Ingredients for Bath and Body Products, photo credit: Olga Miltsova, ISP
Ingredients for Bath and Body Products, photo credit: Olga Miltsova, ISP

When you start making your own bath and body products, you come across several new terms that you might not have been familiar with before you embarked upon your adventure! Just as there are common terms used to describe the properties of an essential oil, there are also common terms used to describe the properties of a bath and body ingredient (or how that particular ingredient is expected to act).

Here are a five popular terms that you you will come across when you start to make bath and body products – and a summary of their meaning.

Exfoliant Bath and Body Products

If a bath and body ingredient is described as “exfoliant,” it usually means that the ingredient will help in casting off dead (dry) skin layers/cells. The word “exfoliate” is actually derived from late Latin, exfoliare, meaning “strip of leaves.”

Examples of exfoliant ingredients in bath and body products include:

  • salts

  • sugars

  • oatmeal.

Emollient Bath and Body Products

The literal translation for “emollient” is “to soothe or soften the skin.” It is derived from the Latin, emollire, meaning “to make soft.” Emollient bath and body products might include ingredients such as:

  • butters

  • carrier oils.

Emulsifiers in Bath and Body Products

An emulsifying ingredient helps to bind together two ingredients which might not normally combine together; for example, oil and water in lotions and creams. The definition of emulsion (according to The Concise Oxford Dictionary) is “a fine dispersion of minute droplets of one liquid in another which it is not soluble or miscible.”

Examples of emulsifying ingredients in bath and body products include:

  • beeswax

  • glycerin

  • natural waxes.

Humectants in Bath and Body Products

An ingredient which is described as humectant helps to absorb water in a product. Derived from the Latin humectare, meaning “moisture,” humectant ingredients are useful in making lotions and creams, helping to absorb additional moisture in the mix. Humectants and emulsifiers are often interchangeable and can act as either one or the other (or both). Examples include:

  • glycerin.

Solubols in Bath and Body Products

An ingredient which is described as a solubol is usually used in a water-based product to help a substance “dissolve” or “disperse” more readily. Water-based products such as aromatherapy sprays sometimes have solubols added to them to help the essential oils disperse more readily in the water. A solubol is a natural ingredient which is made up of ingredients such as vegetable oils, glycerin, and waxes. Several bath and body suppliers supply natural solubol, although it is not essential to use a solubol in an aromatherapy spray.

Learn to Make Your Own Bath and Body Products

If you would like to learn to make your own bath and body products, consider taking an introductory course such as the Sedona Aromatherapie Basic Butters, Balms, Creams and Lotions Course – or purchase one of the Sedona Aromatherapie Make-Your-Own Products kits.

Information on all courses can be found on the courses home page.

References

  • Concise Oxford Dictionary (10th Edition), 1999, UK: Oxford University Press

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