Beauty Glossary von A bis Z –  Was sich hinter den Fachbegriffen der Kosmetikbranche verbirgt

Beauty Glossary from A to Z - which is hidden behind the technical terms of the cosmetic industry

The cosmetics industry continues to develop. New ingredients appear again and again and often synonyms are used for fabrics that were previously only known under another name. Especially with questionable ingredients, it is often not explained. It is advertised with so many different technical terms, so that you can quickly lose sight of the view.

But we at Bayage want to ensure transparency and give you as much beauty know-how as possible. It is important to know what you apply to your body and ultimately absorbs the skin. After all, the skin is the largest organ of the human body and harmful ingredients can affect well -being and health.

It is also important to know which care the skin could need if it should lack something. With our A to Z Beauty-Glossar, we will tell you briefly and briefly what most terms and ingredients in the cosmetics mean what they are good for and what the tolerability looks like.

Activated carbon

A fine, odorless black powder, made from coconut shells, peat, coal, olive seeds, sawdust and more. The overheating process that is subjected releases bonds, which makes it perfectly suitable to absorb excess oil and dirt from the skin. Or if it is taken orally, it absorbs toxins in the intestine.[I]


If the pH value is above 7. The consumption of certain foods influences the pH of the skin and can lead to it becoming alkaline, which in turn shows itself as dry, inflamed and irritated skin that tends to form wrinkles.[II]

Alcohol, organic (ethyl)

Not for consumption. It has a disinfectant function in high concentrations. In toners and creams, it transports ingredients deeper into the skin. It removes excess sebum and kills acne -causing bacteria. However, it can be drying out for the skin.[III]

Aloe vera

A plant whose juice has extremely well moisturizing properties.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (Ahas)

Chemical peeling, which breaks out the natural "adhesive" that binds the skin cells and thus removes the upper layers of the skin and dead skin cells and lets the skin brighten. Ah acids are ideal for fine wrinkles because they promote cell renewal.[IV]

amino acids

Of course they occur in our body. They are building blocks for the peptides and proteins made of collagen and elastin. Amino acids are of crucial importance for hydration, the texture, the smooth appearance and the elasticity of the skin. One of their functions is to move water in our body and between layers of the skin and thus to supply us with moisture.[V]

Anionic polysaccharide

It is produced by bacterial fermentation. It stimulates cell renewal, restores the skin barrier and thus reduces the occurrence of voltage feelings and irritation. Due to its quick, calming, moisturizing properties, it ensures a pleasantly soft skin feeling.[VI] 


They reduce free radicals in the skin and body. Topically applied antioxidants support the natural protective layer of the skin from external influences. You get the healthy appearance of the skin and support the repair of stressed and damaged skin. Vitamin A, C and E are common antioxidants.[VII] 


Water is mainly used as solvent in skin care and cosmetics. It also has moisturizing purposes.

Argan oil

Contains omega fatty acids, vitamin E and linoleic acids, which all smooth the skin, nourish and supply them with moisture. It is perfect to strengthen hair and strengthen nails. It also has oil -regulating properties without clogging the pores and quickly moves in.


Arnika has been used in herbal medicine for years and is known for its healing properties. If it is applied to the skin, it also has a rejuvenating effect and relieves inflammation and acne.  

Avena Sativa (oats)

Black oats contain many valuable ingredients for our skin, such as proteins, water -binding polymers and polysaccharides. The substances are close to the skin's own NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor) and are therefore excellent moisture dispensers. It also contains lecithin, which smoothes the skin and nourishes deep into all layers of the epidermis.[VIII]

Azelainic acid

A gentle peeling helps to remove clogged pores and smoothes the skin. It also works against redness and is therefore good for people with rosacea, pigmentation or acne. The acid is obtained from oats.[IX]


A more natural fabric comparable to retinol, which has proven to be more compatible. It makes the skin appear more full, compensates for the skin tone, minimizes the pores and brightens the skin.[X] 

Beta-hydroxy acid (bhas)

A kind of chemical peeling that is oiled and is ideal to reduce excess oil (and thus prevents blemishes) to reduce clogged pores and dissolve dead skin cells. [XI]


Biotin is a vitamin H and is one of the B complex vitamins that are important for the conversion of nutrients into energy. It occurs naturally in the body, and when it is applied to the skin, it supports the formation of fatty acids that feed the skin. Orally taken biotin supports hair and nail growth.[XII] 


A biodegradable material derived from bacteria, from which many cloth masks are produced, since it has a high moisture storage. [XIII]


Ceramides are lipids that help form the skin barrier and store moisture. They protect the skin from environmental damage. 


A mild surface that is obtained from coconut. It foams without affecting the natural moisture of the skin. It is suitable for sensitive skin and can often be found in environmentally friendly skin care products.


Elastin is a highly elastic protein that is present in the tissue of the skin and enables her to jump back in her place. With increasing age, the skin's elastic level decreases naturally due to the sun's rays.


