Many skin care products use fancy names or tout a specific ingredient. But what does that word mean? What does that ingredient do? At Kimberly Beauty, we want to help educate you on product terminology and benefits so you will know exactly why the products we recommend are perfect for your skin. So we have compiled a list of common words you might see on products for your convenience. Please click a letter to see a list of definitions.






Accutane: a form of vitamin A used to treat severe acne. Also called isotretinoin. Can cause skin sensitivities which conflict with some skin treatments.

Acetyl Glutamyl Heptapeptide: Muscle relaxing peptide that works to inhibit nerve signals and weaken intense muscle contractions

Acneic: prone to acne, or skin that is currently troubled by breakouts

Acsorbyl Tetraisopalmitate: Moisturizes, improves skin tone and texture, stimulates collagen production

Age Spot: Also called "liver spots." Spots appear on skin most exposed to he sun - they are very common and harmless, though they can look like cancerous growths causing alarm. For cosmetic reasons, these can be removed. To prevent, avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen.

Airbrush Tanning: professionally applied tan which lasts about one week, no missed areas, no streaks, natural fade

Algae: Firms, tightens and nourishes the skin

Algowhite: whitening agent made from brown algae, promotes natural exfoliation

Allantoin: Biogenic, softens and soothes skin, anti-irritant, calms, regenerates, strengthens

Aloe Vera: moisturizes and soothes skin, mineral and amino acid rich, reduces irritation

Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA): binds moisture, improves collagen production, smooths skin

Amino Acid: proteins in the body, called the body's "building block" - also called peptides. Fill lines, smooth skin, improve tone and color, used as anti-aging treatment. Four major amino acids: proline, glycine, leucine, and lysine. Exfoliant, antioxidant

Amurense Bark: reduces transepidermal water loss, helps moisturize and condition skin, also called phellodendron

Angiogenesis: physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels

Anhydrous: refers to a substance which contains no water

Antibacterial: an agent that inhibits bacterial growth or kills bacteria, refers to said agent.

Antioxidant: a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules; slow the effects of free radicals which start oxidation; help fight fine lines and wrinkles, anti-aging

Arabinogalactan: skin-softening polysaccharide, improves skin immunity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Arbutin: melanin inhibitor, skin lightener

Argireline: helps eliminate fine lines and wrinkles

Arnica: anti-inflammatory

Aromatherapy: uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person's mindset, mood, cognitive function, or health.

Astringent: chemical compound that shrinks or constricts pores

Avocado: antioxidant, protects and moisturizes skin, natural emollient

Azelaic Acid: anti-inflammatory, excellent for acne-prone skin, skin lightener, reduces redness from acne and rosacea

Azulene: dark blue, organic compound derived from chamomile, used to calm and soothe sensitive skin, including skin with rosacea

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Bamboo: soothing to the skin, conditions skin, hair, and nails, antioxidant, minimizes wrinkles and fine lines

Bamboo Fusion Massage: a technique that incorporates bamboo stalks to provide deep tissue work. Stalks are called Cho Sticks. Promotes circulation, sensory nerve perception, and lymphatic drainage as well as relaxation

Barley: helps maintain skin elasticity, improves skin tone, decelerates signs of aging

Bearberry: antiseptic, skin whitener, fights free radicals

Benzonite Clay: cleansing, detoxifying, excellent for oily or problem skin

Benzoyl Peroxide: organic compound used for acne treatments as a peeling agent. Clears pores, reduces bacteria count, can cause dryness or irritation but the skin develops a tolerance quickly, also used in teeth whitening treatments

Beta-Carotene: red-orange pigment in many fruits and vegetables, antioxidant properties, protects from and breaks down free radicals, used commonly as a tinting agent, protects skin from sun damage, helps tone the skin, used in anti-aging products, helps heal scratches and prevent scarring, reduces skin irritation and itchiness

Beta-Glucan: an oat or yeast derived sugar with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, reduces redness, soothes sensitive skin

Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA): reduces redness from acne or rosacea, helps prevent breakouts, also called salicylic acid. Stronger than AHA as it can penetrate more deeply

Bikini Wax: removes hair from the upper inner thighs and panty line, and, if needed, tummy area below belly button


Bilberry: conditions skin, protects from sun damage

Bioflavonoid: plant-derived substance which helps reduce appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots

Biogenic: a term used to describe something produced by living organisms

Blackhead: also called "open comedo" - blackened mass of skin debris, oil, and bacteria built up in a pore. Considered the first stage of acne. Can develop into a pimple

Body Wrap: essential oils, herbal concoctions, lotions, or other treatments are applied to the skin, and the body is wrapped in sheets or a thermal blanket for a period of time to achieve various results

Borage: also called starflower, restores moisture and smoothness to dry or damaged skin, provides relief to those with chronic skin disorders like eczema and atopic dermatitis

Brazilian Wax: removes hair from the upper thighs and pubic area within the labia. Optional waxing includes hair below the belly button and "up the back" (between the cheeks!)

Bulgarian Rose: gentle facial cleanser, nourishing and hydrating to skin, anti-aging and rejuvenating effects

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Cactus Grandiflorus: also called night-blooming cereus, calms joint pain

Calcium: Improves cell turnover, skin healing

Calendula: calms chapped or irritated skin, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, useful for treating skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis

Candelilla Wax: helps maintain the form of cosmetics like lip balm and lipsticks

Camphor: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant

Capillary: any of the fine branching blood vessels

Carrot Seed: anti aging powerhouse, brightens, rejuvenates

Catalase: enzyme found in most living things, used in acne treatments, also used for anti-aging purposes and skin firming treatments

Cationic: an ion or group of ions having a positive charge and characteristically moving toward the negative electrode in electrolysis.

Caviar: found to speed up natural collagen production significantly and reduce protein cross-linking to hydrate skin and reduce lines wrinkles. Rich in vitamins a, d, b1, b2 and b6 as well as several minerals and amino acids. Can also reduce inflammation, antioxidant, protects against UV damage

Cellulite: herniated fat within the connective tissues that, on the surface, looks like dimpling or orange peels texture. Occurs in 80-90% of post-adolescent females, rarely in males. Harmless, common condition. Can be treated for cosmetic purposes.

Ceramides: considered the glue that holds skin cells together, replenishing them helps skin heal more quickly, look younger, protect from sun damage, hydrate.

Chamomile: soothes and calms skin, anti-inflammatory, treats dermal irritations such as eczema

Chapparal Oil: Antibacterial, anti-fungal

Chemical Peel: treatment to improve and smooth the facial skin texture. Causes dead skin to slough off and eventually peel.

Chicory: soothes upset skin and reduces inflammation and swelling

Chitosan Ascorbate: comes from the outer skeletons of crustaceans, also called chitin, antioxidant, skin conditioner, anti-aging properties, moisturizer

Chlorogenic Acid: provides temporary relief of skin rashes

Chlorophyll: Antioxidant, heals

Chondrus Crispus: Softens and moisturizes skin

Citric Acid: skin brightener, astringent

Collagen: naturally occurring proteins, main component of connective tissue, promote even skin texture and tone, holds in natural hydration

Colloidal Sulfur: reduces oil, exfoliates, anti-bacterial

Comfrey: anti-inflammatory

CoQ10: also called ubiquinone, responsible for cell protection and energy production, reduces sun damage, reduces wrinkles, stimulates collagen production, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory

Cornflower: anti-inflammatory, mild astringent

Couperose: similar to rosacea, causes skin to appear red due to dilated blood vessels in the facial area

Curcuminoids: found in turmeric, anti-inflammatory both internally and externally, suppresses excess melanin, reduces inflammation, irritation and sun damage 

Cytokines: group of proteins and amino acids to stimulate cell production and help destroy potentially hazardous skin cells.

Cytotoxicity: refers to agents that are toxic to cells

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Decolletage/Decollete: a woman's torso between her neck and waist, lower neck and upper chest area

Decongestant: helps relieve blackheads which are clogged by sebum, dirt, and bacteria

Deep Tissue Massage: massage technique similar to Swedish massage but applies deeper pressure to release chronic muscle tension. Helps reduce stress and heart rate, boosts mood and relaxation.

Demodex Folliculorum: the common eyelash mite, also found on other hair follicles on the face

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA): helps repair skin, anti-aging agent

Dermatitis: inflammation of the skin, rash.

