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  More Than Just Great Skin Care
Bath & Body
Hand & Feet
Tools + Accessories
ZENMED - Pure essence of natural health
:::  Glossary of Terms  :::


A [top of page]

Acetone - Strong solvent used in nail polish remover. Appropriate only for natural
nails; contained in astringents, toners and fresheners.

Acne - Acne is the term for pimples and complexion problems which occur in young people and some adults. Inflammation of the oil glands in the skin due to an over  sensitivity to the normal level of hormones in the body.  Pimples usually occur on the face, but may involve the neck, chest, back and upper arms. Acne is only a skin problem and does not affect your general health.

Acrylic - Sculptured nail material. Combination of a liquid and powder that is mixed to form the artificial nail.

Age Spots - Benign brown growths on the skin that commonly appear with age.

Aesthetician - Professional who works to clean and perfect skin.

Allantoin - Known for its gentleness. A very healing, soothing, and anti-irritating ingredient. Often used in anti-acne products, after sun products, and clarifying lotions.

Algisium Complex - A natural marine-derived complex which functions as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Almond, Sweet Oil - Emollient used in lotions and creams. Known for its mildness.

Aloe Vera - Plant from which aloe gel is extracted. Known for its soothing, gentle properties. Especially good for burns and moisturizing the skin. Promotes healing and cellular renewal.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) - Any one of several natural acids (glycolic, lactic, citric, malic) obtained from fruit which assist in shedding dead skin cells. AHA reduces fine wrinkles and pigment spots by removing the superficial layers of the skin and drawing moisture into the tissue, causing the skin to fill out.  They provide the benefit of chemical exfoliation of the skin, making skin appear clearer. Solutions vary from 2% to 15% (with anything higher needing a prescription to acquire.) 8% formulas are generally recognized as being quite effective with minimal irritation. Glycolic acid is thought to be the most effective exfoliant of all the alpha hydroxy acids.

Ammonium Hydroxide - When used in skin peels and hair waving and straightening, it is used to stabilize and adjust the acids.

Antibacterial - Substances that can kill bacteria and treat infections. Also used as preservatives in cosmetics.

Anti-inflammatory - Substances that can soothe irritation of the skin. Also can be the property of a substance that prevents irritation causing swelling and ill effects of toxic cosmetic ingredients.

Anti-irritant - Substances that soothe the localized/superficial inflammation of the skin that is due directly to one or more external substances.

Antioxidants - Vitamins or substances which impede oxidation or spoilage promoted by oxygen or peroxide.   Substances, such as Vitamin E and C, which prevent oxidation at the cellular level.

Antiperspirant - A product, usually containing aluminum salt, used to prevent perspiration and the odor it causes. May contain an additional deodorant, but not necessarily.

Aromatherapy - Use of essential oils fragrance for therapeutic benefits.

Astringent - A solution which removes oil from the skin; usually used after washing the face to remove any remaining traces of cleanser. Designed to dry and shrink superficial tissues by reducing water content and sometimes promotes healing of inflamed skin.

Athlete's Foot (tinea pedis) - Tinea pedis or athlete's foot is a skin infection caused by a kind of mold called a fungus. The fungus causing tinea pedis prefers moist, warm skin; this is why tinea pedis favors the folds between the toes and is often worse in hot weather. In some people tinea pedis can get so bad that blisters form. Not all foot rashes are tinea pedis, only those caused by fungus growing on the skin.

Atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema or eczema) - A name given to a stubborn, itchy rash that occurs in certain people with sensitive or irritable skin. Eczema is common in infants and young children, and may disappear before adulthood. Eczema may clear for years, only to reappear later--often on the hands.

Atrophic skin - Skin that is thin and wrinkled.

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Bentonite or Kaolin - These are clays in powders and foundations that may clog pores. Generally, these clays are used in facial masks to absorb excess facial oil. Also known as "china clay". Can promote dryness of the skin if used too frequently.

Benzoyl Peroxide - An anti-acne medication that kills acnegenic bacteria and inhibits production of oil by the sebaceous glands. Generally found in 2.5%, 5% and 10% formulas.

Beta Hydroxy Acid - Used to exfoliate epidermis of skin and prevent clogged pores. Salicylic acid is a BHT Preservative.

