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.
albumin:is a protein that has many important bodily functions: 1) keeps fluid from leaking from blood vessels, 2) helps move hormones, vitamins and medicines through the body. Albumin is made in the liver. One of the signs of albumin deficiency is manifested by white bands that cross the fingernails horizontally. Know as Muehrcke's Lines, they do not move as the nail grows. For more info, click here.
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.
alpha lipoic acid:also known as α-lipoic acid or (ALA) or thioctic acid - enzyme made naturally in animal and human body - essential for aerobic metabolism (cellular metabolism to convert nutrients into energy for cells to function). Also used in skin care products for its powerful antioxidant properties to help improve skin texture and tone.
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, helping to prevent damage to cell walls, cell structures and skin tissues. Examples are vitamins A, C and E.
antiseptic:chemical agent which inhibits the growth of bacteria.
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.
ascorbic acid:also known as L-ascorbic acid - the most extensively researched form of vitamin C in skin care - used for its potent antioxidant and skin soothing properties.
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.
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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