Dermochlorella: skin firming and restructuring agent, eye contouring agent

Diacetyl Boldine: skin lightener, fights hyperpigmentation and age spots 

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): ingredient in sunless tanners which provides more even, realistic results and prevents orange colorations

Dihydroxyproline:  amino acid that is part of collagen

Dipotassium Glyzhrrhizate: also called licorice root extract, reduces flakiness of skin to restore suppleness, anti-inflammatory

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Echinacea: facilitates more rapid healing of abrasions of the skin

Eczema: a chronic inflammation of the skin, also called atopic dermatitis, condition which causes dry skin, recurring rashes, redness, itchiness, flaking, blistering, and discoloration.

Edema: the swelling of the skin or other organs

Elastin: provides skin with elasticity, firms skin, locks in natural hydration, creates supple skin

Emollient: a product which softens or soothes the skin

Emulsion: a type of moisturizer which also works to tone skin, used more for normal to oily skin whereas a moisturizer would be used for normal to dry skin

Enzyme: produced by a living creature, brings about a specific reaction based on outside influences

Erythema: redness of the skin caused by inflammation of capillaries

Escutox: helps prevent wrinkles, extracted from hibiscus, has properties similar to botox but is all natural, smoothes fine lines and wrinkles

Essential Fatty Acids: Accelerate the healing of broken skin and support healthy skin cell growth.

Essential Oil: natural oil typically extracted from plants, generally contains the scent of the plant

Esthetician: licensed professional who is an expert in maintaining and improving healthy skin.

Eucalyptus: antiseptic, antibacterial, calms skin irritations such as insect bites, anti-inflammatory

Evening Primrose: reduces the appearance and development of fine lines and wrinkles

Exfoliation: the processes of removing dead skin cells to maintain healthy skin

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Facial: a procedure to promote healthy skin or treat specific conditions. Different masks provide different results.

Fango Mud: helps rid skin of impurities, helps reduce acne

Farnesol: derived from acacia flowers, enhances scents, antibacterial

Fibroblast: a cell which creates collagen

Fibronectin: a protein which plays a major role in cell adhesion, growth, migration, differentiation… good for wound healing and embryonic development.

Fir Needle Oil: Antiseptic

Free Radical: an atom or molecule with an unpaired electron that attacks other cells to get the missing electron. Causes oxidative damage, sensitivity to the sun, damages collagen, can be combated with antioxidants

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Galvanic Current: cleanses and nourishes skin through electric current, penetrates skin to encourage circulation and improve cellular function

Gamma-Aminobutryic Acid: also called GABA. A tomato-sourced acid, relaxes facial muscles to prevent wrinkles, smoothes skin

Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA): a fatty acid, emollient, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory

Geranium: improves skin's elasticity

Ginger: Circulatory stimulant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, tones, smooths

Gingko Biloba: anti-inflammatory, firms skin, protects from UVB rays

Glucosamine: Supports collagen and elastin production, derived from shellfish

Glycolic Acid: AHA derived from cane sugar. Promotes shedding of dead skin cells, minimizes skin discoloration caused by sun exposure or acne

Gotu Kola: antioxidant, assists in healing scars and stretch marks

Grape Seed Oil: antioxidant, reduces free radical damage, wound-healing properties, fights wrinkles

Grapefruit: antioxidant, fights free radicals, evens skin tone, keeps skin hydrated

Green Coffee: helps fight wrinkles and fine lines, increases circulation

Green Tea: mega antioxidant

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Hazelnut Oil: mild astringent, tones skin, protects skin from sun damage

Healant: a product with healing properties

Hemp Seed: hydrating, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, speeds up healing of skin lesions

Hesperiden Methyl Chalcone: Supports vascular integrity and decreases capillary permeability

Holistic: refers to the idea that treatments should be done on the body as a whole as opposed to treating individual parts or symptoms

Homogenized: a product which has been formulated to be uniform

Honey: Source of B Vitamins, skin friendly enzymes and Alpha Hydroxyl Acids

Honeysuckle: anti-aging agent, anti-inflammatory

Horse Chestnut: Maintains blood vessel integrity

Hot Stone Massage: a massage using heated basalt stones to ease muscle stiffness and tension and increase circulation. Promotes deep muscle relaxation, relieves chronic pain and reduces stress.

Humectant: a product which helps lock in moisture

Hyaluronic Acid: found naturally in the skin's second layer. Promotes firm and moisturized skin.

Hydrocortisone: anti-inflammatory, anti-itch

Hydrogen Peroxide: mild antiseptic, cleanser

Hydrolipidic: Hydrolysis: the process of adding water to a substance

Hydroquinine: aromatic organic compound to reduce skin discolorations.

