Every Popular Skin-Care Ingredient You Should Know, Organized in a Glossary From A-Z


  • Skin-care products are formulated with a variety of different ingredients.
  • Every ingredient in your skin-care products has a distinct benefit.
  • This glossary will help you remember what common ingredients such as salicylic acid, retinol, and vitamin C do for the skin.

Just like food recipes, skin-care products are made with different ingredients. Each serves a specific purpose — hyaluronic acid plumps, glycerin moisturizers, salicylic acid fights acne, and vitamin C brightens — and plays a crucial role in the overall formulation of the product. More so than any other category of beauty, skin care is very technical, which is great for results but occasionally tricky to understand if you’re not well-versed in all of the ingredients and their respective benefits. That’s why we’ve made a glossary of terms that every skin-care enthusiast should know.

If you’ve ever found yourself muttering, what on earth is niacinamide? or questioning the difference between AHAs and BHAs, you’ll find the information ahead helpful. Consider it your dictionary for all things skin-care ingredients. The world of skin care is a complex one, but with this terminology in your vocabulary, it’s about to get a whole lot easier.

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