The New Language of Beauty: 10 Key Terms You Need to Know in 2018
Skincare and cosmetics have come a long way in the last few years, and with the new formulas and innovative brands behind them, comes a whole new language. Read on for the 10 key terms you need to know on your next beauty binge in 2018.
100% VeganWhat it means: 100% vegan means zero animal-derived ingredients or byproducts were used in the manufacturing process.
Why you should care: Vegan beauty products tend to mean fewer ingredients used, and that means a welcome break for sensitive skin prone to irritations.
Check out: Vegan self-tanner for (healthy) glowing skin. We spoke with social media influencer Lorna Andrews, better known to her 600,000+ Instagram followers as @LornaLuxe, who’s penchant for selfie-perfection is bested only by her ability to consistently deliver the goods when it comes to all things fashion and beauty. Her favourite vegan product? “Isle of Paradise self-tanner. Regardless of how often I apply it, there are no patchy or uneven areas… I’ve tanned daily for the last 15 years and this is the best product I’ve found for fool-proof sunless tanning.”
Isle of Paradise Vegan Self-Tanning Mousse, EUR £20
Non-ToxicWhat it means: Products designated as non-toxic will be free of any ingredients that have been previously linked to negative effects in humans. Think: lead acetate, coal tar and formaldehyde – yuck!
Why you should care: Aside from the obvious - any time you can strip down the ingredients list on the products you are applying to your skin and consequently absorbing into your blood stream, that’s a good thing.
Check out: Drunk Elephant’s full range of products. Sephora can hardly keep them in stock as the brand has developed a serious cult following with their mantra of producing skincare free of what they refer to as “the suspicious 6” - silicones, chemical screens, sensitizing colorants/perfumes, Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), essential oils, and drying alcohols. We love their jelly cleanser, which removes all makeup, oil and leftover pollutants from your skin.
Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser, $42
Non-GMOWhat it means: Non-GMO (which stands for “genetically modified organisms), which identifies a product as having no genetically modified ingredients within its formula.
Why you should care: Your skin is no place for lab experiments, and the ingredients you put on and into your body matter. With no concrete understanding of the long-term effects of many genetically-modified elements, there’s just no place for them in your beauty arsenal.
Check out: Switch up your spring beauty and splurge on anything from beauty brand Herbivore. Started in Seattle out of the kitchen of husband and wife co-founders Alex and Julia, this brand is all about creating beauty products that provide real results – naturally.
Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisturizer, $62
OrganicWhat it means: Unlike the hit-or-miss term “hypoallergenic” which is often misused by brands as a marketing tool, products labelled as organic must first be certified by whichever certifying institution oversees that region. Simply put, organic ingredients are those harvested without any synthetic chemical elements.
Why you should care: Organic beauty equals products free of chemicals and rich with plant-based ingredients or other naturally-occurring elements, leaving you with a product that contains only the good stuff and no toxic fluff.
Check out: The Ordinary. This Canadian skincare brand has set out to disrupt the industry with their ingredient-first products and scaled back price points. With a focus on transparency, you can feel confident you’re getting exactly what you’re looking for, minus any harmful or toxic additives. We love their 100% Organic Rosehip Oil, which is completely unrefined and contains only a single ingredient. Potent and pure, we can’t get enough of this budget-friendly line, with many products ringing in at under $10!
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Oil, $10
HypoallergenicWhat it means: While the tag “hypoallergenic” cannot guarantee a product is 100% allergy-proof, it does mean the ingredients used in the product are less likely to result in any allergic reactions or further aggravate acne -related issues.
Why you should care: While you may not have had any allergic reactions to skincare and beauty products in the past, that doesn’t mean you aren’t still at risk of a future reaction. Not sure how your skin will react? Dab a bit of product on your inner forearm and keeping an eye on the skin in that area over the next few days.
Check out: A cult-favourite, the Butter Bronzer by Physician’s Formula is one of their best-selling and best-loved products. Hypoallergenic, formulated with essential fatty acids and pro-vitamins, this bronzer is even labelled as “dermatologist-approved” on their website.
Physician’s Formula Murmuru Butter Bronzer, US $15
Cruelty-FreeWhat it means: Cruelty-free means no animals were harmed, tested on, or utilized in any way in the process of creating your beauty and skincare products.
Why you should care: A no-brainer, we should all care about how our products are tested and manufactured. The HSI (Humane Society International) estimates upwards of 200,000 animals suffer and die each year in the name of cosmetics. Join the movement and sign The Body Shop’s petition to ban animal testing worldwide in 2018.
Check out: The Body Shop’s first 100% vegan range of products, Roots of Strength. Infused with powerful plant roots to firm and shape your skin, this line, like every other from the brand, is proudly cruelty-free!
The Body Shop Roots of Strength Firming Shaping Essence Lotion, $22
Gluten-FreeWhat it means: Gluten-free indicates a product has been made without the use of wheat-based products.
Why you should care: While any reaction to gluten would occur via the small intestine – which means you would have to ingest it orally (and who’s eating their beauty products?!) – it’s not hard to see how trace amounts could make their way into your mouth, potentially causing a reaction in those with a gluten-allergy or sensitivity. When you consider how sensitive those with gluten-related allergies can be to even the slightest triggers, you can see why the option to avoid it at all costs would be appealing.
Check out: We love this colour-packed lip and cheek stain from Milk Makeup, which comes in a variety of colours and includes moisturizing mango butter – yum!
Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek, US $24
Non-NanoWhat it means: “Nano” refers to nanoparticles, which are tiny particles small enough to enter the bloodstream through the skin’s pores. While nanotechnology has been a major tech breakthrough in terms of using nanoparticles to their specific medical purpose, only recently have guidelines come into play for how these nanoparticles can be used in terms of cosmetics and skincare products.
Why you should care: With no current requirements for toxicity testing when it comes to nanoparticles, the possibility of absorbing them into your blood stream via your beauty products is an issue – especially when you have no way of knowing if they’re toxic or not.
Check out: Juice Beauty’s SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen is cruelty-free, made with organic ingredients and – you guessed it – free of nanoparticles.
Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen, US $16
Paraben-FreeWhat it means: Parabens are one of the most commonly used preservatives in cosmetics and skincare products. Their purpose is to keep fungus and bacteria from developing in moist bathroom environments and taking form in your creams and cosmetics.
Why you should care: Unfortunately, parabens are often to blame for skin irritations and other skin-related issues such as dermatitis, rosacea and various other allergy-related reactions. And it doesn’t stop there: parabens may also negatively affect hormones, as studies have shown their limiting abilities with estrogen. The talk surrounding parabens is controversial, but most skin-expert circles agree: avoid them when you can.
Check out: Allure’s Best of Beauty Winner, Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask is a hit for good reason. Working to correct dull skin and blocked pores, this mask gives you the glow you want, without any harmful parabens.
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, US $62
Non-ComedogenicWhat it means: To keep it simple, comedones are pore-blocking papsules, lesions, whiteheads and blackheads. Non-comedogenic products are ones that have been manufactured without ingredients known to clog pores.
Why you should care: Blocked and subsequently enlarged pores are a common issue, and a difficult one to treat. While there’s no “cure” for enlarged or blocked pores, steering clear of ingredients that might trigger or aggravate the issue is a great place to start.
Check out: Beyond the fact that their packaging is instagram-worthy and super satisfying to see on the shelf, Glossier is a brand that’s quickly making its mark in the beauty industry. With its minimalist approach to makeup, they take the less is more approach to their formulas too.
Glossier Stretch Concealer, $22