glossary

A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W Z

A

Acerola

[noun] Acerola is the edible berry of a wild shrub of the same name that is native to tropical and subtropical regions, such as South America and the Caribbean. While low in calories and very low in sugar, acerola is valued for its very high vitamin C content. The berry’s antioxidant action helps fight the free radicals and oxidative stress responsible for premature skin ageing.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.

Active ingredient

[noun] An active ingredient or a cosmetic active ingredient is a molecule present in a cosmetic product in a sufficient percentage to have an identified benefit. Active ingredients, which may have natural, biotechnological or synthetic origins, are what make a formula effective. As a general rule, a cosmetic formula also includes solvents (such as water), excipients (vegetable oils, fatty acids, etc.), adjuvants (stabilisers, emulsifiers, etc.) and sometimes additives (fragrances, dyes). All a formula’s components are listed in the INCI list.

AHA BHA

[noun] AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, and BHAs, or beta hydroxy acids, work to chemically exfoliate the skin, meaning they are able to dissolve the bonds that keep dead skin cells clinging to surface of the epidermis, making it easier to remove them. Exfoliation is essential to cellular renewal.

AHAs are water-soluble. The most widely used AHA is glycolic acid, with a low molecular weight that means it can quickly penetrate the skin. They have what is called keratolytic action, as the molecule dissolves the keratin proteins that exist between the dead cells. BHAs act on the surface and are fat-soluble (meaning oil-soluble). They are recommended for normal to oily skin that may be prone to blemishes. The best-known BHA is salicylic acid, a very effective molecule that is also valued for its soothing and cleansing properties.

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Allantoin

[noun] Allantoin is a pure molecule and an active ingredient used in cosmetics for its soothing and restorative properties. It is particularly suitable for sensitive, irritated or blemish-prone skin. It works as a moisturiser, as well, helping to preserve the hydrolipidic film, thereby maintaining the skin’s ideal hydration level.

Antioxidants

[noun] Antioxidant agents combat the oxidation of cellular and tissue structures caused by free radicals, which contributes to premature skin ageing. There are many antioxidant agents, some being synthetic (tocopherol derivative or vitamin C derivative) and some of botanical origin (such as mango leaf extract).

Artichoke

[noun] The artichoke, halfway between a vegetable and a plant, is actually a thornless variety of wild thistle. It has long been used in traditional medicine, especially in its native territory of the Mediterranean basin. Artichokes are high in vitamin B9, calcium, magnesium and potassium and are also known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are especially recommended for use in detoxification diets or treatments.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.

B

Beta-carotene

[noun] Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, being transformed into retinol – the active form of vitamin A – during digestion. This orange plant pigment is well-known for its antioxidant action that helps neutralise the free radicals which, when too abundant, contribute to premature skin ageing. It also fosters the synthesis of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin’s colour and therefore tanning. Some foods have exceptionally high beta-carotene content, such as carrots, red peppers, spinach, apricots and mangos.

Biotin

[noun] Biotin, or vitamin B8, is a coenzyme (a molecule that helps enzymes perform their actions) that participates in the metabolism of fatty acids, carbohydrates and amino acids, meaning it helps convert food into energy the body can utilise. As the human body cannot produce its own biotin, it is important to ensure a sufficient daily intake through external means. It is naturally present in egg yolks, legumes, nuts and seeds or can be taken in food supplements.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.

Bisabolol

[noun] This active ingredient was discovered in 1951 in chamomile flower extracts, then in many other medicinal plants. Bisabolol is often used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic formulations as a skincare for sensitive skin, for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibacterial properties.

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C

Cellular renewal

[noun] The skin is a living organ and its cells have their own natural life cycle. Cellular renewal is the process of shedding dead cells and creating new ones. “Young” cells, or keratinocytes, are produced in the basal layer at the base of the epidermis. Then, as the days pass, the cells rise to the skin’s surface and turn into dead cells. This means that the epidermis is naturally renewed in a period of 21 to 28 days.

Collagen

[noun] Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body (more than 30% of all proteins) and one of the major components of many tissues, including bones, teeth and skin. In the skin, the fibroblasts in the dermis ensure the synthesis of two proteins, collagen and elastin, that are essential to skin’s suppleness, firmness and elasticity.

D

Dark spots

[noun] A dark spot or pigment spot is an alteration of the skin’s usual colour. It can be hypopigmented (lighter) or hyperpigmented (brown). Several factors can cause these spots to appear.

