Do you know your ceramides from your collagen? Consult our beauty glossary for some simple beauty definitions.
Acid Balance – The natural pH level of the skin.
Acid Mantle - This protective oily layer sits on the skin’s surface. It protects against environmental damage, regulates moisture loss and controls water retention.
Acne – A common inflammatory skin-disease characterized by blackheads, whiteheads and blemishes composed of papules and pustules. Acne usually affects the face, back, and chest and can result in scarring.
Active Ingredients – The substances in a product which produce the results. Other ingredients are usually fillers, fragrances and preservatives.
Age Spots – Brown spots most commonly found on the hands and face as a result of over-exposure to the sun or sun-beds. Also know as liver spots and sun spots.
Alcohol - An organic chemical compound. Used in skincare as emollients, humectants, lubricants, emulsifiers, stabilizers or to change textures.
Alkaline – A non-acidic substance with a pH greater than 7.
Allergen – A substance which causes an allergic reaction.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – Help exfoliate and renew cells to even skin tone and soften fine lines. Glycolic acid is the most widely known AHA, but there are also citric, malic, and lactic acids; found naturally in foods like sugar cane, citrus fruits and milk.
Amino Acids – Organic compounds essential for the body. Vital for body growth, maintenance and repair.
Anti-aging – The prevention of premature skin aging from environmental pollutants and nutritional deficiencies.
Antibacterial – Substances which can kill bacteria, helping to treat infections.
Anti-inflammatory – A substance which soothes irritated and inflamed skin or prevents irritation.
Antioxidant – Impedes oxidation and protects skin from environmental damage caused by free radicals.
Antiseptic – Halts bacteria growth.
Aromatherapy – Treatments using the scents of floral or herbal extracts to influence behaviour and the emotional state.
Ascorbic Acid – Vitamin C; occurs naturally in fruit and green vegetables. Essential for normal metabolism levels, wound healing, and tissue repair. Commonly used as a preservative and anti-oxidant.
Astringent - Removes oil from the skin. Usually used as a toner after cleansing. Designed to shrink superficial tissues by reducing water and oil content.
Bacteria - Microorganisms that can cause disease and damage by producing poisons that are harmful to human cells.
Base – Foundation; skin-coloured makeup used to even skin tone and hide blemishes. Prepares the face for more makeup and is available in liquid, cream, powder, cake and stick formulas.
Benzoyl Peroxide – An oxygen-releasing chemical which causes drying, peeling and an antibacterial function on skin. Commonly used for treating acne.
Beta Hydroxy Acid – An exfoliator with a smaller molecule size than AHAs. more suitable for sensitive skin than AHAs.
Blackheads – Skin pores clogged by natural oils and impurities, with a dark head on the skin.
Botanical – A plant-derived organic product or ingredient.
Botox - Botulinum Toxin. Used to temporarily paralyze a muscle, reducing wrinkles.
Capsicum – Prevents skin blemishes.
Cellulite – Trapped pockets of fat beneath the skin, which gives a dimpled effect.
Ceramides – Found naturally in the skin; a protective barrier which reduces water loss. Depletes during ageing process and can be replaced with moisturisers.
Citric Acid – Vitamin C, derived from citrus fruit. Common in hair and skincare products for its astringent and antioxidant properties.
Clarifyier – A toner used after cleansing to maintain correct skin pH.
Clay (Kaolin) - Also known as China Clay. A mineral-packed powder which draws oil from pores and absorbs impurities.
Cleansing Cream – A cream that contain little or no soap and is often oil based. Should be massaged into skin and then wiped, not rinsed, away.
Collagen – Naturally occurs within body tissues. During aging collagen becomes less flexible.
Comedogenic – May contribute to the promotion of non-inflammatory acne.
Dermabrasion – A cosmetic procedure in which the skin is ‘sanded’ to improve its texture through thorough exfoliation. Microdermabrasion uses a type of sand to abrade the skin.
Dermis – Lower layers of skin beneath the epidermis.
Elasticity - The ability of hair or skin to stretch without snapping.
Elastin - A protein is responsible for the elasticity of skin and body tissue.
Exfoliant - Skincare used to slough away dead skin cells.
Exfoliating - Removing top dead skin layers to reveal fresh skin underneath.
Extract - A herbal concentrate produced by separating the active part of a plant or flower into a solvent.
Follicle - A pore in the skin from which a single hair grows.
Free Radicals – Highly reactive molecules which attribute to aging and degenerative diseases. These free radicals often result from ozone, cigarette smoke, herbicides and pesticides, solvents, petrochemicals, drugs and the sun’s rays.
Humectant - An ingredient which pulls moisture from the air to hydrate the skin.
Hyaluronic Acid – Occurs naturally in the skin and holds many times more moisture than collagen. Retains essential moisture in the skin and therefore reduces fine lines caused by dehydration.
Hydrate – Add moisture to the skin.
Hyperpigmentation - Darkening of the skin, often in patches. Commonly produced by ultraviolet radiation.
Inflammation – A condition of the skin characterized by redness, swelling, pain or itching.
Keratin - A tough protein and the principal component of stratum corneum cells, hair and nails.
Lipids - Organic products found in living systems that are insoluble in water, like fats. Cell membranes consist of lipids.
Melanin - The natural pigment which colours hair and skin.
Mica – Colourful minerals used in cosmetics.
Mineral Oil – Hydrocarbons sourced from petroleum. An effective solvent for removing oil, grease and make-up.
Natural – Ingredients obtained from natural sources not synthetics.
Omega-3 – Essential fatty acids. Control the body’s production of cholesterol as well as strengthening skin cells whilst fortifying them against the invasion of viruses and bacteria.
Peptides - The constituent parts of proteins.
Pore - An opening of the sweat glands of the skin.
Retin-A – Vitamin A derivative used as an anti-acne or anti-aging treatment.
Retinoid - Vitamin A derivative with a wide range of therapeutic applications.
Retinol - A vitamin A acid used in the treatment of fine lines and acne.
Salicylic Acid – A Beta Hydroxy Acid which improves the appearance and condition of the skin. Causes exfoliation.
Sebum - A natural oil secretion of the sebaceous glands in the skin and scalp. Lubricates the skin but contributes to some forms of acne.
SPF – Stands for “Sun Protection Factor”. Ranges from 2 to 50 with 2 being the least protection and 50 the most.
Talc - A soft mineral, magnesium silicate, in powder form to absorb excess moisture.
Toner – Used after cleansing to help return the skin to its natural pH. Removes cleanser residue from skin after cleansing.
T-zone – The oily forehead, nose and chin area.
Whitehead - A cluster of sebum and keratin which plugs pores and embeds itself in the follicular canal under the skin. Appears as a small white bump.
Zinc – Maintains optimum immune system health and makes wounds heal faster. Vital to the growth and maintenance of body tissues.