Popular Skincare Terms You Must Know

There’s nothing as frustrating as coming across a term you’re not familiar with when shopping for beauty products. To help you along, we’ve compiled a simple glossary of the words you’re bound to see on product labels.


Simply speaking, this is the critical component of any product. It’s the one that makes what you’re using work. So if you use the CORIUM Soothing Avocado Oil Overnight Oil Serum, for example, then the active ingredient is the avocado oil.


This term describes the absence of any ingredients that are highly likely to cause an allergic reaction.


Think of this as a way of getting that all-important #gloup. Any product that has the word brightening means it’ll target inflammation, dullness and pigmentation, therefore making your skin more radiant. Don’t confuse this term with ‘lightening’ or ‘bleaching’, which are not good for your skin at all.


Now, here’s a term that’s used quite a lot by beauty fundis. Basically, it describes the possibility of a substance to block your pores. That is, if you apply a product that’s comedogenic, dead skin cells will form on the outer layer of your skin, leading to breakouts or acne. So what you should be looking for is ‘non-comedogenic’, which means it’s highly unlikely to clog your pores.


When you do this, you’re removing old skin cells from the surface of your skin. To achieve this, you use either a scrub, sponge or pumice stone.


These are a group of preservatives that prevent bacteria and fungi from forming. Sounds fine, right? Wrong – these are a no-go as they can be quite damaging to your skin, which you don’t want!


It’s become quite a popular term. Serums are products that have a high concentration of active ingredients, and as a result, target a specific problem directly. Because they are so potent, these must be used in small doses.


To avoid sounding like a boring scientist, let’s just simply say vitamins are organic compounds that are crucial to your health. They help your body perform at its best. Depending on the need, they can be eaten through food, or extracted from plants to be applied topically.

[Source: HuffingtonPost.co.au; Allure.com; Skincarebyalana.com]

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