Ingredient Glossary

Our goal at Ursa Major is to craft beautiful, sophisticated and efficacious skin care products using only fresh, purely-processed natural ingredients.

Each one of our products has to meet our three criteria. It has to be Effective, meaning it’s got to work. It has to be Healthy with only pure, clean, sustainable ingredients and zero toxic chemicals (see our 'Never List' below). And finally, it has to provide a truly Sublime experience! That's why we like to call it 'super natural skin care.'


What you will NEVER find in our products ...

Artificial fragrances or colors, MEA, DEA or TEA, parabens, phthalates, PEG compounds, sulfates, silicones, or any other petrochemicals.  

What you WILL find in our products: natural, gluten-free, cruelty-free, GMO-free ingredients ... 


Alcohol Denatured – Natural solvent made from the fermentation of grains. Delivers antimicrobial, astringent and cooling properties.

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) – Soothes and moisturizes skin while promoting healthy tissue regeneration.

Alpine Rose Callus Extract (Rosa damascena) – Contains a water-retaining protein called dehydrin which treats dry and stressed skin. Promotes skin cell resilience and strengthens the skin’s barrier to protect against UV rays and other environmental stresses.

Anhydroxylitol – This sugar-based compound is part of a moisturizing complex that strengthens the skin’s barrier function and reduces epidermal water loss.

Apple Fruit Extract (Pyrus malus) – Contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that reduces redness and removes dead skin cells.

Arachidyl Alcohol – Derived from rapeseed oil. Helps solubilize essential oils and stabilize mixtures. Also provides light moisturizing benefit.

Arachidyl Glucoside – Naturally derived emulsifier made from the reaction of arachidyl alcohol and glucose. Helps moisturize the skin.

Balloon Plant Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract (Cardiospermum halicacabum) – Plant extract used to treat dryness, inflammation, redness and itchiness.

Bamboo Ferment Filtrate (Arundinaria gigantea) – Natural alternative to silicone that provides a smooth, silky feel on the skin.

Behenyl Alcohol – Natural emulsifier derived from coconut oil.

Benzyl Alcohol – Nature-identical alcohol preservative used as an alternative to formaldehyde or parabens.

Bergamot Peel Oil (Citrus bergamia) – Fruit-derived essential oil used primarily for its aromatic qualities.

Birch Sap (Betula alba) – Acts as an astringent to reduce redness and tone skin. Also provides some moisturizing benefit.

Bisabolol Wood Oil (Vanillosmopsis erythropappa) – Antibacterial essential oil that provides skin-soothing properties and a floral aroma.

Black Currant Seed Oil (Ribes nigrum) – Rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, helps increase skin’s firmness and elasticity and treat dry or damaged skin.

Black Spruce Needle oil (Picea mariana) – Steam distilled essential oil with a coniferous odor.

Blue Tansy Flower Oil (Tanacetum annum) – Essential oil that contains azulene, a popular anti-inflammatory ingredient.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – Triester derived from coconut oil and glycerin. Serves as an emollient to create a non-greasy feel on the skin.

Caprylyl/Capryl Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides – Naturally-derived surfactant that is [PEG]-free and helps mix essential oils.

Carrageenan (Chondrus crispus) – Thickener derived from Irish Moss that adds moisturizing properties.

Carrot Seed Oil (Daucus carota) – Essential oil with herbal aroma and contains skin-rejuvenating compounds carotene and vitamin A.

Calendula Flower Extract (Calendula officinalis) Skin-conditioning extract with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Cedar Wood Oil (Juniperus virginiana) – Essential oil that provides antiseptic and astringent qualities as well as woodsy aromas.

Cetearyl Alcohol – Mix of cetyl and stearyl fatty alcohols. Emulsifier that helps stabilize mixtures.

Cetearyl Glucoside – Made from coconut-derived cetearyl alcohol and glucose from corn. Emulsifier which helps create a velvety feel while also aiding in moisturizing.

Cetyl Alcohol – Fatty alcohol used in skin lotions and creams for moisturizing and conditioning properties.

Cetyl Palmitate – Plant-derived thickener and emollient from non-GMO coconut and palm oil. Helps smooth and condition dry skin. 

Chamomile Flower Extract (Chamomilla recutita matricaria) - Gentle floral extract with anti-inflammatory properties.

Citric Acid – This naturally derived acid, from the fermentation of sugars, is used to adjust pH levels to be more compatible with skin.

Coco-Glucoside – Natural surfactant derived from corn glucose and coconut fatty alcohols. Serves as a  biodegradable cleansing agent suitable for sensitive skin.

