Skincare Dictionary

A basic skincare dictionary so that you can consult the terms you don't know and become an expert in taking care of your skin!

Comedogenicity or Degree of Comedogenicity:

It refers to the ability of a product to clog your pores. It is rated on a scale of 0 to 5.

0: Non-comedogenic
1-2: Safe for all skin types
3: Ideal for dry skin
4: Very dry or damaged skin can use it
5: It is not recommended for the face, only for the body


The microbiome is those good bacteria that inhabit the most superficial layer of our skin. They are in charge of attacking external fungi or bacteria, and of processing the toxins that are expelled from the body through sweat.

* It is essential for both internal and external protection of our skin.


A serum -or serum- is a product with a light formulation that has a high concentration of active ingredients such as vitamins or minerals. They are ideal for deeply nourishing the skin or treating a specific concern. They can be water-based or oil-based, like Gaium's.

Benefits of Oil-Based Serums? They are a two-in-one formulation, as they not only nourish the skin, but are also moisturizing and help prevent moisture loss.

Hyaluronic acid:

Hyaluronic acid is a viscous substance that is naturally produced in abundance by the human body. It is found mostly in the dermis, the second layer of the skin.

Its importance? This substance is capable of retaining a thousand times its weight in water and is therefore in charge of conserving hydration in the skin. In addition, fibroblasts live there and collagen and elastin are contained. In other words, we could refer to hyaluronic acid as a jelly that plumps our skin.

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant when it comes into contact with the skin, mainly counteracting free radicals in two ways:

  1. Provides electrons to neutralize them
  2. Regenerates levels of alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) that helps counteract the effects of these radicals on the skin

Thus helping you stay healthier and younger in the long run.


It is the most accessible form of retinoids, a form of Vitamin A known to have positive effects on both skin with premature signs of aging and acne-prone skin.

When applied topically, it helps to accelerate the skin's natural regeneration process and combat free radicals. Still, full results may not be seen until after 12 months of regular use. Of course, they can have side effects such as irritation, redness and peeling of the skin when they are not used properly or are used excessively. Be sure to check with your doctor first about its use.

It is very important to remember at this point that vitamin A has two forms: retinoids and carotenoids. Both can be found in skin care products, but also in many healthy foods. Consuming them will always be a great way to take care of your skin!


This form of Vitamin B-3 can help build protein in the skin and retain moisture to prevent damage caused by environmental factors. When used topically daily, it helps reduce inflammation and hyper-pigmentation of the skin, as well as smooth and brighten the skin.

When taken as an oral supplement, it is recommended to be consistent for 4-8 weeks to see a noticeable improvement, so it is important to be patient and stick with your normal skin care routine. Of course, eating a balanced diet is the best way to obtain micronutrients such as vitamin B-3, and it should not be forgotten that supplements should only be taken under medical supervision to treat deficiencies.


They are a class of lipids whose composition has a part that attracts water and two parts that repel it and instead attract fatty acids.

They are a key component of Jojoba Oil and, in general, of all cell membranes of living beings. They act as skin permeability enhancers without attacking its natural barrier, and also have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.


It is a very fine tissue that surrounds the organs and muscles. It is between this tissue and the muscle that some toxins accumulate. The good news? We can remove them with the frequent use of Gua Sha and facial massages.


They are small openings that cover all of our skin. There are basically two types of them, those of sebum and those of sweat. (When we say types, we mean that sebum and sweat come out of them). As their names indicate, they help both sebum, which is the skin's natural oil, and sweat to reach the most superficial layer of the skin from the dermis, which is the intermediate layer. Their proper functioning allows the skin to remain naturally hydrated and the cooling and toxin removal system, through sweat, to function normally.

Pores often get a bad rap because of their size or the appearance of "blackheads." However, with an appropriate cleansing and hydration routine, the appearance* of them -pores and blackheads- can be reduced.

*It is very important to remember here that it is only possible to reduce their appearance, because contrary to popular belief, the size of your pores cannot be reduced.


A fibroblast is a type of cell that produces proteins such as collagen and elastin, which maintain the structural framework and elasticity of the skin. In addition, they play a very important role in wound healing.


They are the cells that make up the outermost layer of the skin. They are in charge of making our natural waterproof barrier. 


Ceramides are the lipids that are responsible for joining the corneocytes, that is, the cells of the outermost layer of the skin. If we could make an analogy, the corneocytes would be the bricks and the ceramides the cement. Due to its lipid nature, the ceramide barrier is exclusively permeable by oils.


Substance that when applied externally contracts and dissects the tissues. On some occasions it can produce a healing, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic action. Example: Hydrogen peroxide to a wound.

Moisturizing vs. humectant:

A moisturizer helps your skin replenish water, while a moisturizer helps it maintain hydration -topically and internally-.


These cells are found in the deepest part of the epidermis and have the function of producing melanin, which, in turn, is responsible for producing skin pigmentation. When the DNA of any of these cells is damaged by the action of free radicals, that is when the spots begin to appear.


Botox, or botulinum toxin, is a neurotoxin made by a bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum. As an agent of intoxication or poisoning, it produces botulism, a disease that is characterized by generating progressive muscular paralysis that can be the cause of death by affecting respiratory function.

In cosmetics, once it is injected, it prevents the muscle from contracting, thus avoiding the formation of wrinkles. Its effect is temporary, and lasts between four and six months, depending on each person.

Facial muscles :

They are responsible for all the expressions you make with your face, from chewing to smiling. They are inserted into the epidermis and are the most important muscles of the head. To keep them toned, and thus avoid and correct wrinkles, there are massages and facial yoga.


