Skincare Glossary for Men
As a beginner on your skincare journey, it can often feel like trying to learn a whole new language. Endless product names, ingredients, skin characteristics, techniques and the list goes on.
We've put together a list of the key beginner skincare terms and definitions to help you feel more confident as you navigate through your skincare journey.
A - B
Acne is a common skin condition causing: breakouts, oily skin and hot, painful patches. Acne can be managed by using a gentle cleanser once a day on problem areas, avoiding touching the skin and using a toner to balance oil production.
BB cream stands for ‘Blemish Balm’ or 'Beauty Balm'. It is designed to naturally conceal redness, blemishes and other skin imperfections. Our BB cream is tinted and lightweight for daily use. It contains moisturising elements along with SPF and is suitable for all skin types.
Blackheads are open bumps on the skin filled with excess oil and dead skin, giving them the appearance of little black dots. Regular cleansing, exfoliating and toning will reduce their appearance.
Blemishes are small noticeable marks and imperfections of the skin, often caused by build up of dirt or oil. A daily face wash or cleanser can reduce their appearance, while a BB cream or a concealer can cover them up.
Body wash is similar to facial cleanser in that it’s designed to remove dirt and cleanse your skin.
C - D
Cleanser is a product used to remove makeup, chemicals, dirt, dead skin cells, and pollutants from the skin. It is usually the first step in a skincare routine.
Collagen is a protein that the body produces. In skincare terms, collagen is needed for smoothness and elasticity, as well as improving the strength of hair and nails.
Combination skin is one of the main skin types. As the name suggests, it involves experiencing characteristics of two different skin types. For example, you may have an oily forehead and nose yet suffer with dry skin on your cheeks and chin.
Concealer is a coloured product designed to mask small blemishes and imperfections. It should match the skin tone and can be used on any area of your face.
Dark circles describe darkness under the eyes. Typically caused by; lack of sleep, poor diet, lack of hydration or stress, however they can also be genetic. Dark circles can be reduced with an eye cream and masked with concealer or a BB cream.
Another one of the main skin types. Dry skin can feel rough, scaly, or itchy. Regular cleansing as well as an intensive moisturiser and hydrating serum can help restore the skin.
E - F
Exfoliation is the act of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin, often with the help of an acidic or grainy substance. This is usually done after cleansing to ensure stubborn dirt and product has been removed thoroughly from your skin. An acidic exfoliation is considered to be more suitable for sensitised skin. Exfoliation is particularly helpful when it comes to preventing in-grown hairs, skin breakouts or acne.
Eye bags are categorised by mild swelling and puffiness under the eyes. They can be caused by age, poor diet, and other factors. A good eye cream that cools and de-puffs can help reduce them.
A face serum is a lightweight skincare product containing a higher concentration of active ingredients (such as Hyaluronic Acid or Vitamin C) which makes it more potent for specific skin concerns. It usually fits in between a toner and a moisturiser in a stepped skincare routine.
Face wash is a type of cleanser. It could be in a more soapy texture, or in a oil or clay format. It is designed to remove impurities, cleanses the skin and can be used daily to improve skin condition.
I - R
An ingrown hair occurs when a hair that’s been removed regrows and curves back into the skin causing a painful bump. They can be reduced by prepping your skin before shaving, holding a cold cloth to your skin after shaving, using a good face wash and shaving in the direction of the hair.
Any product with a matte-effect is usually an oil-free, oil-absorbing or oil-balancing product. This type of product will absorb excess oil on the skin to reduce shine.
Moisturiser is usually a cream, or a lotion, or gel based product containing emollients and extra hydrating ingredients to soothe and hydrate the skin. It can be fragranced or non-fragranced.
Oily skin is caused by an overproduction of sebum in the skin, leading to shiny, greasy skin. Oily skin is also generally more prone to breakouts and acne. Mattifying products can help to reduce oil production by absorbing excess oil.
Pores are small openings in the skin which release oils and sweat. They need to be kept clean in order for the skin to function properly. Clogged pores may lead to breakouts and acne. Contrary to some advertising slogans, it's not possible to reduce the actual size of your pores, but there are certainly products that can help reduce the appearance of them by removing dirt and debris stuck within them.
Rosacea is a common skin condition causing flushing, redness, and stinging skin. It can be triggered by temperature, diet, exercise or harsh products. Unfortunately there is currently no known cure for this skin condition. Avoiding your triggers and using gentle products can help reduce inflammation.
S - W
Your skin type is determined by genetics and other factors. You can have normal, dry, oil, combination (both oily and dry) or sensitive skin.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, it is a measure of how well the product will protect your skin from sun damage. Generally speaking the higher the number, the longer it would take for your skin to be damaged by UV rays. It is recommended that you wear sun screen EVERY DAY, even when it's overcast. Sun damage is one of the key contributing factors for skin cancer and skin ageing.
Tinted moisturiser is a light and buildable moisturising cream with a small tint added, this can be used to hydrate the skin while providing coverage to conceal and blur skin imperfections. It is similar to a BB cream, both of which provide more sheer coverage than a traditional foundation.
Toners could be a liquid moisturiser that improves the skin’s hydration level. Or it can be designed to complete your cleansing process to thoroughly remove dirt, dead skincells or pollutants from your skin. They include active ingredients that help with most skin types, reducing oil, redness, and removing excess dirt.
Whiteheads are a type of acne caused by dirt entering the pores. They are red with a white head. You should avoid picking or touching them and use a gentle face wash daily to reduce them.
Wrinkles are lines on the skin that appear as skin gets thinner, they appear usually where the muscles have moved most (laughter lines, frown lines). To reduce the appearance, use anti-aging serums and moisturising products to keep your skin hydrated. Smoking and excessive exposure to UV rays are also key factors.