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C

calamine

This pink powder, made of zinc oxide with a small amount of ferric oxide (an inorganic salt), is used in lotions, ointments and liniments. It’s a traditional mixture that is soothing and healing to the skin, especially for itchy rashes such as poison ivy. Though calamine is natural, some formulas contain phenol, which may cause phenol poisoning when applied to the skin. A mixture of natural calamine with aloe vera is a good skin treatment for burns, rashes and insect bites.

calcium

Various forms of this mineral, which makes up 3.6% of the earth’s crust, are used as "whiteners" and in toothpastes as a polishing agent. Recently, calcium supplements have been recognized as preventive nutrition for osteoporosis, and women have been advised to get 1000—1500 mg daily. Check the label of calcium supplements for the salt content; sodium compounds of calcium are often used because they’re less expensive (one-fifth to one-sixth the price).

calcium acetate

This calcium salt of acetic acid is a synthetic chemical that’s used in cosmetics as an ernulsWer and thickener. It can cause allergic reactions.

calcium alginate

This nontoxic calcium salt of alginic acid is used in many food products and as a binding and disintegrating agent in tablets. It’s also used as a film-former in peel-off masks, a suspending and thickening agent in cosmetic gels, lotions and creams, and as a stabilizer for oil-in-water emulsions. (Alginates are hydrophilic colloidal substances extracted from certain brown algae, particularly macrocystic, laminaria and ascophyllum.)

calcium carbonate

This naturally occurring salt is found in limestone, chalk and marble. It’s used as a pigment and pigment

extender in dentifrices and antacids, and in making lime and whiting. It has no known toxicity.

calcium chloride

Commonly used in road salt and antifreeze, this calcium salt is used in cosmetics as an emulsifier and texturizer. Taken internally, it can cause constipation and stomach problems, and it can cause lung difficulties if inhaled during manufacturing or processing, but its toxicity in cosmetics is not known.

calcium hydroxide

Also known as hydrated lime or limewater, this caustic substance is used as an alkalizer and a preservative in depilatories, and as a topical astringent. It can cause burns to the skin and eyes, and ingesting it can burn the throat and esophagus—and even cause death from shock and asphyxia due to swelling of the voice box. Avoid this chemical and keep it away from children.

calcium silicate

This anticaking agent is used in heavy manufacturing and also in cosmetics like face powders as a coloring agent. It can cause allergic reactions to the skin and may irritate lungs if inhaled.

calcium sulfate

This mineral, mined in New York, Michigan, Texas, Iowa and Ohio, is used in cement and to reduce the alkalinity of soil. Calcium sulfate is also used to make gypsum and asbestos . These products are carcinogens when breathed or absorbed into the body.

calmative

Any substance that has a calming or tranquilizing effect.

cancer

See carcinogenicity in cosmetics.

can delilla wax

This herbal wax, obtained from various Euphorbiaceae species, is used in lipsticks, in creams and as a substitute for rubber. It can be used with other waxes to harden them. Also see waxes.

waxes.

candida albi cans

The common cause of yeast infections, this fungus is usually present in the body in small amounts, but when it overgrows, it can dominate other microorganisms. This imbalance leads to a variety of symptoms: exhaustion, intestinal gas, sugar craving, alternating constipation and diarrhea, mood swings, depression, irritation, memory loss, dizziness, muscle aches, mysterious weight gain, vaginal or prostate itch. Acidophilus tablets are a natural treatment, and topically applied evening primrose oil (EPO) and EPO cream can also help. Also see evening primrose oil.

canthanaxin

This reddish carotenoid is found in some mushrooms and shellfish; it’s also the chemical that makes flamingos pink. Taken in large quantities, it will have the same effect on you, coloring your skin a reddish bronze. What it does to the rest of you while it’s doing that is unknown. We don’t recommend it—too much sun is not good for your skin, but canthanaxin is not a safe alternative. Also see colors.

capric acid

This crystalline fatty acid with a low boiling point is used in cosmetics as a flavoring and an aromatic. It has no known toxicity. It gets its name from its goatlike odor (caper is Latin for goat).

capsicum oleoresi"

This resinous essential oil from the pepper family is used in hair tonics to stimulate the scalp. It’s said to promote hair growth, but it may cause allergic reactions in some people.

captan

This phenolic compound is used in soaps and shampoos at concentrations of 0.5%. and as an agricultural fungicide. We must regard this product as toxic due to the presence of phenol.