Hydrosoluble: dissolves in water

Hyperpigmentation: darkening of the skin or nails caused by increased levels of melanin.

Hypoallergenic: refers to a substance unlikely to cause an allergic reaction

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Illite Clay: pain relieving, promotes tissue regeneration, removes dead cells and excess sebum

Ion Cleanse: removes unhealthy toxins from the body typically via the feet, and helps add safe ions back into the body to create a balance. Can help decrease swelling, cleanse lymph nodes, improve energy and sleep

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Jojoba: Non-comedogenic, softens skin, moisturizes

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Kaolin Clay: oil-absorbing astringent

Kojic Acid: lightens skin, inhibits melanin, derived from mushrooms, fights age spots, melasma, freckles, and skin pigmentation disorders

Konjac Mannan: Moisturizes and hydrates skin cells

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Lactic Acid: AHA found in sour milk and tomato juice, exfoliating, helps clear poors, improves skin texture and tone

Lavender: Soothes skin

Lecithin: Enhances transdermal delivery, anti-irritant

Lemon: conditions, astringent, antibacterial, tones, fragrance

Licorice: anti-inflammatory, reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation

Linolenic Acid: fatty acid that helps preserve appearance of skin, reduce inflammation

Lioleic Acid: Vitamin F. emollient, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory

Lipolysis: breakdown of lipids to produce glycerol and fatty acids

Lipopeptide a lipid connected to an amino acid that can easily penetrate the skin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles

Lutein: naturally occuring carotenoid, promotes skin elasticity and hydration, smoothes fine lines and wrinkles

Lycopene: naturally occuring carotenoid, helps fight acne, helps fight sun damage and hyperpigmentation, lightens skin, reduces redness, helps hold in natural moisture

Lymphatic Drainage: the natural function of the lymphatic system which is a necessary part of the immune system. Reduces fluid build-up which can prevent many diseases.

Lysozome: parts of the cell which breakdown waste and debris

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Macadamia Nut: delays aging processes, intense hydrator for dry skin

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MagC): stable, effective antioxidant, a type of Vitamin C, promotes hydration and elasticity

Malic Acid: alpha-hydroxy acid

Manicure: cosmetic treatment for fingernails and hands

Marine Collagen: a type of collagen derived from fish scales which promotes skin elasticity

Marine Elastin: a type of elastin derived from fish scales which promotes intense moisture

Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs): enzymes which breakdown proteins to help produce smooth, firm, and youthful skin, also called metalloprotease inhibitors

Matryxl: amino acid, stimulates collagen creation and skin repair

Mattifying: a product which proves a matte appearance

Meadowsweet: promotes skin renewal, anti-inflammatory, helps firm skin, reduces redness associated with acne or rosacea

Melanin: protects against UV rays and sun damage

Melanocyte: produces melanin in the body

Melasma: also called pregnancy mask. Tan or darker skin discoloration commonly found on the face or forearms. Cosmetic condition only, can be treated to reduce discolorations

Menthol: Micro-Current: barely perceptible currents which mimic the body's natural bioelectric currents. Softens wrinkles, rejuvenates skin, reduces damage from sunburn, acne, stretchmarks, cellulite or scarring, called a non-surgical facelift for facial skin.

Microdermabrasion: a procedure which uses tiny exfoliating crystals to combat dull skin, brown spots, and age spots

Microemulsion: enhances skin's ability to absorb

Mulberry: lightens skin, evens skin tone, antioxidant, antiseptic

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Nanoemulsion: provides rapid absorption and evens texture of skin

Nanosome: tiny liposomes which protect active molecules and aid in skin's absorption

NaPCA: biogenic moisturizer and humectant

Niacinamide: component of vitamin b3, increases ceramide and fatty acid levels in skin, prevents water loss, stimulates microcirculation, lightens skin discolorations and helps reduce acne

Non-Abrasive: describes a substance which does not cause skin irritation

Non-Comedogenic: describes a substance which will not clog pores

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Olibanum: astringent, antiseptic, also called frankincense

Olive Oil: hydrates extremely dry skin, protects against sun damage

Omega 3: encourages healthy levels of oil production in skin, protects against sun damage

Omega 6: Also called linoleic acid, hydrates skin

Orange: anti-aging agent, smooths skin texture

Oxidation: process that causes damage from oxygen that can lead to cell dysfunction

