e·mol·li·ent(eeMOHleeyent) n. A mixture of oils from animal, vegetable, or mineral sources found in most moisturizers and bodycreams that soothe & soften the skin, protect it from dryness, and even reduce inflammation. Emollients help to restore the skin’s moisture balance by forming a protective film, trapping moisture in the skin so that it can’t escape. (They sound a little evil, don’t they?) These ingredients are a necessity for those with eczema. Continue reading “Beauty, Defined: What Are Emollients?” »
li·po·somes (LY-poh-zohms) n. tiny balls of lipids (fats) derived from a mixture of water and phospholipids that deliver moisture to the skin and are used in moisturizers. Because of their small molecular size, they are able to penetrate the cell wall particularly well. They are also able to absorb water-solublenutrients and vitamins.
Liposomes are not active themselves, but are believed to function in creams as carriers of various encapsulated active substances that otherwise could not penetrate the skin’s fatty layers. Once applied, stored nutrients and vitamins are theoretically released into the skin or hair.
However, there’s some argument that liposomes are ineffective because scientists speculate that they break down when they hit the skin’s surface, before they can aid in having active ingredients penetrate the skin. Skin is intended to act as a protective barrier – designed by evolution to keep us safe from the elements of the world that might damage us. Because of this, it’s more difficult than beauty advertisers would like you to think for their ingredients to penetrate and rejuvenate this protective barrier.
Get ready for some science, girls! The latest buzz in beauty and skincare products surrounds nanotechnology, which basically means the manipulation of extremely small particles. The idea is, teeny tiny ingredients can get deeper into the skin, contact more skin layers, and work faster.
Yet another beauty term you probably don’t know, but that likely touches your face every day: titanium dioxide. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Not so much! Read on and don’t be afraid.
ti·tan·i·um di·ox·ide (ty-TAY-nee-um di-OX-ide) n. An ingredient found in many mineral makeup and skincare products, titanium dioxide is a naturally mined mineral considered to be a very effective sunscreen.
Titanium dioxide protects skin from sun damage by reflecting the sun’s rays. Its light reflecting qualities are only surpassed by diamonds! It also offers full coverage and helps makeup stick to your skin.
Three cheers for titanium dioxide! It just goes to show it doesn’t have to sound pretty to make you pretty.
Ready for a rant? We all know marketers do plenty of things to walk the fine line between the truth and what sells – and makeup is one of the most guilty product categories. (Who hasn’t gotten a little pissed at a clearly Photoshopped mascara ad? Seriously, how is that not literally the definition of “false advertising”?!) One seemingly innocent category – the use of the term “hypoallergenic” in cosmetic packaging and marketing materials.
Hypoallergenic cosmetics are makeup products that the manufacturers and/or their marketing teams claim produce fewer allergic reactions than other cosmetic products. Tons of makeup products advertise that they’re hypoallergenic, and in a sense, they’re right – all products available on the retail market in the US are FDA-approved and thus have fewer substances in them that will cause your skin to have an allergic reaction than, say, walking through a recently pesticide-spritzed overgrowth of ragweed. The truth is, there’s no real definition of “hypoallergenic” as far as FDA regulations go. The FDA attempted to regulate the term way back in the 70s, but their rules were later declared invalid. If you have sensitive skin, you know that one product can cause a reaction as easily as another.