Plastic: An artificial nail tip plastic. The "virgin" variety
is the least likely to crack.
A product that works under the surface of the skin and provides
the necessary ingredients for melanin production, which will accelerate
the rate at which the skin tans. An accelerator is most effective
when used after a shower or at least four hours before tanning.
MEA: A water-soluble conditioning agent that is compatible
with anionic and nonanionic systems as opposed to quaternary surfactants
compatible only with cationics. This agent's primary purpose is
to add shine.
Acid: This acid is present in vinegar and is sometimes used
to remove oil from the skin.
Lanolin Alcohol: Acetylated lanolin is an agent that forms
a protective coating on the skin's surface and helps prevent moisture
loss. It is a hypoallergenic agent that smoothes and softens the
Acetone is a strong solvent that is used in nail polish removers.
It is appropriate for natural nails only. It can be found in some
Acids are used in skin care products to stabilize formulas that
have an unwanted alkaline level. Its purpose is to change the pH
level of a substance.
Balance: The acid balance refers to natural pH level of
the skin's moisture.
Soil: A pH content of less than 6.5.
Mantle: A protective oily layer on the skin's surface which
functions as a protectorate against environmental impurities and
helps regulate moisture loss and water retention.
Helps prevent fungus, acne, and bad breathe.
Perm: An acid perm produces permanent hair waves with curls
that are actually softer than an alkaline perm. It also has a pH
from 6.5 to 8.0.
The secretor portion of the sebaceous gland.
Acne is a common inflammatory disease of the facial skin seen most
frequently between the ages of 10 and 25 years and characterized
by blackheads, whiteheads and blemishes composed of papules and
pustules. Acne is an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands,
the glands that produce sebum. Acne usually affects the face, back,
and chest. In severe cases it can develop into cysts and nodules
that can result in scarring. While its cause is unknown, it is most
often associated with hormonal activity within teenagers. In severe
cases a person should consult with a dermatologist.
Conglobata: This is the severest form of acne, and is composed
of painful, large inflammatory nodules and cysts. It often leads
to sever scarring, and is usually associated with male gender.
excoriee des jeunes filles: Scratch marks that look like
acne but are due to friction and irritation caused by wearing helmets,
shoulder pads, orthopedic casts, bra straps and sweaters.
Kelidalis Nuchae: This acne is often painful, and is caused
by inflamed papules and pustules. The end result is often thick
scarring around the nape of the neck in African-American men.
Keratosis: This form of acne looks like a rough, scaly looking
lesion; small, solid, elevated skin lesion less than 0.5 cm in diameter
or a flat skin lesion that has a different color than the surrounding
normal skin. It is a direct cause of cumulative sun exposure.
Vulgaris: This disease is the most common skin disease in
the United States. It is a disease of the pilosebaceous unit (the
sebaceous follicle, sebaceous glands and sebaceous ducts) and is
characterized by comedones, pustules, papules, nodules, and cysts.
It usually erupts during adolescence, but may continue to erupt
even after adolescence.
Acrylic is a material used for sculptured nails. The material is
made up of a combination of a liquid and powder that is mixed to
form the artificial nail. It has a moisture barrier that repels
The active ingredient, or substance in a pharmaceutical
product that does the "work". The other ingredients are usually
just filler, fragrance, or a carrier medium.
Ingredients: See Active.
A technique that uses pressure to relieve pain. Benefits can result
from this therapeutic technique when pressure is applied to specific
A therapeutic technique to treat pain or other malady by inserting
special needles into particular parts of the body.
Acute means a condition or disease with serious symptoms that acts
with immediacy (acts very fast and has a short course).
Adapalene is a new retinoid molecule that has been specifically
engineered for the treatment of acne vulgaris (a common acne disease
effecting the pilosebaceous unit).
Triphosphate: A synthetic riboflavin (Vitamin B2) that functions
as a catalyst in the tanning process.
Glands: A pair of small ductless glands located just above
the kidneys that secrete the adrenocortical hormones (corticosteroids).
Suppression: A condition resulting from the suppression
of cortisol secretion by the adrenal glands. It is a condition that
can lead to electrolyte imbalance, suppression of the immune system,
and Cushing's syndrome.
Adrenaline is a "fight or flight" hormone released by the adrenal
glands when the body is experiencing physical or emotional distress.
In medicine an adjunctive is used to describe a treatment or preparation
that supports the main therapy (a treatment or preparation that
acts in a subordinate or secondary capacity).
