What do we actually put on the skin?

There are plenty of liniments to hydrate, apply cell renewal or chemically cleanse, but the fancy terms used to “package” this are not uncommon. What do all those strange terms actually stand for? That’s what I was wondering and I started looking for some commonly used terms and their meanings.


The products on the shelves in the Netherlands, with whatever nice name, have passed inspection and should actually be seen as safe. This does not alter the fact that allergic reactions can occur, but are usually related to an allergy of the user in question (which he/she did not yet know). It is different with products that are obtained from abroad via the internet. Every country has its own control mechanism and this may differ from what we use as a benchmark in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, according to the standard, it must contain what is preached on the product. Whether a particular ingredient actually does what it says can be seen as debatable (it is what the manufacturer makes of it and should be taken at face value or not). This may have to do with a different interpretation, but also with quantities that have or have not been added. But for all products, you must be properly informed by the professional. This maximizes the chance that you will come closest to the product that does the most for you. No guarantees are given, anywhere for that matter.

Some terms in skin products


Q10 is probably the most common at the moment. Easy to remember and frequently used. Q10 is a strong antioxidant and an antioxidant protects against the free radicals to which we are exposed. Free radicals can damage the skin and if your natural defenses are inadequate, Q10 can play a positive role in this. In the Netherlands, Q10 is often sold as an anti-aging product.


Retinol is a form of vitamin A and helps to renew skin cells. This then makes the skin smoother again. In particular, remedies that help reduce acne contain it and Retinol can also be found in some anti-aging products.


Lipids are the skin’s own fats and keep the skin supple and smooth. Furthermore, it hydrates the skin and is therefore certainly suitable for skin that is quite dry or low in fat.

Hyalonic acid

Hyalonic acid is a substance native to the skin that can be found in the connective tissue layer. The material is often used to replenish the skin, it gives volume. This product is often used to replace Botox and is also good for dry skin. It breaks down again automatically over time.


Hamamelis is another name for the Witch Hazel, a beautiful plant. An extract of this plant works as an antioxidant and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Suitable for oily skin and if you suffer from pimples.


Peptides are molecules made from amino acids and help your skin to continue to function properly. So if you don’t have any specific problems. This product is often used in make-up and sometimes in products that work against aging of the skin.

Shea butter

Shea butter comes from the Karite tree and can actually always be found in the well-known shea butter. It keeps the skin supple and prevents moisture loss. Also very suitable for the hands and therefore often found in hand and body lotions.


An excellent preservative that can be found in almost all cosmetics. It prevents bacteria from sneaking into products. Some researchers believe that it is not good for the skin. Yet the product can be found in almost all cosmetics and cosmetic-related products.


There are many more beautiful names, but the ones mentioned above are very common. If you come across something you don’t know, don’t hesitate to look it up. After all, you do apply it to your skin. Use cosmetics responsibly and don’t just put anything on your skin.

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