Biopsy - A procedure performed to remove tissue or cells from the body for examination under a microscope.

Blackheads - A mixture of dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria exposed to oxygen.

Blister - A fluid-filled bump.

Boils (furuncle, carbuncle) - Boils are painful swellings of the skin caused by deep skin infection with bacteria. Boils begin as red, tender swellings, which may later ooze pus. Some people have recurrent boils.

Botanical - Refers to a product containing plants or ingredients made from plants.

Bronzers - A makeup which makes the skin appear more tanned. Can be found in powder or cream form, not to be confused with Self Tanners which are not water soluble.

Butyl, Propyl, Ethyl, and Methyl Parabens - Synthetic preservatives used in non-protein based products.

Butylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol - Solvents used to dilute.

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C12-15 Alcohols Benzoate - Emollient and provides a dry, silky feel to skin.

Calendula (aka Marigold) - Used in fresheners, soothing creams, and sensitive skin products. Sometimes used in deodorants. Some adverse skin reactions have been reported in medical literature.

Camphor - Used as an antiseptic, stimulant, and anti-inflammatory ingredient in toners, aftershaves, lipbalms, and after sun preparations.

Candida - Candida, or Monilia, is a skin rash caused by a yeast living on normal skin in 80% of all people. In most people, the presence of this yeast on the skin is not visible. In some people, for unknown reasons, the yeast grows more actively and causes a red, itchy, scaling rash. The yeast likes warm moist areas and usually grows in the skin folds under the breast, stomach, and arm pits.

Candidiasis (aka yeast infection) - A skin infection caused by yeast that can occur in the skin folds, navel, vagina, penis, mouth, and nail beds.

Carrot Oil - Primarily used as a fragrance and coloring agent in cosmetics. Thought to be good for both dry and oily skin.

Castor Oil - Used in lipsticks, concealers, hair pomade, ointments, creams and lotions.

Ceramides - Lipids (found at the stratum level) play an essential role in the barrier function of the skin and the retention of water in it.  During the aging process, the level of ceramides decreases.  An external supply protects the skin and allows it to retain water.

Cetyl Alcohol (fatty alcohol) - A gentle humectant, lather booster, and emulsifier. In hair products, it is used to smooth and soften the hair cuticle.

Chamomile - Used in many products for blonde hair to enhance color. Also used in a variety of cosmetics as an emollient. Anti-inflammatory, soothing agent for tender skin; also provides antioxidation.

Citric Acid - Derived from citrus fruit, it maintains pH balance, preserves, and stabilizes foam when used in cosmetics. Used in many post perm ingredients to neutralize odor.

Clays - Clays can draw out impurities, refine, and soften the skin.

Cleansing Creams - Contain little or no soap or detergent, usually with an oily base. Meant to be applied, then removed with wiping rather than rinsing.

Cocamide DEA - Either made synthetically or derived from the kernel of the coconut, it gives lather and cleans skin and hair.

Cocoa Butter - Mainly used as a thickening agent in cosmetics. Well absorbed by the skin and imparts a sheen. Used in many lipsticks, soaps, and emollient creams. An acnegenic substance to some.

Cold Sores Herpes Simplex - Herpes simplex is commonly referred to as cold sores or fever blisters. It is a viral infection of the skin that may occur once or return again and again. This is because when the virus is cleared from the skin by the immune system it hides in the nerves and is never completely removed from the body. Herpes infections are very common. It is estimated that nine out of ten people have been exposed to herpes. Many people are infected and don't even know it. Unfortunately those who carry herpes can spread the disease without knowing it.

Collagen and Elastin - These are animal by products used in many products. As human skin ages, our own soluble collagen becomes inflexible and the skin's connective tissue becomes less moisturized naturally. The use of animal collagen and elastin to replace our own is not possible, although these ingredients have moisturizing properties. Effective in smoothing the hair's cuticle.

Comedogenic - A cosmetic preparation known to promote acne. Pore clogging.

Comfrey - Root from which allantoin is extracted. Anti-inflammatory, astringent, and emollient. Contains mucopolysaccharides.

