5-fluorouracil (5-FU) A chemotherapy agent that is given as a treatment for some types of cancers; used as a topical peeling agent; also known as Efudex when used on the skin
Acetic acid A mild organic acid derived from vinegar.
Acetylcholine An enzyme found at the neuro muscular joint. Involved with muscle movement.
Acid Mantel – a thin coating on the stratum corn rum that protects the skin from infection. It has a ph of 4.0 – 6.5
Acidic – any substance that has a ph of less than 7
Actinic keratosis – Precancerous lesions of the skin, generally from sunlight exposure.
Adipose cells – fat cells
Alkaline- any substance that has a ph over 7.0
Alpha arbutin – skin brightener derived from plants such as blueberries and cranberries. Helps to fade scarsand pigmentation.
Alpha hydroxy Acids – Mild organic acids used in cosmeceutical products. AHAs “unglue” cells in the epidermis, allowing keratinocytes to be shed at the stratum granulosum, providing skin with a healthier texture.
Anthranilates- Weak UVB filters. They absorb mainly in the near UVA portion of the spectrum.
Antimicrobials – An agent that halts or prevents the development of microorganisms.
Antioxidants – Helps to maintain the skin’s barrier function by fighting off free radicals that can contribute to disease and the ageing process.
Apocrine sweat glands – the larger of the two sweat glands that are housed in axillary, pubic and perianal areas.
Appendages- any anatomic structure that’s associated with a larger structure. For the skin it’s appendages include hair follicles, sweat glands and nails.
Ascorbyl Palmitate – a fat soluble form of ascorbic acid
Atopic dermatitis – a skin irritation or rash of unknown origin.
Atrophic – to undergo deterioration
Atrophic Scars – flat, small, round and generally inverted scars, usually seen in acne or chicken pox scarring.
Avascular – Lacking in blood vessels and thus having a poor blood supply.
Azelaic Acid – Anti-inflammatory ingredient derived from grains useful for killing off acne bacteria and reducing inflammatory conditions such as rosacea.
Bakuchiol – despite being structurally different, bakuchiol is thought to have similarr benefits to retinol without the negative side effects. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties.
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – A slow-growing tumour that generally does not metastasise. It is the most common form of skin cancer, which usually occurs in areas of repeated sunburn
Basophils – A type of white blood cell
Bearberry – A botanical used in skincare products and peeling agents to treat hyperpigmentation.
Benzophenone – A chemical absorber that responds to UV light by generating a free radical capable of rapid polymerisation.
Beta Hydroxy Acid – An isometrically distinct relative of alpha hydroxy acid
Beta Peel – A 20% or 30% salicylic acid peel solution
Blackheads or Comedones – pores blocked with sebum that when oxidised turn black in colour hence the name.
Caffeine – anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Camphor – Used topically as an anti-itching agent. Derived as a gum from evergreens native to China and Japan.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser – Aggressive type of laser used for skin resurfacing that vaporises skin and caused thermal injury allowing for improved collagen production.
Cautery – Tissue destruction, usually done using electricity.
CBD – Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties. Encourages skin to produce lipids.
Cellulitis – A potentially serious infection of the skin.
Ceramides – A class of lipids that do not contain glycerol cholesterol.
Chemical Peeling – The use of chemical agents to destroy layers of the skin.
Chemoexfoliants – The use of chemical agents to exfoliate the stratum corneum
Cholesterol – A precursor to most steroid hormones; a single molecule is called alcohol.
CICA – helps reduce inflammation and irritation. Rich in amino acids, fatty acids and antioxidents.
Cinnamates – A derivative of cinnaminic acid useful for protection against low levels of UVB rays. Also makes sunscreens waterproof.
Citric Acid – An AHA derived from citrus fruit such as oranges and grapefruit.
Collagen – An insoluble protein found in connective tissues. Particularly, type 1 collagen forms a network in the epidermis, and it is credited with providing skin with its tensile strength and firmness.
Cornified – Hardening or thickening of the skin.
Cosmeceutical – products that do more than decorate or camouflage but less than prescription medication would do.
Croton Oil – A fixed oil extracted from the croton plant (castor oil).
D-alpha tocopherol – An antioxidant
Deep epidermal wounding – an injury that reaches deep into the epidermis, as with peeling solutions.
Deep peels – a peel depth extending into the papillary dermis or upper reticular dermis. Most notable of deep peels are phenol.
Defatted – The use of isopropyl alcohol or acetone to remove all oils from the skin which allows peel solutions to work evenly.
