17 Skincare Terms Everyone Must Know

17 Skincare Terms Everyone Must Know

Here’s the only definitive guide you need on all things skin

Do you often get overwhelmed with the amount of information about skincare terms? We know how hard it can get to keep up with the ever-evolving world of the beauty industry. For this reason, we have compiled a list of top skincare terms that you must know for achieving healthy and glowing skin.

  1. AHAs

AHAs, also known as alpha-hydroxy acids are a group of plant and animal-derived acids used in a variety of skincare products. This is one of the most important skincare terms because you find these acids in many skincare products. Their primary job is to exfoliate your skin chemically. AHAs loosen the bonds that hold skin cells together. This allows them to be easily swept away, revealing new skin cells underneath. 

There are seven types of AHAs commonly used in products available throughout the skincare industry. These include:

  • Citric acid 
  • Glycolic acid 
  • Hydroxycaproic acid
  • Hydroxycaprylic acid 
  • Lactic acid
  • Malic acid 
  • Tartaric acid 
  1. BHAs

This is another one of those skincare terms that you cannot ignore. BHAs or beta-hydroxy acids are oil-soluble. BHAs not only work on the skin’s surface but also deep inside pores. These are a great option for people with normal to oily skin, prone to enlarged pores. 

  1. Broad-spectrum
Broad spectrum

You must have heard a lot of dermatologists and beauty experts talk about the importance of a broad-spectrum sunscreen. We all know how harmful UVA and UVB rays are for our skin. They can cause severe skin damage and even skin cancer. You must know the meaning of “broad-spectrum” as it is one of the most important skincare terms. It is used to describe a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

  1. Chemical Exfoliation

We already know how important exfoliation is for a bright complexion and healthy skin. But physical exfoliants can be harsh on your skin. As an alternative, you can try chemical exfoliants. Chemical exfoliants are acids that work by breaking the bonds that hold skin cells together and are known as AHAs or BHAs, covered above. They help in sloughing off dead skin cells without being harsh on your skin.

  1. Chemical Peels

Chemical peels can be applied to the face, hands, and neck. During the procedure, chemical solutions are applied to the area being treated. This causes the skin to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The skin underneath is younger and smoother. Chemical peels can treat: 

  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Sun damage
  • Acne scars
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Scars 
  • Melasma 
  • Uneven skin tone 
  1. Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, accounting for about one-third of its protein composition. It provides structure and support. Collagen is crucial for skin health as it keeps the skin firm and plump. But collagen production in our bodies slows down as we age, and exposure to UV radiation also hampers collagen production. Collagen is one of the most popular skincare terms because it is responsible for keeping our skin plump and radiant looking. 

  1. Double Cleanse

Double cleansing is one of the most popular skincare terms. Every dermatologist and skin guru recommends a double cleanse for healthy and glowing skin. As the name suggests, it involves using a two-step regime to remove makeup and dirt from your face in the evening.

  •  First, you cleanse your face using an oil cleanser, to melt away the makeup and excess oil. 
  • Next, you go in with a gentle foaming cleanser to deep cleanse your skin.
  1. Emollient

An emollient softens dry, rough, and flaky skin by increasing water levels in the epidermis. Natural emollients include plant oils, mineral oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and fatty acids. Petrolatum, lecithin, triglycerides, benzoates, myristates, and palmitates are also emollients. These are used to give many skincare products their creamy texture.

  1. Fragrance-free
Fragrance free

Some skincare products that contain fragrances can harm your skin. When an ingredient label says “fragrance”, it’s often an umbrella term for hundreds of chemicals that brands are not required to disclose. These chemicals can irritate your skin and cause multiple skin issues. This is why it is important to look for fragrance-free skincare products.

  1. Free Radicals

Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells and cause ageing. They can cause age-related changes in appearance, such as loss of skin elasticity, wrinkles, greying of hair, and hair loss. Even though free radicals are produced naturally in our body, few factors can increase their production:

  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Air pollution
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Unhealthy diet
  1. Hyaluronic Acid

Its main function is to retain water to keep skin hydrated. This naturally-found component is recreated synthetically to help restore, hydrate, and protect your skin from environmental stressors.

  1. Hydrafacial
Skincare terms

This skincare term is found in a lot of skin treatment menus. This non-invasive procedure helps improve overall skin texture, tone, and appearance. It is a patented three-step skincare treatment. A hydrafacial involves:

  • Deep-cleansing
  • Exfoliation
  • Hydration
  1. Parabens

Parabens are most widely used as preservatives in cosmetic products. Examples include methylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, and isobutyl paraben. They can irritate your skin and people who already have sensitive skin or a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis should avoid this ingredient.

  1. Peptides

Peptides are chains of amino acids that make up certain proteins needed by the skin. Since collagen is made of three polypeptide chains, adding peptides can stimulate your skin to produce collagen. This is why peptides are prominent in anti-ageing skincare products. Peptides are a common ingredient used in skincare products to firm skin, which is why it’s one of the most common skincare terms.

  1. Retinoid
Retinoid 1

Retinoids are a family of compounds derived from vitamin A. They are great for your skin as they encourage cellular turnover, stimulate collagen production, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, reduce hyperpigmentation, and treat acne. 

  1. Salicylic acid

If you have acne-prone skin, this is one of the most important skincare terms for you. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that reduces acne by exfoliating the skin and unclogging pores. Salicylic acid penetrates into your skin and works to dissolve the dead skin cells clogging your pores. You can use this skincare ingredient to treat:

  • Acne
  • Acne scars
  • Age spots
  • Melasma
  1. Sebum

Sebum is an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands. Its main function is to coat, moisturise, and protect your skin. Sebum is made up of triglycerides and fatty acids, wax esters, squalene, and cholesterol. If the skin doesn’t have enough sebum, it loses water and feels dry. Too much sebum can potentially cause acne. Therefore, it is important to maintain the level of sebum production. 

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