Concealer - An opaque makeup used to cover darkness under eyes, redness of the skin, or anything irregular in the skin's color or texture. Comes in a waxy stick, cream, or opaque liquid formula.

Cornflower - Used in toners, astringents, and healing creams. Can cause photosensitivity in some people.

Cosmeceutical - While the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does not recognize the term "cosmeceutical", the cosmetic industry has begun to use this word to refer to cosmetic products that have drug-like benefits. The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines drugs as those mitigate or prevent disease or that affect the structure or function of the human body. While
drugs are subject to an intensive review and approval process by FDA, cosmetics are not approved by FDA prior to sale. If a product has drug properties, it must be approved as a drug.

Cosmetics - Articles intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or alternating the appearance without affecting the body structure or function." Many cosmetics alter their advertising to meet these guidelines, such as antiwrinkle creams, since they would otherwise be considered a drug. For example, "to reduce the appearance of fine lines", whereas a drug such as Retin-A actually does reduce fine lines, and thus is actuallyaffecting the structure of the skin--not just changing its appearance.

Cream - A preparation for the skin used to impart moisture. Usually thicker and more emollient than a lotion.   Creams work on cellulite, tone, or soothe the skin.

Cream Rinse - A mixture of wax, thickeners, and a group of chemicals used to coat the hair shaft and detangle after shampooing.

Cucumber - Used in facial creams, lotions, and cleansers. Known for its astringent and soothing properties. Also an anti-inflammatory agent (slices placed over puffy eyes can reduce swelling).

Cuticle - Outermost layer of skin (aka epidermis) or the fold of skin at the base of the fingernail. Hair cuticles are the outermost layer of the hair shaft which overlap like shingles. When healthy and lying flat, these cuticles impart sheen to the hair.

Cysts - A cyst is a harmless sac-like growth in the deeper layers of the skin, which is filled with a soft, whitish brown material that sometimes oozes onto the skin surface.

D  [top of page]

Dandonyl - An extract of Baobab Leaves (Adansonia Digitata).  Contains mucilages, rich in uronic acid.  Leaves the skin softer and the complexion more radiant.

Deodorant - A product used to counteract odors caused by the decomposition of sweat on the body. Contain antiseptic substances to kill bacteria and strong fragrances to mask offensive smell. (Not to be confused with antiperspirants which actually inhibit production of sweat.)

Dermabrasion - Used to minimize small scars, minor skin surface irregularities, surgical scars, and acne scars. As the name implies, dermabrasion involves removing the top layers of skin with an electrical machine that “abrades” the skin. As the skin heals from the procedure, the surface appears smoother and fresher.

Dermatitis - A number of  skin conditions characterized by inflammation of the skin.

Dermatologist - A medical doctor who specializes in diseases and disorders of the skin.

Dermis - The second layer of the skin, which contains: elastin (elastic protein) to provide skin tone and suppleness, collagen (architectural protein) for strength and structure; blood vessels for the delivery of essential nutrients and the removal of wastes; nerves, making the skin one of the most sensitive organs in the body; oil glands to lubricate the skin; and sweat glands to regulate fluctuations in body temperature.

Detoxification - To remove poison or effect of poison from the body.

Diagnosis - The determination of the nature of a disease, injury, or congenital defect.

Dimethicone - Moisturizing silicone skin and hair conditioner and anti-foam ingredient.

Dimethicone Copolyol - Complex of natural silica, acts as a spreading agent for easy application of product; also functions as a moisturizer.

Dishidrotic Dermatitis - Dishidrotic dermatitis (pompholyx) is a form of hand eczema more common in women which starts on the sides of the fingers as itchy little bumps and then develops into a rash. The condition can also affect only the feet. Some patients have it in both the hands and feet.

Dry Skin - Xerosis is the term for dry skin. We all have a natural oil coating over our skin produced by the skin oil glands. If this oil is removed, then the skin becomes dry which can lead to cracking, which can lead to inflammation. Xerosis is usually a long-term problem that recurs often, especially in the winter.

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Echinacea - Assists immune function, anti-inflammatory.

