& Skincare Articles
of Cosmetics Terms and Definitions – Put Your Face On
by Arden Mellor
If you’ve really delved into cosmetics
and their makeup, their ingredients, and their properties, you’ve
probably found that they can be quite technical. But you don’t need
all that technicality – you just want to look good. So we’ve compiled
this glossary of cosmetics terms and definitions to help clear up
the picture. Review it carefully, and your cosmetics will start
to make more sense to you.
Acne is an inflammatory skin disease that’s made evident by pimples
that can appear on almost any part of the body, but are usually
on the face.
- Acrylic Something that’s acrylic has the
property of being able to repel water or moisture.
An allergen is something that produces an allergic reaction.
Allantoin, extracted from a plant, is used in creams and skin
preparations to heal and soothe.
Almond oil is vegetable oil made with almonds. It’s used in cosmetic
products that soften the skin.
Aloe Vera is a plant that has wonderful healing and softening
properties. Many people have an Aloe Vera houseplant, because
you can break off a piece and use the extract from inside to soothe
and heal cuts, burns and abrasions. It’s a very common ingredient
in cosmetics because of it’s softening properties.
An astringent, as part of the facial cleansing system, is commonly
known as toner, and it controls oily skin and lowers the pH of
the face after cleansing. Basically, it draws tissues together.
Beeswax has been used in cosmetics for centuries, mostly for its
Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient found in acne treatments,
used for its antibacterial properties.
The Bergamot tree is grown predominantly in southern Italy. The
Italians make an oil from the rind of the bergamot tree’s citrus
fruit, which is good as an antiseptic, a cleanser, and a deodorizer.
A blackhead is a type of pimple that forms when the pores of the
skin get clogged with oils and impurities.
Botanical products are those that are made from plants.
Botox is simply the trade name for botulinum toxin A. It’s a product
that’s becoming increasingly popular for getting rid of wrinkles
in the face, which is performed by injections.
Bronzers are products that darken the skin to make it look naturally
A buffer is a pH-balanced
cleanser that makes the skin shinier and softer.
Butcher’s Broom is a plant extract that’s used to “sweep away”
redness in the face.
A build-up of tough layers of skin is referred to as calluses.
They can be removed with a pumice stone, or you can get them professionally
removed by an esthetician.
Candela wax is combined with oil to give more body to lipsticks.
Cellulite is the word used to refer to the fatty deposits that
cause a dimpled or uneven appearance of the skin, usually around
the thighs and buttocks.
Ceramides is a substance that protects the skin against moisture
loss. It’s also synthetically-reproduced in skin care products.
We’ve probably all heard of chamomile tea; it’s made from a plant.
Well, it’s not only good for health by drinking, it’s also a great
anti-inflammatory when used in lotions.
Citric acid has many uses. It’s used in skincare products as an
astringent and an antioxidant.
Clarifying lotion is the toner part of a cleansing system that
balances the pH of the skin after cleansing.
Collagen is a natural part of the skin, but it can be increased
in volume with injections to plump up a certain area. Those women
who want that full pouty look can have collagen injected into
Cucumber juice is used on the face to tighten the pores and stop
the skin from drying out.
Depilation is the process of removing hair from the skin.
DHA is a cosmetic product that bronzes the skin to resemble a
Echinacea is a natural product that’s most commonly used to reduce
flu or cold symptoms. But it’s also used in some skin care products
to stop itching and soothe the skin.
Eczema is an inflammatory condition that causes the skin to become
red, scaly and itchy.
Elastin is used in cosmetics to protect the skin from getting
Electrolysis is a process where an electric current is applied
to hair roots to kill them.
An emollient is something that soothes and softens the skin.
An emulsifier is a substance added to a product to thicken it.
Epilation is the process of removing hair from beneath the surface
of the skin.
An esthetician is a professional trained to give beauty treatments
like facials, manicures, and pedicures.
Evening primrose is a natural substance used as a toner or moisturizer.
When you exfoliate your skin you remove layers or scales.
Glycerin can be found in moisturizers; it holds water particles
A glycolic peel is a method used to exfoliate or remove dead layers
A humectant is a substance that helps retain moisture.
When you hydrate skin, you add moisture to it.
Hydroquinone is a white crystalline compound used in skincare
products as a bleaching agent.
Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition caused by ultraviolet light
from the sun, which darkens the skin.
Jojoba is a multi-purpose substance, used as a moisturizer, as
well as to reduce wrinkles and stretch marks.
Karite is a natural ingredient that keeps the skin healthy.
Keratin is the natural substance that gives nails and hair their
Kojic acid is used to lighten the color of the skin.
Lactic acid is a natural ingredient in the body that moisturizes
Lanolin is a fatty substance made from wool, that moisturizes
and emulsifies, as well as absorbs water.
Licorice, in its natural form (not the kind we eat), is good for
treating acne and soothing skin irritated by allergies.
