What's in my skincare?

Glow Don't Shine.

Learn about each ingredient in your Glow Don't Shine skincare.


Isododecane

Isododecane is an emollient* which helps to keep our skin soft and nourished. It’s really important to make sure our skin stays hydrated throughout the day - even when we’re trying to keep down the shine. Lots of people don’t realise that oily skin can still become dehydrated (there is a difference between having dehydrated skin (which can affect all of us) and dry skin (which is a skin type)). Our skin might be crying out for moisture (i.e. it’s reached a dehydrated state) and be oily at the same time - not a great combo. Oil is produced by the skin as its natural protective barrier and to lock in moisture. Although the amount of oil our skin produces is largely genetic, we can help signal to it that it doesn’t need to produce more oil, by keeping it hydrated. So, ensure skin is both healthy and shine-free by using a product which hydrates and contains ingredients which help reduce oil production.

Isododecane is especially good for mattifying, and anti-blemish products because it is “non-comedonal”. This means that it doesn’t clog pores and so won’t contribute to blemishes developing.

Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate

It has a long name thanks to the chemists out there. It’s made up of two different things - neopentyl glycol and heptonic acid. Neopentyl glycol is an emollient* and heptonic acid is a fatty acid that helps soften skin. It also helps to thicken the product and give it its smooth, silky texture.

Dimethicone Crosspolymer

Derived from silicone, it acts as a delivery agent for the active ingredients in the product - kinda like FedEx for skincare. It has a silky smooth, non-greasy texture which helps the product glide across our skin and improve the appearance of our skin’s texture.

Let’s take a moment to address the silicone debate. Silicones sometimes get a bad rep which we (and many scientists, dermatologists, and leading beauty journalists) don’t think is deserved. So, here’s some silicone facts and we’ll let you make up your mind.

What’s it made from?

Silicones are made from the naturally occurring mineral, silicon (note no “e”), and oxygen. Silicon (otherwise known as quartz) is one of the most commonly occurring minerals on earth - sand is even made from the stuff. There are lots of changes to silicon to turn it into the silicone we can use in skincare and this is why it’s considered a synthetic ingredient.

Why use it in skincare?

Silicones have a lattice-like molecular structure, with large spaces sitting between the ingredient’s molecules. It’s kind of like the Burberry check, with the dark colours representing the silicone molecules and the light colours as the little spaces between them. When you use a product containing silicone, you get a fine film-like layer sitting on your skin which is punctured by millions and millions of these little holes. This structure is important because the little spaces let your skin breathe while the film-like layer both keeps moisture in the skin (most silicones don’t let water pass through) and acts as a carrier for active ingredients (so aiding the product’s performance). Once on your skin, the film enhances our skin’s texture, blurring any imperfections to improve your complexion.

Will they cause me to breakout?

No - don’t worry, they won’t.

Quite simply, silicones do not clog pores and do not lead to breakouts. There are a couple of reasons we know this. First, as we’ve just talked about, the structure of silicones means that there are these giant spaces between each molecule and this lets the skin breathe (even when we are wearing our skincare products). Secondly, the size of silicone molecules are too big to penetrate into the skin. This means that they can’t get into the pore to block it in the first place!  

Are they ok for people with sensitive skin?

Yes. Silicones are great for people with sensitive skin as they are extremely unlikely to cause any irritation or allergic reactions. Silicones have been around for a long time - around 70 years in consumer products - and so there has been a lot of time to test their safety. Note that hospitals use silicone-based dressings to take care of wounds due to their biocompatibility with most people (very few individuals have allergic reactions or sensitivity to silicone).

What about other health risks?

As silicone molecules are too big to penetrate our skin, it means they can’t enter our bloodstream or bioaccumulate. In other words, they can’t build up inside us to cause harm.

It’s worth mentioning here that there are two key types of silicones that are used in skincare - cyclic silicones (which we don’t use in Bolt Beauty products) and linear silicones (which we do use). There have been some studies that link cyclic silicones (cyclotetrasiloxane and cylcopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane and cyclomethicone) to potential health issues (reproductive, developmental toxicity and/or endocrine disruption concerns); however, the latest studies are calling these earlier concerns into question. Let’s assume the jury is still out on these cyclic silicones. But what about their linear cousins - like dimethicone and its derivatives? We are not aware of any studies linking these types of silicones to similar health concerns (and we’ve really looked!). Instead, as we’ve previously described, there are good reasons to use these linear silicones in cosmetics products without any risk to your health.

