Bella’s Ingredient Closet – Our Artisan Lab Ingredients

Here you will find a brief synopsis of the ingredients used in product formulations. INCI is the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. A systemic name for waxes, oils, pigments, chemicals, and other ingredients of soaps, cosmetics, and the like, based on scientific names and other Latin and English words.

INCI: Kahlwax 6702 - Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Shorea Robusta (Sal Tree) Resin, Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera (Berry Wax), Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C)

Kahlwax 6702 is an all-natural, plant blend of carefully selected, high quality ingredients like Sunflower seed wax, Berry wax, and Shorea Robusta resin. It is a Vegan substitue for beeswax.

Every single component has unique and outstanding properties. Berry wax (INCI: Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera) is a fruit peel wax consisting of a high content of glycerol ester of C16-18 fatty acid. Because a significant part of it melts at temperatures <30°C, Berry wax feels very silky and soft and significantly improves the sensory characteristics of formulations.

Sunflower seed wax (INCI: Helianthus Annuus Seed Cera) is a pale colored hull wax with a transparent melt showing exceptional properties. It contains mainly esters of C16-C24 fatty acids and C26-C32 alcohols and is free of glycerol- and other polyalcohol esters. It has a melting point of approximately 78°C with a well-balanced softness hardness and an outstanding oil-binding capacity.

Damar resin (INCI: Shorea Robusta Resin) is a raw material which enhances the durability of a product’s effect, supports film forming, and enhances adhesion on the lips and skin.

Kahlwax 6702 is ideal for giving lips the care and attention they need, while producing outstanding gloss and delivering excellent oil-binding properties and remarkable hardness.

INCI: Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter

Melting point: 34°C to 38°C
Colour: Creamy yellow
Smell: Chocolate-like

It is the edible natural vegetable fat of the cacao bean, which also happens to be the fruit of the Theobroma Cacao tree.

Cocoa butter is extracted from cacao beans that is used extensively in chocolate making, as well as skincare formulations. Cocoa solids and cocoa butter are separated out at an early stage during processing of the cocoa bean. Cocoa has a low melting point that makes it ideal for use in skincare as the butter melts when in contact with warm skin. Do not overheat cocoa butter as it will destabilise its structure.

Cocoa butter easily absorbs into the top the skin. Cocoa contains polyphenols that possess anti-inflammatory, and rich antioxidant properties. It is widely used for its anti-ageing effects against free radicals.

INCI: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter

Melting point: 32°C to 46°C
Colour: Cream
Smell: Nutty

A butter that is extracted from the Karite tree which grows in West Africa/Ghana. The fat is extracted by boiling the nuts in water, then grinding it into a paste until the oils start to separate. This is tough work that is done over an open fire. It is traditionally done by women.

Shea butter is noted for its luxurious moisturising properties. It also melts easily on contact with the skin. The butter is however notoriously prone to graininess due the high stearic acid content.

INCI: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil

Melting point: 24°C
Colour: Off-white
Smell: Pleasantly mild coconut

Coconut oil is extracted from the flesh of the coconut, from the coconut palm tree. It is colourless when liquid and/or pale white when solid.

It is highly saturated, as it contains medium chain triglycerides. It has a high content of lauric acid, which has anti-microbial activity.

Coconut oil has a high resistance to oxidation. It has a moisturising effect, and has occlusive and emollient properties. This helps bolster your skin’s protective barrier layer, trapping moisture inside and keeping skin supple and hydrated. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for irritated, chafed skin.

INCI: Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Oil

Melting point: Viscous liquid at room temperature
Colour: Yellow/brown/amber
Smell: Mild

Tocopherol, or Vitamin E, is a fat-soluble vitamin in eight forms that is an important antioxidant. Although originally extracted from wheat germ oil, most natural Vitamin E are now derived from vegetable oils, usually soybean oil.

Vitamin E is a naturally occurring component of healthy skin. It offers significant antioxidant properties to help ward off pollution and other environmental stressors that would otherwise weaken and cause unwanted changes in skin.

Certain forms of vitamin E also help soothe skin. Unfortunately, with time and sun damage, skin’s vitamin E decreases. It promotes skin cell regeneration and helps to nourish the skin.

Vitamin E oil is very viscous (thick) and hard to spread on skin, some suppliers sell a blend of Vitamin E in a Sunflower and/or Sweet Almond base oil. This makes it easier to incorporate into skincare formulations to prolong the shelf life of carrier oils and butters.

INCI: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil

Melting point: Liquid at room temperature
Colour: Yellow
Smell: Pleasantly mild

Is the oil that is extracted from these delicious tree nuts. Although almonds are commonly referred to as nuts, they’re actually the seeds found at the centre of the almond fruit, which closely resembles a peach.

They are very rich in fat, making them a perfect source of oil. Sweet almonds are the variety typically eaten and used to make foods, oils and cosmetics. Almond oil is an excellent source of vitamin E and contains a small amount of vitamin K.

Meanwhile, bitter almonds are believed to have medicinal properties, though they can be toxic if they’re not properly processed. They’re not widely available either.

INCI: Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil

Melting point: Liquid at room temperature
Colour: Greenish
Smell: Olivy

Olive oil is obtained from the flesh of the olive fruit not the kernel. Black olives can contain as much as 50% oil. Olives are mechanically cold-pressed when ripe and can be further filtered.

Cold pressed, extra virgin oil is best for formulating. It is a fatty oil, which make it useful in nourishing products.

About 14% of the oil is saturated fat, whereas 11% is polyunsaturated, such as omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. The predominant fatty acid in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which usually makes up 73% of the total oil content.

The antioxidants in olive oil can reduce oxidative damage due to free radicals.

INCI: Tapioca (Cassava) Starch

Melting point: None, in a super fine powder form
Colour: White
Smell: Odourless

It is a natural thickener and texture enhancer that is derived from the roots of the Manihot esculenta (Cassava) shrub. It consists primarily of amylose and amylopectin, both components of starch and what gives tapioca its thickening properties.

In skincare, tapioca starch can serve to stabilize formulations. It is also used as an anti-grease agent and a talc substitute as it is aluminium free.

It has a velvety effect in anhydrous products like body butters.

INCI: Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Bark Oil

Extraction Method: Steam Distillation
Plant Part: Bark and/or leaves
Smell: Deep spicy-wood
Colour: Orangey brown

Cinnamon is thought to be one of the world’s oldest and most valuable spices. The cinnamon plant is native to South Asia, but can be grown throughout different regions in Asia and across the world today. It

Cinnamon Essential Oil may be obtained from either the tree’s outer bark or its leaves, hence the two main varieties are Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil and Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil.

Used cosmetically, Cinnamon Essential Oil is reputed to calm dry skin, effectively alleviate aches, and pains. It promotes circulation, and nourishes the skin.

Cinnamon oil has a high concentration of antioxidants, which means that it fights free radicals and combats signs of aging when used in skincare.

Cinnamal, Eugenol, Linalool, Coumarin, and Cinnamyl Alcohol are the natural components of this deeply scented essential oil. These are natural allergens that one could be sensitive and/or allergic to, which by law have to be declared on all cosmetic labels so that you are aware of its presence in the product.

That being said, some of these natural components are used extensively in perfumery and aromatherapy.

Never use essential oils undiluted.

INCI: Citrus Paradis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil

Extraction Method: Expression
Plant Part: Fruit peel
Smell: Grape-fruity
Colour: Pale yellow

Grapefruit essential oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal effects. D-limonene, β-myrcene, α-pinene and β-pinene, are major components in this oil.

Grapefruit oil has been used in cosmetic treatments for cellulitis and localised fat treatment. Has GRAS (Generally recognized as safe) status.

It has a lovely, citrus aroma. It is a good choice for body skincare products, especially firming, anti-cellulite formulas, but works well in other products such as shower gels, body lotions.

