\ Skincare Glossary - Sweet Elyse

Skincare Glossary

The world of skincare and beauty can be a confusing place. From the ingredients used in products to the words used to describe skin conditions, it’s okay to feel a little confused. It can be difficult to be informed about skin care when you have no ideas what the common terms mean. This guide will help you to tell your hyperpigmentation from your humectants … You’ll be an expert in no time!


Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition. It isn’t a cause for alarm but the appearance of marks on the skin can lead sufferers to seek advice and help. Put simply, pigmentation of any kind is when patches of skin become darker than the skin surrounding it. The reason that this change in color occurs is that excess melanin forms deposits in the skin. Melanin is the pigment responsible for normal skin color.

An excess is produced for a few different reasons. The most common reason is overexposure to the sun. Too much time spent in the sun affects our skin in various ways. One of the ways is that it encourages the production of melanin. There are different types of pigmentation which have different names. You can learn about melasma, sun spots, post-acne pigmentation, and others, by getting in touch with your doctor or dermatologist.


Humectants are great for those who have dry skin. Put simply humectants are substances that are able to retain moisture. Popular examples of humectants include glycolic acid, which is usually found in super-rich moisturizers. They are very absorbent and for that reason, they are popular amongst those who want softer and more nourished skin.


If you have acne or get blemishes from time to time, you’ll have come across the word comedones. A comedo is basically a spot. Comedone is the plural. Comedones can be open or closed depending on the type of spot. A closed comedone is a whitehead. It has an obstructed opening and can rupture and cause inflammation. You’ll notice this as the redness you see around your whiteheads from time to time.

An open comedo is a blackhead. This type of spot has a wide opening to the skin and is instantly recognisable due to its colour. The reason these spots are black, and therefore called blackheads, is because they oxidise. Unlike whiteheads, these spots are exposed to air. When that happens the tip becomes black.


Hypoallergenic is a common skin care term which you’ll see on plenty of bottles. It means that none of the ingredients that have been used in the product should cause allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin you’re recommended to use these products. The formulas often cause less irritation and are specially adapted for those with any sensitivities.

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