Most often it is exposure to UV rays coupled with an additional factor. The colour of the skin is the result of the association of several pigments (melanins) produced by cells called melanocytes. During exposure to UV rays, melanocytes increase their production of melanin, leading to a change in the skin’s pigmentation: tanning. This plays a natural protective role against the sun. During prolonged exposure, overproduction of melanin can lead to dysregulation and the appearance of visible spots on the surface of the epidermis.

Furthermore, skin ageing slows the natural renewal of the epidermis, meaning the melanin-containing cells remain on its surface, which can contribute to the appearance of spots.

Hormonal shifts linked to pregnancy can also play a role in the appearance of pigmented facial flaws.

Dead cells

[noun] Dead cells or corneocytes make up the stratum corneum, the most superficial layer of the epidermis. The epidermis is made up of layered keratinocytes, which evolve and migrate toward the skin’s surface, turning into corneocytes.

Corneocytes are flattened, keratin-rich cells that form an effective protective barrier on the skin. Once they have accumulated on the surface, these dead cells detach from each other, falling away to create space for younger cells. This cellular-renewal process continues for 21 to 28 days, the time required for these cells to migrate to the skin’s surface.

E

Elastin

[noun] Elastin is a protein found in the dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis) whose components influence skin’s elasticity and firmness. It serves to bind collagen fibres. In young skin, elastin fibres are slender and stretchy, but tend to thicken, weaken and lose effectiveness as skin ages.

Enzyme

[noun] An enzyme is a protein produced by the body that is essential to cellular biochemical activity. Enzymes have been used since time immemorial in fermentation processes, such as making wine and bread. In recent years, they have begun appearing in our cosmetics, particularly fruit enzymes from pineapple, fig, papaya and the like. They provide the skin with gentle chemical exfoliation that is often less abrasive, more homogeneous and more effective than mechanical exfoliation.

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Epidermis

[noun] The epidermis, a term referring to the outer and superficial layer of the skin covering the dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis), and the hypodermis (the layer beneath the dermis) is primarily composed of stacked cells called keratinocytes. There are four superimposed layers (from the bottommost to the surface): stratum basale (basal layer), stratum spinosum (spiny layer), stratum granulosum (granular layer), and stratum corneum (horny layer). The epidermis is intersected by hairs, the sweat glands responsible for producing perspiration, and the sebaceous glands responsible for producing sebum. Its principal function is to protect the body from outside elements.

Exfoliation

[noun] Exfoliation entails removing, through use of exfoliating agent, the dead cells on the surface of the epidermis. Exfoliation has multiple benefits: it promotes cell renewal, cleans the pores, smooths skin texture and restores the complexion’s natural radiance. There are three types of exfoliation:

  • Mechanical (or physical) exfoliation: these are scrubbing mixtures containing granules that can be either synthetic or natural, such as sugar or sand. For such exfoliation to be effective, the scrub must be rubbed over skin surface, causing the granules or grains to loosen and remove the dead skin cells. The granules may be of varying size, with finer grains being more suitable for use on the face and larger granules for body exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation can also be accomplished using certain accessories, such as cleansing brushes with nubs or bristles suited to face or body use.

The next two categories of exfoliation are known as “grainless” and both work through chemical reactions on the skin. They do, however, have several distinct differences:

  • Enzymatic exfoliation: here, the exfoliating agents are enzymes, chemically proteins, sourced from fruit. Technically, they act as a catalyst or accelerator to more quickly dissolve the proteins of dead cells so as to stimulate desquamation (shedding or removal of the stratum corneum). The action of enzymes, compared to that of acids, is lighter, gentler and progressive, as it acts selectively, working only on dead cells. Papain (from papaya) is the enzyme selected for use in the formulation of certain myBlend products, particularly in the range of cleansers for gentle daily exfoliation.
  • Chemical exfoliation with acids: in this case, the exfoliating agents are acids (synthetic or natural), which also dissolve the bonds holding the dead cells to the skin’s surface, making them easier to eliminate. Acids penetrate more deeply and can act on cells as far down as the secondary layers of the epidermis to promote cell renewal.
    The best-known acids are AHAs – alpha hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid) – and BHAs – beta hydroxy acids (like salicylic acid). The maximum concentration thresholds differ for acid-containing products and, above a certain concentration, they are reserved for use by medical professionals only.