Never use essential oils undiluted.

INCI: Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil

Melting point: Liquid at room temperature
Colour: Light yellow
Smell: Light

Apricot kernel oil is extracted from seeds of the Apricot (Prunus armeniaca). This lovely oil can be obtained from kernels using solvent extraction, or cold pressed. Cold pressed is a preferable method.

The oil is light and suitable for sensitive skin. Apricot kernel oil contains higher levels of total phytosterols, tocopherols and b-carotene.

It is quickly absorbed by the skin and considered a very light and nourishing oil, that is recommended for all skin types. Due to its polyphenol content, it has photo-protective effects, that improve skin elasticity and tone.

INCI: Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil

Melting point: Liquid at room temperature
Colour: Greeny-yellow
Smell: Pleasantly mild

Grapeseed oil, an often under estimated oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes. Unlike other oils that may only suit certain skin types or clog pores, grapeseed oil is a lightweight oil that’s noncomedogenic, making it suitable for most skin types—including sensitive and acne-prone skins.

This oil is packed full of helpful vitamins that are great for the skin and the overall maintenance of the body, including vitamin E and omega 6. Its special qualities as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory element help with wrinkles and lines.

INCI: Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil

Melting point: Liquid at room temperature
Colour: Gold
Smell: Nutty

Argan oil is derived from the nuts of the argan tree. The fruit of the tree is green and resembles an olive, but is larger. Inside, there is a hard-shelled nut which can contain up to three kernels from which the argan oil is then extracted.

The traditional production of this oil is demanding, it takes about 100kg of fruits to make just 2-3 litres of oil. Traditionally, Argan oil was used extensively in Morocco as a topical oil to treat dry skin, acne, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles, joint pain, and skin inflammation.

It is also used to prevent hair loss and dry hair. Argan oil is rich in Omega-6 fatty acid, which means it helps with skin rejuvenation and skin elasticity.

It is used in products for mature skin but is said to be effective in eye care products as well. It is easily absorbed into the skin and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. The oil performs anti-sebum activity, reducing greasiness and improving appearance of oily facial skin.

INCI: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil

Melting point: Viscous at room temperature
Colour: Yellow
Smell: Earthy-nut

This oil differs from other oils because of its very high viscosity and specific gravity.

It is obtained from cold-pressing the seeds of the castor plant. It is one of the few naturally high purity glycerides, containing around 90% of Ricinoleic acid, which is responsible for castor oil’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Although its use can go up to 100%, it is not frequently due to its thickness and characteristic aroma.

It has emollient and lubricating properties, as well as excellent capability to wet and disperse pigments. It is often called the ‘dirt magnet’ as it is great for removing makeup and is often used in cleansers. It is a very slow penetrating oil.

INCI: Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil

Extraction Method: Steam Distillation
Plant Part: Flowers
Smell: Floral
Colour: Yellow

Also known as Common Lavender, True Lavender.

Lavender Essential oil is very appreciated for its aroma, and therefore is widely used in cosmetics for fragrance purposes and has more than a hundred components, with linalool, linalyl acetate, lavandulyl acetate, camphor and 1,8-cineole being the predominant ones.

Its aroma is beautifully floral. It is a favourite by many formulators because it is easy to use, and blends well with many other oils.

Lavender blends well with citrus oils, and other florals such as geranium and rose, but also with neroli, chamomile, palmarosa, lemongrass, patchouli and rosemary.

Never use essential oils undiluted.

INCI: Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Leaf Oil

Extraction Method: Steam Distillation
Plant Part: Leaves
Smell: Rose-like
Colour: Yellow

Geranium essential oil is derived by steam distillation of the leaves of Pelargonium graveolens, a plant species native to South Africa.

There are numerous varieties and strains. Each variety differs in scent, but is near-identical in terms of composition, benefits, and uses.

