Acne Vulgaris: A condition involving the oil glands and pores of the skin which is present as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, tender red bumps or pustules, cysts and blemishes.

Acetyl Carnitine: An agent that boosts skin's natural energy.

Acetyl Glucosamine: A natural exfoliant with good water binding properties for the skin.

Acid: Anything with a pH lower than 7 is acid—above 7 is alkaline. Water has a pH of 7. Skin has a pH or 4.5-6.0 with an average pH of 5.5.

Active Ingredient: The active ingredients list is the part of an ingredient label that must adhere to specific regulations mandated by the FDA. Active ingredients must be listed first on an ingredient label with the amount and exact function of each active ingredient as is
indicated by the regulations established by the FDA for over-the-counter treatments. Active ingredients include such substances as avobenzone and octinoxate which are sunscreen ingredients, hydroquinone which is a skin-lightening agent, and benzoyl peroxide and sulfur which are acne medicines.

Age Spot: The skin can develop brown patches for many reasons, but the characteristic small ones on the hands, arms, and face are caused by sun damage. They are also called "liver spots."

Allantoin: An effective anti-irritant that soothes and hydrates the skin.

Allergic Reaction: Indicated by itching, redness and swelling, usually only where the offending substance has touched the skin. To treat: STOP using the product, use Hydrocortisone 1% as directed and see a local dermatologist if your symptoms do not subside.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: A hydrating agent with cooling and calming qualities from the aloe vera plant.

Alphahydroxy Acids (AHAs): An acidic product used for surface skin exfoliation. Alpha hydroxy acids work by removing the adhesions between cells in the upper layer (the epidermis) allowing the epidermal cells to slough off. AHA ingredients include the subcategories of glycolic, lactic, malic and citric acids.

Anti-irritant: Any ingredient that reduces certain signs of irritation, such as dryness or the appearance of redness.

Antioxidants: Any substance that helps reduce free-radical damage.Many vitamins have antioxidant properties, including vitamins A, C, and E. Free-radicals cause cells to break down and impair or destroy their ability to function normally, thereby destroying collagen and other skin components.

Arnica Montana Flower Extract: A naturally occurring botanical known for calming and soothing.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C): Pure form of Vitamin C that has antioxidant, age spot-reducing and firming benefits. It is difficult to stabilize and is most effective in anhydrous (without water) formulations.

Avobenzone: A synthetic sunscreen ingredient (also known as Parsol® 1789) that can help protect against a broad-spectrum range of the sun's UVA (aging) rays.

Azelaic Acid: A synthetic agent that has soothing effects on the skin.

Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract: A skin-brightening agent taken from the bearberry plant.

Bentonite: A white clay that softens the skin and helps exfoliate and remove oils and impurities from the skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide: An ingredient which meets the guidelines established by FDA for over-the-counter acne treatments. It is a prescription medicine that can also be sold over the counter. (It is OTC from 2.5-10%.)

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs): The best known is salicylic acid. This acid can penetrate to the pores and helps clear the pores through exfoliation. (At .5- 2% Sal Acid is OTC for Acne.)

Blackheads: A plugged pore that is opened at the skin's surface. It gets its dark color from both melanin and oxidation (not from dirt).

Botanicals: Plant derived ingredients that are added to cosmetic products for their unique properties.

Broad Spectrum Sunscreen: A sunscreen that screens both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are longer in wavelength and penetrate more deeply than UVB rays. UVA wavelengths result in skin aging changes, like wrinkling, brown spots, and skin coarsening. UVB rays, also known as the burning rays, are the primary cause of sunburns. Both rays contribute to the formation of skin cancer. As of June 2012, all sunscreen products will be required to display not only an SPF rating (protection against UVB rays) but also a broad spectrum classification (protection against UVA rays). In order for a sunscreen to claim broad spectrum activity, it must demonstrate effective UVA protection in proportion to its SPF claim. If the product does not provide adequate broad spectrum protection, a warning is required stating that the product does not protect against skin cancer and premature skin aging.

Caffiene: Ingredient used as an anti-irritant that has skin soothing qualities.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract: The ancient antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (also referred to as EGCG) that fights the aging action of free radicals on the skin. It is commonly called Green Tea.

Ceramides: Naturally occurring skin lipids (fats) that are major structural components of the skin's outer structure. They increase the skin's water retention capacity.

Carnitine: A naturally occurring amino acid that delivers antioxidant properties.

Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract: A botanical that has anti-irritant, soothing, and antioxidant properties. It also has a pleasant natural fragrance.

Chemical Exfoliation: The process by which dead skin cells are removed and cell turnover is encouraged by dissolving the "glue" holding cells together. This will lead to a smoother, more radiant and even-toned complexion. These products can impair the lipid barrier and cause irritation if used aggressively.