F

Fair for Life

[proper noun] Fair For Life, established in 2006 in Switzerland, is an international certification programme for fair trade in agriculture, manufacturing and trade to support socially and economically disadvantaged producers. A Fair For Life-certified product is considered “fair” when all points of its supply chain meet the FFL standards. For more information, visit the site.

Fermentation

[noun] The fermentation process, used for thousands of years to make wine or preserve vegetables, is now widespread in many industrial processes, including in the cosmetics industry. Fermentation occurs when microorganisms and enzymes, set within specific conditions (temperature, oxygen level, etc.), will biochemically modify another organic matter.

For plants, there are two ways to initiate the fermentation process: through the supply of external microorganisms (ferments) or by using the microorganisms the plant itself hosts.

Fermentation is a process that has been tested and proven. Fermented plants have demonstrated optimised active properties as well as beneficial effects on the skin microbiota.

In myBlend products, fermented turmeric was selected to be incorporated in formulations. Once fermented, this plant has anti-inflamm’ageing properties: protecting the skin from the effects of ageing by virtue of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action.

Fermented turmeric

[noun] Turmeric has long been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory and healing agent, most often to treat skin diseases. Today, turmeric is known to be a powerful antioxidant and effective in protecting the body’s natural defences through turmeric skincare.

The fermentation of turmeric boosts its positive attributes: first, it strengthens the plant’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, so it better protects against the effects of skin ageing; second, the sugars and acids produced by the ferments are beneficial to the skin and its microbiota.

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Fibroblast

[noun] A fibroblast is the skin cell responsible for synthesising the parts of the dermis – the extracellular fibres (collagen and elastin) and matrix (hyaluronic acid). Skin ageing causes a decrease in fibroblast function and, as a result, in the production of the elements fibroblasts manufacture. Skin tends to become thinner, less supple, less plump, while wrinkles appear.

Free radicals

[noun] Free radicals are oxidising molecules that are generated by various external factors, such as exposure to UV rays (leading cause), stress, pollution, blue light from screens or smoking tobacco. Oxidation, generated by free radicals, is not a problem as long as the latter are not too abundant. If they multiply, the cells are saturated with oxygen. This oxidative stress causes signs of premature skin ageing to appear: loss of skin elasticity and formation of wrinkles.

G

Galenic

[noun] There are three different forms of galenics for cosmetic products:

  • Dispersions, rich emulsions for a cream texture or light emulsions for a fluid texture.
  • Anhydrous forms that are waterless, such as balms and powders.
  • Aqueous forms, including lotions and gels.

Glycolic acid

[noun] Glycolic acid is the AHA (α-hydroxy acid) that is recognised as the most effective. It is the smallest, simplest and most widely used AHA. This active ingredient, be it of natural (sugar cane extract) or synthetic origin, has been clinically proven to be effective on the signs of ageing (dark spots, firmness, wrinkles, radiance).

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Grape seeds

[noun] Grape seeds are naturally rich in polyphenols, particularly in oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). These compounds have significant antioxidant capabilities, especially as they act synergistically with vitamin C and vitamin E.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.

H

Hexylresorcinol

[noun] Hexylresorcinol is a synthetic molecule derived from resorcinol that has long been recognised for its pharmacological properties. Having antioxidant and lightening properties, it is used in cosmetics and food preparations.

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Hyaluronic acid

[noun] Hyaluronic acid, which is naturally present in the skin, can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It is primarily responsible for skin density and is an essential molecule in hyaluronic acid skincare for ensuring skin hydration and structural tone.

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Hydrolipidic film

[n.m] The outer surface of the epidermis is covered by a protective film composed of a mixture of aqueous (or hydro) elements, water resulting from perspiration; and oily (or lipo) elements, essentially sebum. This film is commonly called the hydrolipidic film, the name born of the hydro and lipo duality. It has a twofold function:

  • By virtue of its acidity (see skin PH), it plays a regulatory role in balancing the microorganisms (bacteria, microbes) on the skin’s surface and keeps them from penetrating the skin.
  • Having low permeability, it also helps maintain an ideal hydration level for the skin.

Numerous factors, including age, poor diet and unsuitable skincare products, can lead to an imbalance in the film, thereby affecting its role as a skin barrier.

