Skin Care Vocabulary: 22 Terms You Need To Know

Elly Kimreviewed byIryna Andrus / more about Editorial Process8 min
Created: Jan 20, 2023Last updated: Jan 29, 2024
Skin Care Vocabulary

Caring about your skin is one of the most relevant modern trends. Cosmetic companies regularly please us with insane novelties that can prolong youth and improve your overall self-confidence. However, even those with a lot of experience in this sphere are often confused, since the selection on the market is enormous. Considering the number of various cosmetics available for modern people, even native speakers sometimes find it challenging to deal with skin care vocabulary. And we are here to help you!

You may have plenty of questions when choosing the most suitable skincare items since numerous things matter: your skin type, its condition, cosmetics components, harmful ingredients you should better avoid, and so on. Start replenishing your skincare dictionary to understand what your cosmetologist is talking about.

Important Skin Conditions You Should Know

Beauty experts first notice the quality of your skin, and no one would recommend any cosmetic products without appropriate diagnostics. Let’s start with the most common skin care definition. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, this term implies making your epidermis healthy and glowing using all the available means. So, grab the list of words you must know before getting treatment.

  • Acne.

It is one of the most common skin diseases that men and women of different ages can face. Many consider it a teenage issue, but this is far from the case. 
Clogged pores, where dirt, sebum, and dead skin cells are accumulated, are the main reason for this problem development. 

  • Age spots.

These are skin defects in the form of dark spots caused by high melanin concentration in some parts of the epidermis. The most common reason for age spots appearance is prolonged exposure to the sun and aging. However, factors like fluctuations in hormonal levels, medication, frequent stress, and problems with the digestive system can also have a big impact on skin quality.

  • Comedones.

It is a synonym for clogged pores that occur due to sebum and dead skin cells in the ducts of the sebaceous glands. Such a problem usually happens because of inappropriate skincare or disorders in different organs. The increased stress level can also cause comedones.

  • Couperosis.

It is a vascular disease that manifests on the skin through redness, spider veins, or capillary reticulum. It is important to remember that this problem can lead to serious conditions in the future, so it is worth paying attention to and preventing it in advance. The following factors can influence the occurrence of сouperosis:

  • heredity and genetic predisposition;
  • sharp temperature changes;
  • constant nervous tension and stress;
  • increased caffeine consumption;
  • too many spicy foods in the diet;
  • excessive alcohol consumption and smoking;
  • usage of wrong cosmetics, especially those containing alcohol;
  • too much ultraviolet (remember to limit the time in the sun and use sun protection products).

It’s critical to remember that couperosis could often lead to rosacea, considered a serious disease. If you want to avoid potential problems, visit a beautician or dermatologist regularly. They can recognize the first signs of the development of pathology and prescribe timely treatment. Currently, many therapy options are available. For instance, you can take advantage of phototherapy, which involves removing blood vessels with light pulses. The electrocoagulation procedure, which involves cauterizing broken capillaries, is also popular.

  • Wrinkles.

These are the longitudinal or transverse skin folds that occur due to loss of elasticity and firmness. Natural aging is considered the main factor for their appearance, but environmental impacts, active mimics, physical disorders, and usage of low-quality cosmetics can also lead to premature wrinkles.

Cosmetics Compositions: Skin Care Terms to Choose the Right Treatment

After you’ve figured out everything about your skin type and condition, it’s time to learn more about the treatment products themselves. Manufacturers pamper us with huge diversity, but it’s important to remember that even one inappropriate component in the composition may make things worse. So, look at the most common active skin care ingredients dictionary.

  • Active ingredient.

A biologically active component, due to which the product performs the exact functions mentioned on its packaging. As a rule, you can find it in the cosmetics bottle, so thoroughly check it to ensure you buy a suitable formula.

  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA).

This type of acid (also called fruit acids) is often added to exfoliating products. Alpha hydroxy acids help to get rid of dead skin cells, eventually leading to new cell growth. Using cosmetics with such ingredients is a great way to get soft and silky skin. Such components are the best option for sensitive and dry epidermis prone to irritations.

  • Beta hydroxy acids (BHA).

It is a different acid type also used in exfoliating and cleansing products. The main distinction is that these ingredients are most suitable for the normal and oily epidermis. Salicylic acid is the most widespread BHA, which manufacturers add to multiple products.

  • Collagen.

This natural protein can be found in multiple body parts, including bones and ligaments, and helps the skin remain elastic and soft. The active production of collagen by the body slows down at age 25, so you should take advantage of cosmetics with a rich component in their composition. In this regard, cosmetic brands have long used this beauty-important protein in their products. Collagen is one of the most important components, so it must be in your skincare ingredients dictionary.

  • Emollients.

These special moisturizing ingredients penetrate deeply into the epidermis and guarantee high-quality hydration. The most common versions of this product are facial oils, for instance, squalane, jojoba, and argan extracts. They perfectly nourish and moisturize the face, making it ready for applying makeup.

