Dictionary, Skincare Ingredients

Beauty and Skincare Dictionary

1 Comment 01 July 2010

alana small1 150x150 Beauty and Skincare Dictionary

Alana Mitchell, Licensed Esthetician, Day Spa Owner

Below is a COMPLETE skincare ingredient and keyword dictionary. Yes, I did, and I am officially obsessed with skincare! Here is a complete list of every skin care or beauty word that you might need defined. Enjoy! By the way, to make sure you know you are not reading advice from some random person, read a bit more about me and my experience, click here or on my picture. Also, you can read THOUSANDS of positive reviews from my customers by clicking my testimonials page, I can help you!

ABHYANGA

A word meaning “oil massage” in Sanskrit.  Taila (special medicated oils) are used in Ayurveda along with massage strokes to aid in detoxification while balancing a person’s dosha.

ABS PLASTIC

A plastic used for artificial nail tips with the “virgin” type being the most crack-resistant.

ACAI

A highly nutritious and antioxidant-rich fruit from Brazil used in anti-aging treatments.

ACCELERATOR

A product that increases the tanning rate of the skin by providing the necessary ingredients for melanin production.  It works underneath the skin’s surface and is optimized by applying at least four hours before tanning or immediately after showering.

ACETAMIDE MEA

A water-soluble conditioning agent used to add shine.  It is compatible with anionic and nonanionic systems as opposed to quaternary surfactants, which are compatible with cationics only.

ACETIC ACID

An acid found in vinegar which is sometimes used for its caustic or astringent properties as in removing excess oil from the skin.

ACETYLATED LANOLIN ALCOHOL

A hypoallergenic agent that smoothes and softens the skin.  It helps prevent moisture loss by forming a protective coating on the skin’s surface.

ACETONE

Found in some astringents, toners and fresheners, acetone is primarily used as the main ingredient in nail polish removers.  It is a strong solvent, which is safe only on natural nails.

ACID

A chemical compound used to change the PH level of a substance.  Used in skin care products to stabilize high alkaline levels.

ACID BALANCE

The natural balance of PH levels found in the moisture of the skin.

ACIDIC SOIL

Soil containing a PH level under 6.5.

ACID MANTLE

A natural, thin covering over the entire surface of the skin that fights against infection from bacteria.  Also helps in the regulation of water retention and moisture loss.

ACID RINSE

A mixture of water and lemon juice/vinegar used as a rinse.

ACIDOPHILUS

A group of probiotics used in the prevention of fungus, acne and bad breath.

ACID PERM

A hair treatment, which produces permanent waves or curls.  Containing a PH range of 6.5 to 8, the result is actually softer than an alkaline perm.

ACINI

The portion of the sebaceous gland that secretes an oily substance.

ACNE

A common inflammatory disease affecting the face, neck, back and chest.  The sebaceous glands over-produce sebum resulting in blackheads, whiteheads and blemishes, which can result in scarring in severe cases. Its cause is unknown but it is often associated with hormonal activity and mostly affects people between the ages of 10 and 25 years.  A consultation with a dermatologist is recommended in severe cases.

ACNE CONGLOBATA

Most often seen in males, the most severe form of acne resulting in heavy scarring from large, painful, inflammatory nodules and cysts.

ACNE EXCORIEE DES JEUNES FILLES

Marks resembling acne that are caused by the friction and irritation from skin contact with clothing and/or accessories such as bra straps, sweaters, casts, helmets, etc..

ACNE KELIDALIS NUCHAE

A painful type of acne characterized by papules and pustules which are inflamed.  Commonly affects African-American men causing thick scarring around the nape of the neck.

ACTINIC KERATOSIS

A type of acne probably caused by cumulative sun exposure.  Also considered a precancerous growth.  It is usually a flat skin lesion of a different color than the surrounding skin or a small, solid, elevated lesion less than .5 cm in diameter that can be rough and scaly looking.

ACNE VULGARIS

The most common type of acne and the most common skin disease in the United States.  It is a disease of the sebaceous follicle, glands and ducts and is marked by comedones, pustules, papules, nodules, and cysts. It usually begins during adolescence, but may continue through adulthood.

ACRYLIC

A waterproof material used to create artificial nails.  The mixture of liquid and powder is formed into sculpted fingernails.

ACTIVE

The substance or ingredient in a product that is responsible for its effectiveness.  The other ingredients are inactive, such as fillers, dyes, and fragrances.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

The ingredients in a product that make the product work; see “ACTIVE” above.

ACUPRESSURE

An ancient healing technique derived from acupuncture using pressure points to relieve pain.  Therapeutic results include healing individual body parts by applying specific pressure to them.

ACUPUNCTURE

The technique of inserting needles into specific body parts to repair injury or relieve pain.

ACUTE

A disease or condition which is short-lived and immediate (as opposed to drawn-out and gradual, usually with serious symptoms; the opposite of chronic.

ADAPALENE

A newly engineered retinoid molecule targeting the treatment of the most common type of acne: acne vulgaris.

ADENOMA SEBACEUM

A small, translucent tumor that originates in the sebaceous gland.

ADENOSINE TRIPHOSPHATE

Functioning as a catalyst in the process of tanning, this is essentially a synthetic form of riboflavin (Vitamin B2).

ADRENAL GLANDS

Located right above the kidneys, this pair of small, ductless glands secrete

adrenocortical hormones, also known as corticosteroids.

ADRENAL SUPPRESSION

A condition that can lead to immune system suppression, electrolyte imbalance, and Cushing’s Syndrome.  It is the result of a cortisone-like  secretion suppression caused by dysfunctional adrenal glands.

ADRENALINE

The hormone released by the adrenal glands when the body perceives physical or emotional distress.  Known as the “Fight or Flight” phenomenon.

ADJUNCTIVE

Pertaining to medicine, a preparation or treatment that complements the main therapy ( in a supportive, subordinate sense).

AEROSOL

Sometimes used as a delivery method for dermatological drugs, aerosol is a suspension of fine solid or liquid particles, in a gaseous form.

AESTHETICIAN

A professional beauty specialist.  Especially one focused on the cleaning and perfection of skin.

AGE SPOTS

Irregularly shaped pigmented areas (usually brown) which are seen most often on the hands and face.  Also known as liver spots, they are a normal part of the aging process accelerated and/or exacerbated by sun exposure.  They may lead to skin cancer.

ALAKALI

A substance used in the process of making soap.  It is an acid neutralizer.

ALBINO

An animal or person lacking eye, hair and skin pigmentation.

ALCOHOL

Any of several different types of organic chemical compounds ranging from clear liquids to waxy solids.  Alcohol may contain the properties of a sugar (as in multi alcohol) or may be a  water soluble solvent (as in isopropyl/rubbing alcohol or ethyl/drinking alcohol).  Alcohol may also act as a moisturizing agent (like glycerin or propylene glycol) or a fatty alcohol (cetyl alcohol).  Alcohol can be drying or lubricating, depending on the nature of the compound from which it is derived.  Due to this, alcohols can be used extensively as lubricants, emulsifiers, humectants, emollients, stabilizers, and tackiness reducers.

ALFALFA

A plant known for blood thinning, kidney cleansing, and prevention of tooth decay (due to its natural fluoride content).  It also increases energy and endurance.  Alfalfa is comprised of essential digestive enzymes and amino acids.

ALGAE

Algae are sometimes confused with seaweed.  Actually, seaweeds are a type of algae, but the term algae includes a wide array of terrestrial and aquatic organisms which all evolved separately. Wherever water is present, algae occur in all marine and terrestrial ecosystems.  Trace elements of calcium and magnesium are found in algae.  Skincare products containing algae improve skin elasticity by helping the skin to store moisture.

ALGAE EXTRACT

An extract from algae with multiple skin benefits.  Comprised of sugars (polysaccharides) that act as natural humectants, they promote moisture retention; alginates which provide moisture and elasticity to the skin; fucoidans (sulfated polysaccharides) that stimulate circulation; polyphenols (agents with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties); and fucosterol (an agent which is excellent as a blood stimulant, diuretic, moisturizer and emollient).

ALGAL POLYSACCHARIDE

An extract derived from the red marine algae off the Hawaiian coast.  It is known for its ability to moisturize and lubricate the skin.

ALGISIUM COMPLEX

A natural complex that is derived from the ocean and has anti-inflammatory properties.

ALGOTHERAPY

The process of applying seaweed in thin layers to the skin to relieve inflammation and pain.  The seaweed temperature is controlled by infrared lamps.  Brown seaweeds are used most often in algotherapy.  They are washed, rinsed and processed to preserve the active ingredients.  The goal of algotherapy is to reduce pain and inflammation.

ALKALINE

Any substance with a PH over 7 that is not considered acidic.

ALKALINE PERM

A hair treatment that produces tight curls, or hair waves within a  PH range of 7.5 to 9.5.

ALKALINE SOIL

Soil containing a PH level over 7.3.

ALLANTOIN

An extract of the comfrey plant used to heal, soothe and alleviate irritation.  It is a key ingredient in anti-acne products, clarifying lotions, and sun care products.  It is known for its ability to promote healthy skin and help heal minor wounds.

ALLERGEN

Any substance that produces an allergic reaction.

ALLERGIC CONTACT DERMATITIS

A skin reaction caused by direct contact with an allergen.  It results in an inflamed lesion or water blister and is commonly caused by poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac.

ALLERGY

An immune system disorder defined as hypersensitivity to certain substances, such as pollen, producing an adverse reaction.

ALLURA RED AC

A red dye; the name for the uncertified version of FD&C Red No. 40.

ALMOND MEAL

An ingredient used as an emollient to soften and smooth the skin while exfoliating it and reducing inflammation.  It also produces a slight bleaching effect.

ALMOND MILK

An ingredient used to moisturize the skin.

ALMOND OIL

A mild vegetable oil derived from almonds.  Used in cosmetics, frequently in lotions and creams, to smooth and soften the skin.

ALOE VERA

An emollient resin that softens and hydrates, aloe vera is one of the most widely recognized ingredients in skin care.  In addition to its moisturizing effects it is used to help heal skin injuries, minor cuts, rashes, and burns. It has an immediate soothing effect when applied topically.

ALOE VERA EXTRACT

An aloe vera plant extract popular for its ability to hydrate and soothe the skin.

ALOE VERA GEL

An oil extracted from the aloe vera leaf. The extract has excellent softening, soothing and hydrating ability and is also a source of allantoin.

ALOE VERA OIL

An oil extracted from the aloe vera leaf also known as aloe vera gel.

ALOPECIA

A skin disorder resulting in very thin hair or even baldness.

ALPHA BISABOLOL

A type of anti-microbial gum resin that is very effective as an anti-irritant.

ALPHA HYDROXY

A substance used as an emollient and also for its exfoliating properties. See ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHAs) below.

ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHAs)

Acids which occur naturally in fruits like sugar cane and citrus, as well as in sour milk.  The types of acids are: lactic, malic, citric, glycolic and pyruvic.  Glycolic acid is most popular due to its small molecular structure (which helps it to penetrate the skin’s surface easily).  AHAs can remove and loosen cells from the surface of the skin causing it to look smoother and less wrinkled.  AHAs also help the surface layers of the skin retain moisture.  Use with caution, however, since prolonged use of AHAs can cause sun sensitivity.

ALTERATIVE

An item (typically an herb) that has the ability to restore something to normal health.

ALTHEA

A botanical root used as a skin emollient due to its soothing and softening effects.

ALTHEA ROOT

A botanical root used as an emollient, see Althea Root above.

ALTERNATING CURRENT

A current that flows first in one direction, then the other; rapidly and with interruption.

ALUMINUM CHLOROHYDRATE

An aluminum salt used in the preparation of antiperspirants.  It is the least irritating of all the aluminum salts.

AMINO ACIDS

Organic compounds which are the protein “building blocks” of the body.  They are vital to the body, assisting in growth, maintenance, and repair of cells.

AMINOMETHYL PROPANOL

A gelling and thickening agent.

AMINOMETHYL PROPANEDIAL

A substance used as an alkalizer/neutralizer in cosmetic products to adjust PH levels.

AMINOPHENOLS

Phenol derivatives used in oxidative (one of two permanent types) hair dyes.

AMMONIA

Used in some permanent hair color, ammonia is an alkaline and causes the hair to swell and the cuticle layer to be raised, allowing color molecules to penetrate the hair.

AMMONIUM HYDROXIDE

An ingredient used in hair waving and straightening as well as skin peels.  It is used as a stabilizer to adjust acid levels.

AMMONIUM LAURETH SULFATE

An agent that allows water and oil to mix and has surfactant action in shampoos.  The main active ingredient in shampoos.

AMMONIUM LAURYL SULFATE

A surfactant widely used in mild shampoos for oily or normal to oily hair.  It is a mild anionic (meaning the active molecule bears a negative electric charge).  The ammonium salt from lauryl sulfate comes from alcohols occurring naturally in coconut.

AMMONIUM PERSULFATE

An agent that has a bleaching effect in some skin care and hair products.  Used in disinfectants and deodorants as well.

AMP (Amino-Ethyl Propanol)

A PH adjuster which is organic.  It is used to optimize the performance of styling products.

AMPHOTERIC

A non-irritating substance used in shampoos which allows oil and water to mix easily (also known as a surfactant).  It is mild enough for hair that is chemically treated and leaves hair manageable.

AMPHOTERIC SURFACTANTS

Surfactants whose active molecules contain both positive and negative charges.  They may behave either like anionics (agents with negatively charged molecules) or cationics (agents with positively charged molecules), depending on the PH of the system.  Due to their mild nature and light conditioning properties, some of the finest amphoterics are used in shampoo systems created for chemically treated or dry hair.

AMPLIFIER

Usually an oil or lotion, a product designed to spread over the skin’s surface to increase UV light absorption.

ANAEROBIC

Living without oxygen; an organism that grows and exists without oxygen.

ANAGEN

The active growing phase of the hair growth cycle, as opposed to the resting phase of hair growth (the telogen phase).  The anagen phase is the portion of the hair cycle when hair synthesis takes place; the early phase.

ANALGESIC

A pain reliever.  There are two types ( narcotic and non-narcotic) which both occur naturally in plants.  Although they do occur naturally, the majority of analgesics are now made synthetically.

ANAPHORESIS

The use of a galvanic current machine to force liquids (i.e. water based skin care products) into the skin.  This can be done from either the negative or positive pole of the machine.

ANATIDE

Protection of hair against moisture loss by a film-forming molecule.

ANATOMY

The science of studying the structure and shape of organisms.

ANDROGEN

A hormone, one function of which is to increase sebum production by rousing the sebaceous gland.  Androgen is responsible for initiating and overseeing the development of male traits.

ANGELICA

An herb used to treat a cough, bronchitis, or pleurisy by acting as an expectorant (helping to loosen mucous in the throat and lungs).  It is used for this especially when fever, cold, or influenza is also present.  In addition, it may be used to reduce rheumatic inflammation and stimulate appetite in cases of anorexia.

ANIONIC SURFACTANTS

Surfactants that have a negative electric charge.  These are normally used as cleansing agents in mild shampoos for oily or normal to oily hair.

ANISE

An oil in aniseed which is volatile (possesses significant vapor pressure) and is used to treat intestinal colic and stomach upset as well as flatulence. It contains expectorant (helping to loosen mucous in the throat and lungs) and anti-spasmodic (easing/stopping muscle spasms) qualities.   Because of this, it is sometimes used to treat bronchitis and whooping cough.  Its middle estrogen effects probably explain its use in folk medicine to increase libido, stimulate milk production, and facilitate childbirth.

ANISE SEED

Licorice-scented, aromatic seeds used in hair rinses and/or facial saunas.  They are thought to open and medicate the pores.

ANNATTO EXTRACT

A vegetable coloring (food grade dye) that has yellowish-orange hues. It comes from the surrounding flesh of a seed to the bixa orellana shrub.  The shrub is native to South America.

ANODYNE

A soothing agent that provides pain relief.  Also see analgesic.

ANTACID

A substance used to neutralize excess stomach acid and relieve discomfort.

ANTHOTHERAPY

Treatments received in dry or humid caves in temperatures dictated by the environment.

ANTIAGING

Substances and behavior aimed at preventing premature skin aging brought about by environmental and nutritional factors.

ANTIBACTERIAL

Substances used to fight against infection and kill bacteria.

ANTIBIOTIC

Used to treat acne in cosmetics, an antibiotic is a substance that attacks microorganisms, inhibiting their growth and eliminating them.

ANTIBODY

A molecule circulating in the bloodstream for the purpose of neutralizing antigens (harmful immune system invaders) in the body.  It is a type of protein produced by B cells.

ANTICARCINOGEN

An agent that prevents carcinomas from forming in the body or on the skin.  It also contains substances that can heal skin cancers or halt their progression.

ANTICELLULITE

An agent that combats or reverses bacterial infection of skin tissues.  In addition, it may contain substances that prevent bacterial skin infections by strengthening or restoring the skin’s natural barrier.

ANTIDANDRUFF

An agent that controls the formation of dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis).  It also may ease the dry scales and itching associated with this condition.

ANTIFUNGAL

An agent that attacks fungal infections and reduces their growth.

ANTIGEN

An immune system attacker.  Its presence can trigger the immune system to produce antibodies in defense.

ANTI-INFECTIVE

Something that diminishes the growth of bacteria.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

A property or substance used to soothe and prevent irritation in the skin or reduce toxins in cosmetic ingredients.

ANTI-IRRITANT

A property or substance used for soothing skin that is inflamed.

ANTIMICROBIAL

An agent that helps preserve food and cosmetics and prevents microorganisms from invading healthy tissues.

ANTIOXIDANTS

Vitamins or substances that hinder the oxidation process or spoilage hastened by oxygen and/or peroxide.  Antioxidants help protect skin from free radical damage caused by the environment, just like vitamin E and beta carotene.

ANTIPERSPIRANT

A product, usually containing aluminum salt, used to prevent body odor and perspiration.

ANTIPROTOZOAL

An agent that destroys one of the simplest animal organisms, protozoa.

ANTIPRURITIC

A substance used to stop itching.

ANTIPYRETIC

A substance used to reduce fever.

ANTISEBORRHEIC

A substance used to control excessive secretion of sebum, reducing facial oil and greasy scalp, a condition most common in adolescents.

ANTISEPTIC

A substance that halts bacterial growth and prevents the spread of microorganisms.

ANTISPASMODIC

A substance that stops or improves muscle spasms.

ANTIWRINKLE

Any cosmetic that improves or prevents the appearance of premature wrinkles on the skin, especially the face.

APPLE JUICE AND PECTIN

Agents used to clarify and emulsify in shampoo products.  Clarifying removes buildup in the hair of chemicals or other products, and emulsifying thickens the shampoo.

APRICOT

A fruit product used to soften and tone skin while adding sheen, without an oily film.

APRICOT KERNEL OIL

Used as an emollient to sooth and soften skin and reduce inflammation.  It is similar to almond oil and used in lotions and creams.  Facial scrubs and masks may contain the ground-up seeds.

APOCRINE SWEAT GLAND

The gland that produces body odor.  These types of glands are primarily in the armpits and anogenital area.

ARACHIDONIC ACID

A fatty acid which is unsaturated.

ARACHIDYL PROPIONATE

Obtained from coal and limestone, this substance is both a moisture-retaining humectant and a skin softener.

ARBUTIN

An agent comprised of glucose and hydroquinone.  Extracted from bearberry plants, it has natural skin lightening properties.

ARGININE (NON-ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID)

This type of amino acid is critical in achieving optimal growth of muscles and tissue repair.  In studies, it has improved immune system function in its responses to bacteria, viruses and tumor cells.  It has also been shown to promote wound healing and to cause the release of growth hormones.

ARNICA

A stimulant used to increase circulation.  Apply only to unbroken skin.

ARNICA EXTRACT

An herb used to treat skin ailments and for its astringent (oil removing) properties.  It has also been used to treat sprains and bruises externally.  It is considered soothing and anti-inflammatory.

AROMATHERAPY

The use of scents and aromas (floral and herbal extracts) along with essential oils to impact one’s mood and behavior.  Aromatherapy ingredients are considered calming, soothing, invigorating or stimulating.

AROMATIC

Herbs with a strong, yet pleasant odor.  They are thought to contribute to a sense of well being , peace or comfort.

ARROWROOT

A high starch powder which is very fine in texture.  Sometimes found as a body powder (in place of talc) or as a paste in skin applications (to aid in drying out pimples).

ASCORBIC ACID

Naturally occurring vitamin C found in fruits and green vegetables.  It is needed for normal metabolism, repairing tissue, and healing wounds.  It is frequently used as an antioxidant on the skin to prevent damage from free radicals, in addition to being used as a preservative.

ASCORBYL PALMITATE VITAMIN C

Another name for naturally  occurring vitamin C.  It is a fat soluble form.  Also refer to ascorbic acid.

ASTRAGALUS

According to some herbalists, astragalus is the ideal remedy for any immunocompromised person (from the frequent cold catcher to the cancer stricken).  Traditionally, this substance has been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine.  Astragalus contains polysaccharides, which contribute to the digestion of cellular particles and microorganisms, enhance activity of the pituitary adrenocortical system, and assist in the restoration of depleted red blood cell formation in bone marrow.

ASTRINGENT

A solution used to treat oily skin.  Usually applied after washing the face to remove remaining traces of cleanser.  It is formulated to dry and shrink outer layers of skin by reducing the skin’s water and oil content.

ATOMIZER

A device used to spray water (which has been broken down into a fine mist) onto the body.

ATOPIC DERMATITIS

A disease of the skin marked by severe itching.  See also dermatitis.

ATROPHY

A condition in which the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin begin to thin.  It may be caused by the use of topical corticosteroids.

AUTONOMIC

Involuntary; under the control of the autonomic nervous system.

AVOBENZONE

Approved by the FDA in 1998, this break-through sunscreen technology blocks UVA I, UVA II, and UVB wavelengths.  Before this, most sunscreens did not block the rays responsible for skin damage and wrinkles very well, the UVA I rays.

AVOCADO OIL

The oil from the seed and pulp of an avocado.  This oil is conditioning and nourishing on dry skin and hair and is used in skin products as creams and lotions as well as hair products.  It significantly increases the water-soluble collagen content in the skin layer known as the dermis.  The oil also contains protein, some amino acids, and the A,D, and E vitamins.  Avocado Oil is sometimes called the Alligator Pear.

AWAPUHI

A natural additive, awapuhi is an actiphyte of the Hawaiian white ginger root.

AYURVEDA

Originating in India 5,000 years ago, Ayurveda is a natural healing method.  It can include meditation, yoga, herbal treatments, nutritional foods, and massage therapy. In addition, it is a general philosophy which strives to achieve balance and harmony in one’s life.

AZULENE

Derived from German chamomile, azulene is a soothing agent with the ability to reduce inflammation.

BACK BAR

A back bar is a larger sized spa and/or skin care product used by a therapist during treatment (the smaller sized bars or products are for clients).  Because it is not sold to clients it is not subject to the same FDA labeling requirements as the smaller sized retail products.

BACTERIA

Disease causing single cell microorganisms in a group.  They can produce poisons that damage human cells.  Normal, healthy skin has substances that form a natural barrier to keep bacteria away from living tissue.  Certain cosmetic products or materials that are synthetic can break down the protective barrier.

BAKING SODA

A powder-like substance used to soften and smooth skin as well as reduce itching, combat body odor and soften bath water.

BALM MINT EXTRACT

Extracted from the leaves and flowers of the Balm Mint plant (Melissa Officinalis), it is used for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.  It also is calming and soothing to the skin and contains a balsamic essential oil that produces antibacterial ozone.

BALNEOTHERAPY

Restoring and revitalizing the body through the  ancient use of waters.  The treatment is used to treat stress, reduce pain, strengthen the immune system and improve circulation.

BANANA OIL

Sometimes used for its ability to dissolve other substances in cosmetic products.

BARBERRY

Repairs the liver, increases appetite, aids in digestion and assimilation.  Not to be used during pregnancy because it can slow down the heartbeat and respiratory system.  May also constrict the bronchial tubes.

BARBICIDE

A salon disinfectant used to sanitize beauty instruments.

BARLEY ORGANIC

Used as a healing facial mask or skin cleanser.  Often added to bath products to alleviate skin pains and body aches.

BARRIER FUNCTION

The skin’s ability to keep microorganisms and damaging chemicals from penetrating the outer layer and entering the circulatory system.  The skin also acts as a barrier by reducing water loss.

BASALT

An igneous rock formed from solidified molten magma.  Magma cools quickly on the earth’s surface, leaving the rock with a smooth texture and microscopic crystals.  Basalt is a superb rock for stone massage because it holds heat better than many other rock types.

BASE

A foundation of skin-colored makeup applied to the face and neck to smooth the surface and even out the tone.   It acts as a base coat for other makeup and is available in powder, cake, stick, liquid and cream.

BASECOAT

A nail polish which is clear and usually thick, to be applied before nail color.  The clear smooth coat acts as a primer for the nail color, making the color adhere to the nail better.  The basecoat also helps prevent fingernails from becoming stained and extends the life of the nail color.

BASEMENT MEMBRANE ZONE

The point where the epidermis and the dermis skin layers intersect.  It’s comprised of over 50 different proteins and glycoproteins.  They act as a glue to bind the two layers of skin together.

BASIL OIL

An oil used to calm inflamed and swollen skin.  Can be used as a tea to treat vomiting with excellent results.

BAYBERRY

Bayberry is used for improving circulation and helping to tone the skin.  It has also been indicated to treat colds, acute febrile conditions, leucorrhoea, atonic vaginitis, prolapsed uterus, and nasal polypi.

BEARBERRY EXTRACT

This extract is derived from the arctostaphylos uva-ursi plant and has a natural skin bleaching agent (hydroquinone sugar complex) that is more stable than the synthetic form.  It fades skin discolorations by interrupting melanin synthesis.

BEESWAX

A cosmetic ingredient that has long been used to thicken, emulsify and stiffen in ointments, cold creams, lotions and lipsticks. It is now gaining popularity as a hair removing wax.

BEET EXTRACT

This is an extract that is used for its deep reddish color.

BENTONITE

Known also as “china clay” and Kaolin, this is a clay used to absorb excess facial oil when applied as a mask.  If used too often it can dry out the skin and even clog pores.

BENZOPHENONE-3

A sunscreen active in UV-B and UV-A spectrums.  It is organic and is usually used in conjunction with another sunscreen to obtain an SPF above 8.

BENZOTHONIUM CHLORIDE

A derivative of salt used as an antiseptic (inhibiting the growth of bacteria) and a germicide (inhibiting the growth of germs).

BENZOYL PEROXIDE

A drying, peeling chemical that releases oxygen and acts as an antibacterial on the skin.  For acne lesions it is the preferred topical treatment.  The oxygen that is released plays an important role in fighting the anaerobic bacteria that resides in the acne affected follicles.  The drying and peeling effects of the peroxide treat the acne pustules (which are puss-filled) and open up the comedones (the non-inflammatory lesions such as black heads and white heads).

BERGAMOT

An antiseptic and antibacterial type substance extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange.  It hinders bacterial growth and is known for its ability to tone and deodorize.

BETA CAROTENE

This is essentially Vitamin A, also known as retinol.  It is an antioxidant and helps protect the skin from free radicals when applied topically.  Beta carotene can also be defined as  orange colored plant pigments used to manufacture Vitamin A.

BETA GLUCAN

A newly derived yeast extract that penetrates the epidermis layer of the skin and enhances immune system performance.  It works in conjunction with mannoprotein, a type of sugar protein.

BETA HYDROXY

An agent used for its exfoliating properties.  It has a smaller sized molecule than alpha hydroxy.  See also beta hydroxy acid.

BETA HYDROXY ACID

Beta hydroxy acid or, simply, beta hydroxy, is an agent which is molecularly smaller than alpha hydroxy and is used for the removal of dead skin cell layers (exfoliation).  It also plumps up skin like the AHAs, making fine wrinkles less noticeable.  It is good for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin but may cause sensitivity to the sun.

BIOECOLIA

A complex made up of natural sugar that acts as a bacterial growth inhibitor.

BIOFLAVONOIDS

Usually derived from fruit rinds and citrus, these are the components of Vitamin P (Hesperidin, Rutin and Quercetin).  They increase blood vessel strength, regulating the vessels’ permeability.  They help Vitamin C in retaining collagen (the “cement” among healthy cells), and are needed to properly absorb vitamin C, while preventing it from oxidizing within the body.  Bioflavonoids are also used to treat hypertension as well as hemorrhages and ruptures in the capillaries and connective tissues.  Overall, they provide a protective barrier against infection.  Quercetin is a highly concentrated bioflavonoid derived from citrus fruit.  Any bioflavonoid deficiency can result in purplish spots on the skin, varicose veins, or the tendency to easily bleed and bruise.

BIOMIN AQUACINQUE

Magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and silicon (with a yeast additive) mixed together in an aqueous solution to form a skincare product.

BIOPSY

Removal of body tissue for the purpose of studying it and making a diagnosis.

BIOSACCHARIDE COMPLEX

A complex carbohydrate that is used as an antibacterial skin agent and to combat bacterial odors that are produced by the tanning process.

BIOTIN

Also known as vitamin H, biotin is found in all living cells and is part of the vitamin B complex.  It is involved in the conversion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates into fuel for the body.

BIRCH BARK

Birch bark refreshes skin and has anti-inflammatory properties.  It is used by American Indians and is similar to a tonic.

BISABOLOL

Obtained from African trees, bisabolol is a myrrh-type gum resin that acts as an anti-microbial agent, reducing inflamed, sensitive tissues.

BISMUTH CITRATE

Hair dyes. They are only appropriate for use on the scalp.