Eczema - A skin condition that causes areas of the skin to become red, itchy and scaly. The cause is unknown and it can affect any part of the body. The condition may be short-lived (acute) or long term (chronic). An eczema condition is one with redness, papules, blisters, pustules, scales, crusts or scabs alone or in combination with watery discharge and accompanied by itching and burning. Eczema is, more accurately, a description of symptoms rather than a disease.and is usually treated with topical anti-inflammatory medications available OTC or by prescription.

Elder Flower - Used in eye and skin creams for its astringent properties.

Electrolysis - Destroys the hair's roots with an electric current. This is a permanent means of ridding unwanted hair.

Emulsifier - An agent used to make an emulsion, which is a mixture of liquids, minute globules of one being suspended in a second that doesn't dissolve the first.

Emollient - Soothing to the skin or mucous membrane. An agent that softens the skin or soothes irritation in the skin or mucous membrane.

Epidermis - The protective top layer of the skin where pigment cells, which give color to the skin, are found.

Essential Oils - Aromatic liquids are extracted from some types of flowers, fruits, roots and trees to use on the body. These oils are created to help bring oxygen and nutrients to the tissues while assisting to remove carbon dioxide and other waste products produced by cell metabolism.

Exfoliating - A process of removing the top dead skin layers to reveal healthier, newer skin underneath. This can be done chemically with such acids as AHAs or BHAs. Physically with scrubbing grains such as apricot kernels or baking soda.

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Follicle - A pore in the skin from which a hair grows.

Folliculitis - An inflammation of the hair follicles due to an infection or irritation.

Freckles - Darkened, flat spots that typically appear only on sun-exposed areas of skin.

Fragrance - Any natural or synthetic substance or substances use solely to impart an odor to a cosmetic product.

Fragrance-Free - Products so labeled may still contain small amounts of fragrances to mask the fatty odor of soap or other unpleasant odors. (There is no official governmental definition for this term.)

Free Radicals - Chemical agents that contribute to the wear and tear of cells through a chemical reaction known as oxidation, which is thought to be central to the aging process.

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Gels - Gels work on cellulite, tone, extract, and purify.  Can contain pulverized vegetables and fruits, vitamins and minerals, and can be used for soothing, moisturizing, and hydrating.

Ginkgo Biloba - Anti-inflammatory agent.

Glyceryl Monostearate - Emulsifier; also pearlescent agent.

Glycerin - A humectant which absorbs moisture from the air to keep hair and skin moist. It is also used as an emollient, lubricant, emulsifier and diluting agent in cosmetics.

Glycolic acid - Alpha-hydroxy acid found in grapes, sugar beets and sugar cane and especially used in medicine.

Grapefruit Seed Extract - Natural oil used as a cosmetic preservative.

Granuloma Annulare - A chronic skin condition characterized by small, raised bumps that form a ring with a normal or sunken center.

Guava Extract - Contains glucides and amino acids to increase skin radiance and brighten the complexion.

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Hives (aka Urticaria) - Hives are itching red welts or small bumps that last for 15 minutes to several hours. They usually appear suddenly and leave no trace when they disappear. Crops of hives may appear several times a day, they may even last for weeks, sometimes longer. Hives are harmless except when they cause throat swelling; this is rare but requires immediate treatment. Hives are usually as an allergic reaction from eating certain foods or taking certain medications.

Honey - Humectant for skin and hair.

Humectant - An ingredient in skin or hair products that draws moisture from the air to moisturize.

Hyperkeratosis - Thickening of the horny layer of the epidermis or mucous membrane.

Hypoallergenic - Cosmetics that are less likely to cause allergic reactions. (There is no official governmental definition for this term.)

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Immune System - A collection of cells and proteins that works to protect the body  from potentially harmful, infectious microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Immunocompromised - An abnormal condition in which one’s ability to fight infection is decreased. This can be due to a disease process, certain medications, or a condition present at birth.

Impetigo - A bacterial skin infection characterized by microscopic, pus-filled blisters.

Inflammation - Redness, swelling, heat, and pain in a tissue due to chemical or physical injury, infection, or allergic reaction.

Iron Oxides - Inorganic pigments approved for cosmetic use, including the eye area.

Isopropyl Lanolate, Myristate, and Palmitate - Synthetic moisturizers.

