At Alaska Glacial Essentials we combine wild plants and natural minerals with cutting edge ingredients. Our products are made with high-quality ingredients that are ethically sourced and cruelty-free.  We take the finest natural ingredients and scientifically blend them with other functional skin care ingredients each of which are chosen for a special reason and have a proven track record..

Combining the glacial minerals with other ingredients helps to increase effectiveness by facilitating deeper absorption into the skin that more fully hydrates and nourishes skin cells. The outcome is a spa-quality product that heals and beautifies skin while relaxing the mind and spirit.

Our Founder and CEO, Lauren Padawer, works closely with chemists to develop formulations with premium ingredients to maintain quality control and bring our customers the best quality products with the most effective outcomes to transform skin on a cellular level.

Transparency is part of our ethos and we hope you find what you’re looking for in this skincare ingredient dictionary!


Drying Alcohols – These include isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, SD alcohol 40 and denatured alcohol. These types of drying alcohols can cause irritation and damage skin’s moisture barrier. Drying alcohols can be beneficial when used in blemish spot treatments. However fatty alcohols, such as stearyl and cetearyl alcohol are not damaging and can be very beneficial for the skin.
Mineral Oil – comedogenic, clogs pores.
Pthalates – have been linked to hormone disruption
Plastic Beads – environmental pollutants. We use only natural exfoliants.
Sulfates – associated with foaming and are too harsh for most skin types, resulting in stripped dehydrated skin.
Synthetic Colors/Dyes and Fragrances – not good for sensitive skin and may cause irritation
Parabens – have been linked to hormone disruption

Adenosine: Natural ingredient used in cosmetics and personal care products that functions as an emollient (retain moisture), skin-restoring and soothing agent, as well as an anti-aging ingredient. It may also promote faster wound healing. Decreases the appearance of wrinkles by energizing the skin’s surface, resulting in a smoother, more youthful complexion, decreased appearance of crow’s feet, and reduce the depth of brow wrinkles.
Alluvial Mud (Alaska Glacier Mineral): Sustainably hand-harvested natural alluvial deposit of glacial clay and silt particles rich in minerals and more than 60 nourishing major and trace elements, including Mg, Cu, Z, S, Ag, Si, Ca, Na, K and Fe that promote anti-aging, exfoliate, detoxify, nourish and soften skin.
Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer: Synthetic polymer used to help thicken, emulsify and enhance texture. Despite the intimidating name, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer is safe and non-irritating. EWG Score: 1 Learn more.
Arginine*: Naturally occurring amino acid in the primary building blocks of hair keratin and skin collagen. It is a natural moisturizer and helps the skin fight free radicals, maintain hydration, boost collagen production and help with wound healing.
Bentonite: From aluminum silicate clay used as an absorbent, bulking agent, emulsion stabilizer (keeps ingredients together), opacifying agent (give pearly look), and to control viscosity (thickness).
Benzyl glycol: A chemical that helps dissolve other substances to form the product formulation.
Betaine*: Natural betaine, which is obtained from the process of making sugar out of sugar beets by chromatography of the molasses, functions as an osmolyte. As an osmolyte, the structure of betaine allows it to attract water and help to maintain cell water balance. This function of betaine is particularly important for skin cells that are dehydrated or exposed to UV radiation. Furthermore, the ability of betaine to increase skin hydration has been shown to have an anti-wrinkle effect.

Research has found that betaine can also improve tight junction integrity. Tight junctions are protein complexes that prevent leakage of solutes and water between the cells. Tight junctions have been suggested to contribute in the prevention of penetration of harmful substances, such as allergens, pollutants, etc. into the skin. Additionally, tight junctions aid in preventing water loss through the skin. Therefore, by improving tight junction integrity, betaine increases the hydration status of the skin and also protects the skin from harmful environmental substances.

Betaine also functions as a texture enhancer in cosmetics and personal care products. It is known to provide a silky feel to skin care preparations without causing tackiness.