Oxygenating: enriching with oxygen

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Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA): formerly prevalent in sunscreens, protects against sun damage, under suspicion for allegedly causing cellular UV damage

Palmitoyl Oligopeptide: Stimulates collagen, elastin and glucosaminoglycan prodution

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-5: Provides anti-inflammatory properties

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7: Stimulates collagen, elastin and glucosaminoglycan production

Panthenol: derived from vitamin b5, holds in skin and hair's natural moisture, helps treat sunburn, minor skin disorders, and mild burns. Reduces itchiness and inflammation, speeds skin healing

Papaya: skin moisturizer

Papule: a type of pimple which is solid, elevated skin with no visible fluid

Paraben: a common preservative chemical used in the cosmetic industry known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Many skin care products are now paraben-free due to possibilities of skin irritation.

Paraffin: a soft solid, either clear or white, used as a lubricant for body wraps

Pedicure: cosmetic treatment for toenails and feet

Peppermint: evens skin tone, brightens complexion, cooling effect

Pentapeptide: an amino acid chain which promotes skin elasticity and smoothes fine lines and wrinkles

Peptapeptide-3: Amino Acids group that helps prevent wrinkles

Peptide: amino acid that improves cellular processes for healthier skin, reduces wrinkles

Perflurodecalin: Carries oxygen to provide anti-aging properties and improvements in overall skin health

pH Balance: pH is the measure of acidity or basicity of a substance. The pH level in skin care products determines its effectiveness for certain treatments including cleansing and moisturizing.

Phospholipid: a class of lipids which attract and retain moisture aiding in skin hydration, antioxidant properties especially effective when combined with vitamin E (tocopheryl)

Photo-Aging: refers to the loss of skin's youthful appearance due to wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.

Photo-Rejuvenation: treatment to smooth skin and reduce wrinkles and skin damage from photo-aging, promotes skin repair processes

Photostable: refers to a product's ability to protect itself against breaking down when faced with UVA rays

Phthalate: chemical agent used to soften skin and keep fragrances around longer, under investigation for possible harmful effects

Phytoestrogen: refers to consumed estrogen, not internally produced estrogen. Increases collagen production and helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles

Pimple: a type of acne which is caused by oil, dirt, and bacteria becoming trapped in the pores.

Pineapple: exfoliator, source of AHA, removes dead skin cells, relieves dull and dry skin

Polyethylene Beads: plastic beads used for exfoliating

Polypeptide: typically just known as peptides. amino acids that improve cellular processes for healthier skin, reduces wrinkles

Polyquaternium 7: conditions skin

Polysaccharide: hydrates, antioxidant

Pomegranate: assists in preventing and decreasing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Probiotic: substance that assists in beneficial bacteria growth

Proline: amino acid, part of most proteins including collagen

Propolis: tree-derived resin, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory

Psoriasis: an immune-mediated disease which affects the skin and commonly causes red or white scaly patches on the skin which may be itchy.

Pseudofolliculitis: also called "barber's itch," the ingrown hair and irritation after shaving

Pumpkin: anti-inflammatory

Pustule: a type of pimple containing cloudy material of either white or red color

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Raspberry: high in vitamin A and fatty acids, reduces free radical damage, repairs and conditions skin, moisturizes

Red Algae: Provides anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce eye puffiness

Reflexology Massage: focuses on the foot and ankle in order to alleviate pain from various ailments such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, or general injury. Can also decrease stress

Resorcinol: Antibacterial, antiseptic, stimulates exfoliation

Resveratrol: antioxidant, protects against sun damage, improves collagen synthesis, reduces cell damage

Retinoid: chemically related to vitamin A, used to alleviate acne and psoriasis issues

Retinol: helps skin create healthier skin cells, increases skin-support substances, increase collagen production, increase glycosaminoglycans, create firmer skin, improves texture

Rice Bran Oil: rich in vitamin E. Promotes collagen formation, increases shelf life of products

Rosacea: a chronic skin condition causing redness and sometimes pimples which continues to worsen without treatment

Rose Hips Oil: helps regenerate and heal skin, repairs photodamage, rich in vitamins A, C, and E.