I

INCI

[noun] The INCI list (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) has been the industry’s mandatory nomenclature since 1999, making it possible to identify the ingredients listed as present in a given cosmetic product. These ingredients are listed in descending order based on the amount used in the product. It must be displayed on the product packaging.

K

Keratinocyte

[noun] Keratinocytes (which produce keratin) are the main cells composing the epidermis, arranged in layers stacked on top of one another. These cells are formed from basal keratinocytes located in the deepest part of the epidermis and then rise to the surface, where they die and turn into dead cells. In this way, the epidermis is naturally renewed over a period of 21 to 28 days, the time required for these cells to migrate to the surface.

Keratolytic

[noun] A keratolytic agent is an exfoliating agent (see exfoliation) that helps remove dead cells from the uppermost layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum. There are several types of keratolytic agents, such as AHAs and BHAs.

L

Lactic acid

[noun] Lactic acid is part of the AHA family, an alpha hydroxy acid. It is naturally present in the skin and is frequently used in cosmetics, often as a PH regulator. This means it helps eliminate the bad bacteria found on the epidermal surface so that the remaining bacteria are only those that strengthen the hydrolipidic film. Its keratolytic action eliminates dead cells, making facial skin more even and radiant. This molecule is thicker than glycolic acid and does not penetrate the epidermis as deeply, meaning its action is very well tolerated by sensitive skin.

M

Malic acid

[noun] Malic acid is one of the main acids found in fruits (apples, berries, stone fruits, grapes and others) and is naturally produced by the human body. When consumed as part of a balanced diet, malic acid is known for its virtues for the liver and for helping the body release energy from food when the cells lack oxygen (such as during physical effort). It is also an acidity regulator and used as a preservative in food preparations.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.

Mattifying

[noun] The skin naturally secretes sebum to protect itself from harsh external elements. If there is excess secretion of this oily substance, it can cause the face to develop an unwanted shiny appearance. A mattifying product absorbs excess sebum to reduce this shiny look and leave skin feeling clean and smooth once again.

Melanocytes

[noun] Each of us has a unique colour of skin created by a combination of several pigments that are collectively referred to as melanin. Melanocytes are the cells responsible for producing melanin. When exposed to UV rays, melanocytes increase their melanin production, leading to a change in the skin’s pigmentation: tanning. This plays a natural protective role, but too much exposure, along with other external factors, can lead to an imbalance in melanin production, giving rise to the appearance of dark pigment spots.

Microbiota

[n.m] Our body is inhabited by a multitude of living microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, yeasts, etc.) that collectively form what is called the microbiota or flora.

  • The intestinal microbiota in our digestive ecosystem.
  • The cutaneous microbiota on the skin.

The intestinal microbiota or intestinal flora is composed of some 100 trillion microorganisms. Each human’s flora is unique, evolving throughout the host’s life and, when in balance, performing several essential functions:

  • Food digestion: the microbiota’s microorganisms work to ferment indigestible food, make vitamins, digest fibres, etc.
  • Immunity support: while many bacteria have a beneficial effect on the body, some can be harmful. The intestinal microbiota protects the body against harmful bacteria, helping make our immune system more mature. Nearly 60% of the human body’s immune cells are located in the intestine.

The skin microbiota is composed of a variety of microorganisms. It is unique to each individual, just like the intestinal flora, and depends on a number of variables, such as skin PH, living environment, age, etc. The microbiota is the outermost layer after the stratum corneum and plays several roles:

  • Balancing skin acidity: it keeps the skin’s PH at around 5.5, a slightly acidic level that protects against harmful bacteria and harsh external elements.
  • Protection, anti-infective: the bacteria naturally present on our skin (also called commensal bacteria) protect our body by strengthening the skin barrier and stimulating our immune system to fight pathogenic bacteria.
  • Repair: even if it has been damaged, the skin microbiota can reconstitute on its own to quickly return to acting as a protective barrier. If the skin is wounded, the microbiota will stimulate keratinocytes and immune cells to protect the area from infectious agents.

Molecular weight

[n.m.] The concept of molecular weight is used to measure a molecule’s size. High molecular weight is when a molecule weighs more than 1,000 kDa (kiloDalton). Low molecular weight is between 5 and 50 kDa.

The larger a molecule, the longer it stays on the skin’s surface. Smaller molecules manage to slip between the intercellular spaces to reach the lower layers of the epidermis.