Ichthyosis - Congenital disorders of keratinization characterized by noninflammatory dryness and scaling of the skin, often associated with other defects and with abnormalities of lipid metabolism; distinguishable genetically, clinically, microscopically, and by epidermal cell kinetics.

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Jojoba Oil - Contains superior properties to keep skin soft. It is beneficial to acne prone skin and dry hair.

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Kaolin - A white clay used for absorbing impurities from the skin.

Keloids - Smooth, pink, raised, firm, fibrous growths on the skin that form secondary to injury.

Keratin - Collective name for a group of proteins that form the intermediate filaments in epithelial cells. Keratins have a molecular weight between 40 kd and 68 kd, and are separated one from another by electrophoresis and isoelectric focusing; thus separated, they are sequentially numbered from 1-20, and also subdivided into low, intermediate, and high molecular weight proteins. According to their isoelectric mobility they are either acidic or basic. In general, each acidic keratin protein has its basic equivalent with which it is paired to form the intermediate filaments; some keratin proteins, however, occur unpaired. Various epithelial cells contain different keratin proteins, in a tissue-specific manner. Antibodies to keratin proteins are widely used for histologic typing of tumors, and are especially useful for distinguishing carcinomas from sarcomas, lymphomas, and melanomas.

Keratinocytes (aka squamous cells) - the primary cell types found in the epidermis, the outer layer of skin.

Keratoacanthomas - Round, flesh-colored growths with craters that contain a pasty material.

Keratosis - Any lesion on the epidermis marked by the presence of circumscribed overgrowths of the horny layer.

Keratosis Pilaris - (KP) is a disorder of hyperkeratosis. It is a very common benign condition that manifests as folliculocentric keratotic papules. It is characterized by small, pointed bumps, especially on the back and sides of the upper arms. - A common disorder of keratinization in which horny plugs fill the orifices of hair follicles. (Click here to read more about keratosis pilaris...)

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Lactic acid - Alpha-hydroxy acid obtained from sour milk; especially used in food and medicine.

Lanolin - A natural extract of sheep wool used as a moisturizer which is a common cause of allergic reactions, but is rarely used in pure form.

Lauramide DEA - Emulsifier and foam booster.

Laser Resurfacing - Uses high-energy light to burn away damaged skin. Laser resurfacing may be used to minimize wrinkles and fine scars.

Lavender Extract - Anti-inflammatory, soothing agent.

Lice - Tiny parasites that can infest the skin; characterized by intense itching.

Lichenification - Skin that has thickened.

Lipomas - Round or oval lumps under the skin caused by fatty deposits.

Liposomes - Microscopic sacs manufactured from natural or synthetic fatty substances which include phospholipids (components of cell membranes). When properly mixed with water, phospholipids can "trap" any substance that will dissolve in water or oil. Manufacturers say that liposomes act like a delivery system, depositing product ingredients into the skin. When the liposomes "melt" the ingredients, such as moisturizers, are released.

Lymphangioma - A raised, yellow-tan or red mark in the skin, made up of enlarged lymphatic vessels

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Macular Stains (aka angel’s kisses or stork bites) - Faint, red marks that appear in the skin at birth. Angel’s kisses are marks on the forehead and eyelids. Stork bites are marks on the back of the neck.

Malic acid - Alpha-hydroxy acid found in various plant and fruit juices (apples), especially used in effervescent saline preparations and as a food additive.

Matrix - Spot under the skin of the fingernail mantle where the nail plate begins to grow.

Matrixyl™ - Anti-wrinkle ingredient. A bio-chemically engineered molecule (very small portion of the collagen molecule). Once it penetrates the skin, it stimulates the production of collagen and GAG’S.

Melanin - The pigment which naturally colors the hair and skin.

Malignant Melanoma - A rare, but sometimes deadly, skin cancer that begins as a mole that turns cancerous.

Melanoma - Melanoma or "black mole cancer" is the name given to the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma is so dangerous because once it grows to a certain thickness, it metastasizes or spreads throughout the body. Once melanoma spreads to the internal organs there is little that can be done and death follows shortly after. This type of cancer tends to occur in men and women.

Melasma - Melasma or chloasma is a brownish discoloration of the face that occurs most often in women. Men can also develop this problem. The brown color often fades in winter and gets worse in the summer. Pregnancy (mask of pregnancy) is the most common cause of melasma. Women who are taking oral contraceptives are at risk of developing melasma. Sunlight is a major factor in the development of melasma.

