Parsley: Useful in oils and bath or
facial herbs for its cleansing and medicating action. Soothes skin.
Parsol 1789: The trade name for Avobenzone.
Passion Flower: Passion Flower has
a depressant effect like a sedative, and is hypotensive; it is used
for it's sedative and soothing properties, to lower blood pressure,
prevent tachycardia and for insomnia. It is the herb of choice for
treating intransigent insomnia.
Patchouli Oil: Extracted from the
plant, Pogostemon patchouli. Used for its antiseptic properties.
Patch Test: Test which helps identify
allergens responsible for allergic contact dermatitis.
Pathology: The discipline of medicine;
the study of disease, particularly one with clear and obvious changes
in structure or function where the body is concerned.
Pau d’ Arco: Tree native to Brazil.
History records its use as a treatment of cancer and a wide range
of other diseases.
Peach Leaf: Used in facial masks for
their emollient properties, especially nice for normal to dry skin.
PEG: (Polyethylene Glycol or Polyoxyethylene
Glycol) Polymeric forms of ethylene oxide that is used to produce
a wide range of cosmetic materials. PEG-75 Lanolin has protective
and emollient properties, while PEG-20 Stearate is an emulsifier.
PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate: Emollient
PEG-20 Stearate: A water-soluble emulsifier
for triglycerides, waxes, and mineral oils.
PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate: A mild surfactant.
PEG-100 Stearate: Derived from stearic
acid; it is an emulsifier for creams and lotions.
PEG-150 Distearate: Form stabilizer;
hair and skin conditioner.
Pemphigus: An acute or chronic autoimmune
skin disease found mainly in adults leading to regular or constant
skin eruptions (blisters). The causes are not known.
Pentacrythritol Tetra Caprate/Caprylate:
Emulsifier derived from caprylic acid. Vegetable source.
Peppermint: Emollient herb that is
astringent, stimulating, cleansing, restorative and healing.
Peppermint Leaf: Cooling and antiseptic
in bath and facial herbs. The essential oil applied topically to
the skin may have a drying or very tingly effect, whereas the herb
is an emollient.
Peptide: Any member of a class of
compounds of low molecular weight that yield two or more amino acids
on hydrolysis. Peptides form the constituent parts of proteins.
Percutaneous Penetration: Penetration
through the skin.
Perioral Dermatitis: Condition characterized
by erythema, scaling and papules, and pustules around the mouth.
Periwinkle: An excellent astringent
that may be used internally or externally. Used to treat excessive
Permeable: Capable of being passed
through like light through a glass.
Petitgrain Oil: Oil extract used for
its skin soothing and calming properties.
Petrolatum: Cream additive derived
from petroleum to help soften and soothe the skin. Forms a film
to prevent moisture loss (Vaseline is petrolatum).
Petroleum: Mixture of hydrocarbons
with similar properties as mineral oil. Industrially it is used
as a grease component.
PG Inhibitor: A PGE inhibitor like
aspirin usually intended to lessen joint inflammation and uterine
PH: (pH: percentage of hydrogen) Used
to measure acidity in cosmetic preparations.
Phagocytosis: The absorption and digestion
of foreign materials by cells.
Phenyl Trimethicone: Emollient, moisturizer.
Water resistant silicone, adds shine and flexibility.
Phospholipid: A lipid containing phosphorus.
Used in dry skin preparations. A phospholipid is a complex fatty
material found in all living cells that acts as an emollient, antioxidant,
natural emulsifier and spreading agent.
Phosphoric Acid: An inorganic acid;
a pH adjuster.
Photoaging: Premature breakdown of
the skin's cells caused by damage from the sun's UVA and UVB rays.
Photosensitivity: A condition in which
the sun causes, due to an application or ingestion of certain chemicals
or foods, skin problems, such as rash, hyperpigmentation, swelling,
and sunburn. Caused by reaction to certain drugs and chemicals as
well as Vitamin A (retinol and/or alpha hydroxy acids).
Phototherapy: Therapeutic use of light.
pH scale: System for measuring the
alkalinity or acidity of soil.
Phytocosmetic: Cosmetics that are
made from plants.
Phytosterols: Plant sterols (lipids),
synthesized by plants and similar to cholesterol in structure, phytosterols
are believed to decrease cholesterol absorption by competing with
cholesterol for receptor sites in the GI tract.
Pigment: Means "color",
and it refers to the minerals and plant extracts used to give makeup
its many different hues. The higher the concentration of pigment,
the stronger and more opaque the colors will be.
Pilosebaceous Unit: The sebaceous
follicle, sebaceous glands and sebaceous ducts. Where acne occurs.
Pineapple Extract: Contains the protein
digesting and blood clotting enzyme bromelin, anti-inflammatory.
Pinecone Extract: Extracted from the
cones of pine trees. Helps to alleviate pain and discomfort and
overcomes fatigue. Considered to be stimulating to the skin, by
increasing blood flow and oxygenation.
Pine Needle: Extracted from the plant,
Pinus sylvestris. Used for its antiseptic properties.
Pityriasis Alba: Seborrheic dermatitis.
Pityriasis Capitis: Dandruff.
Pityrosporum: Yeast that is a common
inhabitant of the skin, usually starting at puberty. Not the yeast
that causes vaginitis in women.
Pityrosporum Folliculitis: An acne-like
rash composed of minute papules and pustules but no comedones (blackheads
/ whiteheads). It occurs most frequently on the forehead and sides
of the face.
Placental Extract: As extract of bovine
or human placentas after birthing. It is a naturally rich source
of skin nutrients, amino acids, and proteins; has a revitalizing
effect on skin.
Planell Oil: Oil containing naturally
derived phytosterols and glycolipids; acts as an emollient.