Geranium essential oil is mostly used for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties as well its astringent activities. It also helps to reduce skin inflammation and irritation, and as it helps cleanse oily complexions. It is used frequently in acne treatments.

Citronellol, geraniol and linalool are natural components in this gorgeous essential oil. These are natural allergens that one could be sensitive and/or allergic to, which by law have to be declared on all cosmetic labels so that you are aware of its presence in the product.

It has a beautifully strong floral scent. A great choice for mature skin in anti-ageing products as well as for problem skin.

That being said, some of these natural components are used extensively in perfumery and aromatherapy.

Never use essential oils undiluted.

INCI: Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Petal Oil

Extraction Method: Infusion/maceration in a carrier oil
Plant Part: Flower petals
Smell: Oriental Spice
Colour: Yellow

Calendula oil is a natural oil extracted from marigold petals (Calendula officinalis). It is made by infusing marigold flowers in a carrier oil. This oil can be used on its own or to make ointments, creams, or salves. The carrier oil is usually grape seed oil, sunflower oil and/or olive oil. Vitamin E can be added to retard oxidation of the oil.

The many benefits of calendula oil are due to the significant levels of triterpenoids, flavonoids, carotenoids, saponins, polysaccharides, and other active antioxidants.

It is a powerhouse of skin soothing protective actives, and is well known for its ability to treat dry, irritated, and/or stressed skin.

INCI: Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil

Extraction Method: Steam Distillation
Plant Part: Leaf and/or flowers
Smell: Herbaceously soothing
Colour: Yellow

It is an evergreen shrub with needle-like leaves. The oil is obtained from steam distillation of leaves and flowers of the rosemary shrub. It has a wonderful fresh, green and woody herbaceous fragrance like the actual fresh rosemary. Its key constituents are 1,8 cineole, alpha-pinene, camphor. Rosemary also contains iron, calcium, and phytonutrients

It is used in perfume and/or cosmetic products for its biological activity, which includes antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

It is an antioxidant which gives it anti-aging properties. Additionally, it will help prevent damage to your skin from environmental agents. Rosemary increases the skin’s elasticity therefore decreasing droopiness.

Limonene and Linalool are the natural components of this comforting essential oil. These are natural allergens that one could be sensitive and/or allergic to, which by law have to be declared on all cosmetic labels so that you are aware of its presence in the product.

That being said, some of these natural components are used extensively in perfumery and aromatherapy.

Never use essential oils undiluted.

INCI: Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil

Melting point: Liquid at room temperature
Colour: Green
Smell: Avocado

The avocado pulp usually contains around 15-40% oil, but the extraction must happen when the pulp is dried out otherwise it would emulsify. It is a stable oil with a long shelf life compared to some other oils.

Avocado oil is a choice for nut-free carrier oil. It has anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties. It is a long oil, which means it glides well on the skin making it great for massage oils.

INCI: Camellia Japonica (Camellia) Seed Oil and/or Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil

Melting point: Liquid at room temperature
Colour: Gold
Smell: Mildy sweet

Camellia oil is from a shrub (or a small tree), which is the source of an edible oil. It is also known as Tea oil, but do not confuse it with Tea Tree oil.

It is widely used in skin care to nourish and soothe the skin, as well as help restore skin’s elasticity. Camellia japonica oil possesses a variety of biological activities, including antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. It penetrates the skin quickly and it doesn’t leave a greasy feel.

It can be used in products for problem skin and formulations that are designed for dull, lifeless skin.

INCI: Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil

Melting point: Liquid at room temperature
Colour: Yellow
Smell: Sweet

Jojoba oil is a wax. It is an awesome moisturiser, since its structure is very similar to the skin’s sebum.

Its slightly nutty odour with high viscosity and exhibits extraordinary high thermal and oxidative stabilities. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-fungal activities. As it is very similar to the human sebum, it is not greasy and non-occlusive.

Builds skin protection barrier, increases the speed of the barrier recovery, and penetrates the skin controlling the sebum production.

