Glossary of Dermatology And Skin Care Terms
A skin condition that manifests itself in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and/or cysts; lesions which are thought to result from the accumulation of keratin proteins, bacteria and oil in hair follicles.
A substance that has an opposite reaction to acid and is capable of neutralizing it.
An acquired sensitivity to a substance. When allergic reactions occur following external contact, they usually produce eczema-like dermatitis, usually characterized by redness, itching and swelling.
Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
An agent that is capable of shrinking and contracting skin tissue, temporarily and locally.
A substance derived or extracted from a plant.
A fibrous protein in the skin that gives it its firmness. When the collagen fibers are stretched or strained, the skin loses its elasticity and the area wrinkles and sags. Collagen is used in skin care products because of its moisture binding properties.
Blackheads. More evident in acne-prone skin.
Inflammation of the skin.
Connective tissue layer under the epidermis. Contains blood vessels, nerves, glands and hair follicles.
Elastin is the protein that gives skin its elasticity.
Flexibility; the ability of your skin to stretch and spring back.
An ingredient that softens, smoothes and moisturizes the skin.
An agent used to combine two liquids that ordinarily do not mix, such as oil and water.
The outermost layer of the skin where skin cells are formed, mature and die. Contains Epidermal cells.
An ingredient or product that is used to remove, or exfoliate, dead cells from the skin's surface.
Slough off dry, scaly skin.
Unstable reactive molecules that can initiate a chain reaction of gradual damage to skin cells. They are generated through UV exposure, smoke, and other pollutants - and can be prevented primarily through the use of antioxidants and sunscreens.
A deep, narrow, tube-like channel in which a hair grows. The opening of the channel on the skin surface is the pore.
A substance that promotes the retention of moisture.
To add moisture.
Water based aqueous systems (as opposed to "oil" based systems).
Formulated to reduce the chance of allergic reactions by avoiding ingredients that are most likely to cause these problems. Does not mean that allergic reactions are not possible, only less likely.
A tough, fibrous protein found in the surface cells of the skin, hair and nails.
Fatty substances that help bond skin cells together and strengthen the skin. Lipids also help skin retain moisture.
Lipid Barrier Restoration
Elements reintroduced into skin to reinforce the intercellular lipid barrier which is responsible for moisture retention.
The pigment produced by the skin cells known as melanocytes.
The amount and size of the melanin granules is what determines the skin's color, or skin tone. Melanin is also a natural defense against ultraviolet radiation.
Understood to mean that the product is formulated with ingredients that originate or are extracted from substances that were once living. Examples of natural substances include fruit, vegetable and herbal extracts and witch hazel.
Minimizes potential to cause acne.
The level of acidity or alkalinity of a solution or substance. If the pH of a product is too different from the pH of the skin it could damage the skin. It is estimated that the 'natural' skin surface pH is on average 4.7.
Refers to accelerated signs of aging which are caused by overexposure to sunlight.
Essential components of living tissues. Used in cosmetics for conditioning properties.
Able to resume its original shape after being bent, stretched or creased; elastic.
The skin's own oil. It serves as a natural moisturizer. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands and secreted through the hair follicles.
An agent capable of dissolving another substance. Water is the most common solvent.
Outermost layer of the epidermis, composed of non-living protein.
Surface active agent. Any compound that reduces surface tension when dissolved in water solutions, or between a liquid and a solid. In personal care products these typically act to remove oil from the skin.
A term to describe the flow characteristics of a product. Also commonly used to describe how thick or thin a liquid is.