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Macadamia Nut Oil: Natural additive extract of macadamia nuts.

Maceration: Skin softening by soaking.

Macrobiotics: The study of prolonging life with diet or other ingested substances.

Macrophage: A leukocyte that helps clear foreign debris by phagocytosis (i.e. fights tumor cells and bacteria); a white blood cell derived from a monocyte.

Macule: A flat skin lesion that has an abnormal color, coloring that differs from the surrounding normal skin. White, brown, and red are the most common color changes seen in macules. A freckle is a macule. When a macule is larger than 5 mm it is called a patch.

Magnesium Aluminum Silicate Absorbent: Anti-caking agent.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: Vitamin C that does not oxidize upon exposure to air; an antioxidant that is linked to collagen synthesis.

Magnesium Citrate: Magnesium salt of citric acid. It is used in hair sets or bodying agents.

Ma Huang: An herb used to treat asthma and associated conditions due to its power to relieve spasms in the bronchial tubes. It is thus used in bronchial asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough. It also reduces allergic reactions like hay fever. It may be used in the treatment of low blood pressure and circulatory insufficiency. Ma Huang’s actions include: vasodilator, hypertensive, circulatory stimulant and anti-allergic.

Malabsorption: Impaired absorption of nutrients; i.e. impaired intestinal absorption.

Malic Acid: Derived from apples, this glycolic acid is great for removing dead skin cells (exfoliation) and brightening the skin (clarifying).

Malignant: Tending to become progressively worse with the potential to cause death, i.e. tumors.

Malnutrition: Any of a number of nutrition disorders. May be due to a poor or improper diet.

Maltose: Fundamental structural unit of glycogen and starch; used as a nutrient and sweetener.

Mallow Extract: A mucilaginous (mucus like) gel that is soothing, healing, and softening to the skin; it also reduces inflammation, helps prevent age lines and reduces eye swelling.

Marjoram Oil: Warming and stimulating, the oil increases blood flow and aids in skin cell reproduction.

Marshmallow: Marsh Mallow contains starch, mucilage, pectin, oil, sugar, asparagines, and phosphate of lime, glutinous matter and cellulose. The great demulcent and emollient properties of Marsh Mallow make it useful in inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal, and of the urinary and respiratory organs. The roots have been used more for the digestive system whilst the leaves are used more for the urinary system and lungs. The leaves help in cystitis, urethritis and urinary gravel as well as bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, irritating coughs. Marshmallow actions include: demulcent, emollient, diuretic, anti-inflammatory and expectorant.

Mast Cell: Dermal cell which releases histamine and heparin (substances acting in response to a skin flare to redden the skin). These are a group of cells that line the capillaries of tissues that come in contact with the outside, like skin, sinuses, and lung mucosa.

Mate Extract: (Paraguay Tea) An extract that has been shown to reduce irritation often associated with the use of alpha and beta hydroxy acids in cosmetic formulations. Because of its high concentration of Theophylline and other anti-irritant xanthines, Paraguay tea is ideal for use in skin smoothing formulations. It is also an astringent, a stimulant and a vasodilator.

Matricaria: Also known as Chamomile. See Chamomile.

Matrix: The area beneath the proximal nail fold and cuticle from which the nail plates evolve and continue growth; the intercellular substance of a tissue.

Matte: A non-shiny surface that absorbs light; a dead or dull finish.

Meadowsweet: Meadowsweet is one of the best digestive remedies available. It acts to protect and soothe the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, reducing excess acidity and easing nausea. It is used in the treatment of heartburn, hyperacidity, gastritis and peptic ulceration. Its gentle astringency is useful in treating diarrhoea in children. The presence of aspirin-like chemicals explains Meadowsweet's action in reducing fever and relieving the pain of rheumatism in muscles and joints. Meadowsweet’s actions include: anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, antacid, anti-emetic, and astringent.