Do they harm the environment?

There is lots of information out there claiming that silicones will harm the environment. Similar to when we looked at the health implications of silicones, it’s important to remember that there are different types of silicones that have different chemical structures and therefore different potential impacts on the planet. Cyclic silicones have been identified by the EU, Canada and Australia as having potentially harmful impacts on the planet due to they way they can bioaccumulate (build up) in water. However, even these studies go on to recognise that consumer use is unlikely to cause bioaccumulation. Again, let’s assume there isn’t a definitive answer on cyclic silicones yet. We are not aware of any scientific evidence that linear silicones (like dimethicone) are causing harm to the environment. Certain governments have designated cyclic silicones as an environmental problem, but none has done the same for linear silicones. In addition, other studies indicate that dimethicone is “degraded to inorganic constituents, carbon dioxide, silicic acid and water” and “no adverse effects have been detected in experimental organisms representative of the environmental compartments in which dimethicone… may be found”.  

So, why do silicones have a bad rep?

It’s a good question and we’re not really sure of the answer. We can speculate that some of the potential issues related to cyclic silicones have tarnished the reputation of non-harmful, friendly, linear silicones. The fundamental chemical differences between the ingredients can get lost when they all share the generic “silicone” surname. Ever get in trouble at school even though you didn’t do anything but you were hanging around with the kid with the bad rep? It’s just like that.

We’ve also noticed that it’s pretty trendy these days to have a “formulated without” list. We have “suspicious sixes”, “naughty nines” and who knows what will be next. These can be super helpful to identify ingredients that are known to be problematic. But, they can also be confusing, meaningless, and a great marketing tactic. Silicones have started making their way on to these which perpetuates the confusion over whether or not they are problematic ingredients. Let’s start talking about what we formulate with instead :)

Conclusion

Well done for making it through all that detail. As you’ll now be aware, there is a lot of information about silicones and some of it is more accurate than others. We hope a key takeaway for you is that there are different types of silicones and not all silicones are created equal - especially when it comes to the impact on human health or our planet. We are committed to creating safe, effective products and have no reason to consider dimethicone or its derivatives to be potentially hazardous. We’ll continue to monitor the latest scientific studies and will update this when new information on the silicones debate is published.

Aqua (Water)

Just some good old H2O to help create a lovely, smooth texture.




PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate

PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate is used in skincare as an “emulsifier”* and “surfactant”. Ingredients with these properties let two things which normally repel, come nicely together - in skincare this is normally oil and water. They do this by reducing the surface tension between these ingredients, letting them mix and form a great textured product.

You might have seen some controversy about PEGs (polyethylene glycols) and whether they are safe. The main concern is that PEGs might contain impurities which could be harmful. However, these concerns have been eliminated, as reputable suppliers have long since taken measures to ensure these impurities (like ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane) are not in the finished ingredients. We carefully select our suppliers and only work with one of Italy’s best factories to manufacture our skincare. We have no concerns about any impurities in our ingredients (and we actually test each batch to ensure there is nothing unexpected in there). There have also been studies which involved feeding large amounts of PEGs to animals or applying very high doses to mouse skin, which sadly caused harm to the animals. These conclusions should not be applied to PEGs in skincare cosmetics due to the enormous difference in doses between their use in skincare and these experiments. We will never include potentially harmful ingredients in our formulations and continue to rely on the latest scientific thinking (not rumours or scare-mongering) in making our decisions.

Tocopherol (Vitamin E) | Tocopheryl acetate

Both tocopherol and tocopheryl acetate are a form of Vitamin E. The main difference between them is that tocopherol is the natural form while tocopheryl acetate is synthetically produced (from tocopherol (if you want to get super sciencey-specific, it’s actually an ester of tocopherol)). Tocopheryl acetate is more stable than tocopherol (it doesn’t oxidize) which is why it’s used in cosmetic products, but when we put it on our skin it converts into tocopherol.

Vitamin E is an amazing antioxidant* that protects our skin from damage caused by daily life, like UV rays (sun damage) or air pollution. When our skin encounters these harmful things, it is at risk of damage by unstable molecules called “free radicals”. Free radicals harm our skin in a process called “oxidative stress”. This causes dullness, pigmentation, skin sagging, and fine lines - not what we want for our skin. Antioxidants help to prevent this damage by neutralising the “free radicals”. This helps us to maintain firm and non-pigmented skin, which looks healthy and bright.

If you want to learn more, you can read more about “free radicals” and antioxidants in our description of “antioxidants”.