Dehydroacetic Acid – Nature-identical preservative used to stabilize and preserve skin care formulations.

Eucalyptus Leaf Oil (Eucalyptus globulus) - Essential oil distilled from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree; has a woody, sweet smell and imparts a cooling sensation.

Fir Balsam Oil (Abies balsamea) – Essential oil adds sweet notes to the woodsy scent profile.

Fir Needle Oil (Pseudotsuga menziesii) – Steam-distilled essential oil with citrusy, fresh aroma believed to posses stress-relieving qualities.

Frankinscense Resin Extract (Boswellia carterii) – Contains boswellic acid, which has excellent anti-inflammatory properties.

Fusel Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides – Naturally derived surfactant is a PEG-free substance that solubilizes the essential oils and lends a pleasant feel to the skin.

Galactoarabinan – Natural sugar extracted from larch trees with moisturizing, anti-wrinkle, and exfoliating properties.

Geranium Leaf/Flower Oil (Pelargonium graveolens) – Essential oil helps clear the secretion of sebum and refresh oily skin. Also has sweet, floral fragrance.

Ginger Root Oil (Zingiber officinale) – Antiseptic essential oil with stimulating properties and a spicy aroma.

Ginseng Root Extract (Panax quinquefolium) - Has skin protecting and stimulating properties.

Gluconolactone – Food-approved preservative that aids in preservation of skin care preparations. Also provides moisturizing effects.

Glycerin – Humectant derived from organic vegetable material. Helps skin attract moisture and keeps products from drying out.

Glyceryl Caprylate – Ester derived from vegetable matter which provides anti-microbial properties while acting as a skin smoothing emollient.

Glyceryl Laurate – Ester made up of glycerin and lauric acid. Provides an emollient/surfactant while also acting as a natural preservative.

Glyceryl Stearate – Ester derived from glycerin and stearic acid. Functions as a skin conditioning agent which helps helps retain moisture and create a protective barrier on the skin.

Glyceryl Stearate Citrate – Ester derived from vegetable oils and citric acid. Functions as an emulsifier and helps skin retain moisture. 

Glyceryl Undecylenate – Skin conditioning agent and preservative enhancer derived from a combination of castor bean oil and glycerine.

Grand Fir Needle Oil (Abies grandis) – Steam-distilled essential oil with anti-inflammatory properties and a piney aroma.

Green Tea Leaf Extract (Camellia sinensis) – Potent active which protects skin from the damaging effects of free radicals.

Guar Gum – Thickening agent derived from processed guar beans.

Hops Extract (Humulus lupulus) - Antibacterial and antimicrobial extract that effectively neutralizes unpleasant odors.

Hydrogenated Lecithin – Soy-derived emulsifier that acts as a skin-smoothing emollient. Also relieves dry skin and reduces flaking and redness.

Hydrolyzed Myrtle Leaf Extract (Myrtus communis) – Anti-aging extract derived  from myrtle tree leaves.

Inulin – Fructose polymer derived from chicory. Acts as a skin-conditioning agent to promote softer skin.

Jojoba Seed Oil (Simmondisa chinensis) – Provides fast-absorbing, deep moisturization, regulates oil production and helps treat and prevent acne.

Kaolin – A soft, mild clay used for its moisture-absorbing and odor-neutralizing qualities.

Kendi Seed Oil (Aleurites moluccana) – Acts as an emollient and provides non-greasy lubrication.

Lauryl Glucoside – Naturally derived surfactant is a foaming agent that serves as a mild cleanser.

Lavender Flower Oil (Lavandula angustifolia) – Steam-distilled essential oil that acts as a mild antiseptic. Also provides a soothing effect for problem skin.

Lavender Flower Water (Lavandula angustifolia) – Contributes a pleasant lavender aroma.

Lemon Extract (Citrus medica limonum) – Citrus extract that contains alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to aid in exfoliation. Also provides astringent qualities that help firm skin.

Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate – Active derived from radishes and fermented kimchi. Acts as a natural anti-bacterial compound.

Lime Peel Oil (Citrus aurantifolia) – Citrus-scented essential oil with astringent properties that help treat oily skin.

Lysolecithin – Phospholipid-derived emulsifier; helps give products a smooth, creamy consistency.

Mandarin Peel Oil (Citrus reticulata) – Popular essential oil used for its sweet, fruity aroma and skin-balancing properties.