BISMUTH OXYCHLORIDE

A type of powder sometimes used in cosmetics for the eye area; it creates a shimmery effect.

BITTER

A sharp tasting plant that increases the appetite and aids in digestion.

BLACK COHOSH

A powerful acting herb used to relax and normalize the female reproductive system.  Also used to alleviate menstrual pain, ovarian or womb cramps and to counteract delayed menstruation.  It is a natural source of estrogen.  It also is known to help treat rheumatic pain, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, as well as muscular and neurological pain.

BLACK HAW

Used to treat menstrual pains, pain associated with false labor, and high blood pressure as with hypertension, black haw is a powerful relaxant and sedative.  In addition, it is helpful as an anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory, acting like a tonic or astringent.  Other ailments it combats are asthma, diarrhea, dysentery, jaundice, heart palpitations, and female reproductive disorders.

BLACKHEADS

A skin condition in which the skin’s pores become clogged by impurities and natural oils.  A blackhead is known as an open comedone and can be classified as a mixture of dead skin cells and oxygen exposed bacteria.

BLACK WALNUT

The black walnut bark has been used to expel and destroy different types of worms, including tapeworms and ringworms.  It is widely used by Asians and American Indians.

BLADDERWRACK

Useful in treating goiter and under active thyroid glands.  It is an herb that may also reduce excess weight gain associated with thyroid issues.

BLEPHARITIS

A condition in which the eyelids become inflamed.

BLESSED THISTLE

An herb that enriches and increases the milk in lactating women.  If is used to increase the activity in the stomach, small intestine, and also the liver.

BLOODROOT

Used primarily in the treatment of bronchitis.  It is an emetic, expectorant and relaxant.  Due to its properties as a relaxant it is useful in the treatment of asthma, croup, laryngitis, emphysema and bronchiectasis ( a widening and destruction of the airways).

BLOTTING

The process of removing excess oil/moisture from applied lipstick or other creamy makeup.  This helps “set” the product so it will last longer.

BLUE COHOSH

A uterine tonic similar to black cohosh.  It is said to be a stimulating relaxant which is gentle and diffusive.  It works well as a uterine vasodilator and an anti-spasmodic treating all irritable and spastic conditions.  See black cohosh for more information.

BLUE FLAG

Blue Flag works through the liver (the primary organ of the body for detoxification) to aid the skin and is used to treat skin diseases. It can be helpful in cases such as eczema and psoriasis.  It is also used for constipation due to liver problems, chronic hepatitis, herpes, rheumatic issues, and scrofulous skin conditions.

BLUE VERVAIN

A medicine used in spasmodic nervous disorders.  Other uses include types of petit mal epilepsy (particularly when associated with menses), PMS irritability/anxiety, and general irritability from flu and fevers.

BOAR BRISTLE

A bristle used to make natural bristle brushes.

BODY

The amount of bounce or volume in hair.

BODY POLISH

Using salt, sugar, ground nuts, pumice and/or other grainy substances to exfoliate the skin.  Usually formulated in a emollient base, the product revitalizes and polishes the skin in one step.

BODY SCRUB

Using a dry brush and/or ingredients like salt, oatmeal, almond paste, pumice, algae or gels to scrub the skin, exfoliating it (sloughing away the dead skin cells).

BOIS DE ROSE OIL

Used for numerous skin conditions including dryness, puffiness, irritation and congestion, bois de rose oil is an extract that comes from the rosewood tree.

BONESET

Used to fight the symptoms of influenza.  It is sometimes used to rid the upper respiratory tract of congestive mucus.

BORAGE

An herb used as an emollient to soothe and cool the skin.

BORAX

Used mainly as a water softener, though it also has weak antiseptic properties.

BORIC ACID

An acid which is inorganic and acts as a preservative and mild antiseptic.

BOTANICAL

Organic ingredients/products which are derived directly from plants.

BOTOX

A product used in minute amounts to temporarily paralyze muscles, thus reducing or eradicating frown lines and wrinkles harmlessly.  BOTOX is a trade name and stands for OnabotulinumtoxinA.

BRASSY

Referring to warm tones in hair color which many times result from hair damage by chemicals.

BROAD-SPECTRUM

A characteristic of some sunscreens indicating protection against a wide variety of rays (both UVA and UVB).

BROMELAIN

An enzyme from the pineapple plant that digests proteins (proteolytic enzyme).  On the surface of the skin it hydrolyzes proteins and digests dead skin cells.

BRONZERS

Synthetic preparations found in creams/powders but, unlike self-tanners, they are not water-soluble.  They can be removed easily with soap and water since they do not contain Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) found in self-tanners.  Their purpose is to give the skin a tanned looked by making it appear darker.

BROSSAGE

The use of salicylic salt and brushes to produce a fine skin texture by polishing the body.

BRUSHING MACHINE

A machine comprised of brushes rotating at different speeds.  It rids the skin of grime and dead skin cells that cling to its surface.

BUCHU

Used to help reduce pain during urination, buchu has both a diuretic effect and urinary antiseptic action.

BUFFER

A cleansing solution that is PH balanced and used to lengthen the shelf life of a product by stabilizing its PH levels.  This also makes is gentler on the complexion and improves the skin by making it look and feel more supple and shiny.  A buffer is a term also used to describe a very fine-grit manicure tool used to polish the nail surface.

BUGLEWEED

Bugleweed is used widely as a diuretic, peripheral vasoconstrictor, astringent, tonic, nervine, antitussive, sedative and mild narcotic.  It also helps the vascular system by improving circulation and fights symptoms of nervousness or nervous disorders.  Other treatments it is used for include calming an overactive thyroid, and quelling heart palpitations.

BULLA

A clear fluid filled blister with a diameter of greater than 5 millimeters.

BURDOCK

A root extract known to be an alternative, a diuretic and a bitter.  It is an antibacterial used in the treatment of skin conditions such as rashes, redness, acne, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.  It shrinks inflamed tissue and is also used to treat boils, carbuncles, styes and other sores.

BURDOCK EXTRACT

A root extract (see burdock).  In the bath or in facial saunas it acts as a cleanser and astringent.

BUTCHER’S BROOM

A botanical extract that treats inflammation.  It is used to improve circulation and counteract facial redness. It is thought to narrow blood vessels and is used to treat circulatory disorders.  Another use is treating hemorrhoid related bleeding, itching, soreness and swelling.  It is used also to help varicose veins, varicose ulcers and surface veins.  Butcher’s broom is regarded as having anti-cellulite effects.

BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE (BHT)

An antioxidant used to preserve oils and keep them from turning rancid.

BUTYLENE GLYCO

An organic humectant similar to propylene glycol which promotes moisture retention in the skin and is used as a solvent to dilute products.

BUTYLPARABEN

A synthetic preservative in the paraben family.  It is used in products that are non-protein based and it is oil-soluble.

C12-15 ALCOHOLS BENZOATE

The ester produced by C12-15 and benzolic acid alcohols.  It softens and smoothes the skin making it feel silky and dry, similar to an emollient.

CACTUS GRANDIFLORUS

Used in treating nervous conditions resulting from the use of stimulants such as tobacco or coffee.  Treats nervous tachycardia, palpitations, irregular or weak pulse, and shortness of breath after mild exertion.

CAJEPUT OIL

An extract from the melaleuca leucadendron plant with pain relieving and antiseptic properties.

CALAMUS

A root chewed by Native Americans to increase stamina and endurance during distance running.  The calamus root is attributed with antiarrythmic, hypotensive, vasodilatory, antitussive, antibacterial, and expectorant properties by the Chinese.  It has also been used to increase mental focus, cure stomach ailments (including neutralizing acidity) and as a technique to stop using tobacco.  Added to the bath, it induces a tranquil state and calms the nerves.  Tincture of calamus is applied directly to lice and scabies infestations as a parasitic.  Avoid use during pregnancy.

CALENDULA

A healing and soothing emollient with antiseptic qualities used to treat dry skin.  See also calendula extract.

CALENDULA EXTRACT

An extract from the dried flowers of golden marigolds used to relieve skin and mucous membrane inflammation.  In herbology, it is used to fade body scars, treat chapped skin and repair broken capillaries.  An excellent cure for skin sores, abrasions, and red eyes.  It is used in skin products for sensitive skin, fresheners, and soothing creams.  Occasionally used in deodorants.  In medical literature, adverse skin reactions have been reported.

CALIFORNIA POPPY

A flower used by Native Americans for colic pain.  Also useful to treat colic of the gallbladder and as a hypnotic and/or sedative for spasmodic issues.

CALLUS

Excessive build up of skin usually on the feet or high friction areas of the body.  The callus is made up of several layers of hard, tough skin and can be removed either at home or by an esthetician.

CAMELLIA EXTRACT

Used as an additive in products for its fragrance, this ingredient is extracted from a tropical evergreen shrub.

CAMPHOR

An antiseptic extract which firms, tones and cools the skin.  It is used in toners, lip balms, aftershaves and after sun products for its antiseptic, stimulatory and anti-inflammatory attributes.

CANDELA WAX

Often used in lipsticks, this ingredient binds oils and waxes together to create body in a formula.

CANDELILLA WAX

Often used in blush and lipstick, candelilla wax binds oils and waxes together, creating body in a formula.

CANDIDA ALBICANS

A fungus that is yeast like and causes a yeast infection (candidiasis).

CANDIDIASIS

A yeast infection caused by the fungus candida albicans.

CAPILLARY

The body’s smallest type of blood vessel.  Commonly found on the face and legs, spider veins are actually tiny capillaries.

CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE

An ester derived from coconut oil used as an emollient due to its fine lubricating properties.

CAPSICUM

A flowering plant used in preventing skin blemishes.

CARAMEL

In cosmetics, caramel is used as a coloring agent; in lotions, it is used as a soothing agent.

CARAWAY SEED

Used aromatically in facial steams and to reduce inflammation and heal bruises in poultices.

CARBOMER

A gelling agent, similar to a wax used to thicken products or formulas.

CARBOMER 940/941/934

An organic form of a gelling agent.  See also carbomer.

CARBOPOL

A type of agent used in thickening.

CARBOXYLATE

A salt or ester known as magnesium aspirate.

CARBOXALINE

Refer to carboxylate for the definition; magnesium aspirate.

CARCINOGEN

Any cancer causing or promoting agent, whether physical or chemical.

CARMINATIVE

A gas pain alleviator.

CARNAUBA WAX

An extract from the Brazilian wax palm tree leaves.  It is used as an emollient to moisturize and protect skin.

CARRAGEENAN

A gelatinous agent used as a natural thickener.

CARROT OIL

This oil is rich in vitamin A.  Used primarily for fragrance and color in cosmetics.  Great on sensitive skin.  It is known to stimulate skin elasticity and improve tone.

CASCARA SAGRADA

Used to treat chronic constipation because it tones relaxed muscles of the digestive tract and encourages persitalsis.

CASTOR OIL

Derived from the seeds of the castor bean plant.  Used in creams, lotions, ointments, hair pomades, concealers and lipstick.  It has soothing, emollient properties acting like a humectant.   It is also used to increase lather in handmade soaps.

CATIONIC

Having a positive electrical charge.  Detergents that are cationic are frequently used in shampoos to reduce electricity and leave the hair manageable.

CATIONIC SURFACTANTS

A surfactant which possess a positive electrical charge.  They are used in conditioners, moisturizing treatments and packs.  They usually contain strong conditioning abilities.  Cationics in general are also known to be germicides (substances with antimicrobial properties).

CATNIP

Traditionally a remedy for the cold and flu.  It is a diaphoretic and helps any condition with fever, particularly acute bronchitis.  Also beneficial as a gas reliever and for the treatment of diarrhea in children.  It contains anti-spasmodic properties and eases stomach upset, dyspepsia, colic and flatulence.

CAYENNE

A general tonic used for the circulatory and digestive systems.  It stimulates the flow of blood, strengthening the heart, arteries, capillaries and nerves.  It is sometimes used to alleviate flatulence, dyspepsia and colic and may be used to combat the common cold.

CEDARWOOD OIL

An extract from the juniperus virginiana plant.  This oil encourages oxygenation for sallow, sluggish skin and enhances blood circulation.  It has antiseptic properties, functioning to revitalize and stimulate.

CELANDINE

The herb chelidonium majus, used to prevent gallstones and to rejuvenate stagnant livers accompanied by flank pain.  Also used along the same lines to increase bile production deficiency (characterized by clay or gray colored stools).

CELERY SEED

Used as an antiseptic for the urinary tract.  Other uses include treating rheumatism, arthritis and gout.

CELLULITE

Fatty deposits (and other materials) trapped in pockets underneath the skin.

CERAMIDES

Natural lipid substances in the skin that form a protective barrier to prevent moisture loss. These lipids are gradually depleted as part of the aging process.  Ceramides added to skin products can improve skin moisture and suppleness.  Although they are natural, they can be produced synthetically.

CERTIFIED COLORS

Colors used in cosmetics, foods and drugs, which are approved as safe for use by the FDA.

CETEARETH-5

A skin softener and smoother (emollient) and a thickening, binding agent (emulsifier).

CETEARETH-20

An emulsifier (binding, thickening agent) that is derived from cetearyl alcohol and used with the parent alcohol (or other fatty alcohols).

CETEARYL ALCOHOL

Derived from coconut oil, this is a mixture of fatty alcohols primarily containing cetyl and stearyl alcohols.  Used as an emulsion stabilizer, to thicken, as well as an emollient.

CETETH-2

A water-soluble agent used to soften and smooth skin (an emollient), as well as to condition and thicken (emulsify).  It is a derivative of cetyl alcohol and is a polyethylene glycol.

CETETH-20

Similar to CETETH-2 (see ceteth-2), it is a polyethylene glycol, derived from cetyl alcohol.  Also water-soluable and used to soften, smooth, condition and emulsify.

CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE

A conditioning agent possessing a positive electrical charge (cationic) that is also an antiseptic.  It adds shine,  but is rarely used in cosmetics because it is expensive.

CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE

A more water soluble (quaternary) conditioning agent similar to cetrimonium bromide.

CETYL ALCOHOL

A fatty alcohol that gently retains skin moisture, boosts lather and emulsifies (binds and thickens).  It is used to soften and smooth the cuticle in hair products.

CETYLDIMONIUM CHLORIDE

Often used to condition, this agent is compatible with other agents that allow oil and water to mix (surfactants) and is frequently used in shampoos.

CHAKRAS

The seven major centers of psychic energy located up and down the spinal column, as believed in Kundalini Yoga.  These centers are responsible for the condition of the mind, body and spirit.

CHAMOMILE

An anti-inflammatory extracted from the white and yellow heads of a daisy like plant.  Its anti-inflammatory effects have been clinically proven and it is reputed to decrease swelling and pain in the skin and mucous membranes.  It is widely used for its essential oil (azulene) in professional skin care products.  It has a calming effect on allergic reactions and eczema.  It enhances the color of many hair products.  It also acts as an emollient to soothe skin and has antioxidant properties.

CHAMOMILE EXTRACT

The extract from the chamomile flower; see chamomile.

CHAPARRAL

An herb used in the treatment of skin cancer.  When used as a mouth rinse, studies have shown it can reduce the bacterial and/or viral damage to teeth.

CHARMEUSE

A type of fabric that is a fine crepe, semi-lustrous and satin-like in nature.

CHASTEBERRY

The berry from the chaste tree.  Refer to chaste tree.

CHASTE TREE

A tree whose berry has been used to regulate pituitary gland functions, especially the function pertaining to progesterone.  Its greatest use is in the normalization of female sex hormones and it is thus recommended for dysmenorrheal, PMS, and other hormone related disorders.  It can be especially beneficial during menopause.  It is also sometimes used to help the body return to normal after using birth control pills.

CHEILITIS

A condition marked by peeling lips accompanied by inflammation.

CHELATE

Chemical compounds capable of binding heavy metal salts, making them insoluble in water.

CHELATING

The process of deep cleaning hair that lightly strips it before undergoing chemical hair treatments.  This process is also called clarifying.

CHEMICAL

Alteration of the molecular structure of an element or the combination of two or more elements resulting in the formation of a new substance.

CHEMICAL BATH

Salt baths that aid in treating fractures, dislocations and other illnesses.  Can be natural or artificial.  Tubes directed into the bath along the bottom of the tub deliver oxygen and have a soothing effect that helps hypertension, cardiac disease and insomnia.  Carbon dioxide baths are intended to help slow the heart rate and regulate blood pressure.  Different water temperatures and soaking times are recommended depending on the specific chemicals used.

CHEMICAL PEEL

The procedure of applying a product to the skin for removal of damaged/dead cells of the epidermis.  This improves skin texture and decreases wrinkles and fine lines.  The procedure is not intended to remove living tissue, only damaged or dead tissue from the stratum corneum (the skin’s surface), so the term “peel” is a bit misleading.  Procedures with high concentrations of exfoliating chemicals penetrate much deeper and are intended only for use by a dermatologist.

CHICKWEED

An herb that is high in Vitamin C and is used  for the treatment of acne, boils, obesity (by dissolving fat), and skin problems.  It is also good for controlling bleeding, removing lung mucus, and reducing bowel and stomach inflammation.  It is sometimes used as a poultice to treat sores and rashes.

CHINESE SCHIZANDRA BERRY

An adaptogenic agent (like ginseng) that boosts overall health and fights lethargy.  The plant contains a type of carbohydrate known as lignans, and compounds with antioxidant properties to fight free radicals.  Its antioxidant power may be greater than both Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

CHLOROPHYLL

The substance that creates the green coloring in plants.  It is known for its natural ability to cleanse and moisturize.

CHLOROXYLENOL

A water-soluble crystalline, this  substance is considered to be an antiseptic.  It is used as a germicide and fungicide.

CHOLESTEROL

Manufactured by the liver, this lipoid is commonly located in skin, fatty and brain tissues.  Together with sebum and water, it forms a protective, lubricating cream over the skin.

CHOLESTEROL ESCIN COMPLEX

Generally regarded as helping to shrink and detoxify fat cells.

CHRONIC

A condition or disease that comes on gradually, persists for a long period, and frequently recurs; the opposite of acute.

CINNAMON BARK

A natural astringent that soaks up excess oil on the scalp and/or skin.

CITRIC ACID

Also known as Vitamin C.  It is derived from citrus fruit and commonly used in skincare and hair products.  It is also used as an ingredient in many post permanent treatments to neutralize any odor.  It has astringent and antioxidant qualities and is used as a preservative and stabilizer.

CITRONELLA OIL

An oil used widely as an antiseptic in deodorizers and soaps.  It is used as an insect repellant as well.

CLARIFYING

A toner or solution used to restore or maintain correct skin PH levels.  Most effective when used immediately after cleansing.

CLARIFYING SHAMPOO

A shampoo with a slighter higher PH (more alkaline) than regular shampoo.  It is used to rid the hair of excess chemicals or other product build-up.

CLAUSTROPHOBIA

A fear of enclosed, narrow spaces.  A client may experience claustrophobia during a body wrap so the therapist should always be close by to remove the wrap quickly.

CLAY (KAOLIN)

Another name for this fine, mineral-rich powder is China Clay.  It helps to draw out oils from pores while eliminating dirt and dead cells from the skin.  Also see bentonite.

CLEANSING CREAMS

Creams containing little or no detergent or soap.  They are generally oil-based and are meant to be applied and wiped off (not rinsed).

CLEAVERS

Tonics that aid the lymphatic system with diuretic and alternative actions.  It alleviates swollen glands, tonsillitis and adenoid problems.  Cleavers also treat psoriasis, ulcers, and tumors, and help cystitis and other urinary conditions.

CLINDAMYCIN

An antibiotic.  It is frequently prescribed topically in the treatment of acne.  A word of caution: it has been know to provoke severe colitis.

CLOVE

An herb that increases circulation, aids in digestion, raises body temperature and promotes nutrition.  It also stimulates the excretory organs, disinfection of the kidneys, skin, liver and mucous membranes of the bronchial tubes.

CLOVE BUD OIL

A naturally occurring essential oil made from clove buds (syzygium aromaticum) that is added to skin care products to create a sweet, spicy smell.

CLOVE OIL

An extract from the eugenia caryophyllata plant, this oil is used as an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory in lotions and creams.

CLOVER BLOSSOM

Used as a treatment to improve acne.

COAL TAR COLORS

A class of colors derived from coal tars; today, most colors are derived from petrochemicals, not coal tar.

COCAMIDE DEA

A thickener and foam stabilizer in shampoo that is derived from the fatty acids of coconuts.  It cleans and lathers the skin and hair.  It also aids in removing fatty soils.

COCAMIDE MEA

Cocamide MEA is a monoamide, in contrast to cocamide DEA (see definition under Cocamide DEA), which is a diamide.

COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE

This derivative of coconut fatty acids is known to act as a mild conditioner.  It is an agent whose active molecule bears both positive and negative charges (an amphoteric surfactant).  It is used as a cleanser and added to both shampoos and conditioners.

COCOA BUTTER

Used mainly as a thickener, it is a common ingredient in emollient creams, soaps and lipsticks.  It absorbs into the skin easily and gives it a sheen.

COCO BETAINE

See the definition for cocamidopropyl betaine.

COCONUT OIL

Good cleansing properties and surfactant qualities characterize this oil derived from coconuts.  It is used in soaps as an emollient and in hair care products to enhance shine.

COLD PLUNGE

The act of plunging into deep, cold, pool water to cause rapid contraction of the capillaries. It is said to stimulate circulation after a sauna.

COLIC

Intestinal or stomach upset/spasms.

COLITIS

Colon inflammation.

COLLAGEN

A natural substance found in body tissues.  Normal aging of the skin causes the collagen to become less flexible.  This, in turn, results in the loss of the natural ability to retain moisture in the skin’s connective tissues.  Cosmetically, collagen can be injected into skin to plump up targeted areas.

COLLINSONIA

A plant used to treat cases of hemorrhoids, varicose veins, benign prostatic hypertrophy, and chronic laryngitis.  Also used to help break down urinary calculi and alleviate diverticulosis, colitis and chronic heart problems.  The root, leaf and flower are all usable parts of the plant.

COLOGNE

A mixture of water, alcohol and fragrant oils.  Applied to the skin for fragrance.  Do not confuse with concentrated perfume.

COLONIC

A process of irrigation and cleansing the colon that supposedly helps to detoxify the body.

COLTSFOOT

An herb used as an emollient to soothe and soften the scalp in a healing fashion.

COMEDOGENIC

Having the ability to trigger non-inflammatory acne lesions (comedones). A substance or product that, when applied to the skin, increases the accumulation of dead cells in the follicles which contributes to the formation of acne.

COMEDOLYTIC

An agent that heals comedones and prevents their formation.

COMEDONE, OPEN

A type of non-inflammatory acne lesion known as a blackhead.

COMEDONE, CLOSED

A type of non-inflammatory acne lesion known as a whitehead.

COMEDONES

A class of acne lesions that are non-inflammatory.  There are three types: The microcomedo, the closed comedone, and the open comedone.  The microcomedo is an accumulation of coreocytes in the follicular canal and is clinically invisible.  The whitehead (or, closed comedone) comes from the microcomedo and resembles a white dot.  The blackhead (or, open comedone) resembles a dot with a dark top.

COMFREY

An emollient that contains highly effective humectants called mucopolysaccharides.  Comfrey also acts as an astringent and an anti-inflammatory.  It contains allantoin and has impressive wound healing abilities.  It is used externally to speed the healing of wounds and prevent formation of scar tissue.  It is effective in  treating gastric and duodenal ulcers, hiatus hernias and ulcerative colitis. Its astringent properties aid in stopping hemorrhages.

COMFREY EXTRACT

An extract from the citrullus colocynthis fruit.  A wonderful moisturizer and soother for the skin.  See the definition for Comfrey.

COMFREY ROOT

An extract rich in allantoin, a substance which has the ability to heal wounds and stimulate healthy tissue growth.  See the definition for Comfrey.

COMPRESS

A cloth that is applied externally after soaking in herbal tea.

CONCEALER

A makeup used to cover skin imperfections such as dark circles, redness or other irregularities.  It is usually opaque and comes in the form of liquid, cream, powder or waxy stick.

CONCOMITANT

Therapeutic regiments that use more than one agent simultaneously are usually described as being therapies that are concomitant.  Occurring or existing at the same time.

CONDITIONER

A product for the hair used after shampooing to detangle, smooth, and moisturize.

CONEFLOWER EXTRACT

An extract from the Native American plant, echinacea angustifolia.  Originally it was an antidote used for snakebites.  It has since been clinically shown to heal burns, soothe topical pain and display anti-inflammatory properties.

CONJUNCTIVA

The tissues that line the eye sockets.

CONJUNCTIVITIS

Inflammation, irritation, and redness of the white part of the eyeballs and lining of the eye sockets.

CONTAMINANT

An unwanted organism or substance (e.g. bacteria, yeast, mold, fungi, etc.) that has made its way into a product.

CONTRAST BATH

A bath that surrounds parts of the body with water at varying temperatures.  It is designed to help stimulate local circulation.  Normally, it is done with two large containers, each big enough to hold two legs.  One container is filled with hot, and one with cold water.  The client places their leg/s into the hot water for 4-6 minutes, then the cold water for 1-2 minutes.  This short treatment can be repeated by dipping back and forth five to ten times (description partly adapted from Spa Management magazine).

COOL

In makeup, hair, and skin, referring to undertones that are blue or violet based in color.

COPPER

An essential mineral that aids in the oxidization of Vitamin C.  It works together with this vitamin to form elastin.  Elastin is found in the skin and throughout the body as an important component of its muscle fibers.

COPPER PEPTIDES

Protein comprised of organic copper which can accelerate tanning.  The protein also nourishes and soothes the skin.

CORN COB MEAL

A finely milled powder made from corncobs that is used to remove dead skin cells (exfoliate) without scratching or drying out the skin.

CORNEOCYTES

Corneocytes are the cells that make up the thin outer layer of skin known as the epidermis.  They are full of fibrous protein called Keratin.  The thick layers of the epidermis on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are packed with corneocytes.  They are also abundant in the fingernails, toenails and hair.

CORNFLOWER EXTRACT

Extract from the flowers of the cornflower plant that are used as an anti-inflammatory.  Also used in toners, astringents, and creams for healing.  Note that in some people it can cause photosensitivity.

CORNMEAL

Used to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.  It is often found in soaps.  Look up the word corn in a fruits and vegetables dictionary.

CORN OIL

Used as an emollient to soften and smooth the skin.  It is rich in one of the three essential fatty acids called linoleic acid.  See also cornmeal.

CORN SILK

A diuretic that is soothing and protects the urinary tract by coating, soothing and reducing inflammation.

CORN STARCH

Used to soothe the skin and absorb excess water or moisture.

CORTEX

The layer of the hair shaft located in the middle, containing the hair’s pigment.

CORTISOL

Also known as hydrocortisone.  It is secreted by the cortex of the adrenal gland and is the main glucocorticosteroid.

CORTISONE

A glucocorticosteroid that relieves pain and reduces swelling and inflammation.

COSMECEUTICAL

In the cosmetic industry, cosmeceutical refers to beauty products that have drug like benefits.  It is important to note that this term is not recognized by the FDA and the FDA doesn’t approve cosmetics before they are sold.

COSMETICS

A general term for many different products used to promote beauty, attractiveness or cleanliness, or for the purpose of altering the physical appearance.

COUMARIN

A tonka bean extract which serves as the derivative for several anticoagulants.

CRAMP BARK

Used to counteract muscle tension and spasms as well as cramps associated with the uterus during menstruation. It is considered a relaxant for those purposes, while its astringent action treats excessive loss of blood during menstruation and menopause.

CREAM

A preparation used to impart the skin with moisture.  Creams are usually thicker and smoother than lotions.

CREAM RINSE

A mixture used to detangle hair and coat the hair shaft.  It is usually applied after shampooing and consists of a group of chemicals along with wax and thickeners.

CREATINE

Found in some bodybuilding supplements, creatine is a protein derivative that is located inside the muscle tissue.

CRENOTHERAPY

Any type of treatment that includes the use of mineral water, mud and vapor.

CRYOGEN

A liquid substance that produces extremely cold temperatures.

CRYOGENIC PRODUCT

When applied to an area of the body, the product cools that area.  Cryogenic products are used sometimes to treat cellulite or sore muscles due to their ability to stimulate circulation.

CRYOTHERAPY

Using or applying cold temperatures for therapeutic purposes.

CUCUMBER

A known astringent containing soothing properties, it is often an ingredient in facial creams, cleansers and lotions.  It is also used as an anti-inflammatory (e.g. placing slices of it over eyes that are puffy to reduce the swelling). Look up the word cucumber in a fruits and vegetables dictionary.

CUCUMBER EXTRACT

An extract that tightens the skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

CUCUMBER JUICE

A juice that soothes, tightens and binds moisture to the skin.

CULVER’S ROOT

A remedy used for ages to treat liver disorders and constipation.  Also may be used with other compounds to treat colitis, gallstones, gallbladder disease and hepatitis.

CURBICIA EXTRACT

Extracted from the plant, it helps in regulating sebum production.  Found in hair treatments.

CUTICLE

On the fingernails, the crease or fold at the base of the nails.  Pertaining to hair, the epidermal (outermost) layer of  the hair shaft.  Cuticles that are healthy make the hair shiny.

CUTIS

The skin; cutis also can refer to the out layers only of the skin.

CYCLOMETHICONE

A substance derived from silicone that adds luster and sheen (especially to hair).  It is also used to counteract greasiness of tanning oils and is used as a solvent to dilute them.

CYPRESS OIL

An oil that has qualities that calm and soothe.  It can also narrow dermal blood vessels (a vasoconstrictor) and reduce circulation.

CYST

A liquid or puss filled mass that is deep-seated and surrounded by a capsule.

