A

Abrasive

Aids the removal of a variety of soils​/​stains through mechanical action

Absorbent

Absorbs water or other substances

Additive

Ensures desirable product properties.

Adhesive

Substances that bind surfaces to each other.

Alkalinity Source

Increases the alkalinity of the product to aid dissolution of dirt.

Anti-redeposition Agent

Prevents dirt in the wash solution being re-deposited on the clothes.

Anticaking Agent

Prevents the formation of lumps in the product.

Antidandruff Agent

Controls dandruff.

Antifoaming Agent

Suppresses the formation of excess foam during production and​/​or consumer use.

Antifoaming Agent

Suppresses the formation of excess foam during production and​/​or consumer use.

Antimicrobial Agent

Added to cosmetic products to help reduce the activities of micro-organisms on the skin or body.

Antioxidant

Inhibits the product reacting with oxygen, which can cause product spoilage.

Antioxidant

Inhibits the product reacting with oxygen, which can cause product spoilage.

Antiperspirant Agent

The active component that reduces perspiration.

Antistatic Agent

Prevents static charges on human surfaces e.g. skin​/​hair or on clothes.

Astringent

Induces a tightening or a tingling sensation on the skin.

B

Binder

Substances which provide adhesive properties so that the solids stick together e.g tablets, eye shadow.

Bleach Catalyst

Boosts the performance of the bleach component, and making it effective at lower temperatures.

Bleach Precursor

Reacts in the wash to form a bleaching substance.

Botanicals

Ingredients derived from plants e.g. Aloe Vera.

Buffering Agent

Adjusts or stabilises the acidity​/​alkalinity of a product.

Builder

Reduces the effect of water hardness by binding calcium and magnesium ions

Bulking Agent

Increases the volume of a product through dilution, so that it can be applied at the correct concentration.

C

Colourant

Colours the skin​/​hair and/or the product.

Cooling Agent

Makes the skin feel cooler.

Corrosion Inhibitor

Prevents corrosion of the packaging

D

Denaturant

Makes an alcohol-containing product taste very bitter, rendering it unpalatable.

Deodorant Agent

Reduces or masks unpleasant body odours.

Dye Transfer Inhibitor

Helps prevent "free dye" in the wash water being re-deposited on the clothes.

E

Emulsifier

Used in small quantiities that help to form or stabilize immiscible liquids in an emulsion.

Emulsion Stabiliser

Improves stability of an emulsion and increases shelf life of product.

Enzyme

Specialist ingredients which remove specific types of stains at lower temperatures e.g. fats, egg, blood.

Enzyme Stabiliser

Prevents deactivation of enzymes in liquid detergents

Evaporation Aid

Helps the product dry faster after application.

Exfoliating Agent

Helps remove dead skin cells from the surface.

F

Fabric Conditioner Agent

Softens​/​conditions the fabric.

Fabric Lubricating Agent

Lubricates the fibres of the fabrics and gives benefits such as making ironing easier.

Film Former

Makes product form a uniform film when applied to a surface

Fixing Agent

Maintains the hold​/​shape of a hair style.

Flavour

Improve the taste of oral hygiene and lipstick products.

Fragrance

Makes the product smell nice in the packaging and during use.

H

Hair - Waving​/​Straightening Agent

Modifies hair fibres to facilitate configurational changes.

Hair Conditioning Agent

Enhances the appearance and texture of the hair and facilitates styling. Conditioning agents will also improve gloss, sheen and  texture of damaged hair.

Humectant

Holds​/​retains water in the product, and/or increases the moisture content in the top layers of the skin.

Hydrotrope

Increases the solubilty of the detergent in the product.

O

Opacifier

Reduces the transparency​/​transluscency of a product, may give a pearly appearance.

Optical Brightener

Makes products or washed fabrics look brighter and whiter.

Oral Care Agent

Provides e.g.cleansing, deodorising and protection to the oral cavity

Oxidising Agent

In detergents stains are removed by oxidation (bleaching). In cosmetics they are used to remove hair colourants or stabilise the hair after perming.

P

Pearlescer

Gives sheen to a liquid, which can be seen as flow lines when poured.

Plasticizer

Reduces brittleness and modifies flow properties.

Preservative

Protects products from microbial growth and spoilage from accidental contamination by the consumer during use.

Preservative

Protects products from microbial growth and spoilage from accidental contamination by the consumer during use.

Process by-product

Produced as a technically unavoidable result of the manufacturing process.

Propellant

Delivers the product from an aerosol.

R

Reducing Agent

Changes the chemical nature of another substance by adding hydrogen or removing oxygen.

Regeneration Salt

Regenerates the water softener in a machine dishwasher.

S

Sequestrant

Prevents free metal ions from causing any adverse effects on product performance, appearance, or stability by reacting with them.

Skin Conditioning Agent

Help to keep the skin soft, smooth, pliable and healthy looking.

Skin Lightening Agent

Lightens the shade of the skin.

Skin Protectant

Protects the skin from the influences of the external environment.

Slip Modifier

Enhances the physical flow characteristics of the product.

Softness Extender

Improves the effectiveness of a softening agent.

Solubiliser

Improves the solubility of one or more product ingredients.

Solvent

Dissolves other ingredients​/​materials.

Spray Modifier

Modifies the spray characteristics of a spray.

Stabilising Agent

Maintains ingredient or formulation stability.

Structurant

Gives form or shape to final products.

Sunscreen Agent

Filters out harmful UV rays.

Surface Modifiers

Change the physical characteristics of the surface.

Surfactant

Changes the surface tension of water to assist cleansing, wetting surfaces, foaming and emulsifying (the suspension of one liquid evenly within another).

Surfactant

Changes the surface tension of water to assist cleansing, wetting surfaces, foaming and emulsifying (the suspension of one liquid evenly within another).

Surfactant

Changes the surface tension of water to assist cleansing, wetting surfaces, foaming and emulsifying (the suspension of one liquid evenly within another).

Suspending Agent

Aids the even dispersal of a solid within a liquid.

Sweetener

Makes dental products taste sweeter.

T

Tablet Disintegrant

Makes the tablet disintegrate faster so that the active ingredients are working immediately

U

UV Absorber

Filters UV rays to protect the product or skin​/​hair from UV damage.

V

Viscosity Controlling Agent

Controls the thickness of the product.

Viscosity Controlling Agent

Controls the thickness of the product.