Maltodextrin – Polysaccharide derived from starch. Acts as a powder that helps deliver other potent actives. Has been shown to enhance the anti-aging effects of hydroxyl acids.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil (Limnanthes alba) – Softens skin and seals in moisture while delivering antioxidant benefits.

Mexican Prickly Poppy Callus Extract (Argemone mexicana) – Moisturizes and creates a protective skin barrier on the skin; increases skin cell regeneration.

Microcrystalline Cellulose – Naturally occurring component found in the cell walls of plants; used as a thickener, stabilizer and emulsifier.

Neroli Flower Oil (Citrus aurantium amara) – Essential oil derived from the bitter orange blossoms. Contains astringent and antibacterial properties helps regulate oil control.

Niaouli Leaf Oil (Melaleuca quinquenervia) – Derived from tea trees and used for treating skin blemishes.

Octyldodecanol – A fatty alcohol used as an emollient and emulsifier. 

Oat Protein (Avena sativa) – Active rich in peptides. Promotes skin protection by stimulating collagen production.

Olive Leaf Extract (Olea europaea) – Potent multifaceted active. Contributes to anti-aging, anti-inflammation, moisturizing and skin lightening. Also helps fight acne, irritation and microbials.

Orange Fruit Extract (Citrus aurantium dulcis) – Helps fight aging and has powerful anti-oxidant characteristics that help brighten dull and oily complexions.

Owyhee Leaf Oil (Artemisia ludoviciana) – Essential oil with anti-inflammatory properties and a slightly peachy scent.

P-anisic Acid – Naturally-occurring acid present in plants such as anise and basil. Has an anti-fungicide and anti-inflammatory effect.

Palmarosa Leaf Oil (Cymbopogon martinii) – Essential oil with hydrating and antiseptic properties.

PCA Glyceryl Oleate – Skin conditioner made from renewable raw materials. Compound enhances the effect of other natural conditioners in a mixture.

Peppermint Oil (Mentha piperita) – Ancient and widely-used essential oil with cooling and refreshing properties.

Petitgrain Bigarade Leaf/Bud Oil (Citrus aurantium) – Essential oil with an uplifting citrus scent.

Pink Grapefruit Peel Oil (Citrus paradisi) – Citrus-scented essential oil with astringent and toning properties that help balance oily skin.

Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate – Ester which is a PEG-free surfactant and enables essential oils to be mixed into the tonic.

Potassium Cocoate – Potassium salt of coconut fatty acid, used as a mild surfactant.

Potassium Sorbate – Synthetic preservative made up of potassium and sorbic acid. Prevents mixtures from growing mold, yeast or fungus.

Prickly Pear Cactus Stem Extract (Opuntia ficus-indica) – Extracted from prickly pear cacti. Active is rich in amino acids and antioxidants. Soothes irritated skin and provides deep, long-lasting hydration.

Propanediol – Corn-derived thickening agent used to help form the base of our deodorant.

Pullulan – Polysaccharide derived from starch which contains skin-tightening properties. It is also believed to increase skin’s immunity against infections.

Rice Seed Extract (Oryza sativa) – Moisturizing extract that softens skin and prevents wrinkles.

Rose Flower Oil (Rosa damascena) – Great for treating dry and blemish-prone skin, contains potent calming, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Rosemary Leaf Extract (Rosmarinus officinalis) – Essential oil with antioxidant properties and a crisp, herbal scent.

Rosemary Extract (Rosemarinus officinalis) – Antioxidant used to keep fatty acids from oxidizing. Has high levels of carnosic acid, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

Rosemary Oil (Rosemarinus officinalis) – Essential oil with notes of rosemary.

Rosemary Leaf/Flower Water (Rosemarinus officinalis) – Water with notes of rosemary.

Royal Jelly Extract – A honey bee secretion incredibly rich with nutrients that benefit the skin; also helps to regulate sweat gland secretions and reduce oiliness.

Saccharomyces Ferment – Odor-absorbing enzyme derived from the fermentation of yeast.

Sandalwood Wood Oil (Santalum spicatum) – Essential oil that acts as a mild astringent  and features a woodsy aroma.

Sea Buckthorn Fruit Extract (Hippophae rhamnoides) – Contains over 190 bioactive substances including omega oils 3, 6, 7, and 9, vitamin E and beta carotene. Smooths, soothes and strengthens skin while offering intense hydration and protection against the elements.

Sea Fennel Extract (Crithmum maritimum) – Contains skin conditioning and toning properties. Can also speed up the skin’s barrier repair process.

Sclerotium Gum – Naturally derived stabilizer that also acts as a thickener.

