in teas.

why we use it: as a preservative in our formulations, due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.

bergamot oil

scientific name: citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil

origins: derived from the Italian city of Bergamo where bergamot oil was first sold and where to this day, it is still produced.

why we use it: ideal for toning and cleansing the skin and commonly known as a gentle antiseptic, bergamot oil may help to soothe skin irritations, and even out skin tone.


scientific name: calendula officinalis flower extract

origins: used by doctors in the 1800’s as a poultice, to stop bleeding and promote the healing of wounds.

why we use it: this herbal ingredient is known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial moisturising properties that promote skin tightness and wound healing.

caprylyl glycol

scientific name: 1,2-octanediol

origins: derived from caprylic acid, a fatty acid found in coconut oil.

why we use it: as a formulation preservative, and effective moisturiser that helps skin to stay hydrated.


scientific name: polyacrylic acid

origins: derived from a species of algae.

why we use it: as a formulation thickening agent and to help ingredients combine well together, and for its suitability for all skin types.


scientific name: cedrus atlantica bark oil

origins: distilled from the wood of a cedar tree, cedarwood oil was commonly used by ancient cultures as a herbal remedy for coughs, or other illnesses.

why we use it: cedarwood essential oil is commonly known to help soothe irritated, inflamed skin, calm down redness, itchiness, and dryness.

cetyl alcohol

scientific name: hexadecan-1-ol, Palmityl alcohol

origins: an organic compound and fatty alcohol.

why we use it: to soften and reduce rough, flaky skin and to help protect the skin from allergens, bacteria and moisture loss.

cetearyl alcohol

scientific name: cetostearyl alcohol, cetylstearyl alcohol

origins: a waxy mixture found in coconut oil.

why we use it: to prevent formulations from separating or splitting, also known to help soften the skin.

citric acid

scientific name: tricarboxylic acid

origins: an organic compound found naturally in citrus fruits.

why we use it: known to help treat skin irritations, clogged pores and dark spots.

coconut oil

scientific name: caprylic/capric triglyceride

origins: over 4000 years old, from its origins in Ayurvedic medicine in India, to the island communities in the Pacific regions - the healing and health properties of coconut oil cannot be underestimated.

why we use it: highly moisturising for dry skin, suitable for all skin types. known to reduce inflammation and promote healing with its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.


scientific name: alkyl polyglycosides (apb)

origins: biodegradable and plant-derived from sugars and fatty alcohol, commonly derived from coconut.

why we use it: known to help lift dirt and oils from the skin, to allow them to be cleansed away.

dehydroacetic acid

scientific name: geogard 111a

origins: an organic compound derived from natural sources, such as vinegar.

why we use it: to preserve our formulations and because it acts as an antibacterial agent when combined with benzyl alcohol.

geranium oil

origins: derived by steam, from a plant species native to South Africa, Egypt, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar. geranium oil is one of the most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy.

why we use it: commonly known to help reduce skin breakout, irritation and infection.


scientific name: glycerol

origins: a source of plant fat.

why we use it: for its moisturising properties to help hydration and combat skin oiliness and impurities caused by skin irritation.

glyceryl caprylate

scientific name: octanoic acid

origins: a plant-based emulsifier commonly derived from coconut oil.

why we use it: for its moisturising properties to help with the natural absorption of oils into the skin, combat skin oiliness and balance the skin’s pH.

green tea

scientific name: camellia sinensis leaf extract

origins: originated in China, back in 2737BC, when the Chinese emperor accidently drank water with a dead tea leaf boiled inside! he found the flavour so refreshing, that a new green tea beverage was born.

why we use it: for its anti-inflammatory properties that are known to help reduce skin irritation, skin redness, and swelling.

iron oxide

scientific name: ferric oxide

origins: iron oxide are mineral colourants that may be found all over the earth in shades of red, orange, yellow, brown, and green

why we use it: a colourant, gives our soothe soap-free soak a beautiful pink colour. It is also resistant to moisture, so helps the body to retain its natural oils.

jojoba seed oil

scientific name: simmondsia chinensis seed oil

origins: known to have originated in the 18th century, when Native Americans pressed the seeds of the desert shrub, jojoba, and ground them into a salve to medicate the skin, and condition the hair. intererstingly, its chemical composition is known to closely resemble sebum found in human skin.

why we use it: for its many therapeutic properties in cleansing and conditioning skin and hair, whilst helping to prevent fungal infections. plus it is easily absorbed and suitable for all skin types.

Kakadu plum

scientific name: terminalia ferdinandiana fruit extract

origins: Kakadu plum is an Australian native bush food. for thousands of years, Kakadu plum has been consumed by the Indigenous population as a traditional medicine for treatment of skin infections, colds, and flu’s.

why we use it: as a nourishing skin care ingredient with a rich source of vitamin c that can help to revive, repair, and rejuvenate irritated or damaged skin.

kaolin clay

scientific name: white clay

origins: sourced from natural mineral deposits. contains the minerals: copper, selenium, manganese, magnesium, and zinc!

why we use it: known to be highly purifying and gentle, may help to exfoliate impurities without drying out the skin allowing creams and oils to be easily absorbed. also helps manage inflammation and is commonly safe for all skin types.

lactic acid

scientific name: milk acid

origins: derived from milk or other vegan sources. discovered by a Swedish chemist 1780, by isolating the acid from fermented milk and purifying it.

why we use it: helps to effectively cleanse, hydrate, and exfoliate the skin, with minimal irritation for almost all skin types and conditions.

lavender oil

scientific name: lavandula angustifolia

origins: an essential oil over 2,500 years old, originating in the Mediterranean when the Romans used lavender to scent their baths, beds, clothes, and hair.