Captan is a phthalimid derivative sold under the trade names Vancid 89 RE and Advacide TMP. Phthaleins are formed by treating phthalic anhvdride with phenols.

caramel

A concentrated solution of heated sugar or glucose, caramel is used in cosmetics as a color, in skin lotions as a soothing agent, and in food as a flavoring and coloring agent. The FDA ruled that caramel is GRAS (generally recognized as safe) in 1981. Also see colors.

carbon

See organic.

organic.

Carbomer 934, 940, 941, 960 and 961

This synthetic emulsifier and thickener is used in many cosmetics and toothpastes, as well as in industrial goods. It has a very acidic pHin a 1% water solution, and is an allergen that can cause eye irritation. It should be avoided.

carboxymethyl hydroethyl cellulose

arboxymethyl hydroethyl cellulose

arboxymethyl hydroethyl cellulose

This sodium salt of an ethylene glycol ether of cellulose gum is used as an emulsWer, foaming agent and stabilizer in cosmetics. It causes allergic reactions.

carcinogenic

Cancer-causing.

carcinogenicity in cosmetics

Not only synthetic chemicals but natural substances can be carcinogenic. One such group of natural substances are the nit rosamines, known carcinogens that are produced when chemicals called nitrites combine with amznes.

This can occur in preserved pork products because of the addition of sodium nitrite (which is put in to prevent the growth of the botulism-causing organism Clostridium botulinum), but the bacteria normally found in salivary plaque and in the gastrointestinal tract also synthesize nitrites. These nitrites combine with secondary amines in the stomach to form alkylnitrosamines, which are active carcinogens. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) competes with secondary amines for the nitrite and thereby reduces the amount of nitrosamine.

Nitrites are also detectable in some cosmetic chemicals and can be absorbed into the body. One potent carcinogen found in cosmetics is N-nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA), a combination of triethanolamine (TEA) or diethanolamine (DEA) and a nitrosating agent. NDELA has been found in many cosmetics, from face creams to shampoos. More nitrites can be absorbed into the bloodstream from using certain cosmetics than from eating nitrites that have been added to food. Prudent individuals avoid synthetic chemicals as much as possible, and regard cosmetics not simply as innocuous substances applied to the skin and the hair, but as an added burden to our environment and to our own bodies.

cardiac

Relating to the heart.

carminative

A substance that relieves gas from the intestine.

carmine

This natural red color comes from the dried female cochineal beetle. It’s sometimes used to color lip gloss, lipsticks and other cosmetics.

carnauba wax

See waxes.

earotenoids

Beta carotene is the most common of these orange or red compounds that occur in plants and in the bodies of plant-eating animals. They’re antioxidants and precursors to vitamin A.

casein

A protein specific to the milk of mammals.

castile soap

Originally prepared from olive oil in much the same manner that soap is made from coconut oil, castile now simply refers to any very mild soap. But the finest grade of castile soap is still made from olive oil.

catalyst

A substance that increases the speed of a chemical reaction, or that causes an intended chemical change.

cata plasm

Another name for a poultice.

catechu

Another name for acacia.

acacia.

cationic

Having a positive electrical charge. Compare anionic and nonionic.

nonionic.

cationic surfactant

A surface-active agent (like quaternary ammonium salts) whose ions are positively charged in an aqueous solution. Also see anionic surfactants and amphoteric surfactants.

amphoteric surfactants.

CA 24 (chioroacetamide)

(chioroacetamide)

This chemical, also known as acidamide, is used as an antimicrobial in shampoos and bath lotions at concentrations of up to 0.300. Its activity is increased by the presence of sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.

Humans have had allergic reactions to a 0.1% water solution of it within 24, 48 or 72 hours of use. The European Economic Community requires a label warning that reads: Contains chloroacetamide.