It is the innermost layer of the skin where energy is stored. It consists mainly of fat cells (adipocytes), special collagenous fibers and blood vessels. It works as a cushion and insulates the body.


It is the middle layer of the skin, also the thickest and most elastic.

In it are the main structural components of the skin, collagen and elastin, connective tissues that confer strength and flexibility, and which are also the vital components of healthy skin with a youthful appearance. These fibers are impregnated with a gel-like substance (hyaluronic acid), which has a great capacity to retain water and help maintain skin volume.

In the dermis are also:

  • Sebaceous glands (which release sebum or oil on the skin's surface) and sweat glands (which release water and lactic acid on the skin's surface as well). These liquids combine with each other to form the hydrolipidic film
  • Lymphatic vessels that are responsible for the transport of toxins
  • Nerve terminals that allow us to have high sensitivity in the skin
  • Hairy roots where the hairs that cover the entire body develop


It is the outermost layer of the skin, the one we see and touch, and the one that protects us against toxins, bacteria and fluid loss. It consists of 5 sublayers of cells called keratinocytes. These cells, produced in the innermost basal layer, migrate to the surface of the skin, maturing until they reach the last layer, the stratum corneum, where approximately 20 layers of dead keratinocytes (corneocytes) are found. The cell cycle from birth in the basal layer to the corneous layer is 28 days, which means a natural renewal of the skin with each cycle.

In most of the body, the epidermis is only about 0.1mm thick, however it is thinnest in the skin around the eyes (0.05mm) and thickest (between 1 and 5mm) on the soles. from the feet.

Skin Layering:

It is to wait 1-2 minutes between the application of one product and another to favor its absorption into the skin.

Vitamin E:

It is one of the main components of the physiological antioxidant barrier in the stratum corneum. It protects lipid structures and proteins from oxidation, eliminating free radicals and hindering the chain reactions that lead to DNA damage and aging. Also, it reinforces the skin's defenses against the harmful impact of certain environmental factors.


It is a word in English that refers to skin care.

Double cleaning:

It refers to washing your face with two different cleansers, to do a deeper cleansing of the skin. First with a pure oil or oil-based one, and then with a regular water-soluble soap, gel, or cleanser. Because it is important? Well, the oil-based cleanser is designed to remove impurities that are also oil-based, such as makeup, sunscreen, sebum, and environmental pollution. And the second cleaner, which is water-based, mostly removes dust and sweat.

However, double cleansing is not recommended on a daily basis, unless you wear makeup, sweat excessively, or live in a city with high levels of air pollution. Otherwise, the ideal is to double clean each week, and use a cleansing oil daily in your night routine.


It is a protein that gives the skin the ability to stretch, contract and always return to its shape. It is found in the dermis, and together with collagen, they are the main proteins that give structure to the skin.


It is a protein that provides structure to much of the body, including bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments. Like elastin, it is produced by fibroblasts in the dermis, and as we age its quantity and quality decrease. Both collagen and elastin molecules are too large to pass through the dermis, so applying them topically has no effect.


The spots are patches on the skin that suffer from hyperpigmentation because the melanocytes, which are the cells in charge of producing melanin (the substance that determines the pigmentation of the skin), suffer damage to their DNA and begin to produce melanin in different proportions. than the rest of the melanocytes. This can happen for various reasons, the most common being melasma, sun spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

  • Melasma: Melasma is believed to be caused by hormonal changes and can develop during pregnancy.
  • Sunspots: Sunspots are the most common. They are related to excessive sun exposure over time.
  • Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: This is the result of injury or inflammation of the skin. A common cause of this type is acne.

Hydrolipid Mantle:

The epidermis is covered by an emulsion of water and lipids (fats), known as the hydrolipidic layer. This film is produced by the sweat and sebaceous glands, and helps keep the skin supple, while acting as an additional barrier against bacteria and fungi.

This protective mantle provides healthy skin with its slightly acidic pH (between 5 and 5.6); making it ideal for skin-related microorganisms, known as skin flora or microbiome, to live and help destroy harmful microorganisms.


Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is one of the B complex vitamins that help the body convert food into energy. Most people get the biotin they need from a healthy diet, but there has been a lot of claim lately that getting more biotin can regulate blood sugar, promote healthy hair, skin, and nails, and help pregnant moms have healthier babies.

Scientists do not fully understand the role of biotin in maintaining healthy skin, however, people with biotin deficiencies may experience skin problems such as red, scaly rashes. 

The influence of this vitamin on the skin may be due in part to its effect on fat metabolism; this process is important for maintaining healthy skin and can be affected in people with low biotin levels. It is important to note that there is no evidence to show that biotin improves skin health in people who are not deficient in it.

Essential oil:

Essential oils are natural oils that have the characteristic fragrance and medicinal properties of the plants from which they are extracted. This extraction is usually done through steam distillation or expression.

Carrier Oil:

Carrier oils are so named because they facilitate the absorption of essential oils into the skin. These are generally extracted by cold pressing oily seeds or fruits. Some examples of carrier oils include Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, Sacha Inchi Oil, Almond Oil, and even Coconut Oil.

Essential fatty acids:

They are fats that the body is not capable of producing, but that it needs for certain functions, which is why they must be obtained through the diet. The only two essential fatty acids for humans are alpha-linolenic ( omega-3 ) and linoleic ( omega-6 ). These are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes. In addition, they help to produce the skin's natural oil barrier, essential for keeping it hydrated, smooth and looking younger. If you don't get enough essential fatty acids from your diet, your skin can be dry, inflamed, and prone to whiteheads or blackheads.

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