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
Parabens
Parabens have become a stigmatized group of preservatives due to their alleged relation to breast cancer.
Paraffin
Petroleum based substance used as a thickening agent.
Peptides
Portions of proteins, which are long (or sometimes short) chains of amino acids.They function as "messengers" because they have cell-communicating ability.
Polymer
Any of numerous compounds having a high molecular weight either from being composed of many smaller molecules or by condensing many small molecules into larger molecules that are capable of taking on new forms and functions. Plastic is an example of polymer technology, as is nylon. Polymers do not have a defined formula because they consist of various chains of different lengths. Natural polymers exist, too; examples are polysaccharides, rubber, and cellulose. The human body contains many polymers in the form of various proteins, nucleic acids, and the energy source glycogen. Hundreds, if not thousands, of cosmetic ingredients have been created based on the evolving science of polymers.
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