CA 24 is synthesized from ethyl chololacetate and ammonia. It contains 70% chloroacetamide and 30% sodium benzoate.

celan dine

elan dine

One of the herbs traditionally used for the bleaching of hair. It has no known toxicity but may cause allergic reactions in some people.

cellular extracts

Various extracts from the organs or tissues of animals (usually cows or sheep) are put into facial moisturizing creams with the claims that they’ll encourage rapid healing of tissue and stimulate the growth of new healthy skin cells. They probably don’t work, and herbal extracts are safer and better.

cellulose gums

Cellulose is the fiber in the cell walls of all plants. Gum made from it is used as an emulsifier, stabilizer and binder in cosmetics. There is no known toxicity, but inhaling the powder during manufacturing or processing can be harmful to the lungs, and allergic reactions are possible. Cellulose gum is also known as sodium carboxymethyl cellulose. Also see gums.

gums.

ceresin wax

See waxes.

waxes.

cetalkonium chloride

This quaternary ammonium salt, used as an antiseptic and preservative, is a toxic synthetic chemical.

ceteareth-3

This polyethylene glycol of cetearyl glycol, used in cosmetics as an emulsWer and emollient, dries out the skin and causes many allergic reactions.

cetearyl alcohol

This mixture of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol may be natural or synthetic. It’s used as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener and carrying agent for other ingredients. Also see fatty alcohols.

see fatty alcohols.

ceWyl alcohol

This solidfatty alcohol is used in cosmetics as an emollient, emulsU7er, thickener and carrying agent for other ingredients. It can be synthetic or natural (obtained from coconut oil). If natural, the label should say coconut fatty alcohol or natural cetyl alcohol, but labels often aren’t specific.

cetyl lactate, myristate, palmitate and stearate

These esters of cetyl alcohol and lactic acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid, used as emollients and texturizers in cosmetics, may be natural or synthetic.

chalk

Soft limestone of marine origin. Also see calcium carbonate.

calcium carbonate.

cheilitis

This form of dermatitis involves cracking and drying of the lips. It’s caused by lipstick, primarily ones containing large amounts of synthetic dyes (particularly eosin dyes, which stain the lips), synthetic perfumes or other allergenic substances. Natural lip balms like orjojoba oil, orjojoba butter, can help.

chih-ko (Citrus kotokan)

The ripe fruit of this Chinese citrus is used for stomach problems. It’s also used in Chinese herbal formulas for skin problems like acne. Also see chin g-s hang.

chinese herb use

Herbs aren’t used in cosmetics in China as much as they are in Europe and the US. Even royal jelly, bee pollen and ginseng, which you find in many cosmetics in health food stores in the US, are used as medicines in China.

ching~shang-fang-feng-taflg

This herbal mixture, known in China as the Suer Combination for the Skin, is a classic Chinese treatment for acne, eczema, acne rosacea and various skin problems. It can be taken as a tea and also used as a face tonic, applied twice a day to affected areas.

Ching-shang-fang-feng-talig is made from one-half ounce each of angelica, chih-ko, cnidium, coptis, forsythia, gardenia, licorice, mentha, platycodon, schizonepeta, scute and siler. To this mixture add one gram of coix seeds. I usually also add half a gram of rhubarb and a pinch of alum. The herbs can be obtained at a Chinese herb shop. Note: Chinese herbal tonics should come to no more than a total weight of 16 ounces unless otherwise stated.

Even if von don’t have skin problems, ching-shangfang-feng-tang is excellent for the tone of the skin, which it leaves smooth and soft. Also see acne.

chiorobutanol

Another name for acetone chloroform.

acetone chloroform.

chlorophene

This phenolic phenolic compound, used in cosmetics at concentrations of 0.2%, has a very limited antimicrobial activity. Due to the presence of phenolic compounds, it should be regarded as toxic.

Chiorophene is incompatible with non ionics, quaternon ionics, quaternary compounds and proteins. Trade names include Santophen 1, Septiphene, Chiorophen and Ketolin.

chlorophyll

This green chemical is what makes it possible for

plants to photosynthesize (turn light into food). It’s used in cosmetics for its antiseptic, antifungal and odor-absorbing qualities, and also in very small amounts as a natural color.

chlorothymol

This phenolic compound, a chlorine derivative of thymol, is used in mouthwashes as an antiseptic. Thymol on its own isn’t irritating to most people, but when combined with chlorine, it’s very irritating to the mucous membranes and can also cause skin rashes. You should avoid it.

chloroxylenol

This preservative, used in deodorant soaps, hair conditioners and children’s cosmetics at concentrations between 0.5% and 2%, has been found to be a primary skin irritant. It’s a halogenated phenolic compound synthesized by treating 3,5-dimethylphenol CL2 with xylenol. Its trade name is Ottasept. It’s listed in The British Pharmacopoeia (1976), and registered with the EPA and the FDA.

cholagogue

In herbology, a substance that increases the flow of bile into the intestines.

