Skin Care and Treatments of Melbourne Dermatology - Skin Care and Dermatological Glossary

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Perennial / Wisdoms

UV Exposure
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Alpha Lipoic Acid
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Clinical Procedures and Topics

Aging Skin
French Skin Care
Klein Becker
Oxidative Stress
Skin Structure
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Skin Care and Dermatological Glossary

Skin Care and Dermatological Glossary

Monday, 26 November 2007


Skin care products containing phospholipids are those with a lipid containing a phosphate group as part of their molecular structure.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


Pure alcohol is a colourless, volatile flammable liquid that is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits, and other drinks, and is also used as a solvent and as fuel.

Alternative names for alcohol are ethanol and ethyl alcohol.

Alcohol's chemical formula is C 2 H 5 OH.

In chemistry, any organic compound whose molecule contains one or more hydroxyl groups attached to a carbon atom is an alcohol.

The word originates in the middle sixteenth century from the French word "alcool" or from the medieval Latin (from the Arabic) "al-kuhl" for "the kuhl."

In early use the term denoted powders, specifically kohl, and especially those obtained by sublimation.

From the middle seventeenth century also refers to a distilled or rectified spirit.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Dietary Antioxidants

A dietary antioxidant is defined as a substance in foods that significantly decreases the adverse effects of reactive species, such as reactive oxygen species and nitrogen species on the normal physiological function in humans.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid

View the list of skin care products containing glycolic acid.

Glycolic acid is a colorless, translucent, crystalline compound (C 2 H 4 O 3) that occurs in cane sugar, unripe grapes, and sugar beets.

It has numerous skin care uses and has been extensively studied for its resurfacing, antioxidant and collagen/elastin stimulating properties. Glycolic acid may also be used in treating hyperpigmentation.

It is one of the most beneficial, safe, efficient and affordable skin care ingredients available, providing:

  1. it has been correctly formulated and
  2. support is provided throughout its use by a patient or client.

Virtually all commercial skin care products marketed as containing glycolic acid are useless, having been deliberately formulated so as to be either only slightly acidic, pH neutral or even alkaline, effectively neutralizing the compound's benefits.

We're often asked why this is the case and the answer is simple.

This misleading style of formulation allows manufacturers to claim that their products contain glycolic acid while minimizing the need for any after-sales support that would be associated with a product that has treatment activity (read, the potential for side effects).

They simply don't have the resources to train hordes of transient department store and beauty salon employees — marketing is a cheaper route to sales.

Moreover, customers of those retail channels, particularly in the United States, are increasingly getting into the unfortunate habit of simply suing in the event of dissatisfaction. Ironically enough, the result can only be even more inert skin care.

In these environments and instances, glycolic acid functions as a basic humectant and has no unique therapeutic value.

Above a certain threshold, pH is more important than concentration. Glycolic acid works because it is acidic.

30% glycolic acid is not necessarily better than 10% glycolic acid.

If anything, its harder to get a controlled result with higher percentages.

Stay above 5% but below 20%; pH should be no higher than 4.

Glycolic acid is not inherently irritating — the skin's pH is naturally slightly acidic — however where there is excessive dead cell build up that leads to surface irregularities, open pores, acne or other lesions, tingling and redness can temporarily occur during their removal process.

None of these are desirable skin characteristics and all of them can be resolved through the use of glycolic acid.

As these skin characteristics are resolved by glycolic acid treatment, typically so are any side effects.

Other things to remember about glycolic acid:

  • most people who claim to be allergic to glycolic acid have actually experienced reactions to other ingredients in a formula containing inactive glycolic acid.

  • glycolic acid is simply an acidic water-soluble molecule. Its unique benefits are virtues of its small molecular size and pH.

  • don't let hype drown out the facts and inappropriate use prevent you from benefitting from one of the most useful and dramatically effective skin treatment ingredients of our time.

Saturday, 18 July 2009



Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition in which certain facial blood vessels enlarge, giving the cheeks and nose a flushed appearance.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


An abbreviation in biochemistry for adenosine triphosphate.

ATP/ is a compound consisting of an adenosine molecule bonded to three phosphate groups, present in all living tissue.

The breakage of one phosphate linkage (to form adenosine diphosphate, ADP) provides energy for physiological processes such as muscular contraction.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

About Trehalose

  • Trehalose is known to help organisms and tissues survive in conditions of extreme dehydration.
  • Trehalose helps stabilize the structure of the skin lipid system.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Accutane (Isotretinoin)

You should not buy Accutane, or any other regulated drug for that matter, over the Internet because you will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health (and the health of others).

What Is Accutane?

Accutane is used to treat the most severe form of acne (nodular acne) that cannot be cleared up by any other acne treatments, including antibiotics.

Isotretinoin is only for patients who understand and agree to carry out all the instructions in the iPLEDGE program, because isotretinoin can cause serious side effects.

Who Should Not Take Isotretinoin?

Isotretinoin should NOT be used by pregnant women.

Do not take isotretinoin if you are:

  • Pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or become pregnant during isotretinoin treatment
  • Breast-feeding
  • Allergic to anything in it. Isotretinoin contains parabens, which are used as preservatives in the gelatin capsule.

What Are The Risks?

Birth defects (deformed babies), loss of baby before birth (miscarriage), death of baby, and early (premature) births. Female patients who are pregnant or who plan to become pregnant must not take isotretinoin. Female patients must not get pregnant:

  • For 1 month before starting isotretinoin,
  • While taking isotretinoin
  • For 1 month after stopping isotretinoin

If you get pregnant while taking isotretinoin, stop taking it right away and call your doctor.

Serious mental health problems Isotretinoin may cause:

  • Depression
  • Psychosis (seeing or hearing things that are not real)
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Aggressive and violent behavior

Stop taking isotretinoin and call your doctor right away if you:

  • Start to feel sad or have crying spells
  • Lose interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Sleep too much or have trouble sleeping
  • Become more irritable, angry or aggressive than usual
  • Have a change in your appetite or body weight
  • Have trouble concentrating
  • Withdraw from your family or friends
  • Feel like you have no energy
  • Have feelings of worthlessness or wrong guilt
  • Start having thoughts about hurting yourself or taking your own life (suicidal thoughts)
  • Start acting on dangerous impulses
  • Start seeing or hearing things that are not real

Serious brain problems:

Isotretinoin may increase the pressure in your brain, possibly leading to permanent loss of eyesight, or in rare cases, death. Stop taking isotretinoin and call your doctor right away if you get any signs of increased brain pressure such as bad headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, seizures (convulsions) or stroke.

Stomach area (abdomen) problems:

Certain symptoms may mean that your internal organs are being damaged. These organs include the liver, pancreas, bowel (intestines), and esophagus (connection between mouth and stomach). Stop taking isotretinoin and call your doctor if you get severe stomach, chest or bowel pain, trouble swallowing or painful swallowing, new or worsening heartburn, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or dark urine.

Bone and muscle problems:

Tell your doctor if you plan any vigorous physical activity during treatment with isotretinoin. Tell your doctor if you get muscle weakness, back pain, joint pain, or a broken bone.

Hearing problems:

Stop taking isotretinoin and call your doctor if your hearing gets worse or if you have ringing in the ears.

Vision problems:

Isotretinoin may affect your ability to see in the dark. Stop taking isotretinoin and call your doctor right away if you have any problems with your vision or dryness of the eyes that is painful or constant. If you wear contact lenses, you may have trouble wearing them while taking isotretinoin and after treatment.

Lipid (fats and cholesterol in blood) problems:

Isotretinoin can raise the level of fats and cholesterol in your blood.

Allergic reactions:

Stop taking isotretinoin and get emergency care right away if you develop hives, a swollen face or mouth, or have trouble breathing. Stop taking isotretinoin and call your doctor if you get a fever, rash, or red patches or bruises on your legs.

Blood sugar problems:

Tell your doctor if you are very thirsty or urinate a lot.

Decreased red and white blood cells:

Call your doctor if you have trouble breathing, faint, or feel weak.

The common, less serious side effects of isotretinoin are dry skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, and dry nose that may lead to nosebleeds.

What Should I Do Before Taking Isotretinoin?

  • Tell your healthcare professional if you or someone in your family has had any kind of mental problems, asthma, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis (bone loss), weak bones, an eating problem called anorexia nervosa (where people eat too little), or any food or medicine allergies.
  • By March 1, 2006, all patients must be registered and activated by their doctors in iPLEDGE to get isotretinoin. You must sign the Patient Information/Informed Consent form.
  • You must agree to or follow all the instructions in the iPLEDGE program.
  • By March 1, 2006, only prescriptions from iPLEDGE doctors will be filled by iPLEDGE pharmacies.
  • If you have sex anytime without using 2 forms of effective birth control, get pregnant, or miss your expected period, stop using isotretinoin and call your doctor right away.

Females who can become pregnant must:

  • Agree to use 2 separate forms of effective birth control at the same time 1 month before, while taking, and for 1 month after stopping isotretinoin. You must also call and enter your 2 types of birth control each month into the iPLEDGE system by telephone or the internet.
  • Have negative results from 2 pregnancy tests before receiving the initial isotretinoin prescription.
  • Have a negative pregnancy test before each refill
  • Sign an additional Patient Information/Consent form that contains warnings about the risk of potential birth defects if the fetus is exposed to isotretinoin.

Are There Any Interactions With Drugs Or Foods?

Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Isotretinoin and other medicines may affect each other sometimes causing serious side effects. Especially tell your healthcare professional if you take:

  • Progestin-only containing birth control pills (“minipills”)
  • Vitamin A supplements
  • Tetracycline medicines
  • Dilantin (phenytoin)
  • Corticosteroid medicines
  • St. John’s Wort

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know?

  • Do not give blood while you take isotretinoin and for 1 month after stopping Isotretinoin. If someone who is pregnant gets your donated blood, her baby may be exposed to isotretinoin and may be born with birth defects.
  • Do not drive at night until you know if isotretinoin has affected your vision. Do not have cosmetic procedures to smooth your skin, including waxing, dermabrasion, or laser procedures, while you are using isotretinoin and for at least 6 months after you stop. Isotretinoin can increase your chance of scarring from these procedures.
  • Avoid sunlight and ultraviolet lights as much as possible. Tanning machines use ultraviolet lights.
  • Do not share isotretinoin with other people. It can cause serious birth defects and other serious health problems.
  • You will only be able to get up to a 30-day supply of isotretinoin at one time. Refills will require you to get a new prescription from your doctor. The prescription must be filled within 7 days of your office visit.
  • You should receive an isotretinoin Medication Guide each time you receive isotretinoin. This is required by law.

