Beauty & Nutricosmetic Glossary

The ultimate A-Z glossary to make you a beauty and nutricosmetic expert. This is our insider dictionary on key ingredients and terminologies, that will make you the go-to for beauty and wellbeing knowledge.

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ALANINE

Alanine is known to balance moisture levels in the skin, providing improved hydration. It may combine with epidermal cells to fill up creases thus smoothing the appearance of the skin's surface. 

AMINO ACIDS

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins that make up collagen and elastin. Ageing and a combination of external factors (including UV light and environmental toxins) reduce the level of amino acids in the body. Increased intake of amino acids helps to maintain the skin’s hydration, protect skin from free-radical damage and reduce signs of ageing.

ANTIOXIDANT

Antioxidants help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals, UV rays and pollution. 

ARGININE

Arginine is a powerful anti-oxidant and is known to boost collagen production in the skin. 

ASPARAGINE

Asparagine is one of the amino acids that plays an important role in maintaining healthy and hydrated skin. 

BIOTIN / VITAMIN H

Biotin is a vitamin that helps to maintain and promote healthy looking hair, skin and nails. 

COLLAGEN

Collagen is a protein that is found almost everywhere in our bodies: skin, tendons, ligaments, bone, cartilage, blood vessels, teeth and more. This protein makes up 80 percent of the skin, and its fibres give skin its firmness and strength. Collagen naturally breaks down in our bodies over time but by taking a supplement you can help your body to keep up its collagen levels. Collagen is made up of essential amino acids which help keep connective tissue, hair, skin and nails healthy and help delay the signs of ageing. 

CYSTEINE

Cysteine may play a role in the normal growth rate of hair and may also help reduce the effects of ageing on the skin. It is also thought to help healing after surgery or burns and protect the skin from radiation injury.

FREE RADICALS

Unstable molecules created in the body by exposure to sunlight, cigarette smoke, and pollution that latch onto and damage skin cells in ways that can lead to roughness, sagging, and wrinkling.

FOLIC ACID / VITAMIN B9

Folic acid provides increased hydration by maintaining skin barrier function. This can improve moisture retention and alleviate skin dryness. It is known to significantly reduce the signs of premature ageing by maintaining adequate collagen production

GLYCINE

Glycine significantly improves skin elasticity, improves skin hydration and prevents water loss. In addition, glycine stimulates the production of serotonin, the "feel good" hormone that helps elevate mood, improve sleep quality, and enhance cognition and memory.

GLUTAMINE

Glutamine indirectly increases the biosynthesis of collagen which is the primary structural protein of connective tissue including skin tendons, ligaments and joints

HISTIDINE

Histidine is an amino acid which has an important role in regulating the immune defense, allergic reactions, and inflammatory processes in the body. As for skincare, it's a skin moisturiser that may also protect the skin from certain infections.  

HYALURONIC ACID

Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the skin. HA is the main component of what gives your skin structure, and is responsible for that plump and hydrated look. With age, however, its amount in the skin decreases, which leads to the formation of wrinkles. 

HYDROLYSED COLLAGEN

Found in beauty supplements and drinks aiming to plump and hydrate the skin, these collagen proteins have been broken down into smaller peptides to make for easier absorption into the bloodstream.

HYDROXYPROLINE

Hydroxyproline is a major component of the protein collagen and is thought to play a key role in collagen stability. 

HYDROXYLYSINE

Hydroxylysine is an amino acid uniquely found in collagen. Hydroxyproline has the potential to decrease fine lines and wrinkles when used topically and also helps to increase penetration into the skin of other anti-aging skin care ingredients. In addition, hydroxyproline binds water, making it an effective moisturiser and skin conditioner.

ISOLEUCINE

Isoleucine is used in skin care cosmetics as an anti-aging active ingredient which promotes the skin's natural ability to regenerate, thus strengthening the skin's barrier. Isoleucine also stimulates cell renewal in the deeper skin layers and provides more resilience and elasticity.

IODINE

Iodine regulates the skin's moisture levels and also aids healing of scars, cuts and helps in skin repair. 

LEUCINE

Leucine is thought to help regenerate ageing skin and reduce fine lines and sagging. It is said to create firmer, more supple skin and increase elasticity by repairing ageing skin tissue. 

LYSINE

Studies show that Lysine helps to build collagen in the skin. Collagen is the structure responsible for skin's elasticity and firmness. 

METHIONINE

Methionine is an amino acid that improves the tone and elasticity of the skin, promotes healthy hair and strengthens the nails. 

NIACIN

Niacin helps to strengthen skin and improve elasticity whilst reducing redness. It also helps to treat hyperpigmentation. 

PHENYLALANINE

Phenylalanine is primarily used as a skin and hair conditioning agent. It also has a medicinal use in skin discolouration. It keeps skin and hair hydrated. It also reduces wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots formed on the skin due to ageing and exposure to external factors.

PROLINE

Proline is an amino acid that is primarily used in anti-ageing skincare products because of its ability to help improve skin elasticity, increase collagen production, and promote skin repair and regeneration.

RETINOL

A derivative of vitamin A used to stimulate the turnover of skin cells and increase collagen production.

SELENIUM

Selenium ensures skin remains firm and protected. Selenium stops free radical damage before premature wrinkles have a chance to form. It also helps to protect cell membranes against UV damage, inflammation and pigmentation.

SERINE

Serine is used in the cosmetic and personal care industry as a skin conditioning agent, anti-static agent, and hair conditioning agent because of its ability to replenish cysteine levels in the hair to keep it strong and smooth.

TRYPTOPHAN

The body uses tryptophan to make several important molecules, including serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin influences mood, cognition and behaviour, while melatonin influences your sleep-wake cycle. 

THREONINE

Threonine helps keep connective tissues and muscles throughout the body strong and elastic. It is considered helpful in building strong bones, tooth enamel, and is considered a wound healer.

TYROSINE

Tyrosine is used to improve alertness, attention and focus. It produces important brain chemicals that help nerve cells communicate and may even regulate mood. 

VALINE

Valine helps stimulate muscle growth and regeneration and is involved in energy production. It is is essential for mental focus, muscle coordination, and emotional calm.

VITAMIN A

Is a key vitamin when it comes to the health of our skin, hair and nails. That is why it is often an invaluable component of skin and hair supplements. The use of vitamin A is particularly important for dry and acne-prone skin. It helps the skin to maintain an adequate level of hydration, thanks to which the skin is more elastic and softer. It also helps in the fight against signs of ageing such as wrinkles. It proves helpful in reducing stretch marks or symptoms of flaky skin.

VITAMIN B12

Vitamin B12 helps to regulate the production of pigment in the skin, helping to prevent dark spots and pigmentation. It also assists the body with the metabolism of protein which, in turn, promotes the growth of healthy skin cells and helps to repair damaged skin.

VITAMIN B6

Vitamin B6 is required by the body for the development of red blood cells, cell production and protein metabolism, which assists with the growth and repair of the skin cells. It can also help to regulate some of the hormone irregularities which can cause acne, helping to contribute to clearer calmer skin. 

VITAMIN C

An antioxidant that boosts collagen production and inhibits pigment formation. It also contributes to reducing wrinkles and skin healing.

VITAMIN E (TOCOPHEROL)

This moisturising antioxidant protects against free-radical damage.

ZINC

Zinc helps skin heal after an injury. It's needed to keep cell walls stable and for cells to divide and specialise as they grow. Zinc may also protect skin from UV damage and also acts like an antioxidant.