It is a great choice for massage oils, for product designed to protect the skin from the elements, since it creates a very light layer of film on the skin which will help prevent trans epidermal water loss.

Sodium Chloride - Coarse White Salt and/or Fine White Salt

Known commonly as table salt. It is used primarily as a binding agent in skincare products and sometimes as an abrasive in scrubs.

The most common use of sodium chloride in cosmetics is as a thickening agent. Salt is commonly used to thicken the water (also known as aqueous) phase of shampoos, body washes, and non-soap facial cleansers. It’s an inexpensive and highly effective, versatile ingredient included in numerous types of cosmetics.

Sodium Chloride occurs naturally in seawater and as the mineral halite. It is essential to biological organisms and is found in most tissues and body fluids. The sodium and chlorine elements of Sodium Chloride play a diverse and important role in many physiological processes, including the transport of nutrients and waste, nervous system functions, and water and electrolyte balance.

Sodium Chloride - Pink Himalayan Coarse Salt and/or Pink Himalayan Fine Salt

Pink Himalayan salt is a type of rock salt from the Punjab region of Pakistan, near the foothills of the Himalayas. Himalayan salt crystals are harvested from salt beds, which were covered in lava, snow, and ice and remained that way for years.

Usually described as one of the purest salts available. The salt is chemically similar to table salt. It contains up to 98% sodium chloride.

The rest of the salt consists of trace minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These give the salt its light pink tint. These minerals also explain why Himalayan salt tastes different from regular table salt.

Himalayan salt crystals contain minerals, small enough for our body and skin to absorb, providing amazing therapeutic benefits to skin, body, and mind.

Sodium bi-carbonate (Sodium Bicarbonate)

Sodium bicarbonate is the active ingredient in baking soda.

Sodium Bicarbonate, is used to control the acid-base (pH) balance of cosmetic products. The pH of the products you use is super important for maintaining healthy skin.

It is a water soluble, white powder used as a leavening agent to help soften bath water. Sodium Bicarbonate is soothing, neutralising and versatile. It can be used to soften bathwater and boost circulation.

Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom Salt)

Epsom salt is hailed for relieving aches and pains.

They are a naturally-occurring pure mineral compound of sulphate and magnesium, and both of these minerals have natural healing properties and are powerful beautification boosters.

Studies have shown that magnesium and sulphate are both readily absorbed through the skin, making Epsom salt baths an easy and ideal way to enjoy the associated health benefit.

Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, and flush out toxins.


Anhydrous, means no water added. These are products that contain only plant butters, waxes, oils, and/or essential oils only. These products contain no preservatives either. Do keep a look out for these products that are indicated so under the description of the product.

However, if there is a chance that the Anhydrous product may come in to contact with water, it will contain a minute percentage of nature-identical preservatives synthesized in a lab, and will be indicated so.


Light Trace

Refers to a blend with no liquid streaks, and has the consistency of a thin lotion. The blend will be quite easy to pour.

Double Boiler and/or Bain Marie and/or Water Bath

You can set up a heat proof bowl on top of a pan of simmering water, which would be your best option starting out.

Some catering equipment suppliers sell a double boiler, which is similar to a bain marie principle but in one pot.

You can also combine a hot plate, a pan of water on it and a thermometer so you can control the temperature of your water bath. You then place your beaker/s in the water bath to gently heat/melt your ingredients.

You can also invest in a water bath from a laboratory supplier but these gadgets come at a premium.

Natural component of essential oil

These are natural allergens that are present in some, not all essential oils that one could be sensitive to, which by law have to be declared on all cosmetic labels. This does not necessarily mean that you are allergic and/or sensitive to it, it just means you should be aware of its presence in the product. This is why we highly recommend a 24 hour patch test on the inner arm when purchasing any product/s for the first time. We have specifically designed Petite Care/Travel/Sample packs with this in mind, available for purchase in the online store.

That being said, these natural components are used extensively in perfumery and aromatherapy.

Never use essential oils undiluted.