If you often read skin care articles or books or try new skin care products, you might feel a little confused on all of the dermatology language. Here are some of the most common skin care words defined so next time you visit your dermatologist or peruse the beauty store, you know what you’re talking about.
In one of my previous skin care articles, I talked about acids that are helpful for your skin. Two of them are AHA and BHA. These are acids that help you fight against acne, are anti-aging, help exfoliate and in general are great for your skin. Just make sure to test a small area of your skin if you start using a product with acid to see if it irritates your skin. This is especially helpful if you have very sensitive skin.
A very common word in skin care and health care is antioxidants. You’ve probably heard it a million times, but do you really know what it means? Antioxidants are the cure against free radicals. Free radicals are tiny chemical particles in the environment that cause aging or even cancer when activated by UV light. They can also cause wrinkles and discoloration in the skin. Antioxidants protect cells from this damage. They can be found in vitamins or foods that help your body get rid of free radicals. Antioxidants also can come in products that you apply on your skin to help protect your skin from damage.
A few common skin words you might want to know are barrier function, collagen and elastin. A barrier function refers to the skin’s barrier (the epidermis or the top layer of skin). Its goal is to keep water in, so that your skin is hydrated, moisturized and healthy. Collagen is what keeps us from looking older, getting wrinkles and is the most important structural protein found in the skin. Elastin works closely with collagen to keep your skin from sagging.
Lastly, we have enzyme and peptide. These both have to do with proteins. Enzymes are proteins that speed up a chemical reaction but are not consumed in the chemical reaction. In your skin, enzymes are great for exfoliation, reducing inflammation and aging. Peptides are the building blocks of proteins. They are a main ingredient in cosmetics because they penetrate the skin easily.
Are there any other skin care words that you have heard that you would like defined? Share with us!