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Common Skincare Terms You Should Know

Posted January 2021 by Biodermis
When navigating the immense world of skincare products, you may get overwhelmed with the massive amount of skincare terminology used by marketers to describe different dermal properties. It’s important to be aware of some of these terms because, after all, how will you know if a certain product is right for you if you are struggling to understand the jargon on the label? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many other people have difficulty with the vast terminology and it can get confusing. That’s why Biodermis is here to help.

Continue reading to learn more about the most common skincare terms that you will run across on your quest for the perfect products.

Skincare Terminology

Broad-spectrum Sunscreen

When looking for the right sunscreen, you’ll want to go with a broad-spectrum one, which is what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends. Broad-spectrum simply means that it blocks out both types of rays from the sun: Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA rays have a long wavelength and are responsible for skin aging while UVB rays have short wavelength that are responsible for skin burning. Both types of rays are harmful and are capable of damaging the DNA in skin cells, leading to skin cancer.

Cleansers and toners

What is the difference between a toner and a cleanser, and why are they a vital part of a good skincare routine? As the name suggests, a cleanser cleanses or cleans the skin of any dirt, oils, or bacteria that reside on the skin throughout the day. It’s important to cleanse the skin to rid it of harmful agents that block up the pores and cause acne. Toners, on the other hand, help the skin balance out pH levels so that it doesn’t dry out or become too oily. A cleanser should always be used before a toner for the best results.

Moisturizers and serums

When searching for skincare solutions, you will almost certainly come across products being referred to as either a moisturizer or a serum. As the name suggests, moisturizers are agents that hydrate and moisturize the skin as well as prevent water loss. Serums, on the other hand, usually have a lighter and thinner (less viscous) consistency and texture. Serums have a variety of effects and are meant to penetrate the skin more deeply than moisturizers. When orchestrating your skincare routine, you will want to use a serum after cleansers and toners but before moisturizers.

Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic

These two words seem big and scary but they have very simple meanings. Hypoallergenic simply means that the product will likely not cause an allergic reaction on the skin of the user. This does not mean that the product will not cause an allergic reaction in every single case, only that it won’t cause a reaction in a majority of cases. Everyone’s skin is different, so it’s impossible to predict how a product will affect every individual. The term non-comedogenic refers to a skincare product that does not clog pores. This is especially important when using a product on the face because blocked pores can cause acne breakouts.

Antioxidant

Many skincare products claim to be antioxidants, but the science behind some of these claims are dubious, so it’s important to do some research. An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits oxidation, which is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals. Free radicals are chemically-unstable agents that can cause damage to cells. When you hear the term antioxidant in skincare, it is referring to an ingredient, such as vitamins E and C that helps protect the skin from cell damage caused by free radicals.

Silicone

Silicone, also known as polysiloxane, is a synthetic compound made up of siloxane polymers. Silicone is found in many face and body moisturizers because it is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and has a smooth and silky texture. Silicone in skincare can help a product spread more easily, provide water-resistant effects, and induce hydration. Silicone is also commonly used in scar therapy and is considered the only clinically-proven topical solution for treating post-surgical scars.


Biodermis is an innovative market leader with 30 years of expertise in the medical silicone industry. Visit Biodermis.com today to explore a complete range of scar management and post-operative care solutions.
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