Glossary of Cosmetic and Chemical Terms
Emollient ingredients increase the levels of moisture in the skin by forming an oil barrier to prevent moisture evaporation from the skin’s surface, causing the outer layers to swell as they absorb water from the deeper layers.
A substance used to suspend one liquid in another that normally cannot be mixed together (such as oil and water).
A mixture of two substances that don’t readily mix together, where one is dispersed in the other as tiny droplets. Emulsifiers form a film around the droplets, which enables the immiscible (unblendable) substances to mix together.
Enhances the stability of an emulsion and increases the shelf-life of a product.
Reaction product of an acid and an alcohol.
Any of a group of compounds characterised by a molecular structure where an oxygen atom is interjected between two carbon atoms that are part of hydrocarbon molecules. Common examples of ethers are the anaesthetic diethyl ether (ethoxyethane) and polyethers such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) used in cosmetics products.
A chemical process where ethylene oxide is added to fatty acids to increase their solubility in water.
Removes the skin’s outer surface layer (stratum corneum), such as the chemical agents – alpha hydroxy acids and physical agent – oatmeal or apricot kernel powder.