There have been some suggestions on the internet that tocopherol in skincare is not safe. We are completely committed to providing you with safe and effective skincare and so we take any claim about ingredient safety very seriously. It turns out that these claims are based on studies where mice were injected multiple-times with tocopherol and then developed tumours. These studies do not deal with topical application of tocopherol in low doses. There are no scientific studies which show that tocopherol in skincare causes cancer (or other harm). In fact, there are actually studies which show that application of tocopherol can help to reduce skin cancers in humans.  We hope this helps reassure you on where the rumours come from and why tocopherol is safe to use in your skincare routine.

Decyl Glucoside

Decyl glucoside is a plant-based extremely gentle “surfactant”. A surfactant is something that lowers the surface tension between two normally repelling things, which lets them come together (in skincare, this is normally water and oil). As it’s a surfactant, it can be used in gentle cleansers (you can check out how surfactants work in cleansers in our descriptions of the ingredients in Filthy Clean) but we use it here to ensure the consistency of Glow Don’t Shine - which includes both oil- and water- based ingredients.

Stearic Acid

Stearic acid is a fatty acid found in both animals and plants (as a cruelty-free brand, we never use animal-derived versions). It’s used as an emulsifier*, letting two things which normally repel come nicely together - in skincare this is normally oil and water.

Oleic Acid

Oleic acid, otherwise known as an omega 9 fatty acid, is one of the most common fatty acids found in nature. The words “oleic” actually means “derived from olive oil” which is mainly made up from oleic acid, but it’s present in lots of other plants and animals (don’t worry, we are cruelty-free and so would never use an animal-derived version). It functions as an emollient* and emulsifier*, letting two things which normally repel come nicely together - in skincare this is normally oil and water.

Panthenol

A form of Vitamin B5, panthenol is used in skincare as a moisturising ingredient. Its derived from pantothenic acid (which naturally occurs in plants and animals) and acts as a natural humectant (something that attracts water to it). When panthenol is applied to our skin, it converts to pantothenic acid, which is something that naturally binds to water, keeping our skin hydrated. Panthenol is actually so good at this that it’s often used in products designed to treat burns. Studies also show that panthenol encourages the skin to heal and helps restore the skin’s cutaneous barrier (otherwise known as the very outermost layer of our skin). In doing so, it can relieve skin irritation and reduce inflammation, helping our skin to feel better and be healthier.

Propanediol

Propanediol is a “glycol”; a term which refers to a group of compounds which belongs to the alcohol family. There are lots of different “glycols” out there, with different purposes and chemical compositions.

It’s used as a solvent (something that can dissolve something else), making it a great carrier for other active ingredients and improving the product’s texture and consistency.

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate

Sodium lauroyl lactylate is made by reacting lauric acid (a fatty acid from coconut oil) and lactic acid (normally derived from milk, but we use a synthetic one so we stay vegan-friendly). It’s used in skincare as a “surfactant” and “emulsifier”*. Ingredients with these properties let two things which normally repel, come nicely together - in skincare this is normally oil and water. They do this by reducing the surface tension between these ingredients, letting them mix and form a great textured product.

Salvia Sclarea Oil (Clary Sage Oil)

Normally known as clary sage oil, it’s made from the pretty clary sage plant and has been used in herbal remedies for centuries. Clary sage oil has antibacterial properties meaning it can help to fight any skin infections or unwanted bacteria on the skin. Studies on clary sage show that it can help reduce the amount of sebum (our skin’s natural oil) our skin produces - perfect for reducing shine and fighting blemishes.

Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil (Rosemary Extract Oil)

Extracted from the rosemary plant, rosmarinus officinalis leaf oil is used in skincare for its antioxidant* properties. It has a calming effect on our skin, with studies showing that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary oil also has antibacterial properties, which helps fight the bacteria naturally living on our skin but which can cause inflamed blemishes.

In high doses, rosemary oil can occasionally cause skin irritation or sensitivity in some people. Therefore, we only use very low doses to avoid the risk of irritation or sensitivity. Our products are designed to enhance your skin and we want it to look and feel great. If you do experience any irritation, stop using the product and let us know so we can help you to find a solution.

Cucurbita Pepo Seed Oil (Pumpkin Seed Oil)

Cucurbita pepo seed oil (more commonly known as pumpkin seed oil) is the oil extracted from pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seed oil is an amazing ingredient in skincare because its packed full of essential fatty acids and antioxidants* - exactly what we need for healthy, glowing skin.

