Skin Care Glossary

Skin Care Glossary

Acetaldehyde is an ingredient present in cigarettes that destroys skin fibres and results in skin losing its elasticity.

Acrylic has moisture barrier as well as waterproofing, water repelling properties. It is a substance derived from acrylic acid and often used for false nails, nail enhancements and nail extensions.

Alkaline, any non-acidic substance with a pH greater than 7. Water in its pure form has a pH of about 7 and is therefore neither alkaline nor acidic.

Allantoin  is a botanical extract said to heal and soothe. Used in creams and topical preparations for the skin.

Aloe Vera also known as the plant of immortality can truly work miracles for the skin. It is 99.5 percent water, which is why aloe gel feel so soothing and refreshing on skin. Aloe Vera also contains polysaccharides, glycoproteins, vitamin, minerals and enzymes that have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, hydrating, healing and rejuvenating properties. It also soothes burns and can temporarily tighten skin. Having a glass of Aloe Vera juice every day can help the weight watchers in the long run. 

Almond Oil contains a combination of two essential fatty acids, which help promote healthy, supple skin. Almonds are also packed with antioxidants, including vitamin E and a variety of protective plant chemicals that help tone, even out, nourish and strengthen skin.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring acids that help loosen up dead surface cells and speed up the skin’s natural exfoliation process. AHAs are found in dairy products, sugar, and citrus fruits. Applied topically, AHAs help diminish the look of fine lines and unclog pores. Lactic acid and citric acid are examples of AHAs.

Alpine WillowAlpine Willow found abundantly in the arctic region has been traditionally known for its diuretic properties but recently scientists have discovered its rich reserves of flavanoids.

Aminophylline is an ingredient that stops production of the enzyme that leads to fat storage in our body.

Anti-cellulite gels/creams contain ingredients that tone, firm and act on fat to help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Anti-inflammatory reduces inflammation.

Anti-microbial resists or destroys pathogens(agents that cause disease).

Anti-oxidants protect skin from damaging free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules caused by pollution, smoke, ultraviolet light and other environmental factors. These unstable molecules cause visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.

Anti-seborrhoeic helps to control the sebum.

Anti-sudorific diminishes sweating.

Antibacterial is an agent that kills bacteria.

Antipruritis relieves itching.

Aqua is a most common ingredient in products, it is simple water and a must for healthy skin.

Argan Oil is almost worshipped as a miracle oil in the beauty industry. This Mediterranean oil is known and celebrated for its nourishing and anti-aging benefits.

Aromatherapy oils are either blended or used alone, a few drops of essential oil in a bath make it a relaxing and therapeutic experience.

Astringent contracts and tightens the tissues.

Azulene is an anti-inflammatory and soothing agent, derived from German chamomile

AvocadoAvocado is a great moisturizer for dry skin and hair. It is rich in vitamin E and moisturizing oils. Avocado oil is quickly absorbed into the skin. Tip: Make an avocado hair mask by mixing together one mashed avocado, an egg and two tablespoons of oil. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash off.

Bactericidal prevents the growth of bacteria or destroys it.

Benzoyl Peroxide is an ingredient commonly used in the over-the-counter spot and acne treatments because it gently peels surface skin and unclogs blocked follicles, which can cause spots.

Bergamot is a plant producing a citrus fruit. The bergamot oil taken from the peel of fruit is used to manufacture perfumes, creams, lotions, soaps and suntan oils. It is an antiseptic and bacterial growth-inhibitor known for its toning, antiseptic and deodorizing qualities.

Beta carotene is an orange coloured plant pigments, used in the manufacture of vitamin A and vitamin A is good for a healthy skin. The foods that contain Beta carotene are carrots, apricots, broccoli, grapefruit and Chinese cabbage.

Beta-glucan is a new ingredient derived from yeast, reported to enhance the skin natural defense mechanisms.

Beta-hydroxy Acids, these work in the same way as AHAs but are less irritating to the skin; the most common one used is salicylic acid, which also fights bacteria on the skin.

Bioflavonoid is a plant derivative with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Usually derived from citrus fruit rinds.

Biotin is often referred to as Vitamin H, helps in creating thicker and faster growing hair. It is found in eggs, fish, milk, nuts and pulses.

Botanicals are ingredients from a natural source.

Botox is a trade name for botulinum toxin. Used in tiny amounts, it can temporarily paralyze a muscle and reduce or eliminate wrinkles or frown lines without harm.

BurdockBurdock is a root extract with antibacterial properties. It also reduces inflammations such as rashes, redness, acne, eczema.

Calendula is an emollient believed to have healing, soothing and antiseptic properties. It is also used to treat dry skin.