Dermal-epidermal Junction – The superficial side of the dermis, connected to the epidermis.
Dermaplaning – The use of a sharpe blade to exfoliate the stratum corneum.
Dermis – The second layer of skin responsible for attaching the skin to the body.
Desmosomes – Small hairlike structures in the spiny layer of the epidermis.
Dibenzoylmethanes – A UVA Ray absorber.
Discoid lupus – Cyclic breakouts and remissions of a scaly red rash
Dynamic Rhytids – Wrinkling that occurs as a result of facial movement.
Dyschromia – Discolouration of the skin
Eccrine Sweat Glands – The smaller of the two sweat glands that reside all over the body.
Elastin – Connective tissue proteins
Emollients – A product that has a softening or soothing effect on the skin.
Eosinophils – Granulocyte blood cell characterised by multi-shaped nuclei; present in full thickness wounds.
Epidermal Cells – Cells found in the outer most layer of skin.
Epidermal Growth Factor – A protein that stimulates cell growth.
Epidermis – Outermost, avascular, protective layer of skin.
Epidermolysis – Separating of the epidermal cells.
Epithelialisation – The growth of new skin over a wound.
Epithelium – Membranous tissue covering internal organs and lining skin appendages.
Eribium Laser – Type of laser that causes less thermal injury than a CO2 laser while still causing epidermal and papillary dermal injuries.
Erythema – A spot on the skin showing diffused redness caused by capillary congestion and dilation.
Ester – a fragrant water and fat soluble compound formed by the combination of an organic acid and alcohol removing water from the compound.
Exfoliation – The process of removing dead skin cells from the outer most layer of the skin; very superficial and superficial peels are exfoliants rather than true peels.
Fatty Acids – One of many molecules that are long chains of lipid-carboxlic acid found in fats and oils.
Filaggrin – Synthesises lipids (fats) that are thought to serve as “intercellular cement” an important component of NMF.
Fitzpatrick Skin Typing – A method of skin typing that considers skin’s complexion, hair colour, eye colour, ethnicity, and the individuals reaction to unprotected sunlight exposure.
Folliculitis – An infection of the hair follicle, such as ingrown hairs.
Four Humours – Early medical concept that states the character of a man is determined by the specific balance of the four fluids running through the body: black bile, yellow bile, blood and phlegm.
Free Radicals – Molecules lacking an even number of electrons. Free radicals play an important role in tissue ischemia, injury and ageing.
Frost – Coagulation of protein in the skin that turns the skin a white colour.
Full Thickness Wounds – Wounds that penetrate to a specific depth in the papillary dermis of upper reticular dermis. These wounds are associated with slower healing and scarring will usually develop.
Generalised Post Traumatic Dyschromia – Hyperpigmentation caused by an insult.
Ginseng – A herbal remedy with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Glabella – The area in between the eyebrows.
Glycolic Acid – Alpha Hydroxy Acid derived from sugar cane. It has a small molecular size that allows for easier penetration into the skin.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) – Polysaccharide chains, mist prominent in the dermis that bind with water, smoothing and softening the surface from below.
Granulocytes – White blood cells involved in immune response; these include neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils.
Hemochromatosis – Dyschromia characterised by a build up of pigments; known as hemosiderosis.
Herpes Simplex (cold sores) – An infectious disease caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), characterised by thin walled vesicles that tend to occur repeatedly in the same place on the skin’s surface.
Humectants – Moisturising agents
Hyaluronic Acid – An individual molecule of HA can hold 1000 times it’s own weight in water and is used in skincare to enhance hydration levels. HA is also used for dermal fillers.
Hydroquinone – A safe topical bleaching agent that inhibits the production of tyrosine within melanocytes.
Hyper pigmentation – The over production of melanin.
Hypertrophic Scar – Overly developed scar tissue that rises above the skin level, often over fed by an abundance of capillaries. These scars usually regress over time.
Hypodermis – a layer of subcutaneous fat and connective tissue lying beneath the epidermis.
Hypo pigmentation – Lack of melanin production
Impetigo – A skin infection from staphylococcal or streptococcal bacterial.
Inflammatory phase – The early wound healing phase during which blood and fluid collect and substances begin to fight infection and promote healing.
Integumentary System – The skin and it’s appendages (nails, hair, sweat glands and oil glands).
Ischemia – A localised restriction of blood flow usually caused by an obstruction of normal circulation.
Isohexadecane – A highly emollient cleansing agent.