The main fatty acid found in pumpkin seed oil is linoleic acid (otherwise known as omega 6).  Linoleic acid has a key role in maintaining the skin’s water permeability barrier. Basically, it helps the skin trap in moisture and other nutrients, but prevents anything unwanted from getting in. Studies also show that linoleic acid can help with wound healing (great for any inflamed blemishes).  

Pumpkin seed oil is also rich in Vitamin E (otherwise known as tocopherol). Vitamin E is an amazing antioxidant that protects our skin from damage caused by daily life, like UV rays (sun damage) or air pollution. When our skin encounters these harmful things, it is at risk of damage by unstable molecules called “free radicals”. Free radicals harm our skin in a process called “oxidative stress”. This causes dullness, pigmentation, skin sagging, and fine lines - not what we want for our skin. Antioxidants help to prevent this damage by neutralising the “free radicals”. This helps us to maintain firm and non-pigmented skin, which looks healthy and bright.

If you want to learn more, you can read more about “free radicals” and antioxidants in our description of “antioxidants”.

Glyceryl Caprylate | Glyceryl Undecylenate

Both ingredients are plant-based emulsifiers* and emollients*. As an emulsifier it works to bring together two things which are normally incompatible. In cosmetics, this is generally water and oil. It does this by reducing the surface tension between these ingredients, letting them mix and form a great textured product.

Chamomilla Recutita Flower Oil (Chamomile Extract)

Chamomile has been used for centuries in natural and herbal remedies, including for the skin. The active ingredient from chamomile is an extract called bisabolol (we use pure bisabolol extract in some of our other products).  

Studies show that bisabolol reduces sensitivity and inflammation which helps to minimise irritation and contributes to the skin’s healing process. It does this by stopping the release of things called cytokines, specifically, TNF-α and IL-6 (these are little signalling systems which tell our body to react to harm or not). By inhibiting the release of these cytokines, bisabolol is soothing on the skin, helping to reduce skin inflammation, redness or sensitivity.  

Bisabolol also has other properties which keep our skin healthy and glowing. It has strong antioxidant* properties so helps to fight any damage caused to our skin through oxidative stress (you can read more about what this means in our explanation of “antioxidant”). It is also anti-microbial (has properties that kill really small bad stuff like fungi or bacteria) and so can help fight skin infections. For a pretty little flower, it definitely packs some punch.

Bentonite

A type of clay that’s commonly used in skincare due to its ability to absorb . We use it in our mattifier to help absorb any excess oil produced by our skin throughout the day so we can work towards eliminating that shine.

Mentha Piperita Oil (Peppermint Oil)

Peppermint oil (as well as smelling gorgeously fresh!) has been used in homeopathy and herbal remedies for its calming effects. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to reduce skin irritation. In particular, studies show that it is effective at reducing itchiness (which can be caused by lots of different skin conditions) and calming skin. Peppermint oil is also antibacterial and antimicrobial, which means it can kill unwanted bacteria sitting on the surface of the skin. As inflamed blemishes can be caused by some types of bacteria that naturally live on our skin, peppermint oil can help fight this bacteria and keep our skin looking clear.

In high doses, peppermint oil can occasionally cause skin irritation or sensitivity in some people. Therefore, we only use very low doses to avoid the risk of irritation or sensitivity. Our products are designed to enhance your skin and we want it to look and feel great. If you do experience any irritation, stop using the product and let us know so we can help you to find a solution.

Linalool | Limonene | Geraniol

These are all components of essential oils. They come as a package deal: if you want the essential oil, these come along for the ride. Linalool is found in clary sage and rosemary oil; limonene in peppermint and rosemary oil; and geraniol in chamomile extract. Linalool, limonene and geraniol are the chemicals which create the natural fragrance of their partner essential oil.

We list these fragrances so you know that they are present in the product. This is because some people can have an allergic reaction (often called contact dermatitis) after being exposed to them. We only use tiny amounts of these fragrances in Glow Don’t Shine (less than 0.2% of each) and this is purely because they are part of the essential oils, which are included for their beneficial properties. Lots and lots of cosmetics products (and all products made with essential oils) will contain these fragrances so it isn’t something to worry about. We will always be honest about what we include in our products and why it’s there. If you do experience any irritation, stop using the product and let us know (hello@bolt-beauty.com) so we can help you to find a solution.





GET YOUR HANDS ON GLOW DON'T SHINE FOR THE GLOWIEST SKIN.
🌟⚡



What's in my skincare?