Aerosol is a gaseous suspension of fine solid or liquid particles
and is sometimes used as a vehicle for dermatological drugs.
An aesthetician is a professional who works to clean and
Spots: Age spots, which are also known as liver spots, are
irregularly shaped brown spots most often seen on the hands and
face. They are usually the result of over-exposure to the sun and
may lead to skin cancer.
Alcohol is an organic chemical compound (organic ingredients).
Alcohols differ substantially in their properties ranging from clear
liquids to waxy solids. An alcohol can be a water soluble solvent
like isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol or ethyl alcohol (used to make
drinking alcohol) or alcohol may contain the properties of a moisturizing
agent like glycerin or propylene glycol or a fatty alcohol like
cetyl alcohol. Alcohol may also contain the properties of a sugar
(multi alcohol). Depending upon whether the parent substance (the
alcohol compound) is drying or lubricating to the skin, the alcohol
from which it is derived will be drying or lubricating. Alcohols
are used as emollients, humectants, lubricants, emulsifiers, stabilizers,
or tackiness reducers.
Alfalfa contains essential digestive enzymes and amino acids. It
has been known to help thin the blood, cleanse the kidney, prevent
tooth decay (contains natural fluorides), and increase endurance
Algae: Algae is a seaweed full of trace elements, calcium,
and magnesium. In skincare products, it helps the skin store moisture
to improve elasticity.
Extract: Algae Extract contains polysaccharides (sugars)
that act as natural humectants (helps to promote the retention of
moisture in the skin); alginates (components that provide moisture
and elasticity to the skin); fucoidanes (sulfated polysaccharides
that stimulate circulation); polyphenols (anti septic, anti-inflammatory
agents and anti-oxidants); and fucosterol (an excellent emollient,
blood stimulant, diuretic and moisturizing agent).
Polysaccharides: This extract is known to help moisturize
and lubricate. It is derived from red marine algae gathered off
the Hawaiian coast.
Complex: A natural marine-derived complex that functions
as an anti-inflammatory agent.
A substance with a pH greater than 7; non acidic.
Perm: An alkaline perm produces permanent hair waves (tight
curls). It also has a pH from 7.5 to 9.5.
Soil: Soil with a pH content of more than 7.3.
Allantoin is an extract of the comfrey plant and is used for its
healing, soothing, and anti-irritating properties. This extract
can be found in anti-acne products, sun care products, and clarifying
lotions because of its ability to help heal minor wounds and promote
Allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction.
Contact Dermatitis: A form of contact dermatitis that results
in an inflamed lesion or water blister caused by a delayed allergic
reaction to an allergen like poison ivy.
An allergy is defined as a sensitivity to certain substances, such
Red AC: The common name for uncertified FD&C Red No. 40.
Meal: An ingredient that acts act to smooth and soften the
skin (an emollient), reduce inflammation and aids in the removal
of dead skin cells (an exfoliant). Almond meal also has a slight
Milk: An ingredient with moisturizing properties.
Oil: Oil derived from almonds with softening properties.
Almond oil is known for its mildness and is often used as an emollient
(smoothener and softener) in lotions and creams.
Vera: Aloe Vera is one of the most widely recognized skin
care ingredients. It helps the skin replenish lost moisture and
when applied to skin injuries, minor wounds, burns, rashes, or lesions,
it works immediately and effectively to heal and soothe.
Vera Extract: An extract of the aloe vera plant known for
the hydrating and soothing properties.
Vera Gel: An oil extract of the aloe vera leaf that contains
excellent hydrating, softening and soothing properties. This extract
is also a source of allantoin.
Vera Oil: See Aloe Vera Gel.
Bisabolol: An effective anti-microbial-type gum resin with
hydroxy: See Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs).
Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): (AHAs include glycolic, citric, malic,
and lactic acids-found naturally in fruit such as sugar cane, citrus
fruits, and sour milk). AHAs are used to help exfoliate and renew
cells, even skin tone, and can be effective against wrinkles. Glycolic
acid is thought to be the most effective exfoliant of all the alpha
hydroxy acids. It penetrates the skin very effectively because of
its small molecules. Caution: Prolonged use can lead to sun sensitivity.
An alterative means something that restores health.
Althea is a botanical root with softening and soothing properties
(used as a skin emollient).
Root: See Althea.
Chlorohydrate: An aluminum salt that is the least irritating
of all the aluminum salts. It is used mainly in the preparation
Acids: Amino Acids are organic compounds (protein "building
blocks") vitally essential to the body. They assist in body growth,
maintenance and repair.
