Hott Industry Buzz Words

By Lisa Johnson

The beauty industry is constantly changing, so are the common words heard in the industry.  The Skintourage wants you to know the Hot Buzz Words, so that you can make educated decisions when purchasing skincare and makeup.  It’s important to know what the words mean so you feel confident in the purchases that you make.

These are a few of the words that you will hear when shopping for the perfect skincare or makeup color.

Hypoallergenic – Hypoallergenic is a term used by manufacturers to claim that a certain product produces fewer allergic reactions than others.  The problem is there are no federal regulations to define this term.  Many companies use this term however they want.  There are no requirements made by the FDA to submit any documentation that a product is Hypoallergenic.  Most companies use this term to sell products.

Parabens – Parabens are commonly used in the beauty industry as a preservative.  The problem with parabens is that now they have become very controversial.  They have been linked to breast cancer in women due to the paraben’s ability to mimic estrogen, the hormone that has been known to play a role in the development of breast cancer.  Even though there is no concrete evidence this term has become an item that most consumers are looking to avoid.

Comedogenic and Non-comedogenic – The terms comedogenic and non-comedogenic are terms that are commonly used together.  These terms are used to define whether a product will or won’t clog pores.  Most people look for a non-comedogenic product to keep the pores clean and keep their chances of getting an acne breakout to a minimum.

Organic or Natural – Organic products are considered safe in the Beauty Industry.  Not necessarily true.  Again this is a common gimmick used the industry.  Just because a product says Organic doesn’t mean it is.  Many times a product can be considered organic if 1 ingredient in the product is organic.  It can be very misleading to the consumer.  It all boils down to regulations. In order for a product to be truly organic, it will be labeled 100% USDA Approved Organic. The FDA doesn’t regulate all claims made by every company.  Companies use terms the way they feel will benefit them in sales. The word Natural is used very much the same way.

Cosmeceutical –  a cosmeceutical is a product that meant to be a combination between a cosmetic and a pharmaceutical.  They are products that are meant to be used topically but have ingredients that claim to improve the skin.  Cosmeceuticals are not subject to review by the FDA, and are not recognized by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.   The products are tested for safety but not for the results of the claims of the products.

AHA’s – alpha hydroxy acids are used in the cosmetic industry for the improvement of the skin.  These acids help the look and feel of the skin and even signs of aging.  They can be synthetic or natural.

BHA’s – beta hydroxyl acids are also used in the cosmetic industry for the improvement of the skin.  These acids are commonly used to treat acne and clear the skin.

DMAE – dimethylethanolamine is a bit newer to the beauty industry.  It is a compound that occurs in salmon and other foods.  It has been claimed to do wonders to wrinkles.  There are no studies to support this evidence but many doctors and dermatologists have jumped on the DMAE bandwagon.  One drawback is the effect wears off very quickly.

Mineral Oil – Mineral oil is a light, colorless, transparent, tasteless, odorless and oily liquid that will not spoil.  It is an inexpensive byproduct produced in the purification of petroleum and during the production of gasoline and other petrochemical products from crude oil.  It is available in light and heavy grades and is insoluble in both water and alcohol. The problem lies in your beliefs of what is good or bad for the skin.  There are many pros and cons to this ingredient and it seems to still be an item of great debate in the Beauty industry.  (to get more information on mineral oil see the “What’s the skinny” section on the Skintourage website for an entire blog devoted to this topic)

Fragrance Free or Unscented – these are both terms that are also used without restriction in the Beauty industry. Most consumers believe that these terms are used the same and that it means the product is completely odor free.  This is not true.  Most products used in skincare and makeup have a distinct odor that many consumers can find offensive.  Again it can be used as a sales gimmick.

We hope that you find our list helpful and be sure to let us know if you have any questions over “lingo” you hear when shopping for your favorite skincare or cosmetic products.

Want to be even more of an industry expert? Check out how to become a Cosmetologist here!

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