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Cosmetics Glossary (8)

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Sunblock
Sunblock, as opposed to sunscreen, is a lotion that actually blocks the ultraviolet rays of the sun. It’s more effective than sunscreen.
 
Surface Tension
A property of liquid surfaces that causes the surface layer to behave like a thin elastic 'skin'. Molecules in a liquid have attractive forces that hold them together. Molecules on the surface are attracted to molecules from all sides and below, but not from above. This results in a downward and sideways pull on molecules on the surface layer.
 
Surfactant
This is an abbreviation of ‘Surface Acting Agent”. A surfactant is an ingredient that promotes an efficient mixture of oil and water. It is used in shampoos and facial cleansers as the agent which “cleans” by binding oils and dirt with the water which draws it away from the surface of the skin and hair.
 
Tartaric acid
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
Thyme, another herb primarily used for cooking, is also useful as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent. You’ll find it in some soaps.
 
Tocopherol
Tocopherol is another name for the fat-soluble Vitamin E extracted from vegetable oils. It is a powerful anti-oxidant that protects cell membranes against the damaging effects of free radicals, and is used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
 
Toner
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
Undertone is a term used to refer to the tone of the skin, like warm or cool.
 
Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. A deficiency in vitamin A can cause toughening and hardening of the skin.
 
Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. It’s used in anti-aging creams because of its preservative and antioxidant properties.
 
Vitamin D
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
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.
 
Witch Hazel
A natural herbal extract from a plant of the same name. Has a long history of use as topical astringent that soothes insect bites, wounds, burns, and infections. Also shrinks pores when applied to the skin.
 
Zinc oxide
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.
 
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