CYSTINE

A non-essential amino acid functioning as an antioxidant, protecting the body from radiation and pollution.  Cystine is needed for skin to form and repair itself.  It also aids in the synthesis of protein and helps slow down the process of aging. It deactivates free radicals and neutralizes toxins in the body.

CYTOKINE

A general term for non-antibody proteins like lymphokines, that are involved in the response of the immune system.

CYTOLOGY

The science of studying the cell, including its anatomy, pathology, physiology and chemistry.

CYTOTOXICITY

A characteristic of a substance that damages and/or kills cells.

CYTOTOXIN

A substance affecting cancer cells or other abnormal cells.

D&C

A prefix indicating approval of a certifiable color for use in drugs and cosmetics.

D&C Red #7

Synthetic organic colors derived from coal or petroleum sources.  They are not safe or allowed to be used around the eye area.

D&C Red #17

This color is carcinogenic in animals.

D&C Red #33

A colorant used in drugs and cosmetics, but not allowed in foods.

D&C Yellow #11

This colorant is added to D&C Red #17 to produce a peach color cloying fragrance.

DAMIANA

Useful as an anti-depressant in anxiety and depression associated with sex.  It has a tonic action on the central nervous system and the hormonal system and is used in the following ways:  A nerve tonic, anti-depressant, antiseptic for the urinary tract, and as a laxative.

DAMIANA LEAF

Used by Indians for centuries, it balances the nervous system and fights depression.  Also see Damiana.

DANDELION

Rich in skin benefiting ingredients, a source of vegetable protein.  See the details under dandelion root.

DANDELION ROOT & LEAF EXTRACT

A natural source of potassium and high in Vitamin A, dandelion (also called taraxacum officinale) makes a great diuretic since it won’t deplete the balance of potassium in the body (as is the case with many other diuretics).  The root can be used to treat inflammation and congestion of the liver and gallbladder and also treats many types of digestive disorders.  It is also used specifically to counteract congestive jaundice.

DANDRUFF

A condition of the scalp characterized by the shedding of dead cells.  Most often caused by a common inflammatory condition known as seborrheic dermatitis.  It can also affect the eyebrows, eyelids, between the eyebrows, the ears and the folds at the base and side of the nose.

DAY SPA

A spa offering salon and beauty services, therapies to heal the total mind and body, massage, bodywork, facial and body treatments, other esthetics and programs to relieve stress.  The services are usually offered individually or in half to full-day packages.  No overnight stay is required.

DEA (DIETHANOLAMINE)

An agent that raised PH levels and acts as a neutralizer.

DEO OLETH-3 PHOSPHATE

An emulsifier that adds shine to a product and prevents its separation.

DEA OLETH-10 PHOSPHATE

Derived from an unsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid, this substance acts as an emulsifier.

DECOCTION

A tea made from the bark, leaves or roots of particular herbs.

DECONGESTANT

A product that takes away toxic materials that have accumulated under the skin structure.  It expels the toxins through the body’s waste system.

DECYL OLEATE

An emollient (a product or substance that smoothes and softens skin) that gives lotions body.

DEEP PENETRATING TREATMENT

A conditioner that is formulated to repair dry, damaged hair.  It often contains proteins, vitamins and moisture and is meant to be used occasionally.

DEIONIZED WATER

Water that is purified by the removal of highly active ions (particularly ones with a positive charge) such as calcium, magnesium and iron.

DEMAND

A term describing the effect of skin care products on moisturization.  The higher the demand, the more often the product needs to be applied to maintain the moisture level.

DEMINERALIZED WATER

Water that is filtered to remove suspended impurities.  It is run through active resin beds (removing metallic ions) and filtered through sub micron filters.  Also see deionized water.

DEMULCENT

Herbs that are coating and soothing and protect inflamed, irritated tissue.

DEODORANT

A product used to neutralize body odors caused by perspiration.  Deodorants contain antiseptics to kill bacteria as well as strong fragrances to mask bad odors.  Deodorants do not inhibit the production of sweat, however, as is the case with antiperspirants.

DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID

More commonly known as DNA, see definition under DNA.

DEPILATE

Any process of hair removal from the surface of the skin.  Shaving, depilatory creams and waxing are all examples of depilates.

DEPILATORY

A chemical sulfide used to dissolve hair in the follicle.  It leaves the skin softer after hair removal by also removing the outermost cells of skin, the epidermis.  It lasts longer than shaving and hair regrowth is slower.

DERMABRASION

A surgical procedure using an instrument that rotates and sands the skin for the purpose of improving its texture.  It reduces some wrinkles and minimizes scarring.  Intense pre and post operative care is required for this procedure.  Microdermabrasion is done with a type of sand on the skin, usually by a cosmetic doctor or esthetician.  A deeper type of dermabrasion, which uses small wires or burrs on the skin, is more intense and actually removes the outer skin layers.

DERMAL

Skin related or pertaining to the skin.

DERMAL PAPILLA

A small nipple-shaped extension that helps anchor the dermis and epidermas layers of the skin.  The projection extends upward into the epidermis from the dermis.

DERMATITIS

Skin inflammation from any source.  Examples include bacteria, fungi and parasites.  It can also be caused by a foreign substance such as an allergen.  See detail under contact dermatitis.

DERMATOLOGY

The science of studying the skin; including its structures, functions and diseases.

DERMATOLOGIST

A doctor specializing in dermatology (the science of studying the skin).

DERMATOSIS

A general term used to describe any type of skin disease.

DERMIS

The layers of the skin underneath the epidermis.

DESQUAMATION

The last stage of the ongoing skin cell cycle (birth, maturation, and death).  Characterized by the sloughing off of dead epidermis cells (called corneocytes) from the stratum corneum (the horny cell layer of the epidermis).

DESTINATION SPA

A spa offering all-inclusive packages like exercise, facials and body treatments, bodywork and massage, mind/body therapy and stress relieving programs.  This all includes luxurious accommodations, spa cuisine and plenty of other amenities.

DETOXIFICATION

The process of cleansing the body in order to rid it of accumulated toxins often brought on by the body being over-taxed with addictive habits.

DHA

Dihydroxyacetone: see full definition.

DIAPHORETIC

A substance or herb that helps increase sweating and capillary activity.  This, in turn, helps the body to release toxins.

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH

A porous, pure type of silica made out of the fossil remains of algae.  Each form has a lot of absorption ability and is able to hold four times its own weight in water. It is used in facial masques and sets/gels on the surface of the skin.

DIAZOLIDINYL

A preservative for cosmetics.

DICAPRATE

A thickening agent, or, emulsifier that helps bind separate ingredients together.

DICAPRYLATE

A thickening agent, or, emulsifier that helps bind separate ingredients together.

DICETYLDIMONIUM CHLORIDE

An ammonium salt often used as a conditioning agent.  It is compatible with surfactants and used frequently in shampoos.

DIHYDROXYACETONE (DHA)

A component, or agent obtained from glycerol, used in self-tanning products. Usually a sugar cane derivative, DHA reacts with amino acids creating an artificial tan that is natural looking. It affects the surface layer of the skin by oxidizing it and it is the DHA which causes skin cells to appear tanned by changing their color.

DILATION

The opening and enlargement of a cavity, blood vessel or canal.

DIMETHICONE

A type of organic silicone used as a moisturizer and  skin protectant.  It is tolerated well even by sensitive skin and has a filming action on the surface of the skin.  This filming action retards moisture loss and helps to smooth out fine, dry lines.

DIMETHICONE COPOLYOL

A natural silica complex used as a spreading agent to easily apply beauty products.  It is also used to moisturize.

DIMETHYL LAURAMINE ISOSTEARATE

An agent that thickens and conditions.

DIMETHYLOL DIMETHYL

Commonly abbreviated DMDM.  See definition under DMDM.

DIMETHYL STEARAMINE

An agent that thickens and conditions.

DISINFECTANT

A product, chemical or ingredient that destroys infection-causing microorganisms.  Usually in reference to germs on inanimate objects like counters, walls, floors, etcetera.

DISODIUM OLEAMIDE MEA-SULFOSUCCINATE

A solid mixing agent (surfactant) which is a wax-like substance.  It is used in bath products and lotions as a wetting agent and solubilizer.

DISSOLVING EXFOLIANTS

Exfoliants comprised of AHAs and BHAs.  AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) are glycolic, citric, lactic and malic acids.  The most prevalent BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) in cosmetic use are salicylic acid or related substances, sodium salicylate, and willow extract.

DIURETIC

A substance that increases the flow of urine.

DL-ALPHA TOCOPHERYL ACETATE

Better known as Vitamin E.  See the definition under Vitamin E.

DMDM

DMDM is the abbreviation for Dimethylol Dimethyl.  It is used in conjunction with hydantoin to create a preservative.  It releases formaldehyde on a gradual basis to impart bactericidal properties to lotions.

DMDM HYDANTOIN

An antimicrobial preservative used to fight against bacteria.

DNA

In all organisms, DNA is the main carrier or map of all the organism’s genetic information.

DNA ENZYME COMPLEX

A bioengineered complex instructed to supply moisture to the body while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

DONG QUAI

An herb used to treat irregular menstrual cycles and alleviate symptoms associated with menopause.  Used in traditional Chinese medicine.

DOSHA

In Ayurveda (a traditional alternative medicine from India), one of the three energies known as vata, pitta and kapha.  DOSHA refers to any one of these three energies.  The three energies together make up the physical body or the whole being of a person.

DOUBLE PROCESS

A hair coloring process done in two steps.  The first is lightening and the second step is coloring.

DRAINING SINUS

A serious acne lesion that is elongated and tends to tunnel through the skin.

DRAIZE TEST

A test done on animals to measure the effects that different substances have on the eyes.

DRY BRUSHING

Brushing that is done with a dry massage brush, rough towel or glove to improve skin circulation.  It is performed in a certain manner upwards beginning with the feet.  The skin is slightly red afterward but it is not damaged.  Moisturizers or hydrating oils are then applied.  This procedure may be used prior to other treatments.

DRY ROOM

A treatment room that does not have any hydrotherapy equipment or shower.  Hot towels are used instead for removing products from the body.  A client may take a shower in another area away from the dry room.

DULSE

Sea-plant powder (that has first been dried) is added to water to rid toxins from the skin and increase circulation.

DULSE SCRUB

Water or oil is combined with powdered dulse seed to scrub the body and eliminate dead skin cells.  It leaves a smooth surface and is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin.  It also serves as a vitamin and mineral treatment.

DYSTROPHY

A condition where a malformation has occurred due to some type of error.

EAU DE PERFUME

More concentrated than any other form of fragrance except parfum, it has a strong long-lasting scent.  There is more perfume oil than alcohol in the product, making it more expensive.  It is highly concentrated.

EAU DE TOILETTE

A fragrance that is less concentrated than eau de perfume.  It is less costly and contains more alcohol and less oil.

ECCRINE SWEAT GLAND

A gland that produces sweat, located in the dermis.  It aids in the regulation of body temperature by producing and excreting perspiration onto the skin’s surface.

ECHINACEA

A primary remedy against microbial infections in the body.  It is an oral homeopathic substance which may boost immunity.  It is effective against bacterial and viral invasions and is sometimes used to treat boils and other infections.  It appears to repair tissue damaged by infection as well.  It is taken frequently to combat cold or flu symptoms and in skin care products it displays soothing, anti-itching properties.

ECZEMA

A skin condition causing areas of scaly, red, itchy skin.  It can affect any part of the body and has no known cause. It may manifest as acute or chronic and is most often treated with topical, anti-inflammatory medications in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths.

ECZEMA, ACUTE

A skin rash that itches intensely and is red, scaling, blistering and weeping.  It comes on suddenly and is short-lived in duration.

ECZEMA, ASTEATOTIC

Dry skin that is severe.  More common during winter and in older people.

ECZEMA, CHRONIC

A skin rash with moderate to intense itching.  It is gradual and ongoing.  Sometimes hyper pigmentation occurs, along with dry scaling and lichenification (thick, leathery skin caused by constant scratching).  There is often a linear break in the skin’s surface from dryness and scratching as well.  Can be covered with blood or a crust.

ECZEMA CRAQUELE

Severely dry skin, often cracked and scaly looking.

ECZEMA DERMATITIS

A number of different diseases of the skin.  Some examples are: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, hand dermatitis and asteatotic eczema.

ECZEMA SUBACUTE

Less severe form of acute eczema.  See definition under Eczema, acute.

EDEMATOUS

A term used to describe something that is swollen.

EDTA (ETHYLENE DIAMINE TETRA ACETIC ACID)

A sequestering agent with the ability to neutralize trace metals (such as calcium, iron, magnesium salts…) and other deposits trapped in the hair.

EFFERVESCENT

Bubbling, hissing and foaming sounds heard as gas escapes.  Producing many small gas bubbles.

EFFICACY

The capacity or ability to invoke a response or change; causing an effect.

EFFLEURAGE

Light and/or firm stroking on the skin that is soothing and does not drag.  It is used with either the palms of the hands or the padded parts of the fingertips as a massage technique.

EGG OIL

A natural combination of emollients and emulsifiers that are fat-soluble.  The oil is extracted from the whole egg and keeps the skin hydrated and lubricated while imparting anti-friction properties to it.  It softens and smoothes the skin naturally.

ELASTICITY

The capacity of the skin or hair to stretch out (without changing or breaking) and then returning to its original state.

ELASTIN

A protein in charge of the elasticity of body tissues, particularly the skin.  It is also used a  surface protectant and alleviates dry skin in cosmetics.

ELDER FLOWER

Used for its effects as an astringent in skin and eye creams.  It softens skin well and is used in ointments to treat dry to normal skin.  It can be found in many facial and bath products.

ELECAMPANE

Used to treat irritation bronchial coughs, particularly in young children.  May be used to treat bronchitis asthma and regular asthma.  It is helpful when used as an expectorant, antitussive, hepatic, anti-microbial and diaphoretic.  See Elecampane for more information in an Herbal Dictionary.

ELECTROLYSIS

Using electrical currents to dissolve or destroy the roots of the hair follicle.  This is a permanent method of hair removal.

EMOLLIENT

A substance that has softening and soothing effects on the skin.  It works, in part, by slowing down water evaporation.  It is applied externally and also has anti-inflammatory properties.

EMULSIFIER

An agent used for thickening that is added to products.  It joins two or more substances together to create a new substance.  An example of this is turning lotion into cream.

EMULSION

Tiny globules, or microscopic droplets of a liquid within another liquid.  The ingredients do not mix and the result is separation, as with vinegar and oil.

ENAMEL

In cosmetics, this is another term for nail polish.

ENDOGENOUS

Produced by or beginning within the body.

ENTERIC-COATED

A coating on capsules, tablets or pills, that retains the active ingredients of the product within the coating, until they are in the intestines.

ENZYME

A catalyst (a class of protein) produced by an organism that is able to accelerate or produce biochemical changes.

ENZYMATIC EXFOLIATION

The removal of dead skin cells and impurities (exfoliation) that relies on biological action, as opposed to physical abrasion.  It is applied to the skin and rinsed off.  The enzymes dissolve the skin’s keratin, removing the dead cells which supports the natural exfoliation process.  An example of this type of enzyme is papain, which comes from papayas.

ENZYME PEEL

A procedure that exfoliates the whole body and uses ingredients like protein enzymes or AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) that dissolve dead skin cells chemically without using the abrasive action used in other full body exfoliation treatments.  AHAs are acids that occur naturally in citrus fruit and sugarcane.  The most popular of the AHAs is glycolic acid due to its small molecular structure.  An enzyme peel is usually applied as a body mask and helps the client relax for a period of time until it is washed or rubbed off (in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions).

EPIDERMIS

The skin’s outermost layers.

EPIDERMABRASION

A procedure which sloughs off the outer layers of the skin (the epidermis).  It is a skin peel done to separate dead tissue from living tissue and renew the skin’s appearance.

EPILATE

To remove hair underneath the surface of the skin.  Waxing and electrolysis are two examples. The process produces longer lasting results than shaving.

EPITHELIUM

A cellular covering over the surfaces of the body, both internal and external.

EPSOM SALTS

These are salts used in water to soften skin and soothe sore or tired muscles.

ERGOCALCIFEROL

Also known as Vitamin D when it is used in skincare lotions or food products.

EROSION

A skin lesion which is depressed.  It is not as deep as a fissure but it is wider.

ERYTHEMA

Redness and inflammation of the skin which can sometimes be the beginning of contact dermatitis.

ERYTHROMYCIN

An antibiotic used to treat acne.  Available in topical and oral forms.

ERYTHROSINE

FD&C Red No. 3; a colorant.

ESSENCE

An oil extracted from an herb or plant, which is very fragrant.

ESSENTIAL OILS

Extracted from certain aromatic plants (by compressing steaming, dissolving or distilling), these oils are volatile and have physiological as well as psychological effects on the body.  When used in a product, these oils have the strongest odors, flavors, or medicinal properties.

ESTERS

The compounds that are formed when organic acids and alcohol react with each other.  When used in cosmetics they are usually skin soothers and softeners (emollients) and are made to spread easily while effectively penetrating the skin.  They have the tendency to resist becoming rancid better than natural oils.  Because of this, they are commonly used in products.

ESTHETICIAN

A specialist in the beauty field.

ESTHETICS

The act of applying different techniques to the outer (epidermal) layer of the body.  This may include, among other things, facial steaming, waxing, pore cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, and chemical peels.  It also may involve instructing the client in skin care maintenance and the art of applying makeup for maximum results.  It may frequently include the use of creams, lotions, wraps, clay, gel, masks and masks.  Many times it will employ the use of various device driven procedures.  These include the electric pulverizer spray machine or atomizer, brushing machine, galvanic current, microdermabrasion, etc.  These devices are used to carry out noninvasive cosmetic procedures. Esthetic practice in not intended to (and directly excludes) include any diagnosis, prescription, procedure, therapy or service that requires a license to practice any type of medicine.

ETHANOL

Used for diluting substances and products, this is an alcohol solvent.

ETHOXYDIGLYCOL

An agent that decreases the viscosity of a product to allow it to flow more easily (a thinner).

ETHYL ALCOHOL

Present in oils and lotions, acting as a fat solvent.

ETHYLENE DIAMINE TETRA ACETIC ACID

Abbreviated EDTA.  See the definition under this abbreviation.

ETHYL ESTER PVM/MA COPOLYMER

A non-tacky polymer which is humidity resistant.

ETHYLPARABEN

A preservative that is microbial.

EUCALYPTUS

The oil of the eucalyptus contains properties that stimulate the blood (it is considered a vasodilator that improves circulation).  It is beneficial in treating hair loss and has the properties of an antiseptic and is a mild astringent.  It stimulates and cools as well.

EUCALYPTUS OIL

Refer to  eucalyptus.

EUPHRASIA

Helps to reduce blemishes on the skin.

EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

This oil is used as an astringent and reduces irritation on the skin.  It helps to hydrate the skin, restoring moisture and lipid balance to dry skin.  Also known as Vitamin F, it is an essential fatty acid oil that is rich in gamma-linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids.

EXCORIATION

A break in the skin’s surface which is linear and often covered with a crust or blood; a scratch on the skin.

EXEMPT COLOR ADDITIVES

Colors which are primarily plant, animal and mineral (excluding coal and petroleum) derived sources.  They are exempt from requiring FDA certification.

EXFOLIANT

A tool in cosmetics, or an ingredient in cosmetics, that is used to slough off dead cells from the skin’s surface.

EXFOLIATE

To remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, usually by means of abrasive action; to carry out the process of exfoliation.

EXFOLIATING

The act of performing a procedure which removes the top layers of dead skin cells, revealing newer, healthier skin.

EXFOLIATION

The removal of dead skin cells.  This can improve circulation at the same time and contribute to relaxation from the pressure used during the process.  See also exfoliant, exfoliate, exfoliating.

EXPECTORANT

A group of substances used to loosen mucous and phlegm in the lungs and throat, promoting the dislodging and removal of it by means of coughing.

EXT. D&C

In drugs and cosmetics, this is a prefix denoting that a certifiable color is only allowed to be used externally.

EXTENSIONS

A term used in reference to hair.  Pieces of real or synthetic weaves attached to the head, hair or scalp to attain greater fullness and/or length.  When used regarding nails, they are synthetic additions to extend the length  of natural nails.  This includes nail tips, wraps, gels, or sculptured acrylics.

EXTRACT

An herbal concentrate that is created by the separation of the active or essential part of an herb , ending up with a solvent material.

EXTRACTION

The removal of sebum, bacteria, dead skin cells and other waste material from the skin follicles.

EYEBRIGHT

An excellent treatment for mucous membrane problems.  It combines anti-inflammatory and astringent properties that make it useful for many conditions.  It is used internally as a powerful anticatarrhal and as such, may be used in nasal catarrh, sinusitis or other states of congestion.  Best known for the treatment of eye conditions,  it helps acute and chronic inflammation as well as stinging, weeping eyes and over-sensitivity to light.

FACIAL

Using steam to deep cleanse the face.  May include exfoliation, extraction or the use of cleansers, creams, lotions, masks, peels, along with massage.

FACIAL VAPORIZER

A treatment that directs a lukewarm vapor mist to the face by means of an electric apparatus.  It helps soften dead cells on the surface, opens follicles and loosens dirt and grime deposits on the skin.  This eliminates toxins and increases blood circulation.

FANGO TREATMENT

A highly mineralized bath or mud pack, mixed with water or oil.  It aids in detoxification, relieves pain and stimulates circulation.  The fango blend creates a softening effect and soothing warmth on the skin.  Other natural ingredients like sea kelp and peat moss may sometimes be added, increasing the mineral content and warmth.

FARNESOL

An important new ingredient in skincare products.  It is also called dodecatrienol.  Occurring in a variety of essential oils (notably rose and orange blossom and wild cyclamen), it is a fatty alcohol and a component of Vitamin K.  It has been found to smooth wrinkles, normalize sebum secretion, improve skin elasticity, and increase the tissue tension and moisture capacity of skin.  When applied to skin it promotes cell regeneration and reduces the aging process of the skin.  It is also an activator of collagen, elastin and mucopolysaccharides synthesis in the dermis layer of the skin.  The skin is left looking younger and more beautiful.  Farnesol also is known to have a bacteriostatic effect.

FATHER SEBASTION KNEIPP

A priest from Bavaria who combined herbal treatments and water cures.  The effect was to streamline the treatments originally developed by Vincent Priessnitz.

FAUX

A French word to describe something created to resemble the original.  It literally means false, artificial, or imitation.

FCC

This is the abbreviation for Food Chemical Codex.  It is a publication which lists standards for foods, supplements and additives that are used by the food industry.

F, D&C

This stands for Food, Drug and Cosmetic.

FD&C Dyes

These are dyes that are approved by the FDA for use in foods, drugs and cosmetics.

FEBRILE

Of or pertaining to a fever; feverish.

FENNEL SEED EXTRACT

The technical name is foeniculum vulgare.  It has been used to stimulate the digestive system for years.  It is especially effective at treating bloating and gas.  It also stimulates appetite.  It calms coughs and is used to alleviate bronchitis.  It is also used to enhance the flavor of cough remedies. It is used as a carminative, aromatic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, galactogogue and hepatic.

FENUGREEK

An herb that heals and treats inflammation on wounds, sores, boils, fistulas tumors.  It is taken to help bronchitis and can soothe sore throats when used as a gargle.  It is also used to stimulate the production of milk in lactating mothers and may relieve digestive discomfort.  It is used as an expectorant, demulcent, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, tonic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, and hypotensive.

FEVERFEW

A remedy used to treat migraines.  It is used for tinnitus, dizziness, and sluggish menstrual flow as well.  Its use may result in mouth ulcers.  Do not use during pregnancy.

FIBROBLAST

A cell that creates collagen, elastin fibers and ground substance.  A cell is a fibroblast if connective tissue is developed from within it.

FILAGGRIN

An epidermal protein.  It is contained in granules that are found in living cells of keratinizing epithelia.  These granules contribute to the keratin contained in dead cornified cells.  These granules are referred to as keratohyalin granules.

FINISHING SPRAY

A hairspray with medium holding power that is used over the whole hairstyle to maintain its shape and hold it in place.

FIR NEEDLE OIL

An oil with natural cleansing properties.

FISSURE

A thin yet deep linear split; a cleft or groove.  A fissure in the skin that is split deep into the epidermis and extends down into the dermis layer.  Severely dry skin may contain fissures.

FIXED OILS

Nonvolatile vegetable oils like sweet almond or sunflower.  Referred to as fats or lipids.  May be used as carriers for essential oils or as a massage lubricant.

FLATUS

Air trapped in the stomach or intestines; gas.

FLAVONOIDS

See the definition under Bioflavonoids.

FLUORINATION

The adding of a fluorine ion to manipulate the steroid molecule and achieve a greater potency.

FLUSHING

Facial, neck or chest redness caused by a substance, physical stimulus, or the environment.  The small blood vessels in the skin become dilated, creating a red appearance.

FOLATE

Also known as Vitamin B9.  Refer to Folic Acid.

FOLIC ACID

A vitamin necessary to synthesize DNA & RNA.  Also called Vitamin B9, it is critical for the growth and reproduction of all cells in the body.

FOLLICLE

A follicle is a small cavity, anatomical sac, or deep, narrow depression.  It is the area or pore in the skin from which the hair root grows.  A hair follicle is a stratum corneum lined sac extending into the dermis layer of the skin.  It contains the bulb of the hair.  It is also a fluid-filled sac located in the ovaries from which an egg is released during ovulation.

FOLLICULITIS

Hair follicle infection and inflammation.

FRAGRANCE

A natural or synthetic substance/s used to give a sweet, pleasant odor to cosmetic products.

FRAGRANCE FREE

Products that do not contain any fragrance.  Most products, however, still contain small traces of fragrance to mask bad odors.

FREE RADICALS

Unstable molecules and atoms that are highly reactive and cause degenerative diseases and aging. They often result from the ozone, cigarette smoke, pesticides and herbicides, solvents, petrochemicals, drugs, UV rays, X-Rays and other foreign agents.

FREE RADICAL SCAVENGERS

Anti-oxidants, derived naturally, that influence free radicals and help to counteract their negative effects.

FREEZING SPRAY

The firmest hold hairspray used to “freeze” the hair into position and maintain its shape and style.

FRINGETREE BARK

An herb used to treat a many different liver problems.  It specifically treats gallbladder inflammation and is an important part in the treatment of gallstones.  Due to its benefits to the liver, it is useful for many other body treatments.  It helps release bile and is an effective and gentle laxative. It is used as a hepatic, cholagogue, alternative, diuretic, tonic, and antemetic as well.

FRUIT ACID

This acid includes citric and glycolic acids and has antioxidant, preservative, and astringent actions.  It helps reduce excessive dead skin cell buildup.

FUNGICIDAL

An agent that treats fungal infections (commonly athlete’s foot and thrush) by attacking and killing the fungal organism.

FUNGUS

A general term to describe a class of microbes.  It is a type of organism that causes many different types of infection.  Fungus can be responsible for skin infections, mouth or other body infections as well as other rare, yet serious, infections throughout the body.

GAG

An abbreviated form of glycosaminoglycans.  See definition of glycosaminoglycans.

GALVANIC CURRENT MACHINE

Used in facial treatments by estheticians.  Depending on the polarity of the current that is used, it has two different methods of use.  If the working electrode is negative, it is used to soften blocked sebum pores by with a disincrustation solution.  If the positive pole is the working electrode, it is used to promote the absorption of a water-soluble treatment product which soothes the skin.

GANGLIA

Groups of neurons (or colonies) outside the brain and spinal cord which at times act to control local functions.

GARLIC

An excellent anti-microbial, fighting bacteria, viruses and alimentary parasites. The volatile oil of garlic is used to combat lung infections like chronic bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, recurring colds and influenza.  It also helps fight infections in general and aids in digestion, respiration and cardio-vascular functions.  Garlic acts as an anti-microbial, diaphoretic, cholagogue, hypotensive, and an anti-spasmodic.

GASTRALGIA

Stomach pain, aching, or discomfort.

GASTRIC

Of or relating to the stomach.

GASTRITIS

The condition in which the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed.

GEL

A type of jelly like material that is formed by the coagulation of a liquid.  A semi-solid emulsion that, when applied to the skin, becomes liquefied.

GELATIN

An animal protein that is used to gel liquids.  It is used also in shampoos and facial masks to thicken, firm and add body to the product.

GELATINOUS

A substance that is jelly like in consistency.

GENTIAN

A bitter root used to increase appetite and help digestion.  It has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes the production of saliva, bile and gastric juices.  The emptying of the stomach is accelerated by this root.  It is considered to be bitter, sialogogue, hepatic, cholagogue, anti-microbial, anthelmintic, and emmenagogue in its actions.

GERANIUM

An antiseptic and mild astringent that aids in the healing process.

GERANIUM MACULATUM

An herb that increases hair shininess.  It is used as a fragrance in cosmetics including soaps, creams, perfumes, and other products.  It has extensive use as a flavoring agent in alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, and most of the major food categories.

GERANIUM OIL

Soothing to wounds, sores, dermatitis and skin irritations in general for its anti-inflammatory properties.  It is used as an insecticide and mosquito repellent with good results.  It also treats lice and ringworm.

GERMICIDE

A  substance or ingredient that effectively kills germs and stops their growth.

GINGER

Used as a stimulant for circulatory problems and to ease cramps.  It increases perspiration, stimulates appetite, and is well known for its benefits in digestive issues.  It is used as a mouth rinse to relieve sore throats and also as a food preservative.

