IT'S all getting a little confusing this beauty lark, especially the adverts: 

‘You MUST try our super-regenerative-acid-peeling-parabin-free-anti-ageing-elixir-of-life-avocado-extract moisturiser.'

The skincare industry has become a minefield

‘Not tested on animals.’

What are all these skincare brands on about?

The skincare industry has become a minefield that only the most astute of beauty enthusiasts are able to navigate. Not only are we bombarded with various new and ‘must-have’ products, most come loaded with befuddling scientific and made-up jargon that many of us don’t really understand – at times the nutritional values on the back of a bottle of coke make more sense than our daily cleansers.

And we’re loyal and trusting customers, us beauty enthusiasts. Pop Helen Mirren in a nice dress, promise miracle results, and throw questionable statistics at us and we’ll buy into the next big anti-ageing or moisturising product without really questioning what’s inside.

To clue ourselves up, we’ve deciphered eight of the most common skincare buzzwords and listed the best products to go with them.

Beauty Buzzwords Explained

From foundation primers to retinoid creams, we wise up on beauty buzzwords.


Best product: Dior BB Cream - £32
Perhaps the 'BB' and 'CC' stand for ‘Brilliantly Beautiful’ or, umm… ‘Confidently Creamy’, as for a long time, while no one knew what the acronyms for these new cult creams stood for, we quickly added these products to our make-up bags to help with problem skin. . 
So what are they?
On the whole these creams are basically ‘a pumped up version of tinted moisturizers with added benefits’
'BB' – stands for ‘blemish balm’ or ‘blemish base’ and the products work to provide a flawless and even coverage and can act as a primer, foundation, sunscreen and anti-ageing serum in one.
‘CC’ – stands for 'colour correction' and are immensely popular with those who have issues with pigmentation and acne scarring.  They can contain ‘skin brightening’ ingredients, help to even out skintone and can be worn underneath foundation, or on their own as a foundation depending on the product. 


Best product: ROC Deep Wrinkle Serum - £22
We’ve all heard of retinol creams - they're everywhere. If you’re over the age of 29, it’s probably been suggested that you should start using retinol creams. The ‘number one dermatologist tested age-fighting ingredient’ is long considered an essential part of any anti-ageing skin care regimen.
So what are they exactly?
Retinols, or 'retinoids,' are Vitamin A derivatives that 'speed cell turnover’ and even out the skin. Some report retinols creams to work as fast as four weeks to quickly improve the appearance of collagen-depleted skin and help smooth out pores. Yet with a fast-acting ingredient like retinol comes some side effects and users are warned that their skin can become drier and  more sensitive to the sun after prolonged use.


Our skincare routines are getting lengthier, aren’t they? According to skincare experts we should cleanse, tone, moisturise and, now, prime before any make-up touches our faces.
So what are they exactly?
By definition, a primer is a ‘a substance used as a preparatory coat', and that’s exactly what skincare primers do for our skin. Unlike moisturisers, primers absorb oil, creating a more matte and even appearance - so no more having to pop out to powder your nose. When used before you apply make-up, primers improve the finished texture, evenness and colouring of your foundation. They even lengthen the amount of time your make-up lasts on your face. 


Best Product: Caudalie Beauty Elixir - £11.50
Whatever parabens are, it seems a lot of skincare companies really want us to know that we should be free of ‘em. After a lot of extensive research, it may be wise that we all take heed.
So what are they exactly?
Parabens are a very common cosmetic preservative and have been widely used to ‘prevent bacteria growth’ in a lot of beauty products. According to dermatologists, 85% of cosmetic products still contain them. Yet parabens, since the 1990s, 'were deemed xenoestrogens - agents that mimic estrogen in the body - and estrogen disruption has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues,' explain
Customers are advised not to be worried but mindful, and regularly choose products that are labelled paraben free.


Best Product: Glow Tonic by Pixi By Petra - £18
Glycolic acids and the ubiquitous acid peel have become extremely well known in beauty circles. And they’ve developed somewhat from the days when these aggressive chemical acid peels would literally strip away the top layers of a person’s face all in the aid of anti ageing. Now, low percentage glycolic acids in cleansers and toners are said to work wonders as an exfoliating treatment.
So what are they exactly?
Glycolic acids form part of a group of active compounds called AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) and are able to penetrate skin deeply and easily; making them effective in treating fine lines, acne, blackheads, dullness and oiliness . They are best used at a low percentage (5%) and consistently. 


Best product: Olay's Regenerist - £29.99.
While some believe laughter lines and furrowed brows tell the story of a life fulfilled, under-eye bags tell a more laborious tale of sleepless nights and stressful days. Peptides, another long established anti-ageing miracle ingredient, are said to be one of the better solutions to unflattering dark circles and heavy eye luggage. 
So what are they?
Peptides are ‘biologically occurring short chains of amino acid monomers linked by peptide (amide) bonds’ – no we still haven’t a clue either, yet these proteins in their various forms are said to work to 'promote the natural functions of your skin, stimulating collagen production, reducing inflammation and helping to slow the signs of ageing.'


Best Product: Trilogy Rosehip Oil - £26.50
Have you ever looked at a ripe tomato and thought, 'damn, I would love for my skin to be this firm and taut?' No? Well, skincare scientists have been harnessing lycopene, a natural chemical found in red pigmented fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, to create creams and supplements.
So what is it exactly?
Lycopene is a natural chemical and antioxidant found in plants, fruits and vegetables - and the best way to get it into your system is by eating them. The benefits have been extensive: from preventing heart disease to smoothing your skin. Skin products containing tomato or red berry extracts are excellent as a preventative anti-ageing measure. Lycopene also acts as a 'free-radical quencher' and, used in conjunction with sun creams, can provide additional protection against sun damage.


To start on the path to preventative anti-ageing regimes, popular skincare brand Nivea recommend that we focus on three areas: ‘deep moisturising, sun protection and anti-ageing ingredients.’ Nivea’s favourite anti-ageing miracle ingredient is Coenzyme Q10 for its ability to help with skin cell renewal.
So what is exactly?
Coenzyme Q10 is a ‘vitamin-like substance found in every cell of the body’ and our ‘cells use it to produce cell growth and maintenance.’ It also acts as an antioxidant. As we age we tend to lack coenzyme q10, causing our skin’s inability to produce collagen, creating those deep lines. In skincare products, Coenzyme Q10 is considered a fantastic wrinkle-blaster as it energises the skin and, importantly, stimulates skin cell activity.