Beauty buzzwords demystified

Beauty was never skin deep. But with the renewed focus on leading a healthy lifestyle and practices that unearth your natural glow, wellness has changed the landscape of skincare and make-up.

Navigating this terrain, however, requires plenty of research and soul searching to review your daily habits. While we can’t help you introspect, we’re here to guide you through the plethora of natural beauty codes:

Steam Distilled: Pure Rosewater Facial Tonic Mist, Forest Essentials

Steam distilled
Here’s looking at all you essential oil lovers out there. Steam distilled is your friend, a term used to describe the extraction process. When an essential oil is steam distilled, steam is sent through the plant material, a gentle process that makes sure the oil retains all its nutrients. If your essential oil mentions its technique as cold pressed or steam distilled, it is a product worth cherishing.

While alcohol can be a great catalyst for a party, approach with caution when it’s listed as a skincare ingredient. You usually find it under three different categories - fatty, simple and aromatic.

Cetyl or Caprylic alcohols are fatty alcohols that help keep your skin plump, working against moisture loss and acting as a thickening agent. Aromatic alcohols, usually Benzyl, are used as a solvent in fragrances; they are not damaging as long as they are used in small quantities. Simple alcohols are the problematic ones, isopropyl alcohol and denatured alcohol (or alcohol denat) weaken the skin barrier and increase dryness. This is also the most ubiquitously used type so beware!

Hyaluronic Acid, The Ordinary

Not all acids are damaging! Glycolic acid is an excellent exfoliator that treats dullness and UV-damaged skin. It also helps increase blood flow, minimising fine lines. Do yourself a favour and make sure your face wash, scrub and toner contain the acid for younger looking skin. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in our skin and works in tandem with collagen to plump and cushion skin. Ensure your serum contains the ingredient for skin that glows.

Non - comedogenic
If you suffer from acne, oily skin and other blemishes, non-comedogenic is a word that you might have come across. Comedones means blackheads, so non-comedogenic products are designed not to clog pores. However, it is by no means an industry standard. If blocked pores are a problem for you, reach for water-based skin products and stay clear of heavy foundations.

Paraben Free: Tea Tree Oil, The Body Shop

Products with a long shelf life are chock full of parabens which are used as preservatives, keeping our liquids, creams and gels bacteria free. However, they are also linked to cancer, toxicity buildup and cause skin irritations. Many brands are now paraben free, identify them by keeping a lookout for these: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and heptylparaben.

Make an informed decision about what fills your bathroom shelf: good skincare is a precious investment!

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