Propanol: A thickener and gelling agent.
Propanedial: An alkalizer / neutralizer used to adjust pH
in cosmetic preparations.
Aminophenols are phenol derivatives used in permanent (two-step)
An Alkaline ingredient used in some permanent hair color.
Ammonia is an ingredient that results in a chemical action that
decolorizes the hair.
Hydroxide: An ingredient used to stabilize and adjust the
acids in skin peels and hair waving and straightening.
Laureth Sulfate: The primary active agent in shampoos that
acts as a surfactant; an agent that allows oil to mix with water.
Lauryl Sulfate: A mild anionic surfactant (an agent in which
the active molecule bears a negative electric charge) that is widely
used as a cleansing agent in relatively mild shampoos for oily or
normal to oily hair. The ammonium salt of lauryl sulfate is derived
from natural coconut alcohols.
persulfate: A bleaching agent in some hair and skin care
products. It is also used in deodorants and disinfectants.
(Amino-ethyl Propanol): An organic pH adjuster used to maximize
the effects of styling products.
A mild nonirritating surfactant (an agent that allows oil to mix
with water) often used in shampoos; leaves hair manageable and is
gentle enough for chemically treated hair.
Surfactants: Those in which the active molecule bears both
positive and negative charges. Their properties depend upon the
pH of the system and they may behave like anionics (an agent in
which the active molecule bears a negative electric charge) or cationics
(an agent which possesses a positive electrical charge). Some of
the finest amphoterics are used in shampoo systems formulated for
dry or chemically treated hair due to their mildness and light conditioning
An amplifier works on the skin's surface and is designed to increase
the absorption of UV light by the skin.
An organism that lives and grows in the absence of oxygen.
One of the two phases of hair growth (the active growing phase;
the other is the telogen phase, the resting phase of the hair growth
Pain Reliever. The two types of analgesic drugs are non
narcotic and narcotic. Although most analgesics are synthetically
made today, both types occur naturally in plants.
An agent that soothes and relieves pain. See Analgesic.
A film-forming molecule that protects hair to prevent moisture loss.
The science that studies the shape and structure of organisms.
An androgen is a hormone that stimulates the sebaceous glands to
increase sebum production.
An herb used as an expectorant (assists in removing mucus from the
throat and lungs) for cough, bronchitis and pleurisy, especially
when they are accompanied by fever, colds or influenza. Also used
to ease rheumatic inflammation and stimulate appetite in anorexic
Surfactants: Those in which the active molecule bears a
negative electric charge; primarily used as a cleansing agent in
relatively mild shampoos for oily or normal to oily hair.
A volatile oil in Aniseed to ease griping, intestinal colic
and flatulence. It also has an expectorant (assists in removing
mucus from the throat and lungs) and anti-spasmodic action (eases,
or stops muscle spasms) and may be used in bronchitis, tracheitis,
and in whooping cough. It has middle estrogen effects, which may
explain its use in folk medicine to increase milk secretion, facilitate
birth and increase libido.
Seed: Anise seeds are aromatic (smells of licorice) and
may be used in facial saunas (to open/medicate pores) or hair rinses.
Extract: A food grade vegetable dye (colorant) that produces
yellow-orange tones. It is derived from the flesh surrounding the
seed of a shrub native to South America, bixa orellana.
Antacid neutralizes excess acid in the stomach.
Substances and behavior that can prevent premature aging of the
skin caused by environmental influences and nutritional deficiencies.
Substances that can kill bacteria and treat infections.
A chemical substance that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
In cosmetics it is used to treat acne.
A molecule produced by B cells that circulates in the bloodstream
and neutralizes antigens (antigens are harmful invaders of the immune
An agent that prevents the formation of carcinomas in the
body or skin. It also includes substances that can arrest or heal
An agent that counteracts bacterial infection of skin tissues.
It can also include substances that restore or strengthen the natural
barrier of the skin to avoid bacterial infection.
An agent that controls excessive formation of dandruff cells
from the horny layer of the skin. It may also alleviate the itching
and scaliness associated with seborrheic dermatitis.
An agent that reduces the growth of fungal infections.
A harmful invader of the immune system. A substance that can trigger
an immune response, resulting in the production of antibodies as
part of the body's immune system.
Reduces the growth of bacteria.
A substance or property that can soothe irritated skin and/or prevent
irritation or toxins in cosmetic ingredients.