Glow Don't Shine.

Learn about each ingredient in your Glow Don't Shine skincare.

Isododecane

Isododecane is an emollient* which helps to keep our skin soft and nourished. It’s really important to make sure our skin stays hydrated throughout the day - even when we’re trying to keep down the shine.

Lots of people don’t realise that oily skin can still become dehydrated (there is a difference between having dehydrated skin (which can affect all of us) and dry skin (which is a skin type)). Our skin might be crying out for moisture (i.e. it’s reached a dehydrated state) and be oily at the same time - not a great combo. Oil is produced by the skin as its natural protective barrier and to lock in moisture. Although the amount of oil our skin produces is largely genetic, we can help signal to it that it doesn’t need to produce more oil, by keeping it hydrated. So, ensure skin is both healthy and shine-free by using a product which hydrates and contains ingredients which help reduce oil production.

Isododecane is especially good for mattifying, and anti-blemish products because it is “non-comedonal”. This means that it doesn’t clog pores and so won’t contribute to blemishes developing.

Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate

It has a long name thanks to the chemists out there. It’s made up of two different things - neopentyl glycol and heptonic acid. Neopentyl glycol is an emollient* and heptonic acid is a fatty acid that helps soften skin. It also helps to thicken the product and give it its smooth, silky texture.

Dimethicone Crosspolymer

Derived from silicone, it acts as a delivery agent for the active ingredients in the product - kinda like FedEx for skincare. It has a silky smooth, non-greasy texture which helps the product glide across our skin and improve the appearance of our skin’s texture.

Let’s take a moment to address the silicone debate. Silicones sometimes get a bad rep which we (and many scientists, dermatologists, and leading beauty journalists) don’t think is deserved. So, here’s some silicone facts and we’ll let you make up your mind.

What’s it made from?

Silicones are made from the naturally occurring mineral, silicon (note no “e”), and oxygen. Silicon (otherwise known as quartz) is one of the most commonly occurring minerals on earth - sand is even made from the stuff. There are lots of changes to silicon to turn it into the silicone we can use in skincare and this is why it’s considered a synthetic ingredient.

Why use it in skincare?

Silicones have a lattice-like molecular structure, with large spaces sitting between the ingredient’s molecules. It’s kind of like the Burberry check, with the dark colours representing the silicone molecules and the light colours as the little spaces between them. When you use a product containing silicone, you get a fine film-like layer sitting on your skin which is punctured by millions and millions of these little holes. This structure is important because the little spaces let your skin breathe while the film-like layer both keeps moisture in the skin (most silicones don’t let water pass through) and acts as a carrier for active ingredients (so aiding the product’s performance). Once on your skin, the film enhances our skin’s texture, blurring any imperfections to improve your complexion.

Will they cause me to breakout?

No - don’t worry, they won’t.

Quite simply, silicones do not clog pores and do not lead to breakouts. There are a couple of reasons we know this. First, as we’ve just talked about, the structure of silicones means that there are these giant spaces between each molecule and this lets the skin breathe (even when we are wearing our skincare products). Secondly, the size of silicone molecules are too big to penetrate into the skin. This means that they can’t get into the pore to block it in the first place!  

Are they ok for people with sensitive skin?

Yes. Silicones are great for people with sensitive skin as they are extremely unlikely to cause any irritation or allergic reactions. Silicones have been around for a long time - around 70 years in consumer products - and so there has been a lot of time to test their safety. Note that hospitals use silicone-based dressings to take care of wounds due to their biocompatibility with most people (very few individuals have allergic reactions or sensitivity to silicone).

What about other health risks?

As silicone molecules are too big to penetrate our skin, it means they can’t enter our bloodstream or bioaccumulate. In other words, they can’t build up inside us to cause harm.

It’s worth mentioning here that there are two key types of silicones that are used in skincare - cyclic silicones (which we don’t use in Bolt Beauty products) and linear silicones (which we do use). There have been some studies that link cyclic silicones (cyclotetrasiloxane and cylcopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane and cyclomethicone) to potential health issues (reproductive, developmental toxicity and/or endocrine disruption concerns); however, the latest studies are calling these earlier concerns into question. Let’s assume the jury is still out on these cyclic silicones. But what about their linear cousins - like dimethicone and its derivatives? We are not aware of any studies linking these types of silicones to similar health concerns (and we’ve really looked!). Instead, as we’ve previously described, there are good reasons to use these linear silicones in cosmetics products without any risk to your health.

