My Natural Skin Care Glossary

Reading through this skin care glossary will help your understanding of these commonly used skin terms. We have kept definitions simple and explain how each term relates to natural skin care.

Skin Care Glossary

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids A group of plant derived acids that are used to exfoliate skin. They smooth fine lines and surface wrinkles and improve the over all appearance and feel of skin.

  • Amino Acids These acids are the building blocks for protein and are important in skin regeneration. Amino acids are used in moisturizers and emollients.

  • Antioxidant A substance like Vitamin C and Vitamin E that helps prevent skin cell damage. It creates a barrier protecting skin cells from free radicals by inhibiting oxidation of molecules. Oxidation reactions are what produce free radicals which can damage or cause the death of skin cells. This causes the most visible signs of aging which is why anti aging treatments are always high in antioxidants. They slow or prevent aging.

  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) An antioxidant that offers protection from free radical damage. It is found in citrus fruits and dark green vegetables and is essential in maintaining healthy connective tissue. It is very important for collagen formation which provides structural support for skin.

  • Astringent A substance that when put on skin causes the contraction of body tissues. It helps minimize the look of pores and tightens skin and controls oiliness.

  • Carrier Oils Natural oils that are ussed to dilute or "carry" essential oils so they can be applied to the skin without irritation. For more information on carrier oils click here.

  • Collagen A protein found in the skin's connective tissue. Collagen are the elastic fibers that provide structural support for skin. With out it your skin would wrinkle and sag.

  • Cosmetic Clay A mixture of powdered rocks that contain calcium, zinc, potassium and magnesium. Used commonly in facial masks cosmetic clays pull dirt and toxins from deep within the skin.

  • Dermis The middle layer of our skin.

  • Emollient A substance applied to skin to correct dryness, make skin softer and prevent water from evaporating from the skin's surface.

  • Emulsifier An ingredient that is used to stabilize skin care ingredients. It allows water and oil to combine together when making lotions and skin care products. Without an emulsifier the oil and water would remain separated.

  • Epidermis The outer most layer of skin.

  • Essential Fatty Acids These acids are the basic building blocks for our skin cells and are required for normal growth. Essential fatty acids must be obtained through your diet.

  • Essential Oils Essential oils are obtained through a process called distillation. They are extracted from flowers, bark, roots and leaves from different plants and play a very big part in natural skin care. For more information on essential oils click here.

  • Exfoilate The process of removing dead, non functioning skin cells, with either chemicals or an abrasive. Sugar, salt, ground nut shells, berry seeds and ground oatmeal are common exfoliaters.

  • Free Radicals These are the harmful by products of sun, pollution etc. When our skin is not protected with important antioxidants, skin cells begin to oxidize resulting in a chemical reaction that produces these free radicals. These free radicals damage and destroy collagen which are responsible for keeping the skin elastic and providing it with structural support.

  • Lactic Acid An alpha hydroxy acid that occurs naturally in milk. It is a good exfolient and natural moisturizer.

  • Toner An astringent used to control oiliness and to tighten pores.

Referring back to this skin care glossary can help give you a better understanding of what your skin needs and how to keep it radiant and youthful.

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