- Skin care glossary
Algae. Some forms of Algae contain vitamins and minerals (which help to soften and soothe the skin) or antioxidants (which are thought to have anti-ageing properties).
Allantoin, found in comfrey root, prevents bacteria growth which helps soothe and reduce inflammation.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice is derived from the Aloe plant and helps to moisturise the skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), such as glycolic acid, help to increase the cell renewal rate by removing the top layer of dead skin cells.
Aminobenzoic Acid is a sunscreen used to absorb UVB rays.
Amino-peptides have a significant anti-inflammatory effect deep within the skin’s surface that promotes anti-ageing properties, including increasing tissue creation.
Antioxidants help to protect the skin against harmful free radicals found in the environment. Antioxidants can help to reverse damage by reacting with DNA, cell membranes and collagen fibres.
Avobenzone (Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane) is a sunscreen that absorbs UVA rays.
Basal Cell Layer is where the cells of the top layer of skin (the epidermis) originate. These cells are stem cells.
Bentonite is a type of clay, often used in skin masks for its oil absorbing properties.
Beta Carotene is a natural chemical found in carrots. It is converted to vitamin A (retinol), an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from harmful free radicals.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), such as salicylic acid, help to increase the surface cell renewal rate by removing the top layer of dead skin cells. BHAs are able to penetrate into pores to remove the build-up of dead skin cells. They are often found in acne products.
Camellia Oleifera is a tea oil that is believed to have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic (a substance that counteracts the development of cancer) properties.
Carnosine is a type of antioxidant that protects the skin against free radicals (damaging molecules found in the environment).
Carotenoids, which are derived from Vitamin A, act as antioxidants to protect the skin against free radicals (damaging molecules found in the environment).
Chamomile Extract is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin against harmful free radicals found in the environment.
Chamomile Oil, an extract distilled from chamomile, is well known for its soothing properties that can help calm skin and reduce redness and irritation.
Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) is an herb that has been shown to have anti-irritant, soothing and antioxidant properties.
Chemical Exfoliators help to dissolve the bonds which hold dead skin cells on the skin surface. This reduces the build-up of dead skin cells and makes skin less likely to have a rough texture. Examples of chemical exfoliators include: alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid, as well as beta hydroxyl acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid.
Citric Acid, found in citric fruits, is a natural antioxidant that can help improve the health of skin cells.
Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Extract is an essential oil from the mandarin orange peel that is used as a natural fragrance.
Coconut Oil is the oil obtained from the seeds of Cocos Nucifera. It works as a skin conditioning agent to help the skin feel smooth and soft.
Collagen is a protein that makes up the majority of the skin's second layer (the dermis). It provides the skin with elasticity and resilience.
Corneocytes are flattened dead skin cells that are tightly packed together in the top layer of the skin.
Cucumber Extract has anti-inflammatory and skin-tightening properties. Cucumber can be rubbed over the skin to keep it soft.
Cyclopentasiloxane (and Deca-Methylcyclopentasiloxane) works as a moisturiser to maintain the softness and smoothness of the skin.
Dermis is the skin’s second layer - the layer that lies below the epidermis. It contains nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands and hair roots. This is the layer where collagen and elastin are found.
Desquamation is the process in which dead cells on the outermost layer of the epidermis are removed and then replaced by new cells. As we get older, this process slows down.
Dill Extract (Peucedanum Graveolens Extract) can help to delay the appearance of ageing.
Dimethicone is a type of silicone that feels soft on the skin, even when skin is wet. It is also used for improving the appearance of scars.
Elastin is a protein that holds together bundles of collagen, allowing skin to resume its shape after stretching or contracting. It makes up a small portion (less than 5%) of the skin's second layer (the dermis).
Ensulizole is a sunscreen which absorbs UVB rays.
Epidermis is the top layer of the skin. It is translucent - meaning that light is able to partially pass through it.
Erythema is a skin condition that involves tender, red bumps under the skin.
Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil is an aromatic oil native to Australia. Taken from fresh eucalyptus leaves, it is used to refresh skin.
Extract of Sea Kelp is a form of algae that is an excellent source of sea minerals (which help to soften and soothe the skin) and antioxidants (which are thought to have anti-ageing properties).
Fibroblasts are the type of cell that make up collagen and elastin fibres. As we age, the functioning of our dermis decreases as a result of the declined function of Fibroblasts.
Fine Lines are often referred to as surface wrinkles and are crevices that can crease less than 0.1mm into the skin surface. They are hardly visible when a person is relaxed.
Genomics is the study of the structure, function, and mapping of genomes. In contrast to genetics, which only looks at genes one at a time, genomics looks at all the genes as a dynamic system over time, to determine how they interact and influence biological pathways, networks, and physiology. Genomics gives us a global picture of what is happening with skin as it ages.
