The Original Beauty Blogger. Often imitated, never duplicated.



beakerMeg here! I’m writing this post from Jeanasina’s livingroom in Minnesota. I’m usually a lot closer to the Oscars when I watch it and get ready for the after parties! This year our own Jasmine is hitting the Oscar beat while I’m still hitting the road.

Before I go into some terms that are commonly thrown around can I just say Sandra Bullock is looking amazing! I hope my little handy dandy guide clears up any confusion you may have…

What on earth is a “humectant?” Humectants are anything that promote the retention of water. Glycerin is a natural humectant. Glycerin is found in many moisturizers and face creams but watch out for mineral oil! That’s a naughty humectant.

What’s the deal with “Surfactants?”
The definition of surfactant is “surface-active agent” Found in tons of facial cleansers, it’s the element that stops oil and water based ingredients from separating so you can get a great foam.

Why is everyone so freaked out over “Parabens? People are avoiding parabens like the plague and companies are touting “paraben-free” all over their labels.  They are toxic and synthetic and have been connected to everything from asthma to cancerous tumors. It can also be called the following names Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl, Butyl, and Hydroxy Methyl Benzoates. It’s probably best to avoid them as well. The other names you don’t want in your products are green3, blue1, padimate-O, sodium hydroxymethyl-glycinate, toulene, xylene, BHT, propylene glycol, crystalline silicia, coal tar dyes, talc, DEA and TEA (diethanolamine and triethanolamine), pthalate, parabens, soduim lauryl sulfate and formaldehyde. If it is hard to pronounce then there is a pretty good chance it is linked to cancer or hormonal disruption. The following terms above have been linked to both.

These ingredients are considered pretty safe so don’t worry if you have these

Titanium and Zinc Oxides, beeswax, jojoba, karite or shea butter and for the most part lanolin.

Preservatives? Friend or Foe? As with anything. they say moderation is key! too may preservatives can cause allergies. Not enough preservatives and your product is going to spoil very soon and can be a bacteria trap.

Antioxidants are everywhere? What do they do again? Antioxidants are nutrients that ward off free radicals: the reactive molecules that cause both internal and external aging.

What are “AHA’s?”
AHA’s or Alpha Hydroxy Acids are from fruit or milk sugars. They work to exfoliate the skin and promote the growth of new cells giving them a more youthful complexion. People with sensitive skin should be careful of AHA’s as they can be pretty stripping.

O.K. Thanks. how about the “BHA’s?”
BHA’s or Beta Hydroxy Acids are also from either fruit or milk and also exfoliate the skin. AHA’s are only soluble in water, beta’s can penetrate sebum in the pores to clear away dead skin that has built up inside. If you have oily skin then a BHA is a better choice for you!

What is a “Co-Enzyme Q10? co-enzyme Q10 starts to deplete in your body after age 30. This ingredient is used in a lot of ant-aging products to promote collagen.

What are “Pentapeptides?” They are amino acids that act as messengers inside of the body. Originally discovered for their ability to assist in wound healing, they have been found to help stimulate the production of collagen to support the skin’s structure and keep it looking youthful.

What are “Liposomes?” Liposomes help transfer active ingredients in skin products to the cells helping them become more effective.

Can you tell me what “Ceramides” are? Ceramides are part of the skin’s lipid layer, it helps it retain moisture and keeps it lookiing plump and youthful. A drop in ceramide levels cause dehydration and increase the appearance of wrinkles, You can find synthetic “ceramides” in many products now.

What is a “Tocopherol?”
Don’t worry, it’s just a more technical way of saying Vitamin E!

What is an “Emollient?”
Emollients at as a barrier to moisture loss and they help keep your skin hydrated.

I hope this was a handy guide and now I can turn my attention to the Academy Awards. What terms have you been confused over? Are there any ingredients that I’ve listed that you look for? How about avoid like the plague? Let us know!

Back to top