10 Beauty Buzzwords And What They Mean
The beauty industry has always been all about buzz, from product formulations to inventive ways to use those products.
But sometimes, we become so inundated with content surrounding the beauty and personal care industries that before we know it, we’re skimming over beauty buzzwords without really understanding what they mean.
We here at MASK CBD Skincare are exploring 10 beauty buzzwords you’ve probably seen–well, everywhere–and what they actually mean, so you can make the best decisions possible for your skin and health.
When it comes to sunscreen, there are two major categories: Physical (sometimes called “mineral”) and chemical.
Physical sunscreens utilize minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as their active ingredients to create a physical barrier between your skin and the sun’s rays. These ingredients sit atop the skin and often create a white cast atop skin, making it easier to know if you’ve missed a spot.
Physical sunscreens are generally well tolerated by even those with sensitive skin, and because they’re formulated without oxybenzone or octinoxate, they’re considered safer for both human and marine health.
Unlike physical sunscreens, chemical sunscreens use chemicals that absorb into skin to protect against harmful UV rays. These sunscreens penetrate skin, convert the sun’s rays into heat, then release this heat from the body so the skin isn’t burned or damaged.
Chemical sunscreens are sometimes preferred for sports, swimming, or sweating or for those who want to avoid the white look of physical sunscreens, though there is concern that chemical sunscreens can aggravate sensitive or inflamed skin.
And, some chemical sunscreen ingredients may be linked to endocrine disruption, cancer risk, and environmental concerns such as contributing to the bleaching of coral reefs, though ongoing studies are still needed about the effects of all sunscreens on marine life.
Skincare aficionados will often wax poetic about the skin barrier, but what exactly is it, and why is it important? In short, the skin barrier is what keeps the good stuff in, and the bad stuff out.
But for a more scientific explanation, the skin barrier is known as the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the epidermis that’s made up of lipids–waxes, fatty acids, and ceramides, which are responsible for cell integrity.
When left undisrupted, the skin barrier provides critical protection against bacteria, dirt, debris, allergens or irritants, while simultaneously protecting against excess transepidermal water loss (TEWL), the action of water passing through the skin’s barrier and evaporating, leaving skin dry.
While “skin barrier” refers to the outermost layer of our skin, “barrier function” refers to how well your skin barrier is performing. When your barrier function is strong and healthy, skin looks and feels calm, comfortable, and works to prevent harmful elements from penetrating the skin, as well as preventing too much water from escaping the skin and evaporating.
But sometimes, barrier function can become compromised from harsh skincare products, too much exfoliation, wild weather swings, or hot water. And, to complicate matters, some people are more prone to weakened barrier function because they naturally lack a skin-strengthening protein called filaggrin.
If your barrier function has been weakened, you may experience one or multiple symptoms that include ongoing redness, dryness, irritation after using skincare products, cracking, flaking, and breaking out. Using gentle clean skin care products and reducing use of exfoliating products–both physical and chemical exfoliants–may help to restore healthy barrier function.
“Clean beauty” is a term that’s become ubiquitous these days, but the truth is, there is no standard for what makes a product “clean.” Often, brands use the term to denote products made without harmful or questionable ingredients like parabens, but they may still contain artificial fragrances made of thousands of chemicals that under current law, do not have to be disclosed.
Talk about confusing! Unfortunately, there is no government body or industry standard that must be met in order to label a beauty product as “clean,” so it’s up to the brand to disclose why and how they label their formulas as such.
As consumers, looking for organic ingredients that have been third party certified or a MADE SAFE or ECOCERT designation, products scented with essential oils in lieu of artificial fragrances, and products made without these 12 ingredients is a great place to start when considering clean beauty products.
When shopping for skincare, you may have heard the term “bioavailable” bandied about–but what does this term actually mean? Bioavailability refers to the amount of an ingredient that penetrates your skin barrier and actually functions as it’s intended. If a face cream is made with waxes or mineral oil and sits atop skin, for instance, it is not bioavailable.
But if a water-based serum or a face oil formulated without waxes is applied and it penetrates your skin and the ingredients can go to work “at the source, it can be considered bioavailable.
While gua sha may be all the rage right now, it’s actually an ancient technique steeped in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Gua sha is a facial massage technique that includes using a flat, curved stone as a facial tool to gently release muscular tension, improve blood flow, and move stagnant lymph fluid to improve the tone of the face. It may help to de-puff the face and may help skincare products sink into skin, as well.
Double cleansing may sound like it will leave your skin tight and “squeaky,” but because it involves an oil cleanse as the first step, it can actually leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized, instead.
The thought behind double cleansing is that the first cleanse with an oil-based cleanser breaks down makeup, sunscreen, and excess oils (oil lifts away oil) so that the second step, where you wash with your regular cleanser, gently cleans your skin and removes any leftover traces, leaving your skin properly prepped for your skincare regimen.
The term “moisturizing” may seem like a no-brainer, but here’s the key: In beauty and skincare, “moisturizing” is different from hydrating.
When a product is labeled moisturizing, it means it traps and locks in moisture to support and improve your skin barrier. Moisturizers like face oils, occlusive creams and balms help to lubricate the skin and prevent water from escaping skin’s top layer.
Different from moisturizing, “hydration” refers to the absorption of water by skin cells and the improvement to cells this absorption delivers. When cells are hydrated, they can further absorb moisture and needed nutrients, helping skin to function at its best.
Hydrating products contain a water base, like MASK CBD Skincare’s sheet masks and serums. For many people, especially those with dry skin, it’s important to first hydrate skin, then moisturize it to lock in that cell-supporting water.