Is used in creams to bind oils and water.


A moisture retention keeps the skin from drying out and removes water from two sources: the air and the lower layers of the skin. Glycerin is the most effective and best known moisture retention. [XIV]

Free radicals

Through pollution and UV damage, these highly unstable free molecules arise, which are accompanied by cells and cause long-term damage.


It stimulates the synthesis of hyaluronic acid, promotes wound healing and reduces wrinkle formation.[XV]It should lighten and compensate for the skin tone.


Glycerin is part of the skin's own wetland system. Therefore, it is ideally suited to supply the skin with moisture and is well tolerated by most skin types. The latest studies have shown that glycerin can also support the skin barrier by supporting the lipid structures within the skin surface. [XVI]

Glycolic acid

It is a kind of aha that can be obtained from sugar cane. Glycolic acid removes dead skin cells, has skin -controlling properties and increases collagen production. However, when treating glycolic acid, make sure to use sun protection every day! [XVII] 

Hyaluronic acid

Due to its moisturizing, collagen and elastin stimulating properties, hyaluronic acid has proven to be a wrinkle -controlling ingredient. [XVIII]


It is a liquid wax and resembles the lipid mixture of the skin surface and therefore mixes well with the natural lipid film of the skin. Due to its specific structure, it is not split on the skin by the skin's own lipases. This creates a delicate, non -occlusive lipid film that binds the moisture of the skin without sealing or greasing the skin.[XIX] 

Cocoa seed butter (Theobroma)

Cocoa seed butter is the fat obtained from the seeds of the cocoa hunt. The phytochemicals contained therein can promote blood flow to the skin and make them anti -inflammatory. It looks highly antioxidant, which protects the skin well against signs of aging and fatty acids act as an excellent moisturizer. [XX] 


A naturally occurring mineral that is often used in face masks with clay. It is good against greasy skin because it absorbs excess sebum and removes impurities. It is gentler than other keys, but can also be drying out. [XXI] 


Caffeine is not only a great "guardian" in the morning, but also ideal for revitalizing your skin. It has anti -inflammatory properties and tightens the blood vessels, which makes it an excellent ingredient for eye creams to reduce swelling. Studies have also shown that it protects the cells from UV rays. [XXII]


A body's own protein whose fibers give the skin its thickness, strength and strength and smooth it. Collagen is naturally broken down with increasing age, but retinol and peptides can promote collagen production.


A moisturizing agent in skin care that includes moisture, e.g. shea butter, cocoa seed butter, oils, etc. [XXIII]


Liposomes are tiny bladder or sack-like vesicles, similar to a skin cell that contains ingredients. They make the skin easier to absorb the ingredients and effectively transport them into the deeper layers of the skin. [XXIV]

Almond acid

This acid also belongs to the AHA group and is used for the peeling of the skin. It is obtained from bitter almonds. Due to the large particle size, it is absorbed more slowly by the skin, making it gentler and less lovely. [XXV]


Melanin is the pigment in the hair and skin. Of course it happens and everyone has it. The more melanin the melanocytes produce, the darker your hair, skin and eye color.

Mentha Arvensis herbal oil

Essential peppermint oil is obtained from the leaves of the wild mint by distillation. It is used in cosmetics due to its cooling effect on the skin. As a rule, it is used in cosmetics to give a fresh taste and smell.


A large collection of essential microorganisms and bacteria that live in and on our body. 

Lactic acid

It belongs to the AHA group and is naturally obtained from fermented milk. It is very gentle and is therefore suitable for people with a sensitive skin type. [XXVI] 

Mineral oil

The oils are obtained as a by-product of the distillation of oil (from which gasoline/kerosene/petrol is also produced), which is environmentally harmful due to the extraction and transport risks. It is used as a moisture retention, but does not add any moisture itself. 


A light type of blemishes that arise when sebum and dead skin cells mix, clog a pore and then oxidize, which makes them black. This can be prevented by regular cleaning and peeling.

Micelle water

It is used as a facial cleaner because the micelle floating in soft water pull dirt, make-up and oils out of the skin. Hydrators such as glycerin are often added. It is suitable for use in all skin types. [XXVII]

Sodium-laureth-sulfate (SLES)

Sles has foaming, oil -binding properties that make it a good surfactant and detergent in toothpastes, cleaning agents and shampoos. In general, sulfate are harmful to the environment. [XXVIII]

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

This is more irritating to the skin than Sles. It is an oil -cutting cleaning agent known for its foaming properties. It can be very drying for skin and hair -so be careful. [XXIX]


A kind of vitamin B3 that, together with the skin's own substances, refines the pores, compensates for the skin color, brightens the skin and smoothes wrinkles. It is compatible with all skin types. [XXX] 


They act as a skin barrier against pollution and lay like a light film about the skin to prevent loss of moisture. [XXXI] 

Omega-3 fatty acids

You can find them in different foods such as fish, walnuts and olive oil. Omega-3 fatty acids support the functions of the cell membranes throughout the body and get their ability to absorb ingredients, remove waste and bind water. With regard to skin care, this leads to smooth -groomed skin.[XXXII]


Panthenol is primarily known for its moisturizing properties in dry and sensitive skin and is not for nothing that the "Queen of the Vitamins" is called. It has an anti -inflammatory and calming effect on the skin, it improves elasticity and texture and supports the regeneration of the skin. [XXXIII]


Parabens are a group of chemicals that are added to make-up, creams and food and serve as preservatives. Recently there have been health concerns about this ingredient.


