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Glossary

Allantoin

Allantoin is an organic salt extracted from herbs such as comfrey (Symphytum officinale) and the bearberry (Arctostaphylos ulva-ursi). Used as a protectant, soothing agent, skin-conditioning agent and also known to stimulate healing of damaged skin tissue.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an extract from the leaves of the Aloe vera plant and used to protect and soothe the skin. Contains many active components including vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and enzymes. Aloe vera has been well known for its healing, soothing, antibacterial and moisturizing properties for hundreds of years. More recently, it has been widely used in cosmetics and skin preparations, for the treatment of burns, insect bites, cuts and scalp irritations, as a barrier agent, humectant and emollient. Aloe vera promotes healing by increasing skin growth rates, is a natural skin exfoliant by rejuvenating cellular development and is a biologically active skin conditioning agent.


Alpha Hydroxy Acid

Alpha Hydroxy Acid is praised as the most influential phenomenon in recent cosmetic history, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), or "fruit acids", will make your skin appear softer, smoother, and more radiant than ever before. There are five AHAs - glycolic, lactic, malic, citric and tartaric of which glycolic and lactic acids are the most preferred and the best known. The primary action of AHAs lies in the keratolytic ability or their ability to weaken the bonds that hold dead cells together. When these bonds have been weakened, the dead cells can be shed or exfoliated from the surface of the skin. This results in the skin appearing fresher, smoother and younger.

Antioxidant

Antioxidants help protect skin from free-radical damage which can lead to premature ageing of the skin. Free-radicals are highly charged unstable molecules that form as a result of exposure to air pollution, smoke, ultraviolet light, x-rays or car exhaust fumes. They attack healthy skin cells and oxidation results. Oxidation is any chemical process involving oxygen such as the browning of an apple, the rusting of iron and the tarnishing of silver. When oxidation takes place in skin cells, the result is a sagging of the skin, the formation of wrinkles, loss of elasticity and changes to the pigmentation of the skin. Antioxidants act to stabilize free-radicals thereby reducing the skin-damaging oxidation process.

Balm Mint Extract

Balm mint extract  is an extract of the leaves of Melissa officinalis. Biological stimulant of the skin.

Bentonite

Bentonite is a clay formed from the decomposition of volcanic ash and used to help absorb oil.

Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides

Capric/caprylic triglycerides is a skin conditioning agent from the mixed triester of glycerol, caprylic and capric acid. Caprylic acid is an oil liquid which is soluble in water and derived from the oil of lavender, oil of lime, oil of lovage, orange peel and coconut oil. It is formed by the oxidation of octanol. Capric acid is a crystalline fatty acid found in the fats and oils of a large group of plants. Both of these forms of triglycerides act as an emollient and a barrier agent to help bind water in the skin.

Chamomile Extract

Chamomile extract from the flowers and finely dissected leaves of Anthemis nobilis. Soothes sensitive skin. Biologically active.

Chelating Agents

Chelating agents are chemical agents used to form a ring of atoms of which one is a metal atom.

Citric Acid

Citric Acid is a water soluble weak tribasic acid found in many fruits.

Comedogenic 

Comedogenic is likely to produce acne.


Cosmetic Medicine

Cosmetic medicine (appearance medicine) refers to all the cosmetic treatments done by a physician which do not involve surgery. The most common treatments are BOTOX® and dermal/soft tissue fillers (e.g Juvéderm®).


Cosmeceutical

The term “cosmeceutical” is a combination of the words “cosmetic” and “pharmaceutical”. It refers to a new generation of skin care , which uses high concentrations of active ingredients known by doctors to have a real effect on the skin.

Cyclomethicone

Cyclomethicone is a cyclic dimethyl polysiloxane. Skin conditioning agent and emollient. Confers an incredibly soft, silky feel to the skin, evaporates quickly leaving little residue on the skin.

Dimethicone

Dimethicone is a silicone fluid used to give a smooth feel to a cosmetic crème or lotion. Contributes a degree of water repellence, promotes easy spreading and leaves a smooth feeling without feeling either sticky or oily. Helps in the even dispersal of other ingredients.