Methylisothiazolinone - Antimicrobial, a preservative.

Mica (iridescent) - Approved for use in cosmetics, including the eye area. Natural Ingredients extracted directly from plants, earth minerals, or animal products as opposed to being produced synthetically. When used in a cosmetic context there is no regulation for the use of this word.

Miliaria - "Prickly heat" or miliaria is a common rash caused by sweat retention.

Minneral Salts - Inorganic salts needed by plants and animals for healthy functioning of the organism.

Moles - Small skin marks caused by pigment-producing cells in the skin.

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Nettle - A botanical additive used in hair and skin products, particularly eye creams and treatments for the scalp.

Non-Comedogenic - Substances that are less likely to clog pores or promote acne.

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Oat Derived Polysaccharide - Natural complex derived from oats that functions to assist the body's immune system, to maintain healthy skin.

Oat Oil - Powerful antioxidant and emollient; provides deep antioxidant activity.

Oil-Free - A product free of vegetable or mineral oil.

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PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid) - A substance which absorbs UV light, acting as a sun block.

Papaya Extract - Contains a proteolytic enzyme (papaine) which has exfoliating and cleansing properties.

Papule - A circumscribed, solid elevation up to 100 cm in diameter on the skin. A papule may be pedunculated, sessile, or filiform.

Paraguay Tea - Augments action of theophylline, also contains antioxidant to help maintain healthy skin.

Paraffin - Provides deep hydration for the skin.

Patch - A flat, discolored spot.

PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate - Emollient and co-emulsifier.

Petroleum - Mixture of hydrocarbons with similar properties as mineral oil. Industrially it is used as a grease component. (Example: Vaseline is a petroleum jelly.)

pH level - The measure of acidity or alkalinity.

Phenyl Trimethicone - Emollient, moisturizer.

Pigmentation Spots - Discoloration of the skin.

Pimples - Acne is the term for pimples and complexion problems which occur in young people and some adults. Pimples usually occur on the face, but may involve the neck, chest, back and upper arms. Acne is only a skin problem and does not affect your general health.

Polyquaternium-37 - Emulsifier.

Polysorbates - Emulsifier.

Port-Wine Stains (aka Nevi Flammeus.) - Permanent flat, pink, red, or purple marks on the skin.

Prickly Heat - A rash caused by trapped sweat under the skin.

Propylene Glyco - Combination of glycerin and water, a humectant in cosmetics. The most common moisture-carrying vehicle in cosmetics other than water.

Propylparaben - Preservative.

Psoriasis - This skin condition most often appears on the scalp, elbows and knees. Psoriasis affects between 1-3% of the population. It varies in severity from mild to severe. Psoriasis can start at any age. Areas of the skin grow much faster than normal and form red, scaling patches. Psoriasis is itchy and unsightly, but is not contagious.

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Quaternium-15 - Preservative used in cosmetics. Fights bacteria.

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Reflexology - Ancient Chinese technique using pressure point massage to restore the flow of energy throughout the body. Areas of the hands and feet are targeted to specific organs in the body.

Retin-A - Vitamin A derivative that acts as a topical anti-acne treatment. Additionally found to be beneficial in removing fine lines from facial skin. Creates photosensitivity. Available by prescription only.

Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) - Essential skin nutrient necessary for healthy skin maintenance and repair.

Ringworm - A fungal skin infection characterized by ring-shaped, red, scaly, or blistery patches.

Rosacea - Rosacea is a common face rash of adults. Rosacea is only a skin condition and is not related to your general health. Rosacea has three stages. In the first stage the face gets red. This redness sometimes merges into the normal variants of ruddy or blushy complexions. The redness often persists after cold exposure or after exposure to irritants like soap. With time, small blood vessels develop making the redness more noticeable. Many patients will develop stinging or burning sensations and the skin will often feel tight. The skin feels like a mild sunburn with smiling, frowning, or squinting. Sometimes this progresses to the point that everything the patient puts on his or her face stings, burns, and irritates.  In the second stage of rosacea, the redness covers a larger area of the face. Slight swelling, pimples, and pustules develop. This is especially noticeable on the nose, mid-forehead, and chin. As the condition progresses, prominent facial pores can develop.  The third stage is characterized by swelling and growth of the nose and central facial areas. At times the ears may be involved as well. This can be very disfiguring. This stage is known as rhinophyma. Most patients do not progress to the third stage of rosacea.