Malic acid comes from raw fruit, like apples, cherries and tomatoes,
and is used as a glycolic agent.
Mallow is a softening agent made from plants, that helps reduce
inflammation, age lines, and eye swelling.
Melanin is the dark pigment in hair and skin.
In cosmetics, a
moisturizer is a cream that hydrates the skin.
Cosmetic products that are non-comedogenic (or they may be referred
to as non-occlusive) don’t plug the pores, so don’t cause skin
irritation or pimples.
PABA stands for para-aminobenzoic acid. It’s a part of the vitamin
B complex and is used in some sunscreen lotions.
Panthenol, or vitamin B5, is used as a moisturizer.
Petrolatum is another word for petroleum jelly. It’s used in creams
as a lubricant, to soften and soothe the skin. It also seals in
pH is an abbreviation for percentage of hydrogen. In cosmetics,
it measures the level of acidity.
Photoaging is damage to the skin caused by too much exposure to
Photosensitivity is a skin condition, manifested in rashes or
swelling, that results from applying or eating certain chemicals
or foods, then exposing the skin to sunlight.
Phytocosmetics are cosmetics that are made with natural ingredients
A pore is a tiny opening in the skin that serves as an outlet
Psoriasis is a skin disease that produces dry, itchy red patches.
Deficiency in retinol, another name for vitamin A, results in
a hardening and roughening of the skin. Retinol is the main ingredient
in products like Retin-A and Renova, that help to reduce wrinkles
and heal acne.
Rosacea is a skin condition that produces red oily skin and acne.
Royal jelly is a natural product that’s taken from bees. It has
many medicinal purposes and creates generally good health, including
Sage, a member of the “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” group,
is not just a herb for cooking. It also helps to disinfect and
Salicylic acid dissolves layers of the skin and is used in the
treatment of eczema.
Shea butter is a fat made from the seeds of the shea tree. It’s
used in creams and lotions to soothe, soften and moisturize the
SPF is an acronym for sun protection factor. Sunscreen products
have an SPF; the higher the SPF, the more protection you get from
Sunscreen is a product, usually a cream, that’s applied to the
skin to protect it from getting sunburned. The amount of protection
is governed by its SPF.
Sunblock, as opposed to sunscreen, is a lotion that actually blocks
the ultraviolet rays of the sun. It’s more effective than sunscreen.
- A surfactant is an ingredient that
promotes an efficient mixture of oil and water.
Tartaric acid comes from apples and is used to promote the texture
and tone of the skin.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a natural preservative that’s used in soap, shampoo
and skin care products to clean and disinfect.
Thyme, another herb primarily used for cooking, is also useful
as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent. You’ll find it in some
Tocopherol is another name for the fat-soluble vitamin E, which
aids in the skin reproduction process.
The toner is a part of the facial cleansing system. It’s used
after the cleanser, and cleans any last traces of dirt that may
be left, as well as returning the skin to its natural pH.
Undertone is a term used to refer to the tone of the skin, like
warm or cool.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. A deficiency in vitamin A
can cause toughening and hardening of the skin.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. It’s used in anti-aging
creams because of it’s preservative and antioxidant properties.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It promotes strong bones and
teeth, but can be detrimental if collected in the skin as a result
of too much exposure to the sun.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. Its antioxidant properties
make it useful for promoting healthy skin and hair.
Wheat germ oil
Wheat germ oil, an ingredient found in natural cosmetics, aids
in renewing skin cells. It also has a large quantity of vitamin
E in it.
Zinc oxide is a chemical compound that was originally used as
a whitening face powder around the beginning of the 20th century.
It’s quite often found in sun protection products because of its
ability to protect. It also soothes and heals the skin.
So there you have it. And with your
newfound knowledge, you can buy your cosmetics with the confidence
that you know what you’re getting. Whether you’re buying foundation,
mascara, lipstick, nail polish, lotion, or any one of the many skin
care products available on the market today, you’ll always be able
to get just the right ones to enhance your natural beauty.
And check out all the makeup websites
on the Internet. That’s the best place to shop for your cosmetics
and skin care products. You’ll get the best selection, and you’ll
also find many discount cosmetics sites. You’ll find some of the
most popular brand names there, too, like Mac Cosmetics, or Mary
Kay Cosmetics, or Avon, Or Estee Lauder, or Clinique, and many,
So now you’re in tune with cosmetics
terms and definitions, go and “put your face on”. And when you’re
done, go and show off that natural beauty. If we could whistle,
we would. Because “you look maaarvelous, dahling!”
About the Author:
Arden Mellor is a successful home
based freelance writer, one of experience and diversity. The knowledge
brought to you through Arden's articles has been designed for simplicity.
The world is much too complicated, and Arden’s contribution to the
world is to bring the complexities of life into a simpler arena,
one that anyone and everyone can understand and use. Arden writes
many informative articles
of Cosmetics Terms & Definitions" reprinted with permission.
BREN COSMETICS |