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Sac: A baglike organ or structure.

Safflower: An unsaturated vegetable oil derived from safflower. It is used for its moisturizing and softening properties. The flowers are used in decoctions for skin eruptions, acne and skin blemishes.

Sage: Sage has a stimulating, rejuvenating and antiseptic property. Helps heal skin eruptions, check perspiration and stimulates the skin.

Sage Extract: A tonic and curative herb with astringent and healing properties. Obtained by extraction from the flowering tops of the plants.

Sage Oil: An astringent, antiseptic oil used for its sedating and calming effects on the skin.

Saint John's Wort: Extracts from this herb are said to help ease pain, reduce swelling, and speed wound recovery.

Salicylates: Esters or salts of salicylic acid, such as aspirin; used as topical irritants and as anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents and prostaglandin inhibitors.

Salicylic Acid: Occurs naturally in wintergreen leaves, sweet birch and selected plants. This Beta Hydroxy Acid improves the appearance and condition of the skin. This acid has micro-exfoliating action causing exfoliation, and is also used an anti-microbial in medicine.

Saline: Saline means containing salt or of salt.

Salve: Healing ointment.

Sambucus: (Elder Flowers) Extracted from the flowers of the elder tree. Used for its mildly tonic   and diuretic properties.

Sandalwood Oil: A powerful antibiotic and antiseptic. Used to treat infections, reduce puffiness, soothe and heal.

Saponaria Extract: Also known as Soapwort and Fullers Herb. This extract that foams like a lather. It is used as a foaming, natural cleanser for the skin.

Saponin: Any plant cell derived glycoside with soapy action that can be digested to yield a sugar and a sapogenin aglycone. Saponin is used to solubilize membrane proteins.

Sarsaparilla: Useful in scaling skin conditions such as psoriasis and for the correction of systemic problems such as skin and rheumatoid arthritic conditions.

Saw Palmetto: An herb that acts to tone and strength the male reproductive system and is of value in infections of the genito-urinary tract: This herb influences the entire reproductive apparatus through its sedative and nutritive properties.

Scale: Accumulation of stratum corneum corneocytes (scaly, dry, whitish or brown skin). Scale is a common feature of many skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis, dry skin and ichthyosis.

Scar: A dense fibrotic tissue formed on the skin following repair after injury or disease.

SD: (Specially Denatured) Government required prefix with ethyl alcohol to signify it is unfit for human consumption. (SD 40 contains Bitrox, one of the bitterest substances known.)

SD 40 Alcohol: Used primarily in hair spray as a resin solvent.

Sea Salt: Useful exfoliant in body scrubs; helps soften and soothe the body.

Seasonal Coloring: Spring, summer, autumn and winter seasonal color groups that are flattering to particular kinds of coloring.

Sea Kelp: A large coarse seaweed or wrack that is used as a skin soother and iodine sources.

Seaweed: A plant with gelatin-like, moisture-retaining properties. A main ingredient in peel-off moisturizing masks, and used in face creams and lotions as a thickening agent. Also makes a great nutritional supplement because of the minerals and vitamins within the seaweed.

Sea Wrack: Seaweed cast ashore.

Sebaceous Duct: Duct through which the sebaceous gland empties sebum into the sebaceous follicle.

Sebaceous Gland: Gland in the dermis that produces sebum. Distributed over almost the entire body but concentrated on the face, upper back and chest.

Seborrhea: Increased sebum secretion. Implicated in the pathogenesis of acne.

Seborrheic Dermatitis: Common inflammatory condition of the skin that most often affects the scalp and face (areas above the neck), however, the armpits, and groin, buttocks and skin folds underneath the breasts can also be affected.

Seborrheic Keratosis: Benign skin lesion that is the most common skin tumor in the middle-aged and elderly. Usually found on the face, shoulders, chest and back. The lesions are flesh colored to tan or brown.

