Common terms in Skincare to Make Informed Decisions

by Alessia Burton February 19, 2023


Understanding common terms in skincare can help you make informed decisions when choosing products for your skincare routine. Here are some common terms to know:

  1. Humectants: These are ingredients that help your skin retain moisture by attracting water from the environment and/or the deeper layers of your skin. Common humectants in skincare include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and urea.

  2. Emollients: These are ingredients that soften and soothe your skin by filling in the gaps between your skin cells. They also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Common emollients in skincare include shea butter, jojoba oil, sea buckthorn oil and avocaod oil.

  3. Occlusives: These are ingredients that create a barrier on your skin to prevent moisture loss. They work by forming a physical barrier that keeps water from evaporating from your skin. Common occlusives in skincare include petrolatum, beeswax, and mineral oil.

  4. Antioxidants: These are ingredients that protect your skin from environmental damage by neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage your skin cells. Common antioxidants in skincare include vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea extract.

  5. Retinoids: These are a class of ingredients that are derived from vitamin A and are known for their anti-aging benefits. They work by stimulating cell turnover, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improving skin texture and tone.

  6. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): These are a class of exfoliating ingredients that work by dissolving the glue that holds dead skin cells together, revealing smoother, brighter skin. Common AHAs in skincare include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid.

  7. Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs): These are another class of exfoliating ingredients that work by penetrating deep into your pores to dissolve oil and unclog them. Common BHAs in skincare include salicylic acid.

  8. Sunscreen: This is a product that helps protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Sunscreens work by absorbing or reflecting UV rays, preventing them from penetrating your skin. Look for sunscreens with broad-spectrum protection and an SPF of at least 30.

By understanding these common terms in skincare, you can better understand the products you are using and the benefits they provide to your skin.

Alessia Burton
Alessia Burton


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