Skin Care & Cosmetics Ingredient Glossary (S)

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Safflower Seed Oil

Safflower oil, deriveded from the seeds of the safflower plant—a relative of the sunflower—is a natural source of linoleic acids (omega-6) and vitamin E, which enhance skin texture, balance sebum levels, and protect skin from dryness and harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Generally, safflower oil has a light and non-greasy consistency, which makes it quickly absorbed into the skin and proves it to be anti-inflammatory and non-comedogenic - that is, it does not clog pores.

Suitable for all skin types, especially great for dry, acne-prone skin types or those with redness, eczema or/and psoriasis. 

This is a product with safflower oil—Urang Natural Cleansing Oil.

*Synonym: Carthamuus Tinctorius

Salicylic Acid 

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that occurs naturally in willow bark, fruits and even vegetables. Known for their pore-clearing and treating properties, BHAs prevent blackheads, whiteheads and acne by exfoliating the skin and reducing oil secretion. 

Salicylic acid is in the same class of drugs as aspirin (salicylates) and is a keratolytic that increases the water content of the skin by softening and breaking up the keratin between cells. This exfoliating ability can help make skin brighter, more even and smoother.

Our favorites with salicylic acid: Benton Aloe BHA Skin TonerCosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser and Isntree Clear Skin BHA Toner.

( Would you like to know more about exfoliating acids? Here is for you—What is the difference between AHA BHA and PHA? )

Silicone

Silicone is derived from silica (basic sand) through chemical processing before being added to beauty and personal care products.

Thanks to their unique liquid properties, silicones are used to improve skin feel and create a luxurious texture that applies seamlessly to the skin. They also form a barrier on the skin that helps lock in moisture and improve the adhesion of color pigments.

Many people fall for the common skincare myth that silicones are not safe for the skin; however, topically applied silicones are considered safe and are hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic - meaning they do not clog pores (as long as you cleanse them well).

Common silicone-based products include makeup primers, BB creams and foundations, as they help makeup last longer and fill in fine lines, wrinkles and pores, while evening out skin tone and reducing redness.

*Synonym: Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetearyl Methicone, Cyclopentasiloxane

Sodium Hyaluronate

Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid (HA) - one of the most common ways to convert HA into a useful topical "extract" form.

Sodium hyaluronate is prized for its moisturizing and anti-aging benefits, which help reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles by keeping the skin hydrated and plump.

When it comes to the beauty and cosmetics market, hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate are often considered the same thing and the two names are used interchangeably.

Sodium hyaluronate, however, has a lower/smaller molecule than HA, making it easier to absorb into the skin and more stable and less susceptible to oxidation. 

Here are the facial care products you should definitely try: The Plant Base Waterfall Moist Balanced Hyaluronic Acid 100Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner, and Olivarrier PH 5.5 Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence.

Sulfate 

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are commonly found in cosmetics and personal care products and are derived from coconut oil, palm kernel oil or petroleum.

In general, sulfates are safe for most skin types, but if you have sensitive skin or allergies, please note that sodium lauryl sulfate has a higher risk of being sensitizing and irritating, so it may be better to avoid it.

*Synonym: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate 

Squalane vs Squalene

Squalene is naturally found in shark liver, olives, rice bran, sugar cane, wheat germ oil and also in our skin. Rich in natural antioxidants, squalene helps neutralize free radicals and environmental damage and maintain skin hydration and skin’s moisture barrier. 

Squalene is derived from squalene through hydrogenation - a process in which it is converted from unsaturated fats or oils to saturated and solid, which have a higher melting point as well as a longer shelf life. 

Both are equally effective, however squalane is much lighter than squalene. It is non-comedogenic and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for oily and acne-prone skin. 

A Korean product worth a look— Olivarrier Fluid Oil Squalane.

Sunflower Seed Oil

Rich in vitamins A, C, D, E and antioxidants, sunflower oil helps protect skin from free radicals that can cause premature aging and regenerate damaged skin cells.

It also has anti-inflammatory and natural moisturizing properties that make it beneficial for dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin, as well as skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and redness.

Sunflower seed oil contains high levels of linoleic acid, which aids to replenish the skin, strengthen the skin barrier and support its ability to retain moisture. It is a non-comedogenic carrier oil and acts as an emollient to soften skin and can be used for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin.

*Synonym: Helianthus Annuus 

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Sea buckthorn oil is known for its anti-aging and skin healing properties. This skin-boosting oil contains various vitamins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals and carotenoids that help the skin restore its barrier function, repair oxidative damage, promote skin hydration, elasticity and collagen. 

Buckthorn is also excellent for reducing acne breakouts, inflammation and swelling, while fading scars and making skin clearer and smoother.

The skin brightening product we love—Isntree C-Niacin Toning Ampoule.

*Syn: Hippophae Rhamnoides 

Snail Mucin

Snail mucin is a type of mucus produced by snails that helps them protect their bodies from dryness, cuts, and harmful bacteria.

Also known as snail secretion filtrate on ingredient lists, snail slime has powerful anti-aging, hydrating, and healing properties that help regenerate skin, treat acne scars, and smooth fine lines.

Here are snail-based products that you should definitely try: Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence and Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin Toner.

*Synonym: Snail Secretion Filtrate, Snail Slime 

(Related blog post: 13 Best-Rated Snail Mucin Skincare Products )

Sucrose 

Sucrose is a natural sugar that acts as a humectant, moisturizer and exfoliant in skin care and hair products. This non-toxic component is hygroscopic, which meanst has ability to attract and retain moisture.

Sucrose also gently removes dead skin cells that build up on the skin's surface and protects the skin from pollutants and toxins. Sugar is a prebiotic, meaning it nourishes the microbes/bacteria on the skin that help create a healthy environment for the skin's microbiome.

“Sleep, drink water, and treat your skin.”