This information reflects FDA’s preliminary analysis of data concerning this drug. FDA is considering, but has not reached a final conclusion about, this information. FDA intends to update this sheet when additional information or analyses become available.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008


Acidic skin care formulas have the properties of an acid, or contain acid; having a pH below 7.

Often contrasted with alkaline or basic .

Saturday, 6 June 2009



Actinic describes the attribute of light (or lightning) or the end effect of a light-related change which is able to cause photochemical reactions (as in photographical and photodamaging processes) through having or exposing to a significant short wavelength or ultraviolet component.

Tuesday, 9 August 2005


Alkaline skin care formulas have the property of an alkali, or contain alkali.

They have a pH greater than 7.

Often contrasted with acid or acidic.

Compare with basic.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Alopecia is the partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows — also known as baldness when it occurs on the head.


late Middle English : via Latin from the Greek alopekia, meaning literally ‘fox mange,’ from alopex meaning ‘fox.’

Also refer Jan Marini Age Intervention Hair for Alopecia Universalis.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

Amino Acids

Amino acids occur naturally in plant and animal tissues such as connective tissues and are the basic constituents of proteins.

  • An amino acid is a simple organic compound containing both a carboxyl and an amino group.

Friday, 7 August 2009


Amphoretic (of a compound, esp. a metal oxide or hydroxide) means able to react both as a base and as an acid.

Wednesday, 28 December 2005


Angiogenisis, a noun used in medicine, refers to the development of new capillaries.


Angiogenic (adjective).


Tuesday, 20 June 2006


An angioma is an abnormal growth produced by the dilatation or new formation of blood vessels.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009



An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits oxidation and deterioration of skin by protecting cells from some of the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals.

Substances such as vitamin C, E and retinol remove or otherwise beneficially interact with potentially damaging oxidizing agents and are the most important antioxidants for the skin.

Without the dedicated use of these key and rudimentary antioxidants no professional skincare prescription aimed at anti-aging can be considered valuable or well judged.

Most topical products are inefficient, in the sense that only a small proportion of their active compound gets into the skin, so concentration and formulation are also vital considerations.

Vitamin C must be able to be absorbed and of 5-20% (maximum) concentration. While increasingly popular, many vitamin C formulas do not not provide this antioxidant in bio-available form and/or suffer from oxidation within days of first opening.

Vitamin E must be pure, naturally sourced, micellized (in the form of extremely small droplets, finer than water molecules) and of 1% or greater concentration. Non-micellized topical vitamin E is not absorbed into skin cell membranes.

Retinoids must be pure and of 0.01-1% concentration (depending on form). Retinyl palmitate is inactive.

While newer synthetic and natural antioxidants are increasingly available, our biology dictates that they are not the most necessary. Idebenone and ferulic acid are some examples of more newly employed antioxidants for skin.

A categorised list of effective antioxidants used in skin care is available.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


Agueous means of or containing water, typically as a solvent or medium.

Sunday, 8 March 2009


An arc is the circumference of a circle or other curve, a curved shape, or something shaped like a curve, such as "the huge arc of the sky."

It can also refer to a curving trajectory, such as in "he swung his flashlight in a wide arc."

In mathematics it indicates the inverse of a trigonometrical function (derived from the former method of defining trigonometrical functions by arcs).

Finally there are electrical arcs, which are luminous electrical discharges between two electrodes or other points.

Thursday, 9 March 2006


An arteriole is a small branch of an artery leading into capillaries.

Saturday, 16 July 2005


An artery is any of the muscular-walled tubes forming part of the circulation system by which blood (mainly that which has been oxygenated) is conveyed from the heart to all parts of the body.

Compare with vein.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Ascorbic Acid / Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid (also known as Vitamin C) is a vitamin found particularly in citrus fruits and green vegetables.

Ascorbic acid is essential in maintaining healthy connective tissue and capillaries and also acts as an antioxidant secondary to tocopherols (Vitamin E).

Severe deficiency causes scurvy.


1930s: from a- [without] + medieval Latin scorbutus ‘scurvy’ + -ic.

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Atherogenic means tending to promote the formation of fatty plaques in the arteries.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Atopic is a noun denoting a form of allergy in which a hypersensitivity reaction such as dermatitis or asthma may occur in a part of the body not in contact with the allergen.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Benzene is a colorless volatile liquid hydrocarbon present in coal tar and petroleum, used in chemical synthesis.

Its use as a solvent has been reduced because of its carcinogenic properties.

Its chemical formula is: C 6 H 6.

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Bioavailability refers to the proportion of a drug or other substance that enters the circulation when introduced into the body and so is able to have an active effect.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Bioflavonoids are any of a group of compounds occurring mainly in citrus fruits and black currants, and were formerly regarded as vitamins.

  • Bioflavonoids are sometimes referred to as "Vitamin P" or "Vitamin PP."
  • They are also known as citrins .

Tuesday, 20 June 2006


A biopsy is an examination of tissue removed from a living body to discover the presence, cause, or extent of a disease.


Late 19th century: coined in French from Greek bios ‘life’ + opsis ‘sight,’ on the pattern of necropsy.

Necropsy is another word for autopsy (a postmortem examination to discover the cause of death or the extent of disease).

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Biotechnology refers to the exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes, especially the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, hormones, etc.

Refer the introduction to Gernetic Marine Biotechnology.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007


A blackhead is a plug of sebum in a hair follicle, darkened by oxidation.

Also an infectious disease of turkeys producing discoloration of the head, caused by a protozoan.

Monday, 1 September 2008


In medicine (or poetic/literary), a corpse.

Cadaveric is the adjective.

ORIGIN — late Middle English: from Latin, from cadere ‘to fall.’

Friday, 5 June 2009


Calcium is the chemical element of atomic number 20, a soft gray metal with the symbol Ca.

Calcium is one of the alkaline earth metals.

Its compounds occur naturally in limestone, fluorite, gypsum, and other minerals.

Many physiological processes involve calcium ions, and calcium salts are an essential constituent of bone, teeth, and shells.

The word originates from the early Nineteenth Century, from the Latin "calx" meaning "lime."

Monday, 25 September 2006


A capillaries is any of the fine branching blood vessels that form a network between the arterioles and venules.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005


Carboxyl means of or denoting the acid radical —COOH, present in most organic acids. "The carboxyl group."

Sunday, 16 March 2008


Carcinogenicity refers to the potential for cancer to be caused.

Thursday, 27 December 2007


A cancer arising in the epithelial tissue of the skin or of the lining of the internal organs.


Early 18th cent.: via Latin from Greek karkinoma, from karkinos ‘crab’ (compare with cancer).

Thursday, 9 March 2006


Cartlidge is a firm, whitish, flexible connective tissue found in various forms in the larynx and respiratory tract, in structures such as the external ear, and in the articulating surfaces of joints.

It is more widespread in the infant skeleton, being replaced by bone during growth.

The word also refers to a particular structure made of this tissue.

ORIGIN — late Middle English, from French, from Latin: "cartilago," "cartilagin."

Monday, 19 March 2007


Monday, 9 June 2008

Cell Division

Cell division is the biological event by which a skin cell divides into two daughter skin cells with the same genetic material (ie., the same DNA).

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Cellulitis is an inflammation of subcutaneous connective tissue.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


Chromatography is the separation of a mixture by passing it in solution or suspension or as a vapor (as in gas chromatography) through a medium in which the components move at different rates.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006


A cicatrix is the scar of a healed wound.

Saturday, 3 June 2006

Citric Acid

Citric acid is a sharp-tasting crystalline acid present in the juice of lemons and other sour fruits.

It is made commercially by fermentation of sugar.

A tribasic acid, its chemical formula is C 6 H 8 O 7.

Monday, 18 February 2008


Citronellol is a primary active constituent of citronella (or citronella oil) — a fragrant natural oil used as an insect repellent and in perfume and soap manufacture.

Citronella is a South Asian grass from which this oil is obtained.

The grass' latin name is Cymbopogon nardus, family Gramineae.

The noun originates from the middle 9th century, from modern Latin, from citron + the diminutive suffix -ella.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006


Coccidioidomycosis is a serious fungal disease of the lungs and other tissues, endemic in the warmer, arid regions of America.

The fungus is Coccidioides immitis, phylum Ascomycota.


1930s: from modern Latin Coccidioides (part of the binomial of the fungus) + mycosis .

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Colitis is an inflammation of the lining of the colon.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Collagen is the main structural protein found in human and animal connective tissues, yielding gelatin when boiled.

Collagen fibers are produced by the fibroblast cells.

There are at least 16 types of collagen, but 80 — 90 percent of the collagen in the body consists of types I, II, and III — types I and III collagen are those found predominantly in skin.

Collagen production in the skin can be stimulated through a variety of means including the application of topical vitamin c.

ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from French collagène, from Greek kolla ‘glue’ + French -gène.

Also see Dermal Collagen and Elastin.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


A colourimetre is an instrument for measuring the intensity of colour.

Monday, 16 January 2012


Comedone is the technical term for a blackhead (comedo for a single blackhead).

Originating in the middle 19th century, from the Latin, meaning literally "glutton" from the word "comedere" meaning "to eat up" ("com" meaning "altogether" and "edere" the verb "to eat."

The former use for the term described parasitic worms.

The term likely alludes to the worm-like congealed matter that emerges when a blackhead is squeezed.

Open pores (made visible by distension from oxidized cellular wastes and comedogenic cosmetics) may behave similarly.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 — The preferred regular home treatment for visibly open pores is now available online. Visit the page for MD Rx Melbourne Dermatology Open Pores Overnight Solution for information.

Wednesday, 10 August 2005


A chemical substance formed from two or more elements chemically united in fixed proportions, for example a compound of hydrogen and oxygen.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Connective Tissue

Connective tissue connects, supports, binds, or separates other tissues or organs, typically having relatively few cells embedded in an amorphous matrix, often with collagen or other fibres, and including cartilaginous, fatty, and elastic tissues.

Saturday, 16 July 2005


A contusion is a region of injured tissue or skin in which blood capillaries have been ruptured; a bruise.

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Corpus Luteum

Corpus luteum is a hormone-secreting structure that develops in an ovary after an ovum has been discharged, but degenerates after a few days unless pregnancy has begun.

Thursday, 13 December 2007


Cosmesis is the preservation, restoration, or bestowing of bodily beauty.

In the medical context, it usually refers to the surgical correction of a disfiguring defect, or the cosmetic improvements made by a surgeon following incisions. Its usage is generally limited to the additional, usually minor, steps that the surgeon (who generally is operating for non-cosmetic indications) takes to improve the aesthetic appearance of the scars associated with the operation.