Shea Nut Butter (Butyrospermum parkii) – Emollient rich in fatty acids, vitamin E and carotene. Has powerful soothing and moisturizing characteristics.

Silica - An abundantly-occurring mineral found in sandstone that effectively absorbs moisture and sweat.

Sodium Anisate – Antimicrobial preservative derived from basil. 

Sodium Benzoate – Preservative that is a nature-identical synthetic version of benzoic acid.

Sodium Bicarbonate – Commonly known as baking soda, this versatile ingredient is useful in our deodorant for its odor-inhibiting and acid-neutralizing properties.

Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate – Mild surfactant derived from coconut oil and fermented sugars. It is a mild cleanser, ideal for sensitive skin.

Sodium Hyaluronate – A water-soluble salt form of hyaluronic acid that helps skin attract and retain moisture while increasing elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Sodium Lauroamphoacetate – Naturally derived surfactant is a mild, foaming cleanser ideal for sensitive skin.

Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate – Mild surfactant that does not dehydrate while it cleans.

Sodium Phytate – EDTA alternative that is a naturally derived compound and chelates unwanted heavy metals.

Sodium Stearate – Sodium salt of stearic acid (vegetable-derived)

Sorbitan Stearate – Ester derived from sorbitol and stearic acid (a naturally-derived fatty acid) that functions as a surfactant emulsifying agent which helps blend oils and water.

Spearmint Leaf Oil (Mentha spicata) – Plant derived essential oil with antiseptic properties and minty aroma.

Spearmint Leaf Extract (Mentha spicata) – Antioxidant extracted from spearmint using water. Gentle preservative that helps maintain stable consistency of mixtures.

Spikenard Root Oil (Nardostachys chinensis) – Essential oil, popular in ancient Egypt, with a calming, earthy, and somewhat spicy aroma.

Squalane – A fast-absorbing lipid derived from olives that helps retain moisture, improve skin tone and texture, increase elasticity and minimize the appearance of dark spots.

Sugarcane Extract (Saccharum officinarum) – Plant extract with AHA that exfoliates and promotes anti-aging. Antimicrobial properties help with sebum and acne control.

Sunflower Seed Oil (Helianthus annuus) – Vegetable-based emollient helps retain moisture and create a protectant barrier on the skin.

Sweet Orange Peel Oil (Citrus sinensis) – Uplifting citrus-scented essential oil that helps soothe dry, irritated skin as well as acne-prone skin.

Swiss Apple Callus Extract (Malus domestica) – Derived from a rare form of Swiss apple, this cutting edge technology is shown promote vitality and longevity of skin stem cells, and delay the aging process.

Tapioca Starch – An oil-absorbing starch extracted from the cassava root that acts as a thickener and imparts a smooth, silky feel.

Tocopherol – A naturally occurring antioxidant and form of Vitamin E derived from non-GMO vegetable oils. Contains anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties and helps fight free radical damage. 

Tocopheryl Acetate – An ester of acetic acid and tocopherol (vitamin E), a natural skin-conditioning agent and antioxidant.

Vetiver Root Oil (Vetiveria zizaniodes) – Essential oil that helps strengthen the skin and has a pleasing aroma.

Violet Leaf Oil (Viola odorata) – Multipurpose essential oil that moisturizes. Is thought to help treat acne and other blemishes by tightening pores.

Water/Aqua/Eau – Is used as a solvent and a carrier for other ingredients.

White Tea Leaf Extract (Camellia sinensis) – Extracted from a rare strain of tea leaves. Antioxidant properties protect skin from sun damage and oxidative stress.

Willow Bark Extract (Salix nigra) – Plant extract known for its astringent, anti-inflammatory, soothing, and conditioning properties.

Witch Hazel Leaf Water (Hamamelis virginiana) – Astringent properties treat inflammation and fights free radicals.

Xanthan Gum – Thickening agent that helps stabilize ingredients.

Xylitol – Part of a sugar-based moisturizing complex. Reduces epidermal water loss and aids in increasing the skin’s barrier function.

Xylitylglucoside – Final part of a sugar-based moisturizing complex (with xylitol and anhydroxylitol). This glucose-added compound reduces epidermal water loss and aids in increasing the skin’s barrier function.

Ylang Ylang Flower Oil (Cananga odorata) – Essential oil that normalizes sebum secretion and has a floral aroma.

Zinc Oxide – Offers broad-spectrum sun protection by scattering, absorbing and reflecting harmful UV radiation. Has antiseptic, wound-healing, and soothing properties.