Calluses are hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin tries to protect against friction and pressure.

Ceramides prevent water loss and help encourage skin-cell renewal. They help as a first line of defence for dry, chapped, cracked skin

Chamomile flowers look like daisies and originate from Europe. The flowers contain azulene, an effective anti-inflammatory. It soothes dry, itchy, sensitive and irritable skin, conditions hair and a cup of chamomile tea can calm and relax you after a stressful day.

Cicatrizant heals and promotes scar tissue.

Coenzyme Q10 is a nutrient similar to vitamins found in every cell of our body. Acts as an antioxidant and helps in cell growth thereby diminishing wrinkles. Found in sardines and soy oil also.

Collagen is a protein found naturally in the skin, is thought to be an effective water binding ingredient when applied topically.

Comfrey is a beautiful plant with bell-shaped flowers and is fabulous skin healer and soother. It protects from bacteria, promotes cell renewal and hydrates skin.

Coconut Oil this common oil has always been recognized for its nourishing properties, but did you know that it is one of the best natural cleansers? The miracle oil, helps remove stubborn water-proof makeup without drying the skin. Rather its small molecules get easily absorbed into the skin and helps condition it.

cofeeCoffee is a vasoconstrictor, which means that it can constrict blood vessels temporarily. Its texture smoothes out rough skin and it helps ease water retention. These properties make coffee a preferred ingredient for anti-cellulite creams and lotions.

Creatine A protein derivative in muscle tissue. Sometimes found in body-building supplements.

Cucumber is popularly used as a cure for under eye dark circles and puffy eyes but this vitamin-rich vegetable is also an excellent skin soother, hydrator and tan remover.

Cytophylactic stimulates the growth of healthy new skin cells.

Decongestant It relieves congestion in the skin, digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems.

Deodorant It is a substance applied to the body to prevent body odor caused by bacterial breakdown of perspiration in armpits, feet and other area of the body. Deodorants have 3 to 4% of aromatic compound.

Depilatory Creams They use chemicals to dissolve the hair just under the skin’s surface.

Desquamation is shedding of outer most layer of the skin or in simple term it is called skin peeling.

Detoxification means removing toxic substances from human body.

DHA (dihydroxyacetone) is an ingredient that attaches to protein in skin, darkening it.

Diamond, the precious gem has been traditionally known as a woman’s best friend. Diamond Bhasma or ash that is obtained through heating and pulverizing diamonds with herbs has cell renewing and rejuvenating properties. It also improves skin’s metabolism, helps in absorption of active ingredients, and hydrates and detoxifies skin.

Eau de Parfum : The most concentrated fragrance, usually more costly than eau de toilette because of its concentration

Eau de Toilette is a less-concentrated fragrance

Elastin is highly elastic protein present in connective tissue which helps many tissues in the body to resume their shape after being stretched or contracted.

Emollients found in many skin products like moisturizers. It reduces water loss retaining the moisture of the skin. It acts as a humectant and lubricant.

Essential Oils are derived from plants and as the name signifies it has the essence of the plant from which it is derived. They are mostly being used in aromatherapy. However some like lavender are also used in creams for soothing skin irritations.

Evening Primrose is used as an astringent and helpful for reducing skin irritation. It is beneficial for dehydrated skin.

Fruit Acid are same as glycolic acid (reduces build up of excess dead skin cells).They have been used to treat various dermatological conditions like acne, dry skin, photoaging, actinic keratosis. These also boost shine and condition of hair by altering its pH balance. Other names used for fruit acids are alpha hydroxyl acids, lactic acids, glycolic acid, citric acid and tartaric acid.

Fruit Sugars, fruit contains natural sugar called fructose, found in honey, wine fruits, sugarcane, berries etc. This is not bad for health as they do not affect the blood sugar as sucrose or normal sugar does. Fruits that taste more sweet have more natural sugar while tart fruits like avocado and lemons. These hydrate the hair by drawing water from the air.

Gingko Biloba is an ingredient that helps in firming the skin.

Glycolics are also known as glycolic acid. They are part of the alpha hydroxy acid family and are derived from fruits like sugar cane, papaya and pineapple, and are used in several skin care products for their numerous benefits. They boost collagen, speed up the skin exfoliation process, even the skin tone and keep signs of ageing at bay.

Untitled-1Gold the precious yellow metal has been well loved by women over centuries. The anti-aging benefits of gold can be traced back 5,000 years to Cleopatra, who was said to sleep in a gold face mask every night to enhance the suppleness of her complexion and preserve its natural luminosity. It improves skin’s hydration and metabolism, prevents premature aging, removes pigmentation, age spots, lines and wrinkles, boosts collagen regeneration, and strengthens elastin fibres to reveal radiant, luminous, youthful complexion.