The hyaluronic acid used in formulating myBlend products is composed of both high and low molecular weights. The high weight moisturises the skin’s surface while forming a protective film to prevent drying. The low weight is absorbed, meaning it can reinforce hydration in the lower layers of the skin.

N

Natural flavour

[noun] A natural flavour is an ingredient used primarily to add a specific taste and/or smell to a food or a food preparation. It is sourced exclusively from a natural product through one of various techniques: infusion, dehydration, distillation, etc. When “Natural X flavour” appears on a label, it means a flavour of 100% natural origin, at least 95% of which is obtained from the product X.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.

Niacin

[noun] Niacin or vitamin B3 is composed of two compounds: nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, which have the same biological activity. They are precursors of enzymes essential to many metabolic reactions: DNA repair, energy production within cells, manufacture of certain lipids, etc. Niacin is naturally present in many plant- and animal-sourced foods, including poultry, oily fish and peanuts.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.

O

Organic shea butter

[noun] The shea tree is endemic to the African continent. It grows to a height of 10 to 15 metres and is considered sacred by local peoples. Being very robust, it can live two or three hundred years. The fruit of the shea tree grows in clusters. After harvest, these are sun-dried and the fruit is then stripped of its pulp through various fermentation and cleaning operations. The inner kernel is removed and then crushed, roasted and churned to form a paste which, once plunged in boiling water, results in shea butter. With its high acid content, organic shea butter has nutritious properties that create comforting skincare formulas, while having a richer texture than shea oil. The organic shea butter used at myBlend comes from the controlled Fair For Life supply chain.

Oxidation

[noun] The oxidation of cells is a natural process stemming from cells’ oxygen consumption. External factors such as UV exposure, pollution and tobacco use can also induce the production of pro-oxidant free radicals. Cells are able to respond by activating natural antioxidant systems, but if oxidation exceeds a certain threshold, cells and tissues can be damaged in what is known as oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress

[noun] Oxidative stress is a condition caused by an excessive production of free radicals exceeding the natural defence capacities of the cells, thereby causing excessive cellular oxidation, damaging cells and tissues.

P

Peptides

[noun] Peptides are protein fragments or amino-acid chains, small molecules naturally present in the body, in various forms, that play a key role in sending signals that stimulate metabolic reactions.

Peptides in skincare are used primarily to revive the skin’s natural mechanisms, which weaken over time, thereby helping to slow skin ageing.

Peptides are easy to reproduce synthetically, but peptide technology, when used to reproduce the exact sequences desired, is very expensive. Being so small, peptides are highly prized because they allow very effective skin penetration. They also have the rare characteristic of being active at low concentrations, hence their reputation as “super-effective” molecules.

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Pores

[noun] A pore is a cavity on the surface of the epidermis containing a hair follicle and serving as an orifice for the sweat glands, which produce sweat, and the sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. Pores vary in diameter depending on the size of the sebaceous gland coupled with external factors, such as sun exposure or age (older skin tends to sag, therefore causing enlarged pores).

Potassium citrate

[noun] Potassium is a mineral found naturally in marine environments. It contributes to cells’ natural hydromineral (sodium-potassium) balance and is particularly well assimilated by the body. Potassium citrate also has a vital role in regulating acidity, an important property considering Western diets, which are often too acidic.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.

Prebiotics / Marine prebiome

[noun] Our body is inhabited by a multitude of living microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, yeasts, etc.) that collectively form what is called the microbiota or flora.

The intestinal microbiota, when in balance, allows the digestive system to function properly. On the skin’s surface, there is also a cutaneous microbiota, or skin microbiota, the outermost skin layer after the stratum corneum. This microbiota plays a protective role by forming a physical barrier that defends against pathogens, allergens and other substances that can irritate the skin.

The word “prebiotic” is taken from the Latin words prae and bios, together meaning “which allows life.” These food substances are indeed composed chiefly of sugars, which represent a source of nutrients specifically promoting the balance and growth of the microbiota’s beneficial microorganisms. Take care not to confuse prebiotics with probiotics, which are living microorganisms that repopulate colonies of our intestinal microbiota that may be out of balance.

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Proteins

[noun] Proteins form one of the three families of macronutrients (elements that provide the body with energy), the others being carbohydrates and lipids. They are present in all living cells and are made up of several chains of amino-acid residues linked by peptide bonds. They serve many functions within a cell or an organism:

  • Structural function: renewal of muscle tissue and appendages (hair, nails, etc.).
  • Enzymatic function: ensuring the chemical reactions of synthesis and degradation required for cell metabolism.
  • Motor function: molecule transport within cells.