Cholesterol: An ingredient used to help repair the skin's lipid barrier.

Clove Extract: Helps to reduce oil production while cleansing acne prone skin.

Collagen: A component of the dermis layer of the skin that gives its support and structure. Collagen is naturally broken down by an enzyme called collagenase and regenerates itself on a regular basis. Sun exposure and age can cause this rate of breakdown to exceed the rate of renewal. A loss of collagen will appear on the skin as wrinkles, sagging and enlarged pores.

Collagen-Stimulating Peptides: Peptides are powerful ingredients and come in multiple varieties for different functions. Some peptides help stimulate natural collagen production. Collagen is composed of tiny protein fragments called peptides. When collagen is naturally damaged by UV light or free radicals, these protein fragments are exposed. The presence of these small exposed fragments sends a signal to the skin cells (called fibroblasts) that collagen is breaking down and more collagen needs to be produced to replenish the supply.

Colorless Carotenoids: Derived from a species of algae called Dunaliella salina that grows in high salt water content environments, these antioxidants fight against the free radicals that cause aging. They absorb UV radiation instead of visible radiation, like pigmented carotenoids do, thereby protecting the skin against both UV radiation and the free radicals UV rays produce.

Comedone: Forms when dead skin cells are trapped and compacted by oil to clog pores. Open comedone is a "blackhead" and closed comedone is a white head.

Creatine: An ingredient that boosts skin's natural energy.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): A sugar derivative that reacts with the keratin protein in the dead top layer of your skin to produce a temporary tanning color.

Dimethicone: An OTC ingredient used as a skin protectant agent that helps repair the skin barrier and leaves a smooth silky feel on the skin.

Echium Seed Oil: A plant derived source of omega 3, 6 & 9 that rejuvenates and revitalizes the skin.

Elastin or Elastic Fibers: Found in the dermis of the skin to give it flexibility. Sun damage and free radicals can break down elastin in skin. Elastin can be derived from both plant and animal sources and is used as a cosmetic ingredient with a good water-binding agent. The natural loss of elastin appears on the skin as sagging and wrinkles.

Epidermis: Skin's outer layer which is 8-10 cell layers in thickness and which naturally renews itself in about 28 days in a young person. With advancing age, the epidermal renewal process increases and can take as long as 50 days in a 50 year old.

Erythrulose: A sugar derivative that reacts with the keratin protein in the dead top layer of your skin to produce a temporary tanning color.

Exfoliation: The process by which scrubs, retinols, and chemical peels increase the regular removal of dead skin cells from the epidermis, revealing fresher skin. It occurs naturally, but this process gets sluggish over time.

Free-Radicals/Damage: A free radical is a highly charged, unpaired electron that travels through the body in search of an electron to bind with, causing significant tissue damage. Degenerative conditions in the skin, such as wrinkles and skin discolorations, are caused primarily by free-radical damage. Free-radical damage is triggered by sunlight, cigarette smoke, herbicides, pesticides, pollution, and solvents. Antioxidants are a way to reduce and potentially neutralize the rampage of free-radical damage.

Gluconolactone: A non-irritating polyhydroxy acid (PHA) that is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. In addition to encouraging cell turnover, this plant-derived PHA attracts water to condition and hydrate the skin.

Glycerin: A humectant that is extremely hygroscopic, attracting water from the environment and from the lower layers of skin, thereby increasing the amount of water in the surface layers of skin.

Glycolic Acid: An alpha hydroxy acid used for its exfoliation properties.

Grape Extract: An ingredient with anti-irritant and astringent properties.

Glycyrrhiza Glabra: See Licorice Root Extract.

Grape Seed Oil: A natural oil that also has good antioxidant properties.

Hexapeptide-21: A short chain of amino acids that make up proteins to signal collagen production, increasing the support structure of skin for anti-wrinkle benefits.

Homosalate: Screens UVB (burning) rays; see Sunscreen

Hyaluronic Acid (Sodium Hyaluronate): A hydrating agent which holds up to 1,000 times it weight in moisture, thereby creating a plumping effect on the skin.

Hydrocortisone 1%: An OTC ingredient which meets the guidelines established by FDA as an over-the-counter active to temporarily relieve the itching associated with minor skin irritations and inflammation.

Hydrolyzed Seracin: A blend of silk peptides which contain amino acid building blocks essential to healthy skin. When encapsulated in liposomes to maximize delivery, sericin becomes a powerful skin nutrient that stimulates collagen and hyaluronic acid production and helps support skin's structure for firmer, plumper skin with fewer lines and wrinkles.

Hydroquinone 2%: The only FDA approved OTC active ingredient which lightens brown spots and discolorations caused by sun exposure and hormones. Hydroquinone acts by blocking the enzyme tyrosinase involved in pigment production. It is safe for all skin types. Occasionally it can cause mild skin irritation and allergy.

