Skin Care Glossary

SKIN CARE GLOSSARY

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Aloe). Moisturizes, soothes, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing.
Arbutin. Inhibits melanin production in the skin.

Bioflavonoids. Plant pigments whose potent antioxidant powers keep fruits and vegetables from turning brown. Act as powerful antioxidants in the body and considered effective free-radical scavengers. Also essential for the stability and absorption of antioxidant, Vitamin C, one of the key collagen-building catalysts. Found in apricots, cherries, cantaloupe, papaya, grape seed extract, citrus fruits, black tea, onions, parsley, legumes, red wine, red grapes and all blue and purple berries.

Caffeine. An active, natural ingredient found in coffee, tea, cacao and kola nuts that constricts blood vessels in the skin and reduces water leakage. Alleviates puffiness and under-eye darkness.

Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea Extract & White Tea Extract). A natural antioxidant in the tannin family, rich in chemicals known as polyphenols, which have potent antioxidant properties. A potent antioxidant shown to neutralize free radicals generated from inflammation, but may also have benefit against DNA mutations that are associated with cancers (of the skin). May also reverse sun damage.

Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria (Chamomile Oil/Extract). An extract from the flowers and finely dissected leaves of Anthemis nobilis. Reduces inflammation and soothes sensitive skin.

Citric Acid. A naturally-occurring Alpha Hydroxy Acid derived from the fermented sugars of citrus fruits. Helps speed up cell turnover/cell renewal.

Collagen. The protein in skin that gives it firmness, structure, keeps it taut and resilient. With age, collagen is not only produced more slowly and degenerates more quickly, but also diminishes because of sun damage, pollution, free radical damage and genetics. Depletion of collagen is the main cause of wrinkles. Fortunately, ingredients that build collagen by either promoting its production or preventing its breakdown can be both consumed in foods and applied topically via skincare products.

Emollient. An ingredient that softens the skin. Similar in structure to natural lipids found in the skin, helps prevent dryness, soothes irritated skin and makes rough skin smooth.

Enzymes. Enzymes are special proteins that exist in the cells of all living beings. Their purpose is to facilitate naturally occurring biochemical reactions.

Essential Fatty Acids. Sometimes referred to as Vitamin F, essential fatty acids are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from linolenic, linoleic and oleic acids and are crucial to our body’s basic functioning. Since the body cannot make them they must be supplied by food or supplements, which is why they are called “essential” nutrients. Not only do they regulate several of our bodily functions, including the inflammatory response to injury, they also form part of the structure of cell membranes and are essential for rebuilding cells and producing new ones. Studies show that EFA's are essential to the normal health, function, and beauty of the skin. They can be found in vegetable oils (grape seed, evening primrose, sesame and soybean) and in seeds, nuts, legumes and whole grain products.

Essential Oils. Oils that usually have the characteristic fragrance or flower of the plant.

Exfoliant. An ingredient or device, such as a washcloth or loofah, that revs up cell turnover by sloughing off dead surface cells. Improves skin texture, evens tone and increases radiance. Exfoliating acids such as Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy Acids may also play a role in building skin-firming collagen and elastin. In peels, it is not only the exfoliating action of acids that increases collagen formation, but the pH fluctuation the skin experiences as it goes from acidic to neutral. Dr. Gross has coined the term Phlux to refer to this powerful action, which appears to be an even bigger catalyst in cell renewal.

Free Radicals. Chemicals that destroy collagen and lead to wrinkles, lines, etc. New research shows that there are at least two different kinds of free radicals - those triggered by the body (metabolic) and those sparked by the sun and other environmental aggressors, such as pollution and smoke. Both types function like little darts, destroying skin-supporting collagen and elastin, but respond to different antioxidants. This is why skincare products that incorporate as many different kinds of antioxidants as possible are the most effective.

Fruit Extracts (Apple, Lemon, Orange).
Apple Fruit Extract – an Alpha Hydroxy Acid that exfoliates and tones.
Blueberry Fruit Extract - a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent
Lemon Fruit Extract – an astringent that reduces irritation and oiliness.
Orange Fruit Extract – increases circulation and reduces blemishes.
Pomegranate Fruit Extract - a powerful antioxidant

Glycerin. A highly effective humectant present in all natural lipids. Attracts just the right amount of water to skin to maintain balance. Helps keep skin's intercellular layer intact, forming a natural barrier that keeps moisture in and skin smooth.

Glycolic Acid. A naturally-occurring Alpha Hydroxy Acid derived from sugar. Helps speed up cell turnover/cell renewal.

Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel). An extract from the bark of the witch hazel tree with proven astringent, toning, and anti-inflammatory effects. Also dissolves excess sebum without stripping skin. Has all the benefits of alcohol without the potential side effects.

Humectant. A substance used to attract moisture to the skin and retain it.

Linoleic Acid. An unsaturated fatty acid derived from plants, that is essential to skin health.

Lycopenes. A newly recognized group of antioxidants derived from red fruits and vegetables, including watermelon, red grapes, red peppers, beets, pink grapefruit and especially tomatoes. Extremely effective at fending off environmental free radicals, helping to prevent the breakdown of collagen. May specifically diminish damage from free radicals sparked by the sun.

Melasma. A tan or dark facial skin discoloration. Although it can affect anyone, melasma is particularly common in women, especially pregnant women and those who are taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medications. The symptoms of melasma are dark, irregular patches commonly found on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upperlip and forehead. Melasma is thought to be the stimulation of melanocytes or pigment-producing cells by the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone to produce more melanin pigments when the skin is exposed to sun.

Microexfoliation™. A gentle, non–irritating method of removing cellular debris from the surface of the skin, resulting in a smoother, firmer more even complexion.

Olea Europea (Olive Oil). A natural super emollient; helps active ingredients to penetrate.

Peptide. A peptide is a polymer consisting of 2 to approximately 20 amino acids connected by peptide bonds, a special linkage in which the nitrogen atom of one amino acid binds to the carboxyl carbon atom of another.

Phospholipids. Natural substances found in all living cells that help draw water from the air and seal moisture into the skin.

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Sweet Almond Oil). A super emollient and natural oil.

Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed Oil). A plant based skin-conditioning agent.

Salicylic Acid. See Beta Hydroxy Acid. Enhances penetration (and therefore effectiveness) of ingredients such as Vitamin C.

Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed Extract). Moisturizes and softens the skin.

Sodium Bicarbonate. A gentle, naturally-occurring alkaline substance that is a superior neutralizer for acids.
Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid). The natural occurring substance in skin that first attracts, then locks water in the dermis, giving skin its thickness and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and lines. It can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water. The “non-oil” component to the skin’s natural moisturizing mechanism. As we age, our skin's overall water content, which plumps skin and makes lines less visible, and its hyaluronic acid stores both decline.

Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Seed Butter). Softens and lubricates the skin.

Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q-10). A compound that is made in our bodies and used by cells to produce the energy they need to grow and stay healthy. An antioxidant with actions very similar to those of Vitamin E, it has been found to be an excellent defender against free radicals and, when used regularly over time, may help ease lines and wrinkles by building collagen.

Vaccinium Angustifolia (Blueberry Fruit Extract). A powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Vitamin A. (Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol and Retinoic Acid). An antioxidant essential to the maintenance and repair of epithelial tissue. Stimulates new skin cells and inhibits the body's natural enzymes that break down collagen. May prevent premature wrinkling.

Vitamin C. (Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Glucoside). An antioxidant vitamin necessary for tissue growth and repair, as well as collagen formation. One of the best free radical scavengers, it seems to combat free radicals triggered by both the body and the environment. Works synergistically with Vitamin E.

Vitamin E. (Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, A-Tocopherol). The first recognized fat-soluble antioxidant usable in skin. One of the most potent antioxidants, particularly good at defending against and disabling free radicals made by the body. Essential to tissue repair. Works synergistically with Vitamin C.

Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed Extract). A rich source of bioflavonoids, powerful free-radical scavengers and of oligomeric proanthocyanidins, a very potent antioxidant.

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