Bisabolol*: A primary constituent of the essential oil from German chamomile it is known to have emollient (retain moisture), anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Also used as a fragrance.
Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) Fruit Extract**: A flavenoid, potent antioxidant and skin conditioner. Blueberry contains several types of antioxidants (known as polyphenolics) and vitamin C, although the polyphenol-based antioxidants are present in far greater amounts. Antioxidants in blueberries help promote healthy cell regeneration and protect skin from the unwanted effects of visible and infrared light. Essentially, the blueberries work to intercept damage before it takes hold, leading to healthier-looking skin. Protection does not replace a broad-spectrum sunscreen, only complements sunscreen.
Butylene Glycol: Synthetically derived humectant, solvent and conditioning agent with moisturizing properties, helping to maintain a healthy skin barrier and giving the skin appearance of hydration. The skin absorbs and breaks it down into “gamma-hydroxybutryic acid,” a naturally occurring compound found in humans. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), the FDA, and the World Health Organization have all found butylene glycol to be safe. EWG Score: 1 Learn more.
C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside: A 100% vegetable origin emulsifier that usually comes to the formula with its buddy called C14-22 Alcohols. The duo is called Montanov L and two together help to create ultra-soft light formulas.
C14-22 Alcohols: A 100% vegetable origin emulsifier that usually comes to the formula with its buddy called C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside. The duo is trade-named Montanov L and works as an effective oil in water emulsifier. It creates ultra-soft, light texture, has excellent dermo-compatibility and is readily biodegradable.
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride*: Derived from coconut oil and glycerin, it’s light-textured, clear, odorless and non-greasy. It’s a common gentle emollient that makes your skin feel nice and smooth.
Caprylyl Glycol*: An alcohol derived from coconut used as a humectant and functions as the emollient base (retain moisture) with other preservatives.
Carbomer: Synthetic high molecular weight polymers of acrylic acid used to improve the texture and sensory feel of gel-like formulations. Doesn’t impart any benefit to the skin as it is a texture enhancer. Considered safe at concentrations up to 15%.
Cetearyl Alcohol*: Derived naturally from plants, it is a waxy substance used as an emulsifier and emollient.
Cetearyl Glucoside*: Derived naturally from a blend of cetearyl alcohol and glucose that functions as an emulsifier and emollient.
Cetearyl Olivate: A naturally derived waxy ester of cetearyl alcohol and the fatty acids from olive oil and functions as an emulsifier and slip agent or texture enhancer.
Cetyl Alcohol*: Derived from sustainably sourced palm oil-palmityl alcohol and used as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener and carrying agent.
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) Mushroom Extract**: Naturally occurring boreal conk mushroom that grows symbiotically on birch trees extracted using low temperatures to maintain potency of nutrients. Chaga has an ORAC value of 52,000, making it one of the highest ORAC values in the world. Chaga has 50x more superoxide dismutate (SOD) than any other medicinal mushroom. Also contains melanin, triterpenes, betulonic acid, beta-glucan, inotodiol which help protect against oxidative and environmental stressors, brighten skin tone, regenerate skin cells, heal wounds, stimulate collagen production, reduce inflammation, regulate sebum production and control acneic bacteria.
Citric acid*: Extract derived from citrus fruits and used primarily to buffer pH of products to maintain skin’s delicate acid mantle.
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) Fruit Extract**: Soothes irritated skin, acts as an astringent (removes excess oil) to help treat acne and is a source of Vitamin C. Anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. Plant based.
Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone: Derived from silica, which is a natural component of quartz and opal, serves as a skin-conditioner that creates silky texture and feel on skin. It’s one of the better silicone ingredients for those with dry skin due to its higher viscosity and slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, trapping moisture resulting in a more hydrated, dewy appearance.
Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate*: The salt form of one of the main anti-inflammatory ingredients in the licorice plant, monoammonium glycyrrhizinate. Used mainly for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties as well as sebum regulation for acneic skin, evening skin tone and preserving hyaluronic acid content in skin. Also a texture enhancer for formulation.
Dipropylene Glycol: Synthetic solvent and texture enhancer in cosmetic formulations.
Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer: Synthetic polymer chain (Carbomer) with glycerin attached to help deliver skin hydration. Similar to Carbomer and considered safe at concentrations up to 15%