Pyruvic acid

[noun] Pyruvic acid is naturally present in the human body. Once this molecule comes in contact with the skin, it plays a chemical-exfoliation role, just like AHAs, making gentle exfoliation possible. The pyruvic acid used in myBlend products comes from the acids of Hibiscus sabdariffa flowers, known for their exfoliating/smoothing properties.

R

Retinol

[noun] Retinol is a vitamin A derivative with incomparable anti-ageing properties. Over the years, it has been one of the most studied and proven substances in cosmetology and is known to be one of the most demonstrably effective active ingredients available.

First available, by prescription only, in the 1960s to treat acne, this molecule reached its popularity peak in the 1990s with the discovery of its exceptional anti-ageing properties. But the superstar molecule was found to be unstable and sometimes irritating if used inappropriately and fell out of favour in the 2000s. Today, retinol-based skincare is making a strong comeback, as the active ingredient is stabilised and optimised for the greatest effectiveness and tolerance possible.

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S

Salicylic acid

[noun] Salicylic acid, the best-known BHA (beta hydroxy acid), has been used since ancient times. Though originally sourced from willow bark, whence its name, it is also present in many other plants and was traditionally used to treat pain, fever and inflammation. Today, it is one of the leading molecules used in cosmetics. Boasting recognised exfoliating, soothing and purifying properties, it is an excellent active ingredient for targeting combination or blemished skin.

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Sea buckthorn berry

[noun] Organic sea buckthorn berry, also known as the sacred fruit of the Himalayas, is the central ingredient in nutri-cosmetics. Being grown in Tibet, it is exposed to harsh, high-altitude conditions, resulting in a fruit very high in several important nutrients, including essential fatty acids (Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9), vitamin C and vitamin E. Sea buckthorn berry offers an incomparable blend of powerful antioxidants to boost the body’s defences.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.

Sebum

[noun] Sebum is an oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands. It is composed mainly of fatty acids and plays a protective role as a component of the hydrolipidic film. In association with sweat, it preserves the hydration and suppleness of the epidermis. By virtue of its fatty acids, it forms a shield against microbes. Increased sebum secretion means its natural evacuation is hampered, which can lead to obstructed pores. The skin may then become shiny and blackheads may form.

Selenium

[noun] Selenium is a molecule with antioxidant properties and is part of the composition of several enzymes responsible for neutralising excess free radicals. It therefore has a positive though indirect impact on oxidative stress. Selenium is naturally present in a variety of foods, including fish, seafood and eggs.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.

Skin ageing

[noun] Like every organ in the human body, the skin is subject to a natural and inevitable ageing process. The lifespan of the keratinocyte, an epidermal cell, is around 28 days. This cellular-renewal cycle slows with age, causing an accumulation of older cells, which can lead to skin dryness. Other visible effects of skin ageing are a duller complexion, reduced elasticity, the appearance of dark spots, etc.

Chronological ageing also affects the dermis: it becomes thinner and its mechanical properties are altered. The skin begins to sag and wrinkles deepen.

Other factors are also involved in skin ageing:

  • Hormones: keratinocytes (which form the majority of the epidermis) and fibroblasts (responsible for collagen production) are impacted during menopause with a reduction in their metabolic capacities. Skin becomes less firm, less taut.
  • Living environment: our living environment influences skin ageing just as much as our physiology does. An adverse environment (pollution, tobacco, stress, etc.) modifies the genetic strength of skin cells, making them less efficient and causing irregular cell reproduction. The sun is truly the skin’s worst enemy, as UV rays weaken skin cells and can alter their structure, which is called photoageing.

Skin PH

[noun] The PH (potential of Hydrogen) is measured on a scale of 1 (very acidic) to 14 (very basic, alkaline). The outer surface of the epidermis is protected by a hydrolipidic film with a typical average PH of 5.5, meaning slightly acidic. This acidity improves epidermal protection from the bacteria present on the skin as well as harmful external environmental elements (UVA, UVB, pollution, air conditioning, etc.). These external elements can nevertheless upset the skin’s PH balance and naturally acidic protection, leaving the skin vulnerable to reactions, such as redness and irritation.

