Skin Care Terminology and Facts Dictionary - A

acid:any substance with a pH below 7.0
adipose tissue:fatty tissue found in the body, such as in the breasts.
AHA:alpha hydroxy acid - please see section G - Glycolic Acid or the link GLYCOLIC on the Nancy K. Brown website homepage.
allantoin:cosmetic ingredient derived from uric acid. It is soothing and calming to the skin. It is also moisturizing and keratolytic, helps against keratonization (hardening of keratin) by helping to hydrate keratin in the skin so that it remains soft and supple.
aloe barbadensis:botanical, emollient with hydrating, softening, cooling, soothing, healing, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Has the ability to provide hydration directly to tissues. For use for help with burns, sunburns, bruising, irritated skin. For complete information see ALOE VERA on the Nancy K. Brown website homepage.  
Aloe Exfoliant:the result delivering proprietary formulation of Nancy K Brown combining Aloe Vera and Glycolic Acid. Is a registered trademark of Nancy K Brown Aesthetics, Inc, in Canada, the United States of America and other jurisdictions.
aloe vera:see aloe barbadesis above.
alopecia:is another name for baldness. Balding occurs in men and women. Can be caused by several factors or combination thereof: a) decreased blood circulation, b) clogging of hair follicles, c) nutritional deficiencies, d) hormonal changes. For men the vast majority of baldness is Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). See M or details.
alteratives:also known as blood purifiers. Agents which gradually and favorably alter the condition of the body. Also help the body assimilate nutrients and eliminate waste products of metabolism. Others in this category include: alfalfa, angelica, burdock root, comfrey, goldenseal, gota kola, nettles, plantain, chrysanthemum and ginseng.
antioxidants:substances which have the ability to inhibit oxidation, by binding to and thus neutralizing free radicals. Examples are vitamins A, C and E.
antiseptic:chemical agent which inhibits the growth of bacteria.
astringent:alternative name for toner. Used after cleansing to remove any traces of cleanser and to rebalance the skin's natural pH balance after cleansing. Some toners, such as those from Nancy K. Brown also offer antioxidant and hydrating actions. Astringents to avoid are those containing antiseptic or disinfecting agents as these are drying, irritating and upset the skin's natural bacterial balance.
aquagenic pruritis:allergy / sensitivity to water. Arises when contact with water causes release of histamine in the body. Can last from 40 minutes to 2 hours.
athlete's foot:very common highly contagious skin condition effecting, primarily but not limited to, the feet which can be spread by walking barefoot through public areas, such as public showers, pools or locker-rooms. Symptomes may include scaly, red tender rashes; cracked, blistering skin between toes accompanied by itching and/or burning sensation. Preventive measures include wearing of flip-flops or beach sandals.
atopic dermatitis:is a chronic, itchy inflammation of the skin's upper layers. Can be a temporary or lifelong condition. Is not contagious. Is not an allergy. Actual causes unknown, is often associated with other issues such as asthma, hay fever and food allergies. Is aggrevated by emotional stress, fluctuations in temperature and humidity, bacterial skin infections, contact with irritating substances and items, such as certain types of clothing, e.g. wool. Color, location, size, extent and intensity of rash areas vary, they are always itchy, which can lead to damage to the skin through a cycle of itching-scratching-itching. This can lead to bacterial infections.
atopic pleat:an extra fold of skin that has develped under the eye
atropic skin:thinning of skin, which causes a depression, resulting in a wrinkled appearance. Commonly referred as having a "cigarette paper" look.
azulene:an extract from chamomile used for its soothing properties. Found in cosmetics and waxes for sensitive skins.

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