Every Popular Skin-Care Ingredient You Should Know, Organized in a Glossary From A-Z

Innovative, efficacious skin-care ingredients are popping up regularly, but there are a handful of mainstays that are called out in formulations over and over again. Just like food recipes, skin-care products are made with different ingredients. Each serves a specific purpose — hyaluronic acid plumps, glycerin moisturizers, salicylic acid fights acne, and vitamin C brightens — and plays a crucial role in the overall formulation of the product. More so than any other category of beauty, skin care is very technical, which is great for results but occasionally tricky to understand if you’re not well-versed in all of the ingredients and their respective benefits. That’s why we’ve made a glossary of terms that every skin-care enthusiast should know.

If you’ve ever found yourself muttering, what on earth is niacinamide? or questioning the difference between AHAs and BHAs, you’ll find the information ahead helpful. Consider it your dictionary for all things skin-care ingredients. The world of skin care is a complex one, but with this terminology in your vocabulary, it’s about to get a whole lot easier.

Read on for a full glossary that will help you help you remember what common ingredients such as salicylic acid, retinol, and vitamin C do for the skin.

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