EDTA

EDTA acts as a synergist in aiding preservative action and assisting anti-oxidants such as vitamins A, C and E to improve product stability through chelating and sequestering metal ions. Enhances efficacy of skin lightening actives. Works to assist in preventing the physical change of cosmetics by maintaining the efficacy of the preservatives and preventing the separation of the various components making up the product.

Emollient

Emollient is any preparation or substance that has a softening or soothing effect when applied to the skin.

Essential Oil

Essential Oils are the concentrated vital essences of aromatic plants. Some are cleansing, others are soothing and calming, and still others are astringent.

Exfoliant

Exfoliant is the process of removing the damaged outer layers of skin is usually performed by alpha or beta hydroxy acids (AHAs & BHA’s). The result of this exfoliation is to increase the turnover of surface skin cells thereby generally leaving a plumper smoother skin with a more even skin tone with a better color. AHAs and BHA’s have largely replaced scrubs that act as mechanical rather than chemical exfoliants. AHAs are most effective while still not being unreasonably irritating, at a concentration of 5 - 10% while BHA’s tend to be most effective at a concentration of 1 - 2%. Both naturally occurring groups of acids suit an acidic medium. AHAs are water-soluble and their effectiveness diminishes over time after each application. Conversely, BHA’s are oil-soluble and tend to continue exfoliating at a constant rate.

Fennel Extract 

Fennel extract is an extract of the fruit of Foeniculum vulgare. Biologically active. Natural cleanser and detoxifier. Fights water retention and improves skin tone.

Free-Radical 

Free-radical is an atom or group of atoms containing at least one unpaired electron and existing for a brief period of time before reacting to produce a stable molecule. Because free-radicals are short of an electron, they can seek to scavenge them from the body's tissues. This process will leave damaged cells behind. Sometimes shortened to "radical".

Glycolic Acid 

Glycolic acid known as the "Superstar" of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), glycolic acid is a particular AHA with a small molecular size. Because so many skin problems are caused by or associated with the build up of dead cells, this small molecular size makes it ideal for cosmetic use and in achieving desired results. Glycolic acid penetrates the skin and slowly and naturally sloughs away the dead cells that build up on the outer layer of skin leaving the skin looking smoother and healthier. Assists in the exfoliation of the hyper pigmented skin cells resulting from sun damage.

Glycolic acid is the smallest molecule of the AHAs and as such, exhibits the most keratolytic ability. The effect is most evident in smoothing skin tones, improving areas of hyper pigmentation resulting from sun damage. Also helps to unclog pores and improve the appearance of thickened skin caused by a number of factors such as abnormal cell growth, smoking and the use of heavy moisturizers.

Hops Extract 

Hops extract is a biologically active extract derived from Humulus lupulus.

Humectant 

Humectant producing moisture, a moisture attracting substance or a substance added to another to keep it moist. An ingredient used to attract moisture to the skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a viscous polysaccharide with important lubricating properties. Is a natural component of the skin.

Hydroquinone 

Hydroquinone is a prescription skin lightening agent linked with the development of skin cancer.

Hyper Pigmentation

Hyper pigmentation is excessive clumping of pigment (melanin) in the skin.

Hypoallergenic

Hypoallergenic is any substance, but usually a protein, unlikely to induce an allergy reaction.


Kojic Acid

Kojic acid is extracted from mould grown on rice (Aspergillus oryzae) or that grown on soybean (Aspergillus sojae) and is used as a starter medium for the production of fermented food. Kojic acid is produced biologically by fermentation of bacteria on carbohydrates. The name is Japanese and comes from the word "koji" meaning "culture".

Skin color is determined by the quantity of melanin in the skin. Melanin is biosynthesized in the melanosome of the melanocyte - a process involving the presence of the enzyme tyrosinase. Kojic acid is known to inhibit tyrosinase thereby reducing the production of melanin.

Kojic acid is primarily used in cosmetics for itís skin lightening effect. It acts as an inhibitor of tyrosinase, which is responsible for the formation of melanin - the skin coloring agent in skin. Kojic acid also reduces existing melanin in the skin thereby assisting in the depigmentation of the skin. Kojic acid successfully reduces age spots and pigmentation on face and body, typically caused by sun damage. Kojic acid is also known to have an anti-microbial effect.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (see AHA below). A natural component of human make-up, natural pH modifier and humectant.