Sebum: A viscous, pale yellow natural oil secretion of the sebaceous glands in the skin and scalp that lubricate and protect and also are implicated in the pathogenesis of acne. Contains squalene, waxes and cholesterol.

Secretion: A release of material such as saliva or urine.

Sedative: Relaxes the nervous system and promotes sleep.

Self-tanner: A sun tanning product that contains DHA, which reacts with amino acids in the top layer of skin, causing it to temporarily darken (2-4 days).

Selenium: A major antioxidant nutrient; protects cell membranes and prevents free radical generation thereby reducing the risk of cancer and disease. Selenium also preserves tissue elasticity; slows down the aging and hardening of tissues through oxidation and helps in the treatment and prevention of dandruff.

Selenium Protein Complex: (Biomin S-P-C) Neutralizes free radicals on the skin and serves as a counter irritant.

Selenium Sulfide: An ingredient found in dandruff shampoos that inhibits mitotic activity and kills yeasts.

Sensitizer:   An ingredient that causes the skin to become sensitive to other ingredients or the environment; A sensitizer also refers to an ingredient that causes the skin to redden, swell, blister or itch.

Serum: The clear portion of any body fluid; the clear fluid moistening serous membranes. 2. blood serum; the clear liquid that separates from blood on clotting. 3. Immune serum; blood serum from an immunized animal used for passive immunization; an antiserum, antitoxin, or antivenin.

Sesame Oil: Emollient oil with anti-fungal, anti-viral and antibacterial properties. Also used as a base in preservative-free skincare products because it won't turn rancid when stored at room temperature.

Shea butter: See Karite Butter.

Shelf Bra: A bra that is donned below the breast to just under the nipple, which helps to uplift the breasts for added cleavage.

Shelf Life: The length of time a product can be expected to remain fresh.

Shephard’s Purse: A plant used for its diuretic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, for instance in water retention due to kidney problems, as a treatment of diarrhoea, wounds, nose bleeds, and other conditions. It also acts as a stimulator of the menstrual process.

Shiatsu: A Japanese method of massage that uses Acupressure.

Siberian Ginseng: (Eleutherococcus Senticosis) Ginseng has been used to help increase our resistance and resilience to stress (adaptogen). An herb said to promote an overall improvement in one's health.

Silica: (silicon dioxide) Absorbent, anti-caking, abrasive.  

Silica Microbeads: They function as a heat resistant carrier molecule (a delivery system with unique carrying abilities) because of their ability to hold and absorb material. Silica Microbeads also impart a smoothness and resilient texture to the skin, as they possess a "ball-bearing," silky emolliency.

Silicone: A compound of silicon used in shine-enhancing hair products to seal the cuticle of hair and in many oil-free cosmetics.  

Silk Amino Acids: A natural water-soluble source of acid derived from liquid silk; these acids help moisture penetrate the skin (aid in absorption) and aid in skin healing. Used in skin and hair products, powder, and color makeup. See Amino acids.

Silk Protein: See Silk Amino Acids.

Skin Care: Skin maintenance activities utilizing products to keep the skin clean, moist and attractive, including cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and treatments to control acne, blemishes and postpone visible signs of aging.

Skullcap: A widely relevant nervine that helps relax states of nervous tension while renewing and revivifying the central nervous system. Used in cases of exhaustion or other depressed conditions. It has a specific use in the treatment of seizure and hysterical states as well as epilepsy and may be used to ease pre-menstrual tension. Skullcap’s actions include: nervine tonic, anti-spasmodic and hypotensive.

Skunk Cabbage: Skunk Cabbage may be used in tense or spasmodic conditions occur in the lungs. It acts to relax and ease irritable coughs. Also used in asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough. As a diaphoretic it will aid the body during fevers. Its actions include: anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic and expectorant.

Slippery Elm: Used for its emollient properties.

Slippery Elm Bark: Used for its soothing and softening properties.

Slough: To become shed or cast off (to separate in the form of dead tissue from living tissue).