Typical actions include removal of damaged tissue, mitigation of tension on the wound and/or using fine (thin) sutures to close the outer layer of skin.

Cosmetic surgery is the portion of plastic surgery that concerns itself with the elective improvement of cosmesis.

Saturday, 3 June 2006


A cyst is a membranous sac or cavity of abnormal character containing fluid.


Early 18th cent.: from late Latin cystis, from Greek kustis ‘bladder.’

Monday, 8 October 2007


In biochemistry, a cytochrome is any of a number of compounds consisting of heme bonded to a protein.

Cytochromes function as electron transfer agents in many metabolic pathways, especially cellular respiration.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


Cytotoxins are substances toxic to cells, including skin cells.

Monday, 15 June 2009


To denature is to take away or alter the natural qualities of a substance.

Alcohol in cosmetics, cleaning agents and perfumes is often denatured by the addition of substances which make them undesirable for drinking as alcoholics have been known to consume these in desperation.

Friday, 28 March 2008


Dermatitis is condition that produces red, swollen, sore skin, sometimes accompanied by with small blisters.

Dermatitis results from direct irritation of the skin by an external agent or an allergic reaction to it. Compare with eczema.

Gernetic Melano is a good sunscreen for atopic dermatitis.

Friday, 28 March 2008


Wrinkles form in the dermis.

The dermis is the thick layer of living tissue below the epidermis that forms the "true skin", containing blood capillaries, nerve endings, sweat glands, hair follicles, and other structures.

In briefest summary, the dermis is:


Dermal (adjective)

Dermic (adjective - rarely used).


Mid 19th Century.

Modern Latin, suggested by epidermis.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Diabetes is a disorder of the metabolism causing excessive thirst and the production of large amounts of urine.

The term originates in the middle sixteenth century, via Latin from Greek, meaning literally "siphon" from "diabainein" to "go through."

Monday, 12 June 2006

Dibasic Acid

Dibasic acids are any which have two replaceable hydrogen atoms.


Mid 19th cent.: from di- [two] + basic .

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Diploid describes a cell or nucleus containing two complete sets of chromosomes, one from each parent.

Distinct from haploid.

Diploidy is the noun.

Originates from the late nineteenth century from the Greek "diplous" meaning "double."

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Chiefly of drugs, diuretics cause increased passing of urine.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Eczema is a medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed, with blisters that cause itching and/or bleeding.

Sometimes eczema results from a reaction to irritation (eczematous dermatitis) but more typically it has no obvious external cause.

Children's eczema generally improves over time, however they may always remain predisposed to skin allergies.

If this is the case, they should continue to use eczema treatments.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Edema is a condition characterised by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body.

Also called "dropsy."

Also spelt "oedema."

The origin of the term is in late Middle English: modern Latin, from the Greek "oidema" from "oidein" meaning "to swell."

Edematous/oedematous is the adjective.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Elastase: The Unrestrained Thief of Skin Elasticity

In molecular biology, elastase is an enzyme from the class of proteases, or peptidases, that break down the protein elastin, an elastic fiber that, together with collagen, determines the mechanical properties of connective tissue, providing skin which is firm, full and taut to a greater or lesser degree depending on its quality and quantity.

Elastin is also an important constituent of lung and vein tissues where, as in the skin, it is subject to repeat expansion and contraction.

The primary structural components of the dermal matrix are collagen fibres, elastin fibres and glycosaminoglycans.

All three of these decrease and deteriorate in quality and quantity due to intrinsic and avoidable extrinsic factors to give the appearance of "aging."

Although rarely used to optimal effect, an array of stimulants and protectants of collagen, and to a far lesser extent, glycosaminoglycans are available. [Refer Mature Skin Analysis — Firmness and Elasticity of Healthy vs. Unhealthy Mature Skin.]

Elastin remains an orphan, with no widely available solutions for its protection or replacement.

Accordingly, while you may potentially increase your skin's volume to give it an appearance of greater fullness, you cannot regain its ability to recoil and remain inherently taut as it was in youth.

As if to add insult to injury, elastin production more or less stops by the end of the teenage years, long before most will consider its protection.

Some findings suggest zinc may benefit elastin, however useful forms and concentrations of zinc are absent from most skincare.

Recently, zinc sulphate was removed from the revised Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Formulation although marketing communicates generally enhanced skin protection when compared with the original C + E Formulation.

Unfortunately both very low and very high concentrations of zinc have been seen to increase elastase activity (increasing the rate of elastin breakdown), such topical and systemic zinc supplementation is problematic.

Thiotaine and a chemical compound found in Gernetic Anti-Radical Eye Gel may help prevent elastase activity.

To avoid loss of high quality elastin, at minimum don't smoke, always confer optimal photoprotection for your skin and avoid rough or unnecessary treatment — this includes facials with massage which subject the skin to movement while providing no considerable or lasting benefit.

Thursday, 25 June 2009


Elastin is an elastic, fibrous glycoprotein found in connective tissue.

Elastin is rich in hydrophobic amino acids and possesses properties of mechanical solidity and elasticity that are necessary in reinforcing the inter-cellular cement.

The body stops producing elastin around the age of 21.


Late 19th century.

From elastic + -in.

Wednesday, 10 August 2005


  • In skin care chemistry, electrolysis chemical decomposition produced by passing an electric current through a liquid or solution containing ions.
  • In beauty therapy, electrolysis is the removal of hair roots or small blemishes on the skin by the application of heat using an electric current. It is a slow and painful process which is now considered to be passé.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007


Electrophoresis is the movement of charged particles in a fluid or gel under the influence of an electric field.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Emollients are supple, lubricating and thickening agents that prevent epidermal water loss and have a softening and soothing effect on the skin.

They can be natural, like plant oils; manufactured, like silicones; or processed from a natural substance, like mineral oil.

Examples of emollients incude:

  • cetearyl alcohol
  • isopropyl myristate
  • triglycerides
  • myristic acid
  • palmitic acid
  • PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil
  • glyceryl linoleate
  • cyclomethicone
  • dimethicone
  • hexyl laurate
  • isohexadecane
  • methyl glucose sesquioleate
  • decyl oleate
  • stearic acid
  • octyldodecanol
  • lanolin
  • hydrogenated plant oils
  • shea butter
  • cocoa butter

Thursday, 19 July 2007


Enantiomers are pairs of molecules that are perfect and identical mirror images of each other.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


The endothelium is the tissue that forms a single layer of cells lining various organs and cavities of the body, especially the blood vessels, heart, and lymphatic vessels.

It is formed from the embryonic mesoderm.

Compare with epithelium.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Environmental Stressors

There are factors found in our everyday environment that can cause premature aging of the skin.

Some of these factors include UV light, air pollution, and cigarette smoke.

Environmental stressors can create free radicals which are known to cause damage to the skin.

Antioxidants such as idebenone bind to the free radicals before they can cause damage to the cells in your skin.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


An enzyme is a substance produced by a living organism that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction.

Most enzymes are proteins with large complex molecules whose action depends on their particular molecular shape.

Some enzymes control reactions within skin cells and some, such as the enzymes involved in digestion, outside them.

See the enzymes in skin care reference list.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


Eosin is a red fluorescent dye that is a bromine derivative of fluorescein, or one of its salts or other derivatives.

Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Epidermal Necrosis

Epidermal necrosis is the death of most or all of the cells in the skin due to disease, injury, or reduced blood supply (including complete failure of the bloody supply).

Saturday, 15 August 2009



Seen here in a scanning electron micrograph, the epidermis is a tough coating formed from overlapping layers of dead skin cells, which continually slough off and are replaced with cells from the living layers beneath. The epidermis is the outermost of three layers that make up the skin.

The epidermis is the visible and uppermost layer of your skin.

Its health is public data.

The epidermis is a mere 1/1000th of an inch thick, yet it can give rise to endless trouble and annoyance.

Inappropriate skin care can make its effects on the epidermis seen and felt for anywhere between 28 and 112 days, so you'll want to think twice before you fall into the popular trap of failing its requirements.

When attempting to rectify the health and functioning of the epidermis, you'll need to wait the same duration before assessing the benefit of any skincare you employ.

It is impossible to assess actual and lasting benefits to the epidermis by sampling skin care products, ceasing or interrupting prescribed treatment before such time has elapsed.

If healthy, the epidermis provides an attractive and efficient barrier against the environment and requires minimal skin care.

Among all the skin's layers, the epidermis provides the greatest financial support to establishments and brands providing notional care to liable individuals.

Most skincare coats this layer, leaving the wrinkle-prone, deeper dermal layer entirely untouched.

To re-iterate, the whole appearance of your skin depends heavily on the visible condition of less than a millimeter of skin — avoid compromising its vulnerable health.

Supporting Epidermal Health

Support and enhance the health of the epidermis by:

  1. only using an ideal facial cleanser;

  2. keeping the skin entirely and durably moist with a moisturizer than provides a generous amount of the optimal ingredients required for healthy skin barrier function;

  3. avoiding epidermal aggression or hardening by only implementing acidic skincare products, including those containing alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid and ascorbic acid, as medically prescribed and periodically reviewed;

  4. not smoking and implementing ideal, chronic photoprotection;

  5. never using the Clinique 3 Step System;

  6. ignoring the M.D. Formulations Skin/Onion Peeling Analogy;

  7. simplifying your skin care, and avoiding the bulk of facials;

  8. generally avoiding chemical peels and laser treatments performed in a beauty therapy setting;

  9. promptly repairing considerable epidermal damage with an occlusive balm (such as Skinceuticals Hydra Balm or Vaseline) or a specialised treatment such as Skinceuticals Epidermal Repair.

Epidermal Functioning

The miracle starts in the lower layers of the epidermis, where new cells are continually forming.

As they mature, they slowly work their way to the surface, where after becoming depleted of moisture, they are sloughed off by environmental and deliberate skin care factors.

The Epidermis and Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid may be used to accelerate shedding (exfoliation) by hastening the death and drying of skin cells.

Epidermis Definition

The epidermis is the outer layer of cells covering an organism, in particular (in zoology & anatomy) the surface epithelium of the skin, overlying the dermis.

In botany it is the outer layer of tissue in a plant, except where it is replaced by periderm.


Epidermal (adjective)

Epidermic (adjective)

Epidermoid (adjective)


Early 17th Century.

Via late Latin from Greek, from epi ‘upon’ + derma ‘skin.’

Sunday, 10 July 2005


The epithelium is the thin tissue forming the outer layer of a body's surface and lining the alimentary canal and other hollow structures.