Mistletoe Extract

Mistletoe extract is an extract of the berries of Viscum album. Biologically active.

Mulberry Extract

Sohakuhi or mulberry extract is obtained from the dried skin of the root of the mulberry found throughout Japan where this extract is produced. Sohakuhi has been credited with many healing functions for many years. More latterly, it has been recognized as a whitening agent as it contains phenylflavanoids, an element that whitens human skin by inhibiting the activation of tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is involved in the production of freckles so the inhibition of tyrosinase helps prevent the formation and subsequent darkening of freckles on the skin. Also known to be an anti-inflammatory and an emollient.

Non-Comedogenic 

Non-comedogenic is unlikely to produce acne and/or blackheads.

Orange Oil 

Orange oil is a fragrant essential oil, refreshing uplifting aroma.

Organic Salt 

Organic salt is the salt of a compound containing carbon.

PABA

Para-Amino Benzoic Acid is an acid present in yeast and liver cells used in the manufacture of dies and pharmaceuticals.

PEG 100 Stearate 

PEG 100 stearate is a derivative of polyethylene glycol. Used to help attract moisture to the skin and to bind the water to the skin and so to condition the skin.


Peppermint Oil 

Peppermint oil is an extract of peppermint leaves from the plant Mentha piperita. Has a purifying effect and acts as a cooling agent for the skin. Biologically active.


Preservative

Preservative is a product added to inhibit decomposition.


Purified Water

Purified water is water that has been deionised (had the ions removed) and has been sterilized.


Rose Hip Oil

Rose hip oil is a purifying oil with inherent antiseptic qualities and an anti-inflammatory.


Skin Conditioning Agent 

Skin conditioning agent is an ingredient that usually acts by attracting and holding moisture in the skin.

Sodium Bilulphite

Sodium bilulphite is an antioxidant.

Sodium Chloride 

Sodium chloride is a common salt usually used as a preservative.


Sodium Glycollate 

Sodium glycollate is a salt of glycolic acid.


Sodium Laureth Sulphate

sodium salt of lauryl sulphate, surfactant and a very gentle cleansing agent.


Sohakuhi

See mulberry extract.


Squalane 

Squalane is an extract from Spanish olive pits. Skin conditioning agent and emollient. Vegetable equivalent of squalene derived from shark livers.


Stimulant 

Stimulant is a substance that increases physiological activity, increases growth rates or the rate of recovery.

Sun Damage

Sun does not accelerate the ageing of the skin but produces a different type of ageing known as "photo ageing". The result of photo ageing is coarsening and thickening of the skin. Reparative agents for sun damaged skin are enzymes, retinoic acid, AHAs and antioxidants.

Surfactant

Surfactant reduces the surface tension of a liquid allowing it to foam or to penetrate solids, a wetting agent.


Urea

Urea is an organic compound, skin conditioning agent and humectant.


Vitamins

Vitamins are any of a group of substances that are essential in small quantities for the normal functioning of the metabolism in the body. They can not normally be synthesized by the body but occur naturally in certain foods. The most important vitamins for keeping your skin renewed and healthy, are the vitamins A (retinyl palmitate), C (ascorbic acid) and E (tocopherol).


Vitamin A 

Vitamin A is an antioxidant from retinol which is vital for the formation of healthy skin cells. Help prevent damage from free-radicals. Readily absorbed through the skin and improves skin smoothness by allowing moisture to penetrate the skin.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant and essential in the formation of collagen. Promotes healing of the skin and used to enhance the pH balance of the skin. Preservative and emulsion stabilizer.


Vitamin E

Vitamin E prevents rancidity and is a strong antioxidant.


Witch Hazel 

Witch hazel soothes inflammation and burns. Is good for sensitive skin, such as the eye area, greasy or dry chapped skin.


Yarrow Extract 

Yarrow extract stimulates regeneration of damaged skin cells, biologically active.


Zinc Oxide 

Zinc oxide is an antioxidant and known to support increased collagen turnover and promote cell division.
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