cholesterol

This steroid alcohol is used as an emulsifier and lubricant in hairdressings, shampoos, conditioners and other cosmetics. it’s not toxic when used topically, though it can be greasy to hair and skin if used in large amounts. Plant cholesterols are obtained from cocoa beans and myrrh, animal cholesterol from sheep wool. Human sebum (skin oil) is high in cholesterol and cholesterol esters (4.100).

chromosome

Found in the nuclei of all cells, these rod- or threadlike bodies contain genes.

genes.

chrysarobin (goa)

This tree (Andira araroba), which grows in Bahia, Brazil, has yellowish wooden canals in which a powder is deposited as the tree ages. The powder is scraped out (no need to cut the tree down), mixed with splinters and other debris, sifted, ground, dried, boiled and filtered. The result is called goa powder.

Added at a ratio of one gram to an ounce of carrying agent (it should never be used full-strength), goa is a classic herbal treatment for acne, oily skin, eczema, psoriasis and other skin diseases. It’s also used in moisturizers for oily skin, and mixing 2% goa into a natural ointment makes a treatment for hemorrhoids.

Even after purification, goa powder is irritating, and s-hould be used in small concentrations. It also permanently stains clothing (although a formula exists for

treating acne and oily skin that won’t stain). Also see araroba in the herb chart in Chapter 2.

einnamal

This derivative of cinnamon bark oil is used in cosmetics as an aromatic and flavoring. See cinnamon in the herb chart in Chapter 2.

citric acid

Derived by fermentation of crude sugars from citrus fruits, citric acid is used as a flavoring agent in foods and pharmaceuticals, and as a preservative, acid, sequestrant, foam-stabilizer and pH-adjuster in cosmetics. It’s nontoxic.

clay

Various clays are used in face masks and especially recommended for oily skin because of their drawing properties. Deep-cleansing and highly absorbent, clay can be drying if used too frequently. Kaolin and bentonite are the two clays most commonly used.

cloflucarban

This toxic carbanilide compound (trade name: Irgasan CF3) is used as a preservative and disinfectant in cosmetics. In aerosols, its concentration is usually 0.2%; in deodorants and soaps, 1.5%.

cnidium (Cnidium officinale)

In China, the rhizome of this plant (known as chuanchiung) is used as a sedative and analgesic, and in herbal skin formulas. See ching-s hang.

coagulant

A substance that increases clotting of the blood. Opposite of anticoagulant.

coal tar

A thick liquid or semisolid byproduct of the distillation of bituminous coal. Though claimed by some to have healing properties, coal tar is allergenic, phototoxic and harmful to the environment. Also see certWed colors and colors.

colors.

cobalt chloride

This FD&C coal tar color is probably a carcinogen. Also see colors.

colors.

coca mide DEA, MEA and MIPA

Synthetic nonionic surfactants. See alkyloamides.

cocamidopropyl beta me

This synthetic amphoteric surfactant is frequently referred to as natural and "from coconuts" on the labels of shampoos. It’s a secondary surfactant, used in combination with other, stronger surfactants. Also see sodium lauryl sulfate.

sodium lauryl sulfate.

coceth-6-8

This synthetic chemical, composed of polyethelene glycols of coconut alcohol, is used as a cleanser and emollient in shampoos. It can cause allergic reactions and is harmful to the environment.

cochineal

This natural red dye is obtained from the dried boclies of the female cochineal beetle (Dactylopius coccus), which is native to Central and South America. Also see carmine.

cocoa

This familiar brown powder is made from the roasted kernels of ripe seeds of Theobroma cacao (and other species). It’s used for its chocolate flavor. Some people are allergic to it.

cocoa butter

This solid fat, which is expressed from the seeds of the cocoa plant (Theobrorna cacao), is used in lip-sticks, eyelash creams, rouge, soaps and emollient creams as a lubricant and skin softener. Some people are allergic to it.

coco-betaine

coco-betaine

coco-betaine

This synthetic amphoteric surfactant is frequently referred to as natural and "from coconuts" on the labels of shampoos in health food stores.

coconut fatty alcohol and coconut fatty acids

These natural chemicals, obtained from coconut oil, are used in creams, soaps, shampoos and other cosmetics.

coconut oil

This white, semisolid fat, expressed from the kernels of coconuts, is used as an emollient and to make natural soaps (through a saponification reaction with salts).

cocotrimonium chloride

This quaternary ammonium compound is used as an antiseptic and preservative. Also see quaternary aminonium salts.