  • More specifically, the part of this derived from embryonic ectoderm and endoderm, as distinct from endothelium and mesothelium.


Epithelial (adjective)


Mid 18th Century

Modern Latin, from epi- [above] + for ‘teat.’

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


Erythema is a superficial reddening of the skin, usually in patches, as a result of injury or irritation causing dilatation of the blood capillaries.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are necessary fats that humans cannot synthesize.

They must be obtained through diet and, particularly after the age of thirty, from supplements.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Essential Oils

An essential oil is a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.

Decleor and Darphin products contain many essential oils.

Wednesday, 10 August 2005


An ester is an organic compound made by replacing the hydrogen of an acid by an alkyl or other organic group.

Many naturally occurring fats and essential oils are esters of fatty acids.

Monday, 18 February 2008


Eugenol is a colourless or pale yellow liquid compound present in oil of cloves and other essential oils and used in perfumery.

Eugenol's alternative name is 4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol and its chemical formula is C 10 H 12 O 2.

The noun originates from the late nineteenth century from "Eugenia," the genus name of the tree from which oil of cloves is obtained, named in honor of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663—1736).

Wednesday, 10 August 2005


A eukaryote is an organism consisting of a cell or cells in which the genetic material is DNA in the form of chromosomes contained within a distinct nucleus.

"Eukaryotes" include all living organisms other than the eubacteria and archaebacteria (very simple bacteria).

Compare with prokaryote .

Tuesday, 20 June 2006


Exanthem is a skin rash accompanying a disease or fever.


Mid 17th cent.: via late Latin from Greek exanthema ‘eruption,’ from ex- ‘out’ + antheein ‘to blossom’ (from anthos ‘flower’).

Tuesday, 20 June 2006


Skin tumour extirpation refers to the complete removal and destruction of the tumour.

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Fatty Acids

Omega 3 and 6 oils, as present in nuts, seeds and salmon, are examples of fatty acids.

Fatty acids are carboxylic acid consisting of a hydrocarbon chain and a terminal carboxyl group, especially any of those occurring as esters in fats and oils.

Although fatty acids are essential to health, and indeed are present in many skin care formulas, some fatty acids present in the skin of acne patients are irritating if built up.

The Benzoyl Peroxide formulas by Jan Marini are effective in treating Juvenile and Adult Acne.

Essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6), taken internally and sometimes used topically in skin care will increase dermal hydration.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Ferulic Acid

Ferulic acid is a natural antioxidant substance most plants produce to protect themselves from the sun and is the product of two amino acids, phenylalanine and tyrosine.

Monday, 1 June 2009


A fibroblast is a cell in connective tissue that produces collagen and other fibres.

Fibroblasts are interspersed among the collagen fibers of the dermis, and synthesize collagen and the ground substance of the dermis (glycosaminoglycans).

The fibroblasts are more numerous and larger in the papillary dermis than in the reticular dermis.

Why do skin fibroblasts slow down their collagen production as we get older, even though they can still produce it?

Fibroblasts in aged tissue start acting old themselves.

When fibroblasts are isolated from aged tissue in the lab and exposed to the same stimulating factors the body uses to kick them into gear, skin fibroblasts once again start producing significant quantities of collagen.

Saturday, 23 February 2008


Lingins are complex organic polymers deposited in the cell walls of many plants, making them rigid or woody.

Flavonolingans are such polymers containing a group of compounds known as flavonoids (occurring mainly in citrus fruits and blackcurrants), substances formerly regarded as vitamins.

Flavonolignans from Silybum Marianum Moderate UVA-Induced Oxidative Damage to HaCaT Keratinocytes.

Monday, 2 March 2009


The plants of a particular region, habitat, or geological period.

Compare with fauna.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Folic Acid (Pteroylglutamic Acid/Vitamin M)

Folic acid is a vitamin of the B complex, found esp. in leafy green vegetables, liver, and kidney.

A deficiency of folic acid causes megaloblastic anemia.

Also called pteroylglutamic acid and vitamin M.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Short for Graffian follicle, a follicle is a small secretory cavity, sac or gland, in particular a hair follicle, the sheath of cells and connective tissue that surrounds the root of a hair.

In botany a follicle is a dry fruit derived from a single carpel and opens on one side only to release its seeds.

Originates from late Middle English from the Latin "folliculus" meaning "little bag," the diminutive of "follis" meaning "bellows."

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Free Radical

A free radical is an uncharged molecule (typically highly reactive and short-lived) having an unpaired valence electron.

Capable of inflicting lasting and degenerative damage to all skin cells and structures, such as the melanocytes (producing tanning and hyperpigmentation) and dermis (leading to collagen and elastin breakdown/wrinkles).

Sunday, 10 May 2009


Fullerene are a family of carbon allotropes, molecules composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, tube, or plane.

Spherical fullerenes are also called buckyballs, and cylindrical ones are called carbon nanotubes or buckytubes.

Graphene is an example of a planar fullerene sheet.

Fullerenes are similar in structure to graphite, which is composed of stacked sheets of linked hexagonal rings, but may also contain pentagonal (or sometimes heptagonal) rings that would prevent a sheet from being planar.

The fullerene was discovered in 1985 by Robert Curl, Harold Kroto and Richard Smalley at the University of Sussex and Rice University, who named it after Richard Buckminster Fuller, whose geodesic domes it resembles.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Galapagos Tortoise

Galapagos Tortoise

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


A gamete is a mature haploid male or female germ cell that is able to unite with another of the opposite sex in sexual reproduction to form a zygote.

Gametic is the adjective.

The word originates from the late nineteenth century from the modern Latin "gameta" from the Greek "gamete" meaning "wife" and "gametes" meaning "husband" from the word "gamos" meaning "marriage."

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Informally, a gene is a unit of hereditary that is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring — proteins coded directly be genes.

Used technically, a gene is a distinct sequence of nucleotides forming part of a chromosome, the order of which determines the order of monomers in a polypeptide or nucleic acid molecule which a cell (or virus) may synthesise.

The word originates in the early twentieth century from the German "gen" from "pangen" meaning a supposed ultimate unit of hereditary, originating from the Greek "pan" meaning "all" and "genos" meaning any one of "race", "kind" or "offspring".

Friday, 19 March 2010


The isoflavone genistein occurs naturally as the major active constituent of soybeans.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


The genome is the haploid set of chromosomes in a gamete or microorganism, or in each cell of a multicellular organism.

Also refers to the complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism.

Genomic is the adjective.

Originates from the 1930s, a blend of the words gene and chromosome.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Genomic DNA

Genomic DNA refers to the complete DNA unit (the set of chromosomes) representative of your complete set of genes (ie. genetic material) in a given (skin) cell.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007


A genotoxin is a poisonous substance which damages DNA.

A genotoxin can cause mutations in DNA and can trigger skin cancer.

Wednesday, 10 August 2005


Glasswort is a widely distributed salt-marsh plant with fleshy scalelike leaves.

The ashes of the burned plant were formerly used in glassmaking.

In times gone by, the ashes of burnt glasswort were used as an alkali in cosmetics formulas.

Thursday, 6 December 2007


Glucagon is a hormone formed in the pancreas that promotes the breakdown of glycogen to glucose in the liver.

Originating in te 1920s from the Greek "glukus" meaning "sweet" and "agon" meaning "leading" or "bringing."

Friday, 28 December 2007

Glutamic Acid

Glutaminc acid is an acidic amino acid that is a constituent of many proteins.

Glutaminc acid's chemical formula is HOOC(CH 2) 2 (NH 2)COOH.

Partially-derives from the word gluten.

Thursday, 26 November 2009



Glycation is a prime cause of intrinsic aging (non-environmental skin aging unable to be prevented by photoprotection).

Glycation is a chemical reaction which permanently reduces your skin's ability to produce and regenerate high quality collagen and elastin — the proteins responsible for resilient skin characterised by structure and elasticity.

Glycation occurs when sugar enters the bloodstream and bonds to vital skin proteins like collagen and elastin, causing them to become more brittle and less elastic, producing the look of older skin, characterised by fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and a reduced ability to "snap" back.

Once sugars bind to your skin's collagen and elastin, the proteins mutate, creating deleterious new molecules, known as advanced glycation end-products ("A.G.E.s").

The fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and reduced ability to "snap" back produced by A.G.E.s are permanent — once established, it is only possible to reduce the symptoms of their outward cosmetic expression.

Preventing and Limiting Glycation

The most substantially effective means by which to prevent the formation of harmful A.G.E.s and to preserve more of your skin's resilience is to cut all optional sugar out of your life.

When doing so, it's probably also a good idea to stop using artificial sweetners as these stimulate sugar cravings.

Adopting a lower-GI diet, which still provides adequate carbohydrates, such as those advocated by Frederic Brandt and Nicholas Perricone, also markedly reduces glycation.

Reducing alcohol consumption and making use of topical and dietary antioxidants can also reduce A.G.E.s to prolong and enhance skin's structure, firmness and elasticity.

Agents to Reduce Glycation

A.G.E.s are the subject of ongoing research, however a combination of agents including antioxidants are likely more effective against A.G.E.s than any single agent.

Worthwhile agents against glycation include carnosine, Japanese green tea, white tea, aminoguanidine, grape seed extract, salicylic acid, resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, carnitine, ergothioneine, carnosine, pomegranate, idebenone, berries, lycopene and pycnogenol (pine bark extract).

Topical Skin Care to Reduce A.G.E.s

Topical products containing substantial concentrations of agents thought to reduce A.G.E.s in skin include:

Green Tea — Topix "Replenix" and Skinceuticals Face Cream.

Idebenone — Prevage MD.

Blueberry — Skinceuticals A.G.E. Interrupter, IS Clinical Poly-Vitamin Serum, IS Clinical Active Serum.

Aminoguanidine — Danné Montague-King Aminoguanidine Spray.

Further Information

Glutathione: Anti-Aging and Anti-Glycation of Skin.

Sunday, 7 June 2009


  • Glycerin is a proven humectant;
  • Penetrates skin and retains moisture
  • Attracts water into the skin and from the environment.

See the skin care products containing and topics for glycerin.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005


A glycopeptide is a short chain of amino acids that has sugar molecules attached to it.

A glycoprotein is similar in structure to a glycopeptide but has a longer chain of amino acids.

Wednesday, 14 September 2005


Glycoproteins are conjugated proteins containing one or more covalently linked carbohydrate residues.

While technically describing conjugates in which the carbohydrate is less than 4 per cent by weight, the term is often used generically to include the mucoproteins and proteoglycans.