GINKGO

Also referred to as maidenhair.  Ginkgo increases the retention of moisture in the skin’s upper layers and soothes irritated, sensitive skin.  It has actions as an anti-inflammatory, vasodilatory, relaxant, digestive bitter and a stimulant for the uterus.  It is traditionally thought of as an anti-microbial and antitubercular agent.  New research, however, has shown it can have a remarkable impact on brain function and cerebral circulation.  It is proving to be effective in a variety of vascular disorders in clinical use.  Ginkgo has been used to help the following: vertigo, tinnitus, inner ear issues (including partial deafness), memory and concentration difficulties, diminished intellectual capacity/alertness from circulatory insufficiency, anxiety, depression, neurological disorders, dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke complications, skull damage, poor sight/hearing from vascular issues, sensitivity to cold/pallor in toes due to circulatory related issues, intermittent claudication from arterial blockage, Raynaud’s disease, cerebral/vascular and nutritional deficits, hormonal/neural based disorders, arterial circulatory disturbances from aging, diabetes, nicotine abuse, sclerosis of cerebral arteries, arteriosclerotic angiopathy of lower limbs, diabetic tissue damage, gangrene, chronic arterial obliteration, circulatory disorders (skin related), ulcers, hormone and neurological disorders, and angiopathic trophic disorders (from ischaemia). Ginkgo is becoming widely available in a variety of forms.

GINSENG

Considered a tonic and believed to have nourishing effects because of its hormone and vitamin contents.  It has energy boosting properties and is taken orally.  It also helps to combat stress as well as boosting the activity of RNA and DNA in cells.

GLABELLA

The area of skin between the two eyebrows.

GLOSS

To make something shiny.  A polish that gives a smooth luster to a surface.

GLUCAGON

A hormone produced in the pancreas by the alpha cells that increases the amount of sugar released by the liver.  If the amount of sugar is too high it may lead to a hyperglycemic state.  Insulin balances out the effects of excessive sugar production by helping the body’s tissues absorption rate, drawing excess sugar out of the blood.

GLAUCOMA

A condition that damages the eye due to the high pressure resulting from the buildup of fluid.

GLUCOSE TYROSINATE

The substance that imparts a tan color to lotion.  It is a source of soluble tyrosine, the glucose compound of which is enclosed in a liposome base and aids in a deeper, darker tan.

GLYCERETH

An emollient, used to smooth and soften skin, glycereth is essentially polyethylene glycol ester of glycerin.

GLYCERETH 26

This is glycereth that contains an average value of 26 in its ethoxylation.  It is also an emollient (skin softener/smoother).

GLYCERIN

A humectant (moisturizes the skin by drawing moisture from the air) for the skin.  It is a skin smoother and softener as well (emollient).  It has the ability to lubricate the skin and is also used to emulsify (thicken and bind) and dilute in cosmetic products.

GLYCERYL MONOSTEARATE

A solid emollient that is wax-like, used as an emulsifier (thickener and binder) and a derivative of glycerin and natural stearic acid.  It also emits/reflects light easily and in large amounts (like rainbow colors), so it is referred to as pearlescent.

GLYCERYL STEARATE

Glyceryl stearate is considered a monoester of stearic acid and glycerin.  It is also used as an emulsifier and emollient.  See the definition for glyceryl monostearate.

GLYCINE

This non-essential amino acid triggers oxygen release to supply energy in the cell making process.  It helps to synthesize the body’s non-essential amino acids.  Glycine can spare glucose to be used as energy by efficiently storing glycogen.  It is also easily converted to creatine, a substance that makes RNA and DNA.

GLYCOLIC ACID

Diminishes the buildup of dead skin cells.  Also called hydroxyacetic acid, it exists in green fruits and young plants.  It is used to adjust the PH levels in products as well, and is derived mostly from the juice of the sugar cane.

GLYCOLIC PEEL

A treatment using glycolic acid to peel and/or exfoliate skin to make it appear younger.

GLYCOLIPIDS

A mixture (which is plant derived) of glycoceramides that promotes healthier skin by creating a stronger skin barrier.  Creams and lotions can be stabilized without irritating surfactants.  Rich gels are formed in alcohol preparations and prevent fat crystallization.  They also bind water in makeup formulations.  Glycolipids are known to enhance other active ingredients (ingredients that are restructuring, film forming, smoothing and refatting) by making them more bioavailable.  They give a rich feel to skin cosmetics.  Because of all this, they are the best natural and biological solution in cosmetics today for emulsions and contemporary delivery systems.

GLYCOL STEARATE

An emollient and emulsifier used in shampoos and lotions for its pearlescent effect.  Also see glyceryl monostearate.

GLYCOSAMINOGLYCANS

Also called GAGs, and formerly called mucopolysaccharides. Glycosaminoglycans are components of the ground substance.  The ground substance is a gel-like substance which surrounds the network of collagen fibers and elastin that make up the dermis layer of the skin.  Ground substance consists of glycosaminoglycans, non-collagen proteins, and water.  Glycosaminoglycans help collagen fibers hold water and bind moisture to the stratum corneum of the epidermis. The presence of glycosaminoglycans in the skin results in skin that has greater flexibility and moisture.

GLYCOSIDE

A plant compound that has at least one alcohol or sugar plus a biologically active compound.  Glycone is the name for the sugar portion, everything else is known as an aglycone.

GOLDEN ROD

Used to treat upper respiratory catarrh, either acute or chronic.  It may also treat influenza, dyspepsia, cystitis, urethritis, and promote wound healing.  It can be used as a gargle to treat laryngitis and pharyngitis.  Among its actions: anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, astringent, diaphoretic, carminative, as well as diuretic.

GOLDEN SEAL

An herb with tonic effects that treats the body’s mucous membranes.  It helps all digestive issues from peptic ulcers to colitis.  As a bitter is used to increase the appetite, and it has alkaloids that increase bile production/secretion.  It is also used to treat all catarrhal conditions (particularly sinus) and it has anti-microbial properties.  Among its actions: bitter, hepatic alterative, anti-catarrhal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, astringent, laxative, expectorant, emmenagogue, and oxytocic.

GOMMAGE

Using long strokes that are massage like to apply creams to the skin for the purpose of cleansing and rehydrating.  Its many benefits include removing dead cells and accumulated toxins on the skin’s surface.  It cleans the skin and stimulates cellular repair and circulation of the blood.  It also increases the effectiveness of skin products by enabling them to easily penetrate the skin (adapted, in part, from www.day-spas.org).

GRAPEFRUIT OIL

The oil extracted from the juice of the grapefruit peel.  It is a liquid, yellowish in color and used as an anti-inflammatory and coolant on the skin.

GRAPE SEED EXTRACT

An antioxidant rich in proanthocyanidins.  These are flavonoid type molecules that shield capillary walls from harm and inhibit enzymes that would otherwise contribute to the breakdown of elastin and collagen.  Grape seed extract enables the body to absorb Vitamin C, strengthening cell membranes and protecting cells against damage from oxidation.  Research shows that bioflavonoids (proanthocyanidins) serve an anti-inflammatory purpose as well as functioning as an antihistamine, anti allergen, and a scavenger of free radicals.  The proanthocyanidins have antioxidant activity of up to 50 times the power of Vitamin C, E, Beta Carotene or Selenium.  They also help with tissue elasticity, heal injuries, reduce swelling/edema, restore collagen and improve peripheral circulation.  Other benefits include the ability to prevent bruising, strengthen weak blood vessels, protect against atherosclerosis and decrease histamine production.

GRAPE SEED OIL

Oil from the grape seed which moisturizes and nourishes because of its  high content of linoleic acid.  Also see Grape Seed Extract.

GRAPE SKIN EXTRACT

The pulp extracted from the skin of the grape, often used as a coloring.

GRAVEL ROOT

Used to treat kidney stones, it is also good for urinary infections like cystitis and urethritis.  It is known to be: diuretic, antilithic and anti-rheumatic.

GREEN CLAY

A cosmetic clay very effective in sterilization and purification.  On the skin it creates a cooling effect, constricts follicles and thoroughly cleans the epidermis layer of the skin.  It is highly absorbent and also cleansing to the skin’s sebum.  It has the ability to exfoliate and detoxify.

GREEN TEA

A Japanese tea that has two active groups of chemicals.  The first group is known as xanthines; they suppress inflammation and irritation as well as reduce cellulite.  The second group is known as polyphenols (catechins); they contain 20 times the antioxidant power of Vitamin E.

GRINDELIA

Grindelia is an anti-spasmodic, expectorant and hypotensive.  It relaxes and smoothes heart and other muscles.  It is used to treat asthma, whooping cough, bronchitis and upper respiratory catarrh.  Due to its relaxing effect on the pulse rate and heart, it may cause the blood pressure to drop.  It may be applied externally to alleviate itching caused by poison ivy.

GROUND SUBSTANCE

Ground substance is a gel that is thick and elastic and is located in the space between the collagen and elastin fibers of the dermis layer of the skin.

G-STRING

A panty with a  backside that consists of a band of fabric which is very thin and string like.

GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE

A cationic conditioning agent that is naturally derived from the guar gum from the tree.  It is often used in shampoos.

GUTTATE

Having small spots or droplets; resembling such.

GUTTATE PSORIASIS

A type of psoriasis which is characterized by many tiny lesions resembling little droplets scattered all over the skin and pinkish in color.

HAMAM

An Islamic bath.  It consists of a vaulted ceiling with a raised marble platform which is heated.  The heated platform is called a hararat and is used for exfoliation and/or massage.

HAWTHORN

A worthwhile treatment for many heart ailments and disorders of the circulatory system.  It acts like an astringent when used to treat sore throats.  It is mostly used to combat the early stages of heart disease, to treat mildly weak heart muscles, for alleviating tightness/pressure in the chest and to treat minor arrhythmia.  Can also be used as a tonic for a heart that is aging.  It is considered a hypotensive, diuretic, astringent and heart tonic.

HEDTA

The short name or abbreviated form for Hydroxyethyl Ethylenediamine Triacetic Acid, which is a bonding agent.

HELIOTHERAPY HYDRATION COMPLEX

Skincare extracts that retain moisture.

HEMATURIA

The condition of having blood in the urine.

HEMOGLOBIN

The red blood corpuscles’ protein coloring matter.  Hemoglobin serves to deliver oxygen to tissues.

HEMOLYTIC

That which is responsible for red blood cells’ breakdown.

HEMOPTYSIS

Pulmonary bleeding or the coughing up of blood.

HEMORRHAGE

Uncontrollable bleeding or discharge of blood.

HEMORRHOIDS

Veins around the anus that are enlarged and inflamed.

HEMP OIL

Oil derived from hemp seed which is full of essential fatty acids, vitamins and enzymes.  They are easily absorbed by the skin which helps to moisturize and heal burns and dryness.  The oil is also used in hair conditioners.

HENNA

A  vegetable dye that is used for hair and nails.  It comes from the leaves and stems of the henna plant.  It traditionally has been used to give the hair a reddish hue by coating it.  Clear, colorless henna is also used on hair to enhance its shine.

HEPARIN

A substance that is released by mast cells as a key part of the inflammatory response.  It also prevents the clotting of plasma.

HEPATITIS

A liver disease in which the liver becomes inflamed and enlarged.

HERBACEOUS

Plants with soft stems that die down after the growing season ends; they are perennials.

HERBAL BATH

A bath blended exclusively to meet the client’s skin type and needs.  Herbs are added in the form of extracts and/or sachets.  Hot water helps disperse the healing properties of the herbs onto the skin.

HERBAL INFUSION

A therapeutic treatment in which sheets or towels are soaked in herbal infusions and then applied to the body.  The process of infusion involves steeping the herbs in water, like a tea.

HERBAL WRAP

A therapeutic treatment where  the body is wrapped in warm linens that have been soaked in specially blended herbs.  This induces perspiration and draws out toxins.  The deep heating action promotes relaxation.  The typical treatment lasts fifteen to twenty minutes and is often followed by a brief Scotch hose spray.  This serves to lower body temperature and tone tissue.

HERPES

A virus which causes small painful blisters that erupt on the skin’s surface.  It can cause outbreaks around the lips and genitals.

HIDRADENITIS SUPPURATIVA

A skin disease characterized by nodules and cysts occurring primarily under the arms or in the groin area.  The nodules and cysts are filled with pus that drains.  It is a chronic, inflammatory disease.

HIGH-FREQUENCY MACHINE

A machine that stimulates circulation and produces ozone.  The ozone it produces kills bacteria by behaving like a germicide.  The machine itself works by generating electrical current which is rapidly oscillating.  The current is transmitted through glass electrodes and produces heat in the skin, stimulating circulation.

HIGHLIGHTS

Subtly removing color from selected strands of hair to create contrast against the remaining hair color.

HISTAMINE

A substance important for inflammatory response.  It triggers vascular changes and dilation of blood vessels.  Histamine is released by mast cells and is a chemical that is released during an allergic reaction.

HOLISTIC

The approach of treating the whole body, not just individual parts.

HOMEOPATHY

Using naturally occurring substances for treating diseases.  The art of healing by administering curatives in very small quantities, which if taken in larger doses would normally be the cause of the disease or its symptoms.  An alternative healing method put together into a system in the late 1700s by Samuel Hahnemann.  It is based on the principle that if a substance can cause symptoms in a healthy person, it should be able to help a sick person with similar symptoms by stimulating self-healing.

HOMEOSTASIS

Homeostasis describes the body’s ability to maintain a constant internal environment, relatively speaking, in spite of external conditions which are constantly changing.

HONEY

Used on both hair and skin as a humectant.  It helps them retain their moisture.  It is a mixture of bee enzymes and plant nector and contains carbohydrates, some minerals, Vitamins C, D, and E and B-complex.

HOPS

Used on the central nervous system as relaxants.  Used also to treat insomnia, tension, anxiety, headache and perhaps indigestion.  The antiseptic action is used externally for treating ulcers.  In the past, hops were used as a sedative and an anti-inflammatory extract with mild firming action.  It is still used as an aromatic bitter with mild digestive abilities, making it useful for gas associated with anxiousness.  Not to be used in cases of marked depression, however.  It is known as a sedative, hypnotic, antimicrobial, anti-spasmodic and astringent.

HOPS EXTRACT

See the definition under HOPS.

HORSE CHESTNUT

An astringent and an anti-inflammatory.  Used to help the circulatory system by increasing vein tone and strength.  Treats phlebitis internally, as well as vein inflammation, varicosity and hemorrhoids.  It can be used externally as a lotion for the same conditions as internally as well as for leg ulcers.  The bark contains tonic, narcotic and febrifuge properties and is used to treat intermittent fevers.

HOREHOUND

A root that is soothing for the respiratory system and is also a natural expectorant.  It is an herb that is effective as a diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant and tonic.  Above all it helps coughing and bronchial issues.  It has displayed positive results in the treatment of nervous heart conditions and in calming overall heart action.

HORMONE

A sort of messenger, chemical in nature, which is released into the bloodstream and delivers instructions to various tissues and organs.  Corticosteroids are types of hormones.

HORSETAIL

Refer to Horsetail Extract for the definition.

HORSETAIL EXTRACT

An extract used as a medicine to act as an astringent and reduce water in the body.  It aids in wound healing and increases the rate at which the skin heals as well as tightening and firming the skin.  Its benefits include treating acne due to its high silica content.  It also has diuretic properties.

HOT ACTION COMPLEX

Ingredients that create a reddening and warming effect; they work deep down with the skin’s epidermis layers.

HUMECTANT

A skin or hair product ingredient that promotes the retention of skin moisture by drawing moisture from the air onto the skin.  An example of a humectant is glycerin.

HEYALURONIC ACID

A naturally occurring skin acid that is capable of holding moisture many times greater than the collagen protein molecule.  It binds essential moisture in skin layers, retaining it, thereby reducing fine lines caused by dryness or dehydration.

HYDRANGEA

A flowering plant.  Its greatest use is in the treatment of enlarged, inflamed prostrate glands.  Also used for kidney stones or gravel, related to bladder infections.  It can be described as a diuretic, cathartic, tonic sialogogue, or an antilithic.

HYDRATE

The act of adding water or moisture to the skin.

HYDRATION

The amount of water that something contains.

HYDROCORTISONE

Produced either by the adrenal glands or synthetically, hydrocortisone is a topically active corticosteroid.

HYDROCOTYL EXTRACT

An extract that is used as a diuretic, aperient, or to fight fever and bowel disturbances as an alterative tonic.  It also notably treats leprosy, rheumatism and ichthyosis, and is used in the form of a poultice for syphilitic ulcers. It acts like a stimulant in small doses and like a narcotic in large doses.  In large amounts it can cause stupor and headache, even vertigo and coma in some people.  Recently, studies show it to be a strong anti-inflammatory agent, effectively treating wounds, ulcers and lymphatic edema.  Suited well to the delicate skin around the eye area, it assists in reducing skin sensitivity and inflammation.

HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL

An emollient used to soften and smooth the skin. It is comprised of oleic, linolenic, and saturated acids.

HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL

This oil retains its emollient qualities of softening and smoothing while increasing the oil stability.

HYDRO-LIPID

The balance of water and oil in the skin.  Loss of elasticity and irritation develop if the balance is disturbed.

HYDROLYZED ANIMAL COLLAGEN

Collagen that is derived from animal matter that gives the hair body and protects it from damage by the elements.  It coats the hair with an emollient film.

HYDROLYZED KERATIN

Protein derived from non-animal matter that is used on the hair.

HYDROLYZED WHOLE WHEAT PROTEIN

A water-soluble protein that is derived from whole wheat, thus it is not animal derived.  It contains two major proteins both rich in cystine (an amino acid).  The two proteins, glutenin and gliadin, moisturize and smooth the surface of the skin, helping moisture to bind to the stratum corneum.

HYDROPHILIC

A word that literally means “water loving”.  Hydrophilic substances are attracted to water or water molecules.

HYDROQUINONE

This agent is used in skin products to lighten or bleach pigmentation on the skin.

HYDROTHERAPY

A term for an array of treatments that take place with or in water.  Examples include herbal baths, underwater massage, balneotherapy (with either fresh or mineral water), thalassotherapy (sea water), Kneipp therapy, Vichy treatments, Scotch hoses, Swiss showers, bubbles or jets.  Also see underwater massage.

HYDROTUB/HYDROTHERAPY TUB

A tub used for underwater massage and therapeutic baths.  The tub is specially designed and equipped with high-pressure jets and a hand-manipulated hose.

HYDROXYPROLINE

Referred to as “Hyp”, this is a protein that serves as a sort of universal biological glue.  Its primary amino acid is L-hydroxyproline, which is a non-essential amino acid.  Hyp plays a major role in making collagen, connective tissue, skin, ligaments, tendons, bones and cartilage.  It is also necessary for the assimilation of Vitamin D, which, in turn is needed to absorb calcium.

HYDROXYETHYL CELLULOSE

A polymer used to thicken creams and lotions that also helps balance viscosity and form gels when dealing with water-soluble substances.  It protects skin and changes its feel.  It is a naturally derived substance.

HYDROXYPROPYL METHYLCELLULOSE

Derived from plants and used as a thickener, this fibrous substance imparts uniform consistency and body to products.

HYGROSCOPIC

In cosmetics, a substance used in creams and lotions to contributes to their moisture content.  A substance which is hygroscopic is one that readily absorbs and retains moisture.

HYPERGLYCEMIA

High blood glucose levels due to diabetes, excessive intake of sugar or adrenalin stimulation.

HYPERPIGMENTATION

Skin darkening, often caused by ultraviolet radiation.  The exposure to UV rays provokes melanocytes in the skin.  Areas of excess melanin in the skin cause dark, irregular patches to appear.  Melanin formation is stimulated by the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, x-rays and photosensitizing agents.  Vitamin C tends to reduce melanin levels.  Common treatments to counteract hyperpigmentation are the use of hydroquinone (a whitening agent) and steroids.

HYPERSENSITIVITY

Hypersensitivity occurs when the immune system overreacts to an antigen.  This can lead to skin reactions, asthma, hay fever and urticaria.

HYPERTRICHOSIS

A condition characterized by excessive growth of hair on the body.

HYPERTROPHY

The overgrowth or enlargement of an organ, part, or soft tissues.  It occurs due to its constituent cells increasing in size.

HYPOALLERGENIC

This term refers to ingredients, substance,  or products that, when compared to other products, are least likely to cause allergic reactions.

HYPODERMIS

Underneath the skin’s surface.

HYPOGLYCEMIA

A condition of abnormally low blood sugar levels as opposed to hyperglycemia (the opposite condition).

HYPOPIGMENTATION

Often genetic in nature, this condition is a lack of, or diminished pigmentation due to the loss of melanin.  Can also be brought on by skin resurfacing techniques and aging.

HYPOTENSION

A condition or state of low blood pressure.

HYPOTHALAMUS

The part of the brain that deals with the mechanisms of the endocrine system.

HYSSOP

A substance described as an: anti-spasmodic, stimulant, tonic, expectorant, diaphoretic, nervine, anti-inflammatory, carminative, hepatic, and emmenagogue.  It is used to treat coughs, bronchitis, and chronic inflammation of mucous membranes.  It has diaphoretic properties, hence its use to treat the common cold.  It may be used also as a nervine to calm states of anxiety, hysteria and petit mal (a type of epilepsy).

IATROGENIC

Damage caused by medical or non-medical treatments that did not exist prior to the treatment; imbalances, illness, or disease as a result of the treatment itself.

ICHTHYOSIS

A genetic skin disease manifesting as the appearance of excessive scales.  A disorder of keratinization that is hereditary.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

A complex and detailed mix of cells, molecules, and antibody components (proteins) that protect the body again invasion by foreign agents.

IMMUNITY

Having the power to heal and resist infection.

IMMUNODERMATOLOGY

The science of studying skin diseases that relate to or involve the immune system.

IMMUNOSTIMULANT

Something that stimulates immunity, whether acquired or congenital.

IMMUNOSUPPRESSANT

A suppressor of the natural immune response of the body.

INDIGOTINE

This is the common name for the color: uncertified FD&C Blue No. 2.

INDOLENT

A condition which is accompanied by ulcerations, necrosis, sluggishness, and does not resolve readily.

INDIUM

A trace mineral element from an ionic plant source.

INFLAMMATION

A swelling condition often with fever, redness, pain and itching.  Often accompanied by functional failure of the body part or system that is affected.

INFLUENZA

Known as the flu, this virus attacks the respiratory tract along with possible fever, headache, general body aches, runny nose, cough, and sore throat.

INFUSION

The steeping of herbs’ leaves or flowers in hot water to make tea.

INHALATION THERAPY

Steam or hot vapors mixed with essential oils or eucalyptus which are inhaled in order to decongest the respiratory system.  The vapors are inhaled either in a special steam room or through specially designed equipment.

INORGANIC

Composed of non-living matter.  Minerals, for example.

INOSITOL

Essentially Vitamin B; used as an emollient and to help hair that is thinning.

INSOLUBLE

Not able to be dissolved; a substance that does not dissolve when placed in another substance.

INSTANT CONDITIONER

A product with light to strong conditioning ability that restores and protects against future damage.  Usually refers to a hair product.

INSULIN

A hormone produced in the body that helps transfer sugar into the body’s cells to make energy.

INTRAVENOUS

Within the vein; fluid that is injected directly into the vein to provide nutrition, water or medication.

INTRINSIC

Something that is intrinsic comes from  “within itself”, inherent to the object in question.

INTRINSIC FACTOR

The stomach contains parietal cells which produce a glycoprotein. This glycoprotein is known as the intrinsic factor.  It is also known as GIF (gastric intrinsic factor).  The GIF is critical and necessary for the body to absorb vitamin B12 in the terminal ileum (a part of the small intestine).

INVERTASE

A type of enzyme that breaks down starch.  First into complex sugars, then simple sugars, then alcohol.  Validase invertase is a dry preparation derived from yeast, suitable for ingestion.  It helps in the hydrolysis of cane or beet sugar (sucrose) into its individual parts (D-fructose and D-glucose).  It is used to aid in the rapid hydrolysis of sucrose so that invert sugar solutions can be produced.

IN VITRO

The word is Latin and means “in the living body”.  An in vitro procedure is performed in a controlled environment (usually in a test tube).  In vitro studies do not involve live vertebrate animals, while In vivo studies are done using animals.

IODINE

A trace element which is non-metallic.  It is necessary in humans for proper thyroid functioning.  The health of the hair, teeth and skin all depend upon a healthy thyroid.

IRISH MOSS

Used to stabilize a wide variety of dairy products.  In raw form it is useful as a bulk laxative and it coats the entire GI tract with a soothing effect.  It also alleviates peptic and duodenal ulcers with no negative colon effects.

IRITIS

A condition in which the iris of the eye is swollen and inflamed.

IRON

A mineral which is in both animal and plant tissue.  Its main function is combining copper and protein together to make hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin carries oxygen in the blood from the lungs to other tissues.  All living tissues need oxygen to function.  Iron can also increase blood quality which also increases the body’s ability to resist disease and stress.  Iron is a necessary mineral for the formation of myoglobin, found only in muscle tissue.  Myoglobin gives oxygen to muscle cells which enables them to contract.  Iron also combats fatigue and supports good skin tone.

IRON OXIDES

Iron oxides (oxides are a combination of oxygen and iron) occur naturally and vary in color. They can be different shades of red, brown, black, orange or yellow based on the amount of water in them.  They are inorganic pigments and are approved to be used cosmetically, including around the eye area.

IRRITANT

Any substance that consistently produces a menacing response in most of the population.  Responses are typically swelling, itching, burning, reddening, and blistering.  An irritant is not the same as an allergen.

ISOBUTANE

Gas that is naturally occurring.

ISOPROPANOL

Also called isopropyl alcohol.  It is used to make polymers and resins soluble.  It is organic, and is a solvent in the alcohol family.

ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL

Also called isopropanol; see the definition under isopropanol for more information.

ISOPROPYL LANOLATE

A moisturizer that is synthetic.

ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE

A lubricant and emollient capable of reducing a product’s greasy feel by replacing the oilier ingredients.  It is a moisturizer which is synthetic.

ISOPROPYL PALMITATE

This is an ester which comes from coconut oil in the form of palmitic acid.  It adds a silkiness to the hair and skin.  It is a moisturizer which is synthetic.

ISOTONIC

Possessing the same saline level that is found in body fluids.

IVY

A plant that is a mild irritant.  It displays toning and tightening qualities and when applied topically to an area, it is believed to stimulate blood circulation to that area.

IVY EXTRACT

An extract known to firm and tighten skin.  It is a natural diuretic as well as a cleansing agent.

JACQUARD

A fabric which has an intricate pattern or variegated weave.  Using selected needles to knit interesting and complex designs using multiple colored yarns and a variety of loops.

JAMAICAN DOGWOOD

Used mostly as a pain remedy, also a strong sedative.  It alleviates neuralgia and migraines as well al relieving ovarian/uterine pain.  It is used to treat insomnia and reduce nervous tension and pain.  It is considered a nervine, anodyne and anti-spasmodic.

JASMINE

A flower used for its sweet scent.  It is used in perfumes and an essential oil extracted from the Jasmine plant.

JASMINE OIL

An oil used in perfumes because of its lovely scent.  Also used to warm, smooth, revitalize and stimulate skin.  Also see Jasmine.

JAUNDICE

A condition where bilirubin deposits buildup in the body, manifesting as yellowing of the skin, eyes and mucosa.  Bilirubin is the waste created by the breaking down of red blood cells (hemoglobin).

JOJOBA

Used for its properties as a tonic, emollient and moisturizer, jojoba helps alleviate dry skin, smooth out wrinkles and fade stretch marks.

JOJOBA OIL

The oil produced from Jojoba.  See the definition of Jojoba.

JUJUBE FRUIT

A fruit that has been used for thousands of years in many cultures.  It is very popular as a tea to ease a sore throat. Jujube is available in paste, tablet and syrup form for throat afflictions. Test done in Russia have revealed a high Vitamin C content in the fruit.

JUNIPER

A fragrance from the juniper plant.  Also considered to be  a mild stimulant to the skin.

JUNIPER BERRIES

These berries are bitter, and when eaten, their bitterness helps digestion and eases flatulence and colic.  Taken externally, they help joint and muscle pain.  They contain a volatile oil (terpinen-4) that irritates the kidney and stimulates its filtration and output.  Because of this Juniper is often used as a diuretic, treating kidney and bladder conditions, to increase urine output, and to relieve symptoms associated with kidney stones and gout.  It has the following properties: diuretic, anti-microbial, and carminative, and treats rheumatic conditions.

KAOLIN CLAY

A clay from kaolin in southeast China.  Also known as China Clay, it is a fine, white powder which in rich in minerals and it is helpful in drawing out oil from pores while simultaneously ridding the skin from dirt and dead cells. It is purified and of cosmetic grade.  French Green Clay and Bentonite are also used in the same way.

KAPHA

In Ayurveda (a type of alternative medicine originating in India), one of the three doshas or, energies, that make up the physical body.  It is thought to be responsible for strength and the lubrication of joints.  It is the water humor and plays a vital role in the existence and health of all cells and tissues in the body.

KAPOSI’S SARCOMA

A skin cancer which used to be rare by is now common in people with AIDS.  It is characterized by individual cancerous lesions brought on by an overgrowth of blood vessels.  Typically, the painless spots/nodules are in the oral cavity or on the skin and appear purple or pink in color.  It can also occur in the intestines, lymph nodes, lungs, or other internal areas, making it life threatening.

KARITE

A nourishing skin emollient that occurs naturally and acts a protectant. Also refer to Karite Butter.

KARITE BUTTER

Also known as shea butter, this substance originally comes from Africa.  Traditionally it has been used in cases of dry skin, discoloration, blemishes or other scars, and wrinkles.  It is used also to relax muscles that are stiff, to ease pain and swelling from arthritis and to screen out UV rays.  It is especially good for the skin because of its non-saponifiable fatty acids.  These acids, mainly stearic and oleic, are crucial to the moisturization process and for maintaining the skin’s elasticity.  Shea butter gives the skin all the essential elements required to balance it out.  It does this by compensating for fat (lipid) deficiencies in the epidermal cells.  Shea butter is superior material for manufacturing soap because it contains unsaponifiables of up to 11%.  Its mildness makes it ideal for many products and it is used by the soap and cosmetics industries to make shampoos, hair balsam, creams, lotions, skin cleaning products and soaps.  It is suitable to use on hand, body and face.  It has all-around healing and regenerative traits making it a valuable product in the industry.

KAVA KAVA

Used for hundred of years as a muscle relaxer and central nervous system depressant, the root extract and rhizome (the plant’s underground stems) are used primarily to treat nervous anxiety.

KELOID

A thick, tough, sharply raised scar on the surface of the skin.  It usually continues to enlarge because of excess collagen which forms during tissue repair.

KELP

A seaweed plant containing about thirty different minerals which are nourishing to glands, particularly the pituitary and thyroid glands.  Kelp helps balance the metabolism via this gland nourishment, thus aiding in the burning of calories.  It is an important tonic herb both nutrition-wise and in general.  It helps treat obesity, respiratory and heart disease, rheumatism and arthritis, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, GI ailments and constipation, as well as infectious type diseases.  It improves the circulatory system and supports the entire body in the area of nutrition.

KERATIN

A natural protein found in animal horns, nails, hair, and the upper skin layers.  It is also a major component of the cells of the stratum corneum (the protective, outermost layer of skin of the epidermis)  It moisturizes and protects the surface by forming a film.

KERATINIZATION

The act of being converted into keratin; the process involving the formation of the stratum corneum (the outer, protective skin layer) from the epidermis.

KERATINOCYTE

A keratin-making, epidermal skin cell which ultimately dies and flattens, becoming part of the stratum corneum.

KERATITIS

An affliction of the cornea of the eye whereby it becomes inflamed and irritated.

KERATOHYALIN GRANULE

Cells that are found in the epidermis’ granular layer that are usually irregularly shaped.

KERATOLYTIC

An agent used topically to peel off the outermost layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum.  Also refer to keratolytic agents.

KERATOLYTIC AGENTS

Softening agents that act to separate and shed or peel off the horny, keratin rich layer of the skin.  They also treat selected skin disorders, warts and corns.

KERATOSIS

A lesion on the skin that is unusually sensitive to UV light (sunlight) and its effects.  It is usually a little bit raised, pinkish or reddish, and discreet in shape; its location is almost always in a location that is exposed to the sun.  Its texture can be gritty, rough or scaly.

KERATOSIS PILARIS

Mostly appearing before puberty, but sometimes accompanying teenage acne, the tiny red and white bumps that tend to present around the hair follicles of the sides of the arms and the cheeks are called keratosis pilaris.  It is a common and annoying skin condition.

KETOCONAZOLE

Antifungal medicine to be used topically.

KINESITHERAPY

Also known as physiotherapy, this treatment helps muscle tone and circulation by moving body parts in a calculated manner (either actively or passively).

KIWI EXTRACT

This Vitamin C rich extract from the tropical fruit is a natural additive.  It is also rich in potassium, fiber, antioxidants, amino acids, magnesium, and Vitamin E. It contains larger amounts of many nutrients than almost any other fruit.  Just a few of these nutrients include: Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, calcium, iron and folic acid.  Kiwis and its extract have almost no fat and no cholesterol.

KNEIPP THERAPY

This therapy uses hot and cold water, alternating in a series of treatments on different body parts.  It combines water and herbal extracts in different methods of bathing for the purpose of calming the mind and revitalizing the whole person.  Herbal remedies are used selectively to detoxify.

KOJIC ACID

A naturally occurring substance arising from the fermentation process of a type of rice.  It is thought to inhibit the production of melanin and is sometimes used to bleach/lighten skin.

KOLA

Refer to the definition for Kola Nut.

KOLA NUT

Also known as Cola or Cola Nut, it is from a large tree from Africa (the seed kernel portion) which is now grown around the world commercially.  It is a stimulant to the central nervous system and may fight fatigue in tonic form.  It also is used as a diuretic, an astringent and an antidepressant.  It contains caffeine and thus could provide some relief to migraine sufferers.  It may also display antioxidant activity. It has a variety of historical uses that include treating anxiety, nervous diarrhea or nervous debility, and seasickness, to name a few.

KUKUI NUT OIL

This oil is used to treat and help symptoms of acne, psoriasis, sunburn and dry skin.  It absorbs into the skin with ease and is known to be a natural source of linolenic fatty acids and linoleic, which are key to skin that is healthy and vibrant looking. For hundreds of years it has been used by Hawaiians to protect and repair skin exposed to the elements.

KUR

A European term: “Taking a Kur”, alludes to spending time away to renew and relax (in a therapeutic sense).  The word is German and literally means “cure”.

LACTAMIDE MEA

Refer to acetamide MEA for this definition.

LACTASE

Lactase in an enzyme necessary for digesting the sugar found in milk and milk products (this sugar is also known as lactose).

LACTIC ACID

An alpha hydroxy acid containing three carbons.  The molecules in lactic acid are larger than glycolic acid and it is absorbed into the epidermis at a slower rate causing less irritation.  The topical use of lactic acid results in skin with more flexibility and a smoother texture, because this acid helps cells detach from the stratum corneum’s lower layers which prevents it from thickening.  Lactic acid is part of the skin’s natural tendency to retain water.  This role is known as the NMF (natural moisturizing factor).

LACTOSE

Lactose is a type of sugar.  It is naturally occurring in milk products and milk itself and is complex in nature.  In order for the body to absorb it, it first needs to be broken down into simple sugars. The breakdown into glucose and galactose (simple sugars) is carried out by the enzyme lactase.

LAKE COLORS

Coloring agents that combine dyes with salt to make them water-insoluble.  Because they do not dissolve when placed in water, the colors are less likely to leach out.  Examples include hard candies, gum,  coated tablets and lipstick.

LAMELLAR GRANULE

Also called a membrane-coating granule,  it is a granule made in the prickle cell layer of skin that essentially consists of lipids.  Its shape is small and ovular.

LANETH-10 ACETATE

Used as a thickening agent (emulsifier), this agent is the  polyethylene glycol that is found in lanolin alcohol.

LANGERHANS CELL

A type of white blood cell that fights infection; it is a valuable part of the immune system.  The majority of these type of cells are found in the epidermis, while some reside in the lymph nodes.

LANOLIN

Extracted from the wax found on sheep wool, this is a natural substance used to moisturize, lubricate and protect the skin.  It is seldom used in its pure form because it is also commonly causes irritation due to allergic reactions.  It does, however, make a great emollient with a water absorption rate equal to 50% of its own weight.

LANOLIN ALCOHOLS

A great emollient for skin and hair in the form of a solid which has been distilled then deodorized.  It has about 30% cholesterol and sterols.  It is important to note that although it can be very softening and moisturizing, it is considered quite comedogenic (having a pore-blocking or acne-promoting tendency), so those prone to breakouts should avoid it.

LAPPA EXTRACT

An extract containing tannic acid that contains essential mineral salts to soothe skin.  It comes from the root of the burdock plant.

LAURAMIDE DEA

A cleansing agent used to make products like bubble baths and shampoos because it yields a large amount of suds.  It is made up of a combination of ethanolamides from lauric acid.

LAURETH-3

This is the primary alcohol of coconut oil used as an emulsifier to increase viscosity and also as a skin softener and smoother/emollient.

LAURETH-23

Used for its emulsifying effects to thicken, laureth-23 is polyethylene glycol ether that comes from lauryl alcohol.

LAUROAMPHOCARBOXYGLYCINATE

This compound is an organic cleanser for the surface of the skin used both in facial cleansers and shampoos.  It is sudsy and mild in nature and can act either as a base or an acid, meaning it has amphoteric properties.

LAVENDER

An aromatic herb used to relieve stress induced headaches and to help depression.  It works on the nervous system as a tonic as well, and is used to calm nervous debility and alleviate exhaustion.  Also used as a sleep aid.

LAVENDER EXTRACT

An agent that calms the skin while having anti-inflammatory effects.  See also Lavender.

LAVENDER FLOWERS

Used for its sweet mild aroma, lavender flowers are also used as a cleanser and stimulant for the skin.

LAVENDER OIL

The oil from the flowering lavender plant used to treat the skin for acne, general oiliness and dermatitis.  The oil is also used for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

LAXATIVE

A substance used to help ease constipation and/or facilitate the emptying of the bowels.

LEARNED ODOR RESPONSE

Associating a particular person, place or thing with a particular smell.  Forming a memory connection between an odor, and something else (again, can be a person, place, or thing).  Once the link has been established, the presence of the odor evokes the memory.

LECITHIN

Most commonly a derivative of egg yolks or a natural substance derivative of soybeans.  Lecithin protects and softens skin as a natural emollient, while restoring the acid mantle. It behaves as a natural antioxidant.

LEMON EXTRACT

Naturally purifying as well as refreshing, it cleanses the skin and is especially well acting on oily skin.  It has astringic and decongestive traits and is used as a tonic.  Aids in the prevention of skin discoloration.

LEMON OIL

An astringent and antiseptic that also detoxifies.

LEMON THYME

Smoothes and soothes the skin in a bath or in a facial sauna.  It is a disinfectant with a multitude of uses.  Favored due to its aroma, it also acts as a stimulant.

LEMONGRASS

Used to cleanse and impart sheen.  In hairsprays it may be added to give a flexibility to the hairstyle.

LEMONGRASS OIL

A wonderful antiseptic and good for the skin to purify and cleanse. Full of Vitamin A, it can also balance the skin’s oil level which may hinder breakouts.  Available in herbal blends formulated for the face and in bath products.

LESION

A noticeable deviation from the regular function and/or structure.  More commonly, a cut or laceration.

LEUKOCYTES

Immune system cells (white blood cells) that combat foreign invaders and infection in the body.

LEUKOCYTOSIS

A condition in which the white blood cells are unusually elevated; an infection which is non-viral is likely to be the cause.

LEUKOPENIA

An unusually low level of white blood cells; the opposite of leukocytosis.

LICHEN EXTRACT

An extract effective in killing bacteria, fungus, and yeast, that is used in products for foot care, deodorants, oral care and antimicrobial washes.

LICHENIFICATION

An irritating condition marked by dry, leathery skin due to a thickening of the epidermis.  Existing skin imperfections appear worse due to the condition, which may stem from repetitive scratching and rubbing.

LICHENIFIED

A state in which the skin has become thick, plaque-like,  and appears leathery, usually from constant friction on the particular area as with scratching or rubbing.  Seen frequently on the upper back, sides of the neck, scalp, ankles or genital region.

LICORICE

Also spelled “liquorice”, this herb is used as a remedy for a variety of ailments, among which are the treatment of allergic skin reactions and acne. Some of its other uses include treating constipation, reducing inflammation, acting as an expectorant and an anti-spasmodic.  It affects the liver and endocrine system as well as other organs.  It treats cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis.  It is also used in allopathic medicine to help peptic ulcers.  It is important to note that licorice should not be used during pregnancy or if a history of kidney disease or hypertension is present.

LICORICE EXTRACT

The extract from the herb licorice which acts as an antioxidant to attack free radicals and also hinders the production of melanin.  See also licorice and licorice root.

LICORICE ROOT, ORGANIC

This herb is wonderful and versatile.  Among many other uses (see licorice extract and licorice) it is an effective pore opener and soother when used as a facial steamer, allowing other herbs to treat and cleanse the area.

LIMBIC SYSTEM

Structures within the brain that work together to balance metabolism with emotions.

LINDEN

A relaxant used to control high blood pressure related to arteriosclerosis and nervous tension.  It is also helpful for some types of migraine headaches.  It is considered to be an astringent, diuretic, hypotensive, nervine, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic, among other actions.

LINEOLAMIDO PROPYL ETHYDIMONIUM ETHOSULFATE

A substance used in hair conditioners which controls static.

LINIMENT

A liquid formula with a base of either alcohol, water, or oil that has healing substances and is applied topically.

LIPIDS

Products contained in living systems which are water soluable; fats, for example.  Lipids are what make up a cell membrane.  Throughout the aging process the quantity of lipids in the body diminishes causing the skin to lose its suppleness.  In general terms, lipids refer to sterols, fats and lipoids.

LIPOPHILIC

A substance which is combinable with lipids; having the ability to dissolve in lipids.

LIPOPROTEIN

A complex made up of both lipids and proteins that is meant to carry lipids, which are not water soluble, into the bloodstream which has a water base.

LIPOSOMES

Sacs made of natural or manufactured fatty agents that include substances that make up cell membranes.  The particular substances, phospholipids, are able to block and catch anything that dissolves in oil or water. Product ingredients are distributed and deposited into the skin by these microscopic liposome sacs.  A  moisturizing ingredient, for example, would be carried by the liposomes to the skin, then dissolved by the liposomes, thus releasing the effects of the ingredient (moisturization) into the skin.

LIQUID CRYSTAL CHOLERTERIC ESTERS

Lipids consisting of cholesterol that moisturize as well as repair the skin.  A products active ingredients reach deep into the epidermis’ layers by means of the microencapsulated strands of crystals.  These crystals are suited for this task due to their superb absorbency.

LIQUORICE

An herb used widely to treat many ailments.  Also a popular candy.  Commonly spelled “licorice”, see definition under that spelling for a detailed description of its uses and traits.

LOBELIA

Lobelia is a flowering plant and has a long-standing history of treating respiratory disorders and issues.  Specifically used in bronchitis and asthma related to the bronchial tract, it is a stimulant to the respiratory system and tends to loosen mucus and produce expectorant actions and catarrhal secretions, while at the same time helping to relax respiratory muscles.  It affects the central nervous system by acting as a non-specific depressant on it, and does the same for the autonomic nervous system and on neuromuscular action.  This plant is also known as “Indian Tobacco”.

LOOFAH

Very useful in scrubbing the skin during cleansing to slough off dead skin cells and expose healthier, smoother skin.  It is a sponge of natural fibers and is coarse in texture.  Body treatments frequently involve scrubbing with gels, soaps and exfoliating creams/lotions that have been applied onto a loofah.  Gentle massage, then a scrubbing, with the loofah (which contains some blend of product such as almond meal, sea salt, etc.) all over the body, followed by a shower, renews the skin leaving it glowing and rejuvenated.

LOTION

A substance, low in viscosity, that is applied to the skin to soften, moisturized, nourish, and renew it.  A lotion can also be used as a means to deliver medication (as in an antibiotic in a lotion base, for example).  It can be an oil in water mixture or the reverse, a water in oil mixture.  A pourable oil in water emulsion is referred to as a creamy lotion.

LUBRICANT

A product formulated for the purpose of smoothing the skin and retarding the loss of moisture.  It is usually feels slippery in texture and is rich in oil, either as an oil product itself, or a cream or lotion product rich with oil as an added ingredient.

LUFFA-LOOFAH

A fruit bearing plants with long vines that is used as an excellent scrub for the body.  The seeds and rinds are not included in the body scrub formula.  This plant also exfoliates the skin and increases circulation.  It looks similar to a cucumber plant.

LUMBAR REGION

The bottom five vertebrae on the spinal column under the thoracic area and above the sacrum.

LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS

An autoimmune disease that manifests as multiple types of skin lesions over the body.  It is a chronic inflammatory disorder.

LYMPH

Liquid that comes from all over the body in its tissue fluids.  It is gathered in the vessels of the lymphatic system and sent back to the blood by this system.  Lymph is alkaline in nature and looks yellowish and transparent.

LYMPHOCYTES

These are white blood cells.  There are two kinds of lymphocytes; B cells and T cells.  They originate in the spleen, nodes, lymph and bone marrow.

LYMPHOKINES

Upon coming into contact with certain types of antigens, lymphocytes (specific white blood cells) which are sensitized release these substances called lymphokines.  They stimulate macrophages, assisting in cell immunity.

LYSINE

This is an essential amino acid that relates to connective tissue and bone cartilage by aiding in the generation of collagen (the main ingredient of that tissue and cartilage).  Lysine also contributes to enzyme, hormone and antibody production.  Low lysine levels can cause loss of hair.

MACADAMIA NUT OIL

Extracted from macadamia nuts, the oil is natural and used in the cosmetic industry for fragrances, to help preserve their scent and make them last longer,  and in other cosmetic products as an emollient or softening agent.

MACERATION

The process of using soaking as a means to soften the skin.

MACROBIOTICS

Focusing on longevity through means of diet, nutrition or substances that are consumed.

MACROPHAGE

A type of white blood cell called a monocyte that consumes and rids the body of foreign substances via the process of phagocytosis, combating bacteria as well as tumor cells along with other harmful intruders.

MACULE

Usually brown, red, or white, a macule is a lesion on the skin that is abnormally pigmented, compared to surrounding tissue.  It is flat and, if it exceeds 5 millimeters in size, it is referred to as a patch.  A freckle is an example of a macule.

MAGNESIUM ALUMINUM SILICATE ABSORBENT

A clay which is absorbent and used for its anti-caking properties.

MAGNESIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE

Derived from Vitamin C, this substance is used in skin care products.  It is an antioxidant and the body can easily convert it to ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).  It also assists in collagen production as well as being used as a skin lightener.

MAGNESIUM CITRATE

This agent is a magnesium salt that comes from citric acid.  Sometimes made into dietary supplements.  It is frequently used before surgeries or diagnostic tests to empty the bowels.  It is also an ingredient in products for the hair to help set a style or add body.

MA HUANG

An herb used for its properties as a vasodilator, antiallergic, circulatory enhancer, vasodilator and a hypertensive.  It is know to relieve spasms bronchially and help control asthma and related issues such as whooping cough and bronchitis, among others.  It may help treat low blood pressure as well.

MALABSORPTION

The inability of the body to properly absorb nutrients by the intestine.

MALIC ACID

A glycolic acid that comes from apples and helps exfoliate and clarify skin.

MALIGNANT

Typically refers to tumors, especially cancerous tumors.  Generally, it means something that is growing worse progressively, potentially resulting in death.

MALNUTRITION

A condition in which the body is lacking the proper balance or amount of nutrients it requires for optimal function.  This may be due to an inadequate diet.

MALLOW

A substance that reduces swelling, especially around the eyes, and aids in diminishing fine lines caused by the aging process.

MALLOW EXTRACT

A healing and comforting gel that softens skin, alleviates swollen areas, including the eye area, and makes age lines less noticeable.

MALTOSE

A malt sugar formed from units of starch and glycogen; it is used to sweeten and add nutrients to consumables.

MANDI SUSU

A bath done as a ritual in Indonesia using either yogurt, buttermilk, or milk.

MARJORAM OIL

This oil increases the flow of blood and stimulates the production of new skin cells.  It creates a warmth and invigorates when applied to the skin.

MARSHMALLOW

The marshmallow root comes from the plant that has been used  for centuries as a medicinal herb.  It is used as an emollient, a demulcent and to treat irritation and inflammation of the alimentary canal, the respiratory, and the urinary systems and organs.  Typically, the leaves are better for the lungs and urinary system, and the root is better for digestive issues.  The leaves have been used to alleviate cystitis urethritis, urinary grave, bronchitis, and bothersome coughs.  It is a very useful expectorant and anti-inflammatory.

MAST CELLS

A group of cells from the dermis that line the tissues of the capillaries that are exposed to air, including lung mucosa, sinuses and skin.  They redden skin in reaction to a skin flare by emitting substances called heparin and histamine.

MATE EXRACT

This extract calms irritation from the use of hydroxy acids found in cosmetics. It is quite concentrated with anti-irritant xanthenes, including theophylline, and because of this it’s well suited as an ingredient in skin products for smoothing the skin. Also, it serves as a vasodilator, a stimulant and an astringent.  Another name for mate extract is Paraguay Tea.

MATRICARIA

This is another word known as chamomile.  See the chamomile definition.

MATRIX

On the topic of fingernails, a matrix refers to the place underneath the folds of the nail and the cuticle that cannot be seen.  The substance of tissue which is connective or intercellular.

MATTE

A light-absorbing surface that is dull in appearance.

MEADOWSWEET

An herb that protects and heals the digestive tract by diminishing acid levels and calming feelings of nausea.  It helps heartburn as well and gastric and peptic ulcers.  As an astringent it is gentle and in children it quells diarrhea.  It has chemicals similar to aspirin and thus alleviates arthritic and rheumatic pain and acts as a fever reducer.  Also an anti-inflammatory.

MECHANCAL EXFOLIATION

A treatment done to rid the skin of dead cells exposing a smoother surface.  It is done by using a rough hand-held item like a loofah, or a product which is abrasive and grainy.  The skin is rubbed to slough off the outer dull layers.

MELALEUCA

A shrub with an oil extract that heals and behaves like an antiseptic.  It is commonly known as the “tea tree” and comes from Australia.

MELANIN

A pigment responsible for skin/hair color.  The more melanin the skin has, the darker the skin appears.

MELANOCYTES

Cells that produce melanin.  Cells that help shield skin from UV radiation; they are epidermal cells within the basal cell layer.

MELANOMA

A serious form of skin cancer.  It usually appears in the form of a dark, irregularly shaped tumor, often originating from a pre-existing mole or wart.

MEMBRANE

Very thin tissue that exists for the purpose of dividing an organ or space inside the body, lining one of its cavities, or covering a surface to protect it.

MENTHOL

This is peppermint oil , a derivative of mint oils in general.  It acts to naturally cool, and sooth itching and inflammation.  It gives the skin a clean, fresh feeling.

MENU

In reference to a spa, the menu resembles a restaurant except that it list services related to beauty and spa treatments available to the client (either individually or grouped as package deals) rather than food/drinks.

METABOLISM

The body system that turns food into fuel, or energy.

METABOLITE

When the body converts food into fuel, the leftover product that exists is known as a metabolite.

METHACRYLOYL ETHYL BETAINE METHACRYLATES COPOLYMER

This agent is typically used in hairsprays to give them a glossy effect and to create stiffness. It maintains its water-solubility, so long as it is washed off  within the first 48 hours following application.  It is part of a system with positively charged molecules (cationic).

METHIONINE

An essential amino acid that works on the skin, hair and nails by providing them with sulfur, which adds strength and tone and has conditioning effects.

METHOTREXASTE

A substance used as chemotherapy to treat certain types of cancer.  It is also used to help in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

METHY GLUCETH

Used to help treat dry skin, this ingredient works well to attract moisture into the skin while protecting from moisture loss.  It tends to be less gummy in texture than other products with humectant traits.

METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE

An agent use in shampoos to give them a longer shelf like, a preservative.

METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE

This agent is available in a rinse-off formula.  It is an antimicrobial that is used to preserve certain products.

METHYLPARABEN CARBOXYMETHYL THEOPHYLLINE ALGINATE

A complex affecting the way enzymatic lipids break down.  It comes from a plant source and is essentially derived from organic silicon.  It encourages fat cells to release toxic materials that have accumulated to undesirable levels.  It is used to renew connective tissues and as an anti-cellulite.

METHYLPARABEN/PROPYLPARABEN

A stabilizer for skin products; in addition, this substance preserves the life of food grade items.  It is non-toxic and suitable for sensitive systems.  Used against a variety of fungi and bacteria.

METHYLSULFONYLMETHANE

A substance abbreviated as MSM, discovered to be essential for the synthesizing collagen for hair, skin and nails. It keeps cells pliable, preventing them from becoming stiff or rigid.  It is known as “the beauty mineral, softening tissues and relieving ailments such as asthma, arthritis, constipation, inflammatory problems, and stress.  It also treats poor circulation and removes toxins from the body, alleviates muscle cramps, helps back pain, boosts energy and alertness, and promotes a tempered mood while increasing mental focus.  MSM has many other functions including aiding choline  production in the liver, treating stomach ulcers/acidity, coating the intestines and ridding them of parasites, helping with insulin production, healing wounds more quickly, alleviating pollen and food allergies and attacking free radicals in the body.

MICA

A collection of minerals that are shimmery, rainbow colored flakes.  Popularly used for cosmetics, especially the eye area, for their opalescence.

MICELLE

Groups of liquid molecules in water, in droplet-type form, made by fat like components of shampoo surfactants.  After shampooing, water rinses them away.

MICROBE

A microscopic organism such as fungi, protozoa or bacteria.

MICROBIOLOGY

The scientific study of microorganisms.  They can be either one-celled organisms or a collection of organisms that forms a named group.  Microbiology is a generally broad term that can include other subspecialties like virology, bacteriology, etc.

MICROCOMEDO

Refer to the definition of Microcomedone.

MICROCOMEDONE

A bacteria and oil filled follicle that has become enlarged.  Underneath the skin’s surface a plug may form (a comedo that cannot be seen) and hinder the sebum flow out of the pilosebaceous unit.

MICROCRYSTALLINE

Refer to Titanium Dioxide.

MICRO-ENCAPSULATION

Ingredients that have been isolated and stored inside a casing to protect them until they are delivered to their intended site of use; for example, microencapsulated skin products will be contained until they reach the skin and their contents will provide the ingredients in the purest, untainted manner possible.

MICRO-EMULSION

A process of blending that takes ingredients which normally tend to separate (like oil in water) and suspends their microscopic particles in the solution so they are able to mix, in a sense.

MICRONISED MARINE ALGAE

A  fine powder formed by creating an explosion under extremely cold pressure.  They are used to add moisture and soften skin while removing toxins.  Also used for their diuretic properties.  A seaweed derivative.

MICROSPONGES

Globe shaped and minute in size, nevertheless these little sponges are so absorbent that they are able to hold skin secretions up to four times their own weight, making them excellent oil and shine reducers for the skin.

MICROSPORUM CANIS

A fungus which is the cause of many fungal infections related to the skin.

MILK POWDER

Used in face and bath products, milk powder provides a reasonably priced skin cleanser and body wash which is soothing.

MILK PROTEIN

A complex popular for its mild method of soothing and cleansing the skin.

MILK THISTLE

This herb helps produce bile and its flow from the gallbladder and liver.  It is used to treat a wide variety of live and gallbladder problems, including cirrhosis and hepatitis.

MINERAL BATHS

Drawn many times from mineral spring waters at precise temperatures, this bath is considered very relaxing and therapeutic.  There are recommended soaking times; the mineral content of the bath dictates the effect on the body, which varies from spring to spring.

MINERAL OIL

A blend of hydrocarbons in liquid form.  The is a petroleum product and a good solvent for getting rid of grease, oil, and hard to remove makeup.  However, it is harsher on the skin than vegetable oils.  It can also be used to attract UV rays, making it a known sun tanning amplifier.

MINERALS

Substances that come from the earth.  They are natural and of critical importance to the metabolic system.  The body needs them in order to stay healthy and function well.

MINK OIL

Obtained from minks, from the sub dermal fatty tissues.  It resembles sebum in humans.  It is an important ingredient in products to treat dry skin because it has protective, conditioning and soothing qualities.  It spreads over the skin very well due to its high levels of unsaturated triglycerides.

MINOCYCLINE

An oral antibiotic prescribed for acne.

MITOSIS

The process by which cells divide and multiply.

MODIFIED SEA SALTS

When sea salts evaporate, the more refined sea salts that remain are called modified sea salts.

MOHS SURGERY

A surgery specifically designed for skin cancer.  It is a specialized surgery involving the excision of tissue areas in a sequence, which are then examined under a microscope to determine the invasiveness and ensure the malignancy’s complete removal.

MOISTURIZER

A formulation of chemicals made to help hydrate the skin and make it softer and more pliable.

MONOCYTE

Part of the immune system, this is a type of white blood cell.

MONTMORILLONITE

A mineral that absorbs dirt and grease by drawing them out.

MOOR MUD

This mud in popular due to its anti-inflammatory traits and comes from a place in Austria called the Neydharting Moor.  It is a low-moor peat that is mined and imported into the U.S. for use in spa therapies.

MOOR/PEAT BATHS

This is a treatment that is a peat formula made from protein, vitamins and minerals.  It is sometimes applied using a  pack or cloth, as well as taken as a bath.

MOTHERWORT

An herb-type plant helpful in reducing stress related menstrual delay.  A tonic used for its relaxing effects and to ease the discomforts of menopause.  May be good for false labor pains as well.  It strengthens the heart without straining it and helps with heart palpitations associated with anxiety.  A hypotensive, nervine, hepatic, and anti-spasmodic, among other properties.

MUCILAGE

Extracted from plants (seaweed for example),  this gelatin-like substance is used cosmetically to give products creaminess and to protect and moisturize skin.  It’s made up of protein and polysaccharides that exist in plant as well as animal sources.

MUCOPOLYSACCHARIDES

Hydrates/moistens the skin due to its great water retentive capabilities.

MUCOUS MEMBRANE

A tissue from which mucus is emitted.  A mucous lining in various spaces inside the body.

MUCUS

Created of gland secretions and inorganic salts, leukocytes and cells that have been shed off, mucus is made of a slimy substance in the mucous membranes.

MUD BATHS

These baths are much like seaweed and mineral baths in their duration and temperature, though their effect on the body is different depending on the type and source of mud ingredients.  The mud is often made up of plant and mineral substances.

MUGWORT HERB EXTACT

An herb that jump starts gastric secretions, aiding digestion.  It is an aromatic bitter herb best  used in conjunction with other herbs that are sedative in nature.

MULLEIN

A plant that acts on the lungs to provide a pain-relieving film that is soothing and emollient-like.  It has benefits as an expectorant, antiviral and astringent as well.  Sometimes it is infused in oils to use in the massage of aching muscles.

MUTAGEN

A mutation-inducing substance when introduced to organisms.

MYALGIA

Pain and/or tenderness in the muscles, muscular rheumatism may be another term for this.

MYRISTALKONIUM CHORIDE

This chemical has moisturizing qualities and an anti-static effect.  It is a fatty acid derivative.

MYRISTYL MYRISTATE

A combination of acid and ester, both myristic.  A light oil with usefulness as an emollient in cosmetic products.

MYRRH

White blood cell corpuscles are effected by myrrh.  It is used to treat mouth ulcers, gingivitis and phyorrhoea, when used as an anti-microbial.  Other uses are for treating sinusitis and pharyngitis.

N-ACETYL-LTYROSINE

A soluble form of tyrosine.

NAPCA

Also called Sodium PCA, it is a superior binder of moisture and a humectant, helping skin retain moisture.  It acts also as a smoothener and softener and comes from 2-Pyrrolidone-5-Carboxylic Acid in sodium salt form.

NANOSPHERES

Encapsulated agents deliver moisture to the skin while softening and smoothing it to create a beautiful looking tan.

NARCOTIC

An opiate derived drug that relieves pain and acts as a depressant on the central nervous system.

NASOLABIAL CREASE

The folds or creases at the base of the nose on either side.

NATURAL

Not man-made, but naturally occurring substances from animals, minerals or plants.

NATUROPATHY

A therapy that relies on natural healing forces as opposed to medicine or surgery.  It makes use of physical elements like water, light, heat, air, or massage to treat ailments.

NON-COMEDOGENIC

Substances that do not promote acne.  They do not clog up the pores of the skin and are also called non-occlusives.

NAVEL

A scar in the middle of the abdomen where the umbilical cord was attached in the womb.  Also informally called the belly button.

NECROSIS

A collection of cells that dies from lack of oxygen after a serious injury.

NEONATAL ACNE

Blocked pores in an infant characterized by closed comedones and sometimes pustules and papules.  This affects about 1 in 5 babies at birth and usually goes away by 6 weeks of age.

NEONATE

The term for a baby during the first 28 days of life.

NEOPLASIA

Abnormal cells that do not function as they should; they form a tumor and displace healthy cells.

NEOPLASM

A growth that can be benign or malignant that proliferates uncontrollably.

NEROLI OIL

Orange flower extract that increases circulatory performance.  It can be used as a flavor enhancer and also in colognes.  It relaxes and has  warm, gentle stimulating traits.

NERVINE

Tonics, relaxants, and stimulants.  Respectively, they strengthen/restore, ease anxiety, and increase nerve activity.  All three aid in nervous system health.

NETTLE

A tonic, revitalizer and astringent which is rich in amino acids, flavonoids and tannins.  It is derived from lamium album flowers and used in Europe as an overall detoxifier.  It helps treat arthritis and rheumatism and childhood eczema.  Also used to treat hemorrhages and nosebleeds.  An herb very rich in minerals- see Nettle in any Herb Dictionary for more information.

Nettle Extract

Refer to Nettle.

NEUROGENIC

Conditions or feelings pertaining to, or exclusively from the nervous system.

NEUROPATHY

Damage to the nerves or a nervous system disease.

NIACIN

Also called Vitamin B-3, it improves the circulatory system and lowers bad cholesterol.  It keeps the nervous system functioning properly and metabolizes sugar, fat, and protein.  It aids in converting food into energy and helps the skin, digestive system and tongue stay healthy.

NIACINAMIDE

A part of the Vitamin B group, it is water soluble and helps produce steroid, cholesterol and fatty acids.  A deficiency in this substance is call pellagra.  It lowers cholesterol as well.  See niacin (Vitamin B-3) for more information.

NODULE

A swollen bump or small cluster of tissue in the subcutaneous or dermis layers.

NON-ACNEOGENIC

Something that doesn’t promote or irritate acne.

NON-COMEDOGENIC

A substance that will not clog up the skin pores or cause a breakout.

NONIONIC

In shampoo products, a nonionic is a conditioning agent whose molecules do not have an electrical charge.  It does have mild cleaning properties as a humectant.

NONIONIC SURFACTANTS

A surfactant that contains molecules free of electrical charge.  They can be harsh (as in rug cleaners and some types of shampoos) or mild, soft and coating (as in rinses/conditioners).

NONOXYNOL

A type of nonionic surfactant that’s used as a spermicidal, for vaginal creams, detergents, de-foaming agents, etc..

NUMMULAR DERMATITIS

A type of dermatitis with very itchy skin and eczema like circular shaped plaques form on the legs, buttocks, forearms and hands.

NUTRIENT

A vitamin or other substance that helps the metabolism and body to function by providing it with essential elements.

NYLON-12

Extremely small spheres with extraordinary absorption ability.  It stays on the surface of the skin, soaking up oil as it seeps out, making wrinkles and other blemishes less noticeable.

OAT

Very useful in depression or nervous debility and also in conjunction with other nervines.  It can make the entire nervous system stronger and can be used as a stimulant as well as a relaxant depending on the circumstances.

For more information, refer to Oat in a Supplements Dictionary.

OAT BETA GLUCAN

An ingredient that works well on the skin as a moisture retainer.

OAT DERIVE POLYSACCHARIDE

A complex that comes from oats and is used to enhance immune system performance and maintain healthy-looking skin.

OATMEAL

Used in cosmetics to soothe.  Used in soap to exfoliate and add texture.

OAT PROTEIN

A moisture binder which is the skin can absorb easily.  It is good for improving hair elasticity and adding body.

OAT OIL

An emollient with powerful antioxidant ability.  Look up Oat and related substances in a Supplements Dictionary.

OCCULSION

A blockage.  A technique in dermatology to help a substance which is applied topically to penetrate more deeply, like a corticosteroid.

OCCLUSIVE

Not able to be penetrated.  Most often refers to a shield/film on skin that is intended to help prevent the evaporation of moisture.  Usually the shield is made up of materials that act as a barrier against water, like waxes and oils.

O-CRESOL

Crystals used to make dyes, usually white to red in color.

OCTAPEPTIDE

A peptide.  It is a molecule that is hydrolyzed to make eight different amino acids.

OCTOXYNOL-9

An agent that is used as a spermicide and is a general anti-inflammatory.

OCTYL

Used as a base to make artificially flavored orange, it is a combination of acetic acid and octanol.  It is an ester.

OCTYLACRYLAMIDE ACRYLATE BUTYLAMINOETHYL METHACRYLATE COPOLYMER

A component of a system holding a positive electrical charge.  Used to add gloss and a stiff quality to hairsprays, it washes off (water-soluble) if rinsed within the first 48 hours after application.

OCTYLACRYLAMIDE BUTYLAMINOETHYL METHACRYLATE COPOLYMER

This is the same as the term: Octylacrylamide Acrylate butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer.  Refer to that definition for more information.

OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE

A sunscreen, non-PABA, and a cinnamic acid derivative.  It blocks UVB rays and is made in Switzerland.

OCTYL PALMITATE

This substance is used often in place of mineral oil.  It is an ester that amplifies emollient qualities.

OCTYL SALICYLATE

This is used to prevent sunburn and also has antiseptic properties.

OCTYL STEARATE

As this agent smoothes and softens skin, it forms a protective barrier between the sun/wind and the skin.

OIL, FIXED

Scentless, oily-type alcohols, lipids, and long-chain fatty acid esters; such as olive oil.

OIL, VOLATILE

Plant oils, such as peppermint oil, that are used for their aromatic properties.

OINTMENT

An oil-based, lubricating spread used topically in dermatology and many times to treat dry skin along with other medicinal uses.

OLEIC ACID

Also called olive oil.  An oil that tends to cause or promote acne.  It is used as an emulsifier and to help some drugs be absorbed into the skin.

OLETH 20

A derivative of unsaturated fatty acids, this agent it used in perfumes to stabilize them.  It is an organic substance.

OLEYL BETAINE

A palm oil derivative that is electronically neutral.

OLFACTORY RESPONSE

Changes that may occur on an emotional, spiritual or mental level after processing a particular smell or scent.

OLIVE OIL

Extracted from the olive, this oil is used as an emollient that penetrates deeply.  It is made into lipsticks, shampoos, soaps, conditioners, and hairdressings, among other products.

OMEGA-3

Polyunsaturated fatty acids which regulate cholesterol production, strengthen cell walls helping them to ward off bacteria and viruses, monitor growth regulation, ease inflammation, activate platelets and metabolize lipoproteins, as well as contribute to the function of the central nervous system.  They are critical nutrients for brain and retina development and for development of infants.  They improve the immune system and help arthritis and inflammation while lowering the tendency to develop cardiovascular disease. The Omega-3 fatty acids are strong anticoagulants.  They moderate important chemicals involved in blood clotting and the immune system that are promoted by Omega-6 fatty acids.  They have a multitude of benefits including preventing or delaying cancer and tumor development, hindering arterial plaque formation, and aiding in bone growth.

OMEGA-6

These polyunsaturated fatty acids are contained in a variety of nuts, seeds, and sunflower/safflower oils.  The body consumes omega-6 acids more easily than omega-3 and the levels of omega-6 at any given time in the body are about 20 times greater than omega-3 levels.  The main type of omega-6 is gamma linolenic acid (GLA).  It is a precursor to prostaglandins, which are sort of like hormones that are moving throughout the body to fight infection and inflammation, as well as reduce spasms and to keep blood platelets from sticking together (reducing blood clot risks).

OMEGA-9

A fat which is monounsaturated and exists in olive oil.  It assists the immune system.  It also helps transfer needed nutrients through the cell membrane to reach the cell, enables cells to get nutrients out of the blood stream and get rid of waste from cell by-products as it aids in opening cell pathways, improving contact among cells.  It is a strong anti-inflammatory and a surfactant.  It improves cell health and reduces heat, redness, and discomfort.  It keeps joints lubricated to further reduce pain.

ONYCHOMYCOSIS

A nail-related fungal infection.

OPACITY

In a state of cloudiness, not clear, shady.

OPAQUE

Something that is showing opacity.  A cataract, for instance, is opaque.  Not clear or translucent.

OPC

These are referred to as proanthocyanidins.  They are very strong antioxidants that keep the body from the biological damage caused by free radicals.  They can come from peanut skins, grape seeds or pine bark.  There is no other known antioxidant superior to them.  They have 50 times the potency of Vitamin E and 20 times the potency of Vitamin C.  They work to protect collagen, the foundation of the body’s blood vessels and connective tissues.

OPHTHALMOLOGY

The field of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the eye.

ORALLY

Something that is administered by mouth.

ORANGE FLOWER

Used as a softener and smoothener for the skin, this plant also adds radiance and sheen.

ORANGE OIL

A calming, hydrating oil that adds smoothness and soothes irritated areas of the skin.

ORANGE PEEL EXTRACT

Used as a colorant.

ORGAN MOUNTAIN CRAPE

Helpful primarily for eczema and psoriasis, it can also be used like a tonic to treat gallbladder and stomach issues, particularly with nausea and vomiting.  Sometimes used to help chronic constipation as a laxative.

ORGANIC

Related to carbon based compounds of living plants or animals.  Also could be carbon-based products which are synthesized.  Substances that either are, or at one time were, live, structural-containing carbon molecules.

ORTHOPHOSPHORIC ACID

A mineral acid which is the monomeric version of phosphoric acid.  Also known as H3P04.

OSTEOPOROSIS

Bone mass that widens at the canals and becomes softer over time.  It is a form of arthritis characterized by the joint bones and the cartilage breaking down or degenerating. A diet lacking in calcium may contribute to this condition.

OTC DRUGS

This stands for “over the counter” drugs.  Medicine products that don’t require a physician’s prescription.  They are intended to treat and/or prevent a disease or else they are meant to change the function and/or structure of the body in some specific or general way.

OXY (oxy- or ox-)

Use as a combination in a term to mean quick, sharp or sour.  It otherwise would be used to indicate a connection or relationship to acid or to insinuate that a compound contains oxygen.

OXYGEN THERAPY

Another name for this treatment is Enriched Oxygenated Aromatherapy.  It is the infusing of flavors and scents with humidified oxygen for healing benefits.  The oxygen is administered through tanks or a machine that sucks it out from the atmosphere.

OXIDATION

The loss of one or more electrons when two substances interact.  A molecule which has had a pair of hydrogen atoms removed from it.

OXYTOCIN

An ephemeral, quick acting hormone produced by the hypothalamus which is sent into the bloodstream on an as-needed basis.  It is released concurrently with its related hormone, vasopressin.

PABA

PABA is short for para-aminobenzoic acid.  It is used in sunscreen products to absorb UV light and is part of the Vitamin B complex.

PADIMATE-O

This is the short name for  octyl dimethyl PABA or 2-Ethyihexyl PABA.  It is a “PABA free” sunblock.  Although it is derived from PABA, it is chemically changed so it contains no PABA.  It is the combination of ester of 2-ethyihexyl alcohols and dimethyl paminobenzoic acid.

PALETTE

Colors that are collected together in the same tonal group or according to the same function.

PALM KERNELAMIDE DEA AND MEA

Fatty acids that come from palm kernel oil.  Used frequently as a thickener and conditioner in shampoos.

PALM OIL

Used for hardening soaps and make it lather-rich.

PANSY

An emollient with cooling properties.  As an astringent it makes good herbal formulas.

PANTHENOL

This agent is also called Vitamin B5 and moisturizes deep down into the skin.  It also makes the hair shaft look thicker and repairs split ends.  Nails also are strengthened by panthenol.

PANTOTHENIC ACID

Vitamin B5- this acid helps extract energy from carbohydrates, protein and fats.  It also helps get maximum utility from vitamins and increases the body’s resistance to stress.  Cell building is enhanced as is the development of the central nervous system.  It fights infections due to its antibody building capabilities.

PAPAIN

This enzyme comes from the papaya fruit and has the ability to digest proteins.  It is able to consume dead tissue without hurting the healthy tissue around the dead cells.  It is also used as an enzymatic soft contact lens cleaner.  It contains 212 amino acids and has an abundance of the alpha hydroxy acid, malic acid.

PAPAYA ENZYMES

These enzymes come from the fruit and are taken orally to help control bad breath and digestion.  They might help with weight loss in some people, as well.  They are applied topically to act as an exfoliant and scrub off dead skin cells.

PAPILLAE

Little tentacles that point up and connect the epidermis and the dermis while anchoring them together.  They also refer to tiny red bumps on a surface, usually raised up, like a nipple.

PAPULE

A raised skin lesion, usually solid in  substance and quite small (less the .5 cm diameter).  Acne lesions are typically papules.

PARAFANGO

Volcanic ash and paraffin mixed together, heated and pressed onto sore, tight body parts or areas that need increased circulation.  A sheet and blanket is then wrapped around the body for a period of relaxation.

This treatment will keep the body warm for about 20 minutes at a constant temperature, allowing deep heating action.  Often the treatment is concluded with a massage at pressure points on the back and shoulder that leave the body in a state of calmness and restfulness.

PARAFFIN

A liquid alternative to beeswax derived from petroleum.  It hydrates the skin or eases pain.  Many times it has been infused with aromatic oils used for therapeutic purposes.

PARAGUAY TEA

Provides relief for bronchial asthma and maintains skin health due to it antioxidant properties.

PARASITIC

Caused by a parasite; a parasite is usually an organism that uses another organism or living thing as a means to survive but does not provide the host with any benefit, and usually harm.

PARESTHESIA

Pins and needles feelings, an abnormally numb, over-sensitive state.  Local and discrete in one area of the body.  Typically with no known or apparent cause.

PARFUM

A scent formulated to wear on the body for its aroma.  The most concentrated form and the most costly.

PARSLEY

Used in facial and bath herbs and oils, to medicate and cleanse as it soothes the skin.

PARSOL 1789

Avobenzone, a sunblock/sunscreen.  Parsol 1789 is the brand name.  Refer to avobenzone for a detailed description.

PASSION FLOWER

A hypotensive and sedative.  It is used to soothe, lower blood pressure, treat insomnia and to prevent tachycardia.  It is the preferred herb for intransigent insomnia.

PATCHOULI OIL

An oil that comes from the plant, pogostemon patchouli, it is used for its antiseptic qualities.  Also occasionally used as a fragrance.

PATCH TEST

Testing on a small scale to determine whether the skin will develop an allergic reaction to something.

PATHOLOGY

The study of diseases and their processes; it especially refers to studies which show body related functional and or structural changes clearly.

PAU D’ ARCO

A tree from Brazil that has historically been used in treating a large variety of diseases including cancer.

PEACH LEAF

Facial masks with emollient effect that work well at toning and enriching the skin especially if it is normal to dry.

PEAT

Mostly mosses from the genus sphagnum which form partly carbonized organic tissue.  This also occurs when there is decomposition in water of certain types of plants.

PEG (Polyethylene Glycol or Polyoxyethylene Glycol)

Ethylene oxide in polymeric forms.  A variety of different cosmetic items are made from PEG.  Some emulsify, while others are protective and act as emollients.

PEG-7  Glyceryl Cocoate

This agent behaves as a softener, and to help with emulsifying concurrently with another agent.

PEG-20 Stearate

Used for triglycerides and certain types of waxes and oils (mineral oil, namely), this thickening agent is also a water-soluble.

PEG-80 SORBITAN LAURATE

A mild agent that is easily spread and does not have a high surface tension when used in a product.

PEG-100 STEARATE

Used to emulsify in lotion and cream products, this is a stearic acid derivative.

PEG-150 DISTEARATE

A stabilizer used in conditioning and hair products.

PELOIDTHERAPY

The process of using mud as a healing treatment.

PEMPHIGUS

A skin disease of the autoimmune system that can be either chronic or acute seen mostly in adult.  It can lead to continual recurring skin blisters.  It has no known cause.

PENTACRYTHRITOL TETRA CAPRATE/CAPRYLATE

This is a thickener that comes from a vegetable source, it is a caprylic acid derivative.

PEPPERMINT

An herb that has the ability to renew and heal.  It is softening and it is used as a cleanser for its astringic and stimulating benefits.

PEPPERMINT LEAF

An antiseptic that is used as an herb in facials and in the bath.  It has a cooling, refreshing and tingly feel on the skin.  If the oil is applied topically it can be drying to the skin, while the herb applied similarly has an emollient effect.

PEPTIDE

A group of low molecular weight compounds that produce 2 or more amino acids when hydrolysis occurs.  Any one part of this group is a peptide, the whole of which make of proteins.

PERCUTANEOUS PENETRATION

Perforating, or piercing through the layers of skin.

PERIORAL DERMATITIS

A type of dermatitis that manifests as erythema, papules and scaly skin.  There are many times pustules around the mouth.

PERIWINKLE

An astringent that works well and may be used both internally and externally.  It is helpful in containing excessive menstrual flow.

PERMANENT COSMETICS

Having cosmetics tattooed on permanently.  Among available treatments: eyeliner, lip liner, eye shadow, eyebrows.  The same technique can be applied to help fix skin imperfections or other scars on the body and face.

PERMEABLE

Able to be penetrated by something. Not solid.

PETITGRAIN OIL

A calming and soothing skin oil.

PETROLATUM

Used to soothe and soften skin, helpful in preventing the loss of moisture because it forms a protective barrier. It is a cream which is an additive (Vaseline, for instance).

PETROLEUM

Used as a grease component industrially.  Petroleum is much like mineral- it is a combination of various hydrocarbons.

PG INHIBITOR

Used like aspirin as a PGE inhibitor for the purpose of controlling spasms of the uterus or reducing inflammation to a joint.

PH

PH stands for the percentage of hydrogen.  It is a level used to measure the amount of acid in cosmetics.  A PH equal to 7.0 is said to be neutral; that is the PH of water.  Anything with a PH under 7.0 is an acid; higher than 7.0 is a base.  The lower a PH becomes, the higher the acidity and the higher a PH becomes the higher (or, stronger) the base.  A PH that is either too high or too low can cause chemical or acid burns and irritate the skin.

PHAGOCYTOSIS

The process that cells undergo when they ingest and “eat” (destroy) foreign

substances.

PHENYL TRIMETHICONE

A silicone that is water-resistant and is used to moisturize, soften and smooth.  It adds pliability and sheen.

PHOTOSENSITIVITY

A skin rash or irritation or pigmentation that occurs as a result of the skin being over-sensitive to certain foods or chemicals (for example, an adverse reaction to sunlight).

PHYTOCOSMETIC

Plant made or plant derived cosmetic products.

PIGMENT

Plant extracts and minerals used to give color to makeup.  The more pigment contained in the product the more intense the color will be.

PORE

Tiny holes in the skin representing sweat glands.

PSORIASIS

A skin disease which is manifested as red patches that are dry and itchy on the scalp, arms or legs.  It is usually chronic and if not controlled by over the counter medicines, may require a prescription.

PHOSPHOLIPID

A phosphorus that has lipids in it used to treat dry skin.  It is made up of fatty material that exists in all live cells.  It is an antioxidant and natural thickener that spreads well.

PHOSPHORIC ACID

An acid used to adjust PH levels, it is an inorganic compound.

PHOTOAGING

The process of the skin being broken down and destroyed by repeated exposure to the suns UV rays over time.  It is a premature aging of the skin caused directly by absorbing sunlight.

PHOTOTHERAPY

Using light in a way that is curative or medically healing to a condition.

PH SCALE

The method created for determining acid or alkaline levels of the soil being tested.

PHYTOCOSMETIC

Cosmetic products that are manufactured out of plants.

PHYTOSTEROLS

Lipids, or plant sterols, that are like cholesterol in their structure and are synthesized by plants.  It is thought that they lessen the absorption of cholesterol in the GI tract by competing against cholesterol itself for receptor sites.

PILOSEBACEOUS UNIT

The area on the skin where sebum is manufactured consisting of the sebaceous follicle, glands and ducts.  It is also the place from which acne originates.

PINEAPPLE EXTRACT

An extract with anti-inflammatory properties; it also has an enzyme called bromelain, which helps blood to clot and digests protein.

PINECONE EXTRACT

This extract comes from pine tree cones, as it name suggests.  It is good for relieving pain and fatigue and associated discomfort.  It increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the skin cells.

PINE NEEDLE

An extract from the plant, pinus sylvestris.  It is a useful antiseptic.

PITTA

One of the three doshas in Ayurveda (an ancient system of healing originating in India).  Pitta is a combination of the fire and water elements and is said to govern metabolism and digestion, among other attributes.

PITYRIASIS ALBA

Known as seborrheic dermatitis, it is a type of skin disorder, very similar to a mild form of eczema.

PITYRIASIS CAPITIS

Commonly referred to as dandruff.

PITYROSPORUM

This is an extremely common type of yeast infection, usually hitting around pubescence.  It is not the same yeast that is responsible for vaginitis, however.

PITYROSPORUM FOLLICULITIS

A skin condition seen commonly on the sides of the face and the forehead, it appears as tiny pustules and papules that resemble an rash caused by acne.  It typically does not include blackheads or whiteheads (comedones).

PLACENTAL EXTRACT

An extract collected after birthing that can be from human or bovine placentas.  It is a rich source of skin nutrients, proteins and amino acids that is completely natural.  It renews and enlivens the skin.

PLANELL OIL

An emollient acting oil that is taken from glycolipids and phytosterols.

PLANTAIN

An herb with many uses including benefits as an astringent, expectorant and sedative. As an astringent is helps hemorrhoids and diarrhea and also cystitis.  As an expectorant it helps membranes that are inflamed or painful including bronchial and other related coughs.  As a mild sedative it appears to lessen earaches and toothaches.

PLASMA

The area from which certain components of the blood are suspended, but this fluid part of the blood contains no actual cells.

PLEURISY ROOT

An expectorant and anti-inflammatory that helps respiratory infections including bronchitis and chest conditions.  It has anti-spasmodic and diaphoretic traits making it useful for pneumonia and pleurisy as well.

PNEUMONIA

Infection and inflammation of the lungs, usually with fluid in them.

POLOXAMER 407

A surfactant cleansing agent.  It is a polymer that is non-ionic.

POLYETHYLENE THICKENER

A wax type of thickening agent used to make a gel-like substance.

POLYMER

A big molecule consisting of repeating structural units that was formed by at least two smaller molecules that were brought together by a chemical reaction call polymerization.

POLYQUATERNIUM 7

A substance that is used in hair conditioning products; it can be a leave-in conditioner or the rinse-off type.

POLYQUATERNIUM 11

A liquid product formulated for hair care uses, it has antibacterial traits and adds shine and holding power for hairstyles.

POLYQUATERNIUM 37

A popular formula of the polyquaterniums, it provides a positive charge in hair care products to help reduce static electricity in the hair.  An emulsifier as well.

POLYSORBATE

A type of emulsifier in certain products.  Polysorbates help make essential oils more water-soluble related to cosmetic products.

POLYSORBATE 20

A fragrance (perfume) stabilizer in water-based formulas.  Polysorbate 20 is oily, viscous and water-soluble; it acts to stabilize and/or modify liquid soaps and hair cleansers/conditioners.

POLYSORBATE 80

An agent used to blend the oils of a cleanser and act on the surface to ensure that the product spreads well.

PORE

A tiny hole that is the skin’s sweat gland opening.

POTASSIUM

A mineral that helps maintain healthy skin and is essential to the body.

POTASSIUM SORBATE

A preservative used in cheeses and wines (among other foods) and is very mild.

POULTICE

A medicated substance that is heated (or, sometimes herbs or clay) typically wrapped in a cloth, that is applied to an injury to heal it or alleviate inflammation.

PPG-1

A spreading or mixing agent.

PPG-2 ISODECETH 12

An agent that is organic in nature and increases the water solubility of perfume oils and helps to blend them together.

PRAKRITI

In Ayurvedic, an ancient medicine of India, prakriti refers to a person’s inherent personality or character traits, which includes the emotional, mental, as well as physical person.

PRECURSOR

A precursor is used to describe something that comes before something else.  In reference to biology; it is a substance from which a more mature or active substance forms.  Clinically, a precursor refers to a symptom that predicts or foretells of something to come.

PRICE POINT

The price that the general purchasers would be willing to pay for an item at retail.  A business marks up an item they buy at cost (wholesale) to equal the price point (retail).

PRICKLY ASH

Also known as the “toothache tree” because Native Americans would use it to alleviate tooth pain.  It is actually a tall shrub and is used for a variety of ailments, including: rheumatism, circulatory issues, leg cramps, skin diseases, and varicose veins and ulcers.  It is also used to stimulate and help increase function of body organs.

PRIMER

A lotion, gel or cream applied as a makeup base, usually colorless.  Helps smooth out the makeup and make it last longer.

PRISTANE

A hydrocarbon that is saturated and resides in natural oils.

PROLINE

Used for the skin to give moisture and help skin absorb and retain it; proline is an amino acid that is mixed with sodium PCA to achieve this purpose.

PROPANE

A propellant which is natural, used in aerosol products.

PROPIONI-BACTERIUM ACNEW

This bacterium can be the culprit in acne cases and breakouts if not treated.  It grows with abandon within the pilosebaceous unit inside the follicular canal.  It is an anaerobic type of bacterium.

PROPRIOCEPTION

The method by which sensory receptors are notified by the central nervous system (CNS) via motor impulse messages about movement rate, tension, contraction, position, and tissue stretch.  When the CNS sends the motor impulses back to the muscle, it either contracts, relaxes, restores of changes its position.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL

A mixture of water and glycerin.  It is a humectant much like butylenes glycol and is used in cosmetics.  Extremely common moisturizing agents which are colorless and clear.  They penetrate skin well and soften while they moisturize.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL COCOATE

A mix of propylene glycol that are esters derived from the fatty acids of coconuts.  They help strip hair of products, grime and oil that have built up over time.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL STEARATE

A propylene glycol ester mixed with stearic acid.  Used in hair products, makeup to help blend and mix, ending up with a pearlescent appearance.

PROPYL PARABEN

An anti-fungal and anti-microbial.  This type of paraben is not as water soluble as methylparaben.    See the definition under Methyl Paraben.

PROTEIN

Organic molecules, large in size  that are comprised of amino acids and contained in all cells that are alive.  Examples of a proteins are hormones, enzymes, elastin, keratin and collagen.  The sun and aging are the main causes of the breakdown of protein.  Proteins can help skin look tighter if they are applied to the skin topically.

PROTEIN TREATMENT

When protein is added to the cortex of the hair, the treatment should result in hair with greater strength and elasticity.

PROTEOLYTIC

An agent that speeds up the digestive hydrolysis that takes place in converting proteins into smaller pieces, along with peptides, polypeptides and amino acids.

PROTOVANOL

A vanilla that is in concentrated, that speeds up the process of tanning by responding to heat and light.

PROVISONAL LISTING

A list of colors, pending approval by the FDA, that are acceptable for use in the interim. The original list of provisional colors numbered around 200.

PRO-VITAMIN B5

Also called panthenol.  It helps moisturize and heal skin in a stimulating manner.

PRURITUS

The Latin word for itch.  This is a common and irritating sensation causing the urge to scratch the affected area.

PSEUDOFOLLICULITS BARBAE

A condition often occurring with curly hair and seen on the face as tiny, irritating bumps called papules or pustules.  It is common after shaving a beard or facial hair.

PSORIASIS

A skin disease affecting the scalp, legs and arms, most commonly.  It manifests as red, dry patches on the skin that itch.  It is usually a chronic condition.

PURPURA

A condition where blood flows into surrounding tissue.  The blood comes out of a nearby blood vessel causing a lesion on the affected area.

PUS

An indication of inflammation and irritation, usually caused by infection.  Characterized by white blood cells collected inside the fluid of some tissue.

PUSTULE

A sac of cloudy, pus filled fluid.

PVM/MA COPOLYMER

An agent that is water soluble and used in products to style the hair like hairspray.

PYORRHEA

A large amount of pus that is discharged from an affected area.