Rosemary Extract - Natural antioxidant.

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Salicylic Acid - A component of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), derived from salicin and made synthetically; used externally as a keratolytic agent, antiseptic, and fungicide.

Scabies - Scabies also known as "the itch" is an intensely itching rash caused by a tiny mite (bug) that lives in the skin. Since it is only 1/60th inch long, the scabies mite is almost impossible to see without magnification. The rash usually involves the hands, wrists, breasts, genital area, and waistline. In severe cases scabies can spread to almost the entire body, but rarely the face. Scabies often resembles other rashes. The only way to find out whether you have scabies is for a doctor to scrape off a piece of skin and examine it under a microscope.

Scales - Dead skin cells that look like flakes or dry skin.

Scar - Fibrous tissue that has formed after a skin injury.

Sebaceous - Relating to sebum; oily; fatty.

Sebaceous Glands - Glands in the skin that secrete oil to the surface of the skin.

Seborrheic Dermatitis - Severe Dandruff. This chronic, scaly rash appears on the scalp, face, ears and chest. It is most frequently seen in the winter months on older people. It is thought by some to be caused by yeast growing on the skin and it is believed those who have it are genetically predisposed to the condition. While there is no cure, treatment to lessen the appearance includes special shampoos and topical ointments.

Seborrheic Keratosis - Flesh-colored, yellow, brown, or black wart-like spots.

Sebum - Natural oils in the skin and scalp that lubricate and protect.

Silicone - A compound of silicon used in shine-enhancing hair products to seal the cuticle of hair and in many oil-free cosmetics.

Skin - The membranous protective covering of the body, consisting of the epidermis and corium (dermis).

Skin Tags - Soft, small, flesh-colored skin flaps on the neck, armpits, or groin.

Sodium Chloride - Common table salt used as an astringent/antiseptic.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - A white powder used as a detergent, emulsifier, and surfectant in cosmetics. A very strong degreaser. Also used as a water "softener".

SPF - An acronym for "Sun Protection Factor" ranging from 2 to 45 with 2 being the least protection and 45 the most.

Stearic Acid and Stearyl Alcohol - Used for its emollient properties and as a moisturizing ingredient.

Sun Spots (age spots) - Sun spots (age spots), also known as lentigines, are harmless, flat, brown discolorations of the skin which usually occur on the back of the hands, neck and face of people older than 40 years of age. These spots more than anything else, give away a person's age. Sun spots are caused by the skin being exposed to the sun over many years and are a sign of sun damage.

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Tartaric Acid - Alpha-hydroxy acid of plant origin (grapes), used especially in food and medicines, in photography and in making salts and esters.

Tocopherol (Vitamin E) - Antioxidant vitamin, emollient and moisturizer.

Transparent Soap - Superfatted soap with a high glycerin content. Usually used for sensitive and normal-to-oily skin.

Tretinoin - A drug which is chemically related to vitamin A; used to treat acne and other scaly skin disorders.

Triethanolamine - pH adjuster used mostly in transparent soap.

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Urticaria (aka hives) - A condition in which red, itchy, and swollen areas appear on the skin. Usually as an allergic reaction from eating certain foods or taking certain medications.

Urushiol - Resin in poison ivy plants that causes an allergic skin reaction.

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Vitamin E Acetate - Antioxidant.

Vitamins - Foods containing vitamins A, D, E, K, and some of the B complex group are necessary in diets to maintain healthy skin and hair.

W  [top of page]

Wart - Warts are harmless skin growths caused by a virus. They have a rough surface on which tiny dark specks may be seen. They may grow on any part of the body and their appearance depends on their location. Warts in the genital or rectal area have a wet appearance and have been said to look like cauliflower.

Z  [top of page]

Zinc Oxide - An oxide of zinc, an astringent.

Zinc Stearate - Used in powder to improve texture and to lubricate.


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