Monday, 3 August 2009


Glycosaminoglycans are any of a group of compounds occurring chiefly as components of connective tissue.

They are complex polysaccharides containing groups of amino acids.

  • Formerly called mucopolysaccharides.

See further, more detailed and broader information about glycosaminoglycans.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Haploid describes a cell or nucleus' property of having a single set of unpaired chromosomes, distinct from diploid.

The noun is haploidy.

Originates from the early twentieth century from the Greek "haploos" meaning "single."

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


Hematoxylin is a colourless compound present in logwood (a Caribbean tree that yields many dyes) that is easily converted into blue, red, or purple dyes and is used as a biological stain. It is a phenol.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

High Frequency Glass Electrode Beauty Devices

High frequency glass electrode beauty devices generate skin-disinfecting ozone.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006


Histology is the study of the microscopic structure of tissues.

Histologic is the adjective.

Tuesday, 20 September 2005


Hives is the vernacular for the medical term urticaria.

Like dermatitis and rosacea, hives are an inflammatory response to irritants, whether they've come into contact with your skin topically, or are circulating systemically.

If you have hives, you probably have an allergy.

Hives appear as red, raised and itchy lumps.

They can vary greatly in size and appear in just one place, or spread over the entire body.

Hives can last for anywhere between one day and several weeks in chronic cases.

Thursday, 29 December 2005


A hormone is a regulatory substance produced in an organism and transported in tissue fluids such as blood to stimulate specific cells or tissues into action.

It may also be a synthetic substance with a similar or identical effect.


Early 20th century, from the Greek, meaning to impel or set in motion.

See, for anti-aging topicals aimed at a drop in female estrogen production:

See also phagocyte, leukocyte, cytokine, monocyte and lymphocyte.

Tuesday, 9 August 2005


Humectants are substances in skin care products and treatments used to reduce the loss of moisture.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Hyaluronic Acid/Sodium Hyaluronate

Synthetic hyaluronic acid/sodium hyaluronate is capable of holding 500 to 1,000 times its weight in water depending on the quality/grade of ingredient used.

While an increasing number of skin care products contain hyaluronic acid, only a handful contain high or medical grade hyaluronic acid in significant amounts.

For the most part, its included in products so manufacturers may make token mention of its use in advertisements and ingredient lists.

Hyaluronic acid is a viscous fluid carbohydrate present in connective tissue, synovial fluid, and the humors of the eye.

A list of the skin care products containing hyaluronic acid/sodium hyaluronate is available for reference.

Hyaluronic acid/sodium hyaluronate, can also draw moisture from the skin by evaporation and unwanted hygroscopic actions.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


A hydrocarbon is a compound of hydrogen and carbon, such as any of those that are the chief components of petroleum and natural gas.

Wednesday, 10 August 2005


Hydrolysis is the chemical breakdown of a compound due to reaction with water.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


Hydrophilic ingredients have a tendency to mix with, dissolve in, or be wetted by water.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


Hydrophobic ingredients repel or fail to mix with water.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Hydroxyl (OH)

Hydroxyl denotes the radical "OH" present in alcohols and many other organic compounds, for example "a hydroxyl group."

The word is a blend of "hydrogen" and "oxygen."

Monday, 9 June 2008


Hygroscopic skin care substances are those which tend to absorb moisture from the air.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Hypertrophic Scar

A hypertrophic scar is an enlarged scar.

"Hyper" originates from the middle 19th century from the greek for "beyond" or "exceeding" and "trophia" from the Greek word for "nourishment."

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Hypochlorous Acid

Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid with oxidizing properties formed when chlorine dissolves in cold water, used in bleaching and water treatment.

Hypochlorous acid's chemical formulas is HOCl.

Thursday, 16 June 2005


A congenital or acquired decrease in melanin production.

"Hypo" means "less than."

Friday, 21 December 2007


Immunosuppression is the partial or complete suppression of the immune response of an individual.

Immunosuppression can be induced to help the survival of an organ after a transplant operation.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

In Summary: Oxidation/Reduction and Tanning

Oxidation is defined as the loss of electrons from one atom or molecule to another.

Reduction is thus the gain of electrons.

The best known oxidizing atom is oxygen (02), but it does not have to be involved.

The best known reducing atom is hydrogen.

Oxygen can add two electrons to the six it already has to complete the set.

By withdrawing these electrons the molecule which has lost them is said to be oxidized.

Oxygen first adds one electron.

If another is not added we have an activated molecule or free radical which has a much greater tendency to extract another electron from any electron donor.

In living tissue almost every molecule can be a donor, but in giving up an electron to the 02 it will be altered and may become pathological.

Thus lipids in membranes lose their essential properties by being oxidized.

But if other molecules are freely available which have a greater avidity for these free radicals, there will be a reaction between the two.

The antioxidant and the free radical destroy each other.

The antioxidant is destroyed, but in doing so protects other molecules from harm.

Thus one vitamin E molecule will defend 1000 lipid molecules in a membrane against excessive oxidation (peroxidation).

Antioxidants have two beneficial effects by destroying the free radical:

  1. they prevent a chain reaction whereby one free radical induces more than one new free radical;

  2. they protect membranes, protein and other easily oxidized substances such as vitamins, from damage; thus selenium will spare vitamin E.

Both oxidizers and antioxidants can be classed into natural molecules such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), or xenobiotic molecules.

A xenobiotic molecule is one naturally not found in the body.

Free radicals have a very transient existence in the presence of electron donor molecules.

In a pure state some may be stable, but they may be trapped by electron traps.

Melanin is such an electron trap.

It can quickly soak up and deactivate free radicals.

When one tans in the sun, the amount of melanin is increased to protect the skin against the free radicals induced by ultraviolet light.

Free radicals react with membranes, particularly lipid ones.

They will be less able to carry on their function of protecting cell contents, transferring molecules and communicating with other cells.

They also attack other protein-associated membranes.

One can see the effect of peroxidation on human by looking at those over-tanned people who do not know enough to come in from the sun.

The skin is brown, dry, wrinkled and has lost its elasticity.

One can visualize similar changes in internal membranes.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen (go out in the midday sun). Performed by Ian Bostridge. Written by Noël Coward, 1932.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

In Vitro

Originating from the Latin, meaning literally "in glass" in vitro refers to processes or reactions taking place in a test tube, culture dish or elsewhere outside of a living organism.

Example: in vitro fertilisation.

The opposite of in vivo.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

In Vivo

Originating from Latin meaning "in a living thing", in vivo is the opposite of in vitro and refers to processes taking place within a living organism.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by the islets of Langerhans that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood.

A lack of insulin causes a form of diabetes.

Insulin also refers to an animal-derived or synthetic form of this substance used to treat diabetes.

The word originates from the early twentieth century, from the Latin "insula" meaning "island."

Monday, 22 October 2007


Interleukins are short-lived proteins that are released by one cell to direct the function of another cell.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Ischemia means an inadequate blood supply to an organ, such as the skin, but usually and especially the heart and muscles.

The term originates from the late 19th century (denoting the stanching of bleeding): modern Latin, from Greek "iskhaimos" meaning "stopping blood" from "iskhein" to "keep back" and "haima" meaning "blood."

Also see reperfusion in reference to ischemia-reperfusion.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


An islet is a portion of tissue structurally distinct from surrounding tissues.

"Islets" is also short for "islets of Langerhans"

Also refers to a small island.

Originating from the middle sixteenth century from the Old French, the diminutive of "isle."

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Islets of Langerhans/Islands of Langerhans

The islets of Langerhans are a group of pancreatic cells secreting insulin and glucagon.

Also referred to as the "islands of Langerhans."

Originating in the late nineteenth century after Paul Langerhans (1847—88), the German anatomist who first described them.

Also see Betaglucans, Different Sunscreens Provide Different Sun Protection, Facial Rejuvenation Categories, Gernetic Les Parfaits Creme Jeunesse, the Langerhans Cells Skin Immunity Treatment, an Overview of Aging Skin Rejuvenation Options, Skin Longevity Medicine and Treatment and the Skin Treatment for Maintenance of Skin Quality.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


An isoprene is a volatile liquid hydrocarbon obtained from petroleum, whose molecule forms the basic structural unit of natural and synthetic rubbers.

Chem. formula: CH 2 =C(CH 3)CH=CH 2.

Monday, 22 October 2007


A keloid is an area of irregular fibrous connective skin tissue forming at the site of a scar or other injury.

Originating in the mid-19th century via the French, from the Greek for "crab's claw."

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


Keratin is a fibrous protein forming the main structural constituent of skin, hair, feathers, hoofs, claws, horns, etc.


Keratinous (adjective).


Middle 19th century, from the Greek keras meaning 'horn.'

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


The most abundant cell type of the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin, is the keratinocyte.

These cells contain keratin proteins that provide firmness to the outer layers of the skin.

Friday, 28 December 2007


Kinase is an enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of a phosphate group from ATP to a specified molecule.

The word originates in the early Twentieth Century from the Greek "kinein" meaning "to move."

Friday, 21 July 2006

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is a colorless syrupy organic acid formed in sour milk and produced in the muscle tissues during strenuous exercise.

Chemical formula: CH 3 CH(OH)COOH.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005


Lactoferrin is a protein present in milk and other secretions, with bactericidal and iron-binding properties.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


A lignin is a complex organic polymer deposited in the cell walls of many plants, making them rigid and woody.

Monday, 18 February 2008


Limonene is a colorless liquid hydrocarbon with a lemonlike scent, present in lemon oil, orange oil, and similar essential oils.

A terpene, Limonene's chemical formula is C 10 H 16.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007


A lipid is any of a class of organic compounds that are fatty acids (or one of their derivatives) which are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents.

Lipids include many natural oils, waxes and steroids.

Originating from the early 20th century from the French "lipide" based on the Greek "lipos" meaning "fat."

Also see phospholipids.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


Lipophilic substances tend to combine with or dissolve in lipids or fats.

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is the network of capillaries through which lymph drains from the tissues into the blood.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

MMPs (Matrix Metalloproteinases)

Wednesday, 10 August 2005


A macromolecule is a molecule containing a very large number of atoms, such as a protein, nucleic acid, or synthetic polymer.

Saturday, 3 June 2006

Malic Acid

Malic acid is a crystalline acid present in unripe apples and other fruits.

Its chemical formula is HOOCCH 2 CH(OH)COOH.


Late 18th cent.: malic from French malique, from Latin malum ‘apple.’

Sunday, 20 August 2006

Mandelic Acid

Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid named derived from the hydrolysis of an extract of bitter almonds.

It has been studied extensively for its possible uses in treating:

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


A dark brown to black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye in people and animals.