Jessner’s Solution – Peel solution for the skin that is 14% resorcinol, 14%salicylic acid, and 14% lactic acid in ethanol.
Keloid Scars – Scar formation in which tissue response is excessive in relation to normal tissue repair.
Keratinisation – The process keratin cells go through as they move up to the stratum corneum.
Keratinocyte – Any cell in the skin, hair or nails that produces keratin.
Keratolysis – Separation of the skin cells in the epidermis.
Keratoses – Horny growths on the skin.
Kojic Acid – A bleaching agent derived from bacteria on a Japanese mushroom; most often used in conjunction with hydroquinone or as a stand alone product.
Kola Nut – An African nut tree commonly used for its strong medicinal qualities; also contains high levels of caffeine.
Lactic Acid – An AHA derived from milk.
Lamellar Granules – Control lipids that produce NMF.
Lamellar Ichthyosis – An inherited skin disorder with scaly dry patches of skin; also known as fish scale disease.
Langerhans Cells – Cells that are intimately involved in the immune response of the skin.
L-ascorbic Acid – Topical vitamin C that is both water and fat soluble.
Lentigines – Flat brown spots appearing on aged or sunlight-exposed skin. Commonly called liver spots they are not related to any liver disease.
Leukocytes – White blood cells involved in immune response. These include lymphocytes and monocytes.
Lichen Simplex Chronicus – Itching papules; also known as Vidal’s disease.
Lipids – Fat or fatlike substances that are descriptive, not chemical.
Lipodystrophy – A disruption in fat metabolism.
Lymphatic Drainage – Drainage of lymphatic fluids.
Lymphocytes – White blood cells involved in the body’s immune system; their numbers increase in the presence of infection.
Macrophages – Part of the immune system in the skin; these cells are scavengers that clear debris in tissue injury.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate – An ester that converts to vitamin C on the skin.
Malic Acid – An AHA derived from apples.
Melanin – Cells that produce colour in the skin.
Melanocytes – A group of cells in the epidermis that produce the pigment – melanin
Melasma – An over production of melanin.
Melasma Gravidarum – An increase in melanin production caused by pregnancy.
Milia – A small, white headed cyst filled with keratin.
Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF) – A compound found only in the top layer of skin that gives cells their ability to bind with water.
Necrosis – Death of cells when tissue is deprived of blood supply.
Neutral – pH of 7.0
Neutralisation – A process by which active agents lose their potency, either with the addition of another agent or the loss of time.
Neutrophils – The most common type of white blood cells that kill bacteria and discourage infection.
Nicotinamide/niacinamide – A member of the vitamin B family that has been shown to decrease TEWL.
Non Surgical Aesthetic Skincare – Any non-invasive procedure that is intended to improve overall skin health and appearance.
Occlusion – The state of being closed.
Papillae – Projections of any kind; in the skin, hold the dermis and the epidermis together.
Papillary Dermal Wounding – an injury to the skin that is sufficient to cause bleeding.
Papules – Tiny red spots that don’t form a head.
Partial Thickness Injuruy – A wound that penetrates only the epidermis or the upper layer of the papillary dermis. These wounds tend to heal more quickly and with less risk of scarring.
Peel Depth – The depth of skin injury by chemical peeling agents.
Peel Percentage – The amount of bioavailability of the active ingredient; not to be confused with pH.
Peptides – These are short chain amino acids and are used in skincare to reinforce the proteins that naturally occur in the skin. There are hundreds of different types of peptides with a variety of functions including maintaining a healthy skin barrier, and increasing hydration.
Poly Hydroxy Acids – Larger molecules means that these don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as AHA’s & BHA’s and are therefore more suited to sensitive skins.
pH Potential of Hydrogen – The scale by which a material is characterised as being acidic (pH of less that 7.0) , alkaline (greater than 7.0) or neutral (7.0).
Phenol (carbolic acid) – Highly corrosive acid used in peel solutions that dissolves cells to make room for newer healthier ones.
Photo damage – Damage caused by repeated and unprotected exposure to sunlight over time, also called solar damage.
Pilosebaceous unit – Hair follicle and accompanying sebaceous glands and arrector pili muscle.
Prebiotics – A food source for probiotics that help to increase the amount of probiotics and lead to a healthy skin barrier and improved hydration.
Probiotics – The good bacteria that lives in our skin and is essential for maintaining skin health.
Post inflammatory Hyperpigmentation – Pigment that occurs in response to skin injury.