Plantain: It acts as a gentle expectorant
that also soothes inflamed and sore membranes, making it ideal for
coughs and mild bronchitis. Its astringency aids in diarrhea, hemorrhoids
and also in cystitis where there is bleeding. It seems to have a
sedative influence upon the nerves of the face, and relieves many
cases of earache, tic douloureux and toothache.
Plasma: The fluid portion of the blood
in which the particulate components are suspended.
Pleurisy Root: Pleurisy Root anti-inflammatory
and expectorant effects make it effective against respiratory infections
and in the treatment of bronchitis and other chest condition. In
addition, its diaphoretic and anti-spasmodic powers make it valued
in the treatment of pleurisy and pneumonia.
Pneumonia: Inflammation, usually infectious,
of the lungs.
Poloxamer 407: Non-ionic polymer cleansing
Polyethylene Thickener: Thickeners
used as gelling agents, like a wax.
Polymer: A chemical compound or mixture
of compounds formed by polymerization (a chemical reaction in which
two or more molecules combine to form larger molecules that contain
repeating structural units).
Polyquaternium 7: Conditioner preparation
used in both rinse-off and leave-in conditioner.
Polyquaternium 11: A fixative with
anti-bacterial properties. Adds hold and sheen in styling tools.
Polyquaternium 37: Emulsifier.
Polysorbate 20: A viscous, oily, water-soluble
liquid used to stabilize perfumes in water-based preparations and
act as a modifier and stabilizer of shampoos, liquid soaps and conditioners.
Polysorbate 80: Surface-active agent
that provides smooth and complete spreading of the cleanser (used
to emulsify oils).
Pore: A small opening of the sweat
glands of the skin
Potassium: An essential mineral that
promotes healthy skin.
Potassium Sorbate: A mild food grade
preservative found in cheese, wine, etc.
Poultice: Plant matter that aids injured
or inflamed skin.
PPG 2 Isodeceth 12: An organic solubilixer
of perfume oils and emulsifier.
Precursor: Something that precedes
something. In biological processes, a substance from which another,
usually more active or mature substance is formed. In clinical medicine,
a sign or symptom that heralds another.
Prickly Ash: Used to combat rheumatism,
skin diseases, and poor circulation such as chilblains, cramp in
the leg, varicose veins and varicose ulcers. A circulatory stimulant
used to stimulate the nerve centers and functional activity of the
Primer: A colorless lotion or gel
applied to the face before makeup. Makes for longer-lasting, more
Pristane: A saturated hydrocarbon
found in natural oils
Proline: An amino acid that when combined
with sodium PCA, has been demonstrated to provide excellent moisture
absorption and retention properties to the skin.
Propane: A natural propellant.
Propioni-Bacterium Acnew: Anaerobic
bacterium that thrives in the follicular canal of the pilosebaceous
unit. Implicated in the pathogenesis of acne (Causes acne if not
Propylene Glycol: Combination of glycerin
and water, an organic humectant similar to Butylene Glycol used
in cosmetics. Clear, colorless liquids that are among the most common
moisture-carrying vehicles in skin care. It delivers superb permeation
through the skin and excellent humectant properties (softens and
moisturizes the skin).
Propylene Glycol Dicocoate: A mixture
of propylene glycol esters of coconut fatty acids; aids in removing
unwanted build-up from hair.
Propylene Glycol Stearate: As ester
of propylene glycol and stearic acid. Used in creams, lotions, hair
care products and makeup as co-emulsifier to produce a pearly opaque
Propyl Paraben: Common cosmetic food
grade preservative that is anti-fungal and anti-microbial. It is
less water-soluble than methylparaben. See Methyl Paraben.
Protein: Large organic molecules,
made of amino acids, found in all living cells. Enzymes and hormones
are proteins. So are collagen, keratin, and elastin. Proteins break
down through sun damage and aging. Applied topically to the skin
proteins help the skin's surface look firmer.
Protein Treatment: A hair treatment
designed to add strength and elasticity to the hair by adding protein
to the cortex.
Proteolytic: An enzyme or agent that
accelerates the breaking down or digestive hydrolysis of proteins
into smaller proteins, peptides, polypeptides, ligopeptides, amino
Protovanol: A concentrated form of
vanilla that reacts to heat and light to accelerate the tanning
Provisional Listing: A list of colors,
originally numbering about 200, that FDA allows to continue to be
used pending acceptable safety data.
Pro-Vitamin B5: Panthenol stimulates
skin healing while providing deep moisturization. See Panthenol.
Pseudofolliculitis Barbae: Follicular
papules or pustules provoked by close shaving of the beard area
in men. Usually occurs in men with very curly hair.
Psoriasis: A chronic disease of the
skin consisting of itchy, dry, red patches, usually affecting the
scalp or arms and legs.
Purpura: Lesion caused by the escape
of blood from a vessel into the surrounding tissue.
Pus: A collection of white blood cells
in tissue fluid, it may be either a sign of infection or inflammation.
Pustule: Vesicle filled with cloudy
fluid such as pus.
PVM/MA Copolymer: A water-soluble
fixative used in hairsprays and styling tools.
PVP/VA Copolymer: A water-soluble
fixative used in hairsprays.
Pyorrhea: A discharge of pus.
Pyridoxine: (Vitamin B6) Necessary
for the synthesis & breakdown of amino acids, the building blocks
of protein; aids in fat and carbohydrate metabolism; aids in the
formation of antibodies; maintains the central nervous system; aids
in the removal of excess fluid of premenstrual women; promotes healthy
skin; reduces muscle spasms, leg cramps, hand numbness, nausea &
stiffness of hands; helps maintain a proper balance of sodium &
phosphorous in the body. Go to the Vitamins Dictionary and look
up Vitamin B6.
Pyroxidine HCL: Vitamin B6 used as