Cosmetics Glossary

Cosmetics glossary
The following is a listing of terms and phrases often found in association with cosmetic products and procedures. By providing a definition of these terms and phrases we endeavor to help you better understand the function and purpose of many of the ingredients and compounds in your cosmetic products, and to make more informed choices regarding your skin and beauty regimen.
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.
Something that’s acrylic has the property of being able to repel water or moisture. It is a chemical compound from the acryl group derived from acrylic acid. Its primary use is in artificial nails and nail polish products.
Active Ingredient
The ingredient that is responsible for producing the desired effect of a mixture of ingredients and for giving the product its main characteristic. The active ingredient is not necessarily the most common ingredient in a product.
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. Allantoin is present in botanical extracts of the comfrey plant.
Almond oil
Almond oil is vegetable oil made with almonds. It’s used in cosmetic products that soften the skin.
Aloe Vera
A natural gel produced by the Aloe Vera plant. Clinically tested to stimulate cell-growth in damaged skin, together with its aspirin-like effect in wounds and burnt tissues, aloe vera is a natural ingredient of choice in many formulas.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
Naturally-occurring exfoliants derived from a group of weak acids in fruit that encourages rapid cell renewal.
A polysaccharide (type of carbohydrate comprised of simple sugars) containing glucose as the sole monomer (a single molecule that can combine with others to form a polymer). Used as a gelling and thickening agent, and is completely bio-degradable.
Amino Acid
The basic building block of protein. All amino acids contain an amino (NH2 ) end, a carboxyl end (COOH) and a side group (R). In proteins, amino acids are joined together when the NH2 group of one forms a bond with the COOH group of the adjacent amino acid. The side group is what distinguishes each of the amino acids from the others. There are 20 common amino acids: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, and valine.
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate is a non-comedogenic surfactant that breaks up oil and soil for removal from the skin. Used in many shampoos and cleansers. It is very gentle to the skin and eyes.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Laurel Sulfate is also a non- comedogenic surfactant that breaks up oil and soil for removal from the skin. It is also used in baby shampoos and is gentle to the face and eyes.
Ascorbic Acid Polypeptides
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in nature is always joined with water-soluble protein (polypeptides). The formula incorporates a vitamin C complex similar to that in its natural form. Therefore, it's extremely stable and readily converts to vitamin C, when applied to the skin.
Next Page
A  B  C  D  E  G   H  J  K   L  M  N  O   P  R  S  T   V  W  Z