cocoylsarcosinamide DEA

A synthetic "coconut" derivative used as a surfactant. Also see alkyloamides.

cod liver oil

This pale yellow fatty oil is obtained from the fresh livers of the codfish (family Gadidae), especially the ~ecies Gadus rnorrhua. It’s extremely high in vita-inins A and D, but its odor limits its use in cosmetics.

coix (Coix lachrmajobi)

The seeds of this herb, known in China as i-vi-jen, are used for their cooling effect on the skin, as a diuretic and antirheumatic, and as an ingredient in products that treat skin pigmentation problems. See chingshang and tang-kuei.

cold cream

Cold cream was developed by the Greek physician Galen around 150 A.D. in Rome, and was one of the early commercial cosmetics. His formula called for 35.5% almond oil, 24.5% beeswax, l4.3 % water and
3% rosewater. Galen’s slaves worked around the clock creating small batches, because the cream, though in great demand, was unstable.

collagen

One-third (70%) of the body’s connective tissue in the dermis is made of collagen, and gerontologists have found that this is where the aging process of the skin takes place. There are two types of collagen, soluble and insoluble. Young connective tissue is made up of soluble collagen whose molecules are displaced in relation to each other. As the skin ages, and is exposed to sunlight, chemicals (like makeup, coal tar dyes, etc.) and various foods, the soluble collagen becomes "cross-linked," so the molecules are no longer displaced in relation to each other. Cross-linking makes the collagen insoluable and inflexible. As this happens, the connective tissue slowly loses its ability to absorb moisture and becomes tight, dry, wrinkled and aged.

colloidal sulfur

This pale yellow, dried mixture of sulfur and gum arabic is a natural ingredient used for hair and scalp problems like dandruff and psoriasis, and to treat acne.

cologne

A kind of toilet water made of alcohol and aromatic oils, cologne may be natural or synthetic.

colors

Coloring a cosmetic is often a marketing and packaging decision that has nothing to do with the function of the product on your hair or skin; it’s just a way to hopefully get more customers to buy the cosmetic by making it appear more attractive. This unnecessary coloring is of no value whatsoever; it’s harmful to our health as well as to the environment (since coloring agents harm the earth and water).

A list of colors whose safety isn’t known (or even studied) was made in 1960 by the FDA (the federal Food and Drug Administration). Although this "provisional list" was supposed to be abolished, to date nothmg has been done and the colors are still being used. Ralph Nader has been questioning the safety of colors for several years and has listed most of them as unsafe.

Almost all FD&C (food, drug and cosmetic) and D&C (drug and cosmetic) colors are made from coal tar’, tar’, which has been shown to cause cancer in animal tests. In addition, many people are allergic to coal tar. Aniline, a coal tar derivative, is a poison.

Because children became ill from the colors used in candy and popcorn, the FDA removed from its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list FD&C Orange #1, Orange #2, Red #32 (in 1950) and, more recently, Red #1 and Yellow #1, #2, #3 and #4. In 1973, Violet #1 was removed. In 1976, the most widely used FD&C color, Red #2, was removed because it caused the growth of tumors in lab rats, and Red #4, which was used to color candy and maraschino cherries, was banned as carcinogenic. (Also see cert~fied colors and hair coloring.)

Many people avoid any food, drug or cosmetic that contains FD&C and D&C colors, because they know them to be toxic. I agree, especially since there are many natural alternatives: annatto, beet powder, beta carotene, caramel, cochineal, grapeskin, henna and so on. Certification of these natural colors isn’t needed, since they require less processing and have a long history of use. One example of a nontoxic, natural color that rarely causes skin irritations is the oldest known dye—indigo. It’s made from the indigofera plant, which is found in Bangladesh, Java and Guatemala. Indigo FD&C Blue #6 is an example of this color.

Here are some D&C and FD&C colors that should particularly be avoided for the sake of your health and that of our environment:

Azo dyes, also known as monoazo dyes, are made from diazonium compounds and phenol. Although they’re toxic and are absorbed through the skin, they’re widely used in cosmetics. If you become sensitized to hair dyes containing a chemical known as paraphenylene diamine, you’ll be extremely allergic to azo dyes as well.

The anthraquinone family of coal tar dyes, which includes Ext. D&C Violet #2, is made from phthalic anhydride and benzene. This nightmare chemical mixture prevents the growth of cells, and causes tumors in lab rats, as well as serious skin rashes.