Ginger Root Extract is a skin-conditioning agent that makes the skin feel smooth and soft.
Glycerine is a moisturising ingredient. By binding to water, it increases the skin's moisture content, providing hydration.
Glycerol works to hydrate the skin, attracting water from the surrounding environment into the layers of skin.
Glycolic Acid (an alpha hydroxy acid [AHA]) helps to increase cell renewal rate by removing the top layer of dead skin cells.
Grape Seed Extract is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin against harmful free radicals found in the environment.
Green Tea Extract is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin against harmful free radicals found in the environment.
Hair Follicle are tiny tubular structures that contain the root of a hair, found in the second layer of skin (the dermis).
Hexyldecanol is an emollient, which softens and soothes the skin, helping to prevent dryness.
Homosalate is a sunscreen that absorbs UVB rays.
Isohexadecane works as an emollient, softening and soothing the skin. It helps to reduce water loss from the skin, hydrating and moisturising the skin.
Ispopropyl Isostearate is an emollient, which softens and soothes the skin, helping to prevent dryness.
Jojoba Seed Oil is a skin-conditioning agent that improves the feel of skin by helping to keep it moisturised.
Lactic Acid (an alpha hydroxy acid [AHA]) helps increase the cell renewal rate by removing the top layer of dead skin cells.
Lamnaria Saccharina Extract (Algae Extract) is derived from seaweed and helps to keep substances moist to hydrate the skin.
Lemon (Citrus Medica Limonum) Oil. The citroflavanoids in Lemon Oil are an excellent source of vitamin C and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Licorice Extract (Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate) is a skin conditioner that helps make skin feel smooth and soft.
Maleated Soybean Oil is a superior moisturising agent that helps soften skin, as it contains about 60% polyunsaturated fatty acids and is a good source of vitamin E.
Mandarin Orange (Citrus Nobilis) Oil is an essential oil from the mandarin orange peel that is used as a natural fragrance.
Melanin is a pigment for skin and hair colour. There are 2 forms of Melanin: eumelanin (which tends to produce a black or brown skin colour), and phaeomelanin (which is what makes freckles).
Melanocytes manufacture skin and hair pigment (melanin) and are found in the top layer of skin (the epidermis).
Melanosomes is where the pigment melanin is made.
Mica is a type of mineral that is used to give your skin a coloured, glittery look.
Mineral Oil is one of the safest, most non-irritating natural moisturising ingredients. Mineral Oil is a clear, odorless oil that rarely causes allergic reactions and can't become a solid or clog pores. It is also a great antioxidant and is considered to be one of the most effective moisturising ingredients available.
Non-comeodogenic product has been specially formulated so that it does not block pores.
Octinoxate (Octyl Methoxycinnamate) is a sunscreen that absorbs UVB rays.
Octisalate (Octyl Salicylate) is a sunscreen that absorbs UVB rays.
Octocrylene is a premium, water-resistant sunscreen agent that protects against UVB sun rays, which are more likely to cause sunburn than UVA sun rays.
Olivem (Sodium PED-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate) helps strengthen the skin, allowing it to behave like younger skin.
Orange (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis) Oil is an essential oil extracted from the orange peel that is used as a natural fragrance. It is also thought to have antioxidant properties.
Oxybenzone is a sunscreen that absorbs UVB and shorter UVA rays.
Palm Kernel Acid is an oil extracted from the kernel of the palm fruit used as an all-natural, bio-degradable moisturiser.
Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 (Pal-KTTKS) has been shown to reduce wrinkle depth, helping to reduce the appearance of ageing.
Panthenon (Pro-Vitamin B5) is helpful in the treatment of acne; it is also an effective moisturiser.
Peptides are tiny fragments of protein molecules that are found naturally throughout the body. Along with glycerine, Peptides hydrate and enhance the outer layer of the skin (the stratum corneum). This allows for the natural production of collagen, which can help to firm up skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Petrolatum is also known as petroleum jelly. Topical application helps the skin's outer layer recover from damage, reduces inflammation and heals dry skin.
Photoageing is the damage caused by UV radiation from the sun. It results in a change in the chemical structure of collagen and elastin.
Physical Exfoliators work by mechanically removing any dead skin cells on the skin surface, using a hard ingredient. One example of a Physical Exfoliator is a scrub.
Polyethylene is used in skincare products to make the exfoliation beads found in face scrubs.
Polyphenols are antioxidants that protect the skin against free radicals (damaging molecules found in the environment). They are commonly found in tea, coffee, and chocolate.
Pores are small openings on the skin's surface which allow sweat and oil to reach the skin's surface from the sweat glands or sebaceous glands.
Propylene Glycol is an ingredient that carries moisture by absorbing water from the air. It penetrates the upper layers of the skin and leaves skin feeling silky and soft.
