[Beauty 101] Beauty Jargon You Need to Know


By Joyce Chua from THREAD SG

In the world of beauty and skincare, understanding what to (and what not to) put on your face can be a struggle. Sciencey words and ingredients sound impressive, but often leave us bewildered. So, we’re attempting to demystify all the common skincare terms in skincare products:


A popular ingredient in the beauty industry, hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates the skin. It’s incredible ability to trap moisture makes it an excellent ingredient for all skin types — dry, oily, young or old. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that supports youth. That makes it perfect for preventing aging and for restoring youth, by plumping up skin to improve the appearance of fine lines. Not only that, it boasts antioxidants to fight free radical damage too!



We hear about free radical damage a lot, but what exactly are they? In short, charged particles (such as pollution) can cause damage when they come into contact with skin. These harmful charged particles are collectively known as free radicals.




It’s impossible to hear about free radicals without hearing about antioxidants. That’s because antioxidants help repair damage caused by free radicals. Look for antioxidants in your serums and face creams to stay youthful and to repair skin from damage caused by pollution, the sun and more.



‘No parabens’ is an increasingly common phrase on skincare packaging, but what are they and why are they so bad? Parabens are an ingredient used to prolong shelf life and prevent bacteria growth. But they caused widespread fear in the 90s due to suggested links to health issues. You may want to limit parabens, but there’s no conclusive evidence to suggest a major cause for concern.



The literal meaning of this is ‘doesn’t block pores’. Be wary of taking this phrase too literally though, because evidence is on a case-by-case basis. You can’t guarantee a non-comedogenic product won’t block your pores, but you might just be lucky!




Ideal for treating acne, uneven texture and more, salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant that breaks down the bond between dead skin cells. Why is this useful? Well, dead skin cells block pores, causing outbreaks and blackheads. By breaking these bonds, salicylic acid clears skin and, thanks to its anti-irritant qualities, tackles redness and inflammation too, giving you glowing and soothed skin!



Did you know that animal testing is banned in the EU? That means nothing you buy and use in the UK was ever tested on animals. However, the Chinese government still allows animal testing. This means that if a product is sold in China, it might have been tested on animals. The other grey area with animal testing is whether or not the individual ingredients have been tested on animals at some point. Brands that sing about their lack of animal testing will be safe, but if you’re unsure and this is important to you, do your research.


100% VEGAN

Vegan can be synonymous with no animal testing, but also guarantees a lack of animal ingredients too. Like vegan diets, vegan makeup does not include any products produced by animals, such as honey, beeswax, collagen, gelatin and more.


What are some common beauty jargon you’ve come across? Share them in the Comments section below!