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Skincare Glossary: 28 Skincare Terms You Need to Know

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Skincare Glossary: 28 Skincare Terms You Need to Know

Reading the labels on your skin care products doesn’t have to be an exercise in translation. Although the best products are those that blend technology and nature, the chemistry that makes it all work isn’t as complex as it seems, despite what sometimes seems like a list of never-ending chemical compounds on skin care product packaging.

If you’re well-versed on the skincare terms and ingredients in your preferred skin care products, you’ll be able to tell whether or not they’re right for your skin. Here is your skincare glossary with some of the most common skin care terms and ingredients found in Farmacy products and elixirs developed by many other leading skin care brands.

Skincare Terms: From Amino Acids to Zinc Oxide

Amino Acids —These beneficial acids are often added to skin care products via natural ingredients such as royal jelly and fermented soy. Amino acids including L-Tyrosine, aspartic acid, glycine, tyrosine, valine and others are considered the building blocks of the skin and help encourage it to produce collagen and elastin for a smoother, more youthful look.

Blue Light —Blue light is a wavelength emitted by your smartphone, laptop and other gadgets that can compromise your skin. Similar to UV rays, this type of light may have a long-term effect on the appearance and texture of the skin. Choosing sunscreens that may protect against damaging blue light, like Green Defense, can help curb these effects.

Cichoric Acid —This beneficial natural acid is found in abundance in Echinacea purpura, and is often derived from the plant and added to various skin care formulas. This antioxidant-rich substance helps fight aging by inhibiting the enzymes that break down collagen. It also helps encourage an even-toned complexion. 

Collagen —Collagen is the main structural protein found in the skin and other connective tissues. This is the substance that gives your skin its plump, smooth appearance. As we age, our body slows its production of collagen, which is why it’s necessary to choose anti-aging skin care products fortified with collagen stimulators, such as cichoric acid.

Cupuaçu Butter —Also known as theobroma grandiflorum seed butter, cupuaçu butter is a natural derivative of the cupuaçu tree, which is found primarily in South America. The buttery-soft substance is known to help provide deep moisture while healing the skin and fighting off free radicals thanks to a high natural concentration of antioxidants. It’s often used as a vegan alternative to lanolin in many vegan skin care products.

Echinacea Purpura —Echinacea purpura is a natural flowering plant that’s also commonly referred to as the purple coneflower. It’s known for its high concentration of antioxidant-rich cichoric acid, which can help promote collagen production and leave behind more even-toned skin. Echinacea may also help soothe sensitive, damaged and acne-prone skin. 

Elastin —Coupled with collagen, elastin is one of the most vital keys to soft, smooth and tight skin. This protein forms the primary elastic connective tissue in the skin. As we age, elastin production begins to slow, which causes sagging skin. Choosing products that encourage the production of elastin, including products with amino acids, will help prevent loss of elasticity and the appearance of loose or saggy skin.

Emollient — An emollient is any ingredient that has the quality of softening or soothing the skin. We use a wide range of natural emollients in our lineup of beautifying skin-boosters, including many vegetable-based emollients and botanicals (such as sweet almond oil and jojoba seed oil) that provide gentle softening properties.

Exfoliation — The practice of exfoliation, or removing dead skin cells, is essential to helping your skin appear beautiful, fresh and young. The removal of dead skin cells and free radicals helps prevent blemishes, acne flare-ups and dull, tired-looking skin. Regularly exfoliating the facial skin will help remove the outermost dermal layer in order to reveal fresh, healthy skin. 

Enzymes —These natural components are found throughout the body and exist to help it produce certain reactions, such as helping you digest food easier. In terms of skin, enzymes can break down collagen and lead to wrinkles and sagging skin. Luckily, you can slow enzymes from aging your skin when you choose skin care formulas rich in cichoric acid.

Formaldehyde —You probably know of formaldehyde as the embalming agent used to preserve animals for dissection in biology class. But this organic compound is often added to skin care products to help preserve ingredients. However, formaldehyde is labeled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a natural carcinogen, meaning it’s proven to cause cancer. You should never use any skin care or beauty products that contain formaldehyde. All of our products are completely formaldehyde-free.

Free Radicals —In the simplest terms, free radicals are particles that can damage parts of the cells, including proteins, DNA and cell membranes. They’re emitted by substances in the air we breathe, and can cause long-term damage to our skin not only by physically damaging the cells, but also by slowing collagen production. The key to preventing exposure to free radicals is to choose antioxidant-rich products, as antioxidants are known to neutralize free radicals.

Hyaluronic acid — Sometimes referred to as “nature’s moisture magnet,” hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This allows moisture to penetrate deeply into the skin’s surface. Hyaluronic acid can also encourage the production of antioxidants and the stimulation of collagen and elastin. Choose products fortified with our Triple Hyaluronic Acid Complex, which features three molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, for the best results.