It is responsible for tanning of skin exposed to sunlight, and is one of the skin's defenses against oxidative stress.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


A melanoma is a tumor of melanin-forming cells, typically a malignant tumor associated with skin cancer.

Melanomas can appear anywhere on the body.

The incidence of melanoma is rising steadily.

The word originates from the Middle 19th Century, from the Greek "melas" and "melan" meaning ‘black’.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


In biology, a membrane is a microscopic double layer of lipids and proteins that bounds cells and organelles and forms structures within cells.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


In biology, a membrane is a microscopic double layer of lipids and proteins that bounds cells and organelles and forms structures within cells.

Originating from late Middle English, from the Latin "membrana" from "membrum" meaning "limb."

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


A fictitious or mythical half-human sea creature with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail of a fish, conventionally depicted as beautiful and with long flowing golden hair.

ORIGIN Middle English : from mere 2 (in the obsolete sense ‘sea’ ) + maid.

Monday, 29 October 2007


See the skin metabolism reference list.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


A member of a group of enzymes that can break down proteins, such as collagen, that are normally found in the spaces between cells in tissues (i.e., extracellular matrix proteins).

Because these enzymes need zinc or calcium atoms to work properly, they are called metalloproteinases.

Matrix metalloproteinases are involved in wound healing, angiogenesis, and tumor cell metastasis.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006


The development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer, or a growth of this type.


Late 16th cent.(as a rhetorical term, meaning [rapid transition from one point to another] ): from Greek, literally ‘removal or change,’ from methistanai ‘to change.’

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Methionine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is a constituent of most proteins.

It is an essential nutrient in the diet of vertebrates.

Methionine's chemical formula is: CH 3 S(CH 2) 2 CH(NH 2)COOH.

Thursday, 11 May 2006


Smaller molecules result in better absorption.

Most topical cosmetic products are inefficient, in part, because only a small proportion of their active compound gets into the skin.

Saturday, 7 July 2007


A microtubule is a microscopic tubular structure present in numbers in the cytoplasm of cells, sometimes aggregating to form more complex structures.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


A mineral is a solid inorganic substance of natural occurrence, a substance obtained by mining, and an inorganic substance needed by the human body for good health.

The word originates from late Middle English, from the medieval Latin minerale, neuter (used as a noun) of mineralis, from minera meaning ‘ore.’

Also see Vitamins and Minerals Necessary for Skin-Beneficial Prostaglandin Synthesis.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Molecular/Cellular Biology: Skin Functioning at the most Essential Level

Molecular biology is the branch of biology that deals with the structure and function of macromolecules (for example proteins and nucleic acids functioning within skin cells, and the cells of those structures found within skin) that are essential to life.

Biological realities dictate that effective skin care products or treatment can only be derived from an understanding of cellular functioning.

It follows that skin care formulae must exactly replicate, restore, assist, revise or otherwise enhance naturally occurring conditions.

This aim is beyond the scope of most "natural skin care" for the simple reason that homo sapiens are not a botanical species.

Skin treatments can only provide sustainable results by:

Saturday, 1 April 2006


A molecule is a group of atoms bonded together, representing the smallest fundamental unit of a chemical compound that can take part in a chemical reaction.


Late 18th century.

From French molécule, from modern Latin molecula, diminutive of Latin moles ‘mass.’

Wednesday, 10 August 2005

Moles (Blemishes)/Moles Per Litre

Moles are small, often slightly raised blemish on the skin made dark by a high concentration of melanin.


Old English - mal [a discolored spot] of Germanic origin.

A Mole is also a unit of measurement used in skin care chemistry:

The SI unit of amount of substance, equal to the quantity containing as many elementary units as there are atoms in 0.012 kg of carbon-12.


Early 20th century.

From German Mol, and from Molekul (Latin?).

See molecule.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


A monomer is a molecule that can be bonded to other identical molecules to form a polymer. The adjective is monomeric.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005


Mucin is a glycoprotein constituent of mucus.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005


Mucoproteins are any of a group of organic compounds, such as the mucins, that consist of a complex of proteins and glycosaminoglycans and are found in body tissues and fluids.

Thursday, 9 March 2006


Myelin is a mixture of proteins and phospholipids forming a whitish insulating sheath around many nerve fibers, increasing the speed at which impulses are conducted.

ORIGIN late 19th century — from the Greek 'muelos' meaning ‘marrow.'

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Nanotechnology is the branch of technology that deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers, esp. the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules.

Sunday, 16 March 2008


A neurotoxin is a a poison that acts on the nervous system.

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Nitrogen is the chemical element of atomic number 7, a colorless, odorless unreactive gas that forms about 78 percent of the earth's atmosphere.

Liquid nitrogen (made by distilling liquid air) boils at 77.4 kelvins (?195.8°C) and is used as a coolant. (Symbol: N).

Saturday, 3 June 2006


A nodule is a small swelling or aggregation of cells in the body, esp. an abnormal one, distinct from its surroundings.


Late Middle English: from Latin nodulus, diminutive of nodus ‘knot.’

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


A nymph is a mythological spirit of nature imagined as a beautiful maiden inhabiting rivers, woods, or other locations.

Chiefly used in poetry and literature referring to a beautiful young woman.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) unit, ORAC value, or "ORAC score" is a method of measuring the antioxidant capacity of different foods and supplements.

It was developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health.

While the exact relationship between the ORAC value of a food and its health benefit has not been established, it is believed that foods higher on the ORAC scale will more effectively neutralize free radicals.

According to the free-radical theory of aging, this will slow the oxidative processes and free radical damage that can contribute to age-related degeneration and disease.

Friday, 21 March 2008


Occlusive skin care substances block or close off the skin from the environment.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


Optic is an adjective meaning of or relating to the eye or vision.

As a noun, optic refers to a lens or other optical component in an optical instrument.

In the past it also referred to the humorous the eye.

The word originates in late Middle English from the French optique or medieval Latin opticus, originally from the Greek optikos, from optos meaning ‘seen.’

Wednesday, 14 December 2005


Otorhinolaryngology is the study of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat.

Monday, 12 November 2007


Oxygen is a colorless, odorless reactive gas, the chemical element of atomic number 8 and the life-supporting component of air.

Oxygen forms about 20 percent of the earth's atmosphere, and is the most abundant element in the earth's crust, mainly in the form of oxides, silicates, and carbonates.

Its chemical symbol is O.

Oxygen skin care is always a scam.


  • Oxygenous (adjective).


Late 18th century, from the French (principe) oxygène ‘acidifying constituent’, because at first it was held to be the essential component in the formation of acids.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Oxytalan Fibers/Fibres

Friday, 16 October 2009



Ozone is a colourless, unstable and toxic gas with a pungent odour and powerful oxidizing properties.

Ozone differs from normal oxygen (o2) in having three atoms in its molecule (o3) and is also known as "trioxygen."

Ozone is formed from oxygen by electrical discharges or ultraviolet light by the reaction of sunlight on air containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.

Ozone decomposition by UV light leads to production of hydroxyl radicals and while this plays a part in the removal of hydrocarbons from the air it also creates peroxyacyl nitrates which are powerful irritants which compromise the skin.

Air pollution depletes the ozone layer in the atmosphere, allowing harmful UVA/UVB rays from the sun to affect your skin's layers, impairing its ability to repair itself.

Inhaled ozone has also been found to convert cholesterol in the blood stream to plaque (which causes hardening and narrowing of arteries). The powerful oxidizing properties of ozone may be a contributing factor of inflammation.

Although ozone was present at ground level before the Industrial Revolution, peak concentrations are now far higher than the pre-industrial levels, and even background concentrations well away from sources of pollution are substantially higher.

High frequency glass electrode beauty devices generate ozone.

Even low concentrations of ozone in air are very destructive. Exposure can produce headaches, burning eyes, and irritation to the respiratory passages.

Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate Lysate is claimed to be especially protective against ozone. The ingredient is found in PCA Hydrating Serum, Replenix AE Dermal Restructuring Therapy PM, SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum and SPF 20.

"Ozone" originates from the middle nineteenth century from the German "ozon" from the Greek "ozein" meaning "to smell."

Also see atmospheric layers.

Ozone References

Tropospheric Ozone in EU - The consolidated report. European Environmental Agency. 1998.

Atmospheric Chemistry and Greenhouse Gases. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

Palmitic Acid

Palmitic acid is a solid saturated fatty acid obtained from palm or vegetable oils.

May also be obtained from animals fats, although Melbourne Dermatology does not use any skin care containing animal-derived palmitic acid.

Some soaps may still contain animal-derived palmitic-acid.

Saturday, 3 June 2006


Papain is a protein-cleaving enzyme derived from papaya and certain other plants.

It is by far is the most widely studied of the cysteine enzymes.

Papain has a mild, soothing effect and aids in protein digestion.

Papain is a sulfhydryl protease from carica papaya latex.

The latex of the papaya plant and its green fruits contains two proteolytic enzymes, papain and chymopapain.


  • Defibrinating wounds ;
  • Preventing cornea scar deformation ;
  • Edema treatment ;
  • Inflammation treatment ;
  • Acceleration of wound healing.

Papain has also been used as a meat tenderiser and as an ingredient in cleaning solutions for soft contact lenses.

Sunday, 10 July 2005

Papillary Dermis

The papillary dermis provides a rich supply of blood vessels, nerve endings and receptors.

Saturday, 3 June 2006


A papule is a small, raised, solid pimple or swelling, often forming part of a rash on the skin and typically inflamed but not producing pus.

Compare with pustule.


Early 18th cent.: from Latin, papula.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Having five rings, especially five fused rings as in many triterpenoids.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Pentapeptides GM and GD

Pentapeptides are tiny strings of amino acids (proteins) that can communicate with cells in specific ways by directly improving or correcting instructions that the cell needs in order to function properly.

Unlike the older far less specific peptides, Pentapeptides GM and GD are radically different in that we can now selectively define the scope of each individual peptide.

This enables us to virtually “program” the desired type of repair or assistance.


Wednesday, 10 August 2005


Pentose are any of the class of simple sugars whose molecules contain five carbon atoms, such as ribose and xylose.

They generally have the chemical formula C 5 H 10 O 5.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


Peptidases are enzymes which break down peptides into amino acids.

Saturday, 27 June 2009


A peptide is a compound consisting of two or more amino acids linked in a chain, the carboxyl group of each acid being joined to the amino group of the next by a bond of the type —OC—NH—.

Review peptides in skin care and the Peptides in Skin Care Reference List.

