Glossary of Cosmetic and Chemical Terms
These substances modify the structure of the skin, enhancing its absorption of other chemicals, allowing them to enter the bloodstream more rapidly.
Chemical derived from petroleum or natural gas.
A measure of a solution’s acidity or alkalinity, on a scale from 0 – 14, with 7 being neutral, greater than 7 being alkaline or basic and less than 7 more acidic.
Alters the acidity/alkalinity of a product. The skin’s pH is naturally slightly acidic, so manufacturers adjust their products accordingly.
A substance added to plastics to increase flexibility, reduce brittleness and modify flow properties. Plasticisers are often used in cosmetics such as nail polish to add texture and lustre.
A high molecular-weight compound comprising repeating linked monomers e.g. polyethylene, nylon and the naturally occurring polymer, cellulose.
Guards a product against the growth of undesirable microorganisms and spoilage, extending its shelf life and protecting the product against accidental contamination during consumer usage.
A compressed gas used to deliver the contents of an aerosol.