Proliferative Phase – The phase of wound healing during which replacement of protective epithelial tissue occurs over the old wound site.
Protein – A class of complex compounds that are synthesised by all living creatures. Proteins are broken down into amino acids for use, including rebuilding of tissue.
Protein Coagulation – The point at which the peel solution reaches the protein of the skin.
Pseudofolliculitis Barbae – In-grown hairs
Pustules – Spots that contain pus.
Pyruvic Acid – An alpha keto acid that has properties of acids and keytones. Pyruvic acid is a powerful peeling agent.
Radio Frequency – Frequency used with the latest technology for promoting collagen growth.
Reepithelialisation – The replacement of protective epithelial tissue.
Remodelling Phase – Phase of wound healing during which collagen is assembled to replace skin.
Reservatrol – This is a naturally occurring powerful antioxidant.
Resorcinol – Equal parts of hydroquinone and catechol; a peeling agent with similarities to phenol.
Rete-pegs – Anatomic features that hold the dermis and epidermis together.
Reticula – a net like formation or structure; a network.
Reticular Dermis – The sublayer of the dermis that connects the dermis to the epidermis and is home to the skin’s appendages.
RetinA – Topical vitamin A also known as tretinoin.
Retinol – A vitamin A derivative that must first convert to retinoic acid before it can be useful to the skin.
Retinyl palmitate – A vitamin A derivative that must first convert to retinoic acid before it can be useful to the skin. It’s also thought to be useful for collagen synthesis.
Rhytids – Wrinkles
Rolling Acne Scars – Acne scars that appear in a wave pattern over the face
Rosehip Seed oil – Rich in vitamin C, E and fatty acids. Regenerates damaged skin and is suitable for oily/acne skin.
Salicylates – A salt derivative of salicylic acid used as a chemical agent in sunscreens.
Salicylic Acid – Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) used in the treatment of acne.
Sebaceous Glands – Small glands usually located next to the hair follicles in the dermis. They release fatty liquids (sebum) onto the hair follicle to soften the hair and skin.
Seborrheic Keratosis – A benign skin tumour common in older adults, thought to develop from prolific epidermal cells.
Sebum – The semi fluid secretion of the sebaceous glands; consists mainly of fat, keratin and other cellular material.
Secondary Intention – The process of healing that includes coagulation and inflammation reepithelialisation, granulation tissue formation, angiogenesis and collagen remodelling.
Selenium – A chemical agent resembling sulphur that helps protect the skin from solar induced skin cancers.
Sodium Lauryl Isethionate – Similar to Sodium Lauryl Sulphate but not as irritating. It is less effective as an emulsifier.
Sodium Lauryl Suplhate – A common ingredient in household detergents and soaps most commonly used as an emulsifier.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma – A malignant cancer of the epithelial cells.
Static Rhytids – Wrinkles that show without reference to movement.
Stratum Basal – The lowest layer of the epidermis. This layer houses the germinal cells and regenerating cells for all layers of the epidermis.
Stratum Corneum – The superficial sublayer of the epidermis; this layer varies in thickness throughout the body.
Subcutaneous – Beneath the skin.
Superficial Peels – a peel depth that extends into the stratum granulosum.
Surfactants – A surface active agent that lowers surface tension.
Tartaric Acid – An AHA derived from grapes.
Telangiectasia – Dilation of a group of small blood vessels.
Titanium Dioxide – Physical sunscreen that scatters light rather than absorbing or filtering it.
Transepidermal Water Loss – The process by which our bodies constantly lose water via evaporation.
Trichloroacetic Acid – Chemical used in peel solutions that dissolves ageing cells to make room for newer healthier cells.
Ubiquinone – Lipid soluble cellular antioxidant present in virtually all cells.
Vasoconstriction – Narrowing of the blood vessels.
Vesiculation – The process of forming blisters.
Vitamin B – Vitamin B is a complex of several water soluble nutrients. Each nutrient is numbered and each has a specific function.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is a necessary factor for the formation of collagen in connective tissue and maintenance of integrity of intercellular cement.
Vitamin E – Vitamin E is an antioxidant that has been show to inactivate free radicals, although the exact mechanism of function is unknown.
Vitiligo – Smooth, depigmented white spots on the skin.
Wound – A disruption of normal tissue that results from pathologic processes, beginning internally or externally to the involved organ.
Wound Healing – The restoration of tissue continuity following injury or trauma.
Zinc Oxide – Physical sunscreen the scatters light rather than absorbing or filtering it.