Also see copper peptides, glycopeptides, hydropeptides, Jan Marini peptides, pentapeptides GM & GD, polypeptides and tetrapeptides.

Thursday, 9 March 2006


Perichondrium is the connective tissue that envelops cartilage where it is not at a joint.

ORIGIN — mid 18th century: modern Latin, from peri- [around] + Greek khondros ‘cartilage.’

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Peroxidase is an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of a particular substrate by hydrogen peroxide.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Peroxide is a compound containing two oxygen atoms bonded together in its molecule or as the anion O22-, as found in hydrogen peroxide, used as a bleach for the hair (a "peroxide blonde") and in Proactiv and Jan Marini Benzoyl Peroxide.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


Phenol is mildly acidic toxic white crystalline solid obtained from coal tar and used in chemical manufacture, and in dilute form (under the name carbolic) as a disinfectant.

Chemical formula: C 6 H 5 OH.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Phlebitis is an inflammation of the walls of a vein.

Monday, 3 August 2009


Photosensitive is an adjective that describes skin cells which have been made chemically, electrically or otherwise reactive to a form or forms of light.

Thursday, 17 August 2006


Phytostimulines are substances plants produce when placed under stressful conditions such as light deprivation.

Thursday, 16 June 2005


The natural coloring of animal or plant tissue.

Saturday, 3 June 2006


A pimples is a small hard inflamed spot on the skin.


Middle English : related to Old English piplian [break out in pustules].

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


A term originating in the middle sixteenth century (of unknown origin) referring to a small wad of absorbent cotton (or other soft material) usually used to stop up a wound or other opening in the body.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


A polymer is a substance that has a molecular structure consisting chiefly or entirely of a large number of similar units bonded together, e.g., many synthetic organic materials used as plastics and resins.

See the skin care products containing crosspolymers.

Thursday, 11 August 2005


A polymeric substance is one which has a molecular structure consisting chiefly or entirely of a large number of similar units bonded together, for example many synthetic polymers.


Middle 19th century.

From German, from Greek polumeros meaning ‘having many parts,’ from polu- meaning ‘many’ + meros meaning ‘a share.’

Wednesday, 13 July 2005


A polypeptide is a linear organic polymer consisting of a large number of amino acid residues bonded together in a chain, forming part of (or the whole of) a protein molecule.

Monday, 22 June 2009



Sunday, 17 June 2007

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation follows healing of certain inflammatory disorders (especially bullous dermatoses), burns, and skin infections and appears in scars and atrophic skin.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs frequently after any laser treatment where skin is inadequately prepared.

In post-inflammatory hypopigmentation skin coloring is reduced, although the skin may not be ivory-white as in vitiligo, and spontaneous repigmentation may occur.

Thursday, 3 April 2008


Tuesday, 7 July 2009


A prodrug is a biologically inactive compound that can be metabolized in the body to produce a drug.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Proenzymes are biologically inative substances which are metabolised into active enzymes.

Saturday, 29 December 2007


Prophylaxis is an action taken to prevent disease, especially by specified means or against a specified disease.

Sunscreens and antioxidants are photoprotective prophylaxis against photoaging.

The word originates from the middle Nineteenth Century from the modern Latin "pro" meaning "before" and the Greek "phulaxis" meaning "the act of guarding."

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Propionibacterium / P. Acnes Bacteria

Propionibacterium / P. Acnes Bacteria

A bacterium that metabolizes carbohydrate, some kinds being involved in the fermentation of dairy products and the etiology of acne.

The bacteria is present on or within all skin, but will only produce symptoms of acne under certain circumstances.

Most notably it requires an environment devoid of oxygen.

Propionibacterium may be eliminated by introducing oxygen into the deeper voids of the skin, through the use of benzoyl peroxide acne treatments, or by keeping the skin's surface and follicles clear of dead cells through the use of either combination salicylic, azelaic and glycolic acid exfoliating treatments (see Jan Marini Bioclear Lotion and Cream; Acne Gel I and II), or Proteolytic Enzymes (see Jan Marini Clean Zyme Cleanser, Skin Zyme Mask, Day Zyme Gel, Night Zyme Cream).

Juvenile acne is treated with benzoyl peroxide or combination exfoliating acids or proteolytic enzymes.

Adult acne is treated using combination exfoliating acids or proteolytic enzymes.

Genus Propionibacterium; Gram-positive rods.

ORIGIN modern Latin, from propionic.

Also see propionibacterium at Skin Care Physician's AcneNet (Glossary).

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Proteases are enzymes that break down proteins and peptides.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


A protein can be any of a class of nitrogenous organic compounds that consist of large molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids and are an essential part of all living organisms, especially as structural components of body tissues such as muscle (see connective tissue), hair, collagen, etc., and as enzymes and antibodies.

Also see glycoproteins, glycoproteins in skin care, mucoproteins, metalloproteinases and La Prairie Cellular Complex Glycoproteins #1 and #2.


Proteinaceous (adjective)


Mid 19th century.

From French protéine, German protein, from Greek proteios ‘primary,’ from protos ‘first.'

Wednesday, 11 March 2009


Proteoglycans are compounds consisting of proteins bonded to glycosaminoglycan groups, present especially in connective tissue.

See the skin care/proteoglycan(s) reference list.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Proteolytic Enzymes

Proteolytic enzymes break down proteins or peptides into amino acids by enzymatic action.

Jan Marini Clean Zyme Cleanser, Skin Zyme Mask, Day Zyme Gel, Night Zyme Cream and Darphin Mild Aroma Peeling are examples of proteolytic enzyme skin care products used to provide supplemental enzymatic exfoliation at home.


Late 19th cent.: modern Latin, from protein + -lysis .

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


A relatively new term, originating in the 1990s (a blend of the words protein and genome) which refers to the entire complement of proteins that is or can be expressed by a cell, tissue or organism.

Now that the human genome has been deciphered, much of the fanfare surrounding it has transferred to the proteome.

Thursday, 27 March 2008


Pruritus is a severe itching of the skin, as a symptom of various ailments.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Psoriasis is a skin disease marked by red, itchy, scaly patches.

Psoriatic is the adjective.

Originating from the late seventeenth century from modern Latin, from the Greek "psoriasis" from "psorian" meaning "to have an itch" from "psora" meaning "itch."

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Skin care ingredient purity allows:

  • isolation of an action;
  • concentration of therapeutic purpose;

... by offering freedom from adulteration and contamination.

Saturday, 3 June 2006


A pustule is a small blister or pimple on the skin containing pus.

Compare with papule.


Late Middle English: from Latin pustula.

Friday, 20 February 2009


Radiation (in physics) is the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, especially high-energy particles that cause ionization.

The word originates from late Middle English (denoting the action of sending out rays of light) from the Latin "radiatio(n-)" from "radiare "emit rays."

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


A radical is a group of atoms behaving as a unit in a number of compounds.

Also see free radical.

Saturday, 7 June 2008


noun [usu. as adj. ] Chemistry

a process in which one substance or molecule is reduced and another oxidized; oxidation and reduction considered together as complimentary processes : redox reactions involve electron transfer.

ORIGIN 1920s: blend.

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Reductase is an enzyme that promotes the chemical reduction of a specified substance.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Reperfusion refers to the restoration of blood flow to an organ or tissue(s), such as the skin and its layered multicellular composition.

After a heart attack, an immediate goal is to quickly open blocked arteries and reperfuse the heart muscles.

Early reperfusion minimises the extent of heart muscle damage and preserves the pumping function of the heart.

Excellent microcirculation also ideally supports the skin's function and longevity.

Refer ischemia.

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Restenosis is the recurrence of an abnormal narrowing of an artery or valve after corrective surgery.

Refer stenosis.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

Reticular Dermis

The reticular dermis consists of dense, irregular connective tissue.

By contrast the papillary dermis is composed mainly of loose connective tissue.

The state of the reticular dermis determines the overall strength and elasticity of the skin.

It also ensures the integrity of epithelial-derived structures such as glands and hair follicles.

The reticular dermis may be maintained and enhanced through fibroblast stimulation achieved by the stable topical vitamin C found in Jan Marini C-ESTA.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


Retinol is a yellow compound found in green and yellow vegetables, egg yolk, and fish-liver oil.

Also called vitamin A .

Retinyl palmitate is not a therapeutic retinoid.

Retinol is a carotenoid alcohol.

Its chemical formula is: C 20 H 29 OH.

ORIGIN 1960s

From retina.

Wednesday, 14 December 2005


Rhinoplasty is plastic surgery performed on the nose.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007



"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

Monday, 22 October 2007


Saccharides are simply sugars — any of the class of soluble, crystalline, typically sweet-tasting carbohydrates found in living tissues and exemplified by glucose and sucrose.

Originating in the mid-19th century from the modern Latin "saccharum" meaning "sugar."

Tuesday, 13 June 2006


Sebum is an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands.


Late 19th century, modern Latin, from Latin sebum ‘grease.’

Friday, 5 June 2009

Selenium (Definition)

Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential to good health but required only in small amounts.

Selenium is incorporated into proteins to make selenoproteins, which are important antioxidant enzymes.

The antioxidant properties of selenoproteins help prevent cellular damage from free radicals.

Free radicals are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism that may contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as skin cancer.

Other selenoproteins help regulate thyroid function and play a role in the skin's immune system.

Sunday, 9 August 2009


Although rare, high blood levels of selenium can result in a condition called selenosis.

Symptoms of selenosis include gastrointestinal upsets, hair loss, white blotchy nails, garlic breath odor, fatigue, irritability, and mild nerve damage.

Refer Koller LD and Exon JH. The two faces of selenium-deficiency and toxicity are similar in animals and man. Can J Vet Res 1986;50:297-306:

The purpose of this review article is to demonstrate the close parallelism of daily requirements, biological activity and minimum and maximum tolerable levels of selenium for animals and man.

In addition, the carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic properties of selenium are discussed and a postulate of how these dichotomous effects may occur in accordance with selenium-induced immunomodulation is presented.

A review of pertinent literature pertaining to the biological action of selenium in animals and man, including deficiency, toxicity, carcinogenicity and effects on immunity, is included to support these concepts.

The predominant biochemical action of selenium in both animals and man is to serve as an antioxidant via the selenium-dependent enzyme, glutathione peroxidase, and thus protect cellular membranes and organelles from peroxidative damage.

The signs and symptoms of selenium deficiency closely simulate each other for animals and man.

Severe deficiency is characterized by cardiomyopathy while moderate deficiency results in less severe, myodegenerative syndromes such as muscular weakness and pain as well as a variety of other selenium-associated diseases.

