Beauty Skincare Buzz Words - explaining the jargon

Beauty Skincare Buzz Words - explaining the jargon

Skincare - Breakdown the Science - What does it All Mean?

Is it me or are there so many lotions and potions on the market today? And you’d have to be dermatologist to know what they are are or know what they are used for? There’s a minefield of information out there and it can be difficult to just find out what’s right for your skin.

I wanted to create a clear glossary of the beauty skincare buzz words that are circling round today. From their uses, to what skin complaint they should be used for. Please note, I am not a skin specialist but I am a beauty product junkie and offer advice to my bridal clients on what skin care to use in the lead up to their big day to get their skin photo and makeup ready.


What is it - Antioxidants protect our cells and minimise damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that get produced via oxidation. In relation to skincare, free radicals are external toxins like cigarette smoke, pollution and radiation; they can also be produced via sun exposure

How - Antioxidants protect the skin from inflammation, anti aging, promote skin firming, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce appearance of scar treatment and repair sun damaged skin 

Whose it for - Everyone - go protect your skin


What is it - Replenish natural lipids (fats) that are lost through use of harsh products, environmental factors and exposure

How - Ceramides restores moisture and reinforce the skins barrier. Think of Ceramides as the glue barrier that holds the skin cells together

Whose it for - Sun damaged skin, dryness, increase firmness

Glycolic Acid

What is it - An exfoliant, it is a Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)

How - Glycolic Acid has small molecules that are able to penetrate the skin deeply and removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells to reveal brighter fresher skin. Glycolic Acid can be found in varying concentration levels

Whose it for - Treats fine lines, acne, blackheads, pigmentation, dullness and oiliness. Warning it is one of the strongest AHA’S and should be used carefully

Hyaluronic Acid

What is it- Provides moisture to the skin. Our skin actually produces Hyaluronic Acid but due to aging and free radicals our own levels of Hyaluronic Acid dips and we need a little added help

How - It grabs moisture and holds onto it enabling the skin to absorb it

Whose it for - Older skin, anti aging and dry skin

Lactic Acid

What is it - Another AHA, it is an exfoliant but more moisturing and less irritating to the skin than Glycolic Acid

How - Lactic Acid is an AHA, however it has larger molecules than Glycolic Acid and does not penetrate the skin as deeply. So Lactic Acid is safer to use on sensitive skin types who suffer with acne, skin pigmentation and aging

Whose it for - Evens out uneven skin tone such as acne, skin pigmentation and fine lines


What is it - Peptides are molecules and on their own they are amino acids, amino acids are cells found in our body. When Amino acids form a specific chain they become peptides

How - Peptides make protein which is a building block for collagen production. Without peptides our skin becomes less firm, wrinkles appear and the texture changes

Whose it for - aging skin, lackluster skin, loss of firmness


What is it - Essentially Vitamin A

How - Retinol exfoliates the skin, causing the skin to produce more collagen

Whose it for - Acne prone skin, congested skin, anti aging, to increase firmness in skin. Warning - Do not use on Rosacea, eczema or psoriasis as it will cause inflammation

Salicylic Acid

What is it - Dissolves debris that clogs up pores on skin

How - Salicylic Acid dissolves the keratin plugs that clog the skin causing black and white heads

Whose it for - Acne prone skin, Warning overuse of this acid can thin and dry out your skin, not recommended for sensitive skin types


What is it - A lightweight moisturiser

How - Serums are able to penetrate the skin deeper and deliver ingredients to your skin, they can stimulate skin cell growth and bring new cells to the surface, thus brightening your skin

Whose it for - all skin types - check what the serum is specifically targeted for and make sure it is non-comedogenic (a skincare product designed so it doesn’t clog up your pores)

Vitamin C

What is it - An anti-aging ingredient that helps brighten and smooth your skin

How - Vitamin C is an Antioxidant (see above) and helps protect your skin against free radicals which can breakdown your collagen causing wrinkles and loss of firmness

Whose it for - Aging skin, dull skin, fine lines

Next blog post - I will suggest products that contain the beauty key ingredients listed above and suggest my favorites