Retinyl Palmitate is also known as vitamin A. This antioxidant is known for its anti-ageing benefits that help firm and smooth skin's texture. Its moisturising effect also helps to prevent dry skin while keeping skin healthy and clear.
Retinyl Proprionate is a retinoid, which is a naturally occurring derivative of vitamin A. Clinical studies have proven that the topical application of Retinyl Proprionate is effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also causes a decrease in age spots, as Retinyl Propionate causes a decrease in melanin synthesis.
Rose Oil is a skin-conditioning agent that improves the feel of the skin by helping to keep it moisturised.
Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil is a strong antioxidant that is extracted from the leaf of the rosemary plant.
Sage Leaf Extract works as a skin-conditioning agent to help the skin feel smooth and soft.
Salicylic Acid renews the outer layer of skin and opens blocked hair follicles by encouraging the exfoliation of dead skin. It is also an effective treatment for acne.
Seaweed Extract is also known as algae. This plant extract contains vitamins and minerals (which help to soften and soothe the skin) and antioxidants (which are thought to have anti-ageing properties).
Sebaceous Glands grow as part of the hair follicles and produce sebum, which are a mixture of fats and waxes (or grease).
Sebum is the skin's natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands and is a mixture of fats and waxes. It is slightly acidic.
Sepiwhite (Undeylenoyl Phenylalanine) helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil is natural oil extracted from the desert shrub Simondsia Chinensis. It is vital in helping to restore skin's natural lipid barrier, creating soft and supple skin.
Sodium Hyaluronate is a powerful moisturising agent that can bind to up to 1,000 times its weight in water - working to soothe and hydrate the skin.
Sodium Myristoyl Sarconsinate works to bind together ingredients in a lotion or cream, preventing separation.
Soybean Seed Extract (Soybean Oil) is a moisturising agent that works to hydrate and soften the skin.
Squalene (Olive Oil Extract) works to soften and soothe the skin.
Stratum Corneum is the very top layer of skin that consists of dead skin cells in the process of being shed and continually replaced by new cells. It helps keep water inside the skin and aggressors outside the skin.
Subcutaneous Fat is the bottom layer of the skin, located below the dermis. It contains nerves and large blood vessels, along with fat-filled cells.
Sweat Glands form tiny coiled tubes which are embedded in the skin. There are 2 types of sweat glands: eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands produce sweat. Apocrine glands produce highly individual scents.
Titanium Dioxide is a natural earth mineral that is used in sunscreen to absorb and scatter UVA and UVB rays without irritating skin.
Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) is known for its antioxidant and moisturising properties. It is also thought to protect against environmental pollutants.
Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) is the natural process of water loss from the skin by gentle evaporation.
UV (Ultraviolet) Filters are organic and inorganic chemicals used to reduce the amount of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that skin is exposed to during the daylight. UV Filters absorb, scatter, and reflect sunlight, reducing acute and chronic skin damage. Examples of acute damage from sunlight include redness (sunburn) and pigmentation (tanning). Chronic skin damage from solar UV includes skin cancers non-melanoma and melanoma, and photoageing, i.e., irregular skin tone, fine lines, and wrinkles.
UVA rays are the type of sunlight that penetrates deep into the skin, all the way to the bottom layer. They are responsible for ageing of the skin, but do not cause it to burn. They can penetrate glass and clothing, and are present at the same strength year round.
UVB rays are the type of sunlight that penetrates only into the top layer of skin (the epidermis). They are highly damaging to the skin and cause it to burn. They are present in larger amounts in the summer (vs. the winter), and tend to be blocked by glass.
Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) is an antioxidant that helps firm and smooth skin's texture. It also has moisturising benefits that help prevent dry skin, keeping it healthy and clear.
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) works to hydrate the skin, improve the moisture barrier, and exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells. It has anti-ageing, acne, moisturising, and hyperpigmentation benefits.
Vitamin B5 (Panthenol) is a moisturiser used to soften and soothe the skin, as well as to prevent water loss, keeping it hydrated and stabilizing the skin's moisture barrier.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is a conditioning agent that helps to improve the look and feel of the skin.
Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid) is an antioxidant found in citrus fruits; tomatoes; and green, leafy vegetables. It protects the skin against free radicals (damaging molecules found in the environment). It also offers clarifying benefits to help keep skin clear of impurities.
Vitamin E (Tocopheryl or Tocopheryl Acetate) is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin against harmful free radicals found in the environment.
White Tea Extract is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin against harmful free radicals found in the environment.
Witch Hazel Leaf Extract is a skin purifier that has a high concentration of tannin. Tannin is a powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce inflammation.
Zinc Oxide is a physical sunscreen that absorbs and scatters UVA and UVB rays.