Skincare Glossary

Acne
A chronic disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous (oil) glands. It is characterized by blackheads, pimple outbreaks, cysts, and sometimes scarring.
Acne rosacea
Adult acne-like appearance characterized by redness, sensitivity, irritation and flushing centralized on the middle of the face, particularly on the nose and across the cheeks.
Actinic keratosis
Small, rough reddish patches on the skin. Often sharp to the touch. Most common in fair-skinned people, these may become skin cancer if not removed.
Advanced Performance Complex™
A combination of pharmaceutical grade ingredients that strengthen skin cells, attract and lock in hydration, and restore youthful skin.
Algae
Used for its antioxidant and moisturizing properties.
Allantoin
Which comes form the comfrey root, is used for its healing, moisturizing, soothing and anti-irritating properties.
Aloe Vera
A superb hydrator and soothing agent, very beneficial to damaged, dry, chapped or sun-exposed skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid
A group of plant-derived acids used to smooth fine lines and surface wrinkles, to improve skin texture and tone, unblock and cleanse pores, improve oily skin or acne, and improve skin condition in general by exfoliation, or shedding of the surface skin. The most frequently used are glycolic acid and lactic acid.
Amino Acids
building blocks for collagen and elastin, such as lecithin.
Antioxidant
A substance that helps create a barrier from free radial damage, the result of the decaying process of oxidation. Oxidation is what causes most of the visible signs of aging in the skin. Valuable skincare antioxidants include Pomegranate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Goji Berry, Ellagic acid and Green tea.
Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C)
Is an antioxidant, helping to protect the body from oxidation, and free radical induced problems. Vitamin C performs numerous functions in the body including collagen formation, preventing breakage of capillary walls and neutralizing free radicals.
Avocado Oil
Used for its moisturizing properties.
Azelaic Acid
Used for its antibacterial, and anti- inflammation properties.

B
Benzoyl Peroxide
An antibacterial agent used in acne treatments. Effective in treating acne but can dry the skin, causing more breakouts.
BHA
Also known as Beta Hydroxy Acid, used for its exfoliating purposes. It is lipophilic, or known for its abilities to dissolve oil. The most common BHA is salicylic acid.
Blackheads
Also known as open comedones, look like small dark or grayish dots. Blackheads are caused by excess oil that is oxidized which causes them to turn black in color.

C
Caffeine
Used in topical creams to reduce puffiness.
Chamomile
Used for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also known for its bactericidal, anti-itching, soothing, antiseptic and purifying capabilities.
Chitosan- aids in moisture retention.
City skin- Exposure to greater environmental toxins from pollution, smog and heightened stress level that arises from coping with the logistics of daily life.
Co-3™
Patented by Murad, helps rebuilds and strengthen skin by binding collagen and elastic fibers. Repairs skin for the prevention and treatment of fine lines and wrinkles. Inhibits formation of collagen destroying enzymes.
Coenzyme Q 10
An enzyme, which functions as an antioxidant to boost the skin’s defense mechanisms, immunity and protection against free radicals.
Collagen
The elastic fibers that provide skin with its structural support.
CTI
In the United States, cosmetics are regulated under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which is enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has abundant legal authority to regulate the safety of cosmetic products.
Cuperose
A non-technical term that estheticians use for redness, acne rosacea and/or telangiectasia (spider veins).
Cyst
Small, yellowish-tan to skin colored, firm round masses just beneath the skin. These can enlarge slowly and when infected can result in scarring. Can be exacerbated by acne.

D
Dehydrated skin
Skin that lacks moisture.
Dry skin
Skin that lacks oil.

E
Eczema
Cause unknown. In mild forms the skin is dry, hot and itchy, in more severe forms the skin can become broken, raw and bleeding.
Elastin
Responsible for skin’s ability to retain in its shape.
Ellagic acid
A super-antioxidant known for its healing benefits, found in Green Tea, Pomegranate, and Goji Berry.
Environmental or Extrinsic Aging
Aging symptoms accelerated by elements of the environment-such as stress, pollution and sun damage.
Enzyme
Whether in the form papain (papaya) or bromelain (pineapple), enzymes have long been used in their pure form as exfoliants. They work by dissolving the dead skin cells on the top layer of skin.
Essential Fatty Acids
The basic building block of cellular membrane, used to prevent cellular water loss, such as Omega 3, Omega 6, Flaxseed, and Goji Berry.
Essential oils
Far from true oils because they are lighter than water and have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Estrogen
The key hormone in the female reproduction system. In the skin, estrogen keeps skin soft, firm, and supple by encouraging the production of collagen.
Evening Primrose oil
Helpful for skin irritations and improves the skin’s ability to develop normal barrier functions.
Exfoliation
The chemical or mechanical removal of dead or non-functioning skin cells.

F
Flavonoids
Support health by strengthening capillaries and other connective tissue, and some function as anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, and anti-viral agents.
Folliculitis
Painful, cystic bump, when hair is trapped in the follicle.
Free Radicals
Unstable molecules found naturally in the body and in the environment. To reduce their energy load, free radicals react with certain chemicals in the body, and in the process, interfere with the cells’ ability to function normally. Free radicals are a main cause of extrinsic aging.

G
Ginkgo Biloba
Enhances blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain, heart and other body parts. It has been shown to have certain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Glucosamine
Strengthens connective tissue so it can absorb more water.
Glycerin
Used for its water-binding abilities, allowing it to draw and absorb water from the air.
Glycolic Acid
An alpha hydroxy acid used for its exfoliation properties.
Glycosaninoglycans
Skin conditioning agent that also helps strengthen the skins barrier.
Goji Berry
One of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet, used for its amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Grape Seed Extract
Derived from the small seeds of red grapes. Grape seed extract is rich in flavonoids, phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties.
Green Tea
Used for its potent anti-oxidant properties, including ellagic acid.

Hormonal Aging

Part of intrinsic aging specifically associated with the natural change in hormone levels. Includes peri-menopausal and menopausal concerns.
Hyaluronic acid
An acid that helps retain the skin’s natural moisture. It can hold 1000 times its weight in water.
Hydrators
Ingredients that add moisture to the skin to help strengthen the barrier.
Hydrogen Peroxide
Used for its antibacterial properties. Also effective in killing p-acnus.
Hydroquinone
Pigment lightening agent used to lighten age spots and acne scars.
Hydroxy acids
A group including alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid known for its exfoliating properties.
Hyperpigmentation
Excess production of melanin pigment, resulting in darkening of the skin.
Hypopigmentation
Lack production of melanin, causing ‘white spots’ on skin.

I
Inclusive Health
Caring for yourself, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
Ingrown hair
See folliculitis.
Intrinsic Aging
The normal process of aging without the influence of external factors. Largely controlled by genetics.

K
Keratosis Pilaris
Small, red bumps caused by clogged hair follicles. Most commonly found on the cheeks and upper arms.

L
Lactic Acid
An alpha hydroxy acid used for its exfoliation properties.
Lavender Oil
Essential oil used for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, soothing and
healing qualities.
Lecithin
The chemical cousin of vitamin B, lecithin is an essential building block of the lipid layer surrounding the cells and forms the foundation of the cell membrane. Lecithin is so vital to the integrity of the cell wall that the body is equipped to manufacture is own supply.
Lesion
Any mark, symptom or abnormality on the skin.
Licorice
Used for its anti-irritant and for its brightening properties.
Linoleic Acid
Also known as vitamin K, an essential fatty acid. Used for redness reduction properties.

M
Melanin
A substance responsible for giving skin color.
Menopausal skin
Caused by a shift in hormones, sometimes resulting in facial hair, breakouts, dilated blood vessels, and increasingly sensitive skin.
Menthol
Used for its stimulating and cooling properties.
Milia
Little white cysts or bumps under the skin. Unlike whiteheads, these have no pore opening and cannot be squeezed out.
Murad Recipe
Ingredients found in every Murad product including: Anti-oxidants, Anti-inflammatory, and hydrating ingredients.

 

N
Night Cream
A moisturizer in which there is a greater concentration of hydrating ingredients than typically used in day creams. There are two reasons why a night cream is important 1) TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) is greatest at night. A night cream can prevent that kind of dehydration. 2) the body’s cell are replenished with nutrients and are being regenerated at night, so this is the time to optimize the delivery of the raw materials the skin needs.
Normal/ combination skin
Partially oily and partially dehydrated skin. Most often t-zone is oily and the outside of the checks and jaw are dehydrated.
O
Oily skin
Is defined as an excess of sebum or oil production skin.
Oxidation
A change in a chemical characterized by the loss of electrons.

P
P-acnes
Also known as propinibacterium acnes, the bacteria that causes acne.
Panthenol
Anti-inflammatory agent known for its healing and moisturizing benefits.
Papule
A raised lesion characterized by red bumps.
Peppermint Oil
Used for its antibacterial properties.
Peri-menopause
The period of time anywhere from 2-10 years before menopause. Starts as early as late twenties in women.
Pharmaceutical Grade Ingredients
(or prescription grade) means ingredients found normally in the highest quality products.
Phosphatidylcholine
Ingredient that helps maintain cell walls.
Phospholipids
Used for its essential fatty acid properties.
Photoaging
Damage to the skin caused by the sun or ultraviolet rays.
Phytochemicals
Compounds that act as free radical scavengers to help eliminate the highly charged oxygen molecules that are by-products of metabolized oxygen. Phytochemicals are known for their anti-oxidant properties.
Pigmentation
discoloration of the skin.
Polyphenols
Plant derived chemicals with superb antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and skin rejuvenating capabilities.
Pomegranate
Used for its intensive antioxidant properties, considered a super-antioxidant and contains 5% ellagic acid.
Purging Process
A reaction in skin when you begin using a new skin care line. This occurs because the product is actively cleansing and bringing all the trapped oil & impurities to the surface of your skin, which can initially cause more breakouts.
Pustule
An infected papule with a white or yellow center of pus.

R
Red tea
Also know as Aspalathus Linearis Leaf extract, is the strongest known antioxidant. Known to help strengthen capillary wall.
Retinol
A Vitamin A derivative that helps normalize skin cell production. Most commonly found in anti-aging and acne products.
Rosacea
A skin condition characterized by redness, pimples, and broken blood vessels.

S
Salicylic Acid
A beta hydroxy acid used for its exfoliating and oil dissolving properties
Saw Palmetto
Known to help inhibit hair growth in women.
Seborrhea
Severe oiliness in the skin
Sebum
Oil in the skin
Sensitive Skin
Very often dry as well, can become irritated on contact with various substances.
Shea Butter
Used for its excellent moisturizing and skin penetrating properties.
Silicone
A mineral based substance, allowing moisture to stay locked in the skin but at the same time allowing oxygen in and out of the follicles. Also used for its smooth, nongreasy feel.
Sodium PCA
Sodium Pyrollidone Carboxylic acid, helps attract and retain moisture to the skin.
SPF
Sun Protection Factor
Squalane
Used for it moisturizing properties.
Stratum Corneum
Also known as the horny layer, the outermost layer of the skin.
Sunblock
A method to physically deflect UV rays.
Sunflower Oil
Used for its smoothing properties, very high in essential fatty acids.
Sunscreen
A cream or lotion that is SPF rated. It reacts with the skin to create an invisible barrier against the sun. The strength of the barrier is determined by the SPF number. The lower the number the less protection. Using a sunscreen will not prevent you from tanning but it will lower your risk of getting burned. Sunscreens chemically absorb UV rays while sunblocks physically deflect them.

T
Tannic Acid
Encourages bonding of cells that strengthen the barrier function. Also has antioxidant, anti inflammatory, and germicidal properties.
Technoceuticals
The infusion of technology with advanced skin care
Telangiectasia
Commonly known as ‘spider veins’, small purple, blue or red veins. These often occur in clusters or branch-like formations, most frequently on the nose and across the cheeks. Often associated with acne rosacea.
Titanium Dioxide
Active chemical ingredients found in sunblocks to help prevent damage to the skin from the sun.
Tocopherol
Also known as Vitamin E, primarily serves the body as an antioxidant.
Trans Epidermal Water Loss
The loss of moisture from within the skin into the atmosphere. Inevitably, some of the cell’s internal water supply will evaporate into the air, but if a good moisturizer and appropriate internal skin care are used consistently and adjusted according to the demands of your internal and external environment, the TEWL is kept to a minimum.
Triclosan
Anti bacterial agent used in acne treatments.

V
Vitamin A
Used to increase collagen production, a wrinkle fighter and an exfoliant.
Vitamin B
Increases blood circulation and tissue repair.
Vitamin C
Known for its anti-oxidant and healing properties.
Vitamin E
Also known as Tocopherol, primarily serves the body as an antioxidant.
Vitamin K
Used for its redness reduction properties.

W
Water principal
As we age, the barrier of the cell begins to break down and our cells begin to lose water. The Water Principle is about repairing these cells through supplementation so that the cell barrier is strengthened and the cell is better able to hold onto water. As our cells are repaired, our skin begins to look better because the cells are full of water and the skin is hydrated from the inside out.
White head
Also known as a closed comedone caused by trapped dead skin cells, oil buildup, bacteria and impurities. Whiteheads appear as small white bumps.

Z
Zinc
A trace mineral used to protect the skin from UV light, infection, bacteria and fungi. It also promotes collagen building, enhances the effects of vitamin A and E, and soothes irritation.

 

Author: Mags Kavanaugh

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