Sweeteners

[noun] Sweeteners, also called substitute sugars, are food additives utilised to give foods or food supplements a sweet taste. They can be of plant or synthetic origin and are increasingly used to replace sugar, as they are lower in calories.

Sucralose, stevia and acesulfame potassium are synergistically combined in myBlend Nutri-cosmetics, meaning they can be added in very small quantities while enhancing the taste of ingredients, like sea buckthorn berry, without masking the natural flavours.

T

Tartaric acid

[noun] Tartaric acid is a member of the AHA family, so it promotes chemical exfoliation of the skin. It is naturally present in fruits (especially grapes) and has antioxidant properties, as well. It is also used as an acidity regulator and flavour enhancer in making edible powders, such as food supplements.

U

UV

[noun] The sun emits a spectrum of light rays that reach the surface of the earth, including ultraviolet (UV) rays. Although helpful in the body’s manufacture of vitamin D, UV rays can also be responsible for burns and even skin cancer. There are three key types of ultraviolet radiation.

  • UVC rays, which have the shortest wavelength, are the most charged with energy. They are completely filtered out when they enter the atmosphere.
  • UVB rays have a medium wavelength and shallowly penetrate the skin. They stimulate melanin production and allow lasting tanning, but can cause sunburn if the skin is not properly protected.
  • UVA rays are the least energetic and have the longest wavelength. More than 95% of the UV rays that come into contact with our skin are UVAs. They are responsible for immediate tanning, but also for the appearance of dark spots with prolonged exposure. UVA rays also intensify skin ageing, as they impact the skin cells and support fibres of the dermis.

V

Vegetable squalane

[noun] Squalane is a stable derivative of squalene, one of the main components of the sebum produced by human skin. As this active ingredient has a similar molecular structure, it has excellent affinity with the skin’s hydrolipidic film. While synthesised by the sebaceous glands, it can be also found in plants, yeasts and microalgae.

Squalane takes its name from the place it was first discovered, in the liver of a shark (the Squalus mitsukurii), but today’s advances in biotechnology mean that plant-derived squalane can be produced in sufficient volumes for use in emollient skincare in the cosmetics industry.

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Vitamin C

[noun] Pure vitamin C or ascorbic acid is naturally present in fresh fruits and vegetables. Unlike plants and most animals, humans do not have the enzyme needed for their body to synthesise this vitamin and must therefore rely on their diet or food supplements as sources. This molecule plays an essential role in the body’s collagen-synthesis process.

Vitamin C derivatives possess antioxidant action that is widely recognised by the scientific world. They are more stable and live longer than pure vitamin C and protect the skin from the effects of photoageing, making them superb molecules for complexion radiance.

 

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Vitamin E

[noun] Vitamin E and its derivatives are fat-soluble active ingredients having recognised antioxidant action. Essential for healthy skin, vitamin E is found naturally in the body and also exists in certain foods (vegetable oils, soy, nuts, etc.).

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W

Wrinkles

[noun] A wrinkle is a furrow, an inward fold in the surface of the epidermis on and around the forehead, neck, face and/or hands. Wrinkles have a depth of more than 1 millimetre, distinguishing them from fine lines, which are between 0.2 and 1 millimetres deep. Wrinkles result from a gradual loss of skin elasticity as well as slowed cellular renewal, most often due to age, but also caused by harsh external factors.

There are two types of wrinkles:

  • Those known as “expression” or “dynamic” wrinkles (with other names such as laugh or frown lines, crow’s feet, etc.), which are associated with frequent facial contractions in distinct areas coupled with the skin tissue’s loss of elasticity.
  • Those known as “ageing” or “static” wrinkles resulting from sagging skin as well as external ageing factors (excessive sun exposure, urban environments, poor diet, etc.).

Z

Zinc

[noun] Zinc is a mineral that occurs naturally in the body. It is rich in trace elements and essential to the body’s biological functions (immune-system regulation, vitamin transport, etc.). In dermatology, this molecule is recognised as an effective treatment for inflammatory acne. In cosmetics, zinc skincare is principally used for its ability to regulate sebum production, for cleansing and mattifying action that is suitable for blemished skin.

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Zinc Bisglycinate

[noun] Zinc bisglycinate is a plant-sourced organic molecule used in food supplements. This zinc molecule has a low molecular weight, facilitating its assimilation by the body. Once absorbed, it works from the inside to help regulate sebum.

Related category: Nutri-cosmetics.