Ginger has been traditionally used to improve blood circulation. It is also rich in antioxidants. It can tone and soften skin and is often used in scrubs and massage oils to help rev up metabolism.

Grapefruit Oil is a sweet-scented oil that is extracted from the peel of the citrus fruit and used in several aromatherapy treatments. It has anti-aging and antioxidant properties that uplifts your mood energizes you with its fragrance and helps nourish and rejuvenate your skin.

Green Tea protects skin from free radical damage and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. It can also soothe minor skin inflammations and irritations. Since it is a wonderful antioxidant, one should aim at drinking at least a cup of green tea every day.

Glycerin is an organic, non-toxic compound that benefits the skin in many ways. It is popularly used in soaps designed for winters as it has the ability to hold moisture in the skin. However, did you know that this skin hydrator is also a gentle exfoliator? Yes, glycerin has the power to unclog pores and soften and slough off dead skin cells to reveal a glowing skin.

Honey is not just a powerful ingredient in your weight loss diet but also a skin enhancer. It is a natural humectant an ingredient that helps draw moisture to the skin. This is why it is excellent for those with dehydrated skin. It also has antiseptic properties, acts a wonderful emollient and skin soother.

Humectants are ingredients often found in moisturizers, as they work by attracting moisture to themselves and so keep the surface layers of your skin well hydrated

Hyaluronic Acid is a sugar molecule, an ingredient in many moisturisers because it helps skin retain moisture and gives the skin smoother look

Hydroquinone is an antioxidant that helps suppress the enzymes in the skin that are responsible for producing pigment.

Hyperpigmentation is darkening of the skin, commonly produced by ultraviolet radiation, which provokes melanocytes in the skin

Hypo-allergenic are products which are usually fragrance-free and contain the minimum of colourizing agents and no known irritants or sensitizers. There is no guarantee that no one will have an allergic reaction to them. Some people are even allergic to water.

Immuno-stimulant stimulates the function of the immune system.

Inactive Ingredients could be preservatives, colours, fragrance, or flavours used in the making of the product and which do not necessarily contribute to the function/effect that the product claims.

Jojoba OilJojoba Oil is one of the richest natural conditioners that the tropical forests have to offer. It has numerous beauty benefits and is perhaps the best known plant-based skin hydrater and soother. It is chemically similar to skin’s natural oil, heals dry skin and seeps in to restore moisture and texture from within to reveal smooth, glowing complexion.

Lemon Peel is rich in anti-oxidants that help in eradicating the toxins from the skin. It is also helpful in keeping problems like wrinkles, acne, pigmentation and dark spots at bay.

Karite is a natural emollient that protects and nourishes skin.

Keratin is a strong protein forming a major component in skin, hair and nails. It is made up of amino acids which determine its flexibility and hardness or softness.

Kinetin is an ingredient that promotes cell division and shows strong anti-aging effects on human skin. It is used in innumerable cosmetics and skin care products.

Lactic acid is a chemical compound used in cosmetics and skincare products to adjust the acidity and also because of its disinfectant properties.

Lanolin is an emollient that reinforces the protective barrier on the skin avoiding moisture loss.

Lanolin-free means a product doesn’t contain the ingredient lanolin the fat stripped from sheeps wool.

Lipolytic breaks down fats.

Liposomes are used as vehicles to deliver the nutrients, drugs or cosmetics to the skin.

Loofah is used to remove dead skin cells and it helps boost circulation. They can be harsh on sensitive skin but are great on very dry patches or for overall exfoliation on other skin types. Just make sure you dry them between uses- they can carry bacteria otherwise.

MangoMango, the king of fruits is loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, A, K, B6. Vitamin C is required for collagen production to give you a firm and younger skin. However, vitamin A keeps a tap on problems like pigmentation, wrinkles, brown spots and fine lines. This nutrient is also important for sebum production that helps keep the hair moisturized.

Mattifyers are basically for soaking up oil from skin. Witch hazel and cornstarch are two commonly known mattifyers.

Melanin is the pigment that gives skin, hair and eyes of human their natural colour. More melanin means darker skin tone and less melanin means lighter skin tone.

Menthol helps in dilate blood vessels, increasing circulation in the area.

Microbeads are polyethylene microspheres mostly used in cosmetics and skincare products for gentle exfoliation.

Mint is popular for its rejuvenating and refreshing qualities. It reduces inflammation, relaxes muscles and improves blood circulation and is therefore excellent for those with oily skin. Mint can also lighten skin tone and purify skin to reveal lighter, brighter complexion.