A substance or property that soothes inflamed skin.
A popular term for an agent that protects tissues from invasion
by microorganisms or aids in the preservation of food and cosmetic
A vitamin or substance that impedes oxidation or spoilage promoted
by oxygen or peroxide. Like vitamin E or beta-carotene it helps
protect the skin from environmental damage caused by free radicals.
A product used to prevent perspiration and the odor it causes; usually
containing aluminum salt.
An agent that kills protozoa (one of the simplest organisms
in the animal kingdom.
A substance/property that stops itching.
A substance/property that reduces fever.
A substance that controls the excessive secretion of sebum, and
reduces oiliness of the face and greasy scalp, a condition that
is most common in adolescents.
A substance/property that stops the growth of bacteria.
A substance/property that eases or stops muscle spasms.
A cosmetic that prevents the premature formation of wrinkles.
Juice and Pectin: A clarifying agent (removes excess build-up
of products or water chemicals from hair) and emulsifier (thickening
agent/binder added to products to change their physical composition)
A skin softener and toner, which also adds sheen without creating
an oily film.
Kernel Oil: Similar to almond oil it is used as an emollient
(a soothing herb that acts to smooth and soften skin and reduce
inflammation) in lotions, creams, etc. The seeds can be ground-up
and used in facial scrubs and masks.
sweat gland: The sweat gland responsible for body odor.
These glands are located mainly in the armpits and the anogenital
acid: An unsaturated fatty acid
Propionate: A skin softener and humectant (an ingredient that promotes
the retention of moisture in the skin) obtained from coal and limestone.
(Non-Essential Amino Acid): Studies have shown that is has
improved immune responses to bacteria, viruses & tumor cells; promotes
wound healing, causes the release of growth hormones; considered
crucial for optimal muscle growth and tissue repair.
A stimulant (increase circulation) that should only be applied
to unbroken skin.
Extract: Herb used as an astringent (a solution that removes
oil from the skin) and to treat skin disorders. The Herb has also
been used externally to treat bruises and sprains. It has anti-inflammatory
and soothing properties.
A treatment that uses the scents and aromas of floral and
herbal extracts and essential oils to affect how we feel and act.
Properties associated with aromatherapy ingredients include calming,
soothing, invigorating and stimulating effects.
Herbs with a strong pleasant odor that can help contribute to a
sense of comfort or well being.
A very fine textured, high starch powder. May be included in skin
applications as a paste (assisting in drying pimples) or in body
powder (replacing talc).
Acid: (vitamin C) Found naturally in fruits and green vegetables
and is essential for normal metabolism, wound healing, and tissue
repair. Ascorbic Acid is often used as a preservative and as an
anti-oxidant to help prevent free radical damage in the skin.
Palmitate Vitamin C: See Ascorbic Acid.
Used in ancient times in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The polysaccharides
in Astragalus have been shown to intensify phagocytosis of reticulo-endothelial
system, stimulate pituitary-adrenal cortical activity and restore
depleted red blood cell formation in bone marrow. Herbalists consider
it an ideal remedy for any one who might be imuno-compromized in
any way. This can range from someone who easily catches colds to
someone with cancer.
A solution that removes oil from the skin. It is usually
used after a facial wash to remove any remaining traces of a cleanser.
It is designed to dry and shrink superficial tissues by reducing
water and oil content.
dermatitis: A skin disease characterized by intense itching.
A thinning condition of the epidermal and dermal skin layers. Atrophy
may be caused by the application of topical corticosteroids.
Defined as an involuntary. Controlled by the autonomic nervous system.
A revolutionary sunscreen technology approved by the FDA (Food and
Drug Administration) in 1998 that blocks UVA I, UVA II, and UVB
wavelengths. Before Avobenzone most sunscreens could not adequately
block UVA I rays, the rays responsible for the skin damage that
results in wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, etc.
Oil: Also called the alligator pear. The oil from the seed
and the pulp of an avocado can be used in creams, lotions, and hair
preparations because of its nourishing and conditioning effects
on dry skin and hair. It has been found to significantly increase
the water-soluble collagen content in the dermis skin layer. The
oil contains protein, vitamins A, D, and E, and some amino acids.
Actiphyte of the Hawaiian white ginger root. A natural additive
that comes from the whit ginger root.
Ayurveda is a natural method of healing that was originated in India.
It may include elements of meditation, yoga, nutritional foods,
massage therapy and/or herbal treatments.
Azulene is an anti-inflammatory and soothing agent derived from