Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)

Water-soluble substance used in anti-aging and anti-acne products to exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells.


Nutrients and enzymes that neutralize free radicals to help prevent damage and to repair skin cells.

Argan oil

Expressed from the kernels of Argan trees, it contains nutrients and vitamin E to nourish skin and hair.


BB cream

Essentially a supercharged foundation, this tinted “beauty balm” blends moisturizer, sunscreen, primer and foundation into a do-it-all complexion product.

Benzoyl peroxide

Bacteria-fighting ingredient found in skincare products to treat acne.

Beta hydroxy acid (BHA)

Oil-soluble substance that targets acne and blackheads by exfoliating deep into pores. Generally less irritating than alpha hydroxy acid; works best for acne prone skin.


Part of the B complex vitamin, also known as vitamin H, it aids in cell growth and production of fatty acids, promoting healthy hair, skin and nails.


Plant-derived ingredients in skincare products, haircare and cosmetics.


Term for products that reduce skin redness and uneven pigmentation, typically using ingredients like salicylic or kojic acid.

Broad-spectrum sunscreen

Product that protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.


CC cream

“Color correcting” makeup and skincare hybrid similar to BB cream but with anti-aging, spot-reducing and tone-balancing properties.

Clarifying lotion

Fancy name for toner, this liquid formula has salicylic and hyaluronic acids plus glycerin to balance oil and rehydrate skin after cleansing.

Clarifying shampoo

Lifts excess buildup from styling products, dirt and oils. Rescue agent for overly oily or chlorine-abused hair.

Conditioning wash or Co-wash

The use of a cleansing conditioner as an alternative to using a traditional shampoo. Cleansing conditioners contain ingredients that have the potential to cleanse hair, which means through friction they rinse away oil, styling products, and dirt.


Dry shampoo

Starch or silica-based powder or aerosol formula that soaks up excess oil between washes and also works as a texturizing and volumizing agent in styling.

Dry Conditioner

A weightless aerosol hydrating formula to be used in-between shampooing. Can be used alone of after dry shampoo as it contains small conditioning molecules to freshen up hair. The hair will look and feel fuller and hydrated.


Foundation Primer

Water- or silicone-based cream or lotion that creates a smooth, even surface for makeup and improves wearability.

Free (3-Free)

Nail polish that does not contain Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, and Formaldehyde.

Free (5 Free)

Nail polish that does not contain Dibutyl, Formaldehyde, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor.


Glycolic acid

A sugar cane derivative, this alpha hydroxy acid is a master exfoliating ingredient in anti-aging and anti-acne skincare.

Glycolic peel

A chemical peel, usually performed by an aesthetician but also available in milder at-home treatments, that exfoliates the outer layer of dead skin cells, diminishing fine lines and brightening skin tone.



Liquid or powder makeup containing light-reflecting ingredients, such as mica or micronized crystals, to accentuate features and give skin a natural-looking glow.

Hyaluronic acid

Water-binding ingredient that hydrates and plumps the skin and is a naturally occurring carbohydrate in our bodies that diminishes with age.


Inhibitor of melanin production and known as one the most effective ingredients for reducing and possibly eliminating brown spots and hyperpigmentation.


Term for products that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.



Desert plant extract high in vitamin E, providing natural skin soothing and conditioning properties.



Protein family that makes up skin, hair and nails; an ingredient in hair products and treatments to smooth, straighten and fight frizz.


Lash primer

Base coat for mascara, often with nourishing and conditioning properties, that helps bind mascara to lashes for longer wear. Also can be worn alone for a glossy finish.


Light-emitting diode. Used in skin therapies to treat acne and wrinkles by killing bacteria and generating new collagen.

Lip stain

Liquid or water-based gel, typically containing alcohol, that leaves a saturated wash of long-lasting color.


Mineral makeup

Cosmetics mainly comprising minerals like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mica and iron oxide; usually free of dyes, preservatives and fragrance.



Term for products tested to to not block or clog pores.



Term for products with at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients, excluding water and salt.


Paraben Free

Preservatives in cosmetics that increase shelf life; FDA-approved at low levels (0.01 to 0.3 percent).


Skin sagging, wrinkles and sunspots resulting from exposure to the sun’s UVA rays that penetrate deep into the dermis and damage collagen fibers.



Derivative of vitamin A and milder form of retinoic acid; widely considered the most important ingredient in anti-aging skincare.


Salicylic acid

Used topically to treat acne by reducing swelling and redness and unplugging skin pores; also treats skin conditions like psoriasis by loosening dry or thickened skin.

Serum / Face Serum

Oil- or water-based product with high concentration of active ingredients, including nutrients, ceramides, glycerin and vitamins, that penetrates deep into the skin.

Setting powder

Sheer loose or pressed powder used after foundation or base makeup to extend wear and control shine.

Setting spray

Applied after makeup to set products for extended wear, especially in hot, humid or windy conditions.


Sun protection factor, a measurement of how well a sunscreen protects skin against the sun’s UVB rays.


Products that do not contain sulfates, which lift dirt and create lather in shampoos. Often recommended for fighting frizz and extending the benefits of chemical treatments like hair color and keratin.


Products that filter a percentage of the sun’s rays, depending on their Sun Protection Factor of SPF.



Applied after cleansing to balance skin’s pH, remove excess dirt or oils, and help subsequent products penetrate skin.



Ultraviolet A. Less intense than UVB but much more prevalent and more penetrating through skin. These long-wave rays are the main rays in tanning, and the main reason for skin damage associated with photoaging.


Ultraviolet B. Strongest during summer, these short-wave rays are the chief culprit behind sunburn, freckles and sunspots, and play a key role in skin cancer and premature skin aging.


Vitamin A

Vitamin A also goes by another name, retinol. Retinol is an antioxidant, and thus can reduce free-radical damage that causes skin to look and act older.

Vitamin B

A water-soluble vitamin that is a potent antioxidant to fight free radicals. It can increase collagen production, reduce skin discolorations, strengthen skin’s barrier, enhance skin’s repair cycle ,and reduce inflammation.

Vitamin C

Powerful antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage.


Zinc oxide

Natural skin protectant mineral in ointments, creams and powders to treat dryness and irritation, as well as in sunscreens to shield UVA and UVB light.