Mulberry is now recognized as a super food with plenty of health benefits. Whether you add it to your diet or to your beauty concoctions power-packed with vitamins and nutrients the fruit is beneficial for your skin. It promotes clear blemish free, even toned skin and fights back the signs of skin ageing. It also promotes hair growth and returns the shine and luster to dull hair. It rejuvenates dry, aging, blotchy skin and can even brighten skin tone.

neem oilNeem Oil is antifungal and antibacterial oil. It is nourishes dry and brittle nails and also helps in treating acne.

Non-comedogenics are all ingredients that do not block the pores of the skin thereby allowing the skin to breathe. A Non-comedogenic skincare formula ensures that your skin is not blocked and therefore prevents the occurrence of acne and pimples.

Orange is a rich natural source of Vitamin C and numerous phytonutrients that protect skin against free radicals, even out and brighten skin tone and rejuvenate skin.

Oatmeal is not just a nutritious breakfast cereal; it is also a super skin food. This gentle exfoliator effectively removes dirt, grime and dead skin cells and simultaneously soothes and hydrates the skin.

Olive Oil, a beauty staple in the Mediterranean regions for centuries, is an excellent moisturizer. It not only repairs the skin damage but also prevents the skin against free radicals which damages the healthy cells and destroys collagen and elastin. It forms a protective layer on the skin irrespective whether you are consuming it or applying it.

Panthenol (B5) is a nutrient that can penetrate the hair shaft, causing it to swell and thicken thus leading to healthy, bouncy and voluminous hair.

Papaya, often referred to as the fruit of the angels is a rich source of an enzyme called papain and vitamin A, which together help in breaking down inactive proteins and thereby sloughing off dead skin cells. It also hydrates the skin and maintains its oil balance. Papaya-based skincare products are good for aging or oily skin, or for those with adult acne.

Parabens act as preservatives in cosmetics thus maintaining the life of the product.

Patchouli is a herb that has aromatic leaves and is used in perfumes for its strong scent.

PeachPeach, a fruit rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other chemical contents, goes a long way in invigorating and rejuvenating your skin. Its a great source of Vitamin C which is widely used for skin care. Peaches can also directly be applied to skin to reduce the appearance of dark circles, sun spots and wrinkles.

Peony, renowned as the Queen of Flowers is a sweet, scented legendary blossom that has been growing in China for thousands of years. Its delicate fragrance and healing properties, makes it a coveted ingredient for cosmetics.

Peroxide is a compound having bleaching effect on organic substances thus used in hair colourants.

pH stands for power of hydrogen, and measures the concentration of hydrogen ions. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 considered to be neutral. A pH less than 7 is acidic and greater than 7 is alkaline. Water has a pH level of 7.

Phosphodiesterase inhibitors form the most common ingredient of cellulite creams because they stop production of the enzyme that leads to fat storage in the body.

Phototoxic causes skin discolouration by exposure to sunlight, together with certain essential oils.

Pista, the rich, delicious nut is an excellent natural moisturizer. Enriched with Vitamin E, it fights against free radical damage and UV rays, protects and strengthens the skin and improves overall complexion.

Pomegranate This ruby red fruit has of late been touted as a super food that has three times as many antioxidants as red wine or green tea. Its high antioxidant action helps in intensive cell regeneration which reduces pigmentation and age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. One glass of pomegranate juice everyday also promotes radiant skin and good body health.

often dismissed by weight watchers is actually a super food for skin. It contains an enzyme called catalase, which is a highly potent antioxidant. Also a rich source of vitamin C, potatoes aid in protecting the skin from sun exposure and other external pollutants to stimulate collagen production and enhancing the overall texture of the skin.

Proteins are the building blocks of a human body. It helps in repairing and regeneration of the cells. Not only ingesting but topical application also benefits the body. Natural ingredients consisting of proteins are now being added to hair care products for making the hair strong and lustrous.

Red Algae are a rich source of Astaxanthin – considered to be the most potent antioxidant in nature and a much more powerful skin nutrient than Vitamins A,E and Beta-carotene. It has high skin rejuvenating properties, reduces DNA damage, absorbs harmful UVB rays, infuses skin with hydration and soothes inflammations.

Retin A Also known as Triretinoin is a concentrated form of vitamin A that is used in several anti aging and anti acne skincare products due to its ability to increase the turnover of skin cells and also reducing the effects of photo aging.

Retinoids are another form of vitamin A and an effective antioxidant. It poses a barrier against sun damage.