Soap: Cleansing agent that is a sodium or potassium salt of animal or vegetable fat.

Soap Bark: A perennial herb that is used as a natural cleanser.

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Suffonate: Surfactant derived from coconut oil. Used in "soapless" shampoos.

Sodium Cetyl Sulfate: A water-soluble derivative of saturated fatty alcohol.

Sodium Chloride: A purified common table salt used for its natural cleansing, toning, refreshening, astringent, antiseptic and moisture absorption properties.

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate: An organic preservative derived from the amino acid glycine.

Sodium laureth-13 Carboxylate: An anionic surfactant that increases the cleansing power of some shampoos.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate: A high foaming, viscous surfactant, milder to the skin than sodium lauryl sulfate. It is an excellent cleansing agent for shampoos.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: A white powder used as a detergent, emulsifier, and surfactant in cosmetics. Also used as a water softener and degreaser.   

Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate: A very mild cleansing agent with light conditioning properties.

Sodium PCA: Occurs naturally in human skin and is responsible for binding moisture to the cells. Highly water-absorbent, holding several times its weight in water, which makes it an excellent humectant.

Sodium Saccharin: Non-caloric artificial flavoring, sweetener, 300 times sweeter than sugar. Used in mouthwash, denitrifies, lipsticks, etc.

Sodium Tallowate: Salt of tallow - animal fat. Sodium is a major mineral involved in maintaining our body’s acid-base balance, fluid retention, and nerve impulse transmission.

Sodium Thiosulfate: A very reactive inorganic salt used to neutralize chlorine and other halogens.

Sodium Trideceth Sulfate: A wetting agent for shampoo preparations and baby shampoos.

Soluble: Being able to dissolve into, or being compatible with, another substance.

Solvent: Liquid substance able to dissolve or disperse other substances.

Somatic: A term that means related to the body (soma), as opposed to the mind (psyche).

Soothing: Reducing skin discomforts from irritation, blemishes, burning skin, etc.

Sorbitan Stearate: Used as an emulsifier, a thickener and a stabilizer of essential oils in lotion products.

Sorbitol: A humectant (attracts water and binds moisture to the skin surface) that can be found naturally in ripe berries, seaweed and algae, and gives a velvety feel to the skin.

Soy Protein: An antioxidant and immune-boosters that may prevent cancer and help with menopause.

Soybean Oil: An alternative to petrolatum because of its emulsive (thickening and binding) abilities. It's also has emollient property and may be found in some skincare products. Also contains antioxidants and nutrients.

SPF: An acronym for "Sun Protection Factor" ranging from 2 to 45 with 2 being the least protection and 45 the most. The number represents the Protection Factor that gives us the number of minutes you can stay in the sun without burning (wearing no SPF) multiplied by the number of minutes you can stay in the sun after applying the sunscreen (wearing SPF). Example? If you naturally burn in 10 minutes and you apply a SPF 30 sunscreen, you can now stay out in the sun for 300 minutes with the product on.

Spiraea Extract Spiraea Ulmaria extract: (Meadowsweet) An extract that acts as an anti-inflammatory on joints and has a diuretic effect on the tissues. The leaves of the plant are used in the treatment of rheumatism and cellulitis and when applied directly on the skin, its anti-inflammatory actions help reduce puffiness and fluid retention.  

Squalene: A topical emollient that is spreadable and soothing to the skin and is used in skincare products. Made from shark-liver oil but also found in small quantities in human sebum.

Stasis: The slowing or stopping of, i.e. blood flow; to keep something in a static, atonic state. May also define a condition of stoppage or blockage resulting in varicose veins or intestinal problems.

Stasis Dermatitis: Condition characterized by itchy eczema-like eruptions on the lower legs and ankles.

Stearalkonium Chloride: Reduces static electricity by neutralizing electrical charges on hair. Good conditioning agent - cationic surfactant.