Glyceryl Stearate SE*: An ester of glycerol and one molecule of stearic acid (a lipid – organic molecule that is cell membrane component) commonly used as a primary emulsifier (keep unlike ingredients together), surfactant and thickening agent.
Glycerin*: Protects skin by maintaining moisture balance below surface of the skin. A natural alcohol compound (can be synthetically made from plants) that loves water and binds to it. It’s used as a humectant (draw moisture in), emollient (retain moisture), and lubricant (moisturizes skin by balancing water levels), decrease viscosity (thickness), perfume, solvent (dissolves ingredients). Also an emulsifier, emollient and lubricant.
Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) Extract**: Helps soothe skin in sensitive facial areas. Acts as an astringent, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory herb with emollient properties.
Emulsifying Wax*: Helps keep oil and water from separating by creating an emulsion. Also helps oil penetrate the skin, thereby replacing lost moisture. Blend of Cetyl alcohol + Stearyl alcohol + Lecithin. Cetyl alcohol is an emulsifier naturally derived from coconut. It is used in many formulations as an emollient, thickening agent, moisturizer, emulsifier, stabilizer or opacifier as well as a carrying agent for other ingredients. Stearyl Alcohol is an emulsifer naturally derived from coconut. It is used in many formulations as an emollient, thickening agent, moisturizer, emulsifier, stabilizer or opacifier as well as a carrying agent for other ingredients. It can be extracted using chemicals or naturally mechanically extracted. Lecithin is a weak natural emulsifier containing phospholipids as its major emulsifying component. Lecithin is sourced from plants like soybeans, corn or rapeseed.
Ethylhexylglycerin: Derived from glycerine, obtained mainly from plant-based sources such as soybean or palm and is utilized in these products for its natural preservative action and its use as a skin conditioner and surfactant.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Leaf/Stem Extract**: Contains saponins (antioxidant and ability to soothe skin) and flavenoids (large # of antioxidants which fight cell damage) that help promote healthy cell regeneration and silicon which helps remineralize tired skin. Used as an emollient (retain moisture). Plant based.
Hyaluronic Acid: Naturally-occurring substance (glycosaminoglycan) in skin known for its stunning capacity to attract and hold onto 1000x its weight in moisture as part of skin’s youth-supporting matrix. It works overtime by replenishing skin to enhance a healthy, supple look and feel. Hyaluronic acid can enhance moisture content beyond comparison. It also revitalizes skin’s outer surface layers, so they look and feel softer, smoother and radiantly hydrated. This instantly improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans: Plant-derived hydrolyzed form of hyaluronic acid. Hydrolization is a chemical process involving the reaction of a substance with water to form a modified substance and efficiently and increase depth hydration, improving the elasticity and firmness of the skin. They are easily accepted into the skin because of their positive charge, and can moisturize the skin, as well as improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by temporarily minimizing the depth of wrinkles on skin. Functions as a skin-softening agent, moisturizer and humectant.
Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid: Low molecular weight, chemically chopped up version of the naturally big hyaluronic acid molecule. Typically works on the surface while regular hyaluronic acid works below the surface. Used together doubles the benefits.
Hydroxyacetophenone: Used as an antioxidant by boosting efficacy of preservatives
Hydroxyethylcellulose*: Plant-derived texture enhancer.
Kaolin: Natural clay mineral used to absorb oil impurities and also act as a thickener, opacifying agent (give pearly look), abrasive (exfoliant), absorbent, anti-caking agent. Mineral.
Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) Extract**: Algae that acts as an emollient (retain moisture) to prevent breakdown of youthful elastin and collagen. Contains sea-protein, trace elements, minerals, amino acids, anti-oxidants and vitamins that readily penetrate the skin to promote healthy cellular functions. Hydrates and softens the skin. Plant based.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) oil*: An essential oil obtained from lavender. Used as an emollient (retain moisture) and fragrance.
Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) seed oil**: Oil from the seeds of a lingonberry plant, a short evergreen arctic shrub, is an antioxidant (prevents free radical damage), used to protect the skin, and as an emollient (retain moisture). Lingonberry has a built-in anti-wrinkle effect that in nature keeps the berries from shrinking during frosty nights, whilst retaining moisture and elasticity. This is not only because the berry’s seed oil contains a high level of fatty acid Omega-3, but also the antioxidant gamma-tocotrienol, a natural vitamin E that is 60 times more powerful than its artificial counterpart.