Hyperpigmentation: Increased abnormal melanin pigmentation (color) in the skin. Freckles and "age spots" are examples.

Hypopigmentation: Decreased melanin pigmentation (color) in the skin, causing light patches.

Kaolin: Natural clay mineral (silicate of aluminum) that is used in cosmetics and skincare products for its oil absorbent properties.

Kojic Acid: This is a by-product from the fermentation process of malting rice and is effective at brightening the skin.

Lactic Acid: An alpha hydroxy acid derived from milk that causes exfoliation of epidermal skin cells by dissolving the material that holds these skin cells together, allowing them to gently slough off.

Lactobionic Acid: A polyhydroxy acid derived from milk sugar that encourages gentle exfoliation by dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells.

Lentil Seed Extract: Natural sugars (ogliosaccharides) derived from lentil seed extract that work below the skin's surface to stimulate collagen production, thereby limiting the pore distortion and slackening that naturally occurs with age.

Licorice Root Extract: Extract that has anti-inflammatory properties. Also called Glycyrrhiza Glabra.

Linoleic Acid: An unsaturated fatty acid that helps to restore the lipid barrier and may help reduce oil production by sebaceous glands.

Melanin: Color granules found in melanocytes (the pigment producing skin cells), which produce the general color of our skin and freckles.

Melaslow: A plant extract that helps improve clarity and texture of skin and helps prevent the return of pigmentation.

Microsponge: A technology that allows for slow release of skincare ingredients over time.

Microdermabrasion: An intensive treatment to remove dead skin cells by friction and sometimes by vacuum suction.

Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract: An ingredient that helps maintain natural collagen. It comes from the bark of the Mimosa tree.

Mulberry: An anti-irritant and astringent ingredient.

Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter: An oil derived from the nut of a Palm tree, usually found in the Brazilian rainforest. It helps repair the lipid barrier and also may help to reduce the appearance of puffiness under the eyes.

Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs): NMFs are ingredients that absorb water from the atmosphere and combine it with their own water content, allowing the outermost layers of the stratum corneum to stay hydrated and function properly. Some common NMFs include amino acids, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, cholesterol, fatty acids, triglycerides, phospholipids, glycosphingolipids, urea, linoleic acid, glycosaminoglycans, glycerin, mucopolysaccharide, and sodium PCA (pyrrolidone carboxylic acid).

Niacinamide: A form of niacin or B-3 that may help reduce the appearance of redness and irritation of the skin.

Non-acnegenic: Products that have been tested and found to not clog pores and promote acne.

Octisalate: Screens UVB (burning) rays; see Sunscreen

Octocylene: Screens UVB (burning) rays; see Sunscreen

Octyl Methoxycinnamate: (see Sunscreen) This is the old cosmetic name for Octinoxate.

Olive Oil: Natural oil that contains essential fatty acids that dry skin needs, including oleic, palmitic, and linoleic acids. It also provides antioxidant benefits.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Ingredients: Ingredients that are determined by the FDA drug monograph as capable of changing the structure and function of the skin to treat or address a skin problem. Products formulated with OTC ingredients are available to consumers without a prescription. There are more than 80 therapeutic categories of OTC drugs to treat a variety of issues, from skin problems like acne and dandruff to medical conditions like obesity and headaches. For more information go to http://www.fda.gov/cder/Offices/OTC/default.htm.

Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14: A short chain of amino acids that make up proteins to signal collagen production and help reduce peptide breakdown.

Palmitoyl Ogliopeptide: A short chain of amino acids that make up proteins to signal collagen and natural moisture factors for anti-wrinkle benefits.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7: A short chain of amino acids that make up proteins to firm skin and help increase elasticity.

Panthenol: A pro-vitamin B derivative that is an excellent moisturizing ingredient for the skin and hair.

Peptides: Short chains of amino acids that make up proteins and may affect skin functions, such as stimulating collagen production.

Phlorogine: The trade name for Laminaria Saccharina Extract – a marine algae sourced from France. It is a sebum flow regulator (regulates oil production).

Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs): These next generation AHAs are known to be as effective as AHAs but less irritating. Like AHAs, PHAs work by dissolving the adhesions between cells in the epidermis, allowing skin-dulling dead skin cells to slough off. Lactobionic acid and gluconolactone are examples of PHAs. Because of their molecular structure, PHAs attract water and provide enhanced moisturization to the skin.

Pore: The passageway from the surface of the skin to the base of a hair follicle. Oil producing sebaceous glands are attached to the follicle. Oil (sebum) is released by these glands and travels up the pore to reach and coat the surface of the skin.

Resveratrol: A powerful anti-oxidant derived from the skin of grapes.

