Here is a glossary listing some ingredients you may see on B&B products.
They are not as scary as many of them sound.
Allantoin: stimulates healthy skin formation; effective in small percentages, typically from 0.1 up to 2%. Found in comfrey roots, wheat germ. It has healing, moisturizing and skin-softening properties.
Ammonium laurel sulfate (ALS): a surfactant, naturally derived from coconuts, used as a cleansing agent. Generally considered mild and safe, although a small percentage of people may be sensitive to it.
Ascorbic acid: a chemical component of vitamin C. Fights free radicals. Essential for the production of collagen in the skin. Also used to decrease skin pigmentation.
Bismuth oxychloride: a naturally occurring mineral used to give an iridescent effect.
Caprylyl methicone: an occlusive skin conditioner.
Carbomers: a group of thickening agents that are used mainly in the formulation of gel products. They aid in the distribution and suspension of insoluble solids in liquids. Carbomers are also used to keep emulsions from separating into their oil and liquid components.
Ceteareth 20: Fatty alcohol used to keep ingredients together; also act as thickening agents. Ceteareth 20 to ceteareth 40 help other ingredients dissolve in a solvent in which they normally would not dissolve. Considered absolutely safe in B&B products.
Cetyl alcohol: Not related to SD alcohol or ethyl alcohol. Usually produced from palm oil but can also be derived from coconut oil; it is a moisturizer, not at all a drying alcohol. In B&B products, it is used as an emollient, an emulsifier and a carrying agent for other substances.
Cocomidopropyl betaine: This is a substance derived from coconut oil and beets. It's a good cleanser and foam booster; has excellent conditioning and anti-static properties. Highly soluble in water in a wide variety of pH ranges.
Cocomide MIPA: This blend of coconut-derived acids works as a stabilizer in emulsions and foams. It acts as an emulsifier, surfactant and foaming agent.
Cyanocobalamin: man-made form of vitamin B12. If you receive B12 shots, it is cyanocobalamin.
Decyl glucoside: A plant-derived, gentle coconut based cleanser. Often used in products formulated for people with sensitive skin and in baby shampoos.
Glyceryl stereate: It belongs to a large group of ingredients that are composed of oils and fats. It's a thickening agent that imparts opalescent qualities to the finished product.
Inulin lauryl carbamate: An ingredient that help keep creams and lotions smooth by keeping oils in water (and water in oils). This emulsifier and stabilizer is derived from chicory.
MAP (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate): This is a derivate of vitamin C which has better stability than ascorbic acid. In B&B products it is used to aid collagen production, skin lightening, UV protection.
Octyl palmitate: Used as an emollient and thickening agent. Derived from palm oil.
Palmitates: This family group contains several ingredients such as Octyl palmitate, isopropyl palmitate, cetyl palmitate, etc. Their main purpose is to act as skin lubricants, giving your skin a soft and smooth appearance. They are derived from palmitic acid, which is a fatty acid found in animals and plants.
Panthenol: A non-irritating form of vitamin B. It adds moisture to the skin and has a plumping effect. Usually derived from plants. Applied topically, it penetrates into the deeper skin layers and turns into vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).
PEG stereates: A rather large family group, they are derived from stearic acid, which is a naturally occurring fatty acid. They have a cleansing effect on skin and hair by allowing water to mix with dirt and oils.
Polysorbates: Another large group of ingredients, most of them derived from lauric acid, which in turn is derived from coconuts. They are considered non-toxic and their act as emulsifiers and mild surfactants.
PPG-1 tridaceth-6: An emulsifier which scores a rating of zero for both toxicity and irritation.
Prunus amygdalus: sweet almond oil.
Tetrasodium EDTA: A product to prevent minerals from binding to other ingredients which would aid in bacteria growth.
If you would like to read more about the above (and other ingredients), here is a link to the Environmental Working Groups (EWG) database; I hope you will find it useful and informative: