Acacia Farnesiana: An extract from a typeof acacia tree.
It is used in cosmetics to give a fragrance, but it does nothave any other benefits to skin. Acacia Gum: Acacia gum, also called gum Arabic,is a natural gum made from hardened sap of acacia trees. It is mainly used as abonding agent for products, but it is also used to sooth irritated skin and canhelp alleviate inflammations.
Acacia gum may cause allergic reactions. Acai Berry: A small berry with a deep purplecolor that is a great source of antioxidants. Including acai in skincareformulas resists the gradual loss of effectiveness for in products.
It alsokeeps skin smooth and soft, protects skin from environmental stressors, andgives skin a healthy glow. Acai is a good source of Vitamin C. Along with otherminerals, this makes acai good to use for sensitive skin. Acetate: An acetic acid salt. The word thatfollows or precedes acetate on an ingredient list determines the function ofthe acetate. Acetic Acid: The acid found in vinegar, fruits,and human sweat. It can be sensitizing to skin, but it has disinfectingproperties.
Acetone: A solvent commonly foundin nailpolish removers and toners. It can be drying and irritating,depending on the concentration. Acetylsalicylic Acid: Also known as aspirin. SeeSalicylic Acid. Achillea Millefolium Extract: SeeYarrow Extract. Activated Charcoal: Activated or activecharcoal has been processed to increase the charcoal’s surface area,which in turn increases its absorbency. See Charcoal.
Adenosine: Amolecule that occurs naturally in the human body. In products adenosine cansoothe the skin in addition to delivering anti-aging benefits by smoothing theskin’s surface and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Adenosine is abeneficial ingredient suitable for all skin types.Agar: Agelatinous substance added to products as a thickener. Agar comes from seaweedand is a very mild antioxidant.Alcohols: Acategory encompassing a wide range of substances with varying effects on theskin. Alcohols with a low molecular weight are considered bad for the skin,particularly if they’re primary ingredients in a product.
These alcohols areadded to products to help other ingredients penetrate the skin and to reducethe skin’s oiliness. They dehydrate the skin and can damage the skin, causingdesensitization. Bad alcohols include benzyl alcohol, methanol, ethyl alcohol,denatured alcohol, SD alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. Note that if a productsimply lists “alcohol” as an ingredient, it generally refers to ethyl alcohol. Alcoholswith a high molecular weight, also known as fatty alcohols, do not causedehydration and sensitization. They are non-irritating emollients that canbenefit most skin types, especially dry skin.
Fatty alcohols include cetylalcohol, stearyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol.Allantoin: Achemical that helps to sooth and heal the skin. Allantoin is generallynon-irritating and is often included in products meant to reduce the appearanceof acne scars. Allantoin occurs naturally in the body and current researchsuggests that it encourages the cell turnover process. In skincare products itmay be derived naturally from plants such as comfrey and chamomile, or it maybe produced synthetically.Algae: Algae actas thickening agents, water-binding agents, and antioxidants in cosmetics. Someforms of algae are beneficial for the skin as emollients or soothing agents.
Other forms may be potential skin sensitizers. Algae Extract: See Algae.Algin: Brownalgae that shows promise for improving the appearance of aging skin. See algae.Almond Oil: Anon-volatile, non-fragrant oil extracted from almond seeds.
It is used as anemollient, and is a rich source of skin-replenishing ingredients. It is notknown to cause any sensitivities. Users can be allergic to cosmetics withalmond oil. Aloe Barbadensis: SeeAloe Vera.
Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera,also called aloe barbadensis, has mild moisturizing properties. It can help tosoothe the skin after injury, particularly after a sunburn. It also has mildantibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Aloe Vera is suitable for both dryand oily skin types. Note that other varieties of aloe aren’t effectiveskincare ingredients.Alpha-Hydroxy Acids:Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) include glycolic acid and lactic acid. AHAs haveexfoliating properties: they slough off dead skin cells, revealing the smootherskin underneath.
Glycolic acid in particular is often used to help reduce theappearance of wrinkles and fine lines. In high concentrations, AHAs are theprimary ingredient in the chemical peels applied by estheticians anddermatologists. Cleansers can contain lower concentrations of AHAs for use athome. AHAs are effective chemical exfoliants, but they can irritate sensitiveskin and may also increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. AHAs are alsocommon in acne treatments, where they’re often paired with beta-hydroxy acids(BHAs) such as salicylic acid.Alpha Lipoic Acid: Afatty acid found in all cells in the body that contributes to skin’ssmoothness.
It is an antioxidant that is water and fat soluble,enabling it to penetrate well into all parts of skin cells. Ithas anti-inflammatory properties, but higher concentrations of alpha lipoicacid can cause a burning or stinging sensation on skin. Alumina: A mineralused as an abrasive, a thickening agent and an absorbent in cosmetics.
Aluminum: Aluminumis used in compounds for skincare and makeup products. Aluminum chloride,alumina and magnesium aluminum silicate are safely used in cosmetics, as theskin cannot absorb aluminum in these products.Amino Acids: Amino acids are fundamental partsof all proteins found in all parts of the body. In skincare products,amino acids act as water-binding agents, and some have antioxidant properties. Differentamino acids affect cells in different way, and environmental factors and agingreduce amino acid levels in the body.
Skincare products contain amino acids tohelp restore reduced levels in the body. Some amino acids include arginine, glutamine,glycine, histidine, lysine, proline, phenylalanine, methionine andthreonine. Aminobenzoic Acid: A part of the Vitamin B complex that is used in sunscreens. It can causesensitivity to light in susceptible people. It protects skin against UVBradiation and is an active ingredient in chemical sunscreens.
Aniseed: A fragrant plant extract that can havepotent antioxidant properties, but its fragrance makes this a skinsensitizer.