  • Hyaluronic acid.

It’s probably the most common cosmetic component that should be in your skin care glossary. Hyaluronic acid’s primary function is drawing moisture into the epidermis, creating a protective layer, and keeping skin soft and nourished. Moreover, this ingredient’s molecules can even fill small wrinkles, making them less visible.

  • Glycolic acid.

This AHA component is obtained from sugar cane and can be used in professional care and home treatment. You can most frequently see it in the compositions of peelings and anti-acne products. Moreover, it’s a well-known anti-age ingredient, so mature women often prefer cosmetics with it.

  • Niacinamide.

It’s one of the most widely used forms of vitamin B3. The ingredient efficiently fights acne and other skin imperfections without causing allergies or irritations. Moreover, it can cope with the first aging signs, light wrinkles and pigmentation.

  • Retinoids.

This is the only group of ingredients with a proven anti-age effect. Retinoids are a type of vitamin A that effectively stimulates cell renewal. It significantly reduces aging signs and provides softer skin, so you can often find this component in cosmetic compositions.

  • Squalane.

This light moisturizing oil is a kind of emollient. Experts note multiple benefits of the ingredient in cosmetic compositions, but its primary goal is to make skin smooth and silky without creating a sticky or oily layer.


Skin Care Dictionary: Most Popular Procedures for Your Youth and Beauty

When you already know some terms connected with cosmetic ingredients, it’s time to learn more about the available procedures. It’s worth noting that many of them can be done at home. At the same time, some require only professional treatment, so ensure you learn the necessary words to ask for when you visit your beautician.

  • Biorevitalization.

The procedure implies mechanically adding hyaluronic acid into deeper epidermis layers, which provides a rejuvenating effect. This method helps eliminate skin dryness, first wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. 

  • Cryotherapy.

This innovative method is actively used in medicine and cosmetology. Its essence is in using low temperatures to correct skin defects and stimulate metabolic processes. Many doctors also use this method for treating various diseases.

  • Facial cleansing.

Every person should make this process daily, so this phrase must be in your skin care terminology list. In addition, cosmetologists recommend doing professional deep cleansing at least once every few months. Harmful environmental factors pollute the epidermis cells and slow their regeneration, leading to excess sebum. It can cause acne and irritations, so it is better to do the procedure regularly.

  • Hardware cosmetology.

It implies modern procedures for a skin treatment that are used for massages, peelings, lifting, epilation, and correcting imperfections. The distinctive feature of this method is that it doesn’t traumatize the epidermis and provides long-lasting results.

  • Mesotherapy.

It is a cosmetology method consisting of subcutaneous injections of active drugs that affect cellular processes. This procedure was initially done only for medical reasons, but it quickly became popular among women aiming to keep their youth and beauty for longer.

  • Peeling.

It’s a skin treatment method aiming to remove excess skin layers for deep cleansing. Peeling cosmetics include acids in their compositions, which help exfoliate old epidermal cells and stimulate the formation of new ones.

  • Skin resurfacing.

This cosmetic procedure eliminates skin defects such as wrinkles, scars, and spots. Please note that this treatment should be done only by professionals, and the corresponding cosmetics and devices are not intended for home care.

Importance of Forming a Skin Care Glossary

The skincare industry is exciting; moreover, dermatologists regularly discover new active components that might be useful for the epidermis. It doesn’t matter whether you are a cosmetologist or just want to be aware of all industry trends. Knowing all skin care terminology is critical for many women, and our online school Promova is always ready to be your loyal assistant in learning English!

Our professional tutors will develop an individual program and choose the vocabulary that is useful to you. No more dull classes since we will not let you get bored! Contact us if you are interested in starting an English course, and our teachers will form lessons according to your requests. Learning skincare terms has never been as easy and involving as it is with our online school!


What are the most important steps in daily skincare?

You should always remember about proper cleansing and moisturizing since these are the critical points you should stick to. Moreover, our epidermis needs extra nourishment during the cold season, so remember to choose the treatment complex following your cosmetologist’s recommendations.

What is the most well-known definition of skin care?

According to Collins dictionary, such treatment implies keeping your epidermis smooth, silky, and healthy by using the most suitable cosmetics. Considering the number of available care products, you will have to learn many terms to understand the topic better.

What is another word for skin care?

“Treatment” is a synonym for skin care, and you can meet this term in multiple vocabularies or articles. You can use it when talking to an English-speaking person, and they will understand you.

Why is it critical to learn a skin care glossary?

You may find yourself in various situations in an English-speaking country and need to be ready for anything. Knowing the basic terms will help you better navigate the topic and, if necessary, maintain a dialogue. It will also be relevant for beginner cosmetologists planning to move abroad. After all, you will have to know the language to continue your activities!


FinlayDec 15th, 2023
this is exactly what I was looking for!
Sunn BoozerJul 20th, 2023
Such a valuable resource! Mastering skin care vocabulary enables us to discuss our skin concerns and preferences with confidence while embracing a healthy skincare routine))