PYRIDOXINE

Also known as Vitamin B6.  This substance is essential in breaking down and manufacturing amino acids, which are protein’s building block.  It also helps with metabolizing of carbohydrates and fats, and forms antibodies.  It is responsible for aiding in the maintenance of the central nervous system, removing fluid buildup in premenstrual situations, promoting healthy skin, treating muscle spasms and cramps, reducing hand numbness and other issues.  It also helps the body keep a healthy balance of phosphorous and sodium.

PYROXIDINE HCL

This is the form of Vitamin B6 that is in popular use as a texturizing agent.

QUATERNARY AMMONIUM SALTS

These are commonly used in sunscreens that are waterproof due to their positive charge (cationic traits) that reduce electrical static.  Also known as QUATS for short, these salt type derivatives make skin lotions more water resistant thanks to their chemical reaction when they come in contact with the skin.

QUATERNIUM-15

A cosmetically used preservative that has anti-microbial tendencies and is also water soluble.  It is a type of ammonium salt that combats bacteria.  Also refer to Quaternary Ammonium Salts for more information.

QUATERNIUM-19

A quaternary ammonium salt with anti-microbial effects and used widely in cosmetics. Also refer to Quaternary Ammonium Salts for more information.

QUENCHING

The process of making an oil safer to use by combining a compound together with an essential oil to suppress the essential oil’s natural action.

QUERCETIN

A particular form of bioflavonoid that comes from citrus fruits.  It is quite concentrated.  See description under bioflavonoids for further information.

QUINCE SEED

A plant extract from the quince tree.  Its properties are gummy and creamy.  It is used for dry/damaged hair and skin in cosmetic products.

RADON THERAPY

A gas that occurs naturally in the atmosphere and is released in the form of soil breakdown and rock.  It is a radioactive uranium and is very toxic in large amounts.  In minute amounts it is used in Europe in a therapeutic way to treat asthma and arthritis.

RASPBERY

A berry extremely rich in iron and calcium.  It contains Vitamins A, B1 and C.  It acts as a parturient, an astringent and a tonic.  Used for a multitude of ailments and very versatile.  Among some of the conditions it treats are: cancer, diabetes, diarrhea, colds and coughs, liver and kidney issues, scurvy, rheumatism, ulcers, urinary problems, female issues, toothache, paralysis, gout, gastrointestinal upsets, fever, and more.

RASPBERRY LEAF

An astringent used diluted in facial saunas and baths.  Good for oily skin.

RED CLOVER

Long used to treat gout as a diuretic, it also has the properties of an expectorant.  A good nutritional supplement to use as an antibiotic and for degenerative diseases.  It combats the pathogen that is responsible for TB.  It has shown good results as a relaxant, an appetite suppressor and to purify the blood.

RED RASPBERRY EXTRACT

Good to treat inflamed, sensitive skin.  It helps calm irritation caused by shaving, windburn or acne.  It is an extract that is soothing and not a stimulant.  It is known as a natural antibiotic.

REGENERATIVE

Having the ability to renew and revitalize the growth of tissue.

REGRANULATION

The process of fibroblast formation for connective tissues.  In tissues that were burned or scraped, epithelium and inflammatory cells form around the nucleus of new capillaries.  Regranulation will be initiated is tissue in injured again, causing the formation of new scar tissue.

RELAX

Making hair straight through a chemical process to get rid of curl, and/or frizziness.

REMEDY

A process or substance that prevents and/or cures an ailment, disease or condition.

RENAL

Anything related to the kidney.

RESIN

A secretion that is yellow or brownish in shade that comes from a vegetable source, usually a particular plant or tree.  Resins can be oil or alcohol soluble but are never soluble in water. Resins ooze out in combination with gums and oils in a liquid/semi-liquid form.  They are made up of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon and are said to be the result of essential oils’ oxidation process.  They become balsams or oleoresins when they are combined with the essential oils.

RESORCINOL

An antiseptic for skin that is irritated and itchy.  Used in a mild solution that is soothing in nature.  It is a benzene derivative that treats ringworm, eczema, acne psoriasis and other skin afflictions.  It is also a polymer used indirectly as a food additive.

RETE RIDGE

A projection that anchors the epidermis and dermis together.  It projects downward from into the dermis from the epidermis.

RETENTION HYPERKERATOSIS

In acnes, an abnormal formation or placement of keratin deposits.  With the follicle the keratin cells get sticky and adhere to the skin in atypical patterns.

RETIN-A

A form of Vitamin A used to effectively treat acne, however, may cause sensitivity to sun.  May also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

RETINOID

A Vitamin a derived substance which can be synthetic or naturally occurring that is used for a variety of therapeutic treatments.  See also Vitamin A derivatives.

RETINOL

An acid made from Vitamin A.  It is the main agent in Renova and Retin-A.  Used to treat acne as well as wrinkles and lines in the skin.

RETINYL PLAMITATE

Another type of Vitamin A derived nutrient that is vital to healthy skin for repair and upkeep.  It is used for its moisturizing abilities in products for dry skin.  It reduces oil in/on the skin’s surface.  See more information under Vitamin A derivatives.

REVERSE PERM

A procedure employing rods to loosen tightly curled hair and make it straighter and more relaxed.

RHEUMATISM

A broad term used to describe a variety of chronic dull aches related to the aging process.

RHUBARB

A root from Turkey and/or China that is not related to the edible rhubarb.  It acts to purge and help the body relieve constipation.  It acts also as an astringent and an antiseptic product on the stomach.  It treats diarrhea, dysentery and dyspepsia as well.

RIBOFLAVIN

This is a supplement which is essential Vitamin B2 that is used with tyrosine (the soluble form) to enhance suntan products.  It accelerates the effects of tyrosine in these products.  It creates a yellowish color in lotions.  For the body, it is needed to maintain vision, healthy hair, nails and skin.  It also relieves eye fatigue and promotes overall well-being.

RIBONUCLEIC ACID

Known more commonly as “RNA”.  See the description of RNA.

RIBOSOME

Any RNA-rich granules of cytoplasmic makeup that are related to the synthesis of protein.

RNA

This stands for ribonucleic acid.  It is a template for the synthesis of protein and makes up the genetic material that initiates the flow of genetic information.  The sugar it contains is ribose, which makes up the genetic material in the RNA viruses.

ROBANE

Robane wards off bacteria and assists the skin in the absorption of oxygen; it comes from shark oil.

ROSACEA

A condition that manifests as acne-prone skin with areas of oily, red inflammation.  It is usually a chronic condition and may include pustules or papules.  Treatment with steroids, antibiotics or antifungals may prove helpful in containing it.

ROSE WATER

A liquid known for its sweet scent and astringent properties.  Used on the skin and sometimes as a food flavoring.

ROSE HIP EXTRACT

An extract from the rose hip plant, rose hip is Vitamin C rich and helps hydrate and moisturize skin.  It also prevents capillary damage in the skin and tones/firms tissues.

ROSE HIPS

Extracted from wild roses of different varieties, this substance is a rich source of Vitamin C.

ROSEMARY

A natural stimulant, rosemary acts as an astringent with rejuvenating abilities.  It is also an antiseptic.  Used in a variety of forms:  as a tea, poultice, oil, infusion, among others.  It helps the circulatory system and calms digestive disturbances.  Used also to help tension that is psychological in nature and to treat dyspepsia, headache, flatulence, muscular pain, neuralgia and more.  It is also known to retard premature balding.  It is fragrant and warm, with a bitter taste.  Sometimes uses for cooking and added to perfumes.

ROSEMARY OIL

Refer to rosemary for detail.  The oil of the rosemary herb.

ROYAL JELLY

This substance helps to rejuvenate and renew the skin. It is made by bees and contains all of the essential amino acids and is high in B vitamins.  It is applied topically to improve elasticity and help hinder wrinkles and blemishes.  Also used for depression, fatigue, and to help recover from general illnesses.  Has been know to stimulate the adrenal glands to increase metabolism and boost energy levels as well as increasing sexual appetite and performance.

RUBEFACIENT

A substance to be applied externally.  Although it is thought to relieve pain, it causes redness and skin irritation.

RUE

A compound that causes an embryo or fetus to abort.  It is a strong oil which should be avoided during pregnancy.  It is used primarily to regulate menstruation and may also be used as a muscle relaxant or anti-spasmodic.  It can help reduce bowel tension and digestive upset.  Peripheral circulation is elevated with its use and high blood pressure is lowered.  The leaf can be chewed to alleviate headaches caused by tension, reduce anxiety and ease palpitations.

RUSSIAN BATH

A type of bathing technique developed in Russia to rid the body of toxins.

SAC

A structure or organ that resembles a bag in shape.

SAFFLOWER

An oil that is unsaturated and derived from the safflower; a vegetable source.  Used to soften and moisturize the skin, the flowers are also used to treat acne, skin blemishes and breakouts.

SAGE

An herb that is know to help heal wounds.  It rejuvenates and has antiseptic effects.  It balances perspiration as well.

SAGE EXTRACT

An herb that acts as an astringent and is extracted from the flowering parts of the sage plant.  It is a healing tonic.

SAGE OIL

An oil from the sage plant that sedates and calms the skin.

SAINT JOHN’S WORT

An herb extract that alleviates pain and decreases swelling while speeding wound healing.

SALICYLATES

Salts or esters that come from salicylic acid.  A prime example is aspirin.  Used to ease inflammation and relieve pain and as a prostaglandin inhibitor.  It is used topically, but can be made into an oral product (like aspirin, as mentioned).

SALICYLIC ACID

The acid (found in aspirin) used as an antiseptic topically to dissolve the top skin layers.  This acid can be found in wintergreen leaves, sweet birch and other plants.  It is considered a beta hydroxy acid and improves skin’s appearance.  Its actions include the ability to exfoliate and it is also used medicinally as an antimicrobial.

SALINE

A salt-based water or liquid; literally saline means something that contains salt.

SALT GROW/SALT SCRUB

A paste made from sea salts and essential oils/water in a combination that is applied over the entire body and massaged in well to slough off dead layers of skin and cleanse the pores.  It is followed typically by a rinse and body moisturizer.

SALVE

A healing ointment that has the tendency to draw out foreign substance from the skin.

SAMBUCUS

An extract also known as elder flowers from the elder tree.  Used for its diuretic and tonic characteristics.

SANDALWOOD OIL

An antiseptic and antibiotic used to reduce puffiness and to heal and soothe.  It treats infections effectively.

SAPONARIA EXTRACT

This is Fullers Herb or Soapwort.  It foams into a lather and is used on the skin as a natural cleansing agent.

SAPONIN

A glycoside that is a derivative of plant cells that, when digested yields a sapogenin aglycone and a sugar.  It has an action which is soapy and it is used to make membrane proteins more soluble.

SARSAPARILLA

Helpful in the treatment of psoriasis and to correct problems that are systemic in nature like rheumatoid arthritis, among other conditions.

SAW PALMETTO

This herb tones and helps to strengthen the male reproductive system.  It helps infections related to the urinary tract or genital region.  It has both nutritive and sedative traits which influence reproductive health and function.

SCALE

Stratum corneum corneocytes that have built up.  It is common in many skin disorders like dry skin, ichthyosis and atopic dermatitis.

SCAR

A fibrous build up of tissue caused by a skin injury as a result of the skin repeatedly trying to repair itself.  It is usually dense.

SCOTCH HOSE

A therapeutic technique of using hot and cold water in alternation to spray and massage the body.  It is a high-pressured hose used as a specified distance for the purpose of hydro massage.

SD (Specially Denatured)

This prefix is required by the government on ethyl alcohol to indicate it is not fit to be consumed by humans.  One of the most bitter substances in existence is SD 40, which contains Bitrox.

SD 40 Alcohol

An ethyl alcohol used commonly as a resin solvent in hair spray products.

SEA SALT

A body scrub used as an exfoliant that is soothing and softening.

SEASONAL COLORING

Colors grouped into shades by the four different seasons, used to flatter appropriately.

SEA KELP

Seaweed or wrack, usually large and coarse, used for iodine or as a skin softener.

SEAWEED

A marine-based algae that is multi-cellular and is divided into three groups.  Green algae, red algae and brown algae.  The plant is known for its moisturizing abilities and is gelatinous in texture.  Used in lotions and facial creams to thicken them. Also a good nutritional supplement.

SEAWEED BODY WRAP

A treatment that includes painting the body with a mixture of seaweed, following an essential oil massage.  The a wrap may be applied for twenty minutes or so (usually without heat).  It is done to enhance the detoxification and perspiration of the body.  A shower and marine lotion application completes the process and helps skin re-mineralize.

SEA WRACK

Clumps of seaweed that wash ashore.

SEBACEOUS DUCT

This is the duct from which sebum is emptied into the follicle by the sebaceous gland.

SEBACEOUS GLAND

The sebum producing gland in the dermis layer.  It is found over the whole body but is more concentrated on the chest, upper back and face.

SEBORRHEA

This is a state of elevated sebum secretions which occurs frequently in acne.

SEBORRHEIC KERATOSIS

Skin lesions common in the elderly and middle aged.  They are not malignant and are predominantly on the face, chest, back and shoulders.  They are tan, brown or flesh colored.

SEBUM

Oil secretion from the sebaceous glands in the skin and scalp.  It is a natural, thick substance that can be pale yellow.  It acts to protect and provide lubrication but is also present in cases of acne in excess.

SECRETION

Some type of oozing or release of a liquid or bodily fluid, like urine or saliva, for example.

SEDATIVE

Something that induces a relaxation of the nervous system, often promoting sleep.

SELF-TANNER

A product with DHA in it that reacts to acids in the skin’s top layers making it darker on a temporary basis.  Usually, the effects last from 2 to 4 days.

SELENIUM

A plant derivative which has antifungal effects.  Taken orally, it is considered a substantial antioxidant that attacks free radicals.  It also preserves tissue elasticity and slows down tissue hardening and aging.  Treats dandruff as well.

SELENIUM PROTEIN COMPLEX

This is known as Biomin S-P-C.  It has a neutralizing effect on the skin’s free radicals and helps to relieve and fight irritation.

SELENIUM SULFIDE

A component of many dandruff shampoos.  It kills yeasts and reduces mitotic activity.

SERUM

This is the fluid which is colorless and clear in body fluids, it moisturizes serous membranes.  Also can refer to blood serum that is separated when the blood clots.  Another definition for serum is blood serum that is used as an antiserum, or antivenin or antitoxin; it comes from an animal that has been immunized.

SESAME OIL

An antifungal and antiviral as well as antibacterial.  It is used sometimes in preservative free skin products as a base.  In this application it does not turn rancid at room temperature.  Also used as an emollient.

SHEA BUTTER

A versatile emollient used to treat dry skin in lotions and creams.  Also called karite butter, see definition.

SHELF BRA

A demi-bra used to help give lift and cleavage, usually it supports under the breasts below the nipple.

SHELF LIFE

The time a product can remain fresh before it must be consumed or thrown away.

SHEPHERD’S PURSE

A diuretic plant derivative, it has anti-inflammatory and astringent uses, as well.  It treats kidney issues, diarrhea, nose bleeds, and more.  It stimulates menstrual processes too.

SHIATSU

A type of massage developed in Japan that uses acupressure as one of its main techniques.

SIBERIAN GINSENG

The technical name is Eleutherococcus Sentiscosis.  This herb has been used to treat stress and help overall health.

SILICA

Another name for silicon dioxide, it is an anti-caking agent, and abrasive and highly absorbent.

SILIC MICROBEADS

These function as molecules that are heat resistant due to their ability to retain materials.  They also give a smooth and renewed texture to skin.  They are very emollient in nature.

SILICONE

An ingredient that comes from silicon and is used in hair products to promote shine while sealing the hair cuticle.  It is found in seaweed as a natural byproduct and binds skin and water to create a silky texture.  Also found in oil-free cosmetic products.

SILK AMINO ACIDS

Acids derived from liquid silk that are water soluble.  They penetrate skin and have healing and moisturizing effects.  They are used as powder, in makeup and hair and skin products.  Also see amino acids.

SILK PROTEIN

Liquefied silk fibers that create amino acids.  Refer to amino acids.

SITZ BATH

A therapeutic bath either of very low or very high temperatures, applied briefly to the mid portion of the body. Usually done in a sitting position, covering the hips and buttocks.  It is either a hygienic or healing treatment, with medicated water.  Taken to help with pain, muscle spasms and itching.  Often recommended after an episiotomy or hemorrhoid surgery.

SKIN CARE

Using products to help keep the appearance and health of the skin in good condition.  Use of cleansers, moisturizers, acne/blemish treatments, etc. help post pone the superficial effects of the aging process on the skin.

SKULLCAP

A nervine that relaxes tension and revives/renews the central nervous system.  Helpful in depression or exhaustion.  It is used also to treat hysteria and seizures along with epilepsy.  May be helpful in PMS.  It is a tonic, a hypotensive and also an anti-spasmodic.

SKUNK CABBAGE

Used for lung conditions as an anti-spasmodic.  It relaxes and eases coughs.  Also treats asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough, as well as reducing fevers.  It has expectorant properties, in addition.

SLIPPERY ELM

A substance used mainly as an emollient.

SLIBBERY ELM BARK

Used on the skin as an emollient; see slippery elm.

SLOUGH

To separate dead from living tissue; to cause the dead, dry cells to fall away from the live cells.

SOAP

A cleaner that is based in a animal or vegetable type fat and consists of either a potassium salt or a sodium.

SOAP BARK

An herb that is used for cleansing; it is natural and the plant is a perennial.

SODIUM C14-16 OLEFIN SUFFONATE

A coconut oil derivative used in shampoos that are considered soap-free.  It is easily spreadable in consistency.

SODIUM CETYL SULFATE

This substance comes from saturated fatty alcohols and is considered to be soluble in water.

SODIUM CHLORIDE

Also known as common table salt, this substance is a purified form for toning, moisturizing, cleansing and is used as an antiseptic and astringent.

SODIUM HYDROXYMETHYLGLYCINATE

A preservative that is an amino acid glycine derivative.

SODIUM LAURETH-13 CARBOXYLATE

An agent that spreads easily (a surfactant) that holds a negative charge and in some shampoos enhances the cleansing properties.

SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE

A thick consistency surfactant that is milder on skin than sodium lauryl sulfate.  It foams well and makes a good shampoo product.

SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE

A detergent which is an emulsifier in the form of white powder.  In cosmetics it has surfactant traits.  It is used as a degreaser and water softener as well.

SODIUM MYRISTOYL SARCOSINATE

A substance used as a light conditioner that has mild cleansing ability.

SODIUM PCA

A good humectant that is very water absorbent and can hold many times its own water-weight.  It is found in human skin and binds moisture to cells.

SODIUM SACCHARIN

An artificial flavoring that takes the place of sugar.  It has no calories and is at least 300 times sweeter than sugar.  It is used in toothpaste, mouthwash, lipsticks etc.  It is not used as much in consumable food items any more because it has been linked to cancer when ingested.

SODIUM TALLOWATE

Animal fat, also known as salt of tallow.  It is a major mineral in maintenance of the acid balance in our bodies, fluid retention as well as the transmission of nerve impulses.

SODIUM THIOSULFATE

An salt which is not organic and is highly reactive; it is for neutralizing halogens like chlorine.

SODIUM TRIDECETH SULFATE

An ingredient in shampoo and baby shampoo products that is used for wetting them.

SOLUBLE

Having the ability to dissolve.  Having compatibility with another ingredient.

SOLVENT

A liquid that can disperse and/or dissolve something else.

SOMATIC

Something that is in reference to the body, not the mind; the soma as opposed to the psyche.

SOOTHING

Something that comforts or helps alleviate discomfort.

SORBITAN STEARATE

An agent used to stabilize essential oils when used in lotions.  Also used to thicken and emulsify.

SORBITOL

A substance that binds moisture to the surface of the skin and is found in berries, algae and seaweed.  It gives the skin a smooth, silky feel like velvet.

Soy protein

An immune boosting substance known to possible prevent cancer and ease discomforts associated with menopause.  It is a strong antioxidant.

SOYBEAN OIL

A petrolatum alternative due to its binding and thickening capabilities.  It is emollient like and can be found in skincare products.  It contains other nutrients as well as antioxidants.

S.P.A.

This abbreviation stands for “salut per aqua” in Latin, which means: “to enter by means of water”.  Another meaning could be “health through water”.  It has come to mean simply “spa” in English, insinuating a therapeutic water bath or related treatments.

SPF

This stands for Sun Protection Factor.  The higher the SPF, the greater the protection from the UV rays of the sun.  The SPF is numbered according to its level of protection.  It is suggestive of the amount of time you can spend in the sun without burning.  An example of this is if you normally would burn in 15 minutes and you apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 10, you can subsequently stay in the for 150 minutes without burning.

SPHAGNUM

A group of mosses found in wet acid regions.  The remains of these mosses compacts over a time period and sometimes together with other plants, forming a substance called peat.  Peat is used in musculoskeletal and other skin conditions.

SPIRAEA EXTRACT (SPRIAEA ULMARIA EXTRACT)

Also called meadowsweet, this extract is an anti-inflammatory that works on the joints and diuretically on tissues.  The plant leaves are good for rheumatism and cellulites and are most effective when applied directly to the skin.  Fluid retention and puffiness are reduced by this extract also.

SQUALENE

An emollient that spreads well and sooths skin in various skincare products.  It comes from shark liver oil and is contained in trace amounts in human sebum.

STASIS

Stopping of the blood flow.  An act of keeping something in a atonic ( non moving) state.  It can also mean the blockage of varicose veins or blockages of the intestines.

STASIS DERMATITIS

A type of dermatitis that consists of eruptions on the ankles and lower legs which are very itchy and resemble eczema.

STEAM AND SAUNA

Heated rooms which are moist and then dry that are used for therapy.  They are commonly used before a body wrap, scrub, massage or some time of hydro treatment.  Temperature in a sauna is typically not supposed to go above 190 degrees fahrenheit and the steam shouldn’t go over 120 degrees fahrenheit.  The high temperatures mandate monitoring and limiting of treatment/exposure.

STEARALKONIUM CHLORIDE

A neutralizer of the hair’s electrical charges, combating static electricity.  A cationic surfactant that is a good conditioner.

STEARAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYAMINE

A stearic acid derivative.  It has the ability to close hair cuticles over a vast range of PH levels.  It is water soluble.

STEARETH 21

Esters of stearyl alcohol, these are polyethelyne glycols.  The 21 is in a number range of 4 (very thin) to 100 (completely solid).  It is also an emulsifying agent.

STEARIC ACID AND STEARYL ALCOHOL

A moisturizer used also as an emollient.

STEARYL ALCOHOL

A stabilizer for emulsions, this agent adds body to lotions as well.

STENOSIS

A duct or canal area that becomes increasingly narrow.

STERILE

Not able to reproduce.  Also a term meaning completely clean and free of living microorganisms.

STEROID

Compounds that have a 17-carbon, 4-ring system.  This include many hormones and glycosides as well as sterols.

STEROID ACNE

A type of acne characterized by reddened pustules and papules all over the upper arms, shoulders and trunk, that occurs 7 to 14 days after using high doses of systemic steroids, and within 3 to 6 weeks of corticosteroid use of lower doses.  People with a history of acne are at increased risk.

STEROID-RESPONSIVE DERMATOSIS

A condition of the skin that is responsive to topical corticosteroid treatment.

STEROID ROSACEA

Skin damage manifested as discoloration, hair growth, skin thinning, or skin addition to cortisone, which is the result of long term topical use of cortisone creams.

STIMULANT

A substance that either produces a stimulating effect or increases circulatory performance.

STINGING NETTLE

A plant that has many minerals and plant related hormones and is used in herbal remedies and soaps.

STRATUM CORNEUM

The epidermis’ out layer, also called the horny cell layers.  It serves as a protective skin barrier.

STRTUM GERMINATIVUM

The part of the epidermis in which the normal cell division occurs; the basal layer.

STRATUM GRANULOSUM

The layer of the epidermis known as the granular layer; this is where keratohyalin granules reside, containing the filaggrin protein.

STRATUM LUCIDUM

The layer of the epidermis which is the clear cell layer that is located on the bottom of the feet and the palms of the hands.

STRATUM SPINOSUM

The layer of the epidermis known as the prickle cell layer.  It is made up of  rows of cells that look as if they are held together by prickly spines.

STRETCH MARKS

Skin thinning and damage caused during pregnancy or sudden weight gain.  The tissue stretches and cells stop producing collagen and elastin in those areas, leaving a mark.  It is usually permanent.

STRIAE

The name given to a series of stretch marks on the skin.

STEARYL ALCOHOL

A fatty alcohol that comes from coconut oil, much like cetyl alcohol.  See the description of cetyl alcohol.

SUBACUTE

Not as severe or a shorter illness as compared to an acute situation.

SUBCUTANEOUS

Underneath the top layers of the skin.

SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE

A fat layer under the dermis that acts to absorb shock and insulate the skin.

SUBCUTIS

Referring to tissue that is subcutaneous.  See subcutaneous or subcutaneous tissue.

SURFACTANT

An agent that is used to cleanse in cleansers that are soap-free.

SULFUR

An element that is a key component of proteins and is found many times in therapeutic muds and thermal pools.  It is thought to help the body alleviate stress related to oxidation and is known to treat sore muscles, skin disorders and arthritis as well as many other ailments.  It is a micro-exfoliant and helps the skin to peel.  It is good for acne-prone skin especially.

SUNSCREEN

A product applied topically to the skin to protect it from harmful UV rays. A broad spectrum sunscreen works best as it absorbs and blocks out UVA and UVB rays.

SUNBLOCK

A product that provides a physical barrier against UV rays, either chemically (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) or clothing, etc.  Sunblocks are less irritating to the skin than sunscreens.

SUNFLOWER SEED OIL

Used for oily skin as en emollient and also in masques and pastes.  It has a semi-drying effect on oily skin.

SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE

An enzyme that occurs naturally and protects against free radicals and skin damage.  It helps prevent hair loss and dryness.  Used in a variety of products including skincare, hair care and supplements.

SURFACTANTS

A substance used in skincare cleansers and conditioning agents.  Also used as a wetting agent, emulsifier, and a foam stabilizer.  It allows water and oil to mix together effectively.

SWEET ALMOND OIL

Used frequently in massage oils, sweet almond oil is also a good skin emollient.

SWISS SHOWER

A treatment that entails spraying fresh water over the entire body from above and sideways, with needle type jet valves positioned at different heights.  It creates a rejuvenating, massaging experience by utilizing different temperatures and velocities. This technique also serves to increase circulation.

SYMPTOM

A change of condition or a sign of disease in a person;  a symptom is subjective in nature.

SYNERGY

A state where the combined effects of the individual pieces or parts is greater than the individual parts themselves.  They all work together to supplement and enhance each other.

SYNTHETIC BAR

A bar of soap containing cleansing agents that are synthetic, usually much less irritating than regular soap.

SYSTEMIC

Something that affects the whole body and not just part of it.

TAILA

Massage oils made by cooking herbs and making a fatty base like coconut or sesame oil.  They are medicated and used externally, typically for massaging.  Popular in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medicine.

TALC

Used popularly as a powder, talc is magnesium silicate, a soft mineral, that is used to absorb moisture.

TAN

A condition resulting from damage to the skin by UV rays.  It is the skin producing a pigment called melanin in an attempt to protect itself.

TANNIN

A  bitter tasting mixture of fragrant compounds that are contained in some plant cells’ vacuoles.  An example would be bark.  Some tannins are glycosides and protect the plant or help with the formation of pigment.  They are considered an astringent and used to tan and dye items.  This substance dries up excess mucous.

TARTARIC ACID

A fruit acid that is an apple derivative. It is a form of glycolic acid and improves the tone and texture of the skin.

TARTRAZINE

This is the common name for an artificial dye known as uncertified FD&C Yellow No. 5.

TAURINE

A non-essential amino acid, taurine hinders and regulates brain neurotransmitters.  It may help epilepsy and controls motor tics.  It also helps the body maintain the solubility of cholesterol and to keep bile balanced.  It has effects on blood sugar close to that of insulin.  It is a cell membrane stabilizer and detoxifies and displays antioxidant properties.  It helps move various nutrients through cells such as sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium, which in turn aids nerve impulses.  It is needed to maintain normal vision.  Other areas it may be helpful are for the treatment of depression, eye disease, cirrhosis, hypertension and male infertility.  It has a calming action on the central nervous system.  It may have adverse affects, though, causing diarrhea, peptic ulcers and short term memory impairment.

TEA

This stands for triethanolamine and is produced by ammonolysis of ethylene oxide.  It is used in conjunction with stearic acid (or other organic acids) as an emulsifier.  It forms gels by neutralizing carbomers.  It also acts as an alkalizer to control PH levels.  In hair spray it becomes a softener and in transparent soap it is used to adjust the PH.

TEA LAURETH SULFATE

This is derived from ethoxylated lauryl sulfate.  It is a triethanolamine salt that has a negative electrical charge and is compatible with any amphoteric (something that allows water and oil to mix).  It is a mild, yet effective cleanser.

TEA LAURYL SULFATE

See the description under TEA Laureth Sulfate, as they are almost the same.

TEA TREE OIL

An antiseptic with germicidal traits, good for use in shampoos and soaps as well as skincare products.  It has natural preservative properties.

TELANGIECTASIA

An area of skin where the color is a result of an enlarge blood vessel.  It is a permanent discoloration.

TELOGEN

The cycle of hair growth which is known as the resting phase, when hairs lie dormant.

TEMPORARY COLOR

A hair coloring formula that washes out once hair is shampooed.

TERATOGEN

A substance that is know to cause birth defects or measurable harm to a developing embryo or fetus.  Alcohol is a known teratogen.

TERATOGENIC

Something that is a teratogen.  Something that causes birth defects.

TERME

A Greek term that comes from the word “therme”, which means: heat.  A thermal bath or related to hot springs.

TERMINAL

In the cosmetics industry, a type of hair shaft.  A terminal hair shaft is dark, long and thick.  Eyebrows, scalp and pubic regions have terminal hairs.

TESTER

A sample of a particular product used to try it out.

TESTOSTERONE

A male hormone, the main reproductive androgen in males, responsible for sexual maturity, libido and other metabolic reactions.

TETRACYCLINE

A broad spectrum antibiotic.  One of the first developed, it is used in topical and oral forms.  Topically used as an acne treatment.  It works by blocking binding action of amionacyl rRNA to certain bacterium’s ribosomes.

TETRASODIUM EDTA

Also called sodium EDTA.  This is an agent that separates and removes.  It reacts with calcium, sodium and magnesium salts that are in hard water, making them water soluble.  It is used as a water softener and a bonding agent.  It inhibits microbial growth.

TEXTURIZE

To temporarily loosen curls by coming relaxer through the hair and leaving it in.

THALASSOTHERAPY

From the Greek word for sea, a treatment that uses hydrotherapy and seawater full of nutrients as well as marine byproducts to have restorative effects on the body.

THEA SINENSIS EXTRACT

See the definition under Green Tea.

THERMAL MUD

Hot spring mud that can be applied at its source while it is still hot, or extracted and reheated to apply in another location.

THERMOTHERAPY

Applying heat for therapeutic purposes.

THIAMINE

This is Vitamin B1 and it plays an important role in helping make energy for the body.  It is helpful in digesting carbohydrates and is a vital part of the nervous system functions. It stabilizes appetite and encourages good muscle tone and heart muscles.

THICKENING MASCARA

Eyelash makeup that builds up a coat of color on the lashes and adds volume.

THREONINE

An essential amino acid and a vital collagen, elastin and enamel protein component.  It is a part of many proteins in the body and is needed to make proper tooth enamel.  It comes before glycine and serine as an amino acid.  It also controls fat buildup in the liver and helps fight mental illness.  It can also aid digestion and alleviate intestinal issues.  When threonine is present, nutrients are able to be absorbed more easily.

THRUSH

Infection with a fungus (candida albicans) in the mouth or genital regions. It is usually white and pasty or clumpy.

THYME

An herb that is used as an antiseptic, antibacterial, deodorizer and a tonic.  Used in many products including toothpaste, perfumes, soaps and mouthwashes.  It is known to have healing properties and helps in bronchial and intestinal disruptions.  It is used as a tincture, extract or infusion to help the throat, bronchitis, laryngitis or whooping cough.  Also for many other conditions.  Oil of thyme (called thymol) has uses orally as mouthwash, toothpaste, etc.  It can be used locally as an irritant to rid the body of warts or help blood to come to the surface.  A salve may also be made from thyme to help shingles.

THYMOL

Oil from thyme that has antiseptic traits.  Use like thyme for soap and oral hygiene.  Also effective when used for hookworms or warts.  Also see thyme.

TINCTURE

Also known as spirituous tincture and alcoholic tincture.  Used in nonvolatile, alcohol based solutions.  Usually colored, a tincture is used medicinally to kill germs,  and is usually diluted.

TINEA CAPITIS

A scalp infection like ringworm, athlete’s foot, etc.  It is a fungus.

TINTED MOISTURIZER

A moisturizer with a slight hint of color added.

TISSUE RESPIRATORY FACTOR

See the definition under TRF.

TITANIUM DIOXIDE

A common ingredient in sunscreens that is non-chemical and forms a physical barrier between the sun’s UV rays and the skin.  It can be used by itself or in a formula with other ingredients.

TOCOPHEROL

Another name for Vitamin E.  It builds up in the epidermis and creates a barrier to keep moisture from escaping.  It is an antioxidant and prevents against damage caused by free radicals in the skin.  It slows down cellular aging caused by oxidation and nourishes cells.  The capillary walls are strengthened and it protects red blood cells from toxins.  Used in cosmetics as an antioxidant.

TOCOPHEROL ACETATE

This is Vitamin E used in products related to skincare.  See TOCOPHEROL for a detailed description.

TOCOPHERYL LINOLEATE

A substance (Vitamin E) that keeps the stratum corneum from getting stiff due to UV exposure.  It gives the skin linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid.  It builds up in the epidermis, forming a protective barrier fighting dryness due to moisture loss.  Also see TOCOPHEROL and Vitamin E.

TOCOPHERYL NICOTINNATE

This substance does not irritate the surface of the skin, yet at the same time increases the blood supply at the skin’s surface.

TOLUENE

A solvent used in nail polish that allows the ingredients to blend well.

TONE

The main type of shade of a hair or skin color: either neutral, warm or cool.

TONER

A product used to balance the skin’s PH levels.  Usually used after cleansing.  Also removes any leftover dirt or impurities.

TONIC

Something applied or ingested to help chronic disease.  It helps an organ to function better or improves tissue.  It is nurturing or invigorating and helps something return to its original state of health or balance (for example, restoring skin tone).

TOPICAL

Something used externally and applied on the outside; to the surface of the skin.

TOXINS

Substances which cause harm and hurt health; long-term effects of toxins in small amounts over time can build up and cause damage.

TRACE MINERALS

Minerals that play a major role in health even in small amounts.  They help to utilized nutrients effectively and aid in digestion.  They help metabolize hormones, enzymes and contribute to necessary body reactions and functions.

TRANSEPIDERMAL WATER LOSS

The evaporation or loss of moisture from the skin that occurs when moisture from deep dermal tissues travels up and out through the outer layers.  It serves as one of the stratum corneum’s sources of moisture.

TRANSPARENT SOAP

Glycerin soap that is see-through.  Formulated for normal-to-oily and sensitive skin.

TRETINOIN

A Vitamin A derivative.  Used topically to treat and help reduce the occurrence of acne.

TRF

This is a skin care complex known as Tissue Respiratory Factor.  It is made up vitamins, monosaccharides and disaccharides, and amino acids.  It also has phosphorus compounds and nucleotides/nucleosides.  TRF substances are made when live cells are injured.  They help in the healing process to rejuvenate collagen and elastin production, while helping lower layer skin cells in the regeneration process.

TRICHOLOGIST

A professional analyzer of the scalp and hair to evaluate hair conditions and recommend treatments.

TRICLOSAN

An antibacterial that kills surface cell bacteria on the skin.  It is  a broad-spectrum substance and helps kill acne related bacteria.

TRIDECETH-6

A substance used to add thickness to products.

TRIETHANOLAMINE

See the definition for TEA.

TRIETHYL CITRATE

A substance used for its ability to give a pliable quality to hardening and/or decalcifying agents.  It is derived from citric acid.

TRIGLYCERIDE

An ester of glycerol plus fatty acids; it occurs naturally and is a main substance in oils and fats.  It is also a type of fat found in the blood; the body utilizes insulin to rid the blood of triglycerides.

TRISODIUM EDTA

Used to remove or separate substances and also as a binder (chelating agent) of sodium salt.  Trisodium EDTA acts as a preservative.

TRISODIUM ETIDRONATE

A possible irritant but primarily used as a preservative.

TYROSINE

An amino acid (one out of twenty of them) that is coded directly by proteins and is not essential for humans because it is capable of being synthesized from phenylalanine.  It is converted into melanin through many steps in the metabolic process; it is used to supplement the body’s natural amount of tyrosine at the pigment cell level of the skin, thereby acting as an accelerator in the tanning process.  Tyrosine is the amino acid that allows hair color to “stick”.

T-ZONE

The area on thee face that forms the shape of a T, where oiliness occurs and acne breakouts are more likely.  The T-zone includes the chin, nose and forehead and excludes the cheeks which tend to be dryer.

UBTAN

Ubtan is used in Ayurveda (an ancient system of medicine from India) to help detoxify and smooth out skin.  It is an herbal paste to be used all over the body as an externally applied substance.

ULTRAVIOLET

See individual definitions under UV for specific types.

UMBEL

The flat portion at the top of the stalks on a mass of flowers, the stalks being equal in size.

UNA DE GATO

Also known as “Cat’s Claw”, the inner bark of the plant greatly influences the defense system of the body.  It also aids in circulation and gastrointestinal function due to its antioxidant effects.

UNDERTONE

This is usually in reference to makeup or cosmetics and relates to the hue of a certain color group as being either neutral, warm or cool.  A person’s natural undertone has to do with their eye, skin and hair color and which hues compliment those colors.  Foundations are frequently based on the skin’s undertone.

UNDERWATER MASSAGE

A massage therapy treatment done in special tubs filled with warm water.  Jets massage various body parts and help relaxation.  Many times a continuous stream of air bubbles will be part of the treatment.  Then, the client is massaged with a high pressure hose under the water to target problem areas.  This is a form of hydrotherapy that increases circulation, helps sore muscles and stimulates organs while eliminating toxins.

UNIPERTAN

A product made from tyrosine, collagen and riboflavin. In its original form it used animal by-products.  It is used as a tanning accelerator.

UNIPERTAN V-242

The vegetable form of unipertan, a tan accelerator, in a vegetable collagen base.

UNITRIENOL T-272

A blend of farnesyl acetate, panthenyl triacetate and Farnesol.  It is a patented formula and it helps in regulating the skin’s moisture and oil content while encouraging elasticity.  It is an ingredient that is usually in lip and skin formulas.  It has a complex that is bioactive and regenerates cells, helping them smooth out lines, improve elasticity and balance sebaceous matter and moisture.  It has proven in clinical tests to reduce the depth of wrinkles.

UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS

The CDC’s policy on bodily fluids and blood.  Since these sources can carry the HIV virus, and the hepatitis B and C viruses, along with other infectious pathogens in the blood, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a stated, written policy on how these fluids should be handled.

UREA

The body’s waste products.  Kidneys flush waste out of the body in the urine, which contains urea.

URIC ACID

This is the end product of nucleoproteins (and other dietary proteins) that are found in the cell nucleus.

URINARY TRACT

The lower tubes and related areas that come from the kidney.  It consists of the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder and the urethra.

URTICARIA

A skin allergy, also called hives.  A red, inflamed area that is surrounded by raised, white bumps.

UV

This stands for ultraviolet radiation.  It is a spectrum of radiation by the sun invisible to the naked eye.  It can be separated into three areas each area more dangerous to the skin than the previous:  UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C.

UVA

This stands for ultraviolet light, type A.  These rays are the ones that age the skin.  They are not visible but cause wrinkles, dryness and photo aging.  The penetrate more deeply than the other UV rays.

UVA-URSI

See the definition under Bearberry.

UVB

This stands for ultraviolet light, type B.  These are rays of light from the sun that can cause the skin to burn.  They are invisible to the naked eye but damage the skin and can cause skin cancer. They dry and age the skin and cause extensive cellular damage.  They have a wavelength of about 285-320 nanometers. Prolonged exposure to UVB rays can cause major skin burning with redness, peeling and blistering.

VACCINE

A shot or needle injection done to create antibodies against a virus so the virus will not be contracted in the future; immunization.

VALERIAN ROOT

A derivative of dried rhizomes and plant roots, valerian root is an extract used in teas for its mildly tranquilizing properties and to calm insomnia, hysteria, restless and nervous states and a nervous stomach.  It also is used for menstrual issues and as an anticonvulsive and hypotensive.

VANADIUM

An agent that the body needs in order to tolerate glucose; it helps to move glucose through the bloodstream and with the oxidation of it.  According to the University of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, in the future vanadium will be used to treat adults with diabetes, replacing insulin.  Other areas that vanadium is of use include bone and teeth formation and certain metabolic processes at the cellular level.  It inhibits the production of cholesterol and low vanadium levels may cause kidney or cardiovascular disease.

VANILLIN

An aldehyde with an odor like vanilla that is crystalline and white looking and causes a burning taste.  It is an extract from the pods of vanilla but is also made from eugenol when it oxidates and coniferin when it decomposes.  Vanillin can be used to accelerate and produce a tan as it reacts under heat and light with proteins in the skin.  In flavor mixes it is used to sweeten in imitation vanilla as well as in chocolate, butter, fruit flavors, cream soda, root beer and more.  It has also been used to treat dermatitis because it has been shown to limit bacterial growth.

VARICOSE VEINS

Usually occurring on the legs, veins that are dilated and visible; sometimes raised.

VARICOSITES

A group of small vessels that are filled with blood or veins that are raised and visible.

VASCULAR

Having to do with the capillaries, arteries and veins that run through the body; the system through which the blood runs.

VASCULAR SYSTEM

The entire system in the body having to do with the blood.  This is the blood vessels, the heart,  and the portal, lymph and pulmonary systems.

VASCULITIS

A condition in which one (or more) of the blood vessels becomes enlarged and inflammation occurs.

VASOCONSTRICTION

A dermal blood vessel that becomes narrowed.

VASOCONTRICTOR

Something that causes the blood vessels to become narrowed.

VATA

One of the three doshas (three vital bioenergies that make up a person) in Ayurveda (an ancient healing medicine system in India) that is a mixture of the space and air elements.

VEHICLE

In topical drugs related to dermatology: a vehicle is considered the carrier, or means by which, an active substance is put together.

VEGETABLE STEARATE

A stearic acid salt that comes from vegetable materials.

VELLUS

Fine, peach-fuzz type hair all over the body that is difficult to see.

VENOUS

Broadly defined as lymphatic and vein related circulation; related to the veins.

VERRUCA

A projection from the skin that resembles a wart.

VETIVER

A derivative from an African tree root that was used originally to make rugs and mats.  It is an essential oil and smells of smoke or earth/dirt like; it may be used in perfumes.  Also used in aromatherapy and to help reduce stretch marks and reverse or halt the aging process if used topically.

VESICLE

A fluid filled pouch, or blister, whose liquid is transparent and colorless.  It can be up to pea-size, if bigger than that it is known as a bulla.

VICHY TREATMENT

A therapy where the person lies on a table and receives finely pointed water streams on their body that alternate between hot and cold.  Followed then, by a scrub all over the body. In Europe, it is done using lukewarm water which then is followed with a full body massage given by a therapist.  In the United States, the treatment is mainly done for the purpose of rinsing body scrub or body wrap products from the body (i.e., it is not done as a therapeutic treatment).

VIKRTI

A state of unbalance caused by interferents such as bad diet, stress, trauma, injury, etc. This is pertaining to Ayurveda (a medicine practiced for ages in India), when a person’s being or, prakriti, is disrupted, producing a state of vikrti.

VINCENT PRIESSNITZ

A farmer in Austria known for inventing the cold water cure.  The cure entails drinking cold water in large quantities as well as applying cold water in the form of douches, packs, and via immersion.

VIOLET FLOWERS

Known to have mild astringent effects they are soothing and rich in both Vitamins A & C.  They are popular to use as a facial rinse and when administering a sauna for the face.

VISCOSITY

A term that refers to how thick or thin a particular item is.  It can also be used to describe how sticky a product is.  The lower the viscosity, the thinner and more flowing the substance; the higher the viscosity, the thicker it is.

VITAMIN A

A vitamin that is known as beta carotene.  It is fat soluble.  It has many benefits and can keep skin smooth and disease-free.  It shields the mouth, nose throat and lungs’ mucous membranes, reducing liklihood of infection.  It guards against pollutants that are airborne and helps eyesight and night blindness.  It also contributes to the making of healthy teeth and bones.  On the skin it reduces photo aging and helps the skin’s suppleness and elasticity, along with its moisturization levels.  A Vitamin A deficiency can cause hard, dry skin.  See Vitamin A in any  Vitamins Dictionary.

VITAMIN A DERIVATIVES

These include the retinoids, known as: Retin-A,  retinyl palmitate, retinyl linoleate, retinyl acetate, and retinol.  They can help the skin immensely even reversing (along with preventing) some sun damage from UV rays.  They are natural exfoliants that also strengthen the skin.  Clinically they are used to treat psoriasis, cystic acne and other keratin-related diseases.

VITAMIN B

Vitamin B has a complex of 11 vitamins that work synergistically (that is they are optimal when taken together).  They are considered antioxidants and regulators in various body functions.  The 11 vitamins are: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (panthenol), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid),  B12 (cyanocobalamin), biotin, pantothenic acid, choline inositol, and PABA.

VITAMIN B1

Also called thiamine; see thiamine for a definition.

VITAMIN B2

Also called riboflavin; see riboflavin for a definition.

VITAMIN B3

Also called niacin; see niacin for a definition.

VITAMIN B5

Also called pantothenic acid; see pantothenic acid for a definition.

VITAMIN B6

Also called pyridoxine; see pyridoxine for a definition.  In addition, refer to a Vitamins Dictionary under Vitamin B6 for more information.

VITAMIN B9

Also called folic acid; see folic acid for a definition.

VITAMIN B12

Also called cobalamin, or cyanocobalamin.  This vitamin helps regenerate and form red blood cells.  It therefore contributes to the prevention of anemia.  It is needed to metabolize fat proteins and carbohydrates.  It helps keep the nervous system functioning properly and is crucial in absorbing calcium.  It also boosts energy levels and facilitates normal growth in children.

VITAMIN C

Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is used in cosmetic creams as a preservative and an antioxidant.  It is water soluble and essential for many body functions.  It promotes tooth and gum and bone health, heals wounds, reduces scarring, prevents scurvy, fights infection and builds immune health.  It also treats colds, helps with iron absorption and strengthens blood vessels.  Vitamin C is needed to synthesize collagen, which holds together tissues among cells.  It is an invaluable antioxidant; Vitamin C keeps nitrates (such as tobacco smoke, smog, lunchmeat preservatives etc.) from turning into carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).  Vitamin C also has been shown to slow down the body’s hyperpigmentation process, hindering age spots, while shielding, to a certain extent, against UV rays.

VITAMIN D

A vitamin that helps the body balance phosphorous and calcium; it is an essential nutrient for tooth and bone health.  It prevents rickets and is not light, heat or oxygen sensitive.  Vitamin D is fat soluble and forms in the skin when it is exposed to the sun.

VITAMIN E

An antioxidant that helps slow down aging of the cells related to oxidation.  It gives the blood its oxygen which subsequently goes to the heart and other body organs.  This helps lessen fatigue.  It carries nutrients to cells and reinforces the walls of capillaries keeping poisons away from red blood cells.  It breaks down blood clots and aids in their prevention and has contributed to the prevention of muscular dystrophy and sterility.  It also hinders the formation of calcium deposits which may clog the bloodstream and exacerbate heart conditions.

VITAMIN F

Vitamin F contributes to the formation of skin cell membranes.  The membranes form a barrier that protects the skin, keeping flaky, dry skin from occurring and building up.

VITAMIN H

See the definition of biotin for more information on this vitamin.

VITAMIN K

This is a vitamin that is critical for proper clotting of the blood.  It also can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, reduce heavy menstrual flow, and might be responsible for hindering some cancer tumors from forming.  It is most often derived from plants but can be synthesized in the small intestine with the help of tiny intestinal bacteria.  It is sensitive to alcoholic alkalis, acids that are strong, oxygen, and light.  It is a vitamin that is fat soluble.

VITAMIN P

For information on this vitamin, see the definition of bioflavonoids.

VITAMINS

Any of several different organic compounds required as nutrients by an organism for proper growth and function.  To stay healthy, the body must receive certain small amounts of various vitamins. They can be water soluble or fat soluble.

VOLATILE OILS

Fragrant Oils that are active and derived from plants.  They have the tendency to evaporate rather quickly .

VOLATILITY

The volatility is measured as the length of time it takes a liquid compound, when at room temperature,  to become a gas compound.  It has become a gas compound once it has evaporated.

WALNUT EXTRACT

A substance that can be used as a bronzer, its color lends itself to a natural-looking color that resembles a true tan.  The antiseptic properties of this extract help ward off parasites and ease psoriasis, eczema and other skin afflictions.

WALNUT LEAF EXTRACT

An extract used to condition and also because of its reputation as an astringent.

WALNUT OIL

A substance that is on the lighter side relative to other oils and makes the skin feel lavish and velvety.

WARFARIN

A blood thinner that is synthetic.  It is sometimes used as a poisonous agent to exterminate rats.

WARM

In the cosmetics industry, warm is referring to a color group.  Colors that are warm include yellows, reds or orange.  These warm colors are basic undertones in skin, hair and makeup.

WARM COLORS

Colors which give the suggestion of warmth; warm colors often are connected with the sun and with fire, such as reds, yellows, etc.  They appear on the color wheel across (on the opposite side) from the cools (blues, etc.).

WART

A skin tumor caused from being infected with a virus known as HPV (human papilloma virus).  A wart looks like a raised, dome-shaped bump (a papule or nodule) that is flesh colored and firm.  Warts typically appear on the fingers and hands, but can appear in various areas on the body.

WATERCRESS EXTRACT

A decongestant and an antiseptic.  It purges the body of impure substances and alleviates congestion.  It is refreshing and invigorating.

WATERMELON

A fruit high in glutathione, it cleanses food of fat that has been exposed to oxidation.  Watermelon has no fat or cholesterol and a low sodium content.  It is a source of an anti-cancer substance, lycopene.  It has a high Vitamin C content and is a source of Vitamin A, iron, fiber, calcium and potassium.  It can also help with sinus congestion and infection.

WATER-RESISTANT

Something that is designed (whether naturally or manufactured) to ward off water molecules.   Not removed with water easily.

WATER-SOLUBLE

Having the ability to be dissolved in water, particularly if there is a wetting agent, such as soaps and detergents.

WAXING

A procedure performed to rid the body or a particular area of the body, of unwanted hair.  A wax which has been warmed is applied to the skin over the hair to be removed.  Once the wax sets, it is pulled off in a quick motion pulling against the direction of hair growth.  Some pain is felt temporarily on the skin surface immediately following hair removal.

WET ROOM

A room for the purpose of therapeutic treatments involving water.  It is usually equipped with hydrotherapy items, like a shower, that rinses away spa products.  It may include tubs and scotch hoses as well.

WETTING AGENT

An agent that cuts down on the resistance of a liquid when applied to a surface, ensuring that the liquid will spread and penetrate a solid surface more quickly and easily.  Soaps and detergents achieve this by using water.

WHEAL

In the medical field, this represents a lesion caused by swelling of the dermis.  It can be rounded on top or flat but it is usually firm to the touch and is raised slightly.  A burning or itching coming from the skin like with an insect bite.  A wheal is frequently pink with a white point in the middle.  Hives is characterized by plenty of wheals on the face, hands, etc.

WHEAT GERM OIL

This oil is full of Vitamin E and is a great attacker of free radicals on the skin’s surface.   Used in cosmetics it helps skin cells rejuvenate.  Its antioxidant characteristics make it valuable for skin use.  It supports the muscles and helps lymph function.  It helps dry, aging skin and is good for stretch marks and scar tissue.  It nourishes and heals skin

WHEAT GRASS

Also called barley grass.  It helps with stomach and duodenal issues.  It treats inflammation of the pancreas.  Wheat grass is an anti-inflammatory with antioxidant, and also a good source of nutrients and vitamins including: flavonoids, iron, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, and calcium, among others.  Test studies show that wheat grass can prevent pollution by chemicals and  lessen the adverse effects of x-rays and chemicals on the body.

WHEAT OLIGOSACCHARIDES

A substance used in hair and skin conditioners.  Also used for moisturization.

WHEY

An exceptional tool for the enhancement of muscle growth, muscle repair, immune function, and keeping muscles from withering in states of catabolic disease

WHITEHEAD

The common term for milium, or, acne albida.  A whitehead is a tiny, cyst-like eruption on the skin, filled with pus, sebum, or other fluid.

Another name for a comedone which is not open; a group of keratin and sebum that is stopping up the skin pores and plants itself in the follicular canal.  It appears as a white bump that is raised.

WHITE PONY

A common flower helpful in blood regulation.  Blood vessels become more relaxed, platelets loosen and do not stick, blood receives nourishment, and circulation to extremities and the skin in general is improved.

WILD CHERRY BARK

Used for its ability to quell bad coughs and reduce irritation.  Bronchitis and whooping cough are alleviated.  It also acts as a sedative and anti-spasmodic, and an expectorant.

WILD INDIGO

Used to help infections and catarrh in the ear, nose, and throat.    It has uses for the treatment of mouth ulcers, gingivitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis and to control pyorrhea.  Systemically is can treat swollen lymph glands.  An all-around fever reducer that is antimicrobial and an anti-catarrhal.

WILD LETTUCE LEAF

A blend consisting of herbs used to treat skin that is sunburned,  sore and pimply or rough.

WILD OAT

A nerve tonic that is helpful in curing lethargy with stimulatory effect.  The see of the wild oat treats exhaustion.

WILD YAM

A soothing cure for colic in the intestines.  It also helps alleviate  pain in the uterus and ovaries.  It eases discomfort associated with diverticulitis and rheumatoid arthritis.  Other uses are for treating spasms, inflammation, hepatic issues, and for use as a diaphoretic and cholagogue.

WILLOW

Used for centuries as a treatment for general aches and pains.  It is known to be a general analgesic, anti-inflammatory and is used as a tonic.  It is effective in treating gout, fevers and rheumatism.

WILLOW BARK EXTRACT

This extract is the original source of aspirin.  It produces salicin, which is the chemical responsible for the creation of the popular anti-inflammatory and analgesic.  The willow bark extract acts in much the same way and its properties go to liposome skin cells which penetrate the epidermis.  It is used to treat acne as well due to its keratolytic effects.

WITCH HAZEL

Used in the topical treatment of bruises, hemorrhoids, varicose veins and swollen tissues.  It also can be used internally and treats diarrhea and dysentery.  It stops bleeding well and is common in household use as both an anti-inflammatory and an astringent.

WOOD BETONY

This substance eases anxiety and tension as well as neuralgia and headaches associated with nerves.  It is especially useful to treat symptoms and related ailments from hypertension.  It is also a bitter.

WOOD’S LIGHT

This is UV light that is filtered through glass that is plated with nickel.  It is usually hand held and used diagnostically to identify fungus and bacteria and to dissipate pigmentation spots associated with related disorders

WORMWOOD

Useful for rejuvenating the digestive system.  Its main function is to act as a bitter.  Wormwood is also a good solution in treating worm infestations like pinworm and roundworm.  It may also be helpful in cases of infection and fever.  It is considered an antimicrobial, an anthelmintic and a carminative, along with its reputation as a bitter.

XANTHAN GUM

A polysaccharide for thickening.  It is highly molecular and used to make foods thicker. It comes from glucose and is a result of the fermentation process.

XEROSIS

A condition in which the skin takes on dryness.

YARROW

A diaphoretic that is a fever reducing substance.  It can bring down blood pressure and help with digestion and make the blood vessels more fit.  It can be used as a urinary antiseptic to treat related infections like cystitis.  It is used to help heal injuries and wounds externally.  It is also a hypotensive agent, an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, a hepatic, and a bitter.

YEAST EXTRACT

This yeast derivative draws out moisture in the air and maintains the correct moisture level in the skin.  It can also control hyperpigmentation by blocking the synthesis of melanin.

YELLOW DOCK

A typical treatment for psoriasis.  It relieves constipation and helps bile flow freely.  It may also behave as a cleanser for the blood.  It is a laxative, an alterative, a cholagogue and a hepatic.

YLANG-YLANG OIL

An extract from plant flowers, its oil is good to refine and cleanse.  It smoothes skin and has anti-congestive properties.  Refer to an Herbal Dictionary for detailed information.

YOHIMBE BARK

A recognized aphrodisiac that is a derivative from the tree in Africa.  It is known to enhance sex drive and performance.  It also dilates blood vessels which helps bring down high blood pressure.  It is known to treat depression as well as anxiety and suppress the body’s fat storing capabilities, contributing to weight loss.

YTTERBIUM

This mineral, which is an ionic plant derivative, helps increase cellular life and growth.  In tests it has doubled laboratory animals’ life expectancy.

YUCCA

A root that is full of saponins, which are similar to steroids.  It causes the body’s cortisone levels to increase, alleviating arthritic pain.

ZINC

Zinc is vital for the body to synthesize DNA and RNA, proteins as well as sperm and insulin.  Without zinc, the body could not process fats, proteins, carbohydrates and alcohol.  Zinc is also necessary for ridding the body of carbon dioxide and using Vitamin A effectively.  There are at least 70 enzymes that rely on zinc to perform.  Zinc also gives the immune system the boost it needs to heal wounds more quickly.  It is a critical aspect of growing and maintaining body tissue.  A developing fetus also relies on zinc for support as do children in their growing stages.  Zinc has an effect on the palate that makes it able to discern individual flavors more sharply.

ZINC CHLORIDE

This substance is known also as Butter of Zinc.  It is used on occasion in corrosive skin cream salves to treat cancer of the skin or other dermal or epidermal conditions.  It is a helper in the act of absorbing nutrients derived from herbs into the bloodstream via the dermal skin layer.

ZINC OXIDE

A physical barrier cream to protect the skin against UV rays.  A skin healer and soother.  Also used like an astringent to remove excess oil from the skin.

ZINC PYRITHIONE

A substance used for its antifungal and cytotoxic properties.  It is often used in dandruff shampoos.  However, it is not FDA approved and could produce unwanted side effects.

ZINC STEARATE

This substance is used in powder type products.  It has the effect of lubricating and improving the texture of the products.

ZIRCONIUM

An ionic trace mineral that comes from a plant source.

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- who has written 429 posts on Skincare by Alana.

Alana Mitchell is a licensed esthetician and skincare fanatic, devoted wife, and loving mother. Alana owns Spa Alana in Dana Point, CA and has become world famous for her personal approach to selling beauty products online.

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  1. pligg.com - October 13, 2010

    Skincare and Beauty Glossary | Skin Care by Alana…

    Defined here are skin care and beauty terms, also known as a skincare dictionary or glossary…

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