Glossary

Cosmetics Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Fatty Acids
Substance typically found in plant and animal lipids (fat). Fatty acids include compounds such as glycerides, sterols, and phospholipids. They are used in cosmetics as emollients, thickening agents, and, when mixed with glycerin, cleansing agents.
Fatty Alcohols
Often known as cetyl, stearyl and lauryl alcohol. Widely used as a thickener in hand creams and lotions. It forms a film on the skin and stops moisture from evaporating, keeping the skin moisturized.
Flavonoid
An active substance extracted from plants and acts as a free radical scavenger in products. Its antioxidant properties helps prevent premature aging due to external aggressions.
Flaxseed Oil
From seeds of the flax plant; a source of fatty acids, particularly omega-3.
Folic Acid
Necessary for DNA & RNA synthesis. It is essential for the growth and reproduction of all body cells.
Formaldehyde
Used in nail hardeners, nail enamel, soap and some shampoos and hair growing products. It is usually excluded from many cosmetics due the high level of allergic reactions it can trigger.
Fragrance Free
Most products will still contain small traces of fragrance to mask unpleasant odors.
Free Radicals
Highly reactive or unstable molecules and atoms that cause aging and degenerative diseases. These free radicals often result from ozone, cigarette smoke, herbicides and pesticides, solvents, petrochemicals, drugs, sunshine, X-rays and other foreign body substances.
Fruit Acid
Fruit acid (citric acid; glycolic acid) has astringent, antioxidant and preservative properties.
Fungicidal
An agent that kills fungal organisms. The most common skin fungi are athlete's foot and thrush.
Fungus
A general term used to denote a class of microbes (as bacteria and virus) responsible for skin infections and spoiling of cosmetic products.
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