why we use it: for its commonly known anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with dry skin conditions. and for its calming scent.

levulinic acid

scientific name: 4-oxopentanoic acid

origins: derived from corn.

why we use it: helps to preserve our formulations and prevent microbial build-up.

mandarin peel oil

scientific name: citrus nobilis

origins: the popularity of mandarin peel oil dates back as early as 12th century BC in China. From there, it was introduced to Malta, Sicily and finally to Italy, where it is commonly known to still grow and thrive to this day in the Mediterranean.

why we use it: may help reduce signs of damaged skin and the scent is commonly known to leave us feeling uplifted, and relaxed.

myristyl myristate

scientific name: tetradecanoic acid

origins: myristyl mristate may be derived from nutmeg, coconut oil and butterfat.

why we use it: helps to keep skin moisturised and hydrated, without causing irritation. it also gives more body & spreadability to our lotions.

orange peel oil

scientific name: citrus aurantium dulcis

origins: used for centuries as a symbol of good fortune throughout India, China, and the Mediterranean.

why we use it: oranges are commonly known as a rich source of vitamin c with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. fresh fruity scent is known to be a natural mood lifter and stress reliever.

p-anisic acid

scientific name: draconic acid

origins: naturally found in anise, a flowering plant in the family apiaceae, native to Eurasia.

why we use it: for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, to protect formulations against mould and other nasties.


scientific name: glycol ether

origins: naturally found in chicory and green tea, also can be synthetically re-created.

why we use it: to keep our formulations safe from bacteria.

polysorbate 60

scientific name: polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate

origins: a sugar alcohol that can naturally be found in some fruits. commonly used to dissolve essential oils into formulations with a water base.

why we use it: helps to bind ingredients and support the consistency of our formulations.

potassium sorbate

scientific name: sorbus aucuparia

origins: a natural preservative developed from sorbic acid. commonly found in the vibrant berries of the rowan tree – a type of mountain ash.

why we use it: as a mild preservative to protect the quality of our formulations.

Roman chamomile

scientific name: anthemis nobilis flower oil

origins: produced by the steam distillation of the Anthemis Nobilis flower. Roman chamomile was historically commonly used in medicines, beverages, and incense.

why we use it: for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, to help calm inflamed skin and ease dry skin conditions.

saccharide isomerate

scientific name: pentavitin

origins: a plant-derived carbohydrate complex that functions as a water-binding agent.

why we use it: this ingredient may not only boost your skin’s hydration but has been commonly shown to deliver long-lasting hydrating and smoothing effects to the skin.

shea butter

scientific name: butyrospermum parkii

origins: derived from the seeds of the African Shea tree. Dates back to ancient Egypt, Queen Cleopatra kept jars of pure, raw shea butter on hand due to its deeply moisturising and hydrating properties!

why we use it: packed with natural vitamins and antioxidants, shea butter soothes and repairs dry, cracked skin, and is known to improve numerous skin conditions such as blemishes and stretch marks.

sodium benzoate

scientific name: e211, benzoate of soda

origins: commonly found in cranberries, prunes, plums, cinnamon, ripe cloves, tomatoes, berries, and apples; and used as a preservative.

why we use it: to preserve the quality of our formulations.

sodium chloride

scientific name: salt

origins: one of the most abundant minerals on earth, commonly found in seawater and in underground rock formations, and an essential nutrient for animal and plant health.

why we use it: to help bind our natural ingredients together, thicken the texture of our formulations and provide long-lasting stability.

sodium lactate

scientific name: lactic acid sodium salt

origins: sodium lactate is derived from the sodium salt of lactic acid, produced by fermentation of natural sugar sources, such as corn or beets.

why we use it: combined with other ingredients to create thicker, creamier textures in our formulations that support greater skin hydration.

starch hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride

scientific name: starch hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride

origins: a plant-based ingredient derived of guar gum (cluster beans).

why we use it: to enhance the cleansing and conditioning properties in our formulations.

sunflower seed oil

scientific name: helianthus annuus seed oil

origins: first harvested by native Americans, the seeds of the Sunflower were seen as an important part of the diet, with the oil of the seeds being squeezed to make bread. by the 1500’s, it was imported to Europe, whereby the 1800’s, its medicinal and culinary uses became known.  

why we use it: sunflower oil is known to contain significant quantities of vitamin e, with benefits including reducing inflammation and replenishing the skin’s barrier.

vitamin e

scientific name: tocopherol

origins: found in plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies.

why we use it: to assist with skin hydration and provide a natural smooth, glowing finish.


scientific name: h20

origins: since the dawn of time, water is commonly known to keep the body hydrated, refreshed, and cleansed

why we use it: unlike heavy oil or petroleum-based products in skin care, it is lighter in texture and better absorbed by the skin making it feel cleaner and fresher, maintaining skin elasticity.

xanthan gum

scientific name: xanthomonas campestris

origins: naturally derived, non-toxic thickener made from corn, wheat, or soy.

why we use it: to lock in water and help maintain hydration levels, so formulations spread smoothly and evenly on the skin.

ylang ylang

scientific name: cananga odorata flower oil

origins: native to the islands of the South Pacific, and happiest in rainforest conditions, ylang ylang trees are known to produce deeply fragrant yellow blossoms that mysteriously only bloom at night!

why we use it: for its many wholesome skin benefits: to soothe, tone, and balance the skin. and for its calming and uplifting properties.

zinc oxide

scientific name: ZnO

origins: derived from a mineral called zincite, a centuries-old ingredient that was used as an ointment for eyes and open wounds.

why we use it: as a skin astringent, with antibacterial properties to help provide relief for skin inflammation.