Melaleuca: An Australian shrub, known as the tea tree, whose extracted oil is antiseptic and healing.

Melanin: The pigment that naturally colors the hair and skin.

Melanocyte: Epidermal cell located in the basal cell layer that helps protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation; a cell that produces melanin.

Melanoma: A type of skin cancer characterized by a black or dark brown-pigmented tumor; it is often deadly.

Membrane: A thin layer of tissue that covers a surface, lines a cavity, or divides a space or organ.

Menthol: (oil of peppermint) A natural cooling agent, derived from mint oils; anti-inflammatory and anti-itching to the skin. Imparts a cool, fresh and clean feeling to the skin.

Metabolism: The body transformation of food into energy.

Metabolite: A substance, by-product, waste product, or endotoxin produced as the result of metabolism.

Methacryloyl Ethyl Betaine Methacrylates Copolymer: Part of cationic system; a fixative that is water soluble if washed within 48 hours after application. Used for stiffness and high gloss in hairsprays.

Methionine: (Essential Amino Acid) Is a principle supplier of sulfur that tones, conditions strengthens and prevents disorders of the hair, skin and nails.

Methotrexaste: A systemic (something that effects the whole body) chemotherapeutic agent sometimes used in the treatment of psoriasis.

Methylchloroisthiazolinone: A preservative used in shampoos.

Methyl Gluceth: A humectant (helps draw and retain air moisture) valuable in eliminating dry skin; less tacky than other humectants.

Methylisothiazolinone: Antimicrobial, a preservative. Used only in rinse-off products.

Methylparaben/Propylparaben: Food grade preservatives used to ensure shelf life, hygienic stability of all Dermalogica products; non-irritating, non-sensitizing and non-toxic. It's non - toxic and approved for use in foods. It is effective against a wide range of bacteria and fungi.

Methylsilanol Carboxymethyl Theophylline Alginate: A plant-derived complex that affects the enzymatic breakdown of lipids, the regeneration of connective tissue and the inflammatory process associated with tissue compression by fat cells.

Methylsulfonylmethane: (MSM) A patented substance found.MSM is necessary for collagen synthesis: skin, hair and nails. MSM keeps cells from becoming rigid. MSM softens tissue ("the beauty mineral"), and is believed to relieve stress, asthma, arthritis, inflammation, constipation, detoxify the body and increase blood circulation, reduce muscle cramps, and back pain, help muscles to heal, increases energy, alertness, mental calmness, and the ability to concentrate. MSM scavenges free radicals, relieves allergies to food and pollens, helps the liver produce choline, controls acidity in stomach and ulcers, coats intestinal tract so parasites lose ability to hang on, helps with hypersensitivity to drugs, increases body’s ability to produce insulin, is important for carbohydrate metabolism, and speeds wound healing.

Mica: (iridescent) A name of a group of transparent, flaky, colorful minerals approved for use in cosmetics, including the eye area.

Micelle: Packages of sebum (globules of liquid molecules in water) created by the lipophilic (fat like) component of the surfactant (active agent that allows oil to mix with water) in shampoo. Micelles are rinsed away by water during the rinse after a shampoo.

Microbe: A minute living organism like bacteria, protozoa, and fungi.

Microbiology: The science that studies microscopic organisms.

Microcomedo: See Microcomedone.

Microcomedone: An enlarged hair follicle filled with oil and bacteria. An invisible comedo lying under the skin’s surface that forms a plug that obstructs the outflow of sebum from the pilosebaceous unit.

Microcrystalline: See Titanium Dioxide.

Micro-encapsulation: Microscopic particles of an ingredient are encased in gelatin like bubbles that are dissolvable, allowing the particles to be suspended and isolated within a product so they arrive at the skin in the purest form.

Micro-emulsion: A blending process that suspends microscopic particles of an ingredient in a substance from which they normally tend to separate, such as oil particles in water.