Retinova was developed by combining active ingredients of Retin A and moisturisers for those with matured dry skin. It treats skin that has been damaged due to overexposure to sun.

Rose it is not simply beautiful, it has qualities which are equally beautiful. Rose oil is a great moisturizer for dry, mature and sensitive skin. Rose water is an excellent skin toner and rose essential oil has aphrodisiac properties for which it is often used in perfumes.

Rosemary is an evergreen herb loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It adds shine to the hair. It stimulates scalp to promote hair growth and control dandruff. Rosemary essential also improves skin’s circulation to smoothen skin.

Rubefacient increases local blood circulation, causing skin redness.

Saffron, this precious spice not only adds flavor to foods but also has several beauty benefits. It can remove tan, improve blood circulation and lend the complexion an instant, golden glow. When applied topically, it can give flawless and bright complexion and when consumed with warm milk it can work as an excellent healer. Have this concoction especially when you are feeling a little under the weather or when working out aggressively in the gym.

Salicylic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid which is used in skincare products and cosmetics as it is less irritating to the skin and at the same time fights bacteria on the skin.

Sander is the little electrical tool used to get rid of very dry or hard skin on the feet.

Sclerotherapy is treatment that involves injecting salt solution into the vein making them swell and seal. It is treatment for spider veins.

sea-saltSea salts have relaxing and rehydrating properties. The ones from Dead Sea help balance the body.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a condition when scalp is greasy and this needs to be treated with cortisone creams.

Sebum is an oily or wax kind substance secreted by sebaceous glands of the skin that helps in preventing skin and hair from drying.

Serums give a boost of nutrition to the skin when talking about skin serums. And serums for hair help seal the split ends and keep the moisture intact in the hair.

Shea Butter often affectionately called Skin’s Best Friends actually has the qualities to live up to that label. Derived from the Shea Nut, this natural emollient is a rich reserve of Vitamin A and E that have numerous skin benefits. It helps in anti-aging, hydrating, protecting, rejuvenating and soothing skin.

Silver is not just a metal that can be used for jewelry, it can also be your skin’s best purifier. Silver Bhasma or ash is an excellent natural exfoliant and skin lightening agent. It detoxifies the skin from within to reveal fresh, nourished, youthful, healthy complexion.

Sitz Baths is a bath wherein the upper body and lower body are exposed to different temperatures. It is used to energize the body.

Sorbitol is a type of humectants that attracts moisture to the skin. These are used in skincare products.

Splenic is a tonic of the spleen.

Stimulant stimulates the physiological functions of the body.

Sugaring is a process similar to waxing just uses sugaring solution (made from sugar or honey and lemon) instead of wax.

Sun Protection Factors (SPF) are measures that will tell how well the sunscreen will protect the skin from sun damage caused by UV rays. The higher the SPF the longer it will protect you from sunburn.

Sunblock is a lotion that blocks UV rays, mostly physical blocks.

Synergy is the process of working together that occurs when two or more substances used together give a more effective result than the same substances used alone.

Titanium oxide is a white, opaque and naturally occurring mineral which is often used in beauty products like sunscreen. It protects skin from harmful effects of sun and is less likely to cause allergic reactions.

TPI stands for tan protection index. In short it is the time you are in sun and will not get tanned.

Treatment Foundation is a foundation that normally contains salicylic acid to help counteract spots while you are wearing them.

TurmericTurmeric is undoubtedly a wonder spice. Loaded with various nutrients like vitamin C, E, K, proteins, dietary fiber and calcium it helps in overall well-being of the body. The antifungal, antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties benefit the skin. It helps in repairing the damaged skin and also cures inflammatory skin conditions. When consumed every morning with a glass of warm water and lemon, it helps detox your body and infuse in your system the required antioxidants.

Ultraviolet rays are rays from the sun that can harm human skin. UVA rays cause skin aging and UVB rays are responsible for sunburns.

Varicose Veins is a condition in which the vein walls and valves weaken and blood flows down the veins rather than up.

Vasoconstrictor/vasoconstrictive constricts and contracts the capillary walls.

Vasodilator causes blood vessels to increase in lumen (the hollow inside of the blood vessel)

Vitamins are group of organic compounds which are necessary for normal growth and nutrition. One needs to add small quantities of vitamins in the diet as human body doesn’t produces required levels.

Vulnerary speeds up the healing process of wounds and prevents tissue degeneration.

Witch Hazel is an astringent produced from the plants. It can be applied directly to skin for minor burns, itching, pain, swelling, bruises, insect bites and other skin irritations.

Zinc Pyrithione is the most common treatment for dandruff; it prevents itching, flaking and scaling of the scalp. It promotes cell regeneration.

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