Beauty & Fashion Tips – Beauty Terms

Acetic Acid: Sometimes used as a caustic or astringent.

Acne: An inflammatory skin disease that effects the tiny pores thats cover the face, arms, back and chest as well as the oil glands attached to them.

Acrylic: It has moisture barrier as well as waterproofing, water repelling properties.

Age Spots: darkly pigmented (colored) area on the skin that occurs with age.

Alkaline: Any non-acid substance with a pH greater than 7.

Allergen – Allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction.

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

Almond Oil: Vegetable oil derived from almonds with softening properties. Used in cosmetics.

Aloe Vera: an emollient resin with hydrating/softening properties.

Alpha Hydroxy: An active substance with exfoliating and emollient properties.

Althea: Botanical root believed to have emollient and soothing capabilities for skin.

Astringent: Toner helpful in controlling surface oils and in lowering the pH after cleansing.

Azulene: An anti-inflammatory and soothing agent, derived from German chamomile.

Beeswax: One of the oldest ingredients in cosmetic preparations, traditionally used as an emulsifier.

Benzoyl Peroxide: An antibacterial ingredient commonly used in acne treatments.

Bergamot: This is an antiseptic and bacterial growth-inhibitor known for its toning, antiseptic and deodorizing qualities.

Beta carotene: Orange colored plant pigments, used in the manufacture of vitamin A.

Beta hydroxy: An exfoliating agent with a smaller molecule size than the alpha hydroxy.

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

Bioflavonoid: Plant derivative with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Usually derived from citrus fruit rinds.

Biotin: Part of vitamin B complex. Involved in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

Blackheads: A term used to describe the skin’s pores clogged by natural oils and impurities.

Botanical: Refers to products derived from plants.

Botox: 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.

Bronzers: A synthetic preparation that causes the skin to darken or appeared tanned.

Buffer: A pH balanced cleansing solution that improves the look and feel of the skin leaving it shiny and more supple.

Burdock: A root extract with antibacterial properties. May also reduce inflammations such as rashes, redness, acne, eczema.

Butcher’s Broom: Botanical extract used to improve circulation and reduce facial redness. Also believed to have anti-cellulite effects.

Calendula: An emollient believed to have healing, soothing and antiseptic properties. Used to treat dry skin.

Callus: An excessive build up of the hard tough layers of skin. Can be removed at-home or by an esthetician.

Candela Wax: Binds oils and waxes to give body to a formulation. Often used in lipsticks.

Capillary: The smallest type of blood vessel in the body. Spider veins, for instance, are actually small capillaries commonly found on the face or legs.

Cellulite: Deposits of fat and other material trapped in pockets beneath the skin.

Ceramides: A natural substance within the skin that reduces natural water loss of the skin by forming a protective barrier. Can also be produced synthetically and added to skin care products.

Chakras: Energy centers throughout the body responsible for the condition of your mind, body and spirit.

Chamomile: A clinically proven plant-derived anti-inflammatory. Offers benefits such as soothing skin. Also calms eczema and allergic reactions.

Citric Acid: The same as vitamin C. Used commonly in hair and skincare products. Has astringent and antioxidant properties and also can be used as a preservative.

Citronella Oil: Antiseptic widely used in soaps and deodorizers. Also has insect-repelling properties.

Clarifying: Usually associated with a toner or other solution used after cleansing to maintain proper skin pH.

Collagen: A natural substance within body tissues. It can be injected into the skin to plump up particular areas.

Cortex: The middle layer of the hair shaft.

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

Cucumber Juice: It has moisture-binding, soothing and tightening properties.

Depilate: To remove hair on the skin’s surface.

Dermabrasion: A procedure in which the skin is sanded to improve its texture. Microdermabrasion uses a type of sand to abrade the skin, usually done by an esthetician or a cosmetic doctor. Cosmetic physicians can perform a deeper type of dermabrasio using small burrs or wires to remove the outer layers of the skin.

Dermal: Related to skin.

Dermatitis: Inflamation of the skin.

Dermis: The underlayers of the skin.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): A self-tanning agent used in cosmetics.

Dong Quai: Traditional Chinese herb used to treat menopausal symptoms and menstrual irregularity.

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

Eau de Toilette: A less-concentrated fragrance.