Micronised Marine Algae: Derived from seaweeds and processed under cold pressure explosion to form a fine powder. Softening and moisturizing to the skin, algae also have detoxifying and diuretic properties.

Microsponges: Microscopic spheres capable of absorbing and holding skin secretions (up to 4 times their weight in skin secretions), therefore reducing oiliness and shine from the skin.

Microsporum Canis: A fungus responsible for cutaneous (skin affecting) fungal infections.

Milk Powder: A powder used in bath and facial preparations as a soothing skin cleanser and wash (an inexpensive alternative to other higher priced products).

Milk Protein: A natural protein complex used for its mild cleansing properties and soothing action on the skin.

Milk Thistle: Milk Thistle can be used to increase the secretion and flow of bile from the liver and gall bladder. It is used in a whole range of liver and gall bladder conditions including hepatitis and cirrhosis.Milk Thistle’s actions include: Hepatic, galactogogue, demulcent, and cholagogue.

Mineral Oil: A liquid blend of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum. The oil is an effective solvent for removing oil, grease and make-up (less skin friendly than vegetable oils). The oil is also an excellent amplifier or intensifier allowing the skin to absorb ultraviolet rays more effectively.

Mink Oil: An oil similar to human sebum; this oil is obtained from the sub dermal fatty tissue of minks. It has soothing, amplifying, conditioning, and protective properties, making it an important component of dry skin products. High in unsaturated triglycerides, mink oil has tremendous spreading capabilities.

Minocycline: Antibiotic used orally in the treatment of acne.

Mitosis: Cell division.

Modified Sea Salts: Sea salts obtained by evaporation of sea salts.

Mohs Surgery: A specialized type of skin cancer surgery in which areas of tissue are sequentially excised and then microscopically examined to define the extent of invasion and ensure that the malignancy has been completely removed.

Moisturizer: An emollient cream used to hydrate the skin.

Monocyte: A white blood cell.

Montinorilionite: A mineral that has a drawing effect while absorbing greases and dirt.

Motherwort: Motherwort is valuable in the stimulation of delayed or suppressed menstruation, especially where there is anxiety or tension involved. It is a useful relaxing tonic for aiding in menopausal changes. It may be useful to ease false labor pains. It is an excellent tonic for the heart, strengthening without straining. It is considered to be a specific in cases of tachycardia (heart palpitations), especially when brought about by anxiety and other such causes. It may be used in all heart conditions that are associated with anxiety and tension. Motherwort’s actions include: nervine, emmenagogue, anti-spasmodic, hepatic, cardiac tonic, and hypotensive.

Mucilage: Gelatin-like substance found in some herbs.

Mucopolysaccharides: Highly effective water retainers to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized.

Mucous Membrane: A membrane lining various canals and cavities of the body; a tissue that secretes mucus.

Mucus: The free slime of the mucous membranes, composed of secretion of the glands, along with various inorganic salts, desquamated cells, and leukocytes.

Mugwort Herb Extract: The Herb is an aromatic bitter that stimulates gastric secretion, helping aid weak digestion and should accompany the use of sedating herbs.

Mullein: A plant that has astringent, expectorant, antiviral, demulcent and emollient properties. Its actions on the lungs are demulcent and emollient. It is also used in infused oils for massage oil applied to aching muscles.

Mutagen: An agent that can induce mutation in organisms.

Myalgia: Myalgia is the feeling of diffuse tenderness or pain of the muscles themselves; muscular rheumatism.

Myristalkonium Chloride: Derived from fatty acids, it has anti-static and moisturizing properties.

Myristyl Myristate: Ester of myristyl alcohol and myristic acid. Esters are light oils used as cosmetic emollients.

Myrrh: Myrrh stimulates the production of white blood corpuscles and is an effective anti-microbial agent. It finds specific use in the treatment of infections in the mouth such as mouth ulcers, gingivitis, phyorrhoea, as well as the catarrhal problems of pharyngitis and sinusitis.