Glossary of Cosmetics Terms and Definitions

Abdominoplasty – a surgical procedure which is aims to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal area. More commonly called as a "tummy tuck", this procedure can also be used to tighten the abdominal muscles to create a flatter and firmer stomach.

Acne – a skin condition which is characterized by the excess production of oil from sebaceous glands. In the process, the dead skin cells blocks the pores that may lead to inflammation.

Acne Scar – scars brought about by severe acne conditions which can range from deep pits to scars that have an angular or wavelike appearance.

Age Spots – term used for small flat pigmented spots often seen on areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun over a long period of time. They usually occur after the age of 40 and are commonly seen on the face, hands, and arms.

Adipose Tissue – tissues in the body primarily composed of fat cells.

Alopecia – the scientific term used for partial or complete hair loss.

Anagen Phase – term for the growing phase of the hair growth cycle. This phase normally lasts for about four to seven years for a healthy person.

Androgenetic Alopecia – the scientific term used to refer to male pattern baldness. Considered as the most prevalent type of hair loss, androgenetic alopecia can be inherited from either parent. Currently, there is no scientifically proven means to reverse this type of hair loss.

Androgens – naturally occurring hormones that is responsible for the development of masculine traits. These hormones are also referred to as the male hormones.

Arm Lift – a plastic surgery treatment that that aims to remove excess skin from the arm area. Also known as brachioplasty.

Artificial Fibers – synthetic hair-like materials that can be implanted into balding areas in place of lost hair.

Areola – term for the dark skin surrounding the nipple.

Asian Blepharoplasty – eyelid surgery usually done to decrease fullness in the upper eyelid and to create an eyelid fold for Asians who desire this look.

Augmentation Mammaplasty – a surgical procedure performed in order to increase the size and/or alter the shape of a woman’s breasts through the use of breast implants.

Autologen – A material used in lip augmentation to produce a look of fuller lips. Autologen is derived from your own skin and then injected into the lips.

Azelaic Acid – A naturally occurring substance found on normal skin that can be used in skin care products to treat mild acne

Benzoyl Peroxide – a common ingredient usually found in acne treatments and used for its antibacterial properties.

Beta Hydroxy Acid – an oil-soluble exfoliant taken from fruit and milk sugars and commonly found in skin-care products. It is used to treat wrinkles, blackheads, as well as the results of photoaging. Salicylic acid is a common example of a beta hydroxy acid.

Bicep Implants – artificial implants that are inserted into the biceps to give it a m more muscular appearance.

Blepharoplasty – term for a cosmetic eye surgery procedure to reduce the appearance of droopy, tired, or baggy eyes. This type of surgery can be performed on the upper eyelid, lower eyelid, or even both.

Body Lift – a cosmetic surgery procedure that aims to remove excess skin, a condition that is usually the result of weight loss, aging, and pregnancy.

Botox – a substance that is derived from the botulinum toxin that is used in various skin and facial treatments. It works by preventing nerve impulses from reaching the muscle, causing the muscle to relax.

Brachioplasty – a cosmetic surgery procedure performed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper arm. Also called arm lift.

Breast Augmentation – a surgical procedure performed to increase the size as well as alter the shape of a woman’s breasts through the use of breast implants.

Breast Enhancement – a surgical procedure performed in order to increase the size or alter the shape of a woman’s breasts or both through the use of breast implants.

Breast Enlargement – a surgical procedure performed in order to increase the size of a woman’s breasts through the use of breast implants.

Breast Implant Revision – a surgical procedure involving the removal and replacement of a breast implant to correct complications that may have occurred after breast augmentation or breast reconstruction surgery.

Breast Implants – silicone rubber shells filled with either silicone gel or saline solution. These implants are used to enlarge and/or alter the shape of the breasts.

Breast Lift – also known as mastopexy, this is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to lift and reshape sagging breasts.

Breast Reconstruction – a surgical procedure designed to reconstruct a woman’s breast after mastectomy (the removal of the breast in order to treat breast cancer).

Breast Reduction – also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to reduce the size of the breasts by removing fat, tissue, and skin.

Brow Lift – a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to raise sagging eyebrows and/or smooth forehead wrinkles.

Butt Lift – a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the buttocks, resulting in a firmer, shapelier form.

Calf Augmentation or Implants – the surgical procedure where an implant is inserted into the calf to enlarge or enhance the shape of the muscle.

Cannula – term used for a thin and flexible tube inserted into the body in order to drain fluids. A special type of cannula is used to take out the fat during liposuction procedures.

Capsular Contracture – term for the tightening of the scar tissue or capsule surrounding a breast implant.

Catagen Phase – the intermediate phase of the human hair growth cycle where the follicles prepare for the resting phase. This phase, also called the "intermediate phase", lasts for about 10 days for a healthy person.

Cellulite – body fat deposits usually found on the thighs or buttocks which give the skin a dimpled surface.

Cheek Implants – silicon implants inserted under facial skin to enhance cheek contours.

Chemical Peel – a cosmetic procedure where a chemical solution is applied to the face in order to remove the top layers of skin and reveal the younger, smoother skin underneath. The procedure is also known as chemexfoliation

Chin Augmentation – a cosmetic surgery procedure where an implant is inserted in the chin area to improve facial contours.

Chin Implant – an implant made out of silicon or some other material used to augment the chin.

Cohesive Silicone Gel Implants – a semi-solid or semi-liquid state of silicone implants used as a filling in breast implants with a similar consistency to a normal breast. The advantage of using cohesive silicone gel is that it will not leak if the implant shell ruptures.

Collagen – a fibrous protein contained in connective tissue that gives the skin its strength and resilience

Collagen Injections – bovine collagen can be injected into the face to thicken lips or reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The effects are temporary, as most of the collagen is eventually absorbed by the body.

Copper Peptide – a common ingredient foun
d in skin care products, copper peptide is used to promote and produce collagen and elastin in the skin.

Contracture Scar – a type of scar in which a permanent tightening of skin occurs, often in response to a burn. This type of scar may affect the underlying muscles and tendons, limiting mobility and possibly damaging the nerves.

Cortex – the main structure of the hair shaft. The cortex gives hair its color, texture and strength.

Crows Feet – the fine lines found around the eyes, caused by muscles that attach to the skin. They can be made worse by sun exposure; however, smoking also contributes to their formation.

Cuticle – the outermost layer of the hair shaft, made up of six to eight layers of dead cell remnants. The cuticle serves as a protective barrier for the inner layers of hair.