Only a few of the toxic nitro dyes have been certified, because they can be absorbed through the skin. When this happens (or when they’re ingested), they can cause a lack of oxygen in the blood, and liver damage. What’s more, they’re harmful to the environment.

Quinoline, which is derived from coal tar, is highly toxic and carcinogenic. It contains formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and aniline—all poisons (and I bet you thought if you didn’t see formaldehyde on the label, you didn’t have to worry about this toxic chemical. D&C Yellow #10 and #11, and many other artificial colors, are made with quinoline.

Triphenylmethane dyes (sometimes called tritan) ~ used to color many cosmetic products. They’re pinade from carbon tetrachloride, benzene and alumuinum chloride—whicb are highly toxic and carcinogenic. Some examples are FD&C Green #1, #2 and #3,AND FD&C Blue #1.

Xanthenes are a group of bright colors used for lip:~icks; they include FD&C Red #3, D&C Red #2 and ‘·19 (also called Rhodamine B) and D&C Orange. Xanthenes are toxic and cause phototoxicity of the ~in (which can lead to skin cancer).

concentration

How much of something is in something else (usually expressed as a percentage or as ppm).

concretes

~Vax-like substances prepared from bark, flowers, roots, herbs and leaves, concretes are primarily used ii perfumery and in the preparation of absolutes.

absolutes.

contact dermatitis

Skin damage caused by topical contact with chemicals.

copal

This natural resin, obtained from tropical trees of the species Leguminosae or dug up as fossils, is used in cosmetics as a thickener.

copolymer

See polymers.

coptis (Co ptis chinensis)

(Co ptis chinensis)

Known in China as huang-lien, the root of this plant is used as a digestive aid, and in herbal mixtures to treat skin problems. See ching-s hang.

ching-s hang.

corn acid

This mixture of fatty acids derived from corn oil is used in cosmetics as an emollient and thickener.

corn oil

This yellow, semidrving, fatty oil is obtained from the wet milling of corn. It’s used in soft soap and as an emollient and thickener in cosmetics.

cortisone

This powerful steroid hormone is produced in our bodies by the adrenal cortex, and is synthesized industrially for the treatment of disease. Prolonged use of cortisone can lead to calcium loss in the bones, destruction of collagen and a weakened immune system.

cosmocul CG

This cationic preservative and disinfectant is used in cosmetics at concentrations of 0.2% to 1.0% of a 20% solution. It’s toxic and a primary skin irritant. (In lab tests, rainbow trout were murdered with 10 ppm, and rats showed retardation of growth after ninety days on 6.2 ppm.) It’s sold under the trade names Cosmocil 20% solution and Vantocil lB.

cottonseed oil

This pale-yellow, semidrying, fatty oil is obtained from the seeds of the cotton plant by solvent extraction or expression. Cottonseed oil is high in glycerides of linoleic, oleic and palmitic acids and is used as an emollient in cosmetics.

counterirritant

In herbology, a substance that causes an irritation in order to counteract an irritation elsewhere in the body.

rouperose

This word is used by aestheticians to describe a condition of the skin in which capillaries are broken.

woss bonds

Cross bonds hold together the long chains of amino acids that compose the hair. These chains can be broken down by external environmental conditions, over-processing or the use of harsh, synthetic hair care products.

C12 C18 alcohols

These long-carbon-chain fatty alcohols can be natural or synthetic; examples are cetyl, palmityl, myristyl, ~earyl, arachidyl and oleyl. They act as moisturizers and carrying agents for skin and hair products. Also see cetyl alcohol.

euvtaneous

Pertaining to or affecting the skin, particularly the dermis (which is also called the cutis~).

cuticle

The outermost layer of the skin; also called the epidermis. Also refers to the fold of skin at the base of the fingernail.

cutis

Another name for the dermis.

cysteine

This sulfur-containing amino acid is present in the hair protein keratin, where it forms the "cysteine bond"

(sometimes also called the "cysteine bridge").When hair is permed, colored, toned, bleached, straightened, braided or chemicalized, the vital cysteine bond is quite often destroyed, thereby causing hair damage—and sometimes hair loss.

Topical application of cysteine may help strengthen and repair damaged hair, so look for it in shampoos and hair conditioners. (In addition to its beneficial effect on hair, cysteine is said to stimulate the immune system.)

Also look on your shampoo and conditioner label for two herbs that are high in cysteine—horsetail (Equisetum aruense) and coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara). Both contain silica as well as cysteine.


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