Lingonberry seed oil contains exceptionally high amounts of antioxidants, plant sterols and essential fatty acids Omega 3 and 6. These nutrients help moisturize the skin, reduce wrinkles and improve elasticity. Lingonberry Seed Oil has the highest content of alpha-linolenic acid among the berry seed oils. Together with linoleic acid these essential fatty acids make up 85% of total fatty acids. The oil moisturises and smoothes skin, keeping skin youthful and vibrant.
Lupine (Lupinus albus) seed oil**: Oil from the seeds of lupine, a legume whose seeds are very high in protein and contain secondary oil and minor biologically active components. Lupine seed oil used in many cosmetic products for dry and sensitive skin, protects against wrinkles, dry skin and increased pigmentation, brightens and whitens the skin, remove freckles and age spots. Carotenoids help protect skin from environmental damage.

Contains a light spicy fragrance consists primarily of oleic and erucic acids unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E. Oleic acid can help beneficial compounds in plant oils and extracts penetrate further into skin, while omega-9 fatty acid erucic acid works with the other fatty acids in this plant oil to hydrate and strengthen skin.

Lupine seed oil also contains omega-3 linolenic acid and omega-6 linoleic acid, both of which help calm skin and visibly repair its barrier. Moving away from fatty acid content, white lupine oil is also high in protein and a good source of the hydrating amino acid lysine.

Lupine seed extract contains penta- and hexapeptides that work as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) inhibitor in our body. The matrix MMPs are a family of peptidase enzymes responsible for the degradation of extracellular matrix components such as collagen, gelatin, fibronectin, laminin and proteoglycan. The penta- and hexapeptides from the lupin seed prevent MMP activity and reduce the breakdown of collagen and elastin. They help to renew the skin’s outer layer, reduce the depth of wrinkles and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin to give the skin a more youthful appearance.

Research has shown that in a 72-hour in vitro test, the seed extract increased production and secretion of type I collagen by 46%. Another 48-hour test showed that the extract induced overproduction of HSP47 known to assist in the correct assembly of the triple helix and helped to prevent maturation of abnormal procollagen. The ingredient’s effectiveness was also analyzed in an 89-day in vivo test with 25 volunteers aged 45 to 65 years using a cream with 2% of the extract. The results showed improved skin elasticity and significant reduction of facial oval sag, 92% of the volunteers also noticed greater firmness of the skin and 72% noticed reduced sagging of the facial contour.
Nettle (Urtica dioica) Extract**: Rich in vitamins C, K, carotene and chlorophyll, it has been known since ancient times for its healing and tissue repairing properties. Anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory.
Niacinamide: Water soluble form of Vitamin B3 suppresses melanin (what causes age spots) and helps uv absorption. Also used to smooth the skin, improve tone and texture and help skin hold moisture.

The basis for niacinamide skin treatments comes from a series of studies conducted in 2005, where 50 women who showed signs of aging were treated with a niacinamide cream. The result indicated that the women treated with this type of cream showed significantly more improvement in skin elasticity and appearance than women treated with a placebo. Studies also suggest that niacinamide skin care products can reduce the signs and symptoms of severe acne or rosacea by reducing the inflammation of the skin.