Clinical manifestations of many of these disorders require contributory factors, such as stress, to precipitate symptoms which are documented for animals and implicated for humans.

Current evidence suggests that a daily selenium consumption for [(wo)]man of approximately 30 micrograms is necessary to prevent the selenium-deficient syndrome, Keshan disease, while approximately 90 micrograms/day/adult should be the minimum daily requirement for optimum biological performance.

Recognizing that humans in several countries do not meet the proposed minimum daily requirement of 90 micrograms, several compelling reasons are presented in deriving this minimal daily nutritional intake.

Selenosis can occur in laboratory animals, livestock, and humans following long-term exposure to selenium concentrations as low as 5 mg selenium/kg of diet (5 ppm).

The selenium-induced lesions for all species are similar, which once again illustrates a positive corollary for selenium effects in both animals and man.

From compilation of available data, the maximum tolerable level for selenium in man could be considered in the range of 1000 to 1500 micrograms/day. This is in contrast to the currently recommended maximum human tolerable level of 500 micrograms/day.

The amount of selenium that can be tolerated, however, is dependent upon individual biological variation, nutritional status and general state of health.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Senescence labels the condition or process of deterioration with age — fundamentally, the loss of a cell's power of division and growth.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006


In medicine, a thing that acts as an indicator of the presence of disease.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Skin Resurfacing by Laser

In both ablative and non-ablative skin resurfacing procedures, the goal is to create controlled amounts of thermal damage in the dermis to stimulate the wound healing process, thus generating a tighter, better organized, "younger" dermal matrix.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Skin Structure Diagram

Skin Structure Diagram

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Sodium PCA

Sodium PCA retains moisture.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006


Relating to, consisting of, or denoting a layer of epithelium that consists of very thin flattened cells: squamous cell carcinoma.


late Middle English : from Latin squamosus, from squama ‘scale.’

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Stable skin care ingredients do not undergo chemical decomposition, radioactive decay, or other physical change.

Ferulic acid has been shown to offer the potential of increased stability of ascorbic acid while increasing its antioxidant benefits, where generally an increase in antioxidant formula stability corresponds with a decrease in therapeutic potential.

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of a passage in the body.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Stratum Corneum

The stratum corneum is the horny outermost layer of the skin.

Originating from Latin, meaning literally "horny layer."

Monday, 6 July 2009

Subclinical Inflammation

Subclinical inflammation is not visible to the naked eye however indicates a source of free radical damage which left unchecked can deteriorate the health of the skin as an organ.

Laser doppler may be used to detect and measure such inflammation.

Saturday, 22 March 2008


The subcutis is the fat layer immediately below the dermis and epidermis. It is also called subcutaneous tissue, hypodermis or panniculus.

The subcutis mainly consists of fat cells (adipocytes), nerves and blood vessels. Fat cells are organised into lobules, which are separated by structures called septae. The septae contain nerves, larger blood vessels, fibrous tissue and fibroblasts. Fibrous septae may form dimples in the skin (so-called cellulite).

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Sulfur is the chemical element of atomic number 16, a yellow combustible nonmetal.

It has a pale green-yellow colour and is the material of which hellfire and lightning were believed to consist.

Sulfur occurs uncombined in volcanic and sedimentary deposits, as well as being a constituent of many minerals and petroleum.

It is normally a bright yellow crystalline solid, but several other allotropic forms can be made.

Sulfur is an ingredient of gunpowder, and is used in making matches and as an antiseptic and fungicide.

Monday, 8 June 2009


A surfactant is a substance that tends to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved.

The word originates from the 1950s, from the words "surface" and "active."

Sodium laureth sulphate is an example of a surfactant.

Wednesday, 20 July 2005


Synovial relates to or denotes a type of joint that is surrounded by a thick flexible membrane forming a sac into which is secreted a viscous fluid such as hyaluronic acid that lubricates the joint.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


A tannin is a yellowish or brownish bitter-tasting organic substance present in some galls, barks, and other plant tissues, consisting of derivatives of gallic acid.

Tannins are used "neat" in leather production and ink manufacture.

The word originates in the early nineteenth century from the French "tanin" from "tan", "tanbark".

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Tartaric Acid

Tartaric acid is a crystalline organic acid that is present especially in unripe grapes.

A dibasic acid, its chemical formula is COOH(CHOH) 2 COOH.


Late 18th cent.: tartaric from obsolete French tartarique, from medieval Latin tartarum.

Monday, 29 June 2009


Telomere Complex

A telomere is a compound structure at the end of a chromosome.

Telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes from damage, and prevent the chromosomes from fusing into rings, or binding haphazardly to other DNA in the cell nucleus.

The loss of chromosome ends has been shown to result in cellular aging of normal skin cells (senescence).

Recent research implicates NAD in the maintenance of telomeres, suggesting that Niadyne's Pro-NAD bioactive ingredients [see Nia 24] retard the aging of skin cells by this mechanism.

Adjective: telomeric.

Origin: 1940s, from the Greek "telos" meaning "end" and "meros" meaning "part."

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

Temporal Bones

The temporal bone is either of a pair of bones that form part of the side of the skull on each side and enclose the middle and inner ear.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

Thermoregulation / Thermoregulate

Meaning to regulate temperature, especially one's own body temperature.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Thymine Dimer

Thymine dimers are sun-induced changes in the DNA of skin cells that can lead to photoaging and skin cancer.

Also see: thymine.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


A tocopherol is any of several closely related compounds, found in wheat germ oil, egg yolk, and leafy vegetables, that collectively constitute vitamin E.

They are fat-soluble alcohols with antioxidant properties, important in the stabilization of cell membranes.

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Transferase is a enzyme that catalyses the transfer of a particular group from one molecule to another.

Saturday, 3 June 2006

Tribasic Acid

Tribasic acids are those which have three replaceable hydrogen atoms.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Triterpenoids are made of 6 isoprene units and include Squalene and Lanosterol.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Saturday, 7 July 2007


Tubulin is a protein that is the main constituent of the microtubules of living cells.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Ubiquinone — Co-Enzyme Q-10

Ubiquinone is any of a class of compounds that occur in all living cells and that act as electron-transfer agents in cell respiration.

They are substituted quinones.

ORIGIN 1950s: blend of ubiquitous and quinone.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005


An adjective used in anatomy, zoology and medicine, meaning of, relating to, affecting, or consisting of a vessel or vessels, esp. those that carry blood, as in "vascular disease" or "the vascular system."

In botany relates to or denotes the plant tissues (xylem and phloem) that conduct water, sap, and nutrients in flowering plants, ferns, and their relatives.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Vascular Epithelial Growth Factor

Vascular Growth Factor is a polypeptide that assists in stimulating new blood vessel formation by helping to regulate angiogenesis.

Blood vessel formation is critical in repairing wounds or damaged skin and it is believed that VEGF is very helpful in increasing blood vessel permeability, thereby enhancing the penetration of other topicals.

Reduces formation of broken capillaries.


Saturday, 16 July 2005


A vein is any of the tubes forming part of the blood circulation system of the body, carrying in most cases oxygen-depleted blood toward the heart.

Compare with artery.

Saturday, 16 July 2005


A venule is a very small vein, especially one collecting blood from the capillaries.

Wednesday, 14 December 2005


In anatomy, a vestibule is a chamber or channel communicating with or opening into another, in particular:

  • the central cavity of the labyrinth of the inner ear;
  • the part of the mouth outside the teeth;
  • the space in the vulva into which both the urethra and vagina open.


Vestibuled (adjective).


Early 17th century (denoting the space in front of the main entrance of a Roman or Greek building): from French, or from the Latin vestibulum meaning ‘entrance court.’

Wednesday, 20 July 2005


Viscous substances have a consistency between solid and liquid, and are said to have "high viscosity."

For example, viscous lava.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin.

The "K" is derived from the German word "koagulation".

Coagulation refers to blood clotting, because vitamin K is essential for the functioning of several proteins involved in blood clotting.

Vitamin K assists in the treatment of capillaries under the eyes and in speeding the resolution of bruises.

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Vitamin PP/Nicotinate

Also known as nicotinate, Vitamin PP is a vasodilator and assists in healthy capillary function.

Vitamin PP can be used in treating broken capillaries, varicose veins and visible capillaries under the eyes which appear purple or blue by enhancing circulation in areas suffering from stagnant blood (de-oxygenated blood appears blue or black).

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Vitamins are any of a group of organic compounds that are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body.


Early 20th century.

From Latin vita meaning ‘life’ + amine , because vitamins were originally thought to contain an amino acid.

Refer the Vitamins and Minerals Necessary for Skin-Beneficial Prostaglandin Synthesis.

Saturday, 3 June 2006


A whitehead is a pale or white-topped pustule on the skin.

Friday, 21 July 2006


Xerosis refers to a condition of dry skin arising out of an inherently inadequate acid mantle.

The skin's acid mantle is its own moisturizer.

When healthy it is naturally slightly acidic and composed of oil (from very fine sebum produced by the sebaceous glands) and moisture (from sweat glands).

Wednesday, 14 December 2005


The zygoma is the bony arch of the cheek formed by connection of the zygomatic and temporal bones.


Zygomatic (adjective). |?z?g??matik| |?za?g??mød?k| adjective


Late 17th century, from the Greek zugoma and zugon meaning yoke.

Also note the facial muscles targeted by facial firming skin care treatments, zygomaticus major and minor.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


A zygote is a diploid cell resulting from the fusion of two haploid gametes, or a fertilized ovum.

Zygotic is its adjective.

The word originates from the late nineteenth century from the Greek "zugotos" meaning "yoked" from "zugoun" meaning "to yoke."

Sunday, 7 June 2009


pH is a figure expressing the acidity or alkalinity of a skin care solution on a logarithmic scale on which 7 is neutral, lower values are more acid, and higher values more alkaline.

The pH is equal to -log10c, where c is the hydrogen ion concentration in moles per liter.


Early 20th century.

From p representing the German for power "Potenz" + H, the symbol for hydrogen.

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New/Notable 2016

Open Pores — Treatment and Prevention

MD Rx Melbourne Dermatology Open Pores Overnight Solution

The Sun



Pentapeptides Ineffective

Asiaticoside vs. Madecassoside for Collagen Synthesis

La Roche-Posay Redermic

Valeant Pharmaceuticals



Azelaic Acid


Avena Sativa


Aster Family of Plants

Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Extract




Salicylic Acid

Capryloyl Salicylic Acid

Open Pores




Ascorbyl Palmitate

Kojic Acid

Algorithm for Optimal Sustained Exfoliation: Glycolic Acid

Comparison of 33 Sunscreens