Echinacea: An oral homeopathic substance thought to boost the immune system. Frequently taken for cold or flu symptoms. Has anti-itching and soothing properties when used in skin-care products.

Eczema: A skin condition that causes areas of the skin to become red, itchy and scaly. The cause is unknown and it can affect any part of the body. The condition may be short-lived (acute) or long term (chronic), and is usually treated with topical anti-inflammatory medications available OTC or by prescription.

Elastin: A surface protective agent used in cosmetics to alleviate the effects of dry skin.

Electrolysis: Use of electricity to dissolve hair roots.

Emollient: A substance that softens and soothes the skin.

Emulsifier: A thickening agent added to products to change their physical composition. For example, it can turn a lotion into a cream.

Epidermabrasion: Skin peel in which the outermost layers of the skin are sloughed off.

Epidermis: The outer layers of the skin.

Epilate: Remove hair from below the skin’s surface.

Essence: Fragrant oil extracted from plant or herb.

Esthetician: A specialist in the area of beauty.

Eucalyptus: A mild astringent with antiseptic properties.

Evening Primrose: Used as an astringent and helpful for reducing skin irritation. Also beneficial for dehydrated skin.

Exfoliate: To scale off layers of skin.

Follicle: Part of the skin which the root of hair comes from.

Fruit Acid: The same as glycolic acid (reduces build up of excess dead skin cells). Geranium: A mild astringent with antiseptic properties; promotes healing.

Ginseng: Considered to be a tonic. Believed to be nourishing due to its vitamin and hormone content. It is taken orally and is also felt to have energy boosting capabilities.

Glycerin: Used in moisturizers due to its water binding capabilities.

Glycolic Acid: Reduces build up of excess dead skin cells.

Glycolic Peel: Used to help peel or exfoliate the skin, making it appear more youthful.

Golden Seal: Herb used as a mild antiseptic.

Grape Seed Oil: It has moisturizing and nourishing properties due to its high linoleic acid content.

Humectant: A substance that attracts moisture.

Hyaluronic Acid: An acid that occurs naturally in the skin, helps retain the skin’s natural moisture.

Hydrate: To add moisture to the skin.

Hydroquinone: A bleaching agent used in skin preparations.

Hyperpigmentation: Darkening of the skin, commonly produced by ultraviolet radiation, which provokes melanocytes in the skin.

Hypodermis: Below the surface of the skin.

Immunostimulant: An agent that stimulates either innate or acquired immunity.

Immunosuppressant: An agent that acts to suppress the body’s natural immune response.

Instant Conditioner: A conditioner with light to intense conditioning properties that restores a healthy look and protects against further damage.

Irritant: A substance that consistently and predictably produces an adverse response (such as reddening, swelling, itching, burning, or blistering) in virtually all of the population. Irritants are not to be confused with allergens.

Jasmine: Essential oil extracted from plants and used in perfumes.

Jojoba: A tonic, emollient and moisturizer. Treats dry skin, wrinkles and stretch marks.

Juniper: A fragrance considered a mild skin stimulant.

Karite: A natural emollient, protects and nourishes skin.

Keloid: A thick scar.

Keratin: A surface protective agent with film-forming and moisturizing action.

Kojic Acid: Skin-lightening agent.

Lactic Acid: A component of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor.

Lanolin: An emollient with moisturizing properties and an emulsifier with high water absorbing capabilities.

Licorice: Treats acne, also calms allergic skin.

Macrobiotics: The study of prolonging life with diet or other ingested substances.

Malic Acid: A glycolic acid derived from apples.

Mallow: An anti-inflammatory substance that helps prevent age lines and reduce eye swelling.

Matt: A non-shiny surface that absorbs light.

Melanin: The black pigment found in hair or skin.

Melanoma: A type of skin cancer characterized by a black or dark brown pigmented tumor.

Moisturizer: An emollient cream used to hydrate skin.

Naturopathy: A type of therapy that depends on natural forces rather than surgery or medicine to treat disease.

Non-comedogenic: Also called non-occlusive. Refers to products that do not cause skin breakouts because they do not plug the pores of the skin.

PABA: Para-aminobenzoic acid. Found in the vitamin B complex. Used as an ingredient in some sunscreen products.

Palette: A grouping of colors by family of tones or specific function.