Retinol: A form of Vitamin A that renews skin and signals new cells to the skin's surface.

RF COLD FISSION™: A patent-pending technology that eliminates the need for traditional emulsifying ingredients used to create elegant, creamy moisturizers. Ideal for skin that may be sensitive to traditional emulsifiers.

RF-Dcell: A technology that uses natural compounds from dormant flower bulbs to prolong the lifespan of healthy cells so skin is more resilient to the climate-induced stressors that cause skin to feel dry, tight and uncomfortable

Rosacea: A flush/blush reaction of the face that is often genetically based and seen primarily in fair skinned Caucasians. It is triggered by heat, sunlight, alcohol and stress. Rosacea is characterized by central facial redness and is often accompanied by acne. There are no specific FDA approved OTC medications approved to treat rosacea. While we can provide products to reduce the associated acne, sensitivity, and redness, someone with rosacea should see a dermatologist for specific prescription treatments.

Salicylic Acid: A beta hydroxy acid that is an FDA approved OTC medicine (in concentrations ranging from .5-2.0%) for the treatment of acne. Salicylic acid works by unplugging blocked pores.

Scuttellaria: Derived from the root of a flowering plant known as skull cap which grows in temperate regions and tropical mountains.This extract brightens the skin by inhibiting the amino acid tyrosine from efficiently producing melanin.

Sea Whip Extract: A cosmetic skin care ingredient from coral found off of the Bahamian coast and used for its anti-irritant properties.

Sebum: The body's natural oil (composed of fatty acids and wax) created by sebaceous glands which are found at the base of hair follicles. Sebum travels from the gland through the pore to reach and lubricate the skin's surface.

Siegesbeckia Glabrescens Extract: A natural ingredient from a small shrub that works to prevent collagen breakdown.

(Shea Butter) Butyrospermum Parkii: A moisturizer that helps repair the lipid barrier.

Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation: A designation only granted to sun protection products that meet stringent criteria and provide scientific data to demonstrate that a product sufficiently and safely aids in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin.

Sodium Hyaluronate: See Hyaluronic Acid

Sodium RNA: An ingredient that helps to repair and renew the skin.

Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Lipids: An antioxidant rich in lycopene.

Squalene: A vegetable oil that soothes and calms irritated skin. It is very similar in structure to our own skin oils.

Stratum Corneum: The top dead layer of skin just above the epidermis that acts as a physical barrier, like shingles on a roof, to keep toxins and the environment out.

Sulfur: 3-10% sulfur is an ingredient which meets the guidelines established by FDA for over-the-counter (OTC) treatment of acne. This effective yet gentle medicine fights acne by working to clean pores, absorb excess skin oils and soothe inflammation associated with acne blemishes.

Sunscreens: These consist of FDA approved active UV adsorbing ingredients that help provide protection from sunburn and sun damage. Sunscreen agents provide either physical or chemical adsorption of UV light. In the UV light spectrum there are 2 wavelengths that affect skin: UVA and UVB. The SPF or sunburn protection factor refers only to a products ability to screen UVB light. The higher the SPF number on the label, the greater the product's ability to absorb UVB light. Ingredients such as Zinc Oxide, Avobenzone (Parsol® 1789) and Mexoryl®SX are used to screen the UVA "aging" rays that cause photo-damage. Sunscreen should not be used to prolong time spent in the sun. For best protection, sunscreens must be applied liberally and often.

Tetrapeptide-16: A short chain of amino acids that make up proteins to reduce the inflammatory cascade and puffiness.

Titanium Dioxide: This mineral is highly refined to remove toxic impurities and is used both as a sunscreen and make-up ingredient.

Tocopheryl Acetate: See Vitamin E

UVA Light: UVA is a long wavelength (320-400nm) of ultraviolet light that affects both the epidermis and dermis. UVA causes skin tanning, but also the unwanted concerns of brown spot formation and skin wrinkling. UVA rays may play an important role in melanoma causation.

UVB Light: UVB is a wavelength (290-320nm) of ultraviolet light
that affects primarily the epidermis as manifests itself as a sunburn.

The SPF (Sun Protection Factor): The number on a sunscreen that refers only to a product's effectiveness to guard against UVB exposure.

Vitamin C: An antioxidant which helps protect skin against photodamage.

Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate): A naturally occurring lipid-soluble vitamin that is an antioxidant.

Whiteheads: Clogged pores that are covered by the surface of the skin, trapping the comedone beneath the skin.

Zinc Oxide: A physical blocking sunscreen that meets the guidelines established by FDA for a UVA and UVB sunscreen ingredient. This mineral is highly refined to remove toxic impurities and is used for thickening, whitening and lubricating agent in cosmetics, as well as a sunscreen ingredient.
 
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