Hypoallergenic— This term is used in a wide range of products, from skin care to bedding and beyond, and simply signifies that the product is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Those with sensitive skin and who are prone to allergic reactions should only use skin and beauty products that use gentle and hypoallergenic ingredients.

Humectant — The word humectant is given to substances that have a high ability to retain or preserve moisture. Natural humectants such as glycerin and honey can help deeply seal in moisture to prevent dry, cracked and peeling skin.

Matrixyl® synthe’6® —Launched by Sederma in 2000, Matrixyl® synthe’6® is a trademark anti-wrinkle treatment that contains matrikine, a peptide that’s known to encourage collagen production and tissue repair. It’s designed to stimulate six major elements of the skin matrix in order to deeply smooth wrinkles. 

Micrograins —Remember those tiny plastic beads that you used to find in exfoliating face and body scrubs? Those tiny particles, called microbeads, were banned in the U.S. after they were found to permanently pollute the eco-system. Micrograins are a better, eco-friendlier alternative, and they even provide more benefits and exfoliating power than their plastic counterparts. 

Non-Comedogenic — Those with sensitive or acne-prone skin will have seen the phrase “non-comedogenic” labeled on various products. This phrase simply means that the product is specifically formulated so that it will not clause blocked pores, which can lead to blemishes and acne. All of our products are non-comedogenic and designed to work in harmony with the skin. On the other hand, products that are labeled comedogenic will increase the accumulation of dead skin cells, leading to clogged pores and acne flare-ups.

Parabens — Parabens are chemical components that have long been used in cosmetic products in order to prevent the growth of bacteria. Unfortunately, these additives, which often take the form of acids, are considered xenoestrogens, which means that they can cause an estrogen disruption that is linked to reproductive issues and even breast cancer. Always choose paraben-free skin care products. All Farmacy products are 100 percent paraben-free.

ProForm Vitamin C — This is a highly stable form of vitamin C that’s known for providing deeper penetration into the skin. Vitamin C can help encourage an even-toned complexion while reducing the appearance of freckles, sun damage and dark spots.

Photo Aging —Regular exposure to UV rays and blue light can cause premature aging, referred to as photo aging. This phrase is derived from the Greek word phos (light), so it literally means “light aging.” Signs of photo aging include wrinkles, spider veins, dark spots, sagging skin, a leathery texture and less-defined lips. You can prevent against photo aging when you use a good-quality sunscreen every day.

Propolis —You probably already know that honey is one of the best natural moisturizers, and that it provides plenty of skin-boosting benefits. But honeybees also produce propolis, which can help soothe and smooth damaged skin. Bees make propolis from beeswax and natural sap in order to create a coating for their hives. It has been used for centuries as a natural way to calm wounds, cold sores and other skin-related ailments.

Royal Jelly ­—Honeybees: the natural triple threat. Along with honey and propolis, these buzzing wonders also produce a substance known as royal jelly. Once known as the “original elixir of youth,” royal jelly contains 132 essential nutrients that help protect the skin against aging. Like propolis, royal jelly can also help heal flare-ups of acne, scars, cuts and wounds. If you want to see the benefits of honey, propolis and royal jelly first-hand, we highly recommend trying our Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer.

Salicylic Acid —This exfoliating ingredient is found in a wide range of skin care products that are used to beautify the skin and treat seborrheic dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, calluses, warts and other conditions. How does it work? Salicylic acid removes the outer layer of the skin and opens up pores, which can assist with reducing redness and inflammation. This chemical is also a primary ingredient in aspirin, and is often derived from willow bark and then treated with oxidants to create an acid.

Sorbic Acid —This potassium-rich powder is added to many skin care products as a preservative and as an aid in killing microorganisms that can clog pores and damage skin. Unlike formaldehyde, which offers similar benefits, this ingredient is considered safe by the FDA and is not known to cause cancer or other serious side effects. For that reason, we use small amounts of sorbic acid to preserve the natural botanicals and ingredients in our products and to provide antibacterial properties to keep skin clean and pores clear.

Titanium Dioxide —This common FDA-approved sunscreen additive is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium. It is primarily used as a physical or mineral blocker of UV rays, which is why it’s regularly used in sunscreen, including our Green Screen. Titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide are both considered physical sun blocks, and they work by creating a mirror-like surface on the skin and reflecting sunlight. Titanium dioxide is considered non-comedogenic, so it will not clog the pores or cause breakouts in people with sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Zinc Oxide —Much like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide is derived from a reflective material, in this case, zinc. It’s also a commonly used and FDA-approved sunscreen ingredient, and it effectively provides broad-spectrum UV protection. Many sunscreens, including our very own Green Defense, utilize both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for an extra layer of sun protection. Zinc oxide is also considered non-comedogenic.

Have a question about an ingredient or component used in one of our skin care formulas? We’re always on hand to provide you with answers! Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on any one of our beauty-boosting, naturally derived skin elixirs.

The post Beauty Defined: 28 Skin Care Terms You Need to Know appeared first on Farmacy Beauty.


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