Stearamidopropyl Dimethyamine: A water-soluble derivative of stearic acid. Possesses unique properties of closing hair cuticles over a wide range of pH.

Steareth 21: The polyethelyne glycol ethers of stearyl alcohol. The number indicates the degree of liquidity from 4 (thin) to 100 (solid). An emulsifier.

Stearic Acid and Stearyl Alcohol: Used for its emollient properties and as a moisturizing ingredient.  

Stearyl Alcohol: An emulsion stabilizer; also adds body to a lotion.

Stenosis: Narrowing or stricture of a duct or canal.

Sterile: Unable to produce offspring; barren. 2. Aseptic; free from living microorganisms.

Steroid: Any of numerous compounds containing a 17-carbon 4-ring system and including the sterols and various hormones and glycosides.

Steriod Acne: The appearance of erythematous papules and pustules on the trunk, shoulders, and upper arms 7 – 14 days after beginning high-dose systemic steroids and within 3 - 6 weeks of lower dose corticosteroids; increased risk in those with acne or in those with a past history of acne.

Steriod-Responsive Dermatosis: Skin condition that responds to treatment with topical corticosteroids.

Steriod Rosacea: The prolonged use of a topical cortisone cream has the potential to produce damage to skin (thinning skin, skin addiction to cortisone, hair growth, discoloration, etc.).

Stimulant: Increases circulation. Produces stimulation.

Stinging Nettle: Used in soap making and herbal preparations. Rich in minerals and plant hormones.

Stratum Corneum: The horny cell layer of the epidermis.

Stratum Germinativum: The basal cell layer of the epidermis, where normal cell division takes place.

Stratum Granulosum: The granular layer of the epidermis. The cells of this layer contain keratohyalin granules, which contain a protein called filaggrin.

Stratum Lucidum: The clear cell layer of the epidermis. Appears only on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

Stratum Spinosum: The prickle cell layer of the epidermis. Consists of many rows of cells that appear to be held together by spines or prickles.

Stretch Marks: Usually permanent skin damage that occurs during pregnancy or rapid weight gain. When the skin tissue is stretched, skin cells can become damaged and may stop producing collagen and elastin.

Striae: Skin stretch marks.

Stearyl Alcohol: A natural fatty alcohol derived mainly from coconut oil, very similar to cetyl alcohol. See cetyl alcohol.

Subacute: Less severity or shorter length of course than a corresponding acute condition.

Subcutaneous: Beneath the skin.

Subcutaneous Tissue: A layer of fat that lies beneath the dermis and acts as an insulator and shock absorber.

Subcutis: Subcutaneous tissue.

Surfactant: Surface active agent. Used as a cleansing agent in soap-free cleansers.

Sulfur: Sulfur accelerates peeling of the skin (micro-exfoliant) and has an antiseptic action on the skin surface when applied topically. It is particularly suitable for skin prone to breakout and congestion.

Sunscreen: Products with ingredients that absorb UVA and UVB rays. Find one labeled "broad spectrum" for maximum protection.

Sunblock: Products that reflect all the sun's rays, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They permit minimal tanning, and are a good choice for those who are sensitive to chemicals.

Sunflower Seed Oil: Useful for oily skin conditions because of its semi-drying actions. The seeds provide an emollient feel in pastes and masques.

Superoxide Dismutase: A naturally occurring enzyme that can protect the skin from free radicals, which can cause skin damage. Works against skin dryness and hair loss. It is used in supplements, skincare products, and hair products.

Surfactants: Active agent that allows oil to mix with water. Used in skincare products like cleansers, wetting agents, emulsifiers, solubizers, conditioning agents and foam stabilizers.

Sweet Almond Oil: Skin emollients used commonly in massage oils.

Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease or change in a patient's condition.

Synthetic Bar: A far less irritating soap that contains synthetic surfactants (cleansing agents).

Systemic: Affecting the entire body not just one of its parts.