Panthenol: Also known as vitamin B5, acts as a penetrating moisturizer.

Paraffin: A beeswax substitute derived from petroleum.

Petrolatum: Used in creams, it softens and soothes skin. Forms a film to prevent moisture loss.

pH: Percentage of hydrogen. Used to measure acidity in cosmetic preparations

Photoaging: Skin damage incurred through sun exposure.

Photosensitivity: A condition in which the application or ingestion of certain chemicals or foods can cause skin problems, such as rash, hyperpigmentation and swelling, when the skin is exposed to sunlight.

Phytocosmetic: Cosmetics which are made from plants.

Pore: Small opening of the sweat glands of the skin.

Psoriasis: A chronic disease of the skin consisting of itchy, dry, red patches, usually affecting the scalp or arms and legs. It may be treated with OTC or prescription medications.

Resin: Substance formed from the secretions of plants.

Resorcinol: In mild solutions, used as an antiseptic and as a soothing preparation for itchy skin.

Retin-A: Derived from vitamin A, it is used in the treatment of acne.

Retinol: A vitamin A acid. The main ingredient in Retin-A and Renova. These products are used to treat fine wrinkles and acne.

Rosacea: A skin condition characterized by inflammed, red, oily, acne-prone areas.

Rose Hips: Extract of various species of wild roses, rich in vitamin C.

Rosemary: A general effect attributed to this herb is the promotion of wound healing. Has stimulating, rejuvenating and antiseptic properties.

Royal Gelly: Stimulates the renewal of healthier skin.

Sage: A general effect attributed to this herb is the promotion of wound healing. Has stimulating, rejuvenating and antiseptic properties.

Salicylic Acid: An antiseptic that helps dissolve the top layers of the skin.

Selenium: An oral, plant-derived preparation used for its antifungal properties.

Shea Butter: An excellent emollient for use in creams, lotions. Alleviates dry skin.

Shiatsu: A Japanese method of massage that uses acupressure.

SPF: Sun Protection Factor. A higher SPF means more protection from the sun.

Sun Screen: Any substance applied to the skin which screens or protects it from the sun.

Sunblock: A physical sunscreen or a barrier against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Available in creams or ointments.

Superoxide Dismutase: A naturally occurring enzyme that can protect the skin from free radicals, which can cause skin damage.

Surfactants: Active agent which allows oil to mix with water.

Tartaric Acid: A type of glycolic acid (fruit acid) derived from apples. Use to treat the skin to improve its texture and tone.

Tea Tree Oil: A natural preservative with antiseptic and germicidal properties used in soaps, shampoos, and skin-care products.

Thyme: Botanical properties are antiseptic, tonic, antibacterial and deodorizing. Often used in toothpaste, mouthwashes, perfumes and soap.

Titanium Dioxide: A non-chemical, common agent used in sunscreen products that works by physically blocking the sun. It may be used alone or in combination with other agents.

Tocopherol: Vitamin E, used as an antioxidant in cosmetics.

Toner: Product used after cleansing to help return skin to its natural pH. Removes any remaining trace of dirt or debris.

Tretinoin: A derivative of vitamin A

Undertone: In make-up terms, refers to cool or warm tones of the skin.

UVA: Ultraviolet light, type A. These are rays of light from the sun which are not visible but can cause damage to the skin.

UVB: Ultraviolet light, type B. These are rays of light from the sun which are not visible but can cause damage to the skin.

Varicose Veins: Swollen and dilated veins, usually visible on the legs.

Vitamin A: A fat soluble vitamin. A lack of vitamin A can cause skin to become dry and hardened.

Vitamin C: A water soluble vitamin. A preservative and antioxidant used in cosmetic creams.

Vitamin D: A fat soluble vitamin. Necessary for bone and tooth structure. Formed in the skin on exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin E: An antioxidant often used in deodorants and hair grooming aids.

Wheat Germ Oil: Promotes renewal of normal new skin cells. Used in cosmetics because of its large vitamin E content.

Zinc Oxide: Used to protect, soothe and heal the skin. Also provides good sun protection.

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2 Responses to “Beauty & Fashion Tips – Beauty Terms”

  1. Very interesting and useful article.

  2. annuaire says:

    Thanks, Very useful resource!!

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