Monday, 7 December 2009

Beauty buzz

Many a time, I came across these but was blinking what on Earth they meant! I hate when people label me a real dumbo, so my search began! Felt like sharing these, alphabetically...

Alpha Hydroxy Acids - AHAs, sometimes fruit acids. A group of acids found in fruits and foods which are efective in increasing skin cell renewal and exfoliating the top layer of the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and generally improving the texture of the skin. Can be produced artificially in the labs.

Antioxidants - They help to protect a product from deterioration and the term is also used to describe ingredients which help to prevent free radicals from damaging the skin.

Broad spectrum sunscreen - Sun filters which offer some protection against UV light across both the UVA and UVB wavelengths.

Ceramids - Lipids/oils naturally found in the outer layers of the skin. They can be included in skincare products to reinforce the skin's natural barrier, giving added cohesion to the cell layers.

Collagen - The protein fibres found in the dermis of the skin. An animal-derived ingredient also used in some moisturizers to help soften the appearance of fine lines :(

Dermatologically tested - Tested on the human volunteers under controlled conditions approved by dermatologist to monitor for any signs of irritation. These panels also tend to include sensitive-skinned individuals, thereby ensuring the lowest possible risk of causing irritation.

Dermis - Also known as connective tissue, the dermis is the layer of skin found beneath the epidermis where collagen and elastin lie.

Elastin - Elastic fibres found in the dermis that can become slacker over time due to the effects of the sun, smoking or other causes of premature ageing and due to the ageing process itself.

Enzymes - Present in our cells to facilitate biochemical reactions that take place there. Included in skincare products to improve skin functions or to block certain skin ageing processes.

Epidermis: The outermost section of the skin, which consists layers of cells arrived at the surface from the lower levels and which subsequently fall or rubbed off.

Exfoliating: Also known as skin sloughing, the process by which you can remove the loose skin cells to improve light reflection and so help the complexion look brighter and smoother. Also allows moisturizing and active ingredients to act more effectively.

Free radicals - Molecules which play major role in the ageing of the skin by damaging the structure of the cells. May be generated on the skin by the action of sunlight, smoking and some atmospheric pollutants.

Glycolic acid - AHA that is either synthetically produced or derived from sugarcane.

Hypoallergenic - Product designed to minimize the risk of allergic reaction by using only ingredients shown to have a safe history of use.

Infra-red - Sun rays we feel on the skin as heat and that have been shown to produce low level damage over a long period of time.

Jojoba oil - A rich, natural lubricant from the seeds of a native Mexican shrub. Good for treating dry skin and scalps and often used in lipsticks (Eg: Body Shop lipsticks).

Kelp extract - Sea weed that can help stimulate, soothe and refresh the skin.

Lanolin - A very lubricating and softening skin moisturiser obtained from sheeps' wool.

Light diffusing - Particles included in skincare and makeup that scatter the light reflected off the skin, creating a soft focus effect on lines and wrinkles.

Liposomes - Minute fluid-filled spheres that contain active ingredients which can help to hold back the skin ageing process. They can penetrate in between the cells of the outer layers of the skin.

Melanin - Naturally present in skin, triggered by sunlight to provide protection against harmful UV rays.

Non-comedogenic - Refers to a product that has been shown not to block the pores, which can cause blackheads/whiteheads (comedone) or spots.

Orchid oil - Used for its conditioning properties to help maintain skin's suppleness.

Panthenol - Also called Pro-Vitamin B5, it attracts moisture to the hair and skin and has a long-lasting hydrating effect.

pH balanced - This scale meaures acidity or alkalinity of a solution with neutral being a pH of 7 and any numbers below show increasing acidity, above showing increasing alkalinity. Healthy skin is slightly acidic, so pH balanced products tend to be acidic in order to maintain the skin's natural "acid mantle", its protective and lubricating film.

Photo ageing - Skin damage as a result of exposure to UV light.

Quercitin - Found in the rinds of citrus fruits, has antioxidant properties and is thought to improve the strength of the skin's capillaries.

Retin A - Contains Retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A used in the treatment of acne. Also been used for its anti skin-ageing effects (not recommendable to pregnant women).

SPFs - Sun protectant factors, used in sun blocks indicate protection afforded from UVB rays and therefore the length of time you can stay in the sun without burning.

Sweet balm extract - A plant extract used for its gentle cleansing qualities.

Tea Tree oil - A natural antiseptic essential oil derived from the leaves of Australia's Melaleuca Alternifolia tree.

UVA and UVB - Simply explained, UV light rays. UVA rays are known as the ageing rays and UVB rays as the burning rays. Always use a sun block that includes protection against both.

Vitamins - Increasingly being used in moisturizers, anti skin-ageing treatments, sunscreens and color cosmetics, they are reputed to help maintain healthy skin. Vitamin A and its relative, beta-carotene, VitaminC and Vitamin E are all antioxidant vitamins.

Wheatgerm - Helps condition the skin and provides Vitamin E.

Witch Hazel - A plant extract that is soothing and refreshing.

Xanthines - A group of chemicals related to caffeine that is used in some cellulite treatments and are reputed to assist in the combustion of fat. Aminophylline, used in a range of cellulite products is a member of Xanthine family.

Yarrow extract - Used for its refreshing and soothing properties.

Zinc oxide - A filter used in sunscreens to shield the skin from UV rays.

Girls, you are more than welcome to share your 2 cents! Hope it helps!

(Courtesy: Essential Beauty)


  1. Hey *GREAT post* Divija..can i call u Div or Divi???haha..short is easier.
    Some I know n some r new to me. Will bookmark it so that I can keep comin back to this post when I come across something i don't know.
    Thanks for the hard work girl.

  2. Wow, an excellent research based article! Thanks! I just gave you a blog award. :)

  3. hey, I have this was a part in my aromatherapy lectures....:) Never thought it could be added on blog....
    Thanks for your award too...awards, followers and comments are always welcome...

    Also, if possible add LABEL widget on your blog. It will help finding things easily...xoxo

  4. ThankQ for sharing this article with us Divija!! Its such a useful piece of info for beauty bloggers xoxo

  5. I guess I must sit and learn this so that the next time I am buying beauty products, I don't look lost. :)

    Thanks for sharing sweez. :)

  6. cynthia, i shud be the one to cut short ur name! tell me wat i cud call ya! call me as u please! thnq for the sweetest comments! xoxo

    CBB, thnq very much for d award! u made my day! posted a reply in ur blog xoxo :)

    Resham, you are more than welcome! anythng for a sweetie like ya! surely will luk into label widget, thnq again!, u r more than welcome sweetie!

    @ Rati: Sexy! glad my post helped ya! anything for u, sweetie!