They are the protein building blocks from which our skin consists and that keep them tight and smooth. Peptides signal our cells to produce more collagen. [XXXIV]


It is a by -product of oil cleaning, which is often used in moisture creams to include moisture in the skin. 


Phytochemicals are contained in many types of fruit and vegetables that we eat every day and have anti-inflammatory effects. They support the cell before damage caused by free radicals.[XXXV] 


Basically, prebiotics are the food from which probiotics feed. Food with prebiotics include garlic, oats, onions, barley, bananas and flax seeds. Topical prebiotics include fructoligosaccharides. [XXXVI]


Probiotics are "good" bacteria that live in and on our bodies and to maintain good skin health. They are primarily known for intestinal health, but newer studies have shown that topical skin trialists also work. [XXXVII] 


All vitamin A derivatives used in skin care.


A derivative of vitamin A, which increases the skin cell turnover, which in turn contributes to keeping younger and bumpy cells closer to the surface. So it is a preventive ingredient that improves the health of your skin.[XXXVIII] 

Castor oil (Ricinus Communis-Samen oil)

Castor oil is rich in vitamin E and is very nutritious for skin and hair. Its main component is ricinolic acid. It has a calming effect on the skin and gently removes dandruff of hair and skin. [XXXIX]

Salicylic acid

Belongs to the BHA group and acts as a peeling, removed excess sebum and is anti-inflammatory. Of course, it occurs in plants. [XL]


If the pH value is below 7. The acid protection coat, a acidic film (pH of 4.5-5.5), on our skin protects us from bacteria, viruses and pollutants that penetrate our skin and penetrate them. If this exceeds or increases too much, it causes outbreaks and irritation.[XLI]


A frequently used liquid gel-like skin care product that contains high concentrations of ingredients.


Silicones are semi -liquid, are obtained from silica and go through a long chemical process before they are added to our beauty products. Most creams and foundations contain them.


Squalan is a clear, odorless lipid, it is the saturated shape of the skin's own squal. Nowadays it can usually be obtained from vegetable sources. It has a very calming effect and makes your skin silky without greasing. Squalan can have a positive effect on the inclusion of cosmetics, it is not irritating and is well absorbed. [XLII]


Are typically emulsifying, cleaning and oil -solving cleaning agents that can sometimes act aggressively on the skin.

Thermal water

Thermal water is particularly rich in calcium and silica. It can help to calm irritated and inflamed skin and at the same time to support the healing process. [XLIII] It can also have a positive effect on the smoothness and elasticity of the skin and is able to bind to keratin to strengthen skin, hair and nails. It is often used in anti-aging and soothing formulations.[XLIV] 

Grape seed extract

You may recognize this ingredient from some Caudalie products. It is widely known for its wound and scar healing properties because it has an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect. [XLV]

UVA rays

Ultraviolet A rays are the most common cause of skin aging. They destroy collagen and elastin and her production in the skin. UVA rays are always available, regardless of the season, which means that you should always wear sun protection! In the long run, it can lead to skin aging if you do not protect yourself.[XLVI]

UVB rays

Ultraviolet B rays lead to darker skin pigments and sunburn, form freckles and age spots. Beware in summer!

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Ascorbic acid promotes collagen formation, it is antioxidant and removes free radicals. Studies have shown that it works against skin aging. [XLVII]

Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

Properties such as an improved water bandage of the skin, protection against skin aging through external influences (UV-A, UV-B radiation) and the ability to smooth skin are attributed to the vitamin E. [XLVIII]

Zinc PCA

It is a salt that is derived from pyrrolidin carboxylic acid that comes from amino acids that occur in the sugar cane. It contributed to the NMF and has seeds controlling and antibacterial properties. [XLIX]

citric acid

Citric acid is a kind of aha that occurs in many fruits. It has abused, antioxidant properties and brightens the skin tone. In some products it is also added to extend the durability. 


Source information:


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[xlv] Hemmati AA, Foroozan M, Houshmand G, Moosavi ZB, Bahadoram M, Maram NS. The topical effect of grape seed extract 2% cream on surgery wound healing.Glob J Health Sci. 2014;7(3):52-58. Published 2014 Oct 29. doi:10.5539/gjhs.v7n3p52

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