Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Active substance

Ingredient of a composition which defines its main characteristics.

Air freshener

One can distinguish following types :

  • Pot-pourri : essential oils on a plant based substrate which can be harvested in the wild or cultivated.
  • Incense : essential oils on a substrate of wood or tree derivatives such as bark, pine cones...
  • Evaporator with sticks : essential oil dissolved in alcohol, in a glass bottle, in which wooden sticks are plunged.
  • Diffuser : essential oils, diluted or dispersed in water or alcohol and spread by vaporising device.

Allergen

A substance that generates an allergic reaction with some people.

Biodegradation

Property of a degradable substance, e.g. products and leftovers which can be decomposed by active bacteria, naturally or induced, as a result disappear from the environment and only leave single elements which can be easily taken up by plants.

Biodiversity

Diversity of the living species and their genetic material.

Biogas

Combustible gas that is generated at the degradation of organic substance and provides a renewable energy.

Colouring agents

Substances which are mainly or exclusively meant to give colour to a product.

Control organisation

An independent third party which effectuates the inspections and controls in the organic agricultural production, in compliance with the prescriptions and, when needed, in cooperation with a similar organisation in a third country or operating in a third country.

Cosmetics

Any substance or mixture meant to be in contact with the outer body surface parts (skin, hair, scalp, nails, lips and external genitals) or with the mouth cavity and the teeth with the main or exclusive purpose to clean them, perfume them, change their aspect, protect them, keep them in a good condition or correct bodily odours.

Detergent

Any substance or preparation which contains soap and/or other surfactants and is meant to clean or wash. Detergents can be brought in different forms (liquid, powder, brick, tab etc.) and be commercialised for household, institutional or industrial applications.

Distributor

Any natural or legal person being part of a supply chain, other than the producer or importer, bringing a product in the EU market.

Eco/ecological

Related to ecology or based on this science. Which respects the environment.

Ecological footprint

The ecological footprint is an indicator and an environmental evaluation method which charts the impact man is having on the natural sources and the “ecological services” nature is delivering.

Ecosystem

System designed by an environment (biotope) and by the whole of the species (biocenose) which live, feed and reproduces themselves in it.

Enzyme

A protein that speeds up the biochemical reactions in an organism. The general function of an enzyme is to catalyse a biochemical reaction, in other words to speed it up without changing other characteristics and without being changed itself.

Essential oil

An essential oil is a liquid, aromatic plant extract, concentrated and complex, obtained by steam distillation of aromatic plants or parts thereof (flower, leaf, wood, root, fruit ...).

Ethical

A whole of moral principles which are at the base of somebody's behaviour.

Genetically Manipulated Organism (GMO)

An organism, excluding humans, from which the genetic organism has been manipulated in a way that does not occur naturally, by multiplication and/or natural recombination.

INCI

« International Nomenclature on Cosmetic Ingredients ». The INCI nomenclature consists mainly of Latin or English names, or scientific jargon, to assure an international interchangeability. The list of ingredients edited in INCI is always in descending order of importance.

Ingredient

Any substance, including additives, used in the production or preparation of a product and still present in the final product, possibly in a changed form.

Importer

Any natural or legal person in the EU who offers products in the Community market which come from a third country.

Life cycle of a product

The life cycle of a product encompasses all activities which are important at the production, the use and the degradation of a product. The life cycle is mostly represented as a set of phases, from the production (harvesting and extraction of the raw materials) until the complete degradation (elimination or valorisation), and in between the transformation, the packaging, the transport, the household and industrial consumption and the recycling or removal.

Mineral

Inorganic salt, part of the earth's crust, extracted and not man made.

Mixture

A mixture or solution consisting of two or more raw materials.

Nano-material

An insoluble or bio persistent material, produced on purpose to have an external size or an internal structure between 1 and 100 nanometer (nm).

Perfume

Aroma, fragrant substance, specific scent which is part of a composition.

Preservative

Substance which is mainly or exclusively meant to block the development of micro-organisms in the product.

Raw materials

Products from plant, animal or mineral sources, deriving from agricultural activities or extracted from them, without transformation or only with fysical processes to preserve the original qualities.

Recyclable

Substances that still have useful physical or chemical properties after having rendered their first function and therefore can be recycled or re-manufactured in complementary products
Plastic, paper, glass, used oil, tin and aluminium packages, as well as household and industrial waste are examples of materials that can be recycled after selective collection.

Renewable

What can be replaced or reconstituted, either through a spontaneous process in a short time lapse, or by human interference. Air, water, sun, agricultural produce and forests are often considered as examples of renewable sources. Mineral and fossil sources are examples of non-renewable sources.

Slow Cosmétique

Registered brand. Slow Cosmétique is an ecological and ethical initiative based on a common engagement to promote a natural, healthy and responsible use of cosmetics.

Solvent

Liquid which has the property to dissolve certain substances.

Surfactant

Chemical compound which, introduced in a liquid, can reduce its surface tension, such that its wetting characteristics are increased. Surfactants enable emulsions and foam and facilitate the transport of hydrophobic molecules in water.

Sustainable

A sustainable good is a good that complies with the basic principles of sustainable development.

Sustainable development

A mode of development which tends to satisfy the needs of current consumers, taking account of social, economical and ecological elements, without hampering the possibility for future consumers to fulfil their needs in their own way.

Toxicity

Property of a substance to be toxic for the organism.

Waste

Each substance discarded by its keeper or of which he wants to, or is obliged to discard of.