Do they harm the environment?

There is lots of information out there claiming that silicones will harm the environment. Similar to when we looked at the health implications of silicones, it’s important to remember that there are different types of silicones that have different chemical structures and therefore different potential impacts on the planet. Cyclic silicones have been identified by the EU, Canada and Australia as having potentially harmful impacts on the planet due to they way they can bioaccumulate (build up) in water. However, even these studies go on to recognise that consumer use is unlikely to cause bioaccumulation. Again, let’s assume there isn’t a definitive answer on cyclic silicones yet. We are not aware of any scientific evidence that linear silicones (like dimethicone) are causing harm to the environment. Certain governments have designated cyclic silicones as an environmental problem, but none has done the same for linear silicones. In addition, other studies indicate that dimethicone is “degraded to inorganic constituents, carbon dioxide, silicic acid and water” and “no adverse effects have been detected in experimental organisms representative of the environmental compartments in which dimethicone… may be found”.  

So, why do silicones have a bad rep?

It’s a good question and we’re not really sure of the answer. We can speculate that some of the potential issues related to cyclic silicones have tarnished the reputation of non-harmful, friendly, linear silicones. The fundamental chemical differences between the ingredients can get lost when they all share the generic “silicone” surname. Ever get in trouble at school even though you didn’t do anything but you were hanging around with the kid with the bad rep? It’s just like that.

We’ve also noticed that it’s pretty trendy these days to have a “formulated without” list. We have “suspicious sixes”, “naughty nines” and who knows what will be next. These can be super helpful to identify ingredients that are known to be problematic. But, they can also be confusing, meaningless, and a great marketing tactic. Silicones have started making their way on to these which perpetuates the confusion over whether or not they are problematic ingredients. Let’s start talking about what we formulate with instead :)

Conclusion

Well done for making it through all that detail. As you’ll now be aware, there is a lot of information about silicones and some of it is more accurate than others. We hope a key takeaway for you is that there are different types of silicones and not all silicones are created equal - especially when it comes to the impact on human health or our planet. We are committed to creating safe, effective products and have no reason to consider dimethicone or its derivatives to be potentially hazardous. We’ll continue to monitor the latest scientific studies and will update this when new information on the silicones debate is published.

Aqua (Water)

Just some good old H2O to help create a lovely, smooth texture.

PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate

PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate is used in skincare as an “emulsifier”* and “surfactant”. Ingredients with these properties let two things which normally repel, come nicely together - in skincare this is normally oil and water. They do this by reducing the surface tension between these ingredients, letting them mix and form a great textured product.

You might have seen some controversy about PEGs (polyethylene glycols) and whether they are safe. The main concern is that PEGs might contain impurities which could be harmful. However, these concerns have been eliminated, as reputable suppliers have long since taken measures to ensure these impurities (like ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane) are not in the finished ingredients. We carefully select our suppliers and only work with one of Italy’s best factories to manufacture our skincare. We have no concerns about any impurities in our ingredients (and we actually test each batch to ensure there is nothing unexpected in there). There have also been studies which involved feeding large amounts of PEGs to animals or applying very high doses to mouse skin, which sadly caused harm to the animals. These conclusions should not be applied to PEGs in skincare cosmetics due to the enormous difference in doses between their use in skincare and these experiments. We will never include potentially harmful ingredients in our formulations and continue to rely on the latest scientific thinking (not rumours or scare-mongering) in making our decisions.

Tocopherol (Vitamin E) | Tocopheryl acetate

Both tocopherol and tocopheryl acetate are a form of Vitamin E. The main difference between them is that tocopherol is the natural form while tocopheryl acetate is synthetically produced (from tocopherol (if you want to get super sciencey-specific, it’s actually an ester of tocopherol)). Tocopheryl acetate is more stable than tocopherol (it doesn’t oxidize) which is why it’s used in cosmetic products, but when we put it on our skin it converts into tocopherol.

Vitamin E is an amazing antioxidant* that protects our skin from damage caused by daily life, like UV rays (sun damage) or air pollution. When our skin encounters these harmful things, it is at risk of damage by unstable molecules called “free radicals”. Free radicals harm our skin in a process called “oxidative stress”. This causes dullness, pigmentation, skin sagging, and fine lines - not what we want for our skin. Antioxidants help to prevent this damage by neutralising the “free radicals”. This helps us to maintain firm and non-pigmented skin, which looks healthy and bright.

If you want to learn more, you can read more about “free radicals” and antioxidants in our description of “antioxidants”.

There have been some suggestions on the internet that tocopherol in skincare is not safe. We are completely committed to providing you with safe and effective skincare and so we take any claim about ingredient safety very seriously. It turns out that these claims are based on studies where mice were injected multiple-times with tocopherol and then developed tumours. These studies do not deal with topical application of tocopherol in low doses. There are no scientific studies which show that tocopherol in skincare causes cancer (or other harm). In fact, there are actually studies which show that application of tocopherol can help to reduce skin cancers in humans.  We hope this helps reassure you on where the rumours come from and why tocopherol is safe to use in your skincare routine.

Decyl Glucoside

Decyl glucoside is a plant-based extremely gentle “surfactant”. A surfactant is something that lowers the surface tension between two normally repelling things, which lets them come together (in skincare, this is normally water and oil). As it’s a surfactant, it can be used in gentle cleansers (you can check out how surfactants work in cleansers in our descriptions of the ingredients in Filthy Clean) but we use it here to ensure the consistency of Glow Don’t Shine - which includes both oil- and water- based ingredients.

Stearic Acid

Stearic acid is a fatty acid found in both animals and plants (as a cruelty-free brand, we never use animal-derived versions). It’s used as an emulsifier*, letting two things which normally repel come nicely together - in skincare this is normally oil and water.

Oleic Acid

Oleic acid, otherwise known as an omega 9 fatty acid, is one of the most common fatty acids found in nature. The words “oleic” actually means “derived from olive oil” which is mainly made up from oleic acid, but it’s present in lots of other plants and animals (don’t worry, we are cruelty-free and so would never use an animal-derived version). It functions as an emollient* and emulsifier*, letting two things which normally repel come nicely together - in skincare this is normally oil and water.

Panthenol

A form of Vitamin B5, panthenol is used in skincare as a moisturising ingredient. Its derived from pantothenic acid (which naturally occurs in plants and animals) and acts as a natural humectant (something that attracts water to it). When panthenol is applied to our skin, it converts to pantothenic acid, which is something that naturally binds to water, keeping our skin hydrated. Panthenol is actually so good at this that it’s often used in products designed to treat burns. Studies also show that panthenol encourages the skin to heal and helps restore the skin’s cutaneous barrier (otherwise known as the very outermost layer of our skin). In doing so, it can relieve skin irritation and reduce inflammation, helping our skin to feel better and be healthier.

Propanediol

Propanediol is a “glycol”; a term which refers to a group of compounds which belongs to the alcohol family. There are lots of different “glycols” out there, with different purposes and chemical compositions.

It’s used as a solvent (something that can dissolve something else), making it a great carrier for other active ingredients and improving the product’s texture and consistency.

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate

Sodium lauroyl lactylate is made by reacting lauric acid (a fatty acid from coconut oil) and lactic acid (normally derived from milk, but we use a synthetic one so we stay vegan-friendly). It’s used in skincare as a “surfactant” and “emulsifier”*. Ingredients with these properties let two things which normally repel, come nicely together - in skincare this is normally oil and water. They do this by reducing the surface tension between these ingredients, letting them mix and form a great textured product.

Salvia Sclarea Oil (Clary Sage Oil)

Normally known as clary sage oil, it’s made from the pretty clary sage plant and has been used in herbal remedies for centuries. Clary sage oil has antibacterial properties meaning it can help to fight any skin infections or unwanted bacteria on the skin. Studies on clary sage show that it can help reduce the amount of sebum (our skin’s natural oil) our skin produces - perfect for reducing shine and fighting blemishes.

Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil (Rosemary Extract Oil)

Extracted from the rosemary plant, rosmarinus officinalis leaf oil is used in skincare for its antioxidant* properties. It has a calming effect on our skin, with studies showing that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary oil also has antibacterial properties, which helps fight the bacteria naturally living on our skin but which can cause inflamed blemishes.

In high doses, rosemary oil can occasionally cause skin irritation or sensitivity in some people. Therefore, we only use very low doses to avoid the risk of irritation or sensitivity. Our products are designed to enhance your skin and we want it to look and feel great. If you do experience any irritation, stop using the product and let us know so we can help you to find a solution.

Cucurbita Pepo Seed Oil (Pumpkin Seed Oil)

Cucurbita pepo seed oil (more commonly known as pumpkin seed oil) is the oil extracted from pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seed oil is an amazing ingredient in skincare because its packed full of essential fatty acids and antioxidants* - exactly what we need for healthy, glowing skin.

