Aloe Vera: A wild plant of the lily family used for years as a healing agent and beauty aid. Aloe vera juice appears to be effective in relieving the pain and inflammation of sunburn. The aloe vera gel contains vitamins B1, B2, and B6, calcium, potassium, chlorine, enzymes, and other ingredients not yet identified.
Beeswax:A substance made by bees to build the walls of their cells. Used as an emulsifier to soften and protect the skin. Emulsifiers keep the skin care product from separating.
Camphor: A fragrant compound from an Asian Evergreen tree that is used in skin care products because it feels soothing to the skin. Camphor will not affect the outcome of an acne breakout, but it is helpful for chapped skin. If inhaled for a long time, camphor can induce a severe headache.
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): The FDA approved active ingredient in topical self-tanning products. This is a harmless skin dye that reacts with an amino acid in the skin or sweat to produce a temporary tan that flakes off as you shed skin. The higher the concentration, the more orange the tan will appear. Does not offer any skin protection against the sun.
Elastin: In cosmetic products, elastin cannot make your skin tighter. Used as a moisturizer it is thought to form a film on skin that helps lock in moisture.
Ginseng: The dried root of the Panax schinseng plant that is reported to contain hormones and vitamins. Research has not found any evidence that ginseng can improve the appearance of the skin.
Humectant: Substance that preserves the moisture or water content of the skin. Most dry skin lacks moisture rather than oil, and therefore humectants and moisturizers are needed instead of creams or oils. The most effective humectants are alpha hydroxy acids, particularly lactic acid, which, when applied to the skin, draws water from the dermis into the epidermis.
Lanolin: A mixture of a yellow, oily substance obtained from sheep's wool and purified water that is used as an emollient to treat dry skin. Lanolin is a common ingredient of bath oils and hand creams. It is also used to treat mild dermatits. Occasionally, lanolin can irritate the skin, or in some people, an allergic reation develops.
Mineral Oil: A clear, odorless oil derived from petroleum that is widely used in cosmetics because it is inexpensive and rarely causes allergic reactions. It can, however, induce acne lesions.
Nucleic Acids: The building blocks of protein, these specific chemicals act on the nucleus of cells. They cannot stimulate growth when applied to the skin's surface or to the hair. However, like all proteins, nucleic acids in cosmetics can form a film on the skin or hair shaft to help retain moisture.
Oatmeal: A colloid-containing grain that soothes the skinand can be very helpful for itchy skin conditions. Oatmeal is often included in face masks and soaps because it absorbs oil from the skin's surface and lessens redness of irritating acne-prone skin. Non-irritating oatmeal soaps are a good choice for people with sensitive skin.
PABA: The abbreviation for the active ingredient in sunscreen-Para-Aminobenzoic Acid-which is very effective in blocking UVB rays of the sun. Some people are allergic to PABA and its esters, especially if they are allergic to the "-caine" group of anesthetics (lidocaine, benzocaine) or to certain hair dyes. Allergic reactions to PABA resemble sunburn.
Royal Jelly: A substance that is secreted from the digestive system of worker bees that is fed to male bees and workers for a few days after they are born. Because the queen bee eats royal jelly throughout her life, royal jelly became associated with health and long life. In humans, however, studies have shown that royal jelly does not prevent aging.
Seaweed: A plant whose gelatin-like properties make up the main ingredient in peel-off masks that allow the skin to retain moisture. Seaweed is also used in face creams and lotion to help provide body to the products. Silica: A mineral included in face and body powders and paste-type masks. Silica is soothing and forms a moisture retaining film on the skin.
Witch Hazel: An extract of the leaves and bark of the Hamamelis virginnia plant used as an effective astringent. It can dry out spots, reduce oil on the skin, and soothe bruises and sprains. Puffy eyes can be refreshed with refrigerated witch hazel-soaked pads.
some of the ingredients used in skin care products....
(I do not claim the credit for this list and it is not definitive)
Clay: A mineral used in face and body powder, face masks and foundations that is particularly helpful for normal and oily skins. It does not cause allergic reactions.
Sulphur: An important mineral component of vitamin B1 and of several essential amino acids. Sulphur is particularly necessary for the body's production of collagen, which helps to form connective tissue. Sulphur is also a component of keratin, the chief ingredient in hair, skin, and nails. By controlling bacteria and exfoliating the skin, sulphur is a popular acne treatment. Sulphur is thought to dissolve the top layer of dry, dead cells and slow down oil-gland activity. The highest concentration of sulphur in over-the-counter medication is 10 percent. Sulphur may cause a mild sensitivity and allergic reactions, and can irritate the eyes. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.
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