Studies of the benefits of niacinamide creams also suggest that this chemical compound may increase the effectiveness of sunscreen in protecting cells against free radicals.
Octyldodeceth-25: Used functionally in cosmetic formulation as an emulsifier, surfactant and cleanser. EWG Score: 1 Learn more.
Palmitic Acid*: Derived from sustainably sourced pal-oil and acts as an emollient to help prevent moisture loss, protect the skin from bacteria and allergens, and improve the texture of products.
Panthenol (Vitamin B5): Attracts and maintains moisture for healthy skin, improves wound healing and prevents irritation. Derived from Vitamin B, used as an emollient for skin and hair (retain moisture) because of its ability to bind to it.
PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides*: Water-soluble emollient, skin conditioner and emulsifier made from medium chain triglycerides typically sourced from coconut oil that can solubilize oils and oil-soluble ingredients and has a nice skin feel. The “PEG” is added because the ingredient has been ethoxylated with ethylene glycol. PEGs widely considered non-toxic because they do not penetrate intact skin. EWG Score: 3 Learn more.
PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate*: Non-ionic surfactant derived from coconut used primarily as an emulsifier, emollient, surfactant and skin conditioner. The “PEG” is added because the ingredient has been ethoxylated with polyethylene glycol. PEGs widely considered non-toxic because they do not penetrate intact skin. EWG Score: 1-4 Learn more.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Oil*: An essential oil use as an emollient (retain moisture), a fragrance, refreshing agent, and astringent (tighten and tones the skin).
Phenoxyethanol: Synthetic preservative that has global approval for use in all cosmetic products in concentrations up to 1%.
Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate*: Plant-derived ester of lauric acid and the synthetic polymer polyglycerin-10. Polyglyceryl-10 laurate functions as a skin-softening emulsifier and cleanser.
Polysorbate 20: Semi-synthetic surfactant and emulsifier derived from the ethoxylation of sorbitan, a sugar alcohol naturally found in some fruits.
Propanediol: Naturally derived from corn sugar. It has hydrating properties that leave a smooth, dewy finish. Propanediol is a well-tolerated ingredient, not likely to cause sensitivity and increases preservative efficacy.
Purified Water: Ultimate nutrient. Like Earth, we are 60-70% water. Water is used as a solvent (dissolves ingredients in the product) and emollient (retain moisture).
Raspberry Ketone*: Main aroma compound of red raspberries and has a sweet, floral, berry or jam-like raspberry scent. It’s used to make cosmetic products smell nice.
Resveratrol*: Potent polyphenolic antioxidant that’s derived from red grapes. Helps protect skin from environmental stressors and brightens a dull complexion. It also has significant skin-calming properties that may help minimize the look of redness.
Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) Oil*: Essential oil from rosewood tree, used as an astringent (tighten and tone the skin), emollient (retain moisture), and as a fragrance.
Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) Seed Oil*: An expeller pressed oil prized for its skin moisturizing and soothing properties. Plant oil high in Vitamin E and linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that slows the loss of moisture from the skin. This antioxidant (prevents free radical damage) is also used a fragrance ingredient. Plant based.
Sodium Citrate: High quality preservative that doubles as an antioxidant and controls pH level of product.
Sodium Hyaluronate*: A sodium salt of hyaluronic acid that attracts and holds on to water, helping it retain moisture. Used as an emollient and powerful humectant (draw moisture in). Smaller than hyaluronic acid, a water-soluble salt that holds 1000 times its weight in water and is able to move more freely into the deeper layers of the skin, making it the ultimate skin moisturizer. Ingredients in salt form are more stable and less likely to oxidize.
Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer: A modified form (cross-linked pieces of 1-2 million Da molecular weight) of skin-replenishing hyaluronic acid attached to a polymer structure that creayes a mesh and keeps it within skin’s uppermost layers longer, allowing for enhanced hydration. The special hyaluronic acid mesh has a remarkable water-binding capacity, 5 times more than the already crazy water-binding capacity of normal hyaluronic acid.
Sorbitan Olivate*: A naturally derived ester coming from sorbitol and the fatty acids of olive oil used to generate biocompatible liquid crystal structures similar to the lipid structures of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) with significant moisturizing, barrier-repairing and soothing properties.
Squalane*: A fatty molecule derived from olives and used to maintains skin’s moisture barrier and hydration, and is also an antioxidant that has anti-aging properties for neutralizing environmental damage.
Stearic Acid*: Naturally derived saturated fatty acidused as an emollient, moisturizer and emulsifier.
Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E): A major fat-soluble antioxidant nutrient that helps prevent free radical damage to skin tissue by maintaining optimum moisture balance and slowing down cellular aging due to oxidation. It can absorb the energy from ultraviolet (UV) light, which helps to prevent UV-induced free radical damage to skin and serve anti-inflammatory role in the skin.
Tropolone*: Used as a preservative. Also acts as a moisturizer and antioxidant.
Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) extract*: An extract from vanilla bean used to smooth, protect, and hydrate the skin. Also used as aromatherapy fragrance.
Water (Alaska Glacier Mineral): Naturally alkaline and full of minerals, ions and trace elements with strong molecular coherence. Unlike biochemically treated, distilled or purified water, the active polarizing water molecules archive and transfer information helping products to penetrate skin and resonate with energetic vibrations of cells to boost skin hydration and vitality.
Xanthan Gum: Polysaccharide naturally derived from beneficial bacteria in glucose or sucrose, used as a natural stabilizer, emollient (retain moisture), thickener and emulsifier (keep unlike ingredients together).
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) Flower Extract**: Plant extract used as an emollient (retain moisture) to firm the skin. Contains ingredients, such as azulen, with demonstrated antibacterial, anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties. May also be used as a fragrance.
1,2 Hexanediol*: Used as a preservative. Also acts as a emollient (retain moisture), solvent (dissolves ingredients) and antioxidant. A synthetic belonging to the glycol family.

*plant-derived **certified organic ***wild-crafted