The main fatty acid found in pumpkin seed oil is linoleic acid (otherwise known as omega 6).  Linoleic acid has a key role in maintaining the skin’s water permeability barrier. Basically, it helps the skin trap in moisture and other nutrients, but prevents anything unwanted from getting in. Studies also show that linoleic acid can help with wound healing (great for any inflamed blemishes).  

Pumpkin seed oil is also rich in Vitamin E (otherwise known as tocopherol). Vitamin E is an amazing antioxidant* that protects our skin from damage caused by daily life, like UV rays (sun damage) or air pollution. When our skin encounters these harmful things, it is at risk of damage by unstable molecules called “free radicals”. Free radicals harm our skin in a process called “oxidative stress”. This causes dullness, pigmentation, skin sagging, and fine lines - not what we want for our skin. Antioxidants help to prevent this damage by neutralising the “free radicals”. This helps us to maintain firm and non-pigmented skin, which looks healthy and bright.

If you want to learn more, you can read more about “free radicals” and antioxidants in our description of “antioxidants”.

Glyceryl Caprylate | Glyceryl Undecylenate

Both ingredients are plant-based emulsifiers* and emollients*. As an emulsifier it works to bring together two things which are normally incompatible. In cosmetics, this is generally water and oil. It does this by reducing the surface tension between these ingredients, letting them mix and form a great textured product.

Chamomilla Recutita Flower Oil (Chamomile Extract)

Chamomile has been used for centuries in natural and herbal remedies, including for the skin. The active ingredient from chamomile is an extract called bisabolol (we use pure bisabolol extract in some of our other products).

Studies show that bisabolol reduces sensitivity and inflammation which helps to minimise irritation and contributes to the skin’s healing process. It does this by stopping the release of things called cytokines, specifically, TNF-α and IL-6 (these are little signalling systems which tell our body to react to harm or not). By inhibiting the release of these cytokines, bisabolol is soothing on the skin, helping to reduce skin inflammation, redness or sensitivity.  

Bisabolol also has other properties which keep our skin healthy and glowing. It has strong antioxidant* properties so helps to fight any damage caused to our skin through oxidative stress (you can read more about what this means in our explanation of “antioxidant”). It is also anti-microbial (has properties that kill really small bad stuff like fungi or bacteria) and so can help fight skin infections. For a pretty little flower, it definitely packs some punch.

Bentonite

A type of clay that’s commonly used in skincare due to its ability to absorb . We use it in our mattifier to help absorb any excess oil produced by our skin throughout the day so we can work towards eliminating that shine.

Mentha Piperita Oil (Peppermint Oil)

Peppermint oil (as well as smelling gorgeously fresh!) has been used in homeopathy and herbal remedies for its calming effects.  

It has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to reduce skin irritation. In particular, studies show that it is effective at reducing itchiness (which can be caused by lots of different skin conditions) and calming skin. Peppermint oil is also antibacterial and antimicrobial, which means it can kill unwanted bacteria sitting on the surface of the skin. As inflamed blemishes can be caused by some types of bacteria that naturally live on our skin, peppermint oil can help fight this bacteria and keep our skin looking clear.

In high doses, peppermint oil can occasionally cause skin irritation or sensitivity in some people. Therefore, we only use very low doses to avoid the risk of irritation or sensitivity. Our products are designed to enhance your skin and we want it to look and feel great. If you do experience any irritation, stop using the product and let us know so we can help you to find a solution.

Linalool | Limonene | Geraniol

These are all components of essential oils. They come as a package deal: if you want the essential oil, these come along for the ride. Linalool is found in clary sage and rosemary oil; limonene in peppermint and rosemary oil; and geraniol in chamomile extract. Linalool, limonene and geraniol are the chemicals which create the natural fragrance of their partner essential oil.

We list these fragrances so you know that they are present in the product. This is because some people can have an allergic reaction (often called contact dermatitis) after being exposed to them. We only use tiny amounts of these fragrances in Glow Don’t Shine (less than 0.2% of each) and this is purely because they are part of the essential oils, which are included for their beneficial properties. Lots and lots of cosmetics products (and all products made with essential oils) will contain these fragrances so it isn’t something to worry about. We will always be honest about what we include in our products and why it’s there. If you do experience any irritation, stop using the product and let us know (hello@bolt-beauty.com) so we can help you to find a solution.



GET YOUR HANDS ON GLOW DON'T SHINE FOR THE GLOWIEST SKIN.
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