Skin Care Jargon – Demystified!

Have you ever looked at the ingredients list of the skin care products and skin care cosmetics that you buy and got confused by the undecipherable terminologies used? Just as it is important to consider the ingredients of your skin care products, it is important that you know what the terms and jargon are. So here is a handy list of common buzz words of the skin care market.

Antioxidants

They are powerful nutrients that prevent free radicals from causing damage to the skin cells. Free radicals are actually unstable oxygen molecules that take away electrons from their surrounding molecules thus creating a chain reaction and damaging the skin. Antioxidant rich skin care products can enhance the skin quality.

Chemical Sunscreens

Unlike regular sunscreens (referred to as physical sunscreens that block the UV rays of the sun) chemical sunscreens absorb the ultra violet radiation. Popular chemical sunscreen ingredients are Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Octisalate and Octinoxate.

Collagen and Elastin

They are protein fibers found within the skin cells that are responsible for the skin structure and elasticity. Collagen supports the skin tissues and keeps it firm and taut while elastin allows the skin to stretch and strain without getting ruptured. As we grow old, the levels of collagen and elastin fibers deplete thus leading to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.

Emollients

They are special ingredients that help spread and keep other agents of the skin care product on the skin. They help lubricate the skin and protect the barrier function of the skin. They lie on top of the skin surface and trap in the moisture. In this way, emollients help to prevent dehydration.

Essential Oils

Derived from herbs, essential oils have an extensive range of skin care benefits. They are often included in skin care products to deliver a soothing and stimulating feeling to the skin. However, it is not advisable to use essential oils during pregnancy.

Humectants

These are the ingredients that attract moisture to the skin and thus soften skin’s surface. Because they help to keep the skin moisturized, they are effective in diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines that are a result of dehydration.

Hypoallergenic

This term is used to describe ingredients that do not or are less likely to cause any allergic reaction on the skin.

Keratin

Found in all the layers of the epidermis, this protein fiber that protects the skin against a range of stressors. Hard keratin is found in hair and nails. In fact, the epidermis is comprised of 95% of dead keratinocytes. This is why it is necessary to exfoliate the skin on regular basis in order to scrape off the dead-skin layer and reveal the fresh new skin cells underneath.

Free Radicals

Aggressive oxygen atoms that have lost an electron, and are therefore unstable. They must then look for an electron from other atoms, which can cause a damaging cascade effect.

Noncomedogenic

This is a common term used for skin care products that do not clog the skin pores or cause comedones.

Open Comedones/ Closed Comedones

Open comedones are whiteheads while closed comedones are blackheads. They are a result of accumulation of dirt and debris within the skin pores and subsequent blockage of the same.

Physical Sunscreens

These sunscreens reflect off and scatter the UV rays of the sun when they reach the skin surface. Physical sunscreens are advisable for people with sensitive skin. Common ingredients of physical sunscreen are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

Parabens

They are the artificial preservatives used in skin care products in order to prolong their shelf life. Though they are important to prevent the development of micro organisms in skin care products, but they can be harmful for the skin. It is not advisable to use products that contain a large concentration of parabens. Smaller concentrations of the same are safe though Nu Skin 180 face wash

Stratum Corneum

This is the outermost layer of the skin. Skin cells that are formed within the deeper layers of the skin take about 28 days to reach the stratum corneum. The cells in this layer are all dead and require exfoliation to clear off. However, even though the cells are dead, they form the first line of defense for our skin. They prevent water loss and protect the skin from environmental toxins and UV rays.

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