Rosemary: anti-aging agent, antioxidant, rejuvenates and stimulates skin, tones and tightens fine lines and wrinkles

Rose Water: gentle astringent and toner

Rutin: Improves circulation, moisturizes, accelerates healing, nourishes

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Safflower: acts as a barrier to keep skin hydrated, smooths skin, evens texture

Sage Oil: Medicinal, antiseptic

Salicylic Acid: BHA, exfoliating, promotes new cell growth, reduces breakouts, clears pores, smoothes skin, reduces irritation

Sandalwood: skin-clearing acne treatment, blackhead eraser

Saponaria: Also called soapwort. antibacterial

Seaweed: rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, helps protect the skin from environmental elements and free radicals, combats skin irritation and inflammation, smoothes skin

Sebaceous: used to describe a fatty substance or a sebum-secreting gland

Sebaceous Hyperplasia: common condition for adults middle-age or older which causes papules on the face and chest primarily.

Sebborhea: overproduction of sebum

Sebum: a secretion produced by the sebaceous gland to keep hair and skin supple. An excess production of sebum causes oily skin and hair issues and may produce odors.

Selenium: an element which encourages cell and tissue growth

Shea Butter: heals, soothes, protects, restores elasticity

Shellac: a long-lasting, chip-resistant nail polish that is a half nail polish, half gel polish.

Silica Crystals: Rounded crystals exfoliate without scratching skin

Silicone Elastomer: helps significantly reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, allows skin to absorb sebum

Sorghum: anti-aging agent, tightens skin

Soy Isoflavones: powerful antioxidant, inhibit environmental damage, reduce irritation, improve skin texture, build collagen, fight sun damage

Soybean: antioxidant, protects from sun damage

Spin Trap: Free radical scavenger

Sports Massage: specific to the sport, focuses on stressed and overused areas of the body, targets muscle and tendon junctions, decreases muscle soreness, improves range of motion

Spray Tanning: personally applied tan which lasts about one week, possibility for missed areas and streaks, less expensive but also less professional

Squalane: Biogenic moisturizer

Stratum Corneum: top layer of the skin

Sulfate: a salt derivative

Sulfur: mineral that assists in reducing acne and the appearance of wrinkles

Swedish Massage: the best-known massage technique with the goal of entire body relaxation which uses long strokes. Improves circulation and flexibility while easing tension.

Sweet Almond Oil: nourishes and hydrates skin

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Tea Tree Oil: Medicinal, fights acne-causing bacteria

Titanium Dioxide: whitens skin, promotes natural hydration, provides protection from sun damage

Transdermal: through the skin

Triclosan: antibacterial, antifungal

Tyrosinase: enzyme that promotes the oxidation of tyrosine to melanin

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Ubiquinone: also called CoQ10, responsible for cell protection and energy production, reduces sun damage, reduces wrinkles, stimulates collagen production, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory

Ultraviolet A Rays (UVA): long-wave ultraviolet rays from the sun which causes photo-aging

Ultraviolet B Rays (UVB): short-wave ultraviolet rays from the sun which cause burns

Urea: derived from urine, exfoliates and moisturizes, synthetic versions are used in cosmetics

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Vitamin A: encourages cell and tissue growth, also called retinyl palmitate, improves skin texture and firmness, antioxidant

Vitamin B: reduces redness and irritation, fights discoloration, smooths skin

Vitamin B5: Prevents formation of excess oils, heals, moisturizes, conditions

Vitamin C: encourages cell and tissue growth, increase collagen production, reduces wrinkles, reduces skin discolorations, strengthens skin's barrier response, enhances skin's repair processes, reduces inflammation, protects against sun damage, also called ascorbic acid

Vitamin D: helps prevent sun damage, can treat irritated and inflammed skin, reduces psoriasitic outbreaks

Vitamin E: protects cell membranes from oxidative damage, prevents collagen destruction. Could be listed as tocopheryl.

Vitamin K: Improves circulation, minimizes bruising and redness

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Whitehead: also called a "closed comedo." blocked sweat duct which shows as a bump with white fluid on the skin

White Tea: protects against sun damage, anti-inflammatory, rejuvenates skin

Wild Thyme: pain reliever

Wild Yam: firms, smooths skin texture

Witch Hazel: Tightens pores and stimulates circulation, prevents bacteria, clears congestion, antiseptic

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Zeolite: protects against toxins and free radicals, anti-aging agent

Zinc: Speeds healing, antibacterial, oil absorbing

Zinc Oxide: reduces acne breakouts and heals acne-damaged skin, protects from sun damage

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