Cosmetics Glossary (6)Previous Page
NMFs "Natural Moisturizing Factors
Describes natural compounds in the skin that retain moisture needed to keep skin soft and supple. These NMFs deplete as we age, making the skin drier and less supple.
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.
The act of closing, shutting or stopping up. In cosmetics this usually refers to a shield or film that is spread onto the skin to slow or prevent moisture evaporation. This shield or film is usually made up of materials, such as oils and waxes that cannot be penetrated by water.
Natural fragrance steam extracted from orange flowers that is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal.
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.
Test used to identify allergies due to chemicals coming in contact with skin. Individual chemicals are applied separately to the skin and then the skin is observed for reactions over a few days.
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 moisture.
The pH scale is used to measure the strength of acids and bases (or alkalis). The acid strength in the human stomach is about pH 2. Alkalis such as caustic soda and basic household cleaners have a pH of about 12 to 14. Neutral is pH 7, (ie, neither acidic or alkaline). The scale is logarithmic, so pH 4 is ten times as acidic as pH 5 and pH 2 is ten times as acidic as pH 3, and so on.
Photoaging is damage to the skin caused by too much exposure to the sun.
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.
A physical exfoliant is a substance that is applied to the skin and massaged gently over the surface of the skin to slough away keratinized skin cells and reveal the newer healthier skin beneath. Usually combined with water or a light, non-comedogenic oil, these products often include salts, sugars or other granular substances that can help remove dead skin.
Phytocosmetics are cosmetics that are made with natural ingredients from plants.
Polymers are large molecules that are made up of many units (monomers) linked together in a chain. There are naturally occurring polymers (eg, starch and DNA) and synthetic polymers (eg, nylon and silicone). More information can be found at The basics – polymer definition and properties (Plastic Resource, USA), Introduction to polymers (Case Western Reserve